How to carry a Engel fridge safely?

Submitted: Friday, Nov 14, 2014 at 22:53
ThreadID: 110141 Views:5000 Replies:9 FollowUps:18
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G'day guys,
I have an older model Engel fridge (the MRFT-530B, if that's any help to anyone), and my family and I are planning to take it in our Jeep across the Great Central Road next year. My dad is convinced we can just wrap it in a bit of bubble wrap and anchor it to somewhere in the back of the car. I'd rather buy a transit bag as I'm a bit concerned about both damaging the fridge and the irritating rattle noises the stuff inside will make on the gravel. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated!

Thanks
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Reply By: Zippo - Friday, Nov 14, 2014 at 23:09

Friday, Nov 14, 2014 at 23:09
We did the GCR in July as part of an extended trip, with an Engel MRFT-514 tied down with ratchet straps to a platform installed in place of the back seat. Stayed put, snug as the proverbial bug-in-a-rug. Didn't hear any noise from the contents at any stage.

The only pics I took were of the platform installation into the vehicle, which isn't helpful to you. There was nothing loose adjacent to it - a seat-back, a 90 litre storage tub (tied down), and space to the front seat and door. If you're worried about damaging the fridge that's another matter entirely.

I'd suggest if you can find suitable tie-down points you'll be hearing more rattles from the Jeep itself.
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Follow Up By: Holly Anne - Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 00:25

Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 00:25
I know there's luggage tie down points in the back of the car, so I might see if I can secure it to those. They seem fairly strong. The fridge has got a few dents already so I'm not really worried about cosmetic damage, just that it keeps my food cold.

Good to hear it won't make much noise. We went on a trip a while back and it was 800 kilometers of rattling from all the bloody cans my mum had decided to pack in a picnic basket. This time we're doing what you did - a tied down storage tub.
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Follow Up By: Holly Anne - Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 00:30

Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 00:30
And yep, the Jeep does rattle a bit. We call it Tapper because of the mysterious noise it sometimes makes. But that's part of it's charm :)
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Reply By: rocco2010 - Friday, Nov 14, 2014 at 23:33

Friday, Nov 14, 2014 at 23:33
Gidday

as others say tie the fridge down as best you can.


dunno about bubble wrap on the outside but I find it very handy inside the fridge to stop the cans of beer rubbing together on the corrugations. Never lost a can yet.

Cheers

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Follow Up By: Holly Anne - Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 00:28

Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 00:28
Yeah, have done that before. We usually use newspaper between everything. Might use bubble wrap in the fridge, though, because it'd insulate everything better than newspaper would.

Thanks!
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Follow Up By: Grizzle - Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 06:58

Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 06:58
Use kids ankle socks to put your cans in. They are cheap from Kmart etc and thin so they don't take up room in the fridge.

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Reply By: Ron N - Friday, Nov 14, 2014 at 23:34

Friday, Nov 14, 2014 at 23:34
G'day Holly Anne - You used to be able to buy transit bags and spring bases for the MRFT-530B, but it's a totally obsolete model now, and I doubt whether you can buy any accessories for it. I'm not sure that the transit bag for the newer Engels would fit the MRFT-530B.

I have an MRFT-530B, and its 37 yrs old! I bought it in 1977, and it still runs like a charm (touch wood).
I bought a transit bag and a spring base for it when I bought it new, and they have both performed admirably, as regards protecting the fridge.

However, I think the spring base was discarded as an accessory long ago, probably because it takes up too much room (height).

I'd be visiting an upholsterer who specialises in canvas goods, to see if they can knock up a transit bag for your fridge for a reasonable price.
I'd suggest buying a medium-size pet mattress off eBay for a few dollars, to sit the fridge on, to protect it from road shocks.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 00:23

Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 00:23
Try this mob - I've used them before hassle free

http://www.engeland.com.au/shopshow.toy?areanid=1530&categorynid=32846

they carry a lot of parts for older fridges
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 00:23

Follow Up By: Holly Anne - Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 00:36

Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 00:36
Yes, ours is quite old. I was fortunate enough to inherit it from my grandfather when he passed away. He used it for years and I'm hoping I can get the same use out of it.

