Budget Car Fridges

Hello all

I am currently researching the sub $1000 car fridges around the 45 to 60 litre capacity and the two brands that seem to stand out are

Ironman http://www.4x4store.net.au/p/5514085/ironman-ice-cube-fridge-freezer-50l-free-cover.html

Techniice http://www.techniice.com/car-fridges-1.html.

The Ironman has a 3yr (5yr compressor) warranty and the Techniice comes with 2. The latter is also a little cheaper.

I believe the Ironman has a Danfos compressor and the Techniice a Domus.

If anyone has any first hand experience with these brands I would like to hear from you.
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Reply By: Bonz (Vic) - Sunday, Nov 24, 2013 at 16:54

Sunday, Nov 24, 2013 at 16:54
Ironman hands down I would say, Danfoss combined with the superior warranty AND outstanding after sales service makes them a standout choice.
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Reply By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Sunday, Nov 24, 2013 at 17:12

Sunday, Nov 24, 2013 at 17:12
No experience with those fridge brands, but I do have experience with Domus and Danfoss compressors.

I have an unbranded Chinese 55 litre fridge originally equipped with a Domus compressor, a copy of the Danfoss BD-35. After a couple of years of outback travel the suspension for the internals inside the sealed unit failed and it clunked around, banging itself inside the steel canister, though it continued to work.

Not wanting the fridge to fail on a trip, I had a Waeco repair shop install a second-hand Danfoss BD35. It cools better and draws less current. It's been in there for 3 years of outback travel.

Better p[erformance, more economical on battery power, better warranty - go for the Ironman.

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Reply By: Mick O - Sunday, Nov 24, 2013 at 17:52

Sunday, Nov 24, 2013 at 17:52
As an aside and FYI,

Anaconda Stores have 25% off store-wide (including fridges) until store close Monday. That makes all of their range a bargain (Waeco and Engel). Was just down there.

Waeco's older models are very similar in appearance to the Ironman units - Danfoss etc.

Cheers Mick

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Reply By: Tony F8 - Sunday, Nov 24, 2013 at 18:39

Sunday, Nov 24, 2013 at 18:39
You could have a look at the bushman, engel eclipse, or the primus mammoth. Very hard to go past the danfoss compressor, had my engel for 10 plus years and ran tags to the cape and gulf, the only problem was the 10 amp fuse suffering from a little corrosion, only the second fuse in all that that time. Go to your local Fridgie service centre, they will tell you what's good and what's bad. Nothing worse than well into your trip and your fridge packs it in.
AnswerID: 522040

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Sunday, Nov 24, 2013 at 19:03

Sunday, Nov 24, 2013 at 19:03
Your statement “Very hard to go past the danfoss compressor, had my engel for 10 plus years” seems to imply that the Engel has a Danfoss - they don't, they have a Sawafuji
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Follow Up By: Tony F8 - Sunday, Nov 24, 2013 at 20:58

Sunday, Nov 24, 2013 at 20:58
Dennis , your statement is absoloutley correct, the reason I believe danfoss is equal or if not better than the sawafuji, is the danfoss has been used in marine refrigeration for a long time. The sawafuji swing motor has been proven over many years, thanks to engel.
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Follow Up By: Ross M - Sunday, Nov 24, 2013 at 22:46

Sunday, Nov 24, 2013 at 22:46
I know Engel advertise the compressor as a swing motor.
It has nothing in it like a motor and also nothing at all swings!

Solenoid actuated and reciprocating should be the info relayed.

Danfoss will cool quicker and possibly the Engel will freeze deeper/lower than a Danfoss unit.
I have one of each and that is my experience after recently retesting the two of them side by side in the shed.
Around 30 degrees in shed and Waeco went to -14 and won't go lower at around 80% duty and the Engel ran longer, used quite a bit less power and froze to -18 perhaps a bit more.

Both have additional fan cooling and far more insulation than just a bag.
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Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Monday, Nov 25, 2013 at 11:54

Monday, Nov 25, 2013 at 11:54
Hi Ross
The Engel description is valid - a motor or engine can have a linear motion.
Earlier forms were beam motors or engines - used for pumping water and had no rotating parts.
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Reply By: JohnnyC - Sunday, Nov 24, 2013 at 19:51

Sunday, Nov 24, 2013 at 19:51
Has anyone checked out this place in BNE, they have a Waeco 50 looking fridge with seperate freezer compartment for about half Waeco price.
I don't know anything about them, but somehow started getting advertising from them.
http://www.importerdeals.com/portable-refrigeration.html
AnswerID: 522046

Reply By: Tony F8 - Sunday, Nov 24, 2013 at 20:41

Sunday, Nov 24, 2013 at 20:41
Sorry should have been a bit better with the grammar, yes engel do run swarfiga, but the danfoss is equal, my apologies.
AnswerID: 522050

Reply By: rowdy31 - Sunday, Nov 24, 2013 at 20:44

Sunday, Nov 24, 2013 at 20:44
I have got the 40l ironman fridge. Had it for nearly 2 years now and have had no probs at all with it. Have it held down with a couple of the cam buckle straps in the back of the pathfinder.
Price and warranty got me and have been happy with it.
AnswerID: 522051

