ice or engel

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 12, 2019 at 20:31
ThreadID: 137670 Views:1518 Replies:17 FollowUps:31
just like your thoughts heading up the cape thinking about an engel or could I get away with ice.if I get an engel I would only use it a couple of times a year,also can you get ice all the way to the tip
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Reply By: rocco2010 - Saturday, Jan 12, 2019 at 20:51

Saturday, Jan 12, 2019 at 20:51
Do you want peace of mind? Buy an Engel ( or some other reputable fridge). And take an icebox as well maybe.

If budget is an issue get one second hand and sell it when you get back. You would be unlucky to lose money.

Enjoy the trip.

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Follow Up By: Member - nickb "boab" - Saturday, Jan 12, 2019 at 20:59

Saturday, Jan 12, 2019 at 20:59
Yep : Both & good quality, it can get quite warm up there .
Cheers Nick b

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Follow Up By: rocco2010 - Saturday, Jan 12, 2019 at 21:07

Saturday, Jan 12, 2019 at 21:07
Of course the other issue is whether you have the means to power a fridge. IE a second battery as a minimum and maybe solar power to help keep that charged.


I have two Engels, one bought by my father 40 years ago. And they only get used a few times a year but my sons are already eyeing them off.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: john m85 - Saturday, Jan 12, 2019 at 21:16

Saturday, Jan 12, 2019 at 21:16
thanks for the advice rocco and yes an engel looks like the way to go
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Reply By: Member - Wildmax - Saturday, Jan 12, 2019 at 20:56

Saturday, Jan 12, 2019 at 20:56
Got to have an Engel....and the extra dollars are worth it for reliability and peace of mind compared to other brands (IMHO)
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Reply By: RMD - Saturday, Jan 12, 2019 at 21:05

Saturday, Jan 12, 2019 at 21:05
John,
It does depend on what you want to keep cold and how perishable the contents are.
The logic of only using the fridge is puzzling. When I bought my Engel it was exactly for that, a couple of times a year, back in 1989. Always has been used only a few times a year since. Never saw any value in ice, mine always seemed to melt in early days, I presume it does the same in 2019.
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Follow Up By: john m85 - Saturday, Jan 12, 2019 at 21:22

Saturday, Jan 12, 2019 at 21:22
I think ice would only last a couple of days up north and it would only be party ice so I do think the Engel would be the right move.thanks for your help.
Cheers.
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Reply By: Hoyks - Saturday, Jan 12, 2019 at 21:58

Saturday, Jan 12, 2019 at 21:58
Ice is good for drinks and things you want cold NOW, but for everything else it has serious drawbacks.

It moves and melts, so everything you had wedged in there tightly shuffles around and your sausages and steak ends up in the soup in the bottom, it leaks into your butter and everything ends up tasting of the bag of prawns you didn't even know was in there.

With a fridge your 50L is available for stuff you want to keep cold, rather than 1/2 having to be given over to solid water that doesn't stay that way for long.

Admittedly you could buy a shed load of ice for the cost of a fridge and the gear to make it go, but its the far superior option.

Between trips mine gets run as a drinks fridge, its around 25 years old and going strong.
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Follow Up By: john m85 - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 09:40

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 09:40
hi Hoyks you are right about ice just a question with engel plastic or steel.would they have the same thickness insulation or would you suggest another brand like wako which is cheaper
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 11:51

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 11:51
A friend bought the plastic 38ltr Engel when the first came out a few yrs ago now, it's left running most of the time he hasn't had an problems with it. Because it has either been kept in the vehicles cab or in a canopy he didn't see the need for spending the extra on the metal one.

Also if you are considering the plastic one BCF have them for a good price $799 for club members and their $500 cheaper than the metal version which would get you a 12v agm battery and dual battery wiring kit with change.
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Follow Up By: john m85 - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 13:54

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 13:54
thank you I am heading up to BCF right now.
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Reply By: Iza B - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 07:54

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 07:54
Engel, without further thought. Don't see many farmer's utes bouncing around the paddocks with an esky in the back.

I suspect once you have one, you will find a lot more times to use it per year.

Iza
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Reply By: Member - Bigfish - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 08:21

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 08:21
Engel...no brainer. I would allow about $2000 for new engel 40 litre and a 12 volt 2nd battery /charging system. Engel will use about 40amps per day in FNQ....MORE IF YOUR CONSTANTLY OPENING IT. Ice is a waste of money. Even a 130 amp/hr AGM battery connected to a 150watt fold up blanket will keep the engel going.

