Fridges again

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 00:06
ThreadID: 4157 Views:1923 Replies:13 FollowUps:6
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I am about to buy and Engel, one mate has a chestcold (gas) and the other has a Weaco.

Firstly does anyone know if there is any truth to the rumour that the Weaco has cardboard baffles?

Secondly my mate with the Weaco has had all types of issues with power, in that the fridge is very finiky about receiving exact power and if the power gets too low it turns off. That is great for a single battery but I run a dual and don't want the fridge deciding for me. Additonally the Waeco had to have a convertor purcahsed for it (240V) and then with the power issue he had to buy a charge unit which is fine for short trips but for long ones no good. He just gave in an and purchased a generator. My observation here is that the Waeco has ended up costin ghime more than my Engel will (plus another $1200 if you include the generator).

The Chestcold seems to be a great fridge but is extremely big and bulky inaddition to needing a gas bottle.

I would love to hear from Engel owners if you have have had any of these finiky power problems?
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Reply By: Russ - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 01:05

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 01:05
Mate, I have an Engel and run it off a Blue Apple Thumper, not probs at all. The Chestcold is a great fridge but _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx too much power, will take out more power from your second battery than is being put in.

Great to run off gas if you are stationary.

Russ
AnswerID: 16547

Reply By: Member - Chris - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 01:38

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 01:38
G'day Tim,
I've got an Engel with a dual battery setup - starter battery and deep cycle one. To answer your question the Engel doesn't shut off at a certain voltage level of the battery. I think there are products out there that you can put in place to shut fridges off when the battery is getting 'dangerously' low. You can purchase an Engel voltimeter which is something similar to a bar reading to indicate what battery is left.
I've become accustomed to hearing the Engel do a funny low whirring sound when the juice is about out which is pretty rare. I make the most of using 240V A/C at caravan parks when stopping for the night.
In cold climate with frozen goods it'll last two or more days easy on a power setting of about 2. Hot climates shorter. I make a habit of when getting up in the morning running the motor for 20 minutes and again in the afternoon if camped for a few days.
As to Chestcolds I don't know a thing about them. I wouldn't like to be camping on a warm night and as you say have the fridge turn itself off. I've been talked into solar panels which after being presented with the evidence will definitely eventually get them.
All the best

AnswerID: 16548

Reply By: PETER - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 07:59

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 07:59
people say very silly things when they are sorry for having made a big blue. the waeco is a great fridge - the cut out is for your protection - and by the way have you heard about the buddy system - ask engle if they will give you a replacement while they do a repair - australia wide. buy what you want but dont always believe what your mate says. call waeco and ask Karyn 1800 21 21 21 . i think your prices are not correct but yes you do need a transformer for 240 but that costs $80 . i have a waeco and it is very good - my son has an engel and thats good to. mine is better for me because it cost less - holds more and is very quiet. regards peter
AnswerID: 16558

Follow Up By: Andi - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 08:22

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 08:22
Peter... I have witnessed these issues for myself and my mate's frustration each time we take a trip and the waeco is a bit 'iffy'. The real test will come at easter when all three fridges are there together I will let you know how they compare to each other in the same conditions with a generator available etc..

I cannot actually buy a Waeco because it is too picky to run off my dual battery setup... being that the voltage it gets is not always spot on it will not operate consistently we have tried it numerous times (I run a Pirahna dual battery system) The Engel's work no fail as I have had them plugged in enough times to know. Having a dual battery system I also don't want or need the safety cut out the waeco has but I can see it's value for single battery systems and it stops my mate from flattening his battery. Peter thanks for you response I value your input, you obviously haven't needed to buy a remote power kit. No doubt Waeco are charging into the market place with some great products and will shake up the competition.

I am still wondering though about the cardboard baffles..... does anyone know if this is true or hasn't waeco been around long enough yet for this to become a problem if it is?
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FollowupID: 10204

Follow Up By: Peter - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 11:09

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 11:09
Andi,
I have been led to believe Waeco has been in Europe for over 25 years

Cheers Peter
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FollowupID: 10215

Follow Up By: Andi - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 11:14

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 11:14
Peter Thanks

Thats good to know as you can imagine my friend is getting frustrated and has now spent $1450 which is more than an Engel would have cost him, so it is a bit of incentive to hope they know what they are doing and the fridge will last the distance for him.

Cheers Andi

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FollowupID: 10217

Follow Up By: Peter - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 15:07

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 15:07
Andi,
I hope they know also as i have just purchased a waeco cf110

Cheers Peter
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Reply By: Steve L - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 08:14

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 08:14
Tim,

I have been running a Waeco for 3 years now, and have had none of the problems you mention. You can adjust the voltage at which the unit turns off (I think you can even turn off the feature altogether), and my unit has never had any problems in terms of receiving power.

Even buying the 240v converter, you're way ahead of the cost of a comparable Engel. I'd swear by my Engel over my mates new model Engel any day - even he admits my unit cools the contents quicker.

Steve
AnswerID: 16561

Reply By: Rod - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 08:49

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 08:49
I used to own a Chescold and bought an EvaKool.

Before buying my new fridge, I spoke to a local company who repaired them. He stated that in the 4 years he had worked there, he had only seen three danfoss compressors fail. The rest of his repairs were to Engels and Chescold/Electrolux.

Whilst he praised the reliability of the danfoss compressor, he was wary of the other areas where Waeco had 'cut corners'. eg. Apparently the electronics for the thermostat/temp setting are a bit of a reliability weak link in the Waeco. He also stated that he had quite a few customers complain that Waeco after sales service was poor. He was of the impression that Engel was better at after sales service.

