Fridges and powering them

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 23:07
ThreadID: 4514 Views:1540 Replies:7 FollowUps:5
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People, guru's and others

I have searched the archives on this topic and am more confused than ever.

I'm going to get a car fridge but which one? I always thought Engel was the way to go but evidently not. Then I thought i'd go a Weaco but have read a few scary stories. So Evakool got into the picture but they seem a bit pricey. Can anyone give me some good advice which way to go.

I'm looking for the balance between price, useable space and reliabilty.

Also was considering a second battery under the bonnet (GU patrol) to power the fridge and maybe a light. Necessary or not???? What about solar panels instead ???

My use would be trips away 3 -4 days at a time before moving on.

All advice appreciated.

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Reply By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 07:33

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 07:33
I own a 40litre Engel with a dual battery setup.....

1) Engel is easy to tie down because of large handles.
2) Comes with 240volt power cord and 12volt cord.
3) _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx 2.5amps at its absolute maximum but usually 1 - 1.5amps.
4) Leave fridge in vehicle 24-7-365 and 2nd batt never runs flat.

Can never seem to get a current draw from Waeco, so if somebody knows please tell me.

Solar panels good if in the sun.

I have had up to 8 days without fridge running flat._____________________________________________
Countin the days till July 5th. *Cape York Trip*
AnswerID: 18150

Follow Up By: Terry - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 21:53

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 21:53

Lets give you the benefit of the doubt and say your 2 batteries are rated at 75 amps, therefore you have 150 amps of power. If we work on an average of your figures of 1.75amps that your fridge runs on thats 85.71 hrs which is 3.57 days. If you were getting 8 days running time you must have been in Tassie during winter in which case you probably didn't need a fridge. All the above figures are in a perfect world, which we all know isn't.
FollowupID: 11441

Follow Up By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 22:43

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 22:43
Lets read the battery a/h plates....
The rear batt = 125a/h..
The front batt = 120a/h.. Which = 245a/h...

I had just got back from a trip the Flinders so i had a very charged system.

I am taking the benifit of the doubt and saying that my fridge uses approx 1.25a/h because it is on about ½ the time as i have it on just under fridge setting when not being used which = 196hrs of running time..

Devide that into days and it = 8.16 days....

I left my car on Saturday night and picked it up again the following Sunday morning week and it started via the key without jump starting....

I just stated a fact in my life...... Who rattled your chain Terrence ?...

Countin the days till July 5th. *Cape York Trip*
FollowupID: 11447

Follow Up By: Terry - Monday, May 05, 2003 at 21:43

Monday, May 05, 2003 at 21:43

Thought I see whats going on and read your rather aggresive follow-up, could Voxon be wrong?
To think someone with your depth of knowledge and experience would put up an argument based on what the plates of your battery indicate is quite amazing, almost like trusting the media.
You've convinced me even more after your little "spit" that you may in fact be wrong.
"Who rattled your chain" nows there's a deep meaningful statement, certainly encourages others to participate in this forum.
FollowupID: 12057

Follow Up By: -OzyGuy- - Friday, May 09, 2003 at 18:08

Friday, May 09, 2003 at 18:08
was your car parked in the sun or in the cool of your garage, as most posts relate to only 1 1/2 or 2 days use of the engel fridge, notice I have used the word 'Use' that is why we buy a fridge isn't it.

Another point is the use of two Different batteries as part a dual battery system.

Will you please tell us what brand of battery you use as the starting battery.
FollowupID: 12328

Reply By: Homaten - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 07:42

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 07:42
Evakool is more expensive than Waeco but cheaper and better than Engel. Evakool gives you the balance you are looking for and low battery consumption. Evakool is Australian made with correct and proper insulation for all Australian conditions, unlike Waeco and Engel which fail to meet the CEN T (Tropical) standard.
Solar panels are great, but it really depends on how many days you intend to stop for at a time. 80w solar panels are $720 each and in summer one would possibly scrape you through if you move the panel and have it set at the correct angle. For all year round use, you would need 2 x 80w.
A second battery of 100 amp hours charged off your vehicle and using a Versalight 11 watt fluoro (great Australian made quality) should comfortably give you two days parked. To automatically charge the second battery use a Redarc Battery Isolator.
AnswerID: 18151

Follow Up By: Flash - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 10:26

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 10:26
didnt think youd be game to post in the same name again! and i wuz right!

I agree- go for th evakool if you want the best frig- it'llprobablylast longer than you and will dothe job admirably.
FollowupID: 11397

Reply By: chopper - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 07:54

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 07:54
a dual battery is cheap insurance.
AnswerID: 18153

Reply By: rors101 - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 09:31

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 09:31
Just as there are diferent 4wds there are diferent fridges. Similarly some are more eficient than others but again this depends on how they are used. They all have their limits...
You bought the GU for a reason so perhaps you should consider the Evakool or Autofridge.
I bought the evakool ED70DT so when i dont need the space I can use the freezer section as a eutectic tank with a solution of water and 5% meths (works better than a big block of ice). with this set up i can extend my 75ah battery from 2 days (without killing the battery) to 5+ and maintain <4 degrees. A solar panel would be nice but not suited for my set up or paitence.
Things to look for... Engels have a bad name for compressor failures, WAECO are extreemly good value but there is very little insulation on the lid and if you leave them in the sun (turned off) the plastic lid will warp and never fit properly again.
I used to own a Feroza a great fun and very tuff little truck - I now have a GU...
AnswerID: 18161

Reply By: Brian - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 16:43

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 16:43
Check out the Trailblazer series.... big tough fridges that are reliable and do their job well!!!! A second battery won't go astray either!! I saw in Australian 4X4 Monthly April an article that mentions a marine battery isolator switch which gives several options for two batteries.. Both off, either on and both on... a cheap alternative but you must remember to actually use it!!
AnswerID: 18187

Reply By: bazzle - Thursday, Apr 24, 2003 at 09:00

Thursday, Apr 24, 2003 at 09:00
Go with the ARB fridge, its the best of the engel type.
They have a good dual battery set up AND a good warranty and help alla round aus.

AnswerID: 18265

Reply By: Allan - Saturday, May 03, 2003 at 06:07

Saturday, May 03, 2003 at 06:07
I've owned an Engle for years and I'm still not convinced that they are the best, but you can sure get them repaired in a lot of places.
A dual battery is a great thing but in the GU the auxilliary cradles with a battery in them destroy the wheel arch and the side wall of the engine bay due to the leverage affect of the battery and the metalwork of the GU being cheese in that area. Add to that some corrugated roads and you have a problem thats difficult to fix. I've seen 3 GU's including mine with this problem.
AnswerID: 19029

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