PDA

View Full Version : OMG! Here we go.... Which fridge to buy :-)



Treads
6th November 2008, 05:58 PM
I need to buy a proper fridge before the Cape trip next winter and have been pretty overwhelmed with all the choices of fridge. I'll be looking at around the 40-60L sizes and will need to fit it in the back of both the Disco and the Defender.

I was hoping to use it as the primary fridge on shorter trips, but as the freezer on big ones. So the idea was to get one of those $200 20L cooler/warmer types as the fridge for drinks, milk, butter etc on the big trips. Any other suggestions to this way of thinking?

What brands do people here recommend?

I have a fairly decent dual battery setup, but would consider a 3-way fridge if convinced of their merits

BMKal
6th November 2008, 06:12 PM
I had one of those cheap cooler / warmer ones a while back. Ended up throwing it out as it was rubbish. It only kept stuff cool on a cool day, and even then you had to almost freeze things before you put them in there. On even a warm day, it was totally useless.

I've always stuck with Engel fridges - but that's just personal preference and because I've never had any trouble with them. I've heard many others say the same about other brands. I've had a look at the National Luna fridges. They're a very nice unit, but a bit on the pricey side.

dmdigital
6th November 2008, 06:32 PM
I have an Engel that looks like a wreck, dented all over. It ran for over 2 hours upside down (rolled my Disco) 6 years ago and hasn't missed a beat.

When I bought it 9 years ago it was a no brainer over the Waeco's, Engel was then more efficient, ran of 12/24/240V and didn't need the optional transformer for the 240V. Waeco's have changed in that time and are a far better fridge now so I'd recommend either brand.

Michael2
6th November 2008, 06:43 PM
I like the EVAKOOL, aussie made, with a Danfoss German Compressor (same as Waeco), but externally more robust than the plastic Waeco or the tin Engel. Also it's a lot cheaper (2nd hand) and because the compressor is adjacent to the fridge, the fridge doesn't have to slide as far out on the fridge slide for the lid to open.


I've got nothing against the Engel though, but I have seen several Waecos die on their first trip. I know this could happen to anyone, but it raises questions about reliability.

I think the EVAKOOL is a bit more kid proof and makes a more economical purchase, as most Engels & Waecos on ebay lead to a bidding war.

moose
6th November 2008, 06:48 PM
I've got an engel inherited from my dad, it's around 30+years old, done many, many trips around oz, thru the simpson desert several times, still runs great. I accidentally turned it up too high last weekend and froze everything solid!:o:D

dmdigital
6th November 2008, 06:59 PM
The duck's nuts is supposedly the National Luna (http://www.dolium.com.au/view/page/120/cat/National_Luna.html). Don't know what they are really like, but they get good reviews and they cost a packet.

McDisco
6th November 2008, 07:22 PM
I also have an Engel that is over 10 years old. Never, ever had an issue with it. And indeed it has been hard not to freeze everything in it cause it runs so well.

The engels are more expensive but you get quality. My Dad has had a Waeco for about 5 years and hasnt had any issues.

I would recommend the engel, but if you price conscious go for a Waeco.

Angus

Xavie
6th November 2008, 07:22 PM
I have an Engel and National Luna. The national Luna is far better and I don't use it at all now unless I want extra room. but the engel gets the job done.

Personally I like the idea of having a voltage cut out which you can set to a particular voltage but engles don't have it (unless the latest models do) and waecos and nationals do. Not sure about all the others.

Anyway, tbh- i think they are all pretty good now.

Psimpson7
6th November 2008, 07:31 PM
We took a Waeco (60l i think) to the cape with us, and I was pretty impressed. It seemed to hardly draw any current. Nice fridge.

Rgds
Pete.

Tank
6th November 2008, 07:41 PM
I need to buy a proper fridge before the Cape trip next winter and have been pretty overwhelmed with all the choices of fridge. I'll be looking at around the 40-60L sizes and will need to fit it in the back of both the Disco and the Defender.

I was hoping to use it as the primary fridge on shorter trips, but as the freezer on big ones. So the idea was to get one of those $200 20L cooler/warmer types as the fridge for drinks, milk, butter etc on the big trips. Any other suggestions to this way of thinking?

What brands do people here recommend?

I have a fairly decent dual battery setup, but would consider a 3-way fridge if convinced of their merits
Treads I've just bought an Engel Eclipse 38L fridge freezer, it is a new model by Engel, it has a plastic (polycarbonate) body like the Waeco, doesn't have a Digital readout built in (external digital thermo. supplied) but for RRP of $899 it is an excellent buy, well worth having a look, fits in the back of my 93 Disco (just without the handles on) on the fridge slide, about the same size as a 40L Waeco, the Cooler/Warmer type are useless if the outside temperature is above 30 degrees and they draw too much power, Regards Frank.

Sketer
6th November 2008, 07:44 PM
I have both an engel (17 yrs) and a waeco (1 Yr). The engel has been faultless. The waeco had some electrical hassles but was fixed under warranty no questions asked. I find the waeco sensitive to the slightest voltage drop but having said that it performed well on the last trip a few weeks ago to Karumba and back (via a few detours)

vnx205
6th November 2008, 08:09 PM
Well....20l cooler for a long trip would not be big enough for me.

By the time you have beer, wine, soft drink, marg, eggs, unfrozen meat, a few sticks of salami or cabanossi, cheese, some yoghurt, baccon to go with the eggs etc etc etc I reckon you'd be pushing it to fit it in 20l :D

We have a 40l Engel. On a long trip (4-6 weeks) it is usually chockers at the trip start...as the trip goes on we can fit more beer :D


I suspect that the size of the fridge deemed to be necessary is in some way mathematically related to the size you have or the size you want. It's a bit like that old saying about jobs expanding to take up all the time available to complete them.

I did a trip to Darwin about a quarter of a century ago with a borrowed 15 litre Engel. With my wife and two kids, we never found ourselves wishing we had a bigger fridge.

About ten years ago I did a trip to Broome via Oodnadatta, the Tanami and the Gibb River Road. Once again the 15 litre Engel was plenty big enough. It even held the fillets from the 720cm barramundi I caught at Katherine.

I have been told by others that a small efficient fridge/freezer like an Engel or Danfoss based model can be used to supply quite a large icebox with ice. A 20 litre cooler would be useless. A 20 litre freezer is quite a different proposition.

