Waeco or Engel

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 13:43
ThreadID: 3445 Views:1957 Replies:8 FollowUps:7
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I need to buy a two way fridge/freezer of about 40L capacity for my dual cab Triton ute. From what I can gather there are two popular choices - Engel or Waeco. Any advice, please.
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Reply By: Joe - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 13:58

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 13:58
Both fridges are of high quality and perform well in our hot conditions. Engel offers a 3 year warranty and Waeco offers a 5 year warranty. Both are compressor driven fridges, Engels with their own swing motor and Waeco with the tried and tested Danfoss compressor. Both are very efficient and effective I believe Waeco to be several hundred dollars cheaper. On an average day 30 degrees C with an internal temperature of 4 degrees in the fridge the Waeco will draw 22 Amps so powering your fridge for more two days will require an alternative power source in order to protect your starting battery.
Cheers (good luck)
AnswerID: 13480

Reply By: Will - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 14:47

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 14:47

I belong to a 4wd club and we go on trips often, I have seen many Waecos fail and only one Engel (20 years old) fail.
Everybody looks at the compressors when compared and they are both very good as the previous post.

Surpisingly, what lets the waecos down is the plastic (broken lids and other bits) and the elctronic controls one going accross the Simpson last year, initially it would run forever and freeze everything and then stoped working altogether.
Engel on the other side is metal with a simple dial for temp control.
One of our members once rolled his car and the engel was still cutting in and out upsidedown...
The one which failed after 20 years was a seized compressor and it had been around...
My engel is about 10 years old and still going strong (lives in the car) so if was to add up the milage, it has done about 500000kms.

Good luck with whatever you buy.
AnswerID: 13485

Reply By: Leroy - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 15:25

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 15:25

If reliability isn't an issue I would choose the Waeco ;-)

I just purchased an Engel and after talking to a local camping shop that sells both he said he has had 10 Waeco's returned faulty since he has been open (which has only been a couple of years) and a guy in Ray's had a similar story. He said the compressors are fine but the electronics fail and are NOT guaranteed for 5 years.....only the compressor.
I just thought there could be nothing worse than being in the middle of nowhere and having your beer get warm!!

AnswerID: 13489

Follow Up By: Member - Moggs - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 17:35

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 17:35
It's just like the Toyota / Nissan thing isn't it. Maybe the reason this store has had 10 Waecos returned is because he has sold 10,000 of the things compared to ZERO Engels because of the price difference.

I Hear these 'returned Waeco" stories all the time. Ever stop to think that the shop owner may have an interest in you spending more money in his shop - would like to know what the profit margin to the retailer is on both - or maybe the shop owner has more Engels in his shop that are hard to move - easiest option - bad mouth the Waeco!!

All said, I believe both brands have merit and are good units, both with pluses and minuses - I bought a Waeco because I couldn't justify the extra cost of the Engel. For the record I have never had any reason to regret my purchase.

One day I would like to hear a Waeco reliability horror story from someone who actually owns one.
FollowupID: 7909

Follow Up By: Gob - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 17:58

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 17:58
just bought a waeco 80l 5 yr warranty on compressor 3 yr on the rest so i hope there bits are better than my $900 buggered supa cool ($700 for anew compressor ) although i think they may be around a bit longer
moggsy i hope i dont have a horror story for you as mine has been bad enough with the supacool
FollowupID: 7911

Follow Up By: Leroy - Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 10:16

Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 10:16

Both dealers sold both brands and didn't seem fussed which one I purchased. Rays being such a large retailer probably just work on turnover.
But I took other factors into consideration like current draw, reputation and proven reliabilty and thought the extra $200 bucks was worth it. Plus I also got the cover thrown in so the extra cost balanced out anyway.

FollowupID: 7941

Reply By: colin - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 16:46

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 16:46
AnswerID: 13507

Reply By: Phil P - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 21:30

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 21:30
This is a religous argument, 2 people at my work purchased ARB's version of the Engel 40L, 1 of the fridges failed on the 2nd trip ! It was fixed under warranty with no hassle. There are the same stories about Waeco.

I received my Waeco 50L this week, purchased it from the Fridge Shop for $650 (ex demo) with only 1 year warranty.


I placed my order 4-5 weeks ago & as soon as one was available they called me & delivered it 2 days later.

Other than price (Waeco is a little cheaper), the feedback I found was that if an Engel ever failed out of warranty the parts are VERY expensive as compared to the Waeco.

Good luck !
AnswerID: 13530

Reply By: Steve M - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 22:52

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 22:52
After having many concerns about solar power efficietly I settled on an Engels only because I believe thier power consumption was less than most (check comparisons with running time per day times current draw). The only better one I found with good construction was over twice the price.
AnswerID: 13545

Reply By: Member - Nigel - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 22:54

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 22:54
Both are good fridges - Engel probably stronger, but if looked after both will last a long while. The new Waeco's have a manual override incase the electronics fail (so you can still keep the beer cold by manually controlling the compressor run times).

Both also have much less insulation than the Australian made fridges. You'd be amazed at how much difference in power usage there is between different fridges because of insulation.

I bought an Australian made EvaKool (with a danfoss compressor like most) and run it permanently in my vehicle in the far north and couldn't be happier.
AnswerID: 13546

Reply By: Member - Motley - Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 01:16

Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 01:16
I have had an Engel for more than 10 years with absolutely no problems. Fitted a Transit base and an insulated bag. Take it out of bag at least after every trip and clean it. It looks as good and works as well as the day we bought it.

Incidentally, I have just purchased a little electronic "black box" which limits the number of times the compressor starts to 2 times per hour. There is a dial which adjusts the time that the compressor runs each time it kicks in. The greatest power drain occurs at start-up. This device minimises that power drain by limiting the start-up. Have tested at home out in the sun and it seems to work fine. Haven't done a field trip yet, but the person who manufactures these devices tells me that I can expect to run the fridge off the auxiliary battery for over 4 days without starting vehicle to recharge the auxiliary!
AnswerID: 13550

Follow Up By: Brian - Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 08:16

Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 08:16
Motley,any chance of specific details of this black box,eg brand,cost,where to putchas etc 4 days would be great.
FollowupID: 7933

Follow Up By: Tony - Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 08:41

Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 08:41
Same here.
FollowupID: 7934

Follow Up By: Member - Motley - Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 14:29

Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 14:29
The unit is called a Battery Current Saver. It was designed and built by a guy called Fred Viergever, originally for use on his yacht. He builds the units himself.

He can be contacted on the following e-mail address noelex@bigpond.com.

Sometimes takes a few days for a response because he travels around a lot - but he does get back to you. From memory about $150.
FollowupID: 7958

Follow Up By: Macca - Friday, Feb 21, 2003 at 01:23

Friday, Feb 21, 2003 at 01:23
Sounds like a pretty good idea. I just hate a flat battery in the morning after running the freezer all night (tend to forget to turn it off after a few too many ports)
FollowupID: 8012

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