Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 15, 2003 at 15:46
ThreadID: 2975 Views:8662 Replies:11 FollowUps:12
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what is the best fridge? set aside all costs. looking for a 50 to 70 liter fridge with the lowest electric use and a fridge that people have had long term reliability. i don't want to sent it back to the factory for great warranty service, just want reliable service in the field.
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Reply By: OziExplorer - Wednesday, Jan 15, 2003 at 17:09

Wednesday, Jan 15, 2003 at 17:09
That is easy to answer a Quirk's AutoFridge.
AnswerID: 11340

Follow Up By: Brian - Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 09:57

Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 09:57
Robert The Autofridge is the best IMHO I have had one for over 10 years constant use. It is different to most other fridges as it is Eutectic.
Basicaly it freezes cells of fluid around the fridge. this means it needs about 2 hours initaly to pull down the temp(high current draw), then about 1 hr morning and night to maintain that Temp(vlow current draw).
I cant speak higher off them ,and would't even consider any other.

FollowupID: 6288

Reply By: bruce.h - Wednesday, Jan 15, 2003 at 20:42

Wednesday, Jan 15, 2003 at 20:42
Gday Robert
i have a 39lt engil got in the mid eighties from new it has bounced round in all my 4wd since, spent the first few yeras not even tied down was for ever picking it up off its lid & standing it back up on its legs, it has never stoped never been serviced never ever had to have any repairs done to it , so i would have to say it without any question gets my
recomemndation, ihave never looked into the electricity usage side of it but run it off duel battery system & it has lasted for about 3 days before sending batery flat dependent on uotside temp ect
i think engil do a 60 lt fridge /freazer might be worth looking at
Regards Bruce
AnswerID: 11345

Reply By: rodeoowner - Wednesday, Jan 15, 2003 at 22:28

Wednesday, Jan 15, 2003 at 22:28
If I had your budget (ie. huge!) I would get the Autofridge 73 litre @ $2100(?). If you want a fridge and freezer in one, you can look at Supakool, Waeco, Explorer. There may be another couple available as well.
AnswerID: 11357

Reply By: Wayne Prictor - Wednesday, Jan 15, 2003 at 22:28

Wednesday, Jan 15, 2003 at 22:28
Rob If You Have The Money You Won't Go Past An Auto Fridge From Quirks. If You Are In Melbourne Go To Freedom Camping /Dont Go To( Brown Davis) As The Muck Everyone Around!
AnswerID: 11358

Follow Up By: Robert4615 - Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 02:36

Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 02:36
thanks everyone for all the help. did'nt evenknow about the autofridge. years ago everyone use to talk about the LIEMACK as being #1. now known as the reefer. i understand this is heavy energy consumption. truely i was ready to order a TRAILBLAZER. does this fridge maker make a quality product? looking at the consumption tables it consumes very little energy and can even be ordered with thicker insulation. i understand they are very heavy. regards. robert
FollowupID: 6281

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 08:12

Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 08:12
Robert you could never class a Liemack/Reefer as number one its massive power consumption and the way it cycles continuously over the wide tempreture range it does.

You asked who made the best fridge regardless of price - Correct - the replies are Quirks.

Now you are asking does this fridge maker (Quirks) make a quality product - yes, the very best. as per your first question.

The Quirks fridge is on a par with the Trailblaza for weight.
Depending under what conditions you are using this fridge, I doubt that I would bother with thicker insulation on it. What the supply as standard is pretty damn good.
FollowupID: 6283

Follow Up By: Wheely - Friday, Jan 17, 2003 at 15:04

Friday, Jan 17, 2003 at 15:04
I agree with Wayne Brown Davis Muck everyone around!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
FollowupID: 6372

Reply By: EXTREME1 - Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 07:55

Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 07:55
Explorer and Snapper fridge/freezers are great units, I have a 70ltr Snapper and my cousin has the 90ltr Explorer both sit in the back of our cruiser utes exposed to the elements and have not once falled. I also have a 29ltr engel thats is 10 years old (it's my beer fridge) and it to still runs like a dream.

