Fridge Vs Fridge

Submitted: Tuesday, Nov 19, 2002 at 01:00
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Waeco experience wanted. I was thinking of getting a bigger fridge and fancy the 80lt Waeco with it's seperate compartments (would like icecream for the kids and ice for the scotch). I have heard good and bad, but would appreciate hearing from people with experience with these fridges.

I have a 7 yo 39lt Engle and already replaced the compressor once 18 months ago. I live in the Kimberley and use the fridge several times a week for a few hours at a time, and camping several times a year for usually 2 days to a week. I run dual batteries, one deep cycle, and a 75 watt solar panel (we get plenty of sun up here) in an 80 series Cruiser.
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Reply By: RHYLDON - Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00
Ian,
I have a waeco CF50 fridge.I think it is one of the best fridges on the
market.Price wise excellent. I too run a dual battery system and have
never had a problem with it.We also do a lot of camping and a lot of trips,it has never let me down yet. Waeco after sales and service is excellent.I find the seperated compartments very good.
good luck
rhyldon
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Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00
Why not keep the Engel and use it as a freezer and get an evaKool www.evakool.com to use as a fridge (or vice versa). This gives you the flexibility of taking one or the other, and makes for substantially easier moving due to physical size and weight.

The insulation on the evaKool is top dog, along with the quality of manufacture. Check out their weight empty compared to a lot of the others. In the fridge controlled chamber tests, the evaKool was tops.
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Follow Up By: Ian Kimberleycruiser - Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00
Thanks Rhyldon, I really wanted to get some first hand experience on the Waeco and it sounds like you've had a good run with it. Searching around for advice/experience both on the net and around town, I think sometimes it's like the old Cruiser/Patrol thing "Always been an Engle man". I get some people swearing by a brand and others say it's absolute bovine generated garden enhancer (bogge for short). You're in the "Waeco Good" column now.

Cheers,
Ian
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Reply By: paul - Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00
Ian check out the explorer range. I have a DC45 with 30L fridge and 15L dedicated freezer compartment with its own internal lid. The insulation is in my opinion the best (and thickest) you can get and it runs the same compressor as all the waeco fridges - the Danfoss DB 35F (or whatever it is).

http://www.explorerfridgefreezer.aunz.com/choose.html

Try this site though i know it is not totally up to date - expensive, but i reckon because the insulation is soooo much better than any waeco i have seen you will reap the benefits in power draw, and you do get that real freezer with separate internal lid which makes a big difference when you open the fridge and 42 degree air floods inside, that does a lot of damage to a freezer without a lid. Apologies if waeco has a new fridge with internal lid, i have not kept up to date with their range.
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Follow Up By: Ian Kimberleycruiser - Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00
Thanks for your response Paul. I'll check out the site. It was the separate compartments that attracted my attention to the Waeco. The Explorer sounds good and an internal lid on the freezer section does make an awful lot of sense.

Cheers,
Ian
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Reply By: colin - Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00
Have to agree with Paul, i to have an explorer, 59 ltr the insulation cannot be beaten by a waeco ( which friends have had very bad experience with.) They are expensive to buy but in the long haul they pay for them selves easily. Another good fridge is the trailblaser they also now have the seperate freezer compartment, these fridges are used by the red cross and the U/N world wide .Col
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Follow Up By: Ian Kimberleycruiser - Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00
The Explorer is gaining points, thanks Colin. You go in the Waeco not so good column. Might add up to a clear answer eventually. I wonder if a university somewhere would sponser me to do an Australia wide study. Mmm.

Cheers,
Ian
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Reply By: Member - Nigel - Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00
The Waeco are a quite a good fridge. From what I've seen of them (in use on camping trips) they have better insulation than the engels, although not as good as the EvaKool or Explorer.

I have an EvaKool which uses the same compressor and I've had it running for the past 4 weeks (been doing a bit of travel for work). Ours is 12 months old and barely get's turned above 1 (out of 7) and we live in FNQ.

The Waeco 5 year warranty is a plus. I can't comment on the freezer as my friends with the Waeco only have the smaller model (single compartment).
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Follow Up By: Ian Kimberleycruiser - Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00
Thanks Nigel. It's good to see you can still have friends with different fridges. Even when opinion seems so divided.

Evacool just got another point.

Cheers,
Ian
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Follow Up By: Ian Kimberleycruiser - Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00
Thanks Nigel. It's good to see you can still have friends with different fridges. Even when opinion seems so divided.

Evacool just got another point.

