Submitted: Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 12:01
ThreadID: 34088 Views:2505 Replies:10 FollowUps:6
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I know, this is an old one, I've looked at a lot of the previous stuff on this forum but a lot of it isn't in a language I understand. We looked at some at the caravan and camping show yesterday - Waeco, Engel, and Downunder. Heard what the salesman had to say. Now what do the users have to say. What are the good and bad of each (in plain english please), how long will a battery run one, looking at 70-80 litre fridge/freezer, won't be used heaps but when it is I want it to work. Had a Chescold that we never had much trouble with until recently when it burnt out the electrics on a new Patrol.
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Reply By: Hairy - Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 12:48

Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 12:48
I have a 60l Waeco and are happy with it except the digital control panel has had some faults. It has never completely stoped working but the error light has come on for different reasons and caused the fridge to cut in and out. The after sales service I have had with it has been fantastic and they always offer a loan fridge if needed but the have always managed to fix it over night. I generally run a small solar panel hooked up to my aux. battery and that has never gone flat over a few days with minimal (10 minutes maybee 2-3 times a day) running of the car.
Engels certainly have a great reputation and thats what I have used mainly over the past 15 years but the price these days was enough to make me try a waeco.
If you decide on a waeco buy the insulated fridge bag, they cut down the run time dramaticaly. Im more than happy with the Waeco's
Plain English enough?
AnswerID: 173772

Reply By: joc45 - Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 12:49

Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 12:49
This is like the Toyota/Nissan argument, so I won't buy into that, but one issue which will affect your power consumption is whether you really need the freezer part of the fridge. I find that cryovacing meat, and keeping the fridge at about 2-3deg means a lot of power saved compared with running the fridge as a freezer. Meat keeps for over a month this way.
Re the Chescold, sounds like the wiring wasn't up to the current consumption of the chescold (about 15A, I recall).
AnswerID: 173773

Follow Up By: ch00k555 - Monday, May 22, 2006 at 12:13

Monday, May 22, 2006 at 12:13
Gidday Joc45,
You mentioned cryovacing meat, do you do this yourself or buy the meat already cryovaced? If you do it yourself where did you get the equipment to do it?

FollowupID: 429906

Reply By: Member - Wilgadene (QLD) - Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 14:19

Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 14:19
Have both a waeco 50L and a Chescold 50L. Both only 12months old so probably haven't had them long enough to really give them a decent work out . We have 2 x 120A/h batteries in our camper trailer so power with the Waeco has not been a problem as yet. Had a few problems with the Waeco from new (warped lid, loose srews and bolts in cabinet, elctrical circuit failure of some sort) All this was in the first 3 months and it stopped working during a trip so bought the chescold to let us finish our travels. Found the Waeco good when it was working and have no complaints with the warranty worked received. Just a bummer at the time when it failed and then having to cart an extra fridge until we got home. The Chescold was good especially when camped for a few weeks or so in one spot. We got about three weeks from 9kg of gas. The chescold has a divider in it so we were using one side as fridge the other side as freezer. The only thing lacking is when running the chescold 3 way on 12V you can't adjust the thermostat. That can only be done on gas and 240V. After travelling for 7-8hrs I found that all food was frozen. I'm going to give it a go running it through an inverter(12v to 240V) next time and see how it goes. HAven't had any trouble with wiring so far, but got a lot of good info re wiring from the forum and the site which certainly helped. The booklet I got with the Chescold says about 10a/h which is probably pretty heavy on power but so far we have only used the 12V when travelling too and from.

AnswerID: 173783

Reply By: rooster1070 - Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 14:26

Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 14:26
I have recently purchased a waeco cf50 fridge and found it to be faulty. The error light kept flashing, telling me that there was insufficient voltage but I knew there was enough. They would not replace fridge only being 10 days old and had to wait 5 days for it to be fixed. They eventually replaced the whole circuit board as they couldn,t find the exact problem.

Working well now, i use a 100ah deep cycle battery which I charge at home, is enough for weekend use as you can run the fridge of the car battery when driving. A solar panel is a good idea, as long as there is adequate sunlight, may be hard in southern winter, but you will find in the cooler weather your battery will last a lot longer, especially if you switch of at night if cool enough<5c.

