Choice magazine review of camping fridges

Though y’all might be interested in the fact that Choice have reviewed camping fridges on the market in Australia. You can see the review at their website here.

To read it in depth, you will need to be a member, which from memory is only $20 or $30 a year.

I haven’t read it right though yet, and post it here as it is a matter that seems to be of general interest to forum participants.

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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Tuesday, Jan 30, 2018 at 13:28

Tuesday, Jan 30, 2018 at 13:28
Hi Paul,

I have read the Choice review in depth. It covers 8 brand models which are of somewhat similar size. Of course it would be unreasonable to expect review of all brands and sizes.
Choice have used their standard "refrigerator" assessment which does not address the factors of most interest to campers. For example they rate "10 year running costs" which may be significant to domestic fridges but not camping fridges.
Also quoting the "Current draw in Amps" is interesting but not very informative unless it is related to the duty cycle.
It is somewhat amusing that Choice comment "Slightly noisy if tilted more than 45 degrees". I can understand that..... the compressor will be off the vibration mounts at that angle! Maybe time to consider how the vehicle is parked? lol.

Perhaps the most significant criteria for a camping fridge is to determine the time for its temperature rise when switched off in a particular ambient. This will determine the effectiveness of the insulation which is most important. Choice does not do this because their test criteria is for domestic fridges where insulation is less significant.


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Follow Up By: Member - Racey - Tuesday, Jan 30, 2018 at 14:22

Tuesday, Jan 30, 2018 at 14:22
Choice Membership is now $95.80 per year.
They generally test to the Australian/New Zealand standards with their own little twist. In a past life I did the approvals for a major white goods company. In one instance for their washing machine test they would select the first program on the dial, not necessarily the recommended program for the load, which may give an adverse report. There were similar issues with the dishwasher testing. All manufacturers were tearing there hair out.

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Follow Up By: Batt's - Tuesday, Jan 30, 2018 at 23:37

Tuesday, Jan 30, 2018 at 23:37
I like cons section compressor fridges may be noticeably noisy in quiet camp sites well my 14 yr old Evakool is louder than most fridges but it wouldn't keep a campsite awake unless I had it running off a generator.

Also if running off solar it will turn of overnight is that serious or are they having a go. I didn't know people ran their fridge directly off a solar panel with no battery to store power not sure how that one would even work.

You don't need a complicated dual battery system for a 3 way fridge some can be complex but most are simple and basic that comment would deter most who didn't know better.

3 way fridges are more versatile in terms of power source.
- Can't run for long periods of a 12v battery eg: over night or all day.
- Can run on gas
- 12v when vehicle is running
- 240v power
- Generator

12 v compressor fridge
- Solar panel via battery
- 12v battery by itself over night and daylight hours
- 12v when vehicle is running
- 240v power
-Generator via 12v battery.
-No need to carry surplus amounts of gas for extended or remote camping.

I may have missed something with either type of fridge.

I can buy a 4wd or Camping mag cheaper than a choice subscription that has done a fridge comparison or talk to others on web sites for their real world view. Maybe choice should leave 12v fridge testing to camping and 4wd mags, stick to testing house hold items but then again as the comment about mentions they don't do that correctly so the consumer doesn't get all the correct info. I'm sorry if I'm a tad negative but I'm not sure why choice is so good.
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Follow Up By: TerraFirma - Wednesday, Jan 31, 2018 at 13:07

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2018 at 13:07
Can anyone tell me what the results were or which 3 brands were considered the best?
FollowupID: 887920

Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Wednesday, Jan 31, 2018 at 14:27

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2018 at 14:27
Yes Terra, Choice's scores were as follows.
As well as the Overall Score I have included the "Energy Efficiency Score" as I consider that is maybe the most significant.

---------------------------- Overall----Energy Efficiency
----------------------------- Score --------- Score
Bushman SC-35-52 ---- 83% ---------- 76%
Engel MT45FP ---------- 83% ----------- 65%
Waeco CFX50W -------- 77% ----------- 80%
Dobinsons FF80-3950 - 76% ---------- 74%
EvaCool TMX45 ----------71% ---------- 75%
Ironman YCD65 --------- 70% ----------- 76%
Trailblaza 50L ----------- 65% ------------ 71%
Primus PRI65LDZM ---- 62% ----------- 71%


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Follow Up By: GREG T11 - Friday, Feb 02, 2018 at 22:07

Friday, Feb 02, 2018 at 22:07
Batt's maaate, you actually pay money to read the shit that the 4wd mags spruik.
I'll give you my observations for what it's worth. An example of a " unbiased " magazine contributor is dead. It died long ago. There is one joker up here in Qld who has managed to outlast most however his moral compass and ethics have diminished as time has passed. I first read his stories in Two Wheels or a similar genre 20, 30 or 40 years ago. Back then his column was full on vitriol towards ANYTHING that had more than 2 wheels . Time went by and he crops up in a 4wd magazine and then a caravan jobbie. I understand all about changing tastes as you grow older but this guy would make a politician blush how he bullshits his way through life . I would like to think the younger crop are different but the bottom line is unlike the 60's and 70's even 80's where hardcopy was the ONLY way to gather info and you paid for it along with thousands of others meant the editor/publisher/journalist didn't rely on ADVERTISING as the major % of income .

