12/24v fridges

Submitted: Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 21:05
ThreadID: 4766 Views:10601 Replies:19 FollowUps:39
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Hey guys,
I recently attended the 4x4 show and then the Caravan/Camping show in Sydney with the intent of buying a 12/24v fridge.
Too many makes and sizes. I have wittled it down to WAECO or ENGEL. I was looking at an 80ltr, but have changed my mind after reading some of the archives.
Can anyone shed some light on the the pro/cons of the two makes or are they roughly of the same quality etc.
What is the most practicle size to get, its to go in the back of a Patrol.
Thanks for the help.
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Reply By: Dave - Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 21:34

Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 21:34
I have a Waeco 52lt and can't fault it. camping with the Waeco Urban battery pack it runs for two days before recharging. It also makes a great backup fridge at home for the coldies.

Heading for the Flinders Ranges end of May.

AnswerID: 19299

Follow Up By: Old Jack - Wednesday, May 07, 2003 at 09:08

Wednesday, May 07, 2003 at 09:08
If you are looking at largish size units, I hope you looked at the evacool as well to compare prices the pro for these units is better insulation than the waco & engle thus lower power consumption in hot conditions, the down side may be slightly higher price. both the engle & waco in the larger units are reasonable units.
To be fair all of them can break down, interestingly I talked to the service manager of one of the above companys about there service agent's & perseption of end users when things go wrong. As a Professional engineer, who has run the service division of a Refrigeration company, it was interesting to here about people walking into a workshop & seeing "rows" of broken down units under repair.

The guy was generally concerned that there agent had sufficient skills information to repair there units, to the point of taking the time where ever possible to get first hand contact with the guys at the coal face so to speak who do the work.

As for build quality all three of the above are good, the waco & engle are full on Mass produced, the Evacool is a basically hand made, this means production is a little more expensive due to lower volume, on the other hand it means that someone who cares probably put it together.

For Large units though Explorer & trail Blazer are also excellantly made!

FollowupID: 12141

Follow Up By: -OzyGuy- - Friday, May 09, 2003 at 15:15

Friday, May 09, 2003 at 15:15
hi you have a large choice of manufacturers to choose from now, most are manufactured overseas... as another poster has stated look closely at a local company, my own recomendation is the "Reefer" brand of fridge/freezer, they are made in Adelaide.
Look at their web site for all relevant information on how and why they work so well www.refrigerationresearch.com.au
They manufacture 12/240 volt fridge's including Portable, Marine and also Commercial refridgerators.
They are economical on battery power as they cycle on and off often, at their site click on the " LINKS " key to find out more on their many benefits.
The internal walls are stainless steel, with sizes ranging from 50 ltrs up to 200 ltrs. The fridge/freezers have two seperate compartments, like your fridge at home, with two different temperature zones at the same time, unlike some brands that call themselves fridge/freezers where they are the one compartment and you have to turn the temp down, causing some foods to spoil at low temps...
Hope this info assists you with your decision...
FollowupID: 12303

Follow Up By: Solar King - Thursday, May 15, 2003 at 08:03

Thursday, May 15, 2003 at 08:03
Reefer are the old Liemack fridges which need a fork lift truck to lift them into the vehicle and a semi trailer load of batteries to keep them running
Check out the test in the 4WD magazine that demonstrated so well under NATA conditions how excessive the power consumption of the Reefer ex Liemack fridge uses.

Old Jack is spot on the money Evakool Explorer or Trailblaza
FollowupID: 12817

Follow Up By: -OzyGuy- - Thursday, May 15, 2003 at 12:46

Thursday, May 15, 2003 at 12:46
Solar King,
Let us talk of some FACTS another word would be TRUTH or HONESTY.

I have read the Fridge Test done on nine ( 9 ) different model fridge's, the tests were carried out inderpendently and not in the premises of, in the presence of, or under the influence of any of the partisipating manufacturers by "Australian 4X4" magazine, to deny these results talk with them, not me as I am only restating the FACTS they printed.