AnswerID: 11365

Reply By: Member - NOBBY - Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 09:07

Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 09:07
Robert.. I have the spec. sheet for the 60l Trailblaza and the weight of it (empty) is 38kg.(nearly two bags of cement) If you think you can handle this,outlay the $1309. 70l-$1364, 80l-$1419, 90l-$1507,100l-$1595. They are also very bulky ie. the 60l is 875(L)x475(W) x 530 (H). As I have stated in the previous forum, I think that they are all good units these days, so think of your back and pocket when buying.
AnswerID: 11367

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 11:39

Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 11:39
Nobby that is why I bought an evaKool as I believe it is one of the best fridges down from the Quirks. I would have liked a Quirks, but the weight and size of the Quirks and Trailblaza and a few others is a demon. My evaKool 50 litre is 18.5kgs and manageable. With the evaKool utilising the IndelB suspension system and their excellent pressure injected foam and consequently excellent insulation, was an easy choice for me.

50 litre evaKool model ED50 18.5 kgs = 40.7lbs .134 cu mtrs is size
39 litre Quirks Autofridge 35.5kg = 78.1lbs .224 cu mtrs in size.
40 litre Trailblaza Standard 33kg = 72.6 lbs .21 cu mtrs in size

That is *big difference* comparing a 39/40L with a 50L

While Robert4615 asked which is the best fridge, yes, the Quirks would be, but is the best always necessary and it depends on how you are powering this fridge and intend to use it. In my case disregarding the size and weight of the Quirks, I just could not justify the price of the Quirks, and yes, I always like to buy the best and not have problems. In my case I have plenty of solar power availble to power the fridge, it is permantly mounted in the back of my 4WD (I go off-road every week) and the IndelB suspension system on the compressor is excellent for that
and yes, I did have to consider the size and weight.
FollowupID: 6290

Follow Up By: Rodeoowner - Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 18:26

Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 18:26
Ozi, where did those figures come from?

39 litre Quirks 26kg - 0.114 cu metres
40 litre Trailblaza 34kg - 0.162 cubic metres

Maybe the sizes got mixed up?
FollowupID: 6303

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 19:28

Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 19:28
Quirks 39L Autofridge is .52 x .863 x .502 = .225 cu mtrs
from 4WD Monthly magazine Pg: 87 The Fridge Test issue. Issue number or date not stated on pages.
There is no dimensions, weight and sparse information on the Quirks website.

Trailblaza Standard 40L .76 x .45 x .505 = .172 Dimensions from their website, with no reference to weight.
From their brochure, it looks like they have mixed up some figures or just printing error. Brochure is 2000, so would expect website as 2002 to be accurate. Trailblaza do have on their website for the 60litre standard model 38kgs, so 33kgs would not be unrealistic for a 40L. Is after all only some aluminium sheet and foam extra, same size condensor and compressor.

Where did you get your Quirks fridge details from?
Found this website:
Dimensions are totally different. They come to .117
No weight on that website, but with the Quirks being a eutectic it would not be light.
FollowupID: 6309

Follow Up By: Rodeoowner - Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 21:50

Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 21:50
Ozi, I go the Quirks figures from an Overlander review, unless they changed? It wouldn't suprise me though if 4wd Monthly got it wrong, they don't seem too fussed on details.
FollowupID: 6323

Reply By: robert4615 - Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 16:13

Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 16:13
after it is all said and done weight and size are a BIG consideration. i think you made the correct decision with the evakool.
maybe if it was for a permanent install i'd go with the quirks but that weight is the factor.
do you think the evakool hinges and latches have the strength to make it over the long haul? i have heard some negative things on the evakool on this board on some of the archives. even evakool had a rep get on this board to try to calm the problems. most of it had to do with compressor problems. maybe these were old units with different compressors.
i last thing i must say if someone only did research from the archives of this board most would purchase an engel. maybe the biggest seller, or the best marketing, but rarely hear bad thing about engels. i understand as you have stated the engels and he evakool are worlds apart.
AnswerID: 11391

Follow Up By: Slunnie - Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 17:20

Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 17:20
Thats a good point. I only have the Evacool esky, from which the freezer is made, and in terms of insulation I seriously doubt you will find anything nearly as good, the areas I see being of concern are the latches which are rubber (I have just had one tear) and the foam seal around the lid which compresses (mind you this may be as a result of leaving things one it which is not recommended). The hinges and handles still seem pretty solid though.