Cheers,
Ian
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Reply By: Member - Nigel - Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00
If you can get a hold of the 4WD Monthly edition with the ADL testing of all the fridges, it's worth comparing the temperature graphs to get an idea of the insulation of each fridge.
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Follow Up By: Ian Kimberleycruiser - Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00
Thanks Nigel, I check it out at the library.

Cheers,
Ian
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Reply By: EXTREME1 - Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00
Also have a look at The SNAPPER same as the explorer and trailblazer but has a lick of paint. I have the 70ltr (50ltr fridge 20ltr freezer) and love it. I would look at The SNAPPER, EXPLORER AND TRAILBLAZOR if you want a decent size fridge freezer.

Also all the fraser island fishing crew use the SNAPPER fridges, these sit in the back of there utes 24/7.
And my cousin who builds alloy plate fishing boats uses these in all his boats.

They must be good.
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Reply By: paul - Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00
Ian if you want a copy of that article i can send it to you, send me your address at myredcar@hotmail.com

The explorer had an average current draw over 24 hours of 2.4 amps which was in comparison with the Engel 1.6, Waeco 2.0, Evakool 1.9, Liemakc 5.6, etc. What you have to factor in though is that while the all the fridges were set at the same temperature, the Explorer aslo had the freezer section at a permanent minus 18C which makes the 2.4 average current draw pretty awsome. If you'd put the Engel at max setting i reckon the average would be maybe triple if not more. This i think is were quality insulation counts. Word of warning, domestic fridges as i have said elsewhere blow minus 18C air into the freezer compartment which with wind chill factor hits unfrozen goods at about minus 30C. All the 12v freezer compartments in fridge/freezer combinations just have extra cooling pipes around the freezer section so you never get that minus 30C air flowing around which means they are not great at making ice (they do, just takes longer). That said put frozen ice in the freezer and it will save frozen long as your battery lasts.
AnswerID: 8801

Follow Up By: Member - Nigel - Friday, Nov 22, 2002 at 01:00

Friday, Nov 22, 2002 at 01:00
Actually the tests ran for 48 hours not 24 and the ambient temp was cycled from 15 to 55 and back to 15 in each 24 hour period. If that's not a good comparison of current draw then I don't know what is. The only factor not considered (as it was inside a test lab) is the effect of direct sunlight - but it's best to protect any fridge from that anyway.
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Follow Up By: Mick - Saturday, Dec 21, 2002 at 01:00

Saturday, Dec 21, 2002 at 01:00
Paul you are not a physicist!!! Wind chill factor does not turn -18C air into -30C air and from an earlier post, hot air does not flood into a cold fridge especially if it is top opening as the cold air stays in the fridge and is not replaced by warm as warm air rises. (Air expands when heated and therefore makes heated air less dense than cold air) Consider two things
1. Top loading freezers in supermarkets are often open and the goods remain frozen.
2. The hottest part of a room is near the ceiling and /or a two storey house is always hotter in the top storey.
Sorry to have to put you right but it just annoys me so much to see absolute nonsense presented as facts!!
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Reply By: Member - Melissa - Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00
Hi Ian,

We checked out the Evacool at the Perth 4WD Show recently because we'd heard SO MANY good things about them. Very impressive. One feature we really liked in the fridge/freezer model was the ability to move the divider so you could vary compartment sizes to suit.

:o) Melissa
AnswerID: 8803

Reply By: Rockhopping - Friday, Nov 22, 2002 at 01:00

Friday, Nov 22, 2002 at 01:00
The 4WD Monthly fridge test was 'interesting'. BUT- find out how many of a particular imported brand (starting with the letter W) they had to use to get somewhere near the manufaturers specs. AND which Aussie made unit was tweaked to get the results it did- and probably would have lasted only a couple of days in the real world.
AnswerID: 8830

Follow Up By: Member - Nigel - Friday, Nov 22, 2002 at 01:00

Friday, Nov 22, 2002 at 01:00
All the aussie made units except Liemack, use the danfoss compressor, so the only real difference is the insulation and construction quality of the box. So are you saying the odd one out was tweaked?

I got an EvaKool because of the reputation of their iceboxes (the compressor is the same as all others so that's fairly irrelevant) and I run it for months at a time and have no problems so far. It's 12 months old now.

I live in Far North Queensland and rarely have to turn the fridge above 2 and usually run it on 1.5 (out of 7). It cycles between 1 and 4 degrees.
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Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Friday, Nov 22, 2002 at 01:00

Friday, Nov 22, 2002 at 01:00
Rockhopping are you insinuating they let Waeco (the only fridge brand with a 'W' in the tests) to use many fridges or to find a 'good' fridge?
There is absolutely nothing whatsoever in the article to suggest what you are saying.