A friend has a Waeco (no problems) and another an Engel (on his second compressor). Neither have finicky voltage problems.
AnswerID: 16565

Reply By: Groove - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 09:16

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 09:16
I have used a Waeco for about 2 years without a problem as well. I am not trying to convince you to get a waeco but rather I think your mate with the waeco should check his wiring. He must be experiencing a voltage drop somewhere if he is not getting enough volts to the fridge.

Things like crappy cigarette light plugs and sockets are also a possible source of voltage drop.

Also it is worth noting that all batteries even deep cycle will benefit from a low voltage cutout feature. The benefits arise from increased battery life.

With my dual battery system and a deep cycle battery I could get three days of fridge run, as well as a small flouro light. Very hot conditions (cape york). The fridge is a 40 litre and most importantly the beer was always cold.

Cheers
AnswerID: 16567

Reply By: rors101 - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 09:35

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 09:35
With WAECO make sure your car doesn't get too hot. The plastic lids on the WAECO tend to warp with heat / direct sun and then never seal properly!!. I just sold mine to a (ex?) friend and have ordered the a new EvaKool ED70 DT with the improved panel and lead location .
I will probably use it as all fridge on the big trip, bit for the few extra $ I have a choice of a dual compartment for short trips.
BTW if you want to make your fridge similar to the most efficient and well regarded Auto Fridge make your own utectic solution by adding 3-5% Meths to a water container pushed against the chiller plates or in my case within the freezer compartment.
AnswerID: 16572

Follow Up By: Andi - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 11:16

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 11:16
Excuse my ignorance but what is the utectic solution, how would I use it and what will it do?

Andi
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FollowupID: 10218

Follow Up By: rors101 - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 12:17

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 12:17
Have a read at http://www.quirks.com.au/autofrdg.htm
The eutectic fluid acts as an ice bank. Just think of it as an ice battery for your fridge. ie recharge the ice bank when you would the car battery (adjust setting to coldest) and use the stored cold when vehicle is not running (Turn fridge off overnight or adjust to warmer setting).
Beacuse the eutectic freezes colder than water it is more efficient than block ice you would put into your esky.
The Auto fridge is the BEST on the market but unfortunatley it is not for me - I want to use my fridge on a boat for beer most of the time and dont want the extra weight and reduced volume this is despite the better efficiency.
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FollowupID: 10228

Reply By: rodeoowner - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 14:44

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 14:44
The cut out on the Waeco is a good thing! I have a CCF45. The low voltage cut out can be set at high or low voltage. (Sorry, can't remember the exact voltages). This device has two functions. 1 is to leave your (single) battery with enough power to start your car. 2 is to stop your fridge drawing the power down too much from your (second) battery. This will improve the batteries life. If the low voltage cut out is cutting off power prematurely then it is probably due to small cable being run to the fridge causing excess voltage drop. Check out the Waeco website. Cheers.
AnswerID: 16606

Reply By: colin - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 19:06

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 19:06
everybody is going on about power drain on their batteries, all these fridges that are imported are made in countries that dont have our harsh cliamates so they dont insulate the units for our cliamate, so more power drain. My veiw is buy australian and get a unit for our conditions. There are 3 choices evacool, explorer, and trailblazer, with engals coming in next. The UN and the REd Cross use the explorer and trailblazer world wide as they are the only units proven to be able to handle the situations they work in. Col
AnswerID: 16622

Reply By: Member - Cliff- Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 19:45

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 19:45
We went up Cape York last winter and used an Engel, we had no end of problems with cutting out etc. We had new wiring and a new set up but couldn't work out what was going on. When we got back and did some more research we found that the biggest problem was that the wiring that had been recommended was not heavy enough. The fridge was not the problem. We rewired with a heavier wire (i think 30 amp) which seemed like overkill, but the main point is the wire must come directly from the battery to the fridge and nothing else from it. We bought a Waeco cf50 ( the previous one was hired) and went to Inskip Point at Christmas and used the Waeco as a freezer. It went 2 days without the engine started up and never missed a beat all the time we were there with our family of 10.
AnswerID: 16628

Reply By: Member - Cliff- Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 19:45

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 19:45
We went up Cape York last winter and used an Engel, we had no end of problems with cutting out etc. We had new wiring and a new set up but couldn't work out what was going on. When we got back and did some more research we found that the biggest problem was that the wiring that had been recommended was not heavy enough. The fridge was not the problem. We rewired with a heavier wire (i think 30 amp) which seemed like overkill, but the main point is the wire must come directly from the battery to the fridge and nothing else from it. We bought a Waeco cf50 ( the previous one was hired) and went to Inskip Point at Christmas and used the Waeco as a freezer. It went 2 days without the engine started up and never missed a beat all the time we were there with our family of 10.
AnswerID: 16629

Reply By: brett - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 22:23

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003 at 22:23
Your friend has a wiring problem, the low setting on the waeco is 10.4 volts, take your battery below 10.4V more than once and it will be buggered. I have run my waeco down to 11V no problems, still going. You need at least 6mm cross sectional wiring. The 8G stuff from Dick Smith/ Jaycar is the go, and if you're really keen go the 4G
AnswerID: 16651

Reply By: Andi - Friday, Apr 11, 2003 at 18:14

Friday, Apr 11, 2003 at 18:14
Thanks for all your advice guys/gals, I have purchased my Engel F series 40L and am thrilled to bits with will let you know how it goes compared to the other two (Waeco & Chestcold) at easter.

Meawhile still does anyone know about the cardboard baffles in the Waeco?

AnswerID: 17395

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