Which fridge to buy??????

Submitted: Friday, May 21, 2004 at 23:58
ThreadID: 13066 Views:2129 Replies:22 FollowUps:9
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I go to all the shows, one maufacturer says this, another claims that.

Are there one or two diffinitive fridges that stand out for quaity & duribility.
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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 00:42

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 00:42
Sort like cars isnt it.

Waeco and Engel all have horror stories and "Ive had mine for 15 yrs without fail" stories.

Luck of the draw. I have engel 40ltr, works a treat, hasnt failed me.
AnswerID: 59652

Reply By: lazylcd - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 01:04

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 01:04
try doing a search on this very forum u will see many opinions, about both engel and waeco, good and bad, read them all, think about ur needs etc, and go from there

just my 2 bob's worth

Lazy
AnswerID: 59653

Reply By: Member - Captain (WA) - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 01:16

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 01:16
The above comments are pretty spot on. Engels have their own compressor while virtually all others use the Danfoss compressor. Engels is all steel construction while the wacoes are plastic (but heavy duty). Whatever way you go, would be unlucky to have a problem.

Cheers

Captain
Its not what you drive, but how you drive it!
LC 200 + AOR Quantum

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AnswerID: 59654

Reply By: PeBBleZ - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 02:11

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 02:11
In one of the latest 4x4 magazine that has the accessories. This has tested all the the car fridges and they even tested them at to see how they hold their temperature. It also tells you the bad and good things about each of the car fridge. I hope that helps. It certainly answered my problems in deciding which one would suit me. Good Luck
AnswerID: 59656

Reply By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 07:03

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 07:03
Engel, auto fridge ,trailblaza or bushman.

All the best
Eric
CyC
AnswerID: 59658

Reply By: Member - Brett H (QLD) - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 07:20

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 07:20
I have a waeco and it has been great although I have not owned another portable fridge to honestly compare. Our ff40 is used as a freezer and worked in this configuration for 2 years and 55000km in the back of the troopy.

I did use the insulation bag and also wrapped some eva rubber around the lot as well to increase insulation (Darwin in summer is hot) and the only thing I douldn't stop was the condensation from forming on the outside of the fridge and in the bag.

AnswerID: 59659

Reply By: Angus (SA) - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 08:07

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 08:07
It seems to be just too hard to determine reliability etc, and my interpretation of power consumption tests is that the units that cool the best use the most power (funny about that :-), so how about this...

One point I haven't seen raised yet in the Great Fridge Debate is the pros and cons of having an external 12v transformer. Firstly the cost has to be added to the price of the Weaco (and others?) but we find it very handy to run all those nifty 12V appliances in and around the house. Also having it built into the fridge means it must cost you space and weight as you can't leave it home when you know you won't be seeing any 240V power on a trip.

Just a thought...
AnswerID: 59662

Follow Up By: Dave from Fraser Coast 4WD Club - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 08:12

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 08:12
That's a good point Angus.

Just a shame that Waeco supply a 24volt pack rather than a 12volter, I understand the reasons for using 24volt, but it's just a shame to lose the ability to have a 12volt regulated supply.

Ah well!
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Reply By: Lone Wolf - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 08:56

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 08:56
Well....... I can certainly agree with all of the above!!

When I bought my Waeco CF 35, I sat it on the floor next to a similar Engel in cubic capacity.

Waeco won because it has a slightly smaller outside mass and it had a built in low voltage detector.

I only take my fridge away in the warm months, and use as a third fridge at home during Christmas / New Year, so it probably really only gets used maybe 30 days @ year. Too short a time for me to worry about longetivity. I guess if you are going away hard core for long periods of time, then even I would probably run an Engel, simply because they are made with steel.

Wow....... how's that for an each way bet!!
AnswerID: 59664

Reply By: Rod from Bush Camping - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 10:08

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 10:08
Autofridge
AnswerID: 59667

Follow Up By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 13:54

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 13:54
One of the best fridges I have ever seen.
I dont own one because they were not around when I bought my engel but the next time will be one.