I would suggest you are making insinuations which are just not true or statements of fact. Considering that the Australian made units used only two compressors, the Liemack a Mitsubishi and the evaKool, Autofridge, Bush Boy, Explorer all use the Danfoss BD35 compressor. To even suggest that one of the Australian units was tweaked to get the results, is rank stupidity, as to be in business in Australia and survive, you really need to produce an excellent quality reasonably priced product. The only Australian manufacturer missing from the market place now, is Liemack, which was the poorest performer in the tests in many areas. Liemack has now been re-badged into a Reefer and taken over/sold to/bought/etc. by a mob called Refrigeration Research.

I have personally owned more fridges than I can remember. The only fridge I have had break downs with has been Engel, and have had three compressors replaced.

Presently I have an ED50 evaKool because of the high quality of their case, and the excellent track record they have with their ice-boxes and Esky's.
I also had a Chescold Freezer 3 way, that was a T-terrific unit. Not that great bouncing around in the back of vehicle, but once you got to camp and setup, it was a magic unit. You did have to make sure it was level, but besides that, could not fault it. Even worked perfectly in the tropics in summer.
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Reply By: Ian KimberleyCruiser - Sunday, Nov 24, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Nov 24, 2002 at 01:00
Wow, thanks everyone for your advice. I am getting exactly what I asked for. A wide range of experience and opinion.

There are a couple of makes that are standing out now, The explorer is one. I've had a look at the web site and like what I see, but there are no prices to compare. So I will have to contact the company to get pricing. I always prefer sites with prices. They will always get my custom over the "contact us for price" sites.

The test results are a good comparison. Objective and scientific. We all use our fridges differently under different conditions, so it's difficult to make direct comparrisons.

I am confused on the issue of compressor replacements though. I have already done this once with my Engel 39lt (By the way it was paid for by my home contents insurance, so don't forget to try and claim it if yours goes. saved my over $600!). If So many of the brand names use the same compressor, how can compressor failures in one brand be an inditement against the one brand?

A lot of emphasis has been put on insulation and that most brands have better insulation than the Engel, but the Engel still had a lower current draw in the test. One thing in favour of the thinner insulation I can see, is that in the back of my 80 series, I can still fit one of the fold down seats in place alonside the 39lt Engel. The brands with great insulation also seem to have great dimensions.

Thanks again everyone,
Cheers,
Ian
AnswerID: 8896

Follow Up By: Member - Nigel - Sunday, Nov 24, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Nov 24, 2002 at 01:00
The only reason compressor failure could be attributed to the make of fridge would be if the way a particular manufacturer mounts the compressor contributed to the failure. Not that I know of anyone who's every had a compressor die - I would personally think that abuse would be a bigger factor.
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Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Sunday, Nov 24, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Nov 24, 2002 at 01:00
Ian KC check out the evaKool, as they have a great new two compartment fridge/freezer which is not yet on their website. You can move the partition inside to vary the size of each. www.evakool.com.au

Greater insulation quality, does not mean increased dimensions, it is dependent on how the insulation is put in place, or if they are buying sheets and cutting to size, or pour in foam to make the fridge.
Pressure injected foam is the most superior form of insulation available in portable fridges. Pressure injected foam produces the most dense and best thermal properties, for less bulk. All completely square fridges would normally use sheet or poured in foam. A bit of a generalist statement, but pretty well on the money.
What I have proved provides around 3 to 5% overall power saving, is putting a tiny 40mm 12vDC fan inside the fridge. Part number Y8496 from DSE (D*ck Smith Electronics). Connect it up to the thermostat.
I have mine held on with cable ties onto the basket.
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Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Sunday, Nov 24, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Nov 24, 2002 at 01:00
I have had 3 Engel compressor failures, and the repair shop I had my second compressor done, was doing a *great* business repairing Engel fridges. To date, I have not had one Danfoss failure.
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Reply By: paul - Sunday, Dec 22, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Dec 22, 2002 at 01:00
Yup, luv my explorer. Danfoss DB35 or whatever, the same danfoss compressor as in my CCF30, pure 12v compressor, came with inbuilt 12v fan i have seen at Jaycar for $18 and they only charged me $30 to wire in the system, pressure injected insulation, worth checking out next time.
AnswerID: 10091

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