I know this rather rambling reply doesn't really answer your question, but that is partly because at about the time I was going to have to face the same decision you now have to make, I bought a second hand camper which was already fitted with an 80 litre 3 way Electrolux. It performs quite satisfactorily.

I guess the point I was trying to make is that if you accept that you have a certain size fridge, sometimes it's amazing how well you can manage. So sometimes other factors like how you are going to fit the fridge in the vehicle and whether you are going to need to lift it when it is full become important factors.

EchiDna
6th November 2008, 08:17 PM
budget?

simple fact is that bigger = more $$
hand made in Oz = more $$
thicker insulation = more $$
second hand = possible dubious history, less $$

old engels equivalent in reliability to new engels? I doubt it from regular hearsay that reliability has dropped with the introduction of electronics in the last X years.

EchiDna
6th November 2008, 08:21 PM
..........Once again the 15 litre Engel was plenty big enough. It even held the fillets from the 720cm barramundi I caught at Katherine.


:eek::eek::eek: how skinny was the barra, or how big was the lure??














:wasntme:












:angel:

bazza
6th November 2008, 08:57 PM
We currently have a 29ltre Engel and a Bushman 42 ltre.

The Bushman is great, uses b....all power and so far has been reliable. Cools to -22 degrees, this is the food fridge and the Engel is all MINE :p:p:p


Baz

Bundalene
6th November 2008, 11:07 PM
We bought a 14 litre Engel in 1975 and did dozens of trips including the Kimberley, Cape York, Cobourg, Tasmania etc. This is still working well today.
Admittedly, had to replace components in the controller and had it regassed about 10 years ago.

In our Engel the evaporator was vertical right around the fridge, meaning it is a constant temperature throughout.

In 1998 we bought a 60 litre Trailblaza. The advantage of this over the Engel was that the evapourator ran horizontally around the fridge from bottom to top. This allowed the fridge to be used as a freezer in the bottom section and a fridge in the top. We separated top from the bottom with two sheets of poly styrene.

The Trailblaza has now been on about 15 trips including the Cape, the Calvert and Gove etc.

Both fridges have served us very well.

harry
6th November 2008, 11:10 PM
I need to buy a proper fridge before the Cape trip next winter and have been pretty overwhelmed with all the choices of fridge. I'll be looking at around the 40-60L sizes and will need to fit it in the back of both the Disco and the Defender.

I was hoping to use it as the primary fridge on shorter trips, but as the freezer on big ones. So the idea was to get one of those $200 20L cooler/warmer types as the fridge for drinks, milk, butter etc on the big trips. Any other suggestions to this way of thinking?

What brands do people here recommend?

I have a fairly decent dual battery setup, but would consider a 3-way fridge if convinced of their merits
engel.........

weeds
6th November 2008, 11:17 PM
i voted engel as i have two 32L and 40L with no problems

i do like the trailblazer but they are bigger overall

a mate of mine gets his custom made in brisbane, he is happy with his

anoother mate a seconds waeco 60L, he did have a hicup at the start but i cannot remember the fault

rovercare
6th November 2008, 11:19 PM
I think you should buy any fridge you like:)..............so long as its an Engel:wasntme:

awabbit6
6th November 2008, 11:48 PM
We bought an 80L Waeco. We the Waeco over the Engel based on price only. It has done a fantastic job so far.

I won't vote, because I don't know that is the best fridge to buy as I have nothing to compare it to but it was the best one for us.

Paul

B92 8NW
6th November 2008, 11:52 PM
I think you should buy any fridge you like:)..............so long as its an Engel:wasntme:

Ford needs a new MD, you'd be perfect:angel:

Captain_Rightfoot
6th November 2008, 11:53 PM
Can I just say that I voted engel. I think they are great, and not at a huge price premium either.

Anyway i should mention that this poll probably isn't all that good, as there are a lot more Engles out there than any of the other brands. They have been around a long time in Aus.

Outlaw
7th November 2008, 12:46 AM
My fav's the Evakool Fridgemate (thought they do fibreglass ones)... big bright polyurethane thing that has a movable divider to alter the size of how much is fridge and how much freezer etc... Also if a member of any Inc. 4WD clubs at the moment they'll throw in a free 50L Evakool icebox too.

Blknight.aus
7th November 2008, 01:32 AM
Im not going to vote Ive had experiences with all of the fridges and under most circumstances providing you have a decent battery setup its all a much of a muchness.....

I have 2 engles that I picked up for bugger all at garage sales because they were missing cables not a big deal but you dont know if they work or not....

I have a full set of the cables now and take them with me so I can test them out.

IMHO the metal Engles look proper in a defer and a series and the plastic sided ones look right in a disco...

The aircon setting in a new rangie should eliminate the need for a fridge.

lokka
7th November 2008, 02:15 AM
I voted something else as i have a chink Ebay job one of the 55L stainless skinned jobs ive had it for just over 12months and has run faultlessly except for me buggering the the power cable which i repaired easly its a 60 watt unit with a 45L fridge/freezer compartment and a 10L dairy section i find that as a freezer and fridge its great as i use a peice of ply to divide the frozen stuff from the beer and this works great and it is also great at making ice to support the esky in my opinion $600 delivered with 2 year warranty im happy :D:D:D

Bushie
7th November 2008, 07:03 AM
I need to buy a proper fridge before the Cape trip next winter and have been pretty overwhelmed with all the choices of fridge. I'll be looking at around the 40-60L sizes and will need to fit it in the back of both the Disco and the Defender.

I was hoping to use it as the primary fridge on shorter trips, but as the freezer on big ones. So the idea was to get one of those $200 20L cooler/warmer types as the fridge for drinks, milk, butter etc on the big trips. Any other suggestions to this way of thinking?

What brands do people here recommend?

I have a fairly decent dual battery setup, but would consider a 3-way fridge if convinced of their merits


Didn't vote as I think if you just make sure you get a compressor fridge you should be pretty right.

I personally have used a Waeco for the last 7 years and apart from a hiccup within warranty it hasn't missed a beat.

