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road trip: keeping da beer cold

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Created by Leech > 9 months ago, 28 Oct 2008
Leech
WA, 1927 posts
28 Oct 2008 9:58PM
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I'm keen to know how you keep your post-sail beer cold when your camping at your favourite remote (unpowered) australian windsurfing locations..

Fess up.

Bender
WA, 2056 posts
28 Oct 2008 10:14PM
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This works for me. My little fridge stays cold for hrs in the car. A 6 pack of beers fits nice and snug. In my rodeo ute it sits inbetween the bucket seats and doubles as an arm rest.
Only down side is on long drives a car beer is only at arms reach.
(top left in the picture)
www.waeco.com.au/products.asp?catId=57&subCatId=58&subCatId2=63

sandman
WA, 432 posts
28 Oct 2008 10:15PM
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2 best options I have see are obviouslly the deep cycle battery and the engel. another is one of those 'proper' eskis (not the kmart jobs but the ones fisherman use.) filled with block ice in the bottom (3 inches or so) then beer and normal bag ice.

I rekon if you could somehow come up with a way of drilling an ice block like a massive stubbie sized egg carton you would be onto a winner!

westhammer
WA, 486 posts
28 Oct 2008 10:37PM
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yep take sandys advise on the fisho eskey and the block ice and you cant go wrong,,expect to pay arround about 180 used and that should fullfill ya needs for a ice cold beer ++++after a hot days sail.noffin like luxeries wen ya livin like a king leechey 'peace and luv to da eye.

nebbian
WA, 6177 posts
28 Oct 2008 11:05PM
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The cheap little thermoelectric fridges are rubbish, I've had two of them and neither of them worked all that well. Neither of them were a name brand though, so your mileage may vary. Maybe those engel/waeco ones work properly?

Some people dig a hole when they get to their spot, line it with foam then put their esky in that, loads of ice inside and it will last for a week... only open the lid once a day and you're OK.


swoosh
QLD, 1650 posts
29 Oct 2008 12:18AM
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sandman said...

2 best options I have see are obviouslly the deep cycle battery and the engel. another is one of those 'proper' eskis (not the kmart jobs but the ones fisherman use.) filled with block ice in the bottom (3 inches or so) then beer and normal bag ice.

I rekon if you could somehow come up with a way of drilling an ice block like a massive stubbie sized egg carton you would be onto a winner!


or just use a giant stubbie sized egg carton mold to freeze the ice in!


windsurfer44
WA, 243 posts
29 Oct 2008 12:04AM
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cup holders near the air con. derr

Flux
WA, 533 posts
29 Oct 2008 12:10AM
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Waeco and mini petrol generator u can go and stay anywhere and have coldies don't forget a gerry can of fuel

sandman
WA, 432 posts
29 Oct 2008 12:57AM
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nebbian said...

The cheap little thermoelectric fridges are rubbish, I've had two of them and neither of them worked all that well. Neither of them were a name brand though, so your mileage may vary. Maybe those engel/waeco ones work properly?


yeah, when it come to car fridges there is only one type worth using and that is the (expensive) compressor fridges. I once had a electronics guy point out that those cheap and nasty things are good for keeping the 6 pack cold between your house and the party, but thats about it.

Crash Landing
NSW, 1173 posts
29 Oct 2008 8:41AM
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Leech, I bought a "proper" cool box on ebay and the associated magic ice blocks (they come as thin sheets of plastic that you soak in water and the plump up). They said it had about 5 days ice time.

I took it to coffs a couple of years ago and left in the tent - it was warm in there. The beers were still cold after 4 days!

I'd recommend a decent cool box with seals - when you compare them with a regular esky you realise why the budget versions are useless!!


grumplestiltskin
WA, 2330 posts
29 Oct 2008 7:28AM
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Yep, the decent cool box and block ice that you make in your freezer before you go.