FollowupID: 6297

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 19:54

Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 19:54
Robert, the evaKool hinges and handles would definitely go the distance, no question, they are really heavy duty nylon. The catches, well, look, I am sure they will last for us, but it depends how the fridge is placed etc. You could always order one with the Glen's style over centre stainless steel latch which is very popular on yachts. They are about $14 each.
Yes, I am aware of what you say about the evaKool when they were using another brand of compressor, but every company has their ups and downs. Difficult when you are buying a compressor in from an outside supplier and they let you down so badly.
Engel where basically the only fridge for so long and they stuck it into everybody. We had three fail, always to expensive to get repaired, like new price. Many places here locally have moved away from selling Engel and have switched to the likes of evaKook, Waeco and Vitrifrigo (bit cheap for my liking) You just have to go around to where they repair Engels to see how many are in there for repair and abondend because of the massive cost to repairs. With all the other brands bar one of the fridges, they use the Danfoss compressors which are very affordable to repair (if they ever need it) and the BD35 have already proven themselves to be the superior compressor unit on the market. Going back to evaKool, besides the fibreglass case with pressure injected foam which everybody agrees is a supurb product, all the mechanicals of the fridge are Danfoss and IndelB. I think that alone speaks for itself when it comes to quality. The other thing, why does no other manufacturer use the SawaFuji compressor, perhaps they have had sufficient experience with SawaFuji and their problems like I have in the auto electrical field - nightmare putting it kindly.
Looks like my measurement figures were a bit wonky on the Quirks and Trailblaza, but only took them from information I had on hand.

Robert, I will take some pictures of how mine fridge is setup and stick them up on a website tomorrow and post the URL here.

Robert how are you going to use this fridge and what sort of power supply?
FollowupID: 6311

Follow Up By: Turps - Saturday, Jan 18, 2003 at 08:11

Saturday, Jan 18, 2003 at 08:11
I have an Evacool 60l and had the problem of the old style compressor seizing from time to time. I took it back to the manufacturer in Caloundra and he fitted the new type compressor to it. It works a treat now and has survived being in the back of a cruizer on heaps of pig chasing weekends. No cover, blokes and dogs using it for a handy step up and seat, to top it off, when the fun starts its in the air as often as its on the tray. With all this use (abuse) it has never missed a beat.
I would definitely recomend this brand.
FollowupID: 6408

Reply By: colin - Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 20:29

Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 20:29
2 things to look for, insulation and danfoss compressors, as they are the lowest current drawers, Aussie made is also the best.
AnswerID: 11403

Reply By: robert4615 - Friday, Jan 17, 2003 at 11:41

Friday, Jan 17, 2003 at 11:41
in answer to your question of how i use my fridge, and what setup i have. at the present time i have an old engel 40liter. i use 2 large batteries in parallel in my jeep. also have a troopy with dual batteries with a dual battery system a purchased a few years ago in adelaide at a place called gonawanna.
i live in uruguay in south america 8 months a year, and recently returned from a 35 day trip to oz.
the way we use the fridge is with large conventional batteries as we spend max of 4 days on farms night hunting foxes and jackrabbits.
this vehicle spends 7 to 8 hours per night running and this charges the batteries. my jeep has a td42 nissan diesel and starts on 24 volts and runs on 12 volt at all other times. when i was in oz purchased one of the christie battery chargers just in case a battery fails. believe have had the same delco batterys for 5 years without a problem.
just discovered a new AUSTRALIAN fellow who lives in san diego california and claims he has a better fridge than anything in OZ. just talked to him today for about 10 minutes and claims he learned everything about refridgeration in OZ and is set out to make the best fridge. as we all know AMERICANS with buy anything without knowing much. this is his web site , his name is john roemmer.
as you pointed out his power usage tables use the same power usage throughout the line. a 40 lt ,and a 60 liter consume the same current at a given temp. check it out----- i sent them an e mail also telling him how costly his fridges are compared to the fridges made in OZ. he e mailed me and one of his comments was QUALITY HAS A PRICE, OUR FRIDGES ARE BETTER THAN THE AUSTRALIAN MODELS.
oziexplorer check this out and give the folks hear on the forum your opinion. he said they have the danfoss compressor.
AnswerID: 11430

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Friday, Jan 17, 2003 at 19:16

