Waeco v Engel

Submitted: Monday, May 29, 2006 at 12:41
ThreadID: 34364 Views:3091 Replies:12 FollowUps:10
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I'm looking at buying a new car fridge, with Engel and Waeco as the top runners so far. I was told by a person who owns both, that Waeco aren't happy running off a 240V generator and the low volt warning light comes on soon after the battery level drops a bit after stopping the engine. Can anyone confirm or refute this please.


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Reply By: phillowe - Monday, May 29, 2006 at 13:10

Monday, May 29, 2006 at 13:10
Hi Waz,

I have had a Waeco for about 5 years now and have had neiter of the issues you state...As to the low voltage it may be that the person you spoke to was running from an auxilary power outlet in there car which are fairly light weight and suffer greatly from voltage drop ( esprcially if useing one in the rear) the only way to go is to run a separate heavy wire t the back of the car, this should give you know problems.

AnswerID: 175342

Reply By: raunchy - Monday, May 29, 2006 at 13:14

Monday, May 29, 2006 at 13:14
Hi Warren,
Lots of varying opinions on this. Its like which tyres are the best...
Anyway, I have a Waeco CF50 and a CF25. The difference between the two fridges is not really much. As far as I have researched, the Waeco, will use more power when running than the Engel, but run less as it cools down faster. Therefore at the end of the day they two fridges will use similair power.
The Waeco theoretically should perform better than the Engel in hotter weather because of this, but I believe the insulation on the Waeco may not be as good as the engel so this may negate this.
I have not had any problems running the Waeco off a generator, but as for the comment that the low volt light comes on soon after the engine is stopped, the problem is in the wiring.
The waeco will draw around 6 amps when running so the wiring MUST be spot on. I had 6mm2 wire in my Courier to run the fridge, this was adequate, but if the terminals are in any way dirty you will have problems.
In My landcruiser I have cut the useless cigarette lighter type plugs off the fridges, run 10mm2 cable from the dual battery to the back and used Anderson Powerpole connectors to connect the fridge.
Since doing this, I have had NIL problems.
BTW, the CF25 fridge runs 24X7, when i had the courier, I didnt have dual batteries and never had a flat battery from the Waeco, the vehicle was driven daily except Sundays.
Hope this helps
AnswerID: 175344

Reply By: Member - Coyote (SA) - Monday, May 29, 2006 at 13:15

Monday, May 29, 2006 at 13:15
Here we go... just wait for the plethora of responses.. landcruiser/nissan, weaco/engel blah blah... why dont you try checking the squillion or so previous posts??????
AnswerID: 175345

Reply By: ro-dah-o (WA) - Monday, May 29, 2006 at 13:19

Monday, May 29, 2006 at 13:19
I have had my waeco for about 6 months and have ne problems at all. I agree wit the voltage drop, I did run mine originally from the stock ciggie lighter and the voltage warning came on quite regularly when the car was sitting idle. Since wiring in a dedicated plug and using a heavier gauge wire, it doesnt do this as often, only when the battery really is low.

I cant comment on the generator, hopefully someone else can shed some light. however I would think that the type/quality/output of the generator would vary the resulst. e.g. a fridge running off a $86 GMC would have more problems compared to one running off a honda inverter or the such.

Both are good fridges, albeit engel has been around along time and do produce a good product, I have yet to have any dramas with the waeco. I would consider it a good product, that meets my needs and expectations and does the job that I ask of it. At the end of the day, as long as they keep everything cold, they are doing their job.
AnswerID: 175349

Follow Up By: Wizard1 - Monday, May 29, 2006 at 15:22

Monday, May 29, 2006 at 15:22
I too had the problem with the low voltage light. Checked the battery which was fine. The wiring had already been upgraded. Turned out it was the switch next to the plug which has a Hi or Lo setting. Put it low and it has never been a problem since. I'd be a little surprised that your battery runs down so quick. I've had my CF50 hooked up for several days while free camping; as well as the battery supplying power to the caravan for lights, etc and didn't have a drama.

Regards the original post. Had ours for 5 years. Its been worked hard, becomes the backup beer fridge at Xmas. Apart from the issue above, it has never given us any grief. We had Engels at work and I prefered the Waeco. If the 12/24/240 V switch goes on the Engel then your stuffed and I've seen that happen. Because the waeco only runs on 24/24V an uses one cable and plug it is a no brainer. So long as you use the Mobitronic MPS-50 transformer you'll be fine. I would also suggest you fit the Narva 12V plug rather than use the cigarette plug as it is more secure giving a better connection and they are rated at 20 Amps.


I agree regards the insulation issue. But if you get a good transit bag with an insulated cover and keep it out of direct sunlight it will be fine. Just wish I'd bought the 110L
FollowupID: 431457

Reply By: Mike Harding - Monday, May 29, 2006 at 13:20

Monday, May 29, 2006 at 13:20
I think you should... do a forum search and spend 3 or 4 days reading the responses rather than we all mess around typing out the same stuff again and again and again....

Mike Harding

PS. Buy a Land Cruiser.

AnswerID: 175350

Follow Up By: ro-dah-o (WA) - Monday, May 29, 2006 at 13:25

Monday, May 29, 2006 at 13:25
could be a good opportunity for some of the newer ones to thrash the topic out, you know guys, like you all used to...

P.S. considering the landcruiser thing
FollowupID: 431438

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Monday, May 29, 2006 at 13:44

Monday, May 29, 2006 at 13:44
Well... maybe... but with most of these standard questions I just get the feeling people don't bother to do much (any!?) research themselves first and don't even bother to read the forum for a few days before posting their question. And, frankly, given these two are the leading brands on the Oz market it's clearly going to be a subjective judgement as to which is the better.