As far as the cooler type ones go forget it - we have a small one (got it for free) they draw high current and will only cool X degrees below ambient so on a hot day it will let you down. The same goes for 3 way fridges, they work OK (actually well) on gas in cooler weather but again will let you down in hot weather (35+) They also have high current draw on 12V. Our trip across the Simpson in 2000 was the reason we ditched the 3 way and got the Waeco after a couple of 40 degree days (this was September) I ran out of cold beer and meat.

A small fridge to use as a freezer and another as a frig would be the ideal, or if you are travelling with another cart consider sharing - one has the freezer, one has the fridge.


Martyn

vnx205
7th November 2008, 07:24 AM
:eek::eek::eek: how skinny was the barra, or how big was the lure??




:wasntme:



:angel:


Oops. Where is the "How could I have been such a goose" emoticon?

A 7 metre barra - now that would test out the capacity of even the biggest fridge.

It took me a while to get the point of your post. The problem was I kept rereading your post without looking at my original post or the detail of the bit you quoted.

Ok the barra wasn't really as big as the larger crocs up that way, but it was still great fun catching it from a canoe with very light gear.

The ho har's
7th November 2008, 08:00 AM
I bought a 15 ltr Engel in 1978 it died around 1996. I bought a Superkool/Evakool in 1997 and has been faultless the desert twice, the cape etc. etc still have it for shorter trips. Bought a Explorer for the camper last year 47ltr fridge/27ltr freezer worked a dream for 6 weeks in N.T./W.A. I don't know if that is any help. Suggestion we bought a cryovac sp??? machine and run it on a inverter so you don't need a freezer just vacuum pack the meat when you buy it.

Mrs ho har:angel:

Redback
7th November 2008, 08:15 AM
Here's my experience, we were looking for a fridge like you and like you didn't know which one too buy, so we went looking, at stores and 4WD shows, compared prices, power usage, reliability, durability, size, and reputation.

After about 3mths we ruled out most of the brands and narrowed it down to the, Evakool, Waeco and Engel, we chose the Waeco and the main reason at the time was, price and the Waeco was the only one that had battery protection and it has 3 way protection, you can set it to cut out when the battery gets too low, the others will just keep going until they completely flatten the battery, but if you have a Traxide dual battery contoller it will look after your battery anyway and battery protection in the fridge isn't needed.

The Engel didn't have this and also the cooling element has a half inch gap between the fridge body and the element, just perfect for trapping crap in, it's a lot heavier and a lot bigger externally than the same size Waeco.

Now the Engel has a great reputation, because they are a great fridge, but, the newer ones don't seem to be as durable or as reliable, if i was to buy one i'd buy an older Engel at least 5yrs or older.

We have had our Waeco for 2yrs, it runs 24/7 at home and 24/7 in the car, we have only had one problem, the interior light stopped working the first day we turned it on, the main board had a fault according too Waeco, replaced overnight by repairer, no problem since.

Now having said all this, this was our choice, your criteria may be different and it all comes down to personal choice, we also have a 3 way in the camper, our 3 way is 33yrs old, it came out of a 1975 Cub Drifta and has been faultless and preformed exceptional in all temps, these are not recomended to run on 12 volt though and are realy only for extended stays in one spot, they run the best on gas.

Baz.

waynep
7th November 2008, 08:55 AM
Engel or Waeco ... for all the reasons mentioned but also because there are plenty of places that will service them.
Dimensions are another consideration - that's the main reason we got the Waeco over an Engel- it fits better lengthways in a Disco. Measure your available space before you go out and buy one.
With the Waecos it's easy to remove the handles and replace them with flat bar to give yourself a bit more space, but still have tie down points. ( that's what I did )
Some of the fridges I've seen which are basically an Esky with a compressor unit bolted on the side can take up a fair amount of room.

vogue
7th November 2008, 12:31 PM
I just bought the new 38l Engel for $799 with cover and thermometer. Same internals as the metal cased ones, but heaps cheaper. I looked at all the others but found the overall quallity of the Engel to be better and at that price, i couldn't go past it.

mns488
7th November 2008, 12:54 PM
Engel or Waeco ... for all the reasons mentioned but also because there are plenty of places that will service them.
Dimensions are another consideration - that's the main reason we got the Waeco over an Engel- it fits better lengthways in a Disco. Measure your available space before you go out and buy one.
With the Waecos it's easy to remove the handles and replace them with flat bar to give yourself a bit more space, but still have tie down points. ( that's what I did )
Some of the fridges I've seen which are basically an Esky with a compressor unit bolted on the side can take up a fair amount of room.

X2, a D1 issue.

I've never had any dramas with mine except for the insulation bag, the zipping is rubbish. But looking at my friends engle bag, its not much better either....

Scallops
7th November 2008, 01:14 PM
Our 40l Engel came with us on our around Oz trip - the hammering that thing took was beyond belief - and the Engel didn't miss a beat. I'm sure other brands might be fine and do the job - but Engels have a great reputation and there is a reason for that.

We could run it for 3 days without driving from a 105Amp hour Commander deep cycle gel battery.

I have it mounted on an Engel Slide Lock on my Outback draws.

VladTepes
7th November 2008, 02:32 PM
Anything with:
Danfoss compressor
and local backup for any repairs etc if needed,

will be a good unit.

I have an Engel (Mum and Dad's) but if I was buying I;d get a Waeco.

Mudnut
7th November 2008, 02:49 PM
I have a 40l Engel, which I purchased to replace the one stolen from the back of my Defender. Where the first one was so quiet, that I had to look and see if the power light was on to see if it was running, this one I can hear running at freeway speeds in the TD5 Defender. Have had it back to see what can be done, and have been told by their service repairman, that the noise is within "normal limits"
The fridge does work well, but I don't like to listen to it while I'm camping. If you do purchase one, TURN IT ON IN THE STORE BEFORE YOU LEAVE!!! This will eliminate the hastles, and unwillingness of Engel to do anything about it. Would I buy an other one?? Probably not, but if I did, I would certainly check it out before I laid my hard earned down.

Good luck,

Ken

weeds
7th November 2008, 02:54 PM
i too can here the compressors on my engels but only in the still of the night.....no way while i am driving

a question re: noise, how noisey are the fans on weaco's in the still of the night

mcrover
7th November 2008, 03:17 PM
Ive got a CF50 Weaco and next time I would buy an Engle and put up with the arrogant sales man as it......

a. Needs the 12v side of things repaired, runs fine while engine is running but as soon as it drops to 11.99v on the aux battery (10mins or so after stopping), even on the lowest setting the fridge cuts out.

