Extra fridge

Submitted: Tuesday, Oct 08, 2002 at 00:00
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We are planning a trip from Vic for approx 12 months with two Children. Our trip will be in towns as well as outback places. We will be using a camper installed with a standard camper size fridge, Can anyone tell me if you think We would require another fridge - say in the back of the ute (covered with a canopy) If so, what sought is reccomeded. We will not be leaving till approx jan 2004. - We did think that a good quality ice box, with dry ice or similar might surfice?
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Reply By: ken d - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2002 at 00:00
Robyn- Doesn't matter how many fridges you have they will all get filled-However a fridge in the vehicle is convenient if you want a cold drink etc,- dont have to open camper trailer.- Regards the ice box-If you're travelling for 12 months and use it all the time, the cost of the ice box and then all the ice you use would probably pay for a fridge.-Cheers-Ken

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Follow Up By: Robyn - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2002 at 00:00
Thanks Ken, You are right, sometimes the obvious is not the first thing that comes to mind!
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Follow Up By: Colin - Friday, Oct 11, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Oct 11, 2002 at 00:00
from experience there are only 3 brands of fridges to have, all 12v and 240v, engels, trailblazer, explorer, the last 2 ozzy made both from marine grade alloy, big and bulky but very efficient. Everyone talks about carrying a gen set when your car has an alternator and a small solar pannel helps also and is lighter than a 9 kg bottle of gas. I have a explorer which has a seperate freeezer and fridge with a thermostat for each compartment. Col
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Reply By: Mel - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2002 at 00:00
Hi Robyn, Fridges are a funny thing. If you have them, you will fill them. If you don't, you'll manage without them. Having said that, 12 mths away is a long time away from home so you want to be comfortable. If it was me, I'd get another fridge. My parents did the grey nomads thing for 13 years in a caravan and eventually purchased a Chescold 3-way fridge/freezer to supplement the van fridge. They found the extra freezer space particularly handy and nightly froze water or cordial to put in drink coolers the next day. Once you get up north in the warmer climes, you'll find the ability to keep drinks cool (even it's just water) very handy, particularly with kids. What sort of fridge you get is entirely a personal choice. We have only ever used Engel fridge/freezers and have never been let down. But they are only 2-way, meaning 12 volt or 240 volt, so you really need a dual battery system (and perhaps solar panels or a generator) if you are intending to bush camp. If you're sticking to CVP's, no problem. A 3-way fridge, such as Chescold, gives you the extra option to run the fridge off gas, so all you need in the bush is an extra gas bottle, but they are a bit more temperamental in that they need to be kept level. I haven't had personal experience with any other fridges than the two I've mentioned so I can't comment on them. Eskies are OK for drinks or picnics but in the tropics, the ice won't last long. Also, good luck trying to buy dry ice in the outback. I don't recall every seeing it on sale away from large towns. Anyway, hope this is of some help. Happy travels, Melissa
AnswerID: 7248

