Finch B533 33 Litre Fridge, Users feedback

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 27, 2004 at 14:10
ThreadID: 10052 Views:11209 Replies:6 FollowUps:0
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I'm looking at buying a Finch B533 33 litre fridge preferably second hand.
I am intersted in people's experiences with this fridge. I like the idea of this fridge as I like to camp in one spot for a few days and it seems a cheaper option than Engels with dual batteries and solar panels etc (I already have an Engel 29L and am looking at selling it).
How long have the Finch B533 been around?
Is there a B533 and a B533G as I have seen both codes for what looks like the same fridge and they appear to have the same performance statistics, I assume it's the same fridge?
Does it really use around 250 grams of LPG per day?
What's it performance like in hot weather e.g 35 degrees?
Apparently it's designed not to freeze (I don't require frozen food) but does it acheive ideal temperatures 3-5 degrees easily?
Why does the fridge need to be level, does it effect the performance or wreck the fridge or both?
Can I plug it straight into my cigarette lighter while driving?
Any tips on what to look out for in a second hand fridge and what's a reasonable price to pay for a second hand one in perfect working order?
So many questions I know but would greatly appreciate any advice on this fridge, especially an owners experiences both good or bad.

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Reply By: Wayne - Tuesday, Jan 27, 2004 at 15:13

Tuesday, Jan 27, 2004 at 15:13
Hi, Might be something in this site?

Ciao, Wayne
AnswerID: 44473

Reply By: Member - Bear - Tuesday, Jan 27, 2004 at 17:19

Tuesday, Jan 27, 2004 at 17:19
I sold one in August last year due to the fact that some problems were -

1) If it was not a cold night to help the temp down it use to warm up and we would loose food.
2) 12V will try and keep the temp level but we always found that it did not have enough punch to lower the temp - if the car was in the sun you would loose the battle.
3) The pilot flame would blow out in the wind meaning that if you tried to leave the finch outside to help the temp down we often found that the wind would come up and shut the unit down.
4) I got $200 for it and went & paid $1000 for a Waeco 50lt and have never been happier.
AnswerID: 44496

Reply By: Ridgy - Tuesday, Jan 27, 2004 at 20:59

Tuesday, Jan 27, 2004 at 20:59
I like the 3 way formula (mine is a Chestcold 40L) .... no energy problems when static(gas) but you need to buy the model rated as Freezer ! This means that under hot conditions it will keep you gear cold, but freezing is not on.....The Freezer model has a higher performance rating, but ambient temps are issue when you exceed 25 degrees or so. Under cool conditions they run extremely well (have to turn them off at night or the lot will be solid in the morning). They must be quite level when static, but while mobile they run really well on 12 volt while moving about with the car). Don't expect to keep a load of tucker frozen solid though.....that is asking too much of a 3 way in varying conditions.... you need the compressor fridges for that.Drag me away from this keyboard.
AnswerID: 44531

Reply By: KenD - Thursday, Jan 29, 2004 at 01:18

Thursday, Jan 29, 2004 at 01:18
Hi Luke, I've had a Finch for about 4 or 5 yrs now and borrowed one before that for a trip to Cape York and round about. One Kg of gas will last up to a week, depending on conditions, and this makes it great for camping. You don't have to live out of the back of your truck so your campsite doesn't have to be in a bloody car park. It's not a freezer but will freeze stuff. Don't leave it in the full sun all day, protect the gas flame from strong winds, and if you use some nouse there is no reason for food to go off and if you're not careful the beer will be TOO cold and have no flavour (which is OK if it's VB).
The fridge needs to be level so the refrigerant can trickle down through the little heat exchange unit in the box. It will still work if the RH side is higher than the LH side but not the other way round. A stick or rock in the right place does the trick.
I haven't had much success running a Finch from the cigarette lighter. I think you need a thick cable direct from the battery and I haven't got around to this 'cos it been fine without it.
Before travelling make sure everthing has been well chilled down, put the fridge in the truck last thing an put a folded blanket or tarp on the top to protect it from direct sun. Try not to open it much till you stop & set up camp & the fridge again.
The War Office and I are happy with the Finch. It's robust, economical, flexible, no moving parts, and, like any fridge, revolutionises camping.
AnswerID: 44694

Reply By: Aandy(WA) - Thursday, Jan 29, 2004 at 09:38

Thursday, Jan 29, 2004 at 09:38
I have a Finch which I bought 8years ago for $100. I think it's about 30years old. There appear to be significant differences in reported performance. Previous owners told me it didn't work well in the car. I don't even need to pre cool it before travelling. The difference is that they had a long extension power lead and had it in the boot of a Commodore. I run it from the rear power outlet of my Prado. On a trip through the Simpson, frozen meat which we put in in Melbourne was still frozen at day 4. I left vb cans near the top one day and when I was looking forward to a coldie at Poeppel Corner found them partly frozen! (Had to drink my mates beer.) I've never had the pilot blow out including in a night desert wind at Purnie Bore which blew all the chairs and tables over. But I do close the inspection hole near the flame and put the fridge in a relatively sheltered spot if possible. I've also used it in the car in hot humid Queensland weather and it works fine there too BUT the aircon in the Prado is very good - much better than the boot of a Commodore! 99% of caravans use fridges of the same type and they work well all over Australia. I couldn't be happier.
AnswerID: 44706

Reply By: Phil from Eltham - Friday, Jan 30, 2004 at 17:59

Friday, Jan 30, 2004 at 17:59

I also have a 30 year old Finch. Never faltered until last month when it simply stopped cooling at all although the heater still worked.
Solution was to tip the fridge upsidedown and shake the s--t out of it. Gas had crystalized. A few minutes of shaking and it worked like new. Arms ached a bit though.

AnswerID: 44864

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