A message some time ago had someone fitting an Isotherm unit to the existing ice chest in an RL28. Does anyone have an update on this type of installation?
The RL 28 Ice chest is much larger than the Waeco mobile fridges so for similar outlay a much larger capacity can be obtained. However, not really convinced that the current Ice chest has sufficient insulative properties and is really too big for a weekend when I would simply take along an esky. Seems like it would need several large ice blocks or ½ a dozen party ice bags to get it cold and keep it that way. How do people find the ice chest for longer periods away?
Has anyone removed an ice chest from the boat? Can it be manoeuvred easily to fit through the companionway?
There is an amazing amount of empty space behind the ice chest that could be made use of if a smaller unit was installed.
Yes the ice chest can be removed. We have fitted a new box with the recommended 100mm 0f insulation on the base and 75mm on the sides to our RL28 although I would increase this to 125mm x 100mm if I was doing the job again. The refrigeration unit is a eutectic Ozfridge unit which works well although power supply is always a problem.
the Ozfridge unit is expensive and if I was doing the job again I would look at removeing the compressor and condensor unit from an Engel or similiar unit and fit it to my own better insulated ice box.
On the Engel fridge the whole refrigeration unit can be easily removed from the insulated box without loosing gas and it would not be difficult to fit it to a new better insulated unit.
The only disadvantige with doing it this way is that it would not have the advantages of a eutectic unit.
When choosing a refrigeration unit to fit to an ice box it is important to remember that even though the thicker insulation will help, a large capacity refrigerator is going to need a large amount of energy to keep it cool and in our case we have a 120 amp alternator fitted to a 20 hp diesel plus a 4 amp solar panel and we still have to keep a close watch on our large batteries.
Kingsley & Kay White
Thanks for that information Kingsley. I am a long way from doing anything yet and need to get a few trips under the belt first. But definitely food for thought.
By the way what is the output of your solar system? Mine, I think, is only 40W so I guess it won't keep with even a moderate size (100l) box.
I did some rough measurements and it looks like the existing ice box would fit through the companionway on its side. But it must be a bit of a complex juggle to actual get it into that position as the aft post is right in the way. For the time being it will be easiest to simply cart ice to the boat :-)
Blue Peter has a 73 litre Evecool fridge/freezer that slides under the companion way under the sole of the cockpit, it also has a 85 litre water tank behind the evecool unit.. It has a couple of deep cycle batteries and a 125 watt solar cell which makes the boat totally independent of the need to charge in reasonable weather.