Reply By: HarryH - Monday, Nov 25, 2013 at 02:08

Monday, Nov 25, 2013 at 02:08
You could also look at the 55ltr Evakool fridgemate, its sub $1000 has danfoss compressor and good insulation. Ive got an ARB 47ltr and a 70ltr fridgemate which has been running non stop for 5 years. Both are good fridges and the Evakool has good versatility as it can be used as fridge and freezer or take the divider out and go all fridge or all freezer. Also comes with a 5 year warranty, Some people don't like the yellow colour but I reckon it looks good:) Only my opinion but id buy the Evakool before id buy either of the other 2 you mentioned. have a look.

http://www.australiandirect.com.au/buy/evakool-55-litre-fridgemate-portable-fridge-freezer-combination/FM055_P
AnswerID: 522057

Follow Up By: HarryH - Monday, Nov 25, 2013 at 02:11

Monday, Nov 25, 2013 at 02:11
Sorry I stuffed up that link somehow?
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Monday, Nov 25, 2013 at 16:33

Monday, Nov 25, 2013 at 16:33
Hrry,

I think this is the link you intended.

At about $700 it's very tempting.


Cheers

John
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Follow Up By: HarryH - Monday, Nov 25, 2013 at 18:10

Monday, Nov 25, 2013 at 18:10
Thats the site John but a different fridge to the one I am thinking about. That $700 fridge has a domus compressor as opposed to the danfoss. If you look on that site you'll see the yellow 55ltr fridgemate for $932 which is the one I'm thinking of.
Will try link again

55ltr fridgemate
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FollowupID: 803016

Reply By: The Landy - Monday, Nov 25, 2013 at 06:18

Monday, Nov 25, 2013 at 06:18
Hi Peter…

Whilst acknowledging this doesn’t answer your specific question, as I have no experience with either of the brands mentioned.

However, I am a firm believer that “cheap” does not always equate to “less expensive”.

I have been running a 60-litre Engel for 7 years, continuously, and it has done over 100,000 kilometres plus of outback travel and I have not had one problem with it, ever.

In my opinion, that makes it cheap. In fact, I purchased it from ABR-Sidewinder, a business member on ExplorOz.

Good luck with research and purchase…

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
AnswerID: 522059

Follow Up By: 116hynes - Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013 at 07:19

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013 at 07:19
I have just moved from Engel to Ironman. I bought 2 Engels 35l approx 4 years ago. On the last trip to Kimberley's one of them died. I was told by 2 separate Engel service agents that there was a problem with the crimp to the motor around that time. As you can no longer just replace/repair the motor you have to replace the the complete evaporater unit, it was going to cost over $600 to repair a $1100 fridge. No help from Engel

Kevin
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Reply By: olcoolone - Monday, Nov 25, 2013 at 07:30

Monday, Nov 25, 2013 at 07:30
It's good to try and save a bit of dough but it can end up costing you more in the long run.

I would stay with Engle, Waeco or ARB..... bigger dealer network, more repairers and a greater chance of getting spare parts in the future when out of warranty.

Most people who buy quality fridges have them for years and years so the little more you spend now becomes insignificant in the long term........ if you have a known brand fridge that cost $300 more than a cheaper rebranded one, over 10 years thats only $30 per year.

We have all Waeco's and out of 8 we own only one went back for warranty and that was 4 years ago. I'm sure Engle and ARB would be the same.
AnswerID: 522063

Reply By: Peter T9 - Monday, Nov 25, 2013 at 16:47

Monday, Nov 25, 2013 at 16:47
Thanks for all the replies and advise.

For the benefit of anyone else looking in a similar price range my research so far has narrowed it down to the following (maybe with a little budget leeway)

Ironman 50 litre $697 inc transit bag delivered free

ARB 47 litre $1199 inc transit bag and towel

Engel MRF 40 (plastic 38 litre model) $779 inc transit bag plus freight

Engel MT45FP (meta 40 litre model) $1199 inc transit bag plus freight

The Ironman does seem very tempting however as some have said you don't save buying cheaply? On the other hand I cannot find anything negative about the Ironman fridges.

Unfortunately I dont live near any of the large discount stores therefore pretty much stuck on what can be freighted to me.
AnswerID: 522082

Follow Up By: The Landy - Monday, Nov 25, 2013 at 17:01

Monday, Nov 25, 2013 at 17:01
Peter

I’d encourage you to check a price from the business member ABR-Sidewinder if you haven’t already. The price I received from them delivered was better than what I could achieve from any of the stores at the time.

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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FollowupID: 803009

Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Monday, Nov 25, 2013 at 18:36

Monday, Nov 25, 2013 at 18:36
They are all susceptible to failure so I would be heavily considering the one with the best warranty, repairs out of warranty can be expensive and often not viable
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FollowupID: 803017

Follow Up By: Member - Brenton H (SA) - Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013 at 10:17

Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013 at 10:17
Recently bought an ARB 60L but did so as I needed a specific size and shape to fit better in the back of the BT50. I mention this as the shape, height, and weight of a fridge can also be a deciding factor. No good if the fridge is too high for the wife (whose job it is to get the cold beers out...if she cant access the fridge easily that means I have to do it all, plus listen to the winges about it) The Ironman 50 looks very much like my old Waeco 50 has the same compressor. If it gives the same trouble free use that I had with the Waeco i would buy it in a heart beat at that price.

Cheers
Brenton
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