Engel will last for decades and a worthwhile camping investment.
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Follow Up By: john m85 - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 09:43

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 09:43
thanks Bigfish with the 150 watt blanket what make would you recommend
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Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 09:57

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 09:57
Mate , I bought this one as it has world leading cells in it. I am extremly pleased as when I first used it I had an immediate 8 amp/hrs being produced. I have since bought a 200 watt version as the 160 watt is not in stock at the moment. This 200watt model should arrive this week. They fold up quite small which is a real bonus and a lot lighter than dragging fold up panels around the country side. I have a Victron MPPT solar regulator which would also help in performance. The supplied regulator is probably fine but why use it when I have a top quality one already installed in the camper? I,d recommend Fullriver batteries (AGM) ALSO AS THEY ARE TOP QUALITY.
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 09:26

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 09:26
Hi John

You will have a great time in the Cape, but do not rush your trip.

If you want to see what it is like, I have recently added our Blog of out Cape trip last year.

Now back to your question, not unless your icebox is a dedicated tropical icebox that will keep solid ice solid for up to 10 days, you normal cheap esky will be a complete waste of space and we have been using an Engel for over 26 years and you would never be without it, once you have had one.

The further north that you head up the Cape, the warmer it will become. Count on day temperatures of between 30 to 33 degrees and then only dropping down to around 24 in the morning before sun up.

To be very honest we did not see one single vehicle up there with an esky, only true dedicated car fridges, and for that reason, we never looked for ice. There are limited supplies in the Cape, but if you had to get ice, once you leave Cooktown, you would be very limited, with only places like Laura, Coen, Weipa, perhaps Bramwell Junction and then at the very top at Seisia or Bamaga.

Buy yourself an Engel and you will be set for decades of travelling.



Cheers


Stephen
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Follow Up By: john m85 - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 09:48

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 09:48
after reading what you have just told me I will get an engel. I am looking at plastic or the dearer one steel
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 09:54

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 09:54
Metal framed Engel. The original and the best.

Cheers
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trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 10:45

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 10:45
I,ve got the plastic and metal framed 40lt engels. Both perform virtually the same. However the plastic is so much easier to maneuver around. Also the changable lid is great. If you have a bad back or are getting a little older I would recommend the plastic, especially if lifting in and out of a vehicle. I also make sure I put anderson plugs on , as well as leaving the original plug on.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 12:45

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 12:45
Hi Bigfish

They should perform identical, as they both have the same compressor. The only thing the MR40 does not have is the LED temperature readout, or the electronic controls and the plastic case is cheaper to manufacturer and was solely released by Engel to compete with the cheaper “W” brand of fridge.

So at the end of the day, as one of our customers once commented on....”I can buy 2 MR40’s for the price of 1 MT45, with the exception on 2 litres difference in fridge space”



Cheers



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Reply By: garrycol - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 10:54

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 10:54
Dont lock yourself into an Engel though - there are moire cost effective fridges - I have had a $500 ebay fridge (1/3 the price of an Engel) for 10 years and runs great - thicker insulation, uses the same power and very rugged.

Engel is grossly overpriced for what you get.

But yes get a fridge over an ice box.
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Follow Up By: RMD - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 12:34

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 12:34
I agree they are overpriced. A while back I communicated with a bloke who travelled SAFRICA, he bought a 40 litre Engel, new, in a box which was labelled as being from Australia and paid slightly over 50% in relative Australian dollars of the Aussie asking price.

Engel Australia say that is impossible. However, he did buy it and used it in Africa and far cheaper than the gouging done on Aussies.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 15:12

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 15:12
Like Garrycol, I bought a 55l cheapie from Grays Online about 11 years ago for $600.00. I don't need the on-off switch, converted that to switch compressor speeds, which on Low reduces current draw We run it as a minus 10 freezer. Consumption is 24 to 36 Ah per day depending on ambient. Very happy.

Having used an icebox in the penniless early days, would not recommend them if you can afford the fridge.
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Reply By: Member - John and Lynne - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 11:11

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 11:11
We have never regretted buying our Engel 20 years ago! It serves us well as an extra fridge for drinks or food at home when needed - especially at Christmas! It has never missed a beat. However it is heavy, even when empty. This is something to check. As well as solar backup for your battery you may need a fridge slide for your vehicle. If you do not plan to use it often and may have to lift it out of the vehicle to access it check out lighter versions. They may not be as efficient or long living but may do the job for you. The least of them will be better than ice! John and Lynne
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Follow Up By: Iza B - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 11:48

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 11:48
If you are halfway handy, draw runners from Bunnings can be used to construct a fridge slide for maybe 10% of the cost of a shop bought one. I made a slide for the campervan for $14, 80 Kg draw runners.

Iza
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Reply By: Siringo - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 11:27

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 11:27
Back when I started out I used ice, but after several disasters, gave that away.

