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Not Quite Right: Rubbermaid 5 Gallon Water Container.
Jul 23, 2004 (Updated Jan 4, 2006)
Review by Alan Lake
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Durable, relatively light.
Cons:Poor Design of the lid and spout.
The Bottom Line: This is a durable product that will survive a lot of abuse, but with a couple of basic design flaws.
It gets hot in the desert and water is a must. Normally I just bring a bunch of warm water in various containers to satisfy my thirst, but this leaves me dreaming about ice. So I solved my dilemma by buying this product. Now I can have ice water for an entire camping trip. Oh happy day.
Recommend this product?
What is it?
This is a water dispenser that hold 5 gallons of liquid. It is made entirely out of plastics and polymers. It is also well insulated and keeps the liquid cool.
How it works
There are to orifices on this container. The first one is on the top. It is a big screw top lid. The hole is big enough to fit large blocks of ice.
The second hole is the spout. This is fairly small and it is triggered by a pushdown button. The thing I do not like is the spout splatters too much but it does not leak, at least not yet.
You can actually see this product like this being made on a show on the food channel. All they do is put plastic in two molds and form the inner and outer plastic parts. They then put a blob of insulation in the bottom of the outer container and plunge the inner lining into the outer container. This forces the insulation throughout the inside of the container. I do not know if the lid has insulation but I assume it is made the same way.
The plastic is a flexible material that can withstand a good deal of abuse.
I have used this for a couple of trips and have been moderately pleased with it. It is not unstable. It is a little difficult to carry when full but the handles are well designed.
I usually fill it with 4 blocks of frozen bottled water. I use the largest Gladware disposable containers and each block is around ¾ of a gallon. With 4 blocks this kept me in ice water for about 3 days. This was also enough water for a family of 4 for those 3 days. Just keep in mind that it was hot in the desert during that trip and we drank a lot of water.
I cannot answer this question from experience just from speculation (durability should be analyzed after 2 years of experience.) The material is fairly flexible so it should withstand a lot of abuse. Had it been a rigid plastic then it would be more prone to cracking and breaking. Also if you leave this plastic in the sun this too will help degrade it. I expect to have this for around 5 years, maybe 10. This section will be updated in a year or two.
I cannot recommend this product because the basic design is very poor. First, the lid does not fit as snugly as I want it to. It is too easy to screw it on sideways. You will also have slight difficulty finding the threads to screw it on also. The lid does not seem very tight.
Second, the pour spout is poorly designed. If you push the pour spout on then water will spray everywhere. To make it work properly you need to put a cup directly underneath the pour spout. They should have put a small tube in the center of the pour spout to help guide the water. I will be buying a hose and fitting that on the end to solve this problem.
Rubbermaid actually started out as a rubber manufacturer (rubber balloons according to their website.) It later dived into plastics. Plastics is what most people think of when we hear Rubbermaid. The company not only makes general consumer products but also makes products for commercial and industrial needs. (this information is from their website.)
Dimensions and weight
Weight: 7 pounds
Height: 18.5 inches
Diameter: 12.5 inches
Top opening diameter: 10 inches
Spout diameter: ½ inch
This is a very simple product with a couple of minor design problems. It really should have been sent back to the drawing board and improved. As for insulation it works great and I am very happy to have it. I just wish I had spent a few more bucks and bought a better designed product.
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