You can make them up pretty cheap, if you know a mate who can glass them up

Just need 50mm thick foam blocks, made into a box. Glass it up inside and out and use some hinges to hold the lid on. Put thin foam rubber seal around the lid and voila, magic ice box

have a look here
www.sportsfish.com.au/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=30137
this guys is a bit over the top for what you want, but you get the idea.

MikeyS
VIC, 1435 posts
29 Oct 2008 9:56AM
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Solar panel (80w), deep cycle battery and Engel. This is self sustaining as long as the panel gets a few hours a day of full sun. Camping in the shade last summer was a pain as I had to keep moving the panel every half hour to follow the sun.

The other trick is to buy cans and freeze them before you go, and then keep them in a decent quality cooler, even with a bit of ice in between the cans. Freezing doesn't seem to affect the taste at all. In fact they even freeze some beers when they're making it to enhance the flavour. The trick is to leave a few cans to thaw, otherwise you'll go thirsty waiting for them to turn back to liquid. Sometimes they can be liquid, but when you open the can, they turn to ice again. Kind of like a beer slurpy! Nothing beats a beer slurpy with a hot bowl of Mikey's mussel soup, freshly picked off the rocks! That's what I call living.



You can also use frozen beer cans to cool other non-essential stuff, like food.

stamp
QLD, 2632 posts
29 Oct 2008 10:57AM
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if you don't want to fork out for an engel, go to BOC and buy some dry ice

MikeyS
VIC, 1435 posts
29 Oct 2008 12:05PM
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stamp said...

if you don't want to fork out for an engel, go to BOC and buy some dry ice

Dry ice doesn't last long, and once it changes state to a gas, it has bugger all cooling effect, unlike cold water. Plus you have to keep the vehicle well ventillated when driving, otherwise you'll end up suffocating ourself.

And it's bloody expensive to boot.

Harrow
NSW, 2655 posts
29 Oct 2008 1:09PM
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Leech,

You must use a compressor based fridge (Engel or Waeco) with a deep cycle battery. Don't even think about a thermolectric. They use the same amount of power, and provide less than 10% of the cooling if you are lucky. If you are not sure which is which, look at the price tag. Compressor fridges are about $1000, the thermolectrics are given away free in your favourite cereal box.

I have the Waeco 50 litre, and it goes down to -20 C without any trouble. The Engel will do just as good a job.

This is the deep cycle battery that you want:
www.batteriesplus.com.au/pd/584/239/trojan-scs225/

This is the charger you want:
www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=MB3612&CATID=27&keywords=&SPECIAL=&form=CAT&ProdCodeOnly=&Keyword1=&Keyword2=&pageNumber=&priceMin=&priceMax=&SUBCATID=647

As long as you keep your fridge in the shade, it will do a long weekend easily. The maths works out like this.....

Battery is rated at 130 amp hours. Fridge draws 4 amps, but only runs about 1/4 to 1/3 of the time, therefore using an average of 1 to 1.33 amps. Three days will therefore use between 72 and 96 amp hours.

MikeyS is spot on...the 80W solar panel is exactly what you need if you want to run the fridge for an extended period without any mains power. An 80W panel usually ends up giving about an average of 4 amps output. Working on 8 hours of good sunlight a day, this exactly equals the fridges requirements. Presuming you started out with a fully charged battery then a few clouds will not worry you.

Nothing like having ice cold beer (and butter, orange juice, milk, tim tams, tinned fruit, cream, etc.) when camping.

I've have it wired up with a 240ac-12dc switch mode power supply so it charges when we are at a powered site, and have also run an extra cable from my car battery to the trailer so it charges while we are driving.

Regards,
Harrow.

P.S. Of course the easy way is a decent fishermans cool box and a bucket load of ice, which also works ok for several days.

mineral1
WA, 4462 posts
29 Oct 2008 11:31AM
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grumplestiltskin said...

Yep, the decent cool box and block ice that you make in your freezer before you go.

You can make them up pretty cheap, if you know a mate who can glass them up

Just need 50mm thick foam blocks, made into a box. Glass it up inside and out and use some hinges to hold the lid on. Put thin foam rubber seal around the lid and voila, magic ice box

have a look here
www.sportsfish.com.au/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=30137
this guys is a bit over the top for what you want, but you get the idea.


