Current Draw of Waeco fridges

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 12, 2006 at 20:42

Voxson (Adelaide)

I went shopping today and looked at the current _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx of Waeco vs engel....
Does anybody have true information on the general current draw of the following fridges....
60litre engel claims 4.5amps...the average being 3.9amps...
80litre Waeco claims 7amps but doesnt say the average...

Does anybody know for sure????

I basicly wanna know if anybody is running either of these fridges from a 115a/hour battery and how long do they last before flat battery trouble arises???..
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AnswerID: 154618   Submitted: Sunday, Feb 12, 2006 at 21:14

brett replied:

Plenty of info around on this, if you have a spare couple of hours do a search. Basically the Engel _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx less current when running but runs longer, end result they use about the same, some may say the Waeco uses less than the engel per day. But the 80L Waeco will use more than the 50. Choice did a resonably good test on this a while ago.
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Reply 1 of 11
AnswerID: 154625   Submitted: Sunday, Feb 12, 2006 at 21:43

b4no1member replied:

cant help you with the 80 but i have a 90 ltr Waeco and when my 85 amp battery is fully charged i get 2 full days around 30 deg with 4 kids and 2 adults opening it around 9438756029837459847 times and bat is still good enough to start the jack.
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Reply 2 of 11
FollowupID: 408596   Submitted: Sunday, Feb 12, 2006 at 21:52

Robbg posted:

Hey b4no1member, do you have just one battery? Is it an ordinary starter battery or some sort of deep cycle job? And do you have a diesel or petrol Jack? Thanks.
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FollowupID: 408641   Submitted: Monday, Feb 13, 2006 at 08:00

Member No 1 posted:

b4no1....ha ha
'If women are so bloody perfect at multitasking.......
how come they can't have a headache and sex at the same time

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FollowupID: 408674   Submitted: Monday, Feb 13, 2006 at 12:31

b4no1member posted:

gday rob.
im using a delcor marine baterry nearly 4 yrs old and still going strong.
its an m35 or m48 i cant remember.
our jack is 3.2 v6 petrol.
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AnswerID: 154630   Submitted: Sunday, Feb 12, 2006 at 22:09

Crackles replied:

Forget totally the amperage a fridge is drawing when it's running as that figure is pretty much irrelevant on its own. The only true way to compare is by measuring the amp hour consumption, in other words the amps the fridge runs at multiplied by the percentage of time the motor runs for during a one hour period.
On average a fridge using only 2 amps will run for twice as long as one that uses 4, both effectively using the same power. Efficiencies between brands are normally made by better insulation, lid sealing, ventalation around the evaporator etc.
So when comparing E Vs W make sure both units are together in the same temp running off the same power source with the same contents or the results will be inconclusive.
How long will they go? Really depends on how hot it is & the condition of the battery. At our new years camp in the 42 degree heat most of the batteries were struggling in less than 24 hours as the fridges ran continuously but given a 30 degree day they would still be running well after 2 days.
Cheers Craig......
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FollowupID: 408690   Submitted: Monday, Feb 13, 2006 at 15:10

Mainey (WA) posted:


Concise, excellent and also very relevant information :-)
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AnswerID: 154640   Submitted: Sunday, Feb 12, 2006 at 22:49

Member - John Q (QLD) replied:

Hi Voxson,
Like everyone else we all have our own experiences & there is plenty of posts on here.
I have a 110litre Waeco & depending on the outside temp, fridge setting & no of times it is opened etc I have seen my fridge run as little as 10min/hr up to 40min/hr. According to the regulator is _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx about 4.7amps when it runs & I recharge a 200amp hr AGM battery (dual battery set up) with a 120w Solar panel.

just crusin & smelling the flowers

1. At Halls Creek (Is he really lost?)
2. East of Cameron Cnr

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AnswerID: 154659   Submitted: Monday, Feb 13, 2006 at 06:41

SKP replied:

On a recent hiking trip in the high country (Vic). I left my 110 Waeco running on the economy setting, in my Tvan. (not connected to the car battery). The Tvan has the 140 A/H standard battery and a 50w solar panel.
The Waeco was still running 65 hours later and temp was still 4.5 in the fridge. I was impressed.
Daytime air Temps were 30 plus, nights around 15.
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AnswerID: 154662   Submitted: Monday, Feb 13, 2006 at 07:41

Eric from Cape York Connections replied:

Voxson I know the fridge keeps running depending on the ambient temperature until the battery goes flat and not a moment longer.

All the best
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Reply 6 of 11
AnswerID: 154663   Submitted: Monday, Feb 13, 2006 at 07:52

Voxson (Adelaide) replied:

I spose the bottom line is big fridge - big current draw,,,, as somebody has already said.....
I am tring to set up a bigger fridge without upgrading my batt system but it looks like if i get a larger fridge i will have to at least go with a solar setup......
Which is too hard because i cant see a way of using it whilst not with the car,,, eg: fishing in an estuary, out swimming when your car is in a public carpark etc etc...
The only time i could use it is when we get back to camp,,,, (night time)...