I suspect a lot of this could be avoided if there were an FAQ for this forum as there is for many of the newsgroups - however, given the commercial nature of this site the owners may not want that.

Mike Harding
FollowupID: 431444

Follow Up By: cuffs - Monday, May 29, 2006 at 13:55

Monday, May 29, 2006 at 13:55
Mike if you! are not interested in the discussion Please don't read it and then take the efford into replying.
FollowupID: 431447

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Monday, May 29, 2006 at 14:03

Monday, May 29, 2006 at 14:03
I am interested in it but I think the OP should have done more research otherwise this forum will be flooded by people asking questions which have been answered before and then you won't be able to post off topic replies and add to the drivel, will you?

Mike Harding

PS. Which do you think I should buy cuffs; a Landcruiser or a Patrol - which is better?
FollowupID: 431448

Follow Up By: Member - Matt M (ACT) - Monday, May 29, 2006 at 17:49

Monday, May 29, 2006 at 17:49

I don't care which you buy. Just make sure you fit cheese cutters. They are better in sand.

FollowupID: 431503

Follow Up By: Hairy - Monday, May 29, 2006 at 17:52

Monday, May 29, 2006 at 17:52
Maybe someone giving advice on this thread hadnt answered the earlier ones or he might be looking for more updated advice!!!!
DONT open the thread if you dont want to!
FollowupID: 431504

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Monday, May 29, 2006 at 18:08

Monday, May 29, 2006 at 18:08
Would you guys _please_ stop reading these threads and making off topic responses, you just clutter them up for those of us who are really interested in knowing if an Engel is better than a Waeco!

Mike Harding
FollowupID: 431511

Reply By: TerraFirma - Monday, May 29, 2006 at 13:34

Monday, May 29, 2006 at 13:34
Both good products, I have a Waeco but would have bought the Engel if the price had of been right at the time. I think there are some fair deals to be had buying Waeco, specially now in Winter.

Now while I'm here Toyotas are better than Nissans..! LOL
AnswerID: 175358

Reply By: DaveNQ1 - Monday, May 29, 2006 at 16:52

Monday, May 29, 2006 at 16:52

Don't know about running the Waeco off a generator, but can i recommend you talk to the people who repair both of these brands of fridges.... Not the guys who sell them.


AnswerID: 175413

Reply By: Crackles - Monday, May 29, 2006 at 17:13

Monday, May 29, 2006 at 17:13
The main failing of an Engel is the plug can open circuit when something is packed up against it.
The main problems of a Waeco are the lids warp, the latch springs open & the electronic control unit fails.
Both have good warrenty but one is required more........alot more but thats why they are far cheaper.
The low volt warning light coming on is normally a wiring problem in the car & many people successfully use their fridges on a generator so again it's more likely a problem in the genny.]
Cheers Craig.................
AnswerID: 175416

Reply By: Brew69(SA) - Monday, May 29, 2006 at 18:42

Monday, May 29, 2006 at 18:42
Not sure how running a waeco off a genny can cause an error light???? I mean the fridge runs off the 240 pack which in my case converts it to 24 volts, but on the smaller units its 12 volts. Can someone elighten me???
AnswerID: 175454

Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Monday, May 29, 2006 at 20:03

Monday, May 29, 2006 at 20:03
Bre69 .is same on both ,, both mobitronic units ,1 for the smaller BD35 and the larger for the BD50 act as transformers from the 240v source to 24v ,,both motors run on 24v and 12v ,, best performance allways seems to be the 240v because unit is actually running on 24v ,,, when plugged into 12 v batteries people "seem" to have problems ,,only "real" problem is they have is voltage drop.
FollowupID: 431535

Follow Up By: Brew69(SA) - Monday, May 29, 2006 at 20:10

Monday, May 29, 2006 at 20:10
Ok thanks for the correction. So a genny should not cause error lights then? I have the old FF-70 which touch wood doesn't give me grief and also has the manual controls.
FollowupID: 431537

Reply By: Twinkles - Monday, May 29, 2006 at 19:36

Monday, May 29, 2006 at 19:36
I've had an Engel 29 ltr about 20 yrs now. Used it continually as my freezer for about 2 yrs when I didn't have one in my fridge recently. When driving on Frazer Island Hilux left the ground over a low sand rise on hard beach. Engel not strapped down, bounced, dinged up one foot, kept going. Met a bloke on Zeka track once with a bshed about Engel in the back of his bashed about Land Rover. He said he was going up a steep climb when his back door popped open and the Engel rolled out, down the slope. He recovered it and it never missed a beat.
Sometimes use it as e freezer and make ice for esky.
Don't know anything about Waecos.
AnswerID: 175475

Reply By: Trevor R (QLD) - Monday, May 29, 2006 at 21:33

Monday, May 29, 2006 at 21:33
Got both an engel and a waeco,
engel is 12 - 15 yrs old and still runs OK, all be it a bit noisy.
Waeco is two yrs old and runs right beside me in the back of my truck where I sleep and I can't hear it, so it is quiet. Both do the job but time will tell if the waeco is still running in another 12 or 13 yrs.
If it's not right beside you in your sleep and you want it for a long time I would probably spend the initial extra and buy the proven product here in Australia (I know waeco are supposed to be proven in Europe but not so much here) This is of course the Engel.

Here's to cold beer in the bush.
AnswerID: 175523

Reply By: warrenr004 - Monday, May 29, 2006 at 22:13

Monday, May 29, 2006 at 22:13
Thanks for the advice everyone . I'm new to the game and wasn't aware I could look at previous forums. You sound like a P76 driver Mike!!

AnswerID: 175541

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