For anybody over in WA, call past the Freezer/cool room manufacture place (Just East of intersection of Leach and Welshpool Rd on Welshpool Rd)
They have the standard metal sheet separated by 50mm cool room material (styrene) Room size door cut outs for about $8 each. Panel thickness from memory is 50mm. (look at a door in your house and that’s the panel size)
25-50mm Ali angle strips to bolt it all together, a long brass hinge from Bunnings for lid. Rubber seal on lid from Bunnings.
Can make your own large/small cool box for bugger all, using Grumps method after to glass it up after.

Leech
WA, 1927 posts
29 Oct 2008 11:42AM
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grumplestiltskin said...

Yep, the decent cool box and block ice that you make in your freezer before you go.

You can make them up pretty cheap, if you know a mate who can glass them up

...


My mate doesn't need any new projects. He's got a board to make!

Leech
WA, 1927 posts
29 Oct 2008 11:55AM
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Some excellent tips here!

I hadn't realised there were Eskies and Esky's!

Borrowed a Waeco fridge for my last camping trip with a secondary battery (also Waeco). The secondary battery didn't last very long (1-2 days) and I flattened the car battery a few times trying to keep the meat fresh.

Deep cycle battery seems a good idea, or at least a better method to charge the Waeco battery than through the 12V cigarette lighter! It has some large terminals so may be able to rig up the Jayco job that Harrow linked to?

Needed to drive all day to charge it through the 12V outlet, how long does it take to charge with the switchmode charger?

MikeyS
VIC, 1435 posts
29 Oct 2008 2:45PM
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While we're on the topic of fridges, as Harrow says, keep the fridge in the shade, but it also helps to make sure the fridge is well insulated. The basic insulation around an Engel is pretty crap- just hold your hand against the outside of the fridge when it's on- it feels cold. Even with the transit bag which improves the insulation somewhat, you can still feel the cold on the outside of the bag. I've inserted a $10 closed cell foam sleeping mat inside the cover of my fridge and it makes quite a difference. I think the insulation on a Waeco is a bit better, but in any event, the less heat transfer across the walls of the fridge, the lower the power consumption.

Hey Harrow. How can you tell that this is a windsurfing website, and not a camping/fishing/4wding website? Cos we're not carrying on like pork chops about whether Waeco is better than Engel blah blah blah!

Harrow
NSW, 2655 posts
29 Oct 2008 5:12PM
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Leech,

You should never really use more than 20% of a standard car battery. Flatten a car battery by leaving the headlights on twice, and you've probably at least halved it's life.

Deep cycles batteries are designed to be used up to 80% or more again and again. The Waeco battery pack is 36 amp hours, so it should only be expected to last for 1 to 1 1/2 days.

My switchmode charger is 12 amps. For my 130 amp hour battery that gives 10.8 hours, but charging is not 100% efficient, so lets say 12-14 hours?

Charging through the 12 volt socket is not always so effective because the wiring is usually skimped on, resulting in voltage drop and low charging current. I'm guessing you'd be lucky to get 4 amps of charging. The cable I have run is the thickness of my little finger, and I use professional DI audio plugs (the ones used on stage equipment) to connect it, not the silly cigarette lighter plugs that make pretty poor contact.

MikeyS, I'm not even going to nibble at the Engel vs Waeco debate. Although, the wall section on the Waeco does appear to be a little thicker....

WA waverider
WA, 77 posts
29 Oct 2008 3:40PM
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Having travelled north for years I have settled on the 3 way fridge option this enables u to run the fridge on the drive up ,once at camp set up in the shade on a level surface and run on gas .I like the silence when i camp and saves on space and weight for genset and fuel .I also run my gas stove and gas light all on 1 9KG bottle of gas usually lasts 14 days or more and i carry a smaller bottle in case .Sit back after a hard days sailing /fishing /surfing ICE COLD BEER is there anything better

Mobydisc
NSW, 8584 posts
29 Oct 2008 6:09PM
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What about the 12/24v fridges sold on eBay? I guess they are all made in China jobs but they seem a bit cheaper to buy than the Waeco/Engels and a bit bigger in volume.