The spring base would be an issue for me I think. The Jeep's quite small (only a little KJ Cherokee) so height would be an issue I would think, especially as I usually pack stuff on top of other things to save space. But then again, I wouldn't put anything exceptionally heavy on top of the fridge either so I may consider the base.

Thanks for the advice. Will check out the link now!
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Sunday, Nov 16, 2014 at 13:43

Sunday, Nov 16, 2014 at 13:43
Holly, mine's a MRT38 circa 1983-4 model - the old green & beige fridges - I had no problem getting parts & accessories from Engeland, including a transit bag.

On the positive side, it may be old and a bit inefficient, but I (and a lot of others) have yet to figure out what you've got to do to kill one of those old Engels.

My local 4wd shop had an old Engel on display at the front, rusted, bashed and scratched to buggery. I asked the owner was he using it as a product endorsement, and he gave me a pained look and said it was his and the missus wouldn't let him get a new one until that one died. It hadn't yet despite his abuse.....
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Reply By: Hoyks - Friday, Nov 14, 2014 at 23:36

Friday, Nov 14, 2014 at 23:36
I have one of them and ran it in the back of my wagon for years with no issues. I have a transit bag, but I don't think it makes any difference to the noise from the fridge as it hardly makes any noise with or without the bag.

Your Dad is right (dad's usually are ;-) ), it just needs to be anchored down to stop it jumping around on bumps and in case there is an accident a 40L fridge in the side of the head would be uncomfortable.

Don't be tempted to tie i down with a ratchet strap around the carry handles as that is how I bent my carry handles. Engel make Tie down points or if you have a bit of metal and a drill, make your own. These ones are only bent the way that they are to fit around the transit bag. if you don't have one of those then they can be a lot simpler.

Stick it in the car, tie it down, pack it full, pack gear around it but leave room for air to circulate around the compressor end and away you go. Packing canned drinks in stubbie coolers or cardboard is a good way to stop the cans from chaffing against each other and spraying everywhere.
AnswerID: 541681

Follow Up By: Hoyks - Friday, Nov 14, 2014 at 23:37

Friday, Nov 14, 2014 at 23:37
And transit bags are still available for the old model.
http://www.engelaustralia.com.au/2products_details.asp?pid=13&productid=21383
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Follow Up By: Hoyks - Friday, Nov 14, 2014 at 23:40

Friday, Nov 14, 2014 at 23:40
And the tie-downs

http://www.engelaustralia.com.au/2products_details.asp?pid=13&productid=21452
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Follow Up By: Holly Anne - Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 00:46

Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 00:46
Yep, my dad's right, and he knows it. He's reading this over my shoulder and is saying "I told you so". We do not have a cargo barrier so making sure it won't go anywhere in the event of an accident is a priority.

Thanks for the tip about the handles, because that's probably exactly how I would've tied it down. We likely won't buy a transit bag, so we can make those tie down points ourselves and save some money.

And yes, I realise a lot better than most how important it is to stop cans chaffing! Went on a camping trip a while back and mistakenly left my mum in charge of packing the food and drinks. Long story short, we got where we were going and our drinks were all over the back floor. I can still smell the coke there on hot days.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Nov 16, 2014 at 14:27

Sunday, Nov 16, 2014 at 14:27
SIL's brother went on a camping/fishing trip with a couple of mates over an extended long weekend.
It was a fair trek down a long, rough, South Coastal track, to the beach.

They had the 'Cruiser well loaded, so they decided to drag a 6x4 trailer as well.
Two slabs of VB went into the bottom of the trailer to keep the weekend well-lubricated.
Upon unloading the slabs at the beach, it was discovered EVERY can had chafed through the bottom, and was completely empty!!