Friday, Jan 17, 2003 at 19:16
Robert I really appreciate your reply and have a real chuckle/laugh at the same time about the
Robert, I travel to the US at least once a year as part of our work in the US, mainly on the West Coast in regional economic development. Every time I go to the US I take two fridges over as luggage, and pack my clothes in them and then buy a cheap suitcase to return. My friends for whom I take these in the US are hobby/recreational gold prospectors and miners like myself. I can see why they wanted these Australian fridges as the price of a 45 litre in the US is:
$US1,345.00 which is $AU2,283.24
Exchange rate from:
an Australian fridge of 50 litres like the evaKool is $AU1,200.
My friends in the US think the prices of the Australian fridges are what we call in Australia 'for nothing', in other words very cheap.
Having been involved with portable refrigeration longer then I prefer to declare, I find this page interesting:
The very first item:
Fridge Freeze technology uses the outside casing as the condenser. This increases efficiency at high temperatures and decreases power consumption
I have a test done from James Cook University in North Queensland, that shows under higher temperature conditions over 31°C, a fan is preferable to using the casing. Up to 31°C the casing was better power wise than a fan.
I would like to know where he gets the idea of 'painted steel' that rusts. It looks like this guy has surfed every Australian fridge website and has little idea what Colorbond is, even though he is an Australian. Colorbond in the US is exactly the same as Australia and is made under licence to BHP Australia by Bethlehem Steel.

As for this page, well, where is the competition in the US.
I would like to see where the competition is in the US.
It is interesting to see this guy is quoting Litres with conversion to US measurements. Is this the US going defacto Metric, or is it this guy reading trying to win a one man crusade to get the US to go Metric. I suppose being an Australian the Metric system is first nature to him. However, he is not going to win the war trying to convert the US to Metric. Interesting in the US in the medical and scientific field they how have to use the Metric system.
Looking at the pictures on his website, they do look like a well made and finished unit
Yes, as you say on this page:
all sizes have the same current draw. For a start his 2.3 amps current draw is above 90% of the brands here, with the average being around 1.9 amps. His next chart at #1 and #7 means zero as you have no idea what the actual cabinet temperature is.
As you say this is an Australian fellow, maybe he is just sucking the Americans as they are so easily swayed into buying something, and there are enough rich Americans that will buy anything if it looks good. This guy probably may have more orders than he can manage to handle.

Robert, I don't hold anything against you for making the mistake of buying something in Adelaide. Everybody makes the odd mistake or two in life and we fully excuse you for that. Just don't let it happen again LOL.

Robert have you been up around the Murray River north of Echuca shooting foxes?
I have not seen any Jeeps fitted with a Nissan diesel and series parallel switch. Did you buy the vehicle like that or did you convert it yourself?
FollowupID: 6380

Reply By: robert4615 - Saturday, Jan 18, 2003 at 12:26

Saturday, Jan 18, 2003 at 12:26
really glad you cleared up the facts on this australian trying to sell in america a product that as you say does not equal most of the australian products. but you must remember the fine print in his ad the most efficient 110 volt dc fridge on the market. by stating this his fridge is not competing with the 240 volt dc fridges. perhaps his statement is correct with that language.
i do really agree that americans do purchase almost anything marketed as they are consumer driven. but i myself am an american who spends very little time in the USA as i live in south america. but i must tell you i did'nt purchase the les christie charger in adelaide. having heard many good things about the charger here and by talking with les for over a year. he's really a great friendly guy, and sent the charger direct to me in uruguay but haven't received it yet as i'm in miami usa at this time.
regarding my hunting, have never hunted in oz, visit every year for about a month and just travel around. great place, just drove adelaide to darwin and back. very isolate but interesting.
my 80 jeep cj6 long military model came with a 4cyl engine. i then purchased a td42 diesel from japan that came 24 volts. we don't have access to starter motors for this engine, so we installed a 12 volt alternator and put a parallel switch in. these parallel systems come from the factory on some mercedes benz, and scania built in brazil. have no idea why. after this installed more australian products arb locker front and rear with 4.88 gears. i really happy with it lots power for my use. i really beleive australia makes many find products, purchased a trak shak camper trailer a couple of years ago ---great--- and now looking for a good fridge. leading toward the evakool for the cost and weight. just think many americans help support the australian economy.
AnswerID: 11477

Reply By: Ozy traveling Aussie - Monday, Jan 20, 2003 at 17:53

Monday, Jan 20, 2003 at 17:53
look closely into the Liemack/Reefer fridge or fridge/freezer and as 'Ozy' has stated, Yes, you will find that they DO cycle continously, the reason being that they have a Rotary compressor, same as your fridge at home, they do pump a huge amount of refrigerant gas and do not take very long to drop the temperature, then they turn off, this process saves battery power.... They also have stainless steel internal walls.

The "massive" power usage some people talk about is the initial start-up voltage required, which lasts only about two seconds....and NOT the low power consumpion over a 24 hour period.

I have had my 50 ltr Liemack fridge/freezer since '97 and I can tell you that Liemack users are the best people to get the Liemack Facts from...
AnswerID: 11587

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