All the best
eric
CyC
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Reply By: Jimbo - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 10:28

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 10:28
I've had an Engel for about six years and it has been great. As it was given to me choice was not a concern. If I was to get another I would seriously look at the Waeco, I reckon they are better value; eg Waeco 80 L Fridge AND Freezer $1250, Engel 60 L Fridge AND Freezer $1600. Also with the Waeco you can pull out the separating panel and run it as either all Fridge or all Freezer, whereas the Engel is made up of two fixed compartments.

Wouldn't be worried about the plastic, it looks as tough as a two dollar steak. Also it won't dent, scratch or rust.

If you look back at previous posts the service back-up on Waeco's has a better reputation.

Jim.
AnswerID: 59669

Reply By: rolande- Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 10:44

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 10:44
Money no option - autofridge eutectic

Long term reliability - Engel

Efficient use of 12 volt - Most with Danfoss compressor, (Weaco, Evacool)

No 12 volt - Gas absorbtion fridge, O.K. for camping but not on the move.

This is only a summary and all have pro's and con's, just my experience from what I have read previously.

Rolande
AnswerID: 59672

Follow Up By: rolande- Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 13:22

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 13:22
Dometic brand gas fridge, couldn't remember the name before

Rolande
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Reply By: Jimbo - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 11:53

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 11:53
Interesting posts from the Overlander Forum.

I have a problem with my 39L Auto fridge.

The fridge is a good 8 years old but would be lucky to have done more than 150 hours work. I got it out after being stored away for 3 years and turned it on to find the compressor runs but there is no cooling.

To say I'm dissapointed would be an understatement.

I have called every refigeration place in the phone book and no one will touch it. Even the place I bought it from recommended someone who is really not interested.

Can anyone put me in touch with Autofridge as I can't track them down, or does anyone know someone in Perth who would happily look at it for me?

Many thanks

Mark

Went through exactly the same problem last year. Same fridge - same problem. As with any other fridge, they need to be run. Can't afford to just leave them sitting there.

Autofridge are made by a mob called Quirks, near Sydney Airport. You can find them on the web or in Sydney phone directory. With the problem you describe, they will do a complete rebuild for around $700 from memory. Turns it into a virtually brand-new fridge again. Takes about two weeks. From Perth you also have the freight costs (and time).

I found the same problem - no repair place in Melbourne wanted to touch them. Said they would 'take a look' but would probably send it off to Sydney.
_________________
The Elf

If something goes wrong with an Engel or Waeco, service is not too far away. Once you get into the exotics or smaller private companies it mightn't be as easy.

Just my thoughts.

Jim.
AnswerID: 59675

Reply By: Member - Athol (NSW) - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 11:54

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 11:54
aaaaaahh !!! the old fridge debate, my 2 bobs worth the eva-cool is the best piece of camping equipment that I have bought in 25yrs. As I say just my opinion.
AnswerID: 59676

Follow Up By: Flash - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 17:39

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 17:39
Gotta agree, Evakool is the go!
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Follow Up By: Hoffy - Monday, May 24, 2004 at 10:51

Monday, May 24, 2004 at 10:51
Evakool +++++ fibreglass body, Danfoss compressor, good insulation, looks good to boot. I use an ED50
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Reply By: Jimbo - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 12:13

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 12:13
Fat Lad,

Go up to search and type in fridge, engel or waeco, make sure you also hit archive and there should be enough there to keep you going for hours.

Be prepared for a lot of bias and emotive arguing. A lot of is quite amusing. It is every bit as good as the Holden/Ford, Nissan/Toyota nonsense.

Jim.
AnswerID: 59677

Follow Up By: Member - Athol (NSW) - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 12:33

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 12:33
I agree hole-heartedly its personal choice what can you say !!!!
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FollowupID: 321284

Follow Up By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 13:57

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 13:57
Its a nice veiw from up there athol.

