Fridge/freezer and a commodore?

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 06, 2006 at 21:48
ThreadID: 32618 Views:5512 Replies:7 FollowUps:1
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Hello All,

I'm thinking about buying a weico 40lt fridge/freezer and was wondering if it is wise to put one of these in my commodore?

Would it drain too much power?

Should vehicles with fridge/freezer's have dual batteries?

Is there any tips anyone has for not causing issues when using a fridge/freeazer?

I'm planning on buying a 4wd soon and i will have no issues when this happens, but unsure if its worth bothering buying a fridge/freezer for the holidays or wait until i also have the 4wd.

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Reply By: Willem - Thursday, Apr 06, 2006 at 22:05

Thursday, Apr 06, 2006 at 22:05
I take it you mean a Waeco Fridge.

No it wont drain your battery unneccessarily while you are driving. If you are parked I wopuld suggest you don't run the fridge for more than a couple of hours.

We have the same model fridge in an Xtrail, which has a tiny battery and it is good for shopping trips etc.
AnswerID: 165419

Reply By: MrSpK - Thursday, Apr 06, 2006 at 22:14

Thursday, Apr 06, 2006 at 22:14
Yep sorry did mean Waeco!

Was planning on a 4 or 5 day trip to a national park and thought a fridge/freeazer would be good. Plan was to keep some meat and prawns fozen for a nice bbq each night. How much time would the waeco need to run to keep things frozen? Should I run the car for awhile to keep the bat power up?
AnswerID: 165423

Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, Apr 06, 2006 at 22:47

Thursday, Apr 06, 2006 at 22:47
There are more learned battery specialist here on the forum who might pick up on your question. Personally I wouldnt run the fridge for longer than 2 hours on a single battery unless you have an easy way of starting a dead car battery. Take a genset set with you or even a charged up second battery. Then you can run the fridge off that one while camping. When you buy your 4x4 install a dual battery system. This will take the worry out of fridges eating batteries...:o)
FollowupID: 420295

Reply By: web-keeper-666 - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 02:00

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 02:00
I cant tell you to much about the 40ltr, as I have the 110ltr.

Over time I have tried different ways to manage the waeco witout killing my battery, yes I said battery (but thats one big mother...)

But in saying that I have found, with mine, to get the most performance out of it,
I power it up and set it to -20c in my gararge around 2 days before I head out and on the day I am ready to leave I pack it with the food that I have had stored in the main fridge/freeze at home.

I find that this is easier on my battery and on the food.

I hope this is of some help.

Good luck
Jon - (Sierra 65)
AnswerID: 165452

Reply By: Utemad - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 08:40

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 08:40
My parents have an Engel 32 litre in the boot of their Fairlane. It was the biggest Engel they could fit in their boot while still being able to open the lid.
They have left the fridge on overnight without any starting trouble the next day.

The Waeco has an advantage over the Engel in that it has a battery protection circuit. It has a switch which allows you to vary the voltage cutout. This means the fridge will switch itself off at this voltage to preserve your battery.
I forget what the voltages are but I remember the Waeco guys telling me that the lowest setting will not allow your car to start but will give the longest fridge run time, middle setting will allow car to start but will be borderline, the highest will allow car to start with no problems but gives shortest fridge run time.
(Does the 40L have 2 or 3 battery settings?)
AnswerID: 165496

Reply By: Member - Athol (NSW, 2527) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 10:21

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 10:21
A mate of mine runs his 50lt waeco in the boot of his crumidore and runs an extension lead to it when staying in caravan parks. It drained the battery once when he left it parked for a few hours, he called the NRMA for a jump. But that is no good if you are in an out of the way spot.
I suppose it depends on if you want to increase the size of your battery to compensate.

AnswerID: 165525

Reply By: Member - Des - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 11:11

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 11:11
We have 40L Waeco and 2 x Waeco CoolPower 36 power. I have described our decision-making and experience in previous posts. There is a lot of other info in the archives on powering a fridge.

Some comments:
- The Waeco is a good fridge. Efficient, economical and relatively light too (so OK to carry in and out from the car). The 40L model was top in recent test by Austn 4WD Monthly.
- Whatever fridge you get, consider an insulating bag too. Protects the cabinet and increases thermal efficiency (which means less power consumption).
- The Waeco (and several other fridges) can be used as either fridge or freezer. If you set it to freeze, it will use lots more power.
- The small compartment above the compressor is about 5 deg or so warmer than the main compartment.
- Get a thermometer with a probe (Waeco sell one for about $30) to measure the actual temp in the fridge. The temp setting on the fridge is just a guide.
- The danger zone for food storage is above 5 deg. Bacteria breed madly above that.
- Agree with Willem: don't even consider trying to run the fridge off the car battery for any length of time. Ordinary starter batteries are not designed to be run down; that is what deep cycle batteries are for.
- Dual batteries are the popular choice for powering fridges. Figure about $700 for a decent system.
- For a cheap option, consider a do-it-yourself battery pack or dual battery system with a good deep cycle battery. (Search for "battery pack" and "dual batter*" in the archives.)
- If camping in one spot for more than a few days, you will need to recharge the dual battery or battery pack, either by driving for some considerable time, running a generator (not popular with anyone else in the area), or solar panels (expensive).
- Don't use the Turbo function on the fridge when running on 12v power. (See an earlier post on this.) Start the fridge on AC to crank it up.
- Run the fridge on AC (rather than 12v) whenever possible. Makes a very handy second fridge or freezer at home.
- Reconditioned or demo Waeco stock from can be a very good buy. (Search the archives for fridgeshop for other people's experiences.)
AnswerID: 165926

Reply By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 11:31

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 11:31
put the biggest battery you can fit in your crummydore hopefully 550ccapluss and get yourself one of those battery starting packs in case of emergency from supercrap. You wont need a dear one as you vehicle will be alot easier to start than a diesal. You dont need duel batts but with the size battery you can probably fit in your vehicle You would need to run it daily (idling it for 1/2 hour is not running it!)
AnswerID: 165931

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