Yes, its about fridges again

Submitted: Monday, Mar 31, 2003 at 16:58
ThreadID: 4146 Views:4455 Replies:8 FollowUps:17
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Just a couple of comments re fridges:
If Reefer are a good fridge why aren't all portable fridge manufactuers using a 240Volt compressor as these are cheaper than 12/24 volt compressors? (me thinks its the power required)
Why are approx 95% of manufacturers using Danfoss compressors
Whats the difference between a reefer and throwing a bar fridge in the back and running it through an inverter. Has anyone got any lab tests on the power consumption of a reefer. (I am not knocking reefer (really) but just want to get some feedback (and just like xmas I know it will come)

Finally just for reference if someone has a success story like "my fridge ran for 3 days off a battery, could they pls give some back up to the story ie 100 ah battery, 12 months old, did/didn't open the fridge, 40 degrees during the day 20 at night etc.These variables make a big difference.

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Reply By: george - Monday, Mar 31, 2003 at 17:14

Monday, Mar 31, 2003 at 17:14
Hi Mark,

Yes you will get a few responses. The Reefer is a re-birth of the ill-fated Liemack fridge. Power usage is around 10 amps and unless you have a block and tackle to lift it I would think that there are other units around that would perform better and with a lower power draw.
AnswerID: 16510

Follow Up By: Terry - Wednesday, Apr 09, 2003 at 16:03

Wednesday, Apr 09, 2003 at 16:03
Hi George,

I think your 10amps is off the mark, mine runs at around 3amps on average, does get higher when the temp gets up around 50C-60C in the back of the wagon, not many others at that temp will hold much below 0C. I've run mine with an amp accumulator at 40C and it averaged 3.6. The unit is a 70DT. Block and tackle maybe needed for a little bloke but thats a personal physical condition your going to have to live with. There wouldn't be to many fridges when full most people would be able to lift by themselves anyway.
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Reply By: Member - David now Outnabout - Monday, Mar 31, 2003 at 17:38

Monday, Mar 31, 2003 at 17:38
Why don't all those knockers do some proper research.
I have a liemack and became quite concerned after reading so much on this forum about them. I then went to use the fridge and it didn't seem to go very long before the battery was flat and it was in a new car so therefore the problem must be the fridge...............WRONG. After talking to the guys at Reefer and getting some testing equipment I found that my "new" 70AH battery was only really putting out 30Amps.

Current draw is high when operating mine was about 8 amps but when worked out over time 24HRs or more avearaged to under 3Amps per hour. What should be understood is that while it may draw more it is only running half the time.

I also have access to annew Engel and gave it the same amperage test which over the same time worked out around the same.

The bottom line is that opinions are basically opinions, we all love what we spent our money on but it is wrong to knock something that we don't have all the facts on.

By the way the guys at Reefer were some of the most freindly and helpfull people I have dealt with. If you have any problems or want some info then give Gary a call.We have so little time to enjoy our land
AnswerID: 16515

Follow Up By: Scott - Monday, Mar 31, 2003 at 22:07

Monday, Mar 31, 2003 at 22:07
Liemack or Reefer need battery cable to connect them up. Reason they are the most inefficient portable fridges every made. Liemack or Reefer take around three times the amount of power than any other fridge for no better cooling. The Mitsubishi compressors are designed for domestic refrigeration and will not take travelling on anything else but realitively smooth national highway. Bus operators were promised the earth by the Liemack sales people and not one of their claims stacked up. Liemack or Reefer fridges run just as much at three times the amount of power compared to other fridges. Then like the other poster mentioned that nobody has mentioned before, you need to buy a crane to move the Liemack or Reefer fridge.
Then there are the fully independent NATA tests which prove beyond any reasonable doubth the MASSIVE power consumption of the Liemack or Reefer fridges. The current draw on a Liemack or Reefer fridge is well in excess of 8 amps and that is the reason why they need the massive battery cable connections Liemack or Reefer insist on people using.
Yes if you take a standard domestic bar fridge or small chest type freezer and connect it up to a battery with an inverter you will have just as inefficient power battery munching monster as a Liemack or Reefer. A bar fridge in all fairness would be slightly more inefficient due to it having a front opening door.
Check out and you will find that 70% of camping tour bus operators use Evakool and those that presently do not will be in the future. There is also a sprinkling of National Luna which is similiar to Evakool but they make a different range of sizes that may fit bitter in some installations in buses.
FollowupID: 10193