I have the report in front of me, stated FACTS from that test are as follows....

Starting in a controlled temperature hot room at (plus) +35 degree, in a 3 hour test.

# LIEMACK, was the only fridge to go BELOW -15 degree, it went down to (Minus) -21.4 degree, with an average Amp/Hr of only ... 3.8 Amps, the fridge then cycled on & off 3 or more times.....

# Trailblazer, went down to (minus) -10.1 degree and the average Amp/Hr was .. 5.8 Amps, the fridge then cycled on & off 3 or more times, indicating that it could not get below this temperature....

# LIEMACK, dropped from +35 to Zero degree in only .. 28 minuites.

# Trailblazer, dropped from +35 to zero degree in .. 42 minuites.

# LIEMACK, dropped from +35 down to (minus) -15 degree in only 55 minuites, no other fridge reached this temperature with-in 3 hours.

# Engel 39 Lt, dropped from +35 down to (minus) -5 degree in one (1) hour and 22 minuites, in 3 hours it only went to -9.5 with an average Amp/Hr of 4 Amps.

As for your stupid statement of weight, have you ever picked up a Liemack fridge, I think not, are you aware that they have sturdy metal handles each side to use to pick up and also use as tie down points.
Do you pick up your fridge when it is full of food, that is heavy, or do you first have to remove the food from your fridge before you pick it up...?

Let us stay with the TRUTH and keep this forum Honest, as for battery power used the test also answers that for you.
Hope you are not too embarrised by the on record published Facts, as it was you who did first mention the above test report.
FollowupID: 12840

Follow Up By: Old Jack - Thursday, May 15, 2003 at 14:16

Thursday, May 15, 2003 at 14:16
IN all fairness no where did I state anything about the Reefer units, as I stated there are other units about. the benifit of the reefer units is it's increased refrigeration capacity (abilty to transfer heat) due to the larger capacity compressor used ( as pointed out by ozyguy).

if you need the ability to freeze or cool down quickly anything being put into cabinet, the laws of physics always apply, you have to put energy to move the energy out. the co-efficient of performance for this type of compressor is supperior to a piston compressor, also quieter, this is the reason air condition units tend to use rotary compressor (more capacity for less power consummed)

I would challenge anyone to pick up any 100 plus litre unit of any brand filled to capacity with say "beer" out of the back of there truck by themselves. could be done of course but a bit stupid to attempt lifting something so big & heavy. if you want a small light fridge there are plent of choice's once you get past say 40lt you are talking about a fair bit of weight with any unit

as for power consuption you have to take the total power consummed to do the work then divide the work done over time, once the load is pulled down to temperature the only heat to be removed is the "leakage" into the cabinet through the insulation. the reefer will pull the load down faster because it's got almost twice more refrigeration capacity over the other units. so it will of cousre require more input power while running to do the work, that said because it can get the heat away faster it will require less running time to do the same amount of work, also once down to temperature run for less time to remove the heat that leaks in through the insulation. total power consummed to do (amp/hrs) the job though is less

The built quality of these reefer units is very good also. I have recently looked at some of the bulk container units they make, interestingly they use spiral wound batteries for there self contained units... here goes the battery debate again probably.

FollowupID: 12842

Follow Up By: -OzyGuy- - Thursday, May 15, 2003 at 14:40

Thursday, May 15, 2003 at 14:40
Old Jack,

My reply was to Solar King's post, (follow-up 3 of 5)
re; 4x4 test of fridges.
hence my salutation at the start of my reply ... Solar King.

Tis good to read the informative and also usefull info you have stated...
re batteries Ummm...

FollowupID: 12844

Follow Up By: Solar King - Thursday, May 15, 2003 at 17:53

Thursday, May 15, 2003 at 17:53
OzyGuy anybody can selective post from a printed article to make it look better than what it is. I can post from that same article to show that reading the article like it was meant to be read you would not purchase a Liemack/Reefer.

