Drybox lid design - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 01-17-2010   #1
 
lhowemt's Avatar
 
at my house, Montana
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Drybox lid design

I'm in the market for a drybox, and it seems to me there are essentially two designs of lids. The "shoebox" style that Cambridge makes, and then the boxed lid made by Recretec. I'd love to get feedback on the two designs, specifically on durability and remaining waterproof, especially in beat-downs.

In theory, I first thought the shoebox lid would be better, since the lid encases the circumference of the box. Now I'm wondering if the other design is actually better, since the lid is a little box in itself, making it more rigid to maintain a good seal all the way around. Last summer I borrowed a friends that was a box-lid style design like Recretec, and thought it was great. I even tested it in the bathtub before I went, no leaks, and it had a good amount of use to it.

Thanks!
Laura

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Old 01-17-2010   #2
 
Westminster, Colorado
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I have both. They're both dependent on the gasket. My main drybox is a Recretec box and has sealed well enough for me that I couldn't open the lid without a pry-tool after a hot day bled air out and then it got cold. However once the foam wears down (1 season of regular use) it's a bit of a hassle to replace and the box leaks like mad with bad foam. My captains boxes are by DownRiver and have the rubber gasket. It's not quite as bomber a seal when brand new, but has seemed to hold up better and when I need to replace the gasket it's an easy job. I've used 2'x4' boxes commercially with the shoe-box style lid and didn't see any problem with their durability or excess flex. What made the decision for me is that I used to live close to Recretec and I now live close to DownRiver.
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Old 01-17-2010   #3
Shapp
 
the grove, Oregon
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Don't you have one of Dave's frames? Have him make you a box. I had him make me a custom sized one and it is great. plus his handles rock. + his price is likely as good or better than cambridge or recretec
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Old 01-19-2010   #4
 
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Christopher Creek, Arizona
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Laura, I have used both types of boxes and have no major beefs with either. My RecTec style box has two hasp closures on the hinged lid that are ok in frozen conditions but I would not trust them staying locked on a flip and subsequent beating so I cam strap the lid down without fail. I had a friend relate a story to me where he had a raft in his group go belly up late in the day and hung up in a bad spot mid river. They were able to get the people off and into a quick bivi but the boat was staying. The river came up in the night and because they did not take the time to ty the pinned boat, it came loose and took a two day journey downstream prior to being rescued. He had a rectec type box in the front and a shoebox in the rear, both strapped down well and after a couple days upside down both had about an inch of water in them. Knowing this guy, I assume his gear was like new. The one feature that I find invaluable on dry boxes is welded in tabs for box support onto the frame. PS: send me a mail address off line and I will send you my GC trip report w/pics. Don
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Old 01-19-2010   #5
 
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Thanks for the feedback-

Asleep-what style of lid does your DRE box have?

On tabs, I was leaning towards NOT having them put on, and using cam straps, perhaps the NRS drybox sling. I fiddle with my rigging so much, I don't want to be pinned down to a permanent hang height. Also, they would suck when I use it on the cat, as they'd serve no purpose other than getting in the way and being pokey.

I'm not necessarily only looking at the two manufacturer's listed, just using them as a well-known example of lids styles.

Shapp- I do like Dave's handle design for carrying, would you use them to strap the drybox down onto a trailer? I can't see them not being adequate, but feedback would be great. Have you seen those tiny dryboxes he makes, that go alongside the main drybox? Creates one level platform all across the boat. Droooling...

Laura
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Old 01-19-2010   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhowemt View Post

getting in the way and being pokey.
Word! If you use your dry boxes for anything other than in your boat the tabs suck (you should find other ways to use it besides whitewater to justify the cost ). I use mine as a campbox when car camping for work and have also shipped gear in it on planes. If I had tabs, they would only be in the way. In the boat, I use the NRS aluminum dry box sling and it works great.
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Old 01-19-2010   #7
 
Grand Junction, Colorado
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Recretec boxes

I've only used Recretec boxes, two boxes each on two different rafts, both rafts with a Recretec frame, the boxes lock with the hasp closures - no tabs. The first set were ~3 years old and had a flip in Hermit, upside down for ~ 1 to 1.5 hr., had 0.25" water in one, 1" water in the other. The gaskets were flattened and didn't seal as well as when they were new. I replace the gaskets every couple of years now - pretty easy to do. Scrap off with a putty knife, clean with solvent, then apply self stick closed cell foam weather stripping I buy at Home Depot. I did have cracks in the welds in the top of the dry box (not the lid), at all four corners which I've had to have re-welded after ~ 8 yrs. The boxes are 15 yrs old now and going strong.

My newer set of boxes (3 years old) have been solid, gaskets still seal well, but no flips yet.

I've rafter with people that flipped with Cambridge boxes and they took on water too. I think how much water is taken on is mainly a function of gasket condition, how much weight is pushing down on the lid, and how much torque the box is subjected to during and after a flip.
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Old 01-19-2010   #8
 
Westminster, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhowemt View Post
Thanks for the feedback-

Asleep-what style of lid does your DRE box have?

Laura
The shoe-box style.
http://www.downriverequip.com/asp/pr...id=DRE2260.jpg

My DRE boxes have a handle on top and both sides, and the clasps are in the front so it can be opened from the rowers seat. No tabs, they sit on the diamond plate floor in my cockpit (heavy, but low center of gravity!). I rig it down with the handles so there isn't a strap across the top unless the rapid I'm staring at triggers a good sphincter response. One advantage of the shoe-box style is that it is easier to wipe the water off the sharp edge when you're opening the box regularly so it doesn't drip on your dry stuff.

I put tabs on my big box after stepping on the edge of an empty slung box that wasn't strapped down at camp and flipping it up onto myself as I fell. They're a hassle in the trailer, but sooooo nice in the boat. The box is totally stable to walk on. But I only use it in the round raft, our cat frame is way too small for that big dry box.

--Dave
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Old 01-19-2010   #9
 
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I too have the box type lid on all the boxes I've made. I like the rigid feel they have. Like everyone said the seal is dependent on the gasket, the newer stuff is non memory and lasts a lot longer. When new it can be hard to open them when they cool off.
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