Where do you buy deep cell batteries from and are they much more expensive than normal batteries? I own a Mitsubishi Delica and I'd like to go car camping with it along with a fridge. I know some Delicas have dual battery systems. Mine doesn't though.

WA waverider
WA, 77 posts
29 Oct 2008 4:21PM
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save your money moby and go the gas option i stuffed around with dual batteries and gensets for years go the gas

easty
TAS, 2213 posts
29 Oct 2008 7:02PM
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Dig a hole in the sand. Put beers in hole. Fill in hole. Pour petrol over sand. Flick a match onto petrol. This apparently works, from the numerous people (bushies) that have told me about it, but I have yet to try it. Otherwise aquire a taste for what I used to call "kimberly cold", which is actually quite warm, but you get used to it. Otherwise move to Tassie, and just leave your beer outside. We use stubbie holders down here not to keep the beer cold, but to keep our hands warm!

Jaime
NSW, 77 posts
29 Oct 2008 7:15PM
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A few years ago I used the dry ice and two esky's. Keep one esky for the dry ice and plastic bottles of water that freeze solid. You then use the frozen water bottles as the cooling source in the other esky.
The dry ice lasted around 2 weeks as we didn't need to be opening that esky as often as the 2nd one.
Dry ice will destroy the flavour of fresh/ unsealed food so it's another good idea to keep the food separate.

Harrow
NSW, 2655 posts
29 Oct 2008 7:22PM
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WA waverider said...

Having travelled north for years I have settled on the 3 way fridge option this enables u to run the fridge on the drive up ,once at camp set up in the shade on a level surface and run on gas .I like the silence when i camp and saves on space and weight for genset and fuel .I also run my gas stove and gas light all on 1 9KG bottle of gas usually lasts 14 days or more and i carry a smaller bottle in case .Sit back after a hard days sailing /fishing /surfing ICE COLD BEER is there anything better

Sounds like the voice of experience. No doubt, a gas fridge is a serious option, especially if you expect to be at non-powered sites more often.

Bender
WA, 2056 posts
29 Oct 2008 5:32PM
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I used my Chescold(spelling) three way fridge for years on my surf trips in the NW. They work great. I ran from a 9kg bottle used for cooking as well. I can vouch that it would last 2 week(best was 19days). Quite often i had to turn the fridge down as it kept freezing beer.

Only down side is that they are bulky to carry.

My chescold has died several times. the heat exchange element has been replaced three times. It is now sitting in my work work shop needing another element.


They are a solid unit other wise made of high of high impact PVC. mine is the 66l green one

sandman
WA, 432 posts
29 Oct 2008 8:15PM
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Batteries...

Deep cycle are a bit more expensive. From memory there are wet type, gel type and some other type that takes the best from both worlds. try and find out what that other type is and get it. the wet type has to be mounted outside the car cos of gasses, the gel type is fine anywhere else but has some other major flaw... damn I wish i could find the info again.

bottom line, deep cycle aint deep cycle, do research.

Greenroom
WA, 7478 posts
29 Oct 2008 10:23PM
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Make sure you throw in some ginger beers for me Leech

Harrow
NSW, 2655 posts
30 Oct 2008 9:55AM
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There are a few Botany Bay sailors who have a habit of waiting until everyone has come in and are waiting for their sails to dry off. They go to their car, and return with an icy cold stubby that is then opened and consumed in front of everyone.

I am wondering what is the appropriate ettiquette in this scenario? And is it acceptable to throw them, and their cold beer, in the bay?

sandman
WA, 432 posts
30 Oct 2008 8:46AM
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hold your board. slalom fin and all approx 1m above said drying sail and instruct afore mention beer drinker that everyone else gets a beer and no sails get hurt...



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"road trip: keeping da beer cold" started by Leech