A Liemack/Reefer needs a fork lift empty and do you really think a pair of handles makes it a massive overweight monster to lift. Many other brands have metal handles or good nylon ones like Evakool.

A Liemack/Reefer fridge is not at all suitable for camping unless you can plug into mains power or have a large solar system.

Perhaps you can explain why if Liemack/Reefer is such a supposedly wonderful fridge why they went into receivership.
FollowupID: 12860

Follow Up By: -OzyGuy- - Thursday, May 15, 2003 at 23:39

Thursday, May 15, 2003 at 23:39
Solar King...
YES, I do accept your offer to quote from the same "Australian 4x4 magazine" test of the 9 fridges, any figures that you believe change the outcome of the printed results..

However, please remember that I do have a copy of the magazine test results here, yes I did copy them EXACTLY as they are printed in the magazine.... and I'm sure you can type them in less than an hour...

I can pick up my LIEMACK fridge/freezer without any hassles at all, even though it is stainless steel, not plastic or some form of fibreglass, so you are suggesting I must be stronger than most guys, that is nice to know, thank you for saying something NICE....

I spend many weeks at a time camped on beach's here in West Aussie, without any 240 volt power, the fact is even when I stay in caravan parks I stay on un-powered sites, as the LIEMACK fridge/freezer is powered from the dual battery system and one solar pannel......

No I don't know ' IF ' Liemack did go into recievership, do you KNOW the answer to your own question ? or are you just telling 'fairy stories'

I do know the manufacturers of the " REEFER " brand of fridge do give their product a written TWO year guarantee.... how long is Evercool ?

Stick to the TRUTH and the FACTS, I do look 4ward to your "Australian 4x4 magazine" fridge test results...
FollowupID: 12903

Follow Up By: Solar King - Friday, May 16, 2003 at 09:32

Friday, May 16, 2003 at 09:32
OzyGuy the average amps for a Liemack or Reefer is 5.6 amps per hour over 24 hours as per the test report on page 90. That just proves what a massive power consumption dog the Liemack or Reefer is. ALL the other fridges over a 24 hour period as per "The Amps Test" consumed less than HALF the amount of power of the Liemack or Reefer. You would need a semi-trailer load of batteries to keep the Liemack or Reefer going for a couple of days.

The Liemack or Reefer has a massive 6C swing in temperature range which is against ALL the health authorities specifications and laws in Australia. The Liemack/Reefer, Bush Boy, ARB and Engel all failed to meet the required standards for Australian refrigeration. This can and does cause food to go off and could be detrimental to you and your families health. What good is a fridge that cannot keep food at the required temperature standards.

Liemack or Reefer weighs in at a MASSIVE 34kg (75lbs) EMPTY and the next one is the Explorer at only 23kg and the Evakool at 18.5kg. Most people could not lift an empty Liemack or Reefer into a vehicle.

Liemack or Reefer claim "it is essential to use the factory-supplied 10mm cable and connectors" If the Liemack or Reefer did not take such massive amounts of power you would not need cable anywhere near that size. No other manufacturer specifies cables of that size as no other portable fridge takes such massive amounts of power. You only need such massive cables due to massive power consumption.

Liemack or Reefer would have to be the most inefficient portable fridge available on the market using a standard domestic compressor with an inefficient 240 volt AC motor being driven by an inefficient 12vDC to 240vAC invertor.

Liemack did go into receivership or bankruptcy.

Quote page 95 "The (Evakool) Downunder was one of the best units performing well in all tests. It is a 50-litre unit, which makes it excellent value for the performance."
Could not find one positive comment about the Liemack now Reefer fridge.
FollowupID: 12916

Follow Up By: -OzyGuy- - Friday, May 16, 2003 at 11:16

Friday, May 16, 2003 at 11:16
Solar King,
According to my " Australian 4x4 magazine " test result it is stated that the LIEMACK fridge had an average power draw of 3.8 amps.

