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Camping Fridge into a Blast Freezer

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With some of my longer trips in WA and NT camping for anything from 2 - 5 weeks keeping ice for esky's on the boat was a pain. Think 40 deg in WA. I was using a 60 litre fridge and a 40 litre engle as a freezer for ice in plastic bottles and to store bait. But if going out on consecutive days the ice would never be frozen. So I had an idea to make a semi-almost blast freezer out of an old Waeco 60 litre that I didn't trust anymore, that coincidentally hasn't let me down now for about 9 years. To get the cold air circulating I thought a small computer fan on the lid would do the job. And it does in spades. It strips away the warm air from the warm stuff you put in there so it can contact the cooling elements. I did a bit of an unscientific trial and it freezes a tray of ice 5 times faster than my fridge. I also cut up a camping closed cell foam mattress for extra insulation to put between the fridge and the bag. The bag is buggered but I tape it together.

 

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The first go was not as good as I made some spacers that didn't allow enough airflow into the back of the fan. But my good mate solved that when he jammed the lid down and broke the fan. So then I could use the old fan housing as a spacer and put some holes into it to allow better flow. The fan is just a simple Jaycar one with the most CFM you can buy. 12 volt I just clip it onto the batteries powering the fridge, the only draw 300 milli amps from memory. Even at 40 deg I can put 8 litres of water in there in the afternoon/night after fishing and the whole lot is frozen solid by morning.

This was really important when catching heaps of fish to cool them down quick for freezing and having ice for the next day. Keeps the quality of the fish when frozen quickly. 

 

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2 minutes ago, Softy said:

I've heard of people doing that trick with an old pc type fan and works a treat! You might need a bigger model if you keep catching fish that big. ;) :lol: 

The trick is to always take less food than you need. Eat as you go.

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