Talk about a fishing weekend tragedy! As it was related to me, it reminded me of Banjo Patersons, "The Great Calamity"! LOL
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Reply By: Member - OnYaBike - Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 00:02

Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 00:02
My Engel's about 8 years old and I always carry it in the back of the ute. I installed cheap trunk handles from the local hardware and friction tie downs which have done the job over several cape trips. I have a transit bag but just something like old blanket to prevent rubbing would do. Leave space around the vents.
The only time I made a mistake was when I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken.

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Follow Up By: Holly Anne - Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 00:51

Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 00:51
Trunk handles seem like a good idea. Might go down to Bunnings tomorrow and see what they have, thanks.

Yes, we have a cat and he's going to get his old bed stolen and we'll use that to put underneath it. :)
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Sunday, Nov 16, 2014 at 13:51

Sunday, Nov 16, 2014 at 13:51
Holly, here's a couple of shots of mine in the fridge slide - if you've got the old style bar handles, then using a tie down as long as the t-d sits close to where the handle meets the body is OK (they'll migrate ther anyway).

Mine has survived the CSR, Simpson, AB 3 times, Kimberly twice and being rolled in my old troopy without breaking loose. They're pretty tough.

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Reply By: The Bantam - Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 00:11

Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 00:11
apart from being tied down firmly, maybe with some rubber under for traction...your engel should be fine.

My brothers oldest engel ran 24/7/ 365 in the back of his ute for over 20 years...and on some pretty rough roads...still works just fine.

cheers
AnswerID: 541683

Follow Up By: Holly Anne - Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 00:55

Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 00:55
Yep, may steal my cat's old bed and use that. It's soft and has rubber on the bottom.

And yeah, this one's quite old. I inherited it from my grandfather when he died, and he used it for at least 20-something years. Hopefully I can get the same use out of it.
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 10:49

Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 10:49
Don't get the idea it needs to be on anything soft or that somthing soft will reduce vibration..it wont.

the reason for the rubber is for traction to stop it slipping around and to reduce the amount of down force you need to apply for it to stay put.

cheers
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Follow Up By: Zippo - Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 12:08

Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 12:08
The Bantam is right again (no surprise really). The mounting platform I installed had 10G S/T screws with the heads projecting about 8mm above the platform, and aligned to sit INSIDE the recess of each of the Engel's four main rubber feet. That prevented any sliding. The ratchet tie-down - which some say don't fix to the handles - was fixed to the handles. It only needed to stop the fridge LIFTING, so it doesn't need to be wound up to the point of distorting the fridge case.

And if you want to wrap fridge contents to reduce impact or noise, think twice before using anything like stubby holders or bubble-wrap. Unless you are pre-cooling everything - and at every re-load - you will find that an insulator inside a fridge creates another problem.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Sunday, Nov 16, 2014 at 13:56

Sunday, Nov 16, 2014 at 13:56
Zippo is spot on - those old steel fridges won't bend or distort and you don't need to ratchet to point of breaking things, make sure it's tied down firmly and that the base won't move too much. In my old troopy it just sat on a raised platform of 5 ply.
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Reply By: Member - Laurie K (WA) - Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 01:43

Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 01:43
I carry my Engel strapped down on the back seat. The seat cushions it, and being in the middle of the vehicle, it isn't bouncing as it would in the back. It's been around Oz a couple of times, Up the Cape, Gibb River and Dampier Peninsula, NT …… everywhere, all types of terrain …. No problems at all…… well it's an Engel, isn't it? …… :-)

cheers
Laurie
AnswerID: 541684

Reply By: justmyage - Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 15:58

Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 15:58
We did the GCR lsast year and our 80lt Engel just sat on Rubber matting in back of covered ute and never moved or got damaged .Weight plus contents should stop it moving .
AnswerID: 541699

Reply By: Iza B - Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 20:15

Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 20:15
I would just put it on an EVA mat and put a strap over the top. Carted old model Engels around in the back of helicopters for years. Seriously robust. A bit of packing under the strap if you are worried about keeping the thing in showroom appearance. A bit of corrugated cardboard wedged between items inside will minimise the rattle and chances of rubbing anything through. As you use things up, the cardboard makes a great fire starter.

Iza
AnswerID: 541705

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