You are NOT reading the same INDERPENDANT test that I am quoting.

Are the test results that I have posted, printed in your test results exactly as I have quoted, I think not.

You are quoting from the test carried out on behalf of a 'fridge manufacturer' using the NATA facilities in NSW, yes their fridge did get a good 'report' didn't it....
You have failed to mention that the results that you have are from the second attempt, as the first attempt was aborted due to too many hassles with results that were not 'right' wasn't it!

Will you coment on the management relationship between the Fridge-mate, Supercool and Evercool fridge's ?

Re; the 'temperature swing' of 6 degree's you mention, please explain the 'temp swing' of the Evercool fridge, are you saying that all fridge's are set to a temperature and always remains at that same temperature, it would have to be on permanently, yes I'm sure some are in the warmer temperature area's up north.

larger cable gives you less power drop and less heat build up from your battery system.

FollowupID: 12920

Follow Up By: William - Friday, May 16, 2003 at 11:55

Friday, May 16, 2003 at 11:55
OzyGuy the test I am quoting from is the only approved test ever done in Australia by an independent NATA Certified Test Laboratory. The test was NOT done for any fridge manufacturer at all, it was paid for and organised by 4WD Monthly. There were no second tests at all.
The tests were printed in the Australian 4WD Monthly.

The power consumption average over 24 hours for the MASSIVE power hungry Liemack/Reefer is 5.6 amps. The next fridge worst case fridge only took 2.8 amps and all other fridges were below that. That means that the Liemack/Reefer consumes 100% more power than any of the other fridges. It is inevitable the Liemack/Reefer consumes such massive amounts of power using a 240vAC domestic compressor and a 12vDC to 240vAC invertor. This is about as inefficient as you can get and reason no other manufacturer uses such an inefficient system.

To prove your misinformation it would be technically impossible if you go and check out the Mitsubishi website for that model compressor on 240vAC and an invertor to only draw 3.8 amps at 12vDC. That is a technical fact that is irrefutable.

The brands of fridge in the test that meet or exceed the Australian standards to temperature range cycling are Autofridge Bushman Evakool Explorer Vitrifrigio Waeco. The fridges that failed are Engel ARB Liemack Bush Boy

Of course larger cable over a distance will give you less voltage drop, but because Liemack/Reefer consumes such a large amount of power and needs such the voltage to be well above 12vDC to perform Liemack/Reefer need to supply such massive cable size.

I have no idea of the management relationship between anybody. Go to the ASC website and look it up if you are interested.
FollowupID: 12924

Follow Up By: -OzyGuy- - Friday, May 16, 2003 at 13:23

Friday, May 16, 2003 at 13:23
or is it Solar King or Ozzy.. sumthin
now you have even confused your own name!

you are quoting from a TOTALLY DIFFERENT fridge test to the one published in the "Australian 4x4" magazine that I quoted from above.

You are now admitting your results are from "4wd monthly"

Your power figures are also WRONG, the test WAS done twice, because some fridge manufacturers did claim the test methods that were used were NOT relevant to their products in the real world, that is a FACT...

If you are claiming not to know the connection between Fridge-mate, Supercool and Evercool then you do not work in the Refridgeration Industry and maybe you were not present at the testing, therefore you do not know the full particulars of the testing...

As to weight of a fridge, any 'TUPPERWARE" plastic fridge will be less than a stainless steel fridge...as plastic weighs less and is not as strong.

TRUTH has a way of being exposed.
FollowupID: 12931

Follow Up By: Solar King - Friday, May 16, 2003 at 14:20

Friday, May 16, 2003 at 14:20
Not confused at all, was down at Williams office using his computer.