Apparently this is common.

b. Has started to not regulate the temp properly when plugged into 240v, it just freezes everything which was fine for the meat but the cans of beer and coke didnt like it too much.

c. Has crapped part of the LED display which is annoying but seems its not regulationg the temp anyway isnt much of a problem.

This is our second one, the first didnt work out of the box.

Get an Engle, I know of plenty which have lasted for 30 years and even the more recent ones seem to operate faultlessly.

I also have one of the small 6ltr Weaco fridges in the back seat for the drinks and snacks which I was given as part of a Wurth promotion which works very well and doesnt suck too much power.

Again, buy an Engle, set and forget.

robert42
7th November 2008, 03:49 PM
The best fridge is a LUNA but the price is way out there..mudnut if that Engel is that noissssy take it back as an Engel is quite as.. unless it is on the way out.. or was out of balance from day one, in that case its life will be a short one..Waceo do have the best motor but the worst elect.low voltage cutout fault. Engel have that happy in between thing.. and the old Engels are the best ..I have 5 Engel's and 1 Waceo..you can get a low voltage watch biso for your Engel..$18 on ebay..If Waceo fitted a Dixell controller to their box it would be a plastic Luna..and a better fridge.. Well thats what I think anyway..
Good luck...Robert42

GregTD5
7th November 2008, 03:49 PM
I just bought a Waeco 80 Lt.
Was a good price at $1450.00 including insulation cover and 90 Lt Waeco esky.
Fits into the Discovery, but not much room for anything else, which suits me as all gear is packed into camper for travelling.
Keep an eye on Waeco website as they often have specials that dealers aren't aware of.
When I saw it at that price BCF wouldn't sell it, so ended up at Ranger camping, who wasn't aware of the Waeco deal but honoured it after looking on web.

Greg

mcrover
7th November 2008, 04:03 PM
The best fridge is a LUNA but the price is way out there..mudnut if that Engel is that noissssy take it back as an Engel is quite as.. unless it is on the way out.. or was out of balance from day one, in that case its life will be a short one..Waceo do have the best motor but the worst elect.low voltage cutout fault. Engel have that happy in between thing.. and the old Engels are the best ..I have 5 Engel's and 1 Waceo..you can get a low voltage watch biso for your Engel..$18 on ebay..If Waceo fitted a Dixell controller to their box it would be a plastic Luna..and a better fridge.. Well thats what I think anyway..
Good luck...Robert42

Where could I Dixell Controller and how hard would it be to fit.

My wife works for a fridgey company so if they are easilly available (commercially) I should be able to get it.

EchiDna
7th November 2008, 04:11 PM
DIXELL: refrigeration and air conditioning controllers - monitoring system (http://www.dixell.com/home/ENG)

google is your friend :)



The controller makes or breaks the fridge... I've got 4 commerical fridges in the lab where I work (a bit like coke fridges you see in take away joints) and every one of em has gone way out of range at different times over the last year or so - replaced the controller with decent ones and no issues at all with rock solid temp regulation (cheap and nasty replaced item cost $30 each, quality and reliable replacements cost $200+). I know this because each fridge has a fully calibrated online monitoring system attached and the temp varies as much as 1 degree even with opening and closing all day by the lab staff... excellent way to upgrade a cheap fridge.

Nathan
7th November 2008, 06:12 PM
Had my Engel for 10 years, been all over the High Country, through the outback, 1000's of K's of corrugations, sub-zero to high 40's temps -

never missed a beat, never have to adjust the temperature setting, kind to my batteries, SWMBO loves it :D

I'd never consider anything else...

Also, it's a good drinks fridge at home!

Nathan

rangieman
7th November 2008, 07:14 PM
I bought a 39 ltr engel 10 years ago , A simpson trip and many a vic high country trips latter and still going as strong as my Defender ;)
I would,nt have anything else ,but thats my opinion only:cool:

EchiDna
7th November 2008, 08:28 PM
ok slightly off topic, but close enough for government work IMHO.
Here is a curly question for you engel devotees...

if the same sized engel and norcoast trailblaza were the same price, would you still choose the poorly insulated engel over the well insulated, simple, no electronics trailblaza? (current models only need apply here!!)

I love engels, but I'm also a luddite (yes I admit it!) and avoiding electronics is the game in the heat and dust if you ask me, thus the trailblaza works for me, it's like the 4BD1 of the (currently sold) fridge world, alot like the old mustard coloured engels...

IMHO, if a fridge needs a bag to insulate it properly, the manufacturer is admitting the thing is under insulated. More insulation = more efficient.


hmmm.... maybe there is a market out there for re-boxing the new plastic engels into replacement boxes made from coolroom panels....

The ho har's
7th November 2008, 08:43 PM
ok slightly off topic, but close enough for government work IMHO.
Here is a curly question for you engel devotees...

if the same sized engel and norcoast trailblaza were the same price, would you still choose the poorly insulated engel over the well insulated, simple, no electronics trailblaza? (current models only need apply here!!)

I love engels, but I'm also a luddite (yes I admit it!) and avoiding electronics is the game in the heat and dust if you ask me, thus the trailblaza works for me, it's like the 4BD1 of the (currently sold) fridge world, alot like the old mustard coloured engels...

IMHO, if a fridge needs a bag to insulate it properly, the manufacturer is admitting the thing is under insulated. More insulation = more efficient.


hmmm.... maybe there is a market out there for re-boxing the new plastic engels into replacement boxes made from coolroom panels....



X2 my evakool/superkool never needed a bag........the Explorer is simular to a trailblazer as in marine grade alloy though ours is made in QLD....picked it up from the manufacturer not far from home...........realy nice people and customer service:D


Mrs ho har:angel:

amtravic1
7th November 2008, 08:47 PM
I inherited an Engel from a mates estate so I sold my Autofridge as I did not need two fridges. Unfortunately the Engel in not in the same class as the Autofridge. I believe that the Autofridge now costs close to double an Engel price however when I bought mine there was only around $100 difference. I vote Autofridge.

tacr2man
7th November 2008, 08:48 PM
I have a Supakool, now about 8 yrs old , works perfect, used it in a tray in 45+, freezes down , lots of corrugations etc. I had an engel which was ok but seemed to work hard. A mate had a supakool, and it ran a lot less than my engel. I changed and havent regretted it. It has twin compressor, and internal distribution fan , and plenty of insulation . I think they are Evakool now. I go with the comment about insulation bag, seems like a bodge to me as well . JMHO

slug_burner
8th November 2008, 01:03 AM
Danfoss compressors are used by many manufacturers the rest comes down to differences in the insulation on the box and the material of the skins.