All the best
eric
CyC
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FollowupID: 321287

Reply By: Aandy(WA) - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 13:30

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 13:30
I have a 3way Finch. It is 30years old and cost me $100 15 years ago. It never fails works very well in the vehicle and I can camp without moving for as long as the gas bottle has gas in it. If I was buting a new fridge I would buy the Auto fridge. It differs from all others in that it has a eutectic fluid layer which enables a much lowre power consumption than the others. It can be run for just a few hours a day to retain low temperatures. It is much dearer than the others (about $1,800 for 40l I think but it is far superior) The others are just a matter of taste because they all use the same technology. I'm a bit wary of manufacturers who recommend an extra insulating bag though. Why??? if the fridge is insulated properly. I wouldn't buy a tent if I had to put a poly tarp over it to stop leaking so I wouldn't buy a fridge that needed extra insulation to keep it cool!
AnswerID: 59685

Follow Up By: Gajm (VIC) - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 20:53

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 20:53
"Don't they teach spelling in schools these days?" Oh how quick you were to throw stones when I mistyped one letter on my daughters story, tsk tsk lol
No I didn't go looking up your posts, was just reading thru some interesting posts when i saw this, and thought, "now why doesn't that Aandy bloke have a go at this guys spelling!" then I read the name, low and behold it was the man himself!

Don't take it so serious, lifes way too short, and no, I had nothing better to do tonight either
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Reply By: Member - Mike H (VIC) - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 15:40

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 15:40
Hi all,
just back from another trip and catching up with messages.
I'm too thinking of getting a new fridge. Not beacuse of problems with my Engels, but I need a larger capacity unit.
I bought the Engels back in about 1986.
It is being used all year around, but there are times when it's sitting for about 3 months.
Usually then start it up a few days before I need it.
Over the years it has been bashed about and very badly 'bruised', never gave me any problems and still performs as fridge/freezer.
On conservative estimate it must have been on close to 1 Mill. km's of trips with me.

Of course I'm biased :-) and will need lots of convincing to go with another brand for my next car fridge.
Cheers,
Mike
AnswerID: 59691

Reply By: colin - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 15:49

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 15:49
two things to look at are compressor type and insulation both go hand in hand for battery life, i have an explorer which has a danfoss comp. and 2inch insulation with marine grade aluminium, it also has a seperate freezer and dual thermostat, i have had mine for over 4 years running it 24 hrs a day and have never had any probs. Col
AnswerID: 59693

Reply By: wolfman - Sunday, May 23, 2004 at 02:16

Sunday, May 23, 2004 at 02:16
Hi,
I purchased engel 14ltr 30 years ago... it is only a small one but has never let me down still makes ice in a butter dish within one hour. now to touch some wood.
AnswerID: 59747

Reply By: fozzy - Monday, May 24, 2004 at 08:08

Monday, May 24, 2004 at 08:08
autofridge-but little bit more pricey than others and uses less power
only down side is cant have anything touching the panels on the sides and cant put transit bag on to protect the outside surface from scratches etc.
73litre one can fit just under 5 slabs
AnswerID: 59857

Reply By: Lea - Monday, May 24, 2004 at 14:46

Monday, May 24, 2004 at 14:46
Hi, We have an EvaKool fridge. It is great due to the fact EvaKook use danfoss compressors and they have fridge and freezer compartments in them.

Auto Fridges are also good but very $$$ and fridge or freezer only.

Lea
AnswerID: 59907

Reply By: -OzyGuy- - Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 14:13

Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 14:13
Oppinions differ,
because people have different requirements!!

I need a fridge that is easy on battery power and must work in the heat.

so I had to buy a Liemack.

sold it last year to upgrade and now have an order in for the new Reefer.

AnswerID: 62413

Reply By: Lone Wolf - Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 17:20

Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 17:20
Couldn't help yourself, could you!

Troll.........

By the way, WAECO!
AnswerID: 62439

Follow Up By: Lone Wolf - Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 17:22

Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 17:22
Actually, I'll retract the Troll bit.......... looks like this is an old post!

I will beat my self across my dick with a knotted bootlace, sorry!!!!!
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FollowupID: 323740

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