Portable fridge

Hi
I have a 11yr old Downunder 50 or 60 Lt fridge. It seems to run well when the motor of the prado is running but when the motor stops the temp goes up. The last night of the long weekend though it kept to 2 to 4 dec .
Is the problem the second battery ( only a year old ) or the fridge. I did read back on this forum where there have been trouble with the fans on this model.
It always cycles rapidly all the time.
I tried a few fridge repair places in Geelong and they said they don't know the model so would not touch it.

What fridges would one buy at around 60 Lt? Looked at the Waeco -- looks very plastic
Pimus -- looks alright -- nice thick walls. Don't know how reliable ?
Engle 60 Lt good name --- no butter self -- very handy for less cold things.
EvaKool --- doesn't seem reliable enough.

Reagards Lachie

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Reply By: Flighty ( WA ) - Wednesday, Mar 11, 2015 at 12:08

Wednesday, Mar 11, 2015 at 12:08
Lachie
I have an Engel 40 L has been very reliable for many years, with only ever requiring a new battery for display.
Primus 60 L not as old as engel but still ever reliable, only issue initially was a cold solder joint on control board and repaired without hassle or dispute in a very professional manner.
Don't know about newer models , but I had to seal interior with a quality "food grade" sealant, as to prevent spillage and smell entering insulation area.
Waeco is only 11 L but seems a little power hungry but very quick in cool down time, not very old but seems ok, can't say it's good or bad as I haven't used it enough to comment fully
Can't say about Evakool as never had one.
Hope this is of help
Cheers
Flighty

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AnswerID: 549763

Reply By: Louwai - Wednesday, Mar 11, 2015 at 14:13

Wednesday, Mar 11, 2015 at 14:13
I have a 80L Engle Fridge / Freezer. About 5yrs old I think.
The only problem I've had with it is things on the fridge side up against the divider with the freezer can sometimes freeze.

Other than that it's been awesome. At a later date I bought a 'fridge extender'.
It increases the capacity of the fridge by an additional 40L. It fits onto the lid hinges & then the original lid fits onto the top of the extender.
It has been exceptional.
AnswerID: 549769

Reply By: Bigfish - Wednesday, Mar 11, 2015 at 14:15

Wednesday, Mar 11, 2015 at 14:15
I wouldn,t consider anything else than the Engel...
AnswerID: 549770

Follow Up By: Member - mark D18 - Wednesday, Mar 11, 2015 at 17:06

Wednesday, Mar 11, 2015 at 17:06
Bigfish

Yep your on the right track there.


Cheers
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FollowupID: 835187

Follow Up By: Batt's - Thursday, Mar 12, 2015 at 14:04

Thursday, Mar 12, 2015 at 14:04
The new Engels with the sawafuji motor have lower current draw but when looking at comparison tests don't cycle like other fridges so they will apparently draw more power over a 24 hr period. Have you tried any other brands to compare your Engel with I had an Engel 8 yrs ago but found my Evakool to be better suited to my needs and lighter to carry. Some of the newer fridges/freezers on the market are making improvements like have cooling all the way around the fridge so you get a more consistent temp spread not just at one end like some of the well know brands.
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FollowupID: 835244

Reply By: Crusier 91 - Wednesday, Mar 11, 2015 at 18:05

Wednesday, Mar 11, 2015 at 18:05
New Waeco's are now having their German made compressors made is china. They haven't been out long enough to test their long term reliability.
AnswerID: 549775

Reply By: Member - Tony F8 - Wednesday, Mar 11, 2015 at 18:41

Wednesday, Mar 11, 2015 at 18:41
I understand it's not an Engel, but yours may be similar and something to look at. The engel has a 10 amp blade fuse near where the power leads plug in, my fuse was not blown but was corroded, was fine while driving, but when stopped would continually cycle quiet fast and not keep temp, swapped the fuse out and never had a problem. Moisture and electrical current is a recipe for corrosion.
Btw mine was probably 6 years old before this happened.
Hope this helps.
AnswerID: 549780

Reply By: Batt's - Wednesday, Mar 11, 2015 at 19:10

Wednesday, Mar 11, 2015 at 19:10
My neighbour bought a 45 ltr Techni ice a little while ago and it good on power consumption after 4 days his 120 ah deep cycle batt was a 70 % with 35 deg days and it has digital temp control which is very accurate when checked a thermometer. The cooling element wraps around the inside of the unit so the temp is consistent throughout the fridge unlike my Evakool which has about a 6 deg difference from one end to the other. They are competitively priced and use a Danfoss compressor but delivery time can be very slow so plan a few months ahead if you order one. http://www.techniice.com/car-fridges-1/45l-car-fridge-1.html
AnswerID: 549786

Follow Up By: Tim F3 - Thursday, Mar 12, 2015 at 09:40

Thursday, Mar 12, 2015 at 09:40
those figures are exceptional,assuming the battery was at a theoretical max of 120 amps the fridge only used 36 amps over 4 days that is only 9 amps per day,or have i got it wrong???
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FollowupID: 835224

Follow Up By: Tim F3 - Thursday, Mar 12, 2015 at 09:50

Thursday, Mar 12, 2015 at 09:50
Techni ice website suggests power consumption as 1.48 amp/hr in fridge mode (equates to71 amps / 4 days) and 1.64 amps/hr in freezer mode (equates to 78.72 amps / 4 days ).
The site does not advise at what specific temps the fridge was set at or the ambient temp when tested.
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FollowupID: 835226