Follow Up By: Terry - Wednesday, Apr 09, 2003 at 16:17

Wednesday, Apr 09, 2003 at 16:17
I don't want to pick holes in your comments,but- rotatry compressors work in any situation, they can be turned 180degrees and will still function, thats what rotary compressors have been designed for. What bus operators, name the company and give us a contact so we all know who your talking about. Massive battery cable??? you really do leave yourself wide open. I was given a wiring kit when I bought mine, why? because most people don't understand that not having the right wiring cable will cause an array of power loss problems with any fridge setup and the cable is a proper DC cable, even auto electricans will try and get away with AC cabling in some situations but you wouldn't be aware of that. As for the crane, maybe you should get one of your mates to help you lift the fridge and you could give him a big kiss on the cheek for doing so.
FollowupID: 10757

Reply By: Mark from Getaway Portable Refrigerator Hire - Monday, Mar 31, 2003 at 18:00

Monday, Mar 31, 2003 at 18:00
David, This is what I am saying, rather than people knocking particular products or others making big claims, if some science or explanation could be attached then others will benefit.....By the way we hire out, engel, autofridge and trailblaza's - any of these perfect -no
It's horse's for course's


AnswerID: 16517

Follow Up By: Mack - Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 22:52

Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 22:52
Scott.. dont know which fridge company is pulling your chain, enough to say though that this sort of forum is a very cowardly way to pedal their propaganda. You have previously been asked by others to ratify your malicious comments but to date have not or can not!!. Unlike you, I will advise that I am a refrigeration engineer with connection to Refrigeration Research (Reefer) and as such would be pleased to challenge you to put up or shut up!! First, you say "need battery cable to connect them" etc. Truth is, a cable kit using cable is SUPPLIED with each fridge. You might also note that Danfoss recommend cable for their much smaller capacity BD50 compressor at 6 metres! As the Mitsubishi is a much bigger capacity compressor it should be obvious that it needs a proportionately larger cable! Next you say "take around three times the amount of power etc. Rubbish, the Mitsubishi rotary compressor has a co-efficient factor superior to the smallar Danfoss BD range. (Co-efficient factor is the amount of refrigeration watts delivered from given electrical input.) While RUNNING the mitsubishi IS consuming power at a grearter rate than the much smaller output Danfoss comressor, but being of bigger capacity the Mitsubishi also refrigerates much quicker and therefore runs much less. The BD series Danfoss are very good compressors, however they are of much smaller refrigeration output than what Liemack and Reefer wanted in their refrigerators. In other places you indicate that the Rotary compressor is not suited and that compressor failures contributed to the closure of Liemack. This is a malicious lie, again you simply dont know what you are talking about. Liemack voluntarily liquidated for quite different reasons, none of which are any of your knowing or business! If you had any engineering expertise at all you would know that the Mitsubishi rotary being a rotary action pump WITHOUT the need for internal springs and breakable discharge pipes, has a far better record of service in this situation than ANY other type of compressor. You did get it right when you say that they are heavy. Heavier than the 'tupperware' types but similar weight to most fridges like Trailblazer etc. however MEN can lift them OK!! The so-called "independent NATA tests" you refer to were carried out in the NATA facility by and for a national 4WD magazine. These tests were their second attempt and the Liemack was not connected and operated as advised. The results were totally misleading as they strangely "averaged" consumption rather than using an accumulator. However Scott if you believe all that the media cocks up, why dont you quote the previous more appropriate tests done by 4 x 4 Australia which had fridges start in a 35c degree state and run down to deepfreeze. These more sensible tests saw the Liemack get down to minus 15c in 55 minutes. NO other fridge got anywhere near this with most still running three hours later and not getting there!! Some couldn't even get below zero! Also you keep quoting bus companies that tried Liemacks and were not satisfied, I like many others would like you to nominate who they are, or are they just another figment of your imagination!!
But you are corrrect Scott..The Liemack / Reefer system is different than others, thats their appeal and why other makers get so cheesed off and like brown nosers like you to write crap in forums like this. Reefers have by far the most powerful refrigeration system available along with many features not even available as options on others. It is not a plastic thing nor is it cheap. Finallly, we have a hot room test facility that reaches 65c degrees (similar to a parked 4x4) and would be happy to have a reefer and your plastic thingy tested in there, (that is if the plastic thingy doesn't melt!)
And again I must agree with you Scott, Reefer fridges are like Mercedes Benz cars... terrible things.... specially if you dont have one!!!
FollowupID: 10870

