Submitted: Saturday, Mar 29, 2003 at 01:15
ThreadID: 4115 Views:2969 Replies:12 FollowUps:10
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I am looking at purchasing my first fridge/freezer for my new 4WD and am trying to decide between the Engel and WAECO. I know Engel has a good reputation for reliability. Has anyone heard anything good/bad about WAECO?
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Reply By: Phil P - Saturday, Mar 29, 2003 at 06:48

Saturday, Mar 29, 2003 at 06:48
If you try using the "Search" facility you will find lots of information & comments regarding Engel & Waeco.

I personally have a Waeco CF50 & thinks it's fantastic. All of my friends have the Engel's & they rave about them.

Bottom line is you can't go wrong with either choice. My decision was purely based on value for money. At the moment Waeco is better value (cheaper), I also liked the "cut out" feature that shuts the fridge down if my battery gets low.

One thing for sure, once you purchase a fridge you will wonder how you ever managed without one !

Phil P
AnswerID: 16373

Reply By: Old Soldier - Saturday, Mar 29, 2003 at 07:55

Saturday, Mar 29, 2003 at 07:55
G'day Brian,

I agree with all Phil says, really when you get down to it, it's your call.

Both are great, and like Phil, I also have a Waeco CF50 which I am very happy with.

I have put it to the test on some very rough roads up in FNQ, and it has not been found wanting.

Currently Waeco CF50 is the world's best selling fridge.

There are also some very good other makes around.

Enjoy your decision

AnswerID: 16374

Reply By: ERIC from Cape York Connections - Saturday, Mar 29, 2003 at 08:48

Saturday, Mar 29, 2003 at 08:48
ALL THE BEST ERIC.Cape York Connections
AnswerID: 16377

Follow Up By: joc45 - Sunday, Mar 30, 2003 at 12:37

Sunday, Mar 30, 2003 at 12:37
I have owned a 39L AutoFridge for some years now - main disadvantage is that you must leave 2cm space on either side to let the air circulate, as the sides have the plates for the condenser. I have fitted a 12v computer fan in the enclosure to push air thru. The Autofridge control box has an output for a fan, so it comes on when the fridge comes on.
Autofridge has a eutectic plate, allowing you to turn off the fridge overnight. I don't generally bother, and the fridge hardly runs at night.
Engel has the advantage that you can run it off 240v (many others need a 240v adaptor - more money). Handy when you pull into a caravan park. Its latest compressor has quite low current consumption, and the chiller plate on the 40L goes right to the bottom, unlike earlier ones.
Both Engel and Danfoss compressors are efficient and reliable, but also check out the thickness of the insulation - this has a big effect on efficiency. 40mm+ is a good starting point. Engels generally have less insulation than some other brands.
Good hunting
FollowupID: 10114

Follow Up By: joc45 - Sunday, Mar 30, 2003 at 12:52

Sunday, Mar 30, 2003 at 12:52
Also meant to add:
Consider what you are going to use the fridge/freezer for. If you need the freezer to put your fishing catch in, then fine, but if you just need to keep meat frozen, the perhaps you might be better off considering cryovac (vacuum-packed) meat. This will allow you to run the fridge at about +2deg and represents a significant power saving. Without the need for a freezer, you have a bigger range of fridges-only to choose from. The meat keeps for at 4-5 weeks this way. And being sealed, there is no blood to leak out into the fridge.
rgds Gerry
FollowupID: 10115

Reply By: colin - Saturday, Mar 29, 2003 at 10:29

Saturday, Mar 29, 2003 at 10:29
If your looking for a fridge freezer look at the explorer it has two seperate compartments one freeezer the other fridge both have their own thermostsat.It has a danfoss compresor with an auto cut out which is the best on the market. The fridge is aussy made and is made of marine grade aluminium with excellent insulation which lowers power draw on the battery. I have run my fridge for 3 days and still able to cold start my diesal patrol, and that is living in the tropics. Main thing to look for is insulation as this is what governs your power drain. The exploer is a bit more expensive but excellent value. Col
AnswerID: 16383

Reply By: OzyTravelingAussie - Saturday, Mar 29, 2003 at 15:26

Saturday, Mar 29, 2003 at 15:26
Hi Briantuff,
You say it is your FIRST fridgefreezer for your new 4X4, to me a Fridge/Freezer is neither of the brands you have mentioned...
Another brand to look at is the Feefer, made in Adelaide by Refrigeration Research. It is a true fridge - freezer combination with seperate areas for each. They are stainless steel inside with all the things that are needed in a good fridge to make them easy to use, low battery cutout, 240 volt supply, digital battery and temperature readings.
The use a rotary compresor similar to your home fridge and work quickly to reduce the temperature, this allows the to cycle on/off more often using less power than the small danfoss compressors, some of which have to work more on than off...
talk to some one who owns one...
AnswerID: 16385