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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Friday, Feb 02, 2018 at 23:13

Friday, Feb 02, 2018 at 23:13
I only buy them for the pictures!

Honestly I've never read one of the articles !


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Follow Up By: Batt's - Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 23:49

Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 23:49
It would be nice if you mentioned who this mystery person is so we know he is real so myself and others could avoid purchasing any magazines he writes for.

I would hate to be wrongly influenced by an individual or a company that only prints part of the story and falls short in giving out all the facts about whatever they may be talking about.
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Follow Up By: Jarse - Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 10:50

Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 10:50
He enjoys the odd ‘milo’ and had as much credibility in bike mags as he does now, IMO.
All his drivel is cash for comment IMO.

Choice has its shortcomings, but at least they aren’t paid to endorse.....
FollowupID: 888151

Follow Up By: GREG T11 - Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 21:43

Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 21:43
Batts I gave an opinion, from where I see it to me it is pretty obvious that just like newspapers sales have fallen away dramatically for magazines. Hence the major income is advertising and I find it funny how particularly in 4wd mags that the authors of articles have accessories fitted to their own vehicles an shit, surprise, surprise it nearly better than sex. You have to wonder... .
FollowupID: 888162

Follow Up By: Batt's - Thursday, Feb 08, 2018 at 13:01

Thursday, Feb 08, 2018 at 13:01
There may have been an increase in advertising but most magazines have always had lots of adverting in them even I have a 1998 Overlander mag 154 pages and only 41 pages do not contain an add. So I don't know if the average amount of adds have increased but the size of a lot of mags have so you'll get more adds with more pages.
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Reply By: Crusier 91 - Tuesday, Jan 30, 2018 at 14:06

Tuesday, Jan 30, 2018 at 14:06
Not sure if any of these new models can match my 8 year old 60L Waeco with the good old German compressor :)
AnswerID: 616508

Follow Up By: mike39 - Wednesday, Jan 31, 2018 at 07:52

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2018 at 07:52
Similar to my 25 yr. old 60l. Trailblaza with the good old 'Danish' compressor.
Just keeps on chilling away. :)
FollowupID: 887900

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Jan 31, 2018 at 13:18

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2018 at 13:18
Or Slovakia more likely after 2002.
FollowupID: 887921

Follow Up By: mike39 - Wednesday, Jan 31, 2018 at 15:20

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2018 at 15:20
I believe Danfoss, still headquartered in Nordberg, Denmark, sold their compressor manufacturing to a German organisation in 2010.
FollowupID: 887925

Follow Up By: Crusier 91 - Wednesday, Jan 31, 2018 at 16:52

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2018 at 16:52
And the Germans carried on manufacturing the great compressor until a few years ago they decided to cut cost and have them manufactured in....................China
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Follow Up By: Member - Robyn R4 - Wednesday, Jan 31, 2018 at 19:28

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2018 at 19:28
Every time I consider cutting my 25+ years' Choice membership, something comes up that makes me think "Nope, that article made this year's money worth every cent"...
:) Robyn
FollowupID: 887934

Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 06:34

Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 06:34
Like mentioned earlier in the thread, I think there is more to camp fridges than testing them "on the bench" in the lab.

Having said that, I'm sure Choice do a reasonable job at reviewing some items, but miss the mark on others.

For what it is worth, my review of the Engel 60 litre I have is that I purchased it about 15 years ago, plugged it in and not turned it off since - and it has been everywhere...

In fact, the only time I think about it is when I open it, otherwise it has been trouble-free (touch wood!).

Isn't that the beauty of the EO forum, unbiased feedback that won't cost a cent and reviewers from the "real world".

And no slight on the original poster for the thread, just my view on "commercial reviewers".

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
AnswerID: 616676

Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 07:53

Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 07:53
Bad, I have to agree on the real life usage of an item, especially feedback on longevity, durability and repairs.

My 40l trailblaza is now 23 years old and runs perfectly. No here's is a real life longevity and durability test, I have seen this fridge running and you still can't hear it run.

The Tamworth Test
FollowupID: 888149

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