Oscillating speaker style compressors (swing motor) are only used by engle I believe, maybe that is what makes them reliable??

I went for the best value for money solution and got a factory second off the waeco site. 80 ltrs, fridge/freezer/dairy compartment all in the one unit.

If you have a good aux battery setup you should be fine with whatever you select. I think that this is the most important thing. I went on a trip Kimberley Gibb river road, tanami, simpson. about half way around the other vehicle on the trip lost all their meat (vacuum packed) as a result of only powering their fridge during the day while the vehicle was driven. A very popular and long standing brand defeated by poor power supply management.

If I bought another fridge I would a get a smaller unit as the 80 ltr is great but the size of it means that I don't get it out for day trips. The 80 is the thing for the longer trip, we had ice cream in the simpson as space was not an issue.

tdi130dualcab
8th November 2008, 07:48 AM
Had our Engel for about 10 years now, on some of the roughest roads in Aust, and in extreme head for extended periods. Looks a little worse for wear, but never missed a beat and still going strong.

Engel has my vote.....

awabbit6
8th November 2008, 11:55 AM
a question re: noise, how noisey are the fans on weaco's in the still of the night

They aren't too noisy Weeds. Just a gentle hum every now and then. About the same noise as a couple of fans in a computer.

dungarover
9th November 2008, 11:57 AM
Got a 40L Waeco about 18 months ago. I don't do heaps of camping (i'd like to but work gets in the way too often than not :() but every trip I've had it one it's been faultless. I did have an issue with the wiring on my behalf from the socket to the battery (too thin and the low voltage proterction kicked in so it wouldn't run properly :mad::mad::mad:). it's been up some hairy tracks as well and hasn't been a problem.

The most important bit.... IT KEEPS THE BEER COLD :twobeers: :twobeers::twobeers:

Trav

Desert Traveller
9th November 2008, 08:01 PM
I have an Engel and a Waeco, the 12year old Engel is a better frig. The reason for buying the Waeco was I needed a small freezer, now I wish I'd spent the extra on an Engel.
Over the lifetime of the frig the extra for the Engel is small bikkies.

DI5CO
9th November 2008, 10:38 PM
Hi all,
Well after doing all my research & deciding on going to buy the new Engel Eclipse 38l fridge, (about 800 with a bag) I went out & bought a Waeco today :wacko: They (Anaconda) have a promotion on at the moment for $999 & you get the 49l fridge & a heap of accessories. Normally retails 1099 without the accessories. So I thought not bad value & I will probably use some of the crap that it comes with. Even comes with an 8l cooler. I just hope I didnt make the wrong decision:eek2:

Dave.

scrambler
9th November 2008, 11:55 PM
I've just bought a 3-way fridge, and if push comes to shove I might take it on a long trip, just because it doesn't seem sensible to buy a second fridge. But most condensor fridges will only get 30-35 degress below ambient. On a 40 degree day that doesn't get even close to freezing. They are least effective on 12 volts. The reason I went with the three way was for the capacity to run up to a month on a single gas bottle. To do that you need to be stationary for most of the month, which doesn't sound like what you're planning.

So while I'm happy with my choice, and I have no opinion on the 12 volt alternatives (my parents are pleased with their Waeco, but then there are so many good options) I would encourage you to scratch the three-way option.

waynep
10th November 2008, 02:53 PM
Hi all,
Well after doing all my research & deciding on going to buy the new Engel Eclipse 38l fridge, (about 800 with a bag) I went out & bought a Waeco today :wacko: They (Anaconda) have a promotion on at the moment for $999 & you get the 49l fridge & a heap of accessories. Normally retails 1099 without the accessories. So I thought not bad value & I will probably use some of the crap that it comes with. Even comes with an 8l cooler. I just hope I didnt make the wrong decision:eek2:

Dave.

You will be very happy with that choice. It will last you many, many years. The main things to avoid problems are 1) to make sure it is well secured in the vehicle, 2) try not to spill liquids on the control panel part 3) ensure adequate ventilation ( free space )around the compressor grille area. Also ensure you have good thick wires running from your battery to the fridge.

mcrover
10th November 2008, 03:49 PM
You will be very happy with that choice. It will last you many, many years. The main things to avoid problems are 1) to make sure it is well secured in the vehicle, 2) try not to spill liquids on the control panel part 3) ensure adequate ventilation ( free space )around the compressor grille area. Also ensure you have good thick wires running from your battery to the fridge.

Make sure file the reciept away where you will always be able to find it.

They come with a 2 year warrenty and you probably will have to use it (probably for something little) and they are really really picky about having the original reciept.

Hopefully they have fixed the problems of the CF50 model which im having with the controller and the 12v system as they have known about it for a long time.

When mine works I love it, it works great and once stuff is frozen in the bottom I put a bit of foam over the frozen meat at the bottom and put other stuff on top (drinks etc) and the marg etc in the dairy cabninet and it hardly runs to keep everything frozen and cold.

It has (when working properly) run for 3 days in 35 to 40 deg days without driving anywhere and my battery didnt drop below 12v but half the stuff in the bottm was frozen and it was chockers with cans so they hold their temp well.

They are a good fridge but just be aware that you may need to use their warrenty.

longreach
10th November 2008, 06:28 PM
Got a 40L Waeco about 18 months ago. I don't do heaps of camping (i'd like to but work gets in the way too often than not :() but every trip I've had it one it's been faultless. I did have an issue with the wiring on my behalf from the socket to the battery (too thin and the low voltage proterction kicked in so it wouldn't run properly :mad::mad::mad:). it's been up some hairy tracks as well and hasn't been a problem.