Follow Up By: Robyn - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2002 at 00:00
Mel, thanks for you reply, yes we will be heading up to the tropics and frezzing drinks would be a very good idea. I havent heard of the Chescold fridge/freezer, but will look into it.
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Reply By: Blackie - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2002 at 00:00
Waeco have just released a couple of new models 80 and 110 litres with three separate sections. Could be worth looking at, they are reasonably priced.
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Follow Up By: Robyn - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2002 at 00:00
Blackie, we wnt to the 4x4 show on the weekend, and had a look at some fridges, and whilst standing there, another chap came to the area. The salesman asked him had he tried the Waeco, at which the fellow replied "yea and the s___!" We thought at the time, well we really need to look into this. - And so this is why i am asking people of there thoughts on different brands. Having looked at other questions and replies on the forum, it appears that most favour the engel.
thanks for you reply, all info is greatly appreciated.
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Reply By: johnsy - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2002 at 00:00
robyn you will need two fridges between 4 of you particulary in the north as buying meat in large centres will save heaps and cool water is better than kimberly cool and a ice cold beverage at the end of the day watching the sun going down makes for family unity.ive only had engels my 1st one lasted 22 years in trucks graders in the back of 4x4 utes and running off small generaters so thats my 2 c worth .cya johnsy
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Follow Up By: Robyn - Wednesday, Oct 09, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Oct 09, 2002 at 00:00
Thanks Johnsy, I couldn't agree more, spending 24/7 with the children, I think a cold beverage or 3 more be just whats called for.From what everyone has told me, It appears the engel is favoured.
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Reply By: Andrew - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2002 at 00:00
Hi Robyn
We just came back from around Australia trip. We had similar setup: jayco camper trailer with 3way fridge which is great on 240v and gas, Wouldn't use it on 12v as its not very efficient and really waste of battery. We had 52l Waeco fridge in the fourby which was actually great. It was running on second battery for 3 days (setting 3) without starting the car.
So if we camped we would put gas fridge on in the jayco while we could keep some food still in the car fridge. If we moved to new location i simply turned off the gas in jayco and by the time we got to new spot it was still cold in the jayco fridge.
You will find that electrolux fridge in jayco is excellent for longer stays while car fridge for everything else (cools much better too).
About Waecos.
We met some people very happy and some very dissapointed with their performance. On my fridge i noticed that plastic lid buckled on the corners. Called Waeco and they replaced it under warrenty. It looks much stronger then original. Some guy at El Questro told me that his waeco only works on max setting and everything gets frozen (he knew 2 more people with the same problem and was supprised that my fridge works OK).Others were very happy with them so my tip is if you buy any fridge - test it before longer trip.
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Follow Up By: Robyn - Wednesday, Oct 09, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Oct 09, 2002 at 00:00
Thanks for your input Andrew, - Whats the longest you have had the jayco fridge off and found it to be still cold? - As a matter of interest, did you have children with you?
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Follow Up By: Andrew - Wednesday, Oct 09, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Oct 09, 2002 at 00:00
It lasted up to 6 hours if not open . We travelled with two kids 2 and 4 years old. We took a lot of kids books and some toys.
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Reply By: ken d - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2002 at 00:00
Robin
Have to agree with Johnsy.-Only ever had an Engel and it's great, tough as old boots.-Also we had a very large number of Engels where I used to work.-They spent years in rough conditions in 4X4 cars and trucks.-They were full of dust and covered in dents but I never saw a failure,- just bent lids from big bums,-That doesn't mean there isn't other good fridges out there, just recomending the Engel- The only other thing I can suggest, depending on how you intend to store it, is don't get one that's too big, you still want to be able to lift it when its full.-Cheers Ken
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Reply By: Rob Sanders - Wednesday, Oct 09, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Oct 09, 2002 at 00:00
I travelled around Oz for 10 months with a 40L Engel with no problems.

I liked the simplicity of the Engel - it got things cold! Looked at the
Waeco - but put off by all the buttons on the top. The On/Off & Temp
buttons all looked like they could be nudged easily - changing the
settings or maybe switching it off without you noticing. (Why have an
on/off button at all!?? If you want it off - unplug or disconnect it - the risk
of inadvertant switch off is worrying).

The Engel may even be built using older designs of compressor == proven - but I don't know this for a fact. Waeco seems to pride itself on using the 'latest technology' which some may like.

On the other hand the Waeco had more features - even a light for when it was open!