Follow Up By: Scott - Saturday, Mar 29, 2003 at 20:32

Saturday, Mar 29, 2003 at 20:32
You will never keep the batteries up to a Reefer (was Liemack) fridge. We tried them in the buses and could not get a set of batteries to last overnight. The compressors are not designed for mobile use like the Danfoss and consequently compressor failure was also an issue. I heard the reason why Liemack went into liquidation was because of warranty claims and returns due to large battery drain.
Camping tour bus operators have tried every brand available in Australia and the majority have now settled on Evakool because of quality and low battery consumption. Another brand gaining a foot hold is National Luna which is similiar to Evakool but their sizing suits some Nissan bus chassis better. An Evakool is priced between Waeco and Engel. At the show today there were around 10 brands of fridge with Evakool doing the lions share of the business. What commercial operators use is a great guide to quality.
FollowupID: 10082

Follow Up By: OzyTravelingAussie - Sunday, Mar 30, 2003 at 11:45

Sunday, Mar 30, 2003 at 11:45
Sorry to hear that Scott, you say that you "could not get a set of batteries to last overnight" my liemack only turns on a few times of a nite for only about 15 mins each time, maybe the problem was in your battery system or your wiring as I don't have any problems. I read here in the forum most people only get max of a few days out of the Danfoss units, I can be camped on a beach without starting the vehicle for at least 4 or 5 days, then it is only to go and get some more fish, food or water etc, NOT to recharge the batteries as a 80 wt solar pannel does that for me. Maybe I have good batteries, good pannel or good wireing, there are too many possibilities of right or wrong, my vehicle was wired up to suit the Liemack fridge and solar pannel combination as directed by Liemack and all I know is it works fantastic for me....
FollowupID: 10110

Follow Up By: Michael - Sunday, Mar 30, 2003 at 14:29

Sunday, Mar 30, 2003 at 14:29
Hi Ozy, sorry , i didnt read your post. I own a Liemack (now Reefer) silly name really, i have posted below, I travelled for six weeks in the northern territory 4 years ago with my Liemack 90Litre fridge in october, was getting hot then, i used it with one battery, the original Patrol GU battery. Two batteries is a breeze,, Yes it is a little power hungry BUT when you can freeze water in the freezer in an hour. It really a matter of managing it properly. There is a multitude of knockers of this fridge but once you have had one , there really is no other choice Cheers Michael.
FollowupID: 10119

Reply By: bruce.h - Saturday, Mar 29, 2003 at 17:17

Saturday, Mar 29, 2003 at 17:17
gady brian
cant coment on the weaco but i got my engil fridge in 1984 its never been serviced since then & operates like its brand new never given a days trouble well worth the few dollars extra
Regards Bruce
AnswerID: 16391

Reply By: boyco - Saturday, Mar 29, 2003 at 19:52

Saturday, Mar 29, 2003 at 19:52
Thermocycle Designs in Esk (Qld) make an excellent unit using a dandoss motor/compressorwith separate frig/freezer compatments.Check out
AnswerID: 16399

Reply By: PETER - Sunday, Mar 30, 2003 at 06:30

Sunday, Mar 30, 2003 at 06:30
the way to go waeco call my friend Karyn on 1800 21 21 21 and see what a real deal is . bet you cannot beat it - let me know if you can regards peter
AnswerID: 16426

Reply By: David - Sunday, Mar 30, 2003 at 09:21

Sunday, Mar 30, 2003 at 09:21
Between my friends and I we have a range of fridges including Evakool and Waeco. We're often out together and have done many side by side comparisons..
The pick of the bunch???? Evakool. Best insulation, least running time,(read electricity consumption) and features.
AnswerID: 16432

Reply By: Michael - Sunday, Mar 30, 2003 at 13:14

Sunday, Mar 30, 2003 at 13:14
Hi Brian, The problem with most of the fridges mentioned is that you really need to freeze the stuff you want frozen before you place it in the freezer. They may get 3 days before they need to run their vehicle but they dont pull down from high temps easily. If you put large amounts of food in the freezer that is not frozen, it is possible to elevate the temp of the food already frozen in the freezer. I have a Liemack, now called Reefer, had it for 4 years, stays running in the car constantly. It may not suit all but for me it is the best. It also has some advantages with a second battery installation, you parallel them together, saving you the cost of solenoids and the wiring. Also you dont need to buy a deep cycle battery, an ordinary high cca battery is needed.
You can get a front swing down door if you wish, saves buying a slide out gizmo to put your fridge on. The choice is yours,, Hope this helps Michael
AnswerID: 16444

