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road trip: keeping da beer cold

Created by Leech > 9 months ago, 28 Oct 2008
WA, 2330 posts
30 Oct 2008 11:31AM
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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

WaWa verider, just wondering what brand of 3 way fridge your using?

VIC, 1435 posts
30 Oct 2008 3:03PM
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sandman said...


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.

The "other type" is AGM (absorbed glass mat). Reaonably expensive though- think $300-$500.

The friends we go camping with asked what sort of fridge they should get. Their style of camping is "Drive and plonk" where they stay put wherever they go, rather than travelling around. I suggested a 3 way (gas/240v/12v) because a gas bottle will last for a long time without having to worry about batteries and recharging, plus if you have other things running on gas then you're already set up for that type of fuel. Gas fridges will generally get you a larger volume for less cost than a compressor equivalent. Others might be able to give feedback on this, but gas fridges aren't supposed to like being bumped around (like off road) or kept on funny angles.

I got a compressor driven 12v/240v fridge because the priority was for 4wdriving trips. In those days we would usually be driving nearly every day so there is the ability to recharge the aux battery regularly. A three day stop would usually drain the aux battery though. Compressor fridges don't mind being bounced around or being on 45 degree angles and I don't think a gas fridge would have been any good for our 6 week Cape York trip. Given we now do more drive and plonk camping I've had to go solar to keep things charged. I can use the compressor fridge in the boat if an esky won't do because again it doesn't mind a bumpy ride.

So if your style of camping is drive and plonk, and an esky won't do it for you, I'd recommend going gas and not worrying about batteries and solar.

I'll shut up now. Cheers for cold beers.

WA, 1927 posts
30 Oct 2008 3:02PM
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Harrow said...


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.

Yeah, i had to replace my battery after that

WA waverider
WA, 77 posts
30 Oct 2008 4:07PM
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WaWa verider, just wondering what brand of 3 way fridge your using

Have been using chescold which is great but I'm thinking of buying a 40 litre waeco 3 way from Auto One who have them for around $600 which looks like great value .
Be careful with all the gas fittings as dust or sand can block jets I always cover any open fitting with gaff tape and yes gas fridges need to be set up level

Mark _australia
WA, 19260 posts
30 Oct 2008 7:46PM
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Leech you pisswreck who can't handle not having beer for a few days:
The options:

(1) 3 way fridge... awesome.

(2) Engel / Waeco and deep cycle (with a solar panel even better)

(3) Gnaraloo sells ice (still I hope?), I used a bag a day minimum and just wore the cost BUT you can buy a steak n sausages barbie pack for tea (frozen) and use it to cool a sixpack so at dinner time you have defrosted meat and cold enough grog. Meat n grog for tea every night is good for you!

(4) find a nurse. Seriously. Get her to steal a sh!tload of those chemical cold packs that you just bang / twist and it goes cold. Smahs it, wrap around a can and you're away in 5mins

and whatever you do, take salt. Ice plus a little water plus half a handful of salt gets a few beers colder and faster than anything else.

Local AA rep.....

TAS, 156 posts
30 Oct 2008 11:27PM
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A: Buy yourself a fibreglass EVA KOOL eski (most expensive eski you will buy but you will see why when you use it )

B: Get an Aluminium plate cut that is just a shade smaller than the inside of the eski measured at about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom ( stick with me here it will be all worth it in the end ) These eskis are tapered slightly from top to bottom so don't measure at the top or it will be too big.

C: Buy a rubber extrusion that fits on the aluminium to act as a seal and silicon it on and manufacture some handles out of some rubber sheet and bolt them to the aluminium ( otherwise you won't be able to get the plate out when it's in the bottom of the eski.) The plate when it is in the eski with the rubber on the outside should fit snugly almost creating an airtight compartment underneath.

D: Make your own ice in a deep freeze if you've got the room. Put the ice in the eski and smash it up a bit if you have to to get it fairly evenly spread. It will refreeze into one block.

E: sit your aluminium plate on top, now your ice is contained in a nearly airtight area that is not affected by outside temperature when you lift the lid repeatedly to get your beer.

Think beer won't get cold unless it is sitting in ice ? with good homemade ice, temp on the aluminium is 0.4 deg C and just inside the eski lid 4.0 deg C. Plastic water bootles will start to freeze if sat directly on the aluminium. Don't even think about putting lettuce or tomatoes on there. Also nothing in the eski gets wet using this method.

Must drain off any water out of the bung every day, maybe twice a day in hot conditions. I've gone on holidays in Alice springs for four weeks in the middle of the year, and topping up with bag ice when required I have still bought back small pieces of my home made ice after all this time. Without adding any ice you should easily get 5 days.

I have never before released this priviliged information to the public so do what you will with it, but if you think about it you know it makes sense, the main thing that kills your ice is air temp and putting warm beers in it. My next step is to make a complete aluminium basket that slides in so you get cold conducted all the way up the sides as well as being able to lift everything out at once to add more ice.

This method will improve the hell out of any eski, but do yourself a favour and buy yourself an EVA KOOL, it's the last eski you will buy.

I hope my long winded essay has given you some food for thought.

Mark _australia
WA, 19260 posts
31 Oct 2008 8:45AM
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wicked tip i will have to try it!!

Those expensive eskie though, I dunno why anyone does it. styrofoam: free if you look hard enough. Glue it all together, then glass it up (with an epoxy resin obviously)

$100 for the same thing which costs $500 in a shop

NSW, 8584 posts
7 Dec 2008 10:24PM
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We are still looking for a portable fridge for two reasons. Firstly as a beer fridge at home and secondly to keep beer and food cold when camping.

Can someone explain how the 3 way fridge system works?

Looked on eBay but the ones for sale seem to be mainly in Melbourne.
What about the 3 way fridges on this page?

NSW, 1824 posts
7 Dec 2008 10:48PM
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Mobydisc said...

We are still looking for a portable fridge for two reasons. Firstly as a beer fridge at home and secondly to keep beer and food cold when camping.

Can someone explain how the 3 way fridge system works?

Looked on eBay but the ones for sale seem to be mainly in Melbourne.
What about the 3 way fridges on this page?

I think the 3 way is the power source, gas, 12 v DC or 240v ac.

Harrow, R U having a go at me about my social habits. You got to be quick, I always empty out my esky, first come first served. I don't bring that many except for race day, usually there are extras if the winners don't claim their coopers prize. But if you carry my gear back to the car then you immediately go to top of the list.

WA, 1253 posts
8 Dec 2008 4:14AM
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If the seal on the esky/waeco etc is in good condition and does'nt allow air in or out, I find there's still ice in it after a day in the car/van. It's only after I start dipping my mitts in it that the ice starts to melt.


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