Follow Up By: Old Jack - Monday, Apr 28, 2003 at 16:59

Monday, Apr 28, 2003 at 16:59
Interesting, I've been reading all the S*&%$ on here about portable refrigeration, the correct way to rate each unit is to Quote refrigreration capacity in watts & at a defined set of conditions, a whole lot of twodle could be saved by all the manufacutes having to have there units tested to a "Standerd" just like a domestic refrigerator & freezer to give it an energy start rating & power consumption in watts per hour. in this case the units with the best insulation & most efficient compressors will stand out.

This is a no BullSh&* approach to sorting this out. would save the public from a Whole heap of miss information.

As a Refrigeration & Electrical Engineer I have found this lot very Funny, the total miss information has been good for a laugh. comparing a BD35 Danfoss to the mitsubshi is total nonsense, it's like comparing a 1300cc.
suzuki to say a 4.2 landcruiser, they will both get you there eventually.
one will be faster than the other & one will use more fuel than the other.

I like the hot test Idea let them line up in A true test put in 70% of there rated space capacity in water eg 40lt put in 28Lt of water at 30 degrees pull it down (measure pulldown time)& hold it at say 2 degree (+- 1) (correct temp for storing meat etc.) measure POWER consumed for say 7 days at 35 degrees ambient then turn up the ambient to 45 degree and do it again. then turn them all down to freeze & do the whole lot again for 7 days setpoint for all freazers is to be say -18 degree(+- 2) once again the correct storage for frozen foods.
now before you all go jumping in that you store at other temperature these two temperatures would be classed as Necessary in most states under the health act. for this term of storage of food stuffs and a sensible test for each unit. At 45 degrees some of the thinner insulated units would probably not cope but that remains to be Independantly tested anyway. this would save a whole lot of miss information.
Any manufacture that wants to sell a house hold refrigerator to the public has to have it's unit test for power consumption and rated why not these portable Units?

FollowupID: 11618

Reply By: Rod - Monday, Mar 31, 2003 at 19:50

Monday, Mar 31, 2003 at 19:50
I'm getting an average of 1.6 A/h out of my 60L EvaKool over a 24 hour period running the freezer compartment at -11 with a max 27 degree ambient temp during the day (less at night). If I run it at -7, I can get an average of 1.3 A/h.

The fridge and freezer are 3/4 full and admittedly I'm not opening it and closing it. Everything in freezer was pre-frozen prior to the test.

At the -7 setting, this equates to 69 hours (2.9 Days) on a Trojan 105 AH DC battery from 12.9 V (100%) to 11.7 V (20%).

No association with EvaKool.
AnswerID: 16521

Follow Up By: sloth - Monday, Mar 31, 2003 at 20:00

Monday, Mar 31, 2003 at 20:00
Hi Rod,

Any other nice tests like this that you have done? Reason being is i am about to purchase a 70DT (or 90DT) or even a differnet brand if someone can convince me they are a better icebox...:)

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Follow Up By: Scott - Monday, Mar 31, 2003 at 22:20

Monday, Mar 31, 2003 at 22:20
Sloth out of all the fridges available on the market the best value for money and overall quality and insulation is the one you are looking at.

