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ICECO JP50 portable refrigerator initial review

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by texas angler, Aug 21, 2020.

  1. Aug 21, 2020 at 6:38 AM
    #1
    texas angler

    texas angler [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if this is the right location for this so mods move to proper location if needed.

    Bottom line upfront: Super impressed so far with the speed it cools down - even on eco mode. I have NOT tested in the field yet and only testing in the house so far. It goes on the back porch tonight and will remain there for a day or 3. Temps in 100s today and will be in mid 70s tonight. Testing with my jackery next. I do plan on insulating the cover more before taking it camping. Cover is a bit flimsy and doesn't provide much.

    This is my initial review and will report back as I put this thing to real use in the field. I researched, researched and researched some more until I settled on the Iceco. Paid a fair price and it has the same/similar compressor to a well known competitor. Got a "deal" and free shipping at wally world so decided to give the Iceco a chance.

    It was well packed and not a ding or scratch on the box. In fact, it was double boxed and they used the thicker cardboard for better protection. As I was unpacking i have to admit I was asking myself what the hell did I just do spending this kind of coin on an ice box.

    Unpacked, put the handles on, plugged it into outlet in the house and the temp registered 92 degrees. Set temp to 36 and to help the thing out I put a 6 pack of chilled water and a 1/2 gallon of frozen water (it's all we use on the beach instead of bags of ice). Put it on max mode and got to cooking some dinner for me and my son. About 30 minutes later we both look and see the dang thing has dropped down to 30 degrees. Wow! Put it on eco mode, removed the 1/2 gallon of ice, drank a few ice cold waters, put some milk and stuff in there and move on with our evening.

    Wake up this morning and it's sitting at 32 and sitting at 36 degrees for about an hour now. Believe 1 more degree the compressor will kick on to take it down to 32/34.

    Pics from early this morning:

    61970658058__FC80CD95-0EA1-4760-B9DA-8A5871FED987.jpg 61970660956__5513A3FC-C5FE-46A6-92FA-7027F60D446E.jpg
     
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  2. Aug 21, 2020 at 7:01 AM
    #2
    Interbeing

    Interbeing A Canadian living in Texas

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    Good to know. I was looking at their VL45 series refrigerators. It appears they are the same compressor and internals, but with the addition of a shockproof and rainproof design for outdoor use and camping, and it will also fit in the bed of Tacos, even with a low profile tonneau. They sell for $528 on Amazon, and they also have a 60 Liter version for $560, but it's a bit too high to fit in the bed with the tonneau closed. What did the JP50 model cost you?
     
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  3. Aug 21, 2020 at 7:05 AM
    #3
    texas angler

    texas angler [OP] Well-Known Member

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    $499 was the best I could find.

    Still sitting at 36 degrees too. 74 in the house though.
     
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  4. Aug 24, 2020 at 10:57 AM
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    texas angler

    texas angler [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Real world test Sunday at the lake. BLUF...Fridge kicked some arse and handled the in/out from getting drinks better than I expected. And I'm going to need more than my Jackery 240 to be able to do more than a day until I add solar. Leaning towards dometic PLb40 as primary and the 240 as a backup that will stay fully charged. We'll end up camping for 2 days at a time before moving and the need for extra capacity was quite evident Sunday.

    Left the house at 1030a to arrive at spot to get things set up before family arrived. Dad duty stuff. Already 92f out and would be 100+ when we left. Fridge was set at 34 and registered 32 and loaded down with 12 pack of beer, 12 pack gatorade, few bottles of water, fruit, lunch meat, hamburger meat and all the fix'ns. I set the fridge and fully charged jackery under the shade while I completed setup. Fridge not running and at 34 now. Kids arrive and go for gatorade and water. Temp goes up to 37 and is running for about 10 minutes until it gets back down to 34...and settled at 36/37 as day progressed and got hotter outside AND less content in fridge. This in/out goes on for the remaining part of the day and we left at 4pm. Jackery was down to 28% battery remaining. Would have been neat to have solar charging it while in use but that will be tested soon. Fridge DOES need more insulation though and something I plan on doing soon. It did perform better than I expected but have more testing to do. Hope this helps someone out there in TW.
     
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  5. Aug 30, 2020 at 4:48 AM
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    CowboyTaco

    CowboyTaco $20 is $20

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    Awesome to hear. My JP40 arrived Friday, but I have not even opened the box yet, as I was waiting on UPS to deliver before getting on the road.

    I've seen one person on YouTube apply that stick on insulation stuff that I think it typically for ducts and said that they had good results.
     
    texas angler [OP] likes this.
  6. Aug 30, 2020 at 4:51 AM
    #6
    texas angler

    texas angler [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Exactly what I'm going to do as far as insulation. Really believe this thing will live in the cab for the majority of time so insulation will only help.

    I've been impressed with this thing so far! Cold beer with no ice? Sign me up. :) And good luck on yours too man.
     
  7. Aug 30, 2020 at 7:35 AM
    #7
    shaggy135

    shaggy135 Everything happens for a reason.

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    I got Iceco's VL46 expandable fridge and slide out rack. It's the same things as their VL35 expandable just without the collar. Without the collar, it fits perfectly under the OEM cover and thats on top of the slide our rack and bed mat. I got mine straight from Iceco and they offer a 30% military discount and free shipping.
     
  8. Aug 30, 2020 at 12:13 PM
    #8
    Interbeing

    Interbeing A Canadian living in Texas

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    I recently bought an Alpicool C20 Portable Fridge during a Lightning Sale on Amazon for $160. It cools to -4F in about 25min empty, and froze 6 bottles of water in less than 4 hours (Not sure as I forget to check periodically when cooling). It has few bells or whistles and I thought that it was going to be too small (20 liters), but for the most part it will actually hold enough for a weekend for two with careful planning, and swapping out drinks as they are consumed.
    And no ice to melt and get everything soggy!

    As a bonus, it runs on my Goal Zero Yeti 200X Portable Power Station for about 7hrs on Eco mode, and will power the fridge totally on solar power (50 Watt Solar Panel) while recharging the Yeti during the day (Very slow recharging the Yeti though, instead of 4 hours, it takes all day). I have a 10 ft. battery clamp to cigarette lighter socket on order so I can use the truck's battery to power the fridge when parked at the campsite to alleviate the solar panel's load when charging the power station.

    It does not seem to have a lot of insulation and heats up pretty quick when the power is turned off and it does make a big difference if you keep it out of the hot Texas sun. I also looses cold fast if you leave the lid open too long. I'm going to experiment with some insulation to see if I can improve on the cold retention, but it is definitely a weak spot with this fridge.

    So far I am very pleased with it, but time will tell how reliable it will be. With this setup I can be pretty much independent of needed auxiliary power to recharge and keep the fridge running, unless of course, it's too cloudy of a day.
     
  9. Aug 31, 2020 at 4:37 AM
    #9
    CowboyTaco

    CowboyTaco $20 is $20

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    I'ts kind of a duh statement, and you know you weren't saying otherwise, but this will be the case no matter how much insulation you have and does not matter if it is a cooler or a fridge.

    Its been a while, but I went on a several day trek through the Ozarks with a group of Toyotas a few years back and borrowed two Yeti coolers from friends. I thought that I was going to have solid ice still after 2 days like all the adds and youtube videos claimed. My food was swimming after a day just like if I had used a $20 Coleman cooler. Is a Yeti better than a Coleman? Sure, but only if it is kept closed. Otherwise, there is little difference in terms of ice retention.
     
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  10. Aug 31, 2020 at 4:58 AM
    #10
    Interbeing

    Interbeing A Canadian living in Texas

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    Yep, dumb statement, lol!
     
  11. Aug 31, 2020 at 5:11 AM
    #11
    CowboyTaco

    CowboyTaco $20 is $20

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    Not dumb, just something that most people don't think about.

    For some reason it seems like people think "oh, it says my fridge is at 32*. I'll just reach in and grab a beer and it'll still be at 32*." ...and they keep doing that and then wonder why the fridge is up to 48* when it's been powered on the whole time. I had a friend who thought the fridge was killing his battery and that the battery in his truck couldn't keep up with the draw of the fridge and so went to a dual battery setup.

    I mean....a dual battery is not the worst idea, but his logic for getting one was not sound.
     
  12. Dec 8, 2020 at 6:21 AM
    #12
    Jonathan121

    Jonathan121 Well-Known Member

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    I had this same problem with my RTIC, until someone clued me in on the secret: A pre-trip sacrificial bag of ice to pre-cool the cooler. Just throw a bag of ice in the cooler 6-12 hours before you're going to pack it up and it'll keep colder much longer.
     
  13. Dec 8, 2020 at 6:28 AM
    #13
    texas angler

    texas angler [OP] Well-Known Member

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    This. But I use a frozen gallon jug of water...or 2. Old trick my dad taught me fishing Matagorda back in the 80s..even worked on the old POS igloos. :D.

