Best road trip ice chests

Discussion in 'Camping Toys' started by lookatdirt, Oct 17, 2019.

  1. UtahGuido

    UtahGuido Long timer Supporter

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    Another 12v convert here. Got a (relatively) cheap ($500) 45L unit from a Chinese company called ICECO a month ago and it’s been on two road trips, the last of which featured extensive tailgating. It’s nice to have everything cold and dry. When not in the car it’s in the garage as an overflow/beer refrigerator. Longevity? We’ll see.
    #21
  2. Paul124ac

    Paul124ac Long timer

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    #22
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  3. 5spd97

    5spd97 Been here awhile

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    I've got a nice 25 qt. Engel that works great and a 20 year old 60 qt. cooler that would hold its own against any similar sized cooler made today. We camp off grid 6 or so times a year for periods of a week to 10 days at a time but; do yourself a big favor and buy a 12/120 v compressor fridge/freezer and you'll never look back. No more soggy food, no more emptying water and replenishing ice. For the price of a big Yeti you can get a 50 qt/l fridge/freezer. The one we have is branded Truck Fridge and was delivered on sale to our house for about $450. You can easily spend twice that for an ARB or Dometic if you are staus conscious but I'm not convinced that they warrant the extra expense. All of them can run off of your car power outlet or the 120v in your motel room and will cool to well below freezing. We still do carry our 25qt Engel when we travel just so that we'll have ice for drinks.
    #23
  4. DGarman

    DGarman What could go wrong? Supporter

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    I go to several vintage car and motorcycle events..... I picked up a Coleman ice chest from the '70s that still had the food shelf in it..... it will keep things cold for 3 days or more..... no problem.....
    If you're staying in a motel every night, there's always going to be ice nearby...... The same when you fuel up each day(?)..... you can get ice then..... not to mention the gas stations you pass by every day.....
    A new Coleman Extreme with a plastic tub for food on top will work fine..... ZipLock freezer bags work well to put stuff in before setting them in the tub.....
    I also drill/punch drain holes in the bottom of any food shelf to keep water from accumulating.....
    IMG_4124.JPG IMG_4125.JPG
    #24
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  5. Paul124ac

    Paul124ac Long timer

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    Oh they do, they most certainly do. Don’t get me wrong, I think all camping fridges are well overpriced as are good quality ice boxes, I mean $1200 for a bloody fridge? $500 for what is basically a foam filled plastic box? But trust me the cheapies are that for a reason and they WILL disappoint. I’ve sat on my Evakool, cleaned fish on it, stood on it to see the stage, had it float off down a river, had it stolen (and retrieved), leant it out, pressure washed it while throwing up (see the “cleaning fish” bit, don’t forget about the bits of fish you want, then remember a few weeks later), used it as a step to get on/off the boat alongside (see the “stolen” bit, shoulda seen the pricks face as we walked onto the jetty when he was walking off looking over his shoulder), even used it as a bike stand between races. Never let me down, neither has my Engel. Big admission cost but worth it in the long run.
    #25
  6. 5spd97

    5spd97 Been here awhile

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    I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. I've got a 25 year old chest cooler that I didn't pay an arm and a leg for that has been abused in every way imaginable. I wouldnt hesitate to pressure wash it, stand on it etc. My Truck Fridge cost $450 delivered to my door (on sale) and is sold by a company that markets to the trucking industry. They wouldnt last long if their products failed to deliver day in and day out. I'm glad that you are happy with whatever you have but there is no way of comparing what you have to anything that I have as far as quality or longevity.
    #26
  7. rider1150gsadv

    rider1150gsadv Long timer

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    That is the exact box I used for my fishing charter business. I gave it to a friend of mine when I sold my boat. It is by far the best cooler out there.
    #27
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  8. Paul124ac

    Paul124ac Long timer

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    Spot on, don’t really know what you have in the way of ice chests only you have an Engel and a Truck Fridge, as stated I have an Engel.

    The OP’s question was regarding ice chests. He also said he’d spend the money for what works.

    There is an easy way to compare the efficiency of an ice chest, how long does ice last in it. The Evakool fibreglass will still have ice 12 days into a trip in 25-30deg Celsius. I also have an Evakool polypropylene, 3-4 days of ice. The poly is just as rugged, a quarter of the price and a third of the efficiency. I also have an Eski branded plastic foam filled, about 24hrs of ice but cheap. Great for a bbq. These are just my observations, I have refrigeration qualifications but haven’t worked in the industry for 25 years.
    #28
  9. 5spd97

    5spd97 Been here awhile

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    I woukd advise the OP to watch some youtube videos of independent cooler comparisons before making a deciscion.
    #29
  10. cresmond

    cresmond Adventurer

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    Coleman extreme. Works great and nor pricey.
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  11. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Long timer Supporter

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    But it does not come with a sticker that you can place on the back window of your truck.
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  12. BOBaloo22

    BOBaloo22 Tony & Catnis

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    [​IMG]
    The wife bought me this last July and it is just as good as Yeti but way less that a hundred bucks and no one has tried to steal it.
    #32
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  13. Riteris

    Riteris Dessert Runner

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    FAIL!
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  14. HighTechCoonass

    HighTechCoonass Living the Dream....

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    My co-worker own this company. Neat Gator latches!! Great performance / high price.

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  15. Rufjeep

    Rufjeep Been here awhile

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    I've got a yeti, a Magellan equivalent, and a Whynter 65q 12v fridge/ freezer. The Whynter cost slightly more than the Yeti, but is FAR more convenient/ useful. I run it off 2 deep cycle batteries in our van and it will run well over a week without starting the vehicle....also, keep in mind that the fridge holds more than the same size cooler because you don't have to leave room for ice.
    #35
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  16. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Long timer Supporter

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  17. HickOnACrick

    HickOnACrick Groovinator

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    Use block ice, not ice cubes, and the ice will last substantially longer.

    Personally, I collect sterile 2L water bottles from work, fill about 3/4 full and stick them in the deep freezer. When I need to use a cooler, I just throw those in. Food does not get soggy, and the melt water makes a nice refreshment.

    Orion coolers are another top-end cooler. Pretty sure they are made in the US. I don't have one. I only know about them because my boats are made by Jackson Kayaks.
    #37
  18. lookatdirt

    lookatdirt Been here awhile

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    That was pretty interesting!
    #38
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  19. GiddyThump

    GiddyThump Been here awhile

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    Regardless of what cooler you decide on, try dry ice. Last for a ridiculously long time in a cooler....any cooler. I used it for years back country camping.
    #39
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  20. cagiva549

    cagiva549 whats a cagiva

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    I’ve got a 150 qt pelican cooler I bought new for 300 bucks , I did get a good friends deal , lve taken it to a couple long weekend campouts with 120 lbs ice in it for everybody that rides in to stash their beer in for the weekend , I’ll fill it Wednesday set it out at party central and load it up Monday morning for the trip home if I bring stuff home in it it may be over a week before it gets dumped and there’s still a lot of ice in it , one time I dumped it before loading it on Monday and probly dumped 80 lbs of ice . A nice touch is it has forklift slots under it so it’s very easy for me to load full . Also have a 42 qt pelican and with avarage open and close cycles is good for around 3 to 4 days with a case of beer being restocked every day .
    #40