Rob

(These are just my opinions - hell, nobody else wants them!)
AnswerID: 7281

Follow Up By: Robyn - Wednesday, Oct 09, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Oct 09, 2002 at 00:00
Thanks Rob, These small details are not something you noticce if you havent used these fridges for these purposes before. Thanks for pointing them out.
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Reply By: Steve L - Wednesday, Oct 09, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Oct 09, 2002 at 00:00
Robyn, we've been using a Waeco 40 litre fridge/freezer for over 2 years
now - without a single problem, and that includes a lot of very rough off-roading. The unit works very well, is much lighter than the metal fridges available and the interior light is really useful when you're camped in the middle of nowhere and want to find a quick nightcap (or similar) after dark. It uses far less power than the Engel, and with the auto voltage cutout won't run your battery so flat you can't start the car (though I use dual batteries anyway). The only shortcoming I have found was the lack of decent handles to use as tie down points, but the current models have this taken care of. The separate compartments mean you can set the controls to the coldest level and use it as a freezer, and still have some items in the other compartment and these remain chilled but do not freeze.
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Follow Up By: Robyn - Wednesday, Oct 09, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Oct 09, 2002 at 00:00
Thanks Steve, It seems if you ask, you will get everyones opinion. Which is good. It tells us what to look for and what questions to ask when buying, so thanks for your info.
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Reply By: Gerry - Wednesday, Oct 09, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Oct 09, 2002 at 00:00
Hi Robyn. Agree with pretty well everything said before - especially the reliability of the Engel. I have a 3-way fridge in the Jayco and a 40 litre in the back of the Patrol with dual batteries. On a technical note, most units apart from Engel, use a Danfoss 35 compressor which is a standard piston job complete with necessary electronics to make it all work. While the Danfoss is an excellent compressor, the unique Engel 'swing motor' design is not only extremely robust, but it uses only 2.7 amps (40 litre job) and will withstand stalling conditions should your battery go flat (some compressor models will fail without under-voltage protection). Also, some other brands make you pay extra for 240 volt adapter which is in-built in the Engel. And no, I don't work for Engel - just used one for years... Cheers
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Reply By: Vince Barnes - Saturday, Oct 12, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Oct 12, 2002 at 00:00
Robyn, I recently bought a 50lt Waeco fridge.It appears good value for my camping/4wd trips.Regardless of what fridge you buy, make sure there is no voltage drop when the fridge is operating. Some cig lighter sockets in rear of 4wds are inadequate for running a fridge which uses a compressor motor.
Regards
Vince
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Reply By: David - Wednesday, Oct 30, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Oct 30, 2002 at 01:00
Robyn
Have been caravanning and camping for more than 30 years . The early years with 4 children.Trips have included short, long-7 months, and camping trips in 4WD only, both long and short.Originally owned a 30L Engel which is still going well as a camp fridge for one of the boys.It is 25 years old.We now have a 40L Waeco which is usually in the rear of the 4WD connected to a special purpose plug direct wired to the second battery. This fridge did not work satisfactorily when connected using the rear cigerette lighter socket.
Suggestions:- Instal a dual battery system.
Purchase a 40L or 50L Waeco -[first choice & cheaper ]
Run the fridge on freeze to keep meat bread fish etc which you purchase as specials along the way.
Use the Jayco 3 way fridge as your every day fridge and pack the small freezer compartment with frozen goods as it will assist in keeping the fridge cold when on long day drives to new destinations.Keep the little compartment full at all times.

My second choice would be the Engel in either 40L or larger, but not too big.

Happy travelling. May all your cans be cold ones.
David




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Follow Up By: Robyn - Monday, Nov 04, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 04, 2002 at 01:00
Thanks David
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Reply By: Member - Nigel - Thursday, Oct 31, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Oct 31, 2002 at 01:00
In the back of a ute I'd probably suggest go for a good icebox (such as EvaKool). The reason being unless your canopy is dust proof then a fridge may need regular cleaning of the condensor. The downside is as the ice melts everything gets wet. Also if your going to use a fridge in a 4WD then you really should have a dual battery system, as running your main battery flat more than occasionally will shorten it's life considerably as starter batteries are only designed to be regularly flattened to 5% before being recharged.

The reliability and effeciency of the Engel compressors can't be disputed. But the same can't be said for the insulation. In real life conditions where sunlight has to be taken in to account (although I try to protect my fridge as much as possible) I prefer a fridge with a white exterior (reflective of heat) and thicker insulation. Therefore I went for the Evakool as it was also one of the lightest fridges (and overloading 4WD's is becoming an issue).

Secondly some people seem to think that the voltage cutout is so they will still be able to start their vehicle. This is not true. The voltage cutout is to protect the fridges compressor as they don't like running on voltages below 10 volts. Depending on the type and condition of your battery you may or may not be able to start your car from it after the fridge has been run to cutout voltage. I certainly wouldn't rely on it.
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Reply By: Steve & Wendy - Friday, Nov 01, 2002 at 01:00

Friday, Nov 01, 2002 at 01:00
Hi Robyn, If you want a fridge that works just like your fridge at home, only portable, I'd suggest a "Reefer". They used to be called "Liemack", but their production has recently been taken over by Refrigeration Research. They have an interesting range of models including front opening ones so you don't need a fridge slide. I understand they are now advertising on ExplorOz - you can find them with the Business Search Engine. Regards, Steve.
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Follow Up By: Robyn - Monday, Nov 04, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 04, 2002 at 01:00
Thanks steve and wendy, I will have a look.
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