The most important bit.... IT KEEPS THE BEER COLD :twobeers: :twobeers::twobeers:

Trav
:cool:I have the same problem with my Waeco fridge in my truck,the fault light keeps flashing on,still doing it after three years,takes a long time ,after I start my truck for it to get cold..never buy one again

Disco_owner
10th November 2008, 07:20 PM
Has anyone mentioned Engel fridge yet .......?:lol2:

JamesH
10th November 2008, 07:29 PM
Has anyone mentioned Engel fridge yet .......?:lol2:

If not allow me to be the first...:angel:

I think a 40litre Engel would be the way to go. Thankfully anything to do with these sorts of purchases; buying a four-wheel drive, going camping etc -it is purely spiritual and I'm not encumbered by any obligation to objective research. It's an Engel and the research is about which one and who sells it cheapest.

rovercare
10th November 2008, 07:37 PM
Engel...................The Toyota of car fridges:wasntme:

EchiDna
10th November 2008, 07:46 PM
Engel...................The Toyota of car fridges:wasntme:


Trailblazer...............................The DEFENDER of car fridges :twisted:


:angel:

blitz
10th November 2008, 07:47 PM
to an extent it is horses for courses

over the years I have owned all of em at one stage or another. I curently I own a 110lt engle used as a fridge and an 80lt (I think) as a freezer.

All have their good points and their not so good points. I guess the reason why I have tho two mentioned above is because they have withstood my really ungentle treatment.

engle are brilliant but the insulation is to thin trail blazer is brilliant but the insulation is a bit to thick.

Blythe

DI5CO
10th November 2008, 09:07 PM
You will be very happy with that choice. It will last you many, many years. The main things to avoid problems are 1) to make sure it is well secured in the vehicle, 2) try not to spill liquids on the control panel part 3) ensure adequate ventilation ( free space )around the compressor grille area. Also ensure you have good thick wires running from your battery to the fridge.

It came with a wiring loom with 2 plugs worth about 110 so I think I will use that.
"RAPS12R-U2 Fridge Power Kit. The heavy duty CoolPower RAPS12R-U2 Fridge Power Wiring Kit is highly recommended for replacement of standard vehicle cigarette lighter sockets, which are often inadequate to properly run fridges due to thin wiring and associated voltage drops. Suits all WAECO kompressor fridge/freezers."

DI5CO
10th November 2008, 09:12 PM
Make sure file the reciept away where you will always be able to find it.

They come with a 2 year warrenty and you probably will have to use it (probably for something little) and they are really really picky about having the original reciept.

Hopefully they have fixed the problems of the CF50 model which im having with the controller and the 12v system as they have known about it for a long time.

When mine works I love it, it works great and once stuff is frozen in the bottom I put a bit of foam over the frozen meat at the bottom and put other stuff on top (drinks etc) and the marg etc in the dairy cabninet and it hardly runs to keep everything frozen and cold.

It has (when working properly) run for 3 days in 35 to 40 deg days without driving anywhere and my battery didnt drop below 12v but half the stuff in the bottm was frozen and it was chockers with cans so they hold their temp well.

They are a good fridge but just be aware that you may need to use their warrenty.

It now comes with a 5yr warranty on the compressor & 2 yrs on the electrics (obviously not as reliable as the compressor :lol2:) dont worry, i will be filling out the warranty card!!
PS found the link to this power thing.
WAECO mobile solutions (http://www.waeco.com.au/products3.asp?id=355&catId=77&subCatId=78&subCatId2=-1)
Dave.

weeds
12th November 2008, 11:49 AM
sooo treads, have you decided on a fridge:D

waynep
12th November 2008, 11:49 AM
It came with a wiring loom with 2 plugs worth about 110 so I think I will use that.
"RAPS12R-U2 Fridge Power Kit. The heavy duty CoolPower RAPS12R-U2 Fridge Power Wiring Kit is highly recommended for replacement of standard vehicle cigarette lighter sockets, which are often inadequate to properly run fridges due to thin wiring and associated voltage drops. Suits all WAECO kompressor fridge/freezers."

That will be fine - I wired one up in a Prado a few weeks ago - works a treat.

mns488
12th November 2008, 12:09 PM
It came with a wiring loom with 2 plugs worth about 110 so I think I will use that.
"RAPS12R-U2 Fridge Power Kit. The heavy duty CoolPower RAPS12R-U2 Fridge Power Wiring Kit is highly recommended for replacement of standard vehicle cigarette lighter sockets, which are often inadequate to properly run fridges due to thin wiring and associated voltage drops. Suits all WAECO kompressor fridge/freezers."

I used that kit as well because from reading about the fridge it was clear wiring (or lack of it) was an issue, so far never had a problem. :D

except the dam bag is garbage.

waynep
12th November 2008, 12:28 PM
except the dam bag is garbage.

How about this.,

If you use a fridge slide.
Get some 6 mm plywood or customwood and make a box like cover that fits over the fridge with the front and bottom open. Make it about 30mm bigger than the fridge all round. ( with fridge mounted on the slide ). Drills some 25mm holes in the ply where the fridge compressor vents are, and make suitable openings for the handle and power cable at the back.
Line the inside of this box with 25mm thick foam rubber or close to it ( there are some cheap sleeping mats which have a thick backing you can contact glue to the ply ). Fit some L brackets to the bottom of the box. Cut foam away from the vents and openings
Fit this box over your fridge slide and bolt/screw it to your base. Fiddle around so the fridge slides in and out of the box easily. It should just contact the foam as it slides.
The fridge then slides in and out of this insulated box. It means you don't need to open the bloody insulated cover all the time. Also means you can stack stuff on top of and against the sides of the box ( except where the vents are ) and not worry about damaging the fridge. And it holds the fridge securely in place and provides shock absorption on rough tracks.

This is what I did ( well sort of, not quite as fancy as above ) so far works very well.

OK so the front face is not insulated, but If you wanted you could make a door or flap for the front and keep all sides insulated. I've not found it necessary.