Or is there a solar setup which can be draped across the steering wheel or something similar???
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FollowupID: 408654   Submitted: Monday, Feb 13, 2006 at 09:29

Utemad posted:

I've seen cars in car parks with solar panels sitting just behind the windows in the cargo area. Not sure how well it works due to them being in partial shade but better than nothing.
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FollowUp 1 of 13
FollowupID: 408684   Submitted: Monday, Feb 13, 2006 at 13:52

Ron173 posted:

Not running entirely your set up but heres my experience which may help:

40ltr Engel (which is rated 2.5amps max) hooked to an 85ah deep cycle, in 40 deg being opened as reqd for beer (read often!!) 3 days and still fair charge in battery, prob couldve gone 4.

""I am tring to set up a bigger fridge without upgrading my batt system but it looks like if i get a larger fridge i will have to at least go with a solar setup......""

Look into doing a dual battery setup, its not as expensive as it appears if you do your own. An 80amp isolator can be had on ebay for bout 70.00, add in a battery/box, some cable and joiners and do it yourself, job will cost $200 odd, certainly under 300, with 3 wires being all thats reqd for connection. A drive in drive away fully fitted quote is in region of 700+



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FollowupID: 408741   Submitted: Monday, Feb 13, 2006 at 20:37

Crackles posted:

Whatever you do Ron don't sell either your fridge or the battery as getting almost 4 days out of an 85 AH battery in 40 degree heat is nothing short of exceptional. Amounts to using about 1 amp per hour running less than 40% of the time. Very impressive.
Cheers Craig..............
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FollowupID: 408750   Submitted: Monday, Feb 13, 2006 at 21:16

Ron173 posted:


Its not my intension to sell it, I detect your sarcasm, but I'm only stating what I achieved.

Fridge is in a transit bag which as you probably know is insulated, and its inside a canopy, and not in the direct sun, I have a silver tarp which goes over back of vehicle, sitting bout 30cm above canopy, which all may help, also battery sits on a float charger at home, when not in use, (no point carting it around everyday) so is always MAX before a trip.

Like I said, I'm only reporting what I achieved, which was three days, with a leaving camp figure of 11.9volts which YOU WILL KNOW relates to 40% charge remaining. So I reckon I'd have got another night from it, maybe I'm wrong but the system works for me fine, read it how you like.

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FollowupID: 408773   Submitted: Monday, Feb 13, 2006 at 22:03

Crackles posted:

You've detected well Ron ;-) Not that I didn't believe you but always interested in the detail of what systems work & why. The new Engel certainly seems to have some efficiency gains over the old ones.
Have also been concidering a charger at home to ensure maximum capacity prior to leaving on a trip.
Not wanting to start another battery war but out of interest what type is it.
Cheers Craig.......
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FollowupID: 408823   Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 07:36

Ron173 posted:


not sure if you mean battery or charger, anyway battery is a century marathon deep cycle, and its big, its actually 350mm long, 175mm wide and 215mm high excluding terminals. I know this because it was a pig to get a box big enough for it, most boxes $30, this one was $70 (shouldve been $90.)

Charger is a charge and maintain type, which admittedly does get a bit of overvoltage in there, and can take a while to get to the float / maintain stage, typically a few days, although when I first got it and put the battery on it, it took 14days to get my battery to float!
Now I guess its conditioned and gets there easier. I paid bout $90 for it from battery world, heres a link to the spec.

Hope this helps


Ron (ps My Engel is the latest model so might have some greater efficiency over earlier models)
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FollowupID: 408932   Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 18:12

Crackles posted:

Interesting charger Ron but would definately need the bigger version to charge my twin 115ah Deep cycles. Thanks for the link.
Cheers Craig.......
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FollowupID: 408950   Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 19:03

Ron173 posted:

Holy Chit! is that what you need for an autofridge 2 x 115ah batts! ??

Or have you got toooooo many toys. LOL

no wonder you thought my 85ah was good!

(incidentally it is the largest physical sized 85 I've seen, prhaps it derives a bit of longevity/life from larger plates? dunno not a battery expert)


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FollowupID: 409117   Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 17:16

Mainey (WA) posted:

Voxson (Adelaide)
Why can't you put a decent Solar panel on the roof ?
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FollowupID: 409125   Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 17:53

Crackles posted:

Ron the 73 litre autofridge is pretty efficient but wanted to gaurentee 4 days parked in one location without all the fuss of a generator, solar system or running the car. I also don't run a start battery or isolator just the 2 deep cycles permanantly together & have been trialing for almost 3 years, so far going well. My only issue is the Eutetic fluid in the fridge requires over 5 hours initial running to bring the fridge temp right down & as it doesn't come with 240 volt supply I thought if I ran the charger on the night I start the fridge it will give me a full battery like you on leaving.
Cheers Craig.............
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FollowUp 10 of 13
FollowupID: 409131   Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 18:23

Ron173 posted:


yeah reckon the charger would be the go for you, you'd need to discuss the current draw with battery world or wherever to get the correct model for your requirements, but i reckon you would notice a difference.

3yrs, cant you conclude that it works ok by now?

Also noted a mistake in my reporting battery type, my deep cycle is a century DURATHON, not marathon like I previously stated.