OzyGuy the power figures are factually correct. Of course you cannot refute the truth and facts that the Mitsubishi compressor used by Liemack/Reefer if you had bothered to check on the specifications it does use that ridiculous amount of power. Liemack or Reefer are the most inefficient and poorly designed portable fridge on the market. Why do you think no other manufacturer has ever used such an inefficient power hungry poor design. Why do you think Liemack got into financial problems. If Liemack had built a quality efficient unit that did not need a fork lift truck to put the fridge into the vehicle and a semi-trailer load of batteries to follow the vehicle to run the fridge they would not have ended up in their situation.

Why would I want to know the connection between those brand names. It is of no interest to me whatsoever.

The test in 4WD Monthly was most definitely not done twice and the test was done by a NATA Certified Lab.

The review done by Australian 4x4 magazine was not conducted by a NATA Certified Lab or any other lab with any credentials under controlled conditions in an approved environmentally controlled chamber. The test by Australian 4x4 could only be described in one way and that is amateurish.

There is nothing wrong with a thermo-plastic moulded case. The quality of the unit and insulation is what matters. 34kg for a fridge like the Liemack Reefer weighs in at is crazy. If you look at the Explorer and Trailblazer which are the better constructed fridges available in the market place they come in nowhere near the fat overweight Liemack Reefer and considerably lighter due to better design.

Interesting fact that nobody now appears to stock the Reefer fridges. They had enough experience with the Liemack fridge and do not want to be caught again.

Why do you think the makers of the now Liemack now Reefer, Refrigeration Research quote no power consumption figures or specifications like the bloated overweight fridge on their website. It is because if they did they would never sell another unit. Simple as that.
FollowupID: 12935

Follow Up By: -OzyGuy- - Friday, May 16, 2003 at 15:02

Friday, May 16, 2003 at 15:02
Solar King
The test WAS done twice, if you were there you would know that, you are not connected to the Refrigeration Industry and you were not there to dispute the FACTS...

I use a 50 lt LIEMACK fridge/freezer, 24/7 and I know for a fact your power figures are wrong.... you are too biased to be TRUTHFULL.

In the above post you have stated that ......
" The test by Australian 4x4 could only be described in one way and that is amateurish. "

Please explain WHY you believe that, as I was not there to see that test! and I'm sure other users will be interested in your reply...

FollowupID: 12937

Follow Up By: Solar King - Friday, May 16, 2003 at 15:41

Friday, May 16, 2003 at 15:41
I never said I was there and the tests were not done twice.

If you actually took the model number off your Liemack/Reefer Mitsubishi compressor and went to the Mitsubishi website and downloaded the specifications you would see with your own two blind eyes that the figures you are quoting are totally false and incorrect and the 5.8 amps on 12vDC is around where the factual figures are. As I have said before no other manufacturer would even consider using a domestic compressor at 240vAC and using a 12vDC to 240vAC invertor. It is a dumb lousy design. Don't you think there is a very good reason why so many other manufacturers use the Danfoss compressor. A Mitsubishi 240vAC domestic compressor is cheaper than a Danfoss 12/24vDC compressor. How come so many other manufacturers who have large volume sales and even more expensive than Liemack/Reefer use the Danfoss compressor. Perhaps that is a little to much for you to comprehend.

If you cannot see that the test done in Australian 4x4 magazine is amateurish you must be technically challenged.

I do not have to be biased as the technical specifications from the Mitsubishi website backup the massive power consumption figures of the Liemack/Reefer. The complete and total lack of any specifications on the Refrigeration Research website is another statement of failure. Of course it is easy to understand why Refrigeration Research have no specifications as they would be to embarrassed to publish them. A 34kg power hungry supposedly portable fridge would make a suitable for a decent sized boat anchor.

Their are other spurious claims on Refrigeration Research's website along with zero specifications. eg. "Refrigeration Research is Australia's only manufacturer of multi-voltage boat and portable refrigeration systems" That is not a factual statement of truth.
FollowupID: 12939

Follow Up By: -OzyGuy- - Saturday, May 17, 2003 at 16:36

Saturday, May 17, 2003 at 16:36
Solar King,
You have posted the following, referring to me->
" If you cannot see that the test done in Australian 4x4 magazine is amateurish you must be technically challenged "

I take this opportunity to Challenge you, to state how this test was 'amateurish' or is it only the FACT that the LIEMACK fridge achieved such a realistic result that has angered you ?