Really you get what you pay for, couldnt justify the extra for engel, but some of my mates swear by them. If you are camping mainly in one spot, a three way fridge maybe a better option. You can run of gas and not have to buy extras such as batteries and generators. I would go for one that can freeze or you might get caught out in really hot weather. A three way fridge only can obtain 20-25c below ambient temparture.

Hope this helps
AnswerID: 173784

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 22:42

Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 22:42
Yeah I bought a cheapo Supercheap compressor fridge and trashed it. I think I broke a copper gas line off road. I took it back without my receipt ( I lost it ) and they replaced it for the new model on the spot. Can't complain about that, I thought I'd blown $300 bucks, but nope, bloody good stuff. After listening to people complain about the warranty on these expensive fridges you gotta wonder what the go is...
FollowupID: 429840

Follow Up By: Member No 1- Monday, May 22, 2006 at 08:05

Monday, May 22, 2006 at 08:05
Jeff M, are you sure the supoercheap fridge f9r 330 had a compressor?...sounds too cheap???? way too cheap....
FollowupID: 429864

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Monday, May 22, 2006 at 09:30

Monday, May 22, 2006 at 09:30
LMAO!! Yeah I'm sure. It was a special before christmas down from $599 to clear the old model before the next shipment came in with the 'new and improved' model. Which I ended up getting anyway - BARGIN!

She works brilliantly too. Soft start compressor, _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx a little over 4 amps at full tilt but appears to have two speeds, when it's cold outside it never arks right up and the compressor seems to go slower drawing only just over 2 amps. She's got a digital display and get's down to -15 in less than 2 hours from 22c.

With the new model it remembers the set tempeture when the power's cut too, so each time you plug it in you don't have to turn it off freeze (-15). (that was a pain in the ass, you'd have a power failure while you were at work, come home and all your beer was solid! DOH).
FollowupID: 429877

Reply By: David from David and Justine Olsen's 4WD Tag-Along - Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 16:42

Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 16:42
If you are looking for a fridge freezer of about 70 litres, in my opinion you can't go past the Explorer Fridge Freezer. It has seperate thermostats for fridge and freezer and is built tough. I have the 56litre and love it. Power consumption is one of the lowest.
AnswerID: 173804

Reply By: SteveL - Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 18:21

Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 18:21
I have a 60 litre Trailblaza and they would have to be the toughest fridge on the market.The only problem with them is the size and weight because of the amount of insulation they have.This also makes them the most efficient though.-Steve
AnswerID: 173813

Reply By: Crackles - Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 22:16

Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 22:16
You'll notice a pattern after a while, it's already appearing in this thread, my Waeco is great, uses very little power, is heaps cheaper than the others & after it broke down, (lid fell off, latch broke, display failed) the after sales service & Warrenty was excellent. After 12 years I wouldn't have a clue how good the after sales service is on my fridge :-) BECAUSE I'VE NEVER USED IT!
Cheers Craig.............
73L Autofridge.
PS: My old Engel before that survived 15 years of my abuse so they are pretty good too :-)
AnswerID: 173867

Reply By: Leroy - Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 22:32

Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 22:32
Got to ask youself how long you need the fridge to run for? Maybe a chescold may still be your best option if you base camp for a number of days and then you wont have to worry about batteries, solar panels, etc.

AnswerID: 173869

Reply By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 23:01

Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 23:01
Autofridge, Trailblaza, Explorer, Engel are all very very good fridges. Waeco is a hit and miss affair, you might hit a good one and have a good run if you're lucky.
AnswerID: 173877

Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 04:03

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 04:03

That was a tactful reply Ray. You didn't even get a bite:-)

I'm diagonally parked in a parallel Universe!

My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

FollowupID: 430100

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 08:30

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 08:30
Oh well I just tell it the way I see it. If all the fridges were the same price nobody woud chose the waeco.
FollowupID: 430120

Reply By: Muzzgit (WA) - Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 23:38

Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 23:38
We have a 50l waeco. It runs well, uses little power, being able to have the lid open from one side or the other is handy. Having a fridge light and dairy compartment is handy, but after all it is plastic, and plastic breaks/bends/warps/twists etc and just a couple of little things about them is done on the cheap.

I think, if I had my time again I would get the engel, stuff the expense!!!!
AnswerID: 173881

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