Follow Up By: Batt's - Thursday, Mar 12, 2015 at 13:34

Thursday, Mar 12, 2015 at 13:34
Brand new 120 ah battery in an Arkpac new Techni ice fridge with insulation cover fitted set at 2 deg after 4 days the Arkpac digital read out had the battery still at 70% capacity yes it sounds to good to be true but I'm not gaining any thing if I make it sound better than it is. He would have gotten different results if it was on freezer mode but it still blows my 11 yr old 47 ltr Evakool dual zone fridge/freezer out of the water which draws around 3.2 amps but they have improved over the yrs and are down near 2 amps now. Techniice do mention "average" power consumption is 1.48 so it will drop at night depending on the external temp.
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FollowupID: 835243

Reply By: Stephen_L - Wednesday, Mar 11, 2015 at 19:17

Wednesday, Mar 11, 2015 at 19:17
Sounds to me like you have a voltage drop probably due to a poor connection somewhere in the system. Usual sources are fuses as mentioned and any plugs or joins in wire.

What sort of plug have you got this fridge plugged into the car with? This is a very common source of problems. If you have a multimeter check the voltage at the battery then at the socket where you plug the fridge into the car and compare. If you don't have a multimeter then another way you can sometimes tell is if the fridge has been running a while then feel the plug, if it is hot to touch then there is a good change the connection is not very good.

I would be looking at that first if as you say it runs OK when the engine is running.

Otherwise it's also a good excuse to buy a new fridge. :)
Cheers
Stephen
AnswerID: 549787

Follow Up By: Lachie - Wednesday, Mar 11, 2015 at 19:37

Wednesday, Mar 11, 2015 at 19:37
Yes I must use the multimeter to test the Voltage.
I Have two wiring systems. One with lighter wiring done by an auto electrician when I had a smaller fridge with a normal cigarette lighter plug
and the other with heavier wiring which I did hooked up to the other sort of plug ??
It has always run fine on the second wiring. Maybe as mentioned there is an eternal loose fuse somewhere.
As you said it is a good excuse to buy a new fridge but I need to find the answer incase the same thing happens to the new fridge.
Lachie.
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FollowupID: 835192

Reply By: Member - Bigred13 - Thursday, Mar 12, 2015 at 10:56

Thursday, Mar 12, 2015 at 10:56
Hi Lachie,
I have had an Evakool 95 ltr fridge for 4 1/2 years and it has been a great fridge ,no problems either as fridge/freezer or as deep freeze,which we use at home,so far no problems.
I have just purchased a Watt Meter to check current draw and also to check solar input,boy I wished I had this years ago.I have an old 40 ltr engel as a freezer now running off a battery in the shed with a 6 amp batt charger and by adjusting the thermostat down and checking on the ice formation around the top of the coils ,I found that I was running it set too high before .with the setting at freeze it was using 3.87 amps per hour over 24 hrs ,but having it set at about 1 1/2. on the dial it is still frozen as before but usage is now down to 1.32 amps per hour . I paid about $ 14 delivered and I added Anderson plugs and merit plugs probably under $35 ,so to me it will save my batteries in the future
John
AnswerID: 549822

Reply By: Racey - Thursday, Mar 12, 2015 at 16:32

Thursday, Mar 12, 2015 at 16:32
The latest issue of Caravan & Motorhome has a detailed frig comparison. The new Waeco CFX unit came out on top.
AnswerID: 549838

Reply By: Lachie - Friday, Mar 13, 2015 at 08:58

Friday, Mar 13, 2015 at 08:58
Thanks all for your comments.
I will check out for power droppage and also see if I can find a loose fuse somewhere in the unit.
I am also looking at a new fridge so I appreciate your comments about what you have.

EvaKool seem a very good fridge , well insulated and that but I know two people that have had a lot of trouble with them. Seem to be a very long unit with the motor one end.

Interesting looking up Autofridge and finding that they no longer exist. That was on the Kulkyne Kamper site.

Trailblaza seem to be a very good fridge but I would have to check out the measurements. One thing I liked about the Downunder fridge was its internal measurements. We live quite away out of town so we use the fridge for carting the groceries as well as for camping. Two many fridges are the wrong internal shape.
When last looking to purchase a new fridge I walked into the shops with 3 two litre milk containers as well as ice cream containers. Needless to say my wife didn't come onto the shop with me.
Too many of the fridges would only fit 2 and a half of the milk containers along the sides. This was in the 40 to 50lt fridges anyway.
I seem to like the butter self above the motor ( notice the 60Lt engle does not have this ). Probably not important, just something your get used to.

Lachie
AnswerID: 549866

Reply By: oldtrack123 - Friday, Mar 13, 2015 at 14:47

Friday, Mar 13, 2015 at 14:47
Tim F3 posted:
Techni ice website suggests power consumption as 1.48 amp/hr in fridge mode (equates to71 amps / 4 days) and 1.64 amps/hr in freezer mode (equates to 78.72 amps / 4 days ).
The site does not advise at what specific temps the fridge was set at or the ambient temp when tested[end quote]

Hi
I suggest those figures do not add up
Fridge mode Drawing 1.48 A average over 4days=142Ahrs
Freezer mode drawing 1.64A average over4days =157Ahrs.
Both would be most likely be based on an Ambient temp of 25C
Fridge mode could mean 4C
Freeze mode anything below 0C


PeterQ
AnswerID: 549902

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