Far better than the bags anyday.

mns488
12th November 2008, 01:32 PM
How about this.,

If you use a fridge slide.
Get some 6 mm plywood or customwood and make a box like cover that fits over the fridge with the front and bottom open. Make it about 30mm bigger than the fridge all round. ( with fridge mounted on the slide ). Drills some 25mm holes in the ply where the fridge compressor vents are, and make suitable openings for the handle and power cable at the back.
Line the inside of this box with 25mm thick foam rubber or close to it ( there are some cheap sleeping mats which have a thick backing you can contact glue to the ply ). Fit some L brackets to the bottom of the box. Cut foam away from the vents and openings
Fit this box over your fridge slide and bolt/screw it to your base. Fiddle around so the fridge slides in and out of the box easily. It should just contact the foam as it slides.
The fridge then slides in and out of this insulated box. It means you don't need to open the bloody insulated cover all the time. Also means you can stack stuff on top of and against the sides of the box ( except where the vents are ) and not worry about damaging the fridge. And it holds the fridge securely in place and provides shock absorption on rough tracks.

This is what I did ( well sort of, not quite as fancy as above ) so far works very well.

OK so the front face is not insulated, but If you wanted you could make a door or flap for the front and keep all sides insulated. I've not found it necessary.

Far better than the bags anyday.

i've seen your setup and its good. If i ever get around to putting a shelf system in i'll incorporate that. In the short term i'm getting someone to re-do the zip.

Disco Duck
6th March 2009, 11:12 AM
I'm with you Echidna

IceFyre
6th March 2009, 04:46 PM
I recently bought a National Luna Weekender 50. It's a 40 l Fridge and 10 l Freezer. From all accounts it was the fridge to get if money was no object.

Bought it with a slide and got no change at all from $2k :( Ouch.

Haven't had it long enough to comment on anything other than it looks the goods and keeps things cold.

The Mutt
28th March 2009, 08:10 AM
We've had an Engel MT45 for a few years now, never had a problem with it, we are about to buy an Engel MT35 fridge to go into our Macgregor 26X sailboat, the MT45 is 80mm too tall to fit, no problem one for the Rangie one for the boat.

Glenn

Don 130
3rd April 2009, 11:10 AM
I've had 3 ways in campers for 25 years or so. They'll draw about 10 amps from your battery on 12v so be aware of that. To improve their performance, you can fit a fan that moves more air across the condensor. Camec (I think),even has a solar powered fan kit for using the fan when the fridge is on gas. Having said all that, I'd go for a compressor fridge as a truck based unit. Don

vogue
3rd April 2009, 11:37 AM
I was talking to my local 4wd shop the other day, and they said they just received the new engel price list and the Eclipse is going up to $1080!!!
Annaconda in Melbourne have them on sale for $799!!!
I have on and love it:D

Treads
3rd April 2009, 11:51 AM
I've had 3 ways in campers for 25 years or so.

:eek: :wasntme:

Treads
3rd April 2009, 11:53 AM
Thanks for all the replies and opinions. I ended up getting an Engel :cool:

Redback
3rd April 2009, 07:05 PM
Thanks for all the replies and opinions. I ended up getting an Engel :cool:

What no 3 way:whistling::spudnikbackflip:

Bush65
4th April 2009, 08:41 PM
Lots of people are happy with Engels and when used in most parts of Australia they perform just fine. As do most other fridges.

In those places there is a reasonable difference between day and night temps and there is plenty of opportunity for the fridge to bring the temp of the contents down to a satisfactory level.

But if you go where there is little respite overnight, humidity is high and a bunch of warmer stuff is often added to replenish stock. That is when you need a good fridge and nothing else compares to the trailblaza (superior condenser and evaporator design and insulation) or autofridge (eutectic holding tank).

Chucaro
4th April 2009, 10:22 PM
I have a Waeco CFS 50 Lts and the circuit board that comtrol the temperature fail due to spikes on the 240v line.
When the circuit board fail the fridge operates like a freezer and never stop.
The service agent in Bundaberg have several of them on repairs for the same problem and adapt the old system with knob like the old Waeco model or the Evakool



If I have to repl;ace the fridge in the future I will go for the trailblaze is the only one that meet the army standards regarding the speed in which reach the selected temperature and is made to last.

If money is a problem then the second option will be the Evakool

clean32
4th April 2009, 10:32 PM
i am more intrested in how everyone wires up there fridges, i doubt that the normal after market ciggi lighter type of plug would be up yo it. maybe best just to cut it off and wire it directly into the buss

Chucaro
4th April 2009, 10:35 PM
i am more intrested in how everyone wires up there fridges, i doubt that the normal after market ciggi lighter type of plug would be up yo it. maybe best just to cut it off and wire it directly into the buss

I use an after market plug because the fridge is used regulary on 240V as well. It is easy to do the change over

Skellz
4th April 2009, 10:43 PM
Aus Army use trailblazer on there M1A1 tanks and on the old leopard tanks. I have seen one come off the back of a leopard at 50km and we bolted it back on worked fine can t brake the trailblazer keep our cokes cold when were out bush love these fridges.:):)

Captain_Rightfoot
12th April 2009, 08:46 AM
Can someone tell me - if trailblazer refrigerators get stuff down to temp so quickly, what is their maximum current draw?

Our Engel seemed to be able to keep everything at the preset temp while sitting in a locked up car (in the sun) on a 34 degree day. This is sufficient for my needs. I've got a feeling that if anything had more capability than this it would use more power and be physically much bigger due to more insulation.

Thoughts?

djam1
12th April 2009, 09:16 AM
I have a 25-30 year old Engel and its probably getting a bit tired but has been a trouble free unit.
The old ones are great there have been some through history that were not as good but I understand the latest ones are OK.
I have heard too many horror stories with the Waco to consider one

Bush65
13th April 2009, 08:20 PM
Can someone tell me - if trailblazer refrigerators get stuff down to temp so quickly, what is their maximum current draw?

Our Engel seemed to be able to keep everything at the preset temp while sitting in a locked up car (in the sun) on a 34 degree day. This is sufficient for my needs. I've got a feeling that if anything had more capability than this it would use more power and be physically much bigger due to more insulation.

Thoughts?
The compressor used by trailblaza can run at 2000 rpm to 3500 rpm. At 12V it requires 3.5 amp for 2000 rpm, 4.4 amp for 2500 rpm, 5.3 amp for 3000 rpm or 6.2 amp for 3500 rpm.

Because the trailblaza cabinet design is so good, the power consumed is the same to cool a reasonable quantity at 2000 rpm as at 3500 rpm. At 3500 rpm the current draw is higher, but the contents are cooled quicker and the compressor doesn't run as long (so power consumed is the same). So all trailblazers run at 3500 rpm.