Follow Up By: Michael - Sunday, Mar 30, 2003 at 14:18

Sunday, Mar 30, 2003 at 14:18
ooops Brian, Forgot to mention that you can use all for fridge or all freezer, whatever you like, with all steel cabinet. Has voltage cut-out so you dont need a solenoid,and a 300 watt 240volt inverter, so you can run a huge soldering iron or charge video and the like batteries , worth looking at. Cheers Michael
FollowupID: 10117

Follow Up By: Scott - Sunday, Mar 30, 2003 at 20:01

Sunday, Mar 30, 2003 at 20:01
Michael it is not often I would like to say bull manure, but that is exactly what your reply is. There is absolutely no necessity to freeze the stuff you want frozen in the freezer with Evakool or Waeco or any other brand of compressor 12v/240v fridge.
The Liemack fridges went broke because they had so many failures of compressors and nobody wanted them due to the massive amounts of power they consume due to being so inefficent. The Liemack now Reefer by another name would be the most inefficient fridges available on the market. They run an inefficient invertor to make 240vAC then run a compressor that is not efficient. Then you have to worry about all the claims you are going to have on the compressor units as they are a compressor unit designed for a stationary kitchen. Being a tour bus operator Liemack or now called Reefer fridges failed consistantly like no other fridge on the market did.
A Reefer is not worth touching let alone look at. Just looking at a Reefer is enough to cause many operators heart failure.

Buy a quality fridge like an Evakool and have an enjoyable experience for a long time.
FollowupID: 10126

Follow Up By: Michael - Sunday, Mar 30, 2003 at 23:37

Sunday, Mar 30, 2003 at 23:37
Hi Scott, i wasnt looking for an arguement, nor did i mention names of fridges regards freezing food before you place in in the car fridge. I ACTUALLY said SOME. I also said it was a little power hungry and did a trip with one battery with a few hiccups, later trips are no problem with 2 batteries. I also said its probably not for everyone but it works for me. Believe me if it was a heap junk, i would be the first to bag it and make sure more people didn't buy one. I'm extremely happy with mine and if anything happened to it I would be on the phone to order another. Best regards Michael
FollowupID: 10135

Reply By: paul - Sunday, Mar 30, 2003 at 19:33

Sunday, Mar 30, 2003 at 19:33

i have a waeco and explorer.

What i want to know is how does the Liemack freeze water in an hour. I know my domestic kelvinator freezer does cause it blows air past cooling fins that takes the by wind factor the minus 18 degrees from not minus 18 but to up to minus 30 which cause of the circulation manages to freeze water quicker than my minus 18 degrees waeco or explorer - so does the new liemack have this capability cause if it is only enclosed behind sight cooler plates i have to go bollocks and put in here in brissy in summer and no 12v fridge on the market, am thinkging about planning one, can freeze water in an hour. Sorry bout the typos.
AnswerID: 16456

Follow Up By: Scott - Sunday, Mar 30, 2003 at 20:06

Sunday, Mar 30, 2003 at 20:06
Paul a Liemack or now called Reefer will not freeze water in an hour. As you correctly say your domestic Kelivinator will, but there is definitely no 12v/240 fridge that would.
I know four tour bus operators that had so much pain and failure with Liemack/Reefer they would cry at just hearing the name again. I think you find the reason Danfoss powered units and in particular Evakool rule in the tour bus industry is RELIABILITY RELIABILITY RELIABILITY.
You will not find an Engel or Liemack/Reefer fitted to any tour bus kitchen.
FollowupID: 10127

Follow Up By: OzyTravelingAussie - Monday, Mar 31, 2003 at 12:41

Monday, Mar 31, 2003 at 12:41
the Liemack/Reefer, I believe, has heaps of copper tubeing coiled around the fully enclosed Stainless steel inner body of the fridge/freezer and with a mutch larger capacity compressor than the Danfoss they can pump more refrigerant gas in a mutch shorter time, even our liemack knocker, 'OzyExplorer' has stated that is true, so you can bet it is !!!

All fridges do fail for a reason, the only variable appears to be the Batteries and the way the fridge is wired to the batteries, so anyone who has a complaint won't admit that they have not wired it up correctly, they only blame the fridge, remember Scot has stated, he could not keep the battery power up to his fridge overnite, is funny as my Liemack only runs 3 or 4 times each nite for 15 mins each time, with no battery problems...
FollowupID: 10153

Reply By: Mark from Getaway Portable Refrigerator Hire - Monday, Mar 31, 2003 at 16:28

Monday, Mar 31, 2003 at 16:28
Briantuff, Three questions,
What size were you chasing
How much do you want to pay
What will you be mainly using it for (ie travelling mostly, staying at an unpowered site for a week or more)

Once we know this the list of fridges that would suit can be decided on.


AnswerID: 16505

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