# LIEMACK, dropped from +35 to Zero degree in only .. 28 minuites.

# LIEMACK, dropped from +35 down to (minus) -15 degree in only 55 minuites,
no other fridge could reach this temperature within 3 hours.

# LIEMACK, was the only fridge to go BELOW -15 degree, it went down to (Minus) -21.4 degree,
an average 3.8 Amp/Hr, the fridge then cycled on & off 3 or more times in 3 hours.

You have also posted above-> " 5.8 amps on 12vDC is around where the factual figures are" your figures are again WRONG here also, TRUTH is my LIEMACK fridge "uses" 8 amps, however, ONLY when it is actually running.
As my LIEMACK fridge only runs for aprox 15 mins per hour, if it uses 8 amps does that equate to 2 Amp/Hr ??

At this point I think we should hear from a 'qualified' AUTO elec to clarify as I admit, I'm technically challenged in this area, Lol

My understanding is that, IF a Deep Cycle battery is rated as 100 Amp/Hr
the battery can (maybe) supply 10 Amps for only 10 hours...
if the power requirements of a 12 volt fridge is rated at 5 Amp/Hr
the fridge uses an AVERAGE of 5 Amps per Hour...

...please assist those who are technically challenged & will admit it (-_-)
FollowupID: 13006

Follow Up By: Solar King - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 19:51

Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 19:51
OzyGuy if you do not know what a test in the form of an advertorial then you are obviously technically challenged and do not know the difference.

Liemack was (past tense) such a dog of a fridge Liemack is no longer available. The people that took the business over were obviously to ashamed to keep the name going. A good brand name is worth a lot of money, and no business gives up a good brand name as they can bounce of the advertising and past product sales. With Liemack being such massive weight fridge with such incredible power consumption there was no value in the name Liemack and they dumped it.

Refrigeration Research who took over the Liemack fridge are not prepared to publish on their website the power draw of the fridge or the massive weight. The only thing Refrigeration Research is happy to show on their website is their high price for a overweight massive power guzzling product.
FollowupID: 13052

Follow Up By: -OzyGuy- - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 20:51

Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 20:51
Solar King

Why do you keep avoiding the question
Please answer the Question I have asked you

solar king you have posted this-> " If you cannot see that the test done in Australian 4x4 magazine is amateurish you must be technically challenged "

I once again take this opportunity to Challenge you,
to state how this test was 'amateurish' is it only the FACT that the LIEMACK fridge achieved such a realistic result that has angered you ?

Show us you are honest, tell us why you believe the test was wrong.
FollowupID: 13053

Follow Up By: Solar King - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 21:33

Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 21:33
OzyGuy the so called test by Australian 4x4 and calling it a 'test' is not correct. It should be described as a demonstration to achieve the results paid for by Liemack. What is called in the trade an advertorial.
True tests need to be carried out in a temperature controlled chamber by people with the correct equipment and with proper laid down procedures. The test done by 4WD Monthly is just that, a properly conducted test by a NATA approved lab. That is what matters. In that test Liemack was a poor performer in the power consumption tests by 100% and it failed to meet the Australian standards for maintaining cabinet tempreture. That makes the Liemack an unsatisfactory product. No wonder Liemack went out of business.

Of course Liemack are now out of business for all the right reasons.
To stay in business you need to produce quality equipment.

Refrigeration Research did not keep the Liemack name because obviously it was not a saleable brand.
Refrigeration Research are obviously to ashamed to put the weight of their overweight child and massive power consumption their fridges consume on their website. I would also be totally embarrassed if I made such a fridge.
FollowupID: 13056

Follow Up By: -OzyGuy- - Monday, May 19, 2003 at 11:23

Monday, May 19, 2003 at 11:23
solar king,
Your true colours are showing, you are now stating that LIEMACK paid for a test that gave Engel, Autofridge and FRIDGE-MATE (the original 'Evercool') good results, I don't think so, think up another stupid feeble excuse, maybe Engel paid...