The results would probably be different with a different make, but with trailblazas, looking at current draw is only one part of the picture, because the compressor does not run for as long.

They claim Queensland University of Technology and World Health Organization, tested the 60 litre Trailblaza with normal insulation and found, operating as a refrigerator and maintaining contents at +2*C
22 amp hrs per 24 hours was used at constant 25*C ambient
32 amp hrs per 24 hrs was used at constant 35*C ambient
46 amp hrs per 24 hrs was used at constant 45*C ambient

freezer mode uses 1/3 more power than refrigerator.

A single 64 watt solar panel can run up to 80 litre trailblaza as a refrigerator
2, 64 watt panels can run 80 litre as a freezer.

The trailblazas do have more insulation than most of the competitors. They also have other technological features that the competitors don't have, run for less time and are quieter while running than most others.

How does that compare to engels?

Leaving a refrigerator, trailblaza, engel and others undisturbed is no big deal. It is when you go and add a quantity of warm food/drinks that they have to cool down when the ambient temp and humidity is high, with no relief overnight, that sorts them out.

Bundalene
13th April 2009, 09:15 PM
Can someone tell me - if trailblazer refrigerators get stuff down to temp so quickly, what is their maximum current draw?

Our Engel seemed to be able to keep everything at the preset temp while sitting in a locked up car (in the sun) on a 34 degree day. This is sufficient for my needs. I've got a feeling that if anything had more capability than this it would use more power and be physically much bigger due to more insulation.

Thoughts?

The other advantage of the Trailblaza over some of the competitors is in the way in which the evaporator (the bit which cools the fridge down) is configured.
In the Trailblaza this is horizontal working it's way from the bottom to the top. On some of the competitors it is vertical, working it's way around the frodge.

In the case of the trailblaza the bottom of the fridge is always colder than the top. We insert a polystyrene insulator between the frozen items at the bottom and the drinks and vegies at the top - works brilliantly as both a fridge and freezer, once you get used to the settings.

I don't know how the current Engels are configured but the very early ones were vertical.

Erich

johnb44
18th April 2009, 05:30 PM
i have a 40ltr evakool and it fits nicly in my discovery and was cheaper buy a long way to the engles i was looking at

i have a few freinds who use engals and love them i think either would be a good buy :cool:

Landy Smurf
10th May 2009, 07:31 PM
we have an engel 42 litre heaps good how ver i think that the arb fridges might be a bit better

JamesB
12th May 2009, 08:59 PM
For me if I had a wagon I would have bought an Engel - nice and compact. But my fridge rides in the tub on my 130 , thats why I bought a Trailblazer - a much more rugged fridge than all the others. Expense mitigated by having the 240v transformer option fitted and using it as a drinks fridge on the deck when not in the 130.

taff
14th May 2009, 08:58 AM
if money isn't much of an issue, then bin all of the above and buy a national luna in stainless steel. the king of fridges :D

IceFyre
14th May 2009, 09:04 AM
if money isn't much of an issue, then bin all of the above and buy a national luna in stainless steel. the king of fridges :D

x2 .. It's what I did ;)

cucinadio
14th May 2009, 09:10 AM
http://www.aulro.com/afvb/971056-post39.html



so far so good and Ive had running since the day i got it ..keeping the bevies cold as .................did a little experiment ...top it up with two x 25 ctn's of Pepsi max hot, and were icy cold on number 2 in and hour and 15 min.....brill i say :D

cheers


PS and speaking of Engel's .. http://www.aulro.com/afvb/975301-post41.html

HBWC
16th May 2009, 11:56 PM
if money isn't much of an issue, then bin all of the above and buy a national luna in stainless steel. the king of fridges :D
x3 i wish mine wasnt stolen
if not i now have an engel and it happely workes on its side or upside down (my bro rolled the car on two ocasions) it still kept the food and drinks cold

Stewie
22nd May 2009, 06:01 PM
I need to buy a proper fridge before the Cape trip next winter and have been pretty overwhelmed with all the choices of fridge. I'll be looking at around the 40-60L sizes and will need to fit it in the back of both the Disco and the Defender.

I was hoping to use it as the primary fridge on shorter trips, but as the freezer on big ones. So the idea was to get one of those $200 20L cooler/warmer types as the fridge for drinks, milk, butter etc on the big trips. Any other suggestions to this way of thinking?

What brands do people here recommend?

I have a fairly decent dual battery setup, but would consider a 3-way fridge if convinced of their merits

Hi have recently bought an Engel. Did heaps of research and Engel came out tops with everyone I spoke to. All of my 4wd mates have Engels (apart from one who has an evekool). They all love their Engles. Strong and reliable.

Stewie.

Hoges
23rd May 2009, 09:16 PM
I was umming and aahring on this very point...endless spreadsheets / comparisons / well maybe not THAT bad... but there's lot of choice and frankly, they only vary at the margins...

However one day last year at the Tackle and Tinnie show in Bris I had a brain snap and bought Bushman for about $950 (show special). I've had it running for months in the study :eek: (keeps the beer cold :twisted:).

I've also taken it on a few interstate trips ...here's the interesting part:

It came with three options: a flat lid...35L, a high lid ...42L, and a collar which when used with the high lid provides 52L ...accepts wine bottles, has three baskets for various combinations. The denser it's packed, the more efficient it is...maintains down to -22degC seemingly with no effort... in 35L mode I can accommodate it in the boot of the (VX) Commodore for a quick(er) interstate run to Sydney (vs P38). It came with a 3 yr full warranty. Even SWMBO was impressed with its perfromancewhen the "wanderers" all came home for Christmas and the Bushman lived on the deck... wanderers develop an insatiable thirst having climbed 1 flight of stairs to the deck :twisted:

Hendrik
1st June 2009, 07:51 PM
Suppose I could add my 2c now, seeing as I used this thread to make my decision. I decided to go for the Waeco, they are popular, can be fixed anywhere in Australia and they are good value for money. I got a brand new 60L for an absolute steal on fleabay, so I just had to buy it, and I haven't seen it cheaper anywhere. Which is a first for me!!!
Gotta be happy with that.
Cheers
Hendrik