I bought an Evakool at least 10 years ago and it has been fabulous, freezes very well and seems to be quite efficient.

Best advice i can provide is to sign up for Evakool's newsletter. It always has specials on 2nd's and ex demo stuff, $100's off RRP.
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Reply By: Iza B - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 11:40

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 11:40
If you are smart enough to buy Engel, seriously look at the MT45FCP 39Litre. Dedicated freezer section and fridge section. Yes, steel body and more cost than the plastic body, BUT, Rum and coke over proper ice is outstanding at the end of the day. If you are going to spend the money on a fridge, make sure you get one you will be very happy with.

Iza
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 13:07

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 13:07
Don't buy bigger than you REALLY need.
It will simply cost more and use more power.
Cheers,
Peter
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Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 13:09

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 13:09
I've got an Engel I bought new in 1977, and it still purrs away happily and effectively, 42 years on.
However, I do have it sitting on a sprung base, and I do have the fully-enclosed insulated cover on it.

I've rarely bothered with ice, it doesn't last long in hot conditions, and unless you place it in a secure and tough bag, the water from the melt will get into everything.

You do need a second battery to power an Engel, though.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 16:35

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 16:35
.
Ron,
Your... "have it sitting on a sprung base" makes me wonder if it was like the Engel I bought in 1984.
It made such a loud humming noise I could not sleep. Had to install it on rubber mounts. Even then I was glad to see the last of it, although admittedly that was 15 years later!
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 18:45

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 18:45
Hi Allan - Being almost completely deaf sure helps, when it comes to not being bothered by noises at night!
My missus is the exact opposite, she can hear a mosquito land, 20 metres away!
I have to admit, the Engel is not the quietest fridge around.

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Member - Outback Gazz - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 14:28

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 14:28
Howdy All

Just a heads up on a bit of a minor issue with the new engels fridge. There can be a gap between the lid and actual fridge part - at night with the lid latched closed you can see light from in the fridge from outside the fridge - so if light can get out then I'm guessing heat can get in. Engels fix for this is to remove the plastic/rubber seal on the lid and place some thin electrical wire in the groove before replacing the seal.

Cheers

Gazz



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Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 14:35

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 14:35
I have found that as well with the later ones with the light, never noticed it with my 15 year old one. As I’m inherently lazy I never used to latch it around camp, but with the new one I can see the light, so I do latch it now.
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Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 14:42

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 14:42
One of my friends bought a new 40 litre Engel 6 months ago and even with the latch closed light still could be seen - my mate sleeps in the back of his troopy and the light kept him awake ! lol


Cheers
Gazz

Ps - I never latch my fridges either when stationary - but do latch them overnight.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 14:52

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 14:52
Hi Gazz

Just a thought....

Hot air only rises, so in theory any air coming the fridge should stop warm air from entering the fridge.

I have never heard that about placing small wire at the bottom of groove.

Was this told to you by a store that sells the fridges, or straight for the horses mouth, ie Engel direct.

Why I ask is that was asked by one of our customers a number of years ago, and I contacted our rep for an answer.

I have tried his reply and it does make a massive difference and does make the fridge clip harder to do up, meaning a positive seal.

The Engel reps response was very simple, yes the special seal does lose its shape and to restore it to new, nemove the bubbler seal and place in boiling water, which will not damage the seal. He also recommended doing it every 12 months, something that I then advised all our customers.



Cheers


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Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 15:12

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 15:12
Howdy Stephen

My mate with the troopy is travelling Australia and sleeps in the back so he noticed it from day one. He contacted the place he bought it from who said bring it back which he did but was 500 k's away by then. They re-adjusted the latch but was no different. He then contacted Engel Australia in his travels who suggested taking it to the next Engel agent which he did - they swapped the lid with one off the floor and still the light shone through. He got to my place here in Murray Bridge still cranky about forking out big dollars for a fridge that keeps him awake lol so I suggested going to Jackson 4x4 here as they have a resident fridge mechanic working there. They rang Engel Australia who told them to do the small electrical wire thing - it has solved the problem - he is happy and now in Tasmania !

Cheers

Gazz

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 16:26

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 16:26
.
The 'wire-under-the-seal' is an old electrician's trick.

Weatherproof enclosures with a dodgy embedded seal are quickly fixed with the most convenient..... a piece of cable placed under the seal.
1mm2 for a small effect, 4mm2 for a biggy.

