EvaKool Fridge Freezers not suitable for off road use

Submitted: Friday, Aug 30, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 1858 Views:26603 Replies:10 FollowUps:11
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I have had bad experiences with evakool fridge freezers...
they are advertised as being designed for the Australian outback conditions,
this however was not the case as my new EvaKool ED70 lasted only 6 weeks before breaking.
it was returned to the shop and they forwarded it to a service engineer for a report to be compiled,
as I had been on quite a big trip from north Queensland to Uluru and then up to Kakadu most of the roads were dusty.
consequently there was dust in the fridge air intakes this resulted in EvaKool refusing to repair the fridge as they said it had been misused
even though it was strapped down on 50mm of foam rubber as they advise on their warranty card.
if a bit of dust can destroy an EvaKool fridge freezer which is advertised as being designed for the outback conditions , what is a hard off road trip going to do to it ???
however once it is broken it makes a good ice box.

wish I had bought an Engel
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Reply By: dave - Friday, Aug 30, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 30, 2002 at 00:00
I bought an evakool fridge 6 months ago and a similar thing happened to mine,
it broke and when I took it back they said water had got in to the back of one of the covers and voided the warranty.
the only water that got near it was when I washed it to take back for repair.
it seems like they look for an excuse to void your warranty and they make you send the fridge back to the factory at your own cost .
I now use mine as a cool box too.
AnswerID: 6174

Follow Up By: Member - Nigel - Sunday, Sep 01, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Sep 01, 2002 at 00:00
Have you talked to the Office of Fair Trading? Evakool may be breaching statutory warranty law. If enough complaints are made, then it won't look good from them.
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FollowupID: 2745

Reply By: Mark - Friday, Aug 30, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 30, 2002 at 00:00
What happened to it? Did the compressor burn out because the fridge intake was clogged up with dust making the compressor work harder? Was the fridge inside the car or on the trayback of a ute? Just curious? My parents borrowed my ED68 and did the Gibb River Road and Mitchell Falls with it in the car and had no troubles at all.
AnswerID: 6175

Reply By: Member - Nigel - Friday, Aug 30, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 30, 2002 at 00:00
Thanks for sharing. I'll be watching mine carefully.

Have you had any independent quotes on repairs?
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Reply By: sam - Friday, Aug 30, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 30, 2002 at 00:00
I am a service engineer for a large refrigeration company
the EvaKool range of in car refrigerators use top quality components which under normal road use will not create a problem, however the build quality and the so called heavy duty suspension used to support the compressor are somewhat lacking in quality.
so when you go on to an earth highway you will damage these components.
also the EvaKool range of refrigerators do not have a filter on the air intakes so if you are travelling in dusty conditions any dust will be sucked in to the workings again causing failure.
this could be prevented by the inclusion of removable filters on the air intakes.
the range of cool boxes/chilly bins/eskys, whatever you like to call them are second to none but buying a fridge first and then using it as a cool box when it breaks is an expensive compromise.
just buy one of their cool boxes to start with and use ice !!!
AnswerID: 6177

Follow Up By: Mark - Friday, Aug 30, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 30, 2002 at 00:00
Sam,
I have an Evakool which was ftted with a Danfoss BD50 after heaps of problems with the old compressor (micro compressors, now gone bust).
I don't understand how dust can be such a problem as I thought the compressors are sealed and dust cannot enter. Is the problem with the cooling fan on the condensor drawing in dust and clogging up ? The filter you mention sounds like a good idea but not sure where to fit.
Regards Mark
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FollowupID: 2710

Follow Up By: Sam - Thursday, Sep 05, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Sep 05, 2002 at 00:00
Hi Mark
the ingress of dust in car fridges is responsible for blocking the condensor thus making the fridge work too hard .
if you are going to use the fridge in the outback , secure it on a thick foam block that way the suspension on the compressor will work to protect the internals.
the ingress of dust can of course affect any refrigerator and not only EvaKools, a filter on the air intakes would help prevent this but do not go fitting filters without first checking with the manufacturers as you do not want to void your warranty.
the combination of the excellent EvaKool ice boxes and the danfoss BD35
refrigeration compressor should be a world leader.
as with everything there can always be some things which could be better designed as in removable filters.
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FollowupID: 2844

Follow Up By: Mark - Thursday, Sep 05, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Sep 05, 2002 at 00:00
Sam, Thanks for the advice. It was a BD35 that was fitted not a BD50 as I mentioned. Since the BD35 was fitted the fridge has worked very well and can't fault it, it has low power consumption for a 60 liter and we get 2-3 days out of an 80ah battery in 25-30C ambient. Will keep an eye on the condensor for blockage from now on. Cheers
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Reply By: mikey - Friday, Aug 30, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 30, 2002 at 00:00
The fridge was strapped down inside a station wagon so not as dusty as a trayback. the air intakes were clear but dust was sucked in to the inside.
the only quote I have had up to now was for $700 for the compressor alone excluding fitting and gassing.
cheaper to leave it as a cool box and buy an engel
AnswerID: 6178

Reply By: Riki & Paul - Friday, Aug 30, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 30, 2002 at 00:00
Congratulations on your EvaKool lasting 6 weeks - ours lasted 2.5 weeks on a trip from Victoria to Arkaroola!!!!! Luckily for us, we were able to get a full refund from the distributor (Aussie Disposals) and used the money to purchase a REAL fridge - a 60 L Trailblazer (which has now been to Arkaroola and back and to Cameron's Corner and back, with no problems at all)
AnswerID: 6192

Follow Up By: Steve Tanner - Thursday, Sep 05, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Sep 05, 2002 at 00:00
It seems that you are confused about the make of your fridge I am sure that the unit you owned was a Supakool fitted with a Micro Compressor unit not the Evakool fitted with the Danfoss BD 35 Compressor the same as you now have in your Trailblazer.I hope this might stop the unfounded and incorrect facts being bandied around
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Follow Up By: Mary - Monday, Oct 07, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Oct 07, 2002 at 00:00
I buoght an Evacool ED70 two days ago, I I took it out of the box today and it doesn't work. Am going to the supplier tomorrow to see if he will change it for one that does work you would think that they test things before they sell them. A real nuisance as where I have to go is about 50km's away from home.