I once again take this opportunity to Challenge you

state how the "Australian 4x4" test was 'amateurish'

it is only the FACT that the LIEMACK fridge achieved such realistic results that has angered you.
FollowupID: 13083

Follow Up By: Terry - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 08:31

Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 08:31
I think Solar King's starting t lose the plot a bit here, starting to get a little personal ususally means the argument is probably lost. I always enjoy Old Jacks insights to all this, usually very solid good advice. I have a 70DT Reefer, I looked at al the rest and made my decision on its durability, and design and efficency in cooling things down. The co-efficency of the Danfoss BD50 is around .97 and the Mitsubishi 309 is around 1.19. Because Solar King is so clever he sould be able to work out the level of power (amps) required to drive both motors usings a 12v battery. Thats the physics of it, the rest is insulation and efficency of cooling. My unit has a large condenser with three passes, check what the others are using in this area. As for lifting the unit, who picks a fridge up when its full anyway. Liemack maybe out of business but looking at what Refrigeration Research do, the makers of the Reefer, I feel quite confident there units will be around for quite a while. Look at their website, its listed on this site, to see there range of units they don't just make car fridges.
As for Solar King, I wonder who's barrow he's pushing, not to hard to work out. Always a mass of aggreesive rhetoric but never anything substantial.
FollowupID: 13153

Follow Up By: Old Jack - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 10:05

Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 10:05
My own personal enlightenment comes from being a Refrigeration Engineer and an Electrical Engineer. when you go to do something that is going to cost the customer millions of dollars you don't often Guess whether or not it will work.
some facts for everyone :-

presevation of food stuffs short term storage under 4 degree' s C
storage of frozen food -18c or lower long term storage is often -30

long term storage of un frozen food 1 degree + - 0.5 this is cooked/then blast chilled foods max 7 days storage.

meat storage is under 2 degrees, they tend to give food outlet's a little to much leeway with storage temperatures, Ideal is under 2 degrees
These should then be taken with the local health act in you area plus each state has it's own version of the PURE FOOD ACT.

which in turn then referance to the Australian/NZ standard. the state Pure food act is "god" unless you are an exporter.

they have been going on about testing done by certain groups having not read the articals they are going on about I would be intested to know if any of the testest where conducted as Per AS/NZS 4474.2
or for that matter what standard method was used to test the units.

In all fairness NATA certification facilitys only mean the gear can have it's calibration traced back to a referance standard and follow form of quaility standards. What I would like to know is what standard testing method was used (it's number) & the number of times it was repeated to give a set of "credible scientific results"
FollowupID: 13163

Follow Up By: Rod Miles - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 14:58

Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 14:58
Whoa guys! The argument is getting nasty.

I have just read through some of the arguments put forth and would offer that you are both quoting on tests from two different magazines.
Solar king is quoting from 4WD Monthly magazine "Mega Fridge Comparo" edition Sept 2001. OzGuy I am assuming is quoting from another test that was carried out by another 4WD magazine.

Metion was made above that the FRIDGEMATE fridge was Evakool. This is not the case. Evakool provided the fibreglass base under contract to FRIDGEMATE (another story at another time). The total FRIDGEMATE units were not produced by Evakool.

In relation to test results, what fridges can do what etc. can I suggest that when looking at buying a fridge, get a copy of all relevent brochures on the products available from each Company, set a criteria of what you want the unit to do ie all fridge, all freezer or a combination of both. Look at the size of the item you require, how and where it will fit in your vehicle, where you intend travelling as the tropics and interior will work your fridge harder depending on insulation thickness and outer box construction materials. Last but not least, the budget (or dollars) you have available to spend.