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FollowupID: 409210   Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 23:43

Voxson (Adelaide) posted:

Mainey,,, The solar panel would be fair game for any wanna be thief...
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FollowupID: 409381   Submitted: Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 18:38

Mainey (WA) posted:

Voxson, possibly true, mine has been on the roof since 1997 and no one has attempted to remove it, ...yet.
It's bolted onto a security style roof rack, so they have to actually break the rack at the four mounting positions to remove it.
Could be I've just been lucky :-))
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AnswerID: 154698   Submitted: Monday, Feb 13, 2006 at 12:04

Troo Bloo replied:

G day Voxson

Australian 4wd mag did a great comparison on all fridges late last year. Engel, waeco, eva kool, reefer,bushman etc. Test was done in a room at 50c, testing current draw, temp inside fridge and performance. After reading this article i went out and bought a bushman.

good luck
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Reply 8 of 11
AnswerID: 154700   Submitted: Monday, Feb 13, 2006 at 12:06

Alloy c/t replied:

Voxon ,my 80lt Waeco set at 4 lights = -10deg in freezer and 3deg in fridge at an ambient of 35 deg days and 27 deg nights used atotal of 64amps per 24hrs overa 10day period ,at same time my 15lt Engle set on 2 = 2deg [beer] used 48amps per 24hrs ,Engle opened and closed /restocked / rotated with hot cans at least 10/12 times per day,,,, Waeco opened and closed at least 6 times per day ,both have travel bags ,both in shade all day.
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Reply 9 of 11
FollowupID: 408771   Submitted: Monday, Feb 13, 2006 at 22:02

kesh posted:

Alloy. You have given one of the most honest answers to this "how long does the battery last" debate on this forum.
Simply put, it requires energy to remove heat (joules) from the contents of the fridge, and in the case of a compressor operated unit the energy can only come from the electrical source driving the compressor.
The compressor will have a refrigeration capacity dependant on its watts consumption (volts x amps) times efficiency, therefore given say a 60w. compressor, the more the fridge is loaded the more it will need to run to remove the heat content. (energy in w/hrs. = Kj/3.6)
Your statement that your combined energy consumption is 4.6a./hr. is quite understandable and you would certainly be re charging the battery/s regularly (112a./hr./day)
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AnswerID: 154702   Submitted: Monday, Feb 13, 2006 at 12:09

Troo Bloo replied:

G day Voxson

Late last year Australian 4WD Magazine did a review on nearly all car fridges in the market. The test was done equal and independent, eg 50c room, testing current draw, temp inside the fridge, performance etc. It would be well worth a read if you can get your hands on it. Engel and Waeco were tested, also Evakool, Reefer and Bushman. After reading this article I went out and bought a Bushman.

Good Luck
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FollowupID: 408889   Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 14:39

Member - Des posted:

The 40L Waeco - the cheapest in the test - had easily the lowest current draw; I think it was about 22amps over a 24 hour period. The mag chose it as best in that size.
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FollowupID: 409106   Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 16:21

Troo Bloo posted:

G Day Des

i think the fridge debate is a bit like the the holden and ford or toyota and nissan debate with vechiles, both these fridges use the same compressor, Danfoss bd35. there is bugger all difference between the 40l engel, waeco and bushman when it comes to current draw. Yes the waeco is cheaper, call me old fashion but you only get what you pay for!
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FollowupID: 409109   Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 16:35

Member - Des posted:

Aust 4WD Monthly made the very point that most fridges used the same Danfoss compressor (Engel/ARB use a Japanese one), so the differences in performance could only be attributable to different insulation. The impressive thing about the Waeco is that it was better insulated, lighter and cheaper than its rivals.

So what did you get for the extra money with the Bushman Troo Bloo? I suppose you will say more robust construction. Whether that matters depends on how you treat it.

For myself, I think that the Waeco is better value, and the lighter weight is useful.
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FollowupID: 409113   Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 16:59

Troo Bloo posted:

Like I said it is a toyota vs nissan debate, no one will ever win, it is better to agree to disagree. The Bushman is a better fridge for ME, and yes it is more robust and probaly doesnt suit everone. But that is not to say that the waeco is a bad fridge. Each to their own. Have you ever seen or used a bushman fridge?
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FollowupID: 409115   Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 17:08

Member - Des posted:

Troo Blue, I'm not bagging the Bushman either. I've seen them but not used them. Seemed rather big and heavy to me, but you could just as well say solid and robust.

In buying a fridge, everyone just needs to make the sort of consumer decision that they would make about buying a TV or washing machine. Like you, I'm surprised that it seems to arouse strong emotions. It's just a machine!
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AnswerID: 155029   Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 22:38

Jimbo replied:

Big fridge, bid current draw.

I've had a CF80 for about 15 months and run it from a 100amp AGM battery. The battery needs charge everyday even in cool conditions. It also depends how cold you like it. I run it as all fridge and switch between 3 and 4 lights. This keeps it at about -2 at the beer end and +4 at the far end and varying in between.

I like to look after my battery so ensure it never gets below 50% discharge, and preferably 30%.

You MIGHT get two days from a 115amp if you don't mind flattening it.


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