You know sparkies.... fix everything with cable or insulating tape. lol


Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: RMD - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 18:26

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 18:26
Gazz
You mentioned not latching when stationary but do latch overnight. Does that mean you are always travelling at night? A bit puzzled!
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Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 19:06

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 19:06
G'day RMD

Once I've set up camp ( stationary ) my drinks fridge lid gets opened and closed more than an automatic door at Centrelink building on a Thursday when I get another sarsaparilla :-) And before I retire for the evening I restock the fridge with more sarsaparillas then latch the fridge overnight.

Cheers

Gazz
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 19:11

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 19:11
.
"Latch it overnight"?

You oughta padlock it if some of these guys are anywhere near. LOL

Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: RMD - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 23:02

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 23:02
Allan
With the light shining out the gap in the lid, they think Gazza is still awake and so his Sars is safe.
I always thought there was a little man inside to turn the light off when the door is closed. Engel must have forgotten about him.
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Reply By: Member - mark D18 - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 18:18

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 18:18
John.
I have 2 Engels one is 28 years old and the newer one is 10 years old and both have not missed a beat.
They are expensive for a reason.
My refrigeration mechanic brother in law would give me heaps if I brought anything other brand.
Also after a bit of research I brought 2 new Fullriver batteries.

Cheers
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Reply By: Cobba123 - Monday, Jan 14, 2019 at 09:24

Monday, Jan 14, 2019 at 09:24
My advice is Engel for sure however, save your pennies and consider buying used off Gumtree..... I occasionally browse and nearly cry at some of the ridiculous low prices some people want for good units.... I saw a late model 80 litre combo posted yesterday for $400..... As you could imagine it was sold in less than 20 minutes after being posted..... I have a 11 yo 40 litre 40 year anniversary model (bought new) that I have been very happy with as well as a 39 litre 1982 model and 15 litre of the same era..... If you decide going for used, and if power to run is abundant, try find an older model (cream body/olive green lid) as they really do cool down and perform better than the new ones, just heavier on power....

Good luck on what you choose
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, Jan 14, 2019 at 11:01

Monday, Jan 14, 2019 at 11:01
If you buy off Gumtree, just watch out for "hot" Engels - check the Serial Number with the Police prior to parting with your hard-earned coin.
Engels are probably the most stolen, quick-selling "bling" item, after small gensets.

My nephew asked me to source a good used Engel for his son last year.
I found a 50th Anniversary Gold edition Engel for sale on Gumtree - and checked to see if it was stolen - then bought it.

The nephews son only had it for a week - it was left sitting in a mates station wagon while they partied - and some low-life smashed the back window of the wagon, and acquired a $1000 worth of hot Engel in 10 seconds.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Monday, Jan 14, 2019 at 11:06

Monday, Jan 14, 2019 at 11:06
.
Hah, shoulda bought a Waeco Ron.
Safe as houses! lol
Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: David I1 - Monday, Jan 14, 2019 at 14:51

Monday, Jan 14, 2019 at 14:51
My engel (1.5 cubic foot or 2 slabs of can size) has been with me since 1971.Flattens the biggest battery overnight but has NEVER let me down.Been in 3 roll overs, fallen off the back of the truck and generally abused since day 1. Cost a bomb at the time ($1000+) but I just cannot bear to get rid of it. Every time I see the Aldi product on sale I am tempted, but I love her too much and I am sure she would turn up her toes if I bought anything else. I am the best (and worst) advertisement for Engel, as I am not a return customer for now over 47 years. Unlike a car manufacturer that trades on past "reliability", with their now new unreliable vehicles, Engel is the No 1 go to brand for a very good reason. I have never heard anybody say they were unreliable or broke or got thrown away as rubbish. I understand people saying they are not worth the money etc. All I can say is my older brother went through 5 brands of fridges before realizing he should have bought an engel. Luckily I saw his mistakes and have bought only one portable fridge. Buy the best and forget the rest!
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Follow Up By: john m85 - Monday, Jan 14, 2019 at 16:39

Monday, Jan 14, 2019 at 16:39
David would you say plastic or steel Engel
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Follow Up By: David I1 - Monday, Jan 14, 2019 at 17:05

Monday, Jan 14, 2019 at 17:05
Mine is steel and very heavy when empty and even heavier with 2 slabs! By night however its lighter again. I wonder why? If it was plastic I dont think it may have survived. I am unsure how brittle the plastic is when or if it is dropped. Plastic was not an option in the early 70's. All there was was 1/2, 1, 11/2 cubic foot steel models. No digital readout, no lights, no auto cut out, no split sections although the coldest part of the fridge is where the gas first comes out from the motor in the wrap around element. Thats where my next beer goes (ha ha). Supplied with just a inner basket, and 12 and 240V connections. 11/2 has the same motor etc as the 1cf model but has a green strip around the base to gain the extra 1/2 cf of capacity. Same overall dimentions in footprint but just a bit taller.
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