Not only does it not work but the panel that holds the controls is also hanging of as the screws have pulled out of the side. This set up seems a bit flimsy under closer inspection.
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Reply By: Member - Tony - Saturday, Aug 31, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Aug 31, 2002 at 00:00
Sorry to hear about the Evacool's guys. I've got a Chescold 3-way. Has been Sydney-Flinders Ranges, including plenty of bulldust on road between Wilpena and Yunta, in the back of the 4Runner. No probs at all. Very happy with my unit, except for power draw (have to remember to unplug it whenever we stop, since I can't fit a 2nd battery in yet!) Cheers, Tony
AnswerID: 6225

Follow Up By: Member - Nigel - Sunday, Sep 01, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Sep 01, 2002 at 00:00
Even a second battery won't run your fridge for too long as they aren't very efficient on 12 volts, but at least they have bugger all to break compared to a compressor fridge.
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FollowupID: 2744

Reply By: Leslie Francis - Sunday, Sep 01, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Sep 01, 2002 at 00:00
I bought an ENGEL 29L back in 82 , and strapped it into the back of an 82 Hilux duelcab ute for five years, and it's been transferred to three other vehicles. And have not had any problems. Even on my last trip, this time last year, up the CANNING STOCK ROUTE and through the KIMBERLEYS for ten weeks. It's pretty knocked about now. And having just up graded to a 1999 HZJ75 tray LANDCRUISER, I was going to retire the poor old thing for an EVAKOOL. But having read your problems. I've made up my mind to pick up one of the new stainless steel 40L ENGEL models, and use one as a fridge the other as a freezer. It's stories like yours that help others make decisions. We can only hope that EVAKOOL see the big picture and give the back up service they should, before they lose more sales. GOOD LUCK
AnswerID: 6242

Reply By: Mark Strle - Sunday, Sep 01, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Sep 01, 2002 at 00:00
For those with buggered Evakools can you briefly outline what sort of conditions contributed to their failing and exactly what components failed ?

Mikey was dust the only thing that killed your Evakool? (I think I can prevent this without too much difficulty). Are extreme corrugations also an evakool killer? This will go a long way to ensuring that those of us who have bought one can take steps to minimise the chance of damaging our units. Your experience may well save the rest us some anxiety and grief not to mention $$$$.

No I am not associated with Evakool, I just want to preserve mine.

Thanks in advance.

Mark
AnswerID: 6254

Reply By: Rod Miles - Monday, Sep 02, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Sep 02, 2002 at 00:00
G'day Mike,

Could you please give me a call regarding your problems as it appears to me that the information supplied in your commentary is not quite correct. We currently supply Heritage Tours who operate out of Cairns (for over 2 years) and they have had no such problems with their units.

Without seeing the unit, it would appear as if your condensor had clogged up with dirt. This would cause your unit to run in-efficiently and would probably not achieve the low temperature you might want to achieve. However, all is not lost. It is easily blown out with air and is not difficult to do.

As a matter of precaution, all portable fridge owners (regardless of make) should blow clean their condensor unit after a trip where dust is prevalent.

Please call me on 07.5492.7777

Regards,

Rod.
AnswerID: 6278

Follow Up By: Slunnie - Monday, Sep 02, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Sep 02, 2002 at 00:00
Hi Rod, don't get me wrong here, as I own an Evercool esky and love it to death. I intended my auto fridge/freezer purchase in the future to be an Evacool fridge so I'm not knocking anything. BUT tell me, what is Evacool doing to prevent dust ingress into the freezer unit. It seems that the same compressor is used in the Evacool that is used in many of the other big name units which operate without undue problems. Can dust filters be installed to the current units?
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FollowupID: 2775

Follow Up By: Rod Miles - Tuesday, Sep 03, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Sep 03, 2002 at 00:00
Hi Slunnie,

Thank you for your response. It would appear though that confusion is starting to blur fact. Dust cannot get into the compressor as it is a sealed unit. What we are talking about is the condensor unit, this looks like a miniature car radiator and like a car radiator it occasionally needs to be cleaned. This would normally be the case for any vehicle operating in the dusty bush conditions. The process is simple and would only need to be done in extreme circumstances.
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Follow Up By: Slunnie - Wednesday, Sep 04, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Sep 04, 2002 at 00:00
Thanks Rod, now I probably understand it a little better. How susceptable to dust and water ingress are the radiators? Is it something that can be covered in a foam Finer type filter, or should it be opened up and cleaned every so often? Also what criteria does Evacool use to reject warranty claims such as those seen above? Thanks for such prompt professional responses. Regards Slunnie
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Follow Up By: Mikey - Thursday, Sep 05, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Sep 05, 2002 at 00:00
Hi Rod
after taking the unit away from the service shop I decided to take all the internal bits out and now just use it as a cool box,it works great as a cool box and is used on my boat out from Karumba, it keeps the fish on ice for days .
so I guess any chance of having it repaired now is gone as theres no inside bits left .
great cool box though
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FollowupID: 2846

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