If you are a family of four or even 5, I suggest you stick to the 70DT and learn how to shop and what to buy. If you are going long term camping and you have not had the opportunity to see or try the benifits of a food dehydrator, it would be a good time to investigate them. We have what you would call two semi-commercial units that a lady dehydrates and packages to our specifications. There is a small domestic unit from Fowlers Vacola suitable for a family. Campers are always asking how we manage to turn up such amazing healthy tasty meals when we can be away from supermarkets for ten days. Besides our Evakool fridges the answer is dehydrated food. We give an evening talk to our passengers on how we prepare our meals and show them pictures of the dehydrators and what goes into their food. The type of passengers we take expect and demand healthy tasty low fat food and that is what we supply. If we did not use the dehydrated food we would have to have three times the capacity refrigeration which is not possible.
FollowupID: 10197

Follow Up By: OzyTravelingAussie - Saturday, Apr 19, 2003 at 12:22

Saturday, Apr 19, 2003 at 12:22
If you are "fair Dinkum" then I am sure that you would have eagerly and willingly answered the questions that I and now others have put to you on this forum before now, if only just to assert your own truthfullness and your honesty, maybe the fact that you have not answered these questions tells your story as it is..... just another 'fairy story'

By not replying, you are showing the other forum users that you maybe have lied to them with your missleading and untruthfull postings, if you believe you have not LIED to them then I again give you this opportunity to tell those who have previously asked:
(A) the name of your Tour Bus Company
(B) the Supplier-Representitive where you 'supposedly' bought all those Liemack fridges
(C) the qualified sparky who installed the Liemack fridge's for you

A question I now ask you is why would a competent Tour Bus Opperator outfit his fleet of buses with six fridges each, if he had not at least trialed them in the first place, were the fridges wired up in accordance with the "Liemack users Instruction Manual" and did you tell the people that you sold the Liemack's to that they were 'great fridges' and you just wanted something different??

I am not connected to Liemack/Reefer, however, I do use their duel temperature fridge/freezer and would fully recomend them to anyone who needs reliable, fast and efficient refrigeration out in the very hot temperatures of our Aussie bush, for very long periods of time.
If you only want to keep something cool for a week or so that has already been frozen then the cheaper, smaller 'tupperware' as someone else called them, fridge might almost do the job, MAYBE.
I tend to spend my $$$ on products that are quality, efficient, easily serviced and can be relied on.

Note: the Reefer is a true duel temperature fridge/freezer with seperate freezer compartment, not as with the 'tupperware' fridge's with only the one compartment where it is only one or almost the other.

Hoping to see the questions answered, soon.
(somehow I don't expect you will)
FollowupID: 11244

Follow Up By: Neil Winmar - Saturday, Apr 19, 2003 at 18:13

Saturday, Apr 19, 2003 at 18:13
OzyTravelingAussie I had a Liemack fridge which was the worst purchase I made in my life. Was impossible to keep a battery up to the fridge for any longer than twelve hours. I sold the Liemack at the first opportunity and bought a Waeco. Now I can go two days on the same battery the Liemack would not go for twelve hours. Food cold for two days is better than cold food for twelve hours.
FollowupID: 11248

Follow Up By: OzyTravelingAussie - Monday, Apr 21, 2003 at 22:39

Monday, Apr 21, 2003 at 22:39
because the Liemack fridge only runs about 15 minutes each cycle with at least an hour OFF, I believe the problem was not with the fridge but with your battery or wiring system.
You stated that you "could not keep a battery up to the fridge for any longer than twelve hours" was your fridge wired up according to the manufacturer's wiring instructions ?

what brand and amp/hr battery do you use ?

If you did believe the fridge was faulty you should have contacted your supplier and you would have had the hassle fixed, that is why they have a warranty...

I don't work for them, however I do know they work & how they work....
FollowupID: 11321

Reply By: Rod - Monday, Mar 31, 2003 at 22:00

Monday, Mar 31, 2003 at 22:00
Sorry, I've only tested what I own. The DT60
AnswerID: 16535

Reply By: PETER - Monday, Mar 31, 2003 at 23:31

Monday, Mar 31, 2003 at 23:31
Hey hey hey i spent my dogh on a waeco 40ltr it looks great feels light and works well in my pajero - no idea how much power it uses as i have it plugged into a battery and the battery plugged into the power socket in the back of the truck. ---- anybody heard of waeco they are great as well ---- i hope regards peter
AnswerID: 16545

Follow Up By: colin - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 19:34

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 19:34
Pete from experience they are crap, sorry to be blunt, insulation speaks the whole story and the waecos have none. Col, explorer user made in Australia for our harsh cliamate. Col
FollowupID: 10259

Follow Up By: Scott - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 19:52

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 19:52
Are Explorer still in business? I think you may find they have closed down or about to close down.