    My RTIC 45 held ice for right at 7 days after my last big bend trip. Had ice cold water and a small layer of ice on day 7. Outside temps from low 30s to upper 70s.

    I use this same method with my Iceco...prechill with those frozen gallon jugs.

    @CowboyTaco you replace your Iceco DC plug yet?..believe you mentioned ARB plug but it's been a while.
     
  14. Dec 8, 2020 at 7:07 AM
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    Jonathan121

    Jonathan121 Well-Known Member

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    After my first trip to Big Bend, that's what convinced me to invest in a quality cooler. Kept having to run to panther junction to buy ice every dang day.

    What kind of setup are you using to power your iceco? I've got the 48 quart on the way and am considering a 500w Jackery and a possible solar setup.
     
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  15. Dec 8, 2020 at 7:22 AM
    #15
    texas angler

    texas angler [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Right on. Taking my boy back March 31-April 5 and staying out at Guale 2 then vista del bocifcellos (sp?) for the remainder. Can't friggn wait. Roof rack headed my way now as I had ZERO room when it was just me! I packed lots of water and firewood for last trip. Some shiats gotta stay behind or moved to the roof.

    I was sold on the jackery 250 until CowboyTaco had his group buy. 250 was too dependent on frequent recharging based on my style. The 500 is all I need as I travel solo 90% of the time and only stay put 2 -3 days max. It only powers the fridge. We're getting all of the testing out of the way now to prepare for beach trips and New Mexico next summer (FINGERS crossed on this one).
     
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  16. Dec 8, 2020 at 7:33 AM
    #16
    JSmith501

    JSmith501 Well-Known Member

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    The website says it is 18.3" tall. But that would be to tall for the OEM cover? Would love to get one that fits under the cover.
     
  17. Dec 8, 2020 at 7:46 AM
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    Jonathan121

    Jonathan121 Well-Known Member

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    Nice! I haven't been in a few years. Turning 40 in January and am considering putting together a 3 week trip through NM, AZ, UT, and CO... hitting up a bunch of Nat'l Parks. Having a reliable cooler is mission critical!

    I hate that I missed a group buy on that. How much did y'all get the 500 for?
     
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  18. Dec 8, 2020 at 8:27 AM
    #18
    CowboyTaco

    CowboyTaco $20 is $20

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    I did this. It definitely helps, but no amount of pre-chill is going to help when you open the cooler multiple times each day.

    Actually yes! I was holding out to see if I could find someone doing a good sale (like a site-wide kind of deal) that sold the ARB plug. I found a couple that did sales, but they all drop shipped from the MFG and wanted an equivalent amount of money for shipping as they did the plug itself. I couldn't justify $50 when I found it on Amazon for $28 shipped. It got here late last week and I immediately stuck the plug in the Jackery and it held solid. Have not powered the fridge with it yet, but I was pleased to see that it stayed in place.

    Jackery 500 will do you solid. A guy over on IH8Mud (SharpeCat) has his figured out where the 160 will last him a few days, but he has it connected so that it charges every time he fires up the truck (i.e. is using pass-through charging). Obviously, it'll last longer if you drive more.

    FWIW, I am running the Jackery 1000, but also picked up a 300. That way I can charge one while the other is in use. Also, the 300 won't take up near as much room in the backseat of the Taco. The 300 is cheaper and has more AC plugs than the 500. Just keep in mind that AC is far less efficient than DC when powering a fridge.

    It was $50 off, so about a 10% savings. What time frame are you wanting to purchase? I was thinking about running another GB after Christmas, but can get a code any time we get 10 people interested. The 500 seems to be the most popular, so that shouldn't be an issue. I just kind of figured that people needed time to recoup from Black Friday / Cyber Monday.
     
  19. Dec 8, 2020 at 8:39 AM
    #19
    texas angler

    texas angler [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks man! So this one? https://www.amazon.com/ARB-10910076...=1&keywords=ARB+DC+plug&qid=1607445240&sr=8-1
    Edit - and does it snug up the DC connection like we've read?

    @Jonathan121 40 is the new 30....I'm 50 so that is officially the new 40 for me. :thumbsup: I'm thinking we may start in southern NM - read about the continental divide and working our way north. Please post your trip on here for all of us to drool over. Enjoy!
     
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  20. Dec 8, 2020 at 8:40 AM
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    CowboyTaco

    CowboyTaco $20 is $20

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    Yep. That's the one! Let me go plug it into the fridge and confirm it fits.
     
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