No matter how prepped you are as a camper or how heavily-packed your vehicle may be, one of two things are bound to happen on every camping trip: you’re either going to run out of ice or firewood.
It’s no surprise then that a portable Ice Maker is the one product we’ve received the most requests for.
Although we were keen to fill this part of the market, we had some concerns about launching an Ice Maker in South Africa, and the most important one was… heat.
Perhaps the biggest problem facing the manufacturers of many ice makers and camping fridges that are designed and developed in Europe and China, is that many aren’t designed to cope with our summer temperatures.
For example, almost all of these products are tested to a 24ºC ambient temperature − and as we all know, most places in South Africa and Australia reach those figures on an average winters day, never mind a summer one. (This is why all our camping fridges are tested and developed to a 43ºC tropical spec)
With this fact in mind, when we began the process of sourcing and developing a portable ice machine, we found that a few essential requirements had to be met…
- We wanted the biggest compressor possible (to make ice as fast as possible).
- We wanted the unit to be able to operate in a +40ºC ambient temperature.
- We wanted the unit to be compact and lightweight.
- We wanted a durable stainless-steel finish.
Fortunately, we were able to meet all of these requirements, opting for a 12kg (per day) ice maker that would be just as useful at home as it is in a campsite.
Some of the ice makers’ notable features include…
- National-Luna-approved compressor
- Removable ice bucket and shovel
- Low-water indicator
- Stainless-steel finish
- ‘Ice-full indicator’ with automatic restart
- Bullet-type ice with two size options (large and small)
- A cycle time of 6 to 13 minutes
- Making 12kg of ice in 24 hours
- A 2.2 litre water reservoir
- An operating ambient temperature of 10°C to 43°C
- Dimensions of (W x D x H) 242mm x 358mm x 328mm
- A net weight of 7.8Kg
- Power supply: 220-240Vac, 220W
FAQ: Is the National Luna Ice Maker available in a 12V option ?
Although we explored the idea of developing an ice maker that can operate on 12Vdc as well as 220Vac power sources, the reality is that such a unit would cost five to eight times more. Which would also put it in the same price range as a full-blown camping fridge.
In addition, without adequate insulation (which would greatly add to the units size), a 12Vdc ice maker would draw impractical levels of energy from your vehicles’ battery.
In general, most well-equipped campsites offer 220Vac power, but for those of you who would still like to run the NL12 Ice Maker on battery power, you would need a suitably rated pure sine-wave inverter.