Waecos have their place in the market and overall are not a bad fridge.
Waeco are on a par with Engel for performance and insulation. A Waeco would normally be more reliable than an Engel.
FollowupID: 10261

Follow Up By: colin - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 20:03

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 20:03
As far as i know they are still in business, well i hope so will look into it more, as for waecos they have a place but u get what u pay for. nothing worse than losing all your food on a long desert trip, thats my mates experience then getting told nothing wrong with the fridge and the more persistance having fridge replaced with a new one and getting the remaining one month warrenty on the new fridge. Col
FollowupID: 10266

Follow Up By: Scott - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 20:34

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 20:34
Colin every brand of fridge regardless of brand has their failures. Waeco are the biggest seller and it is inevitable that they will have the odd failure and more claims. You will find the large majority of warranty claims are due to incorrect wiring or to light wire used. I was guilty of that in my early days and inexperience. Went into the warranty guy in Bendigo and he inspected the bus and immediately condemened the wiring. Took the fridges into his workshop and found nothing wrong with them. Had the bus rewired in Bendigo the same day by an experienced auto electrician and never had another fridge problem in that bus. A good friend of mine had a four mouth old Lexus die on the Tanami, makes a fridge packing up look like a Christmas present. Needed a complete new motor under warranty. That is why you have a warranty.

It is standard commercial practice if you get an item replaced under warranty you only receive the balance of the warranty on the replacement.
FollowupID: 10269

Follow Up By: colin - Thursday, Apr 03, 2003 at 17:02

Thursday, Apr 03, 2003 at 17:02
Hi Scott just got a reply from Ian Morgan the owner of explorer fridges, his reply was that is open for business and has no plans of closing, they have just bought out a new model a 70 litre. I agree about what you say about the wiring and the only reason waeco sell a lot of fridges are that they are cheap and in the budget for a lot of travellers, time will tell. Col
FollowupID: 10405

Reply By: OzyTravelingAussie - Tuesday, Apr 08, 2003 at 11:24

Tuesday, Apr 08, 2003 at 11:24
Will you please tell me the names of the Tour bus company's that did have all these Liemack fridges that you state did not work..?
AnswerID: 17108

Reply By: sloth - Saturday, Apr 19, 2003 at 15:46

Saturday, Apr 19, 2003 at 15:46
Wow. This thread certainly got heated. For the record, i picked up my EvaKool 70DT last weekend, and filled it with seafood at Coffs Harbour on the way home. I brought it down on AC power "boost" setting overnight to 4 degrees in the fridge part. This temp varied, and was more like 5 at top of fridge and 3 at bottom. Freezer part had four very frozen 1 litre water bottles in it.

I ran it 6 hours home full of seafood in fridge part, on "economy" setting off the cigarette plug in rear of 100 series landcruiser. All standard wiring supplied with fridge was used. Temperature was EXACTLY the same at the end of the journey as it was before I put the stuff in. We did have air conditioner going, so temperature inside cab was approx 20-23 degrees.

Dolphin Fish was awesome up to and including Good Friday. So were the prawns, calamari and muddies....

I could not be happier with my purchase (so far.....) and will let you all know if my opinion changes. We have another 8 weeks (7 different trips) of using it this year.

AnswerID: 17928

Follow Up By: Figgus the Scot - Saturday, Apr 19, 2003 at 18:17

Saturday, Apr 19, 2003 at 18:17
I have an EvaKool 70DT and love the blooooooody thing to death as it keeps everything icebloodycold in NT & WA.
FollowupID: 11249

Follow Up By: sloth - Saturday, Apr 19, 2003 at 18:57

Saturday, Apr 19, 2003 at 18:57
Good to hear that Figgus the Scot. Maybe you could post some tips on how to use efficiently? or email me

Their Eskies are TheGrouse, which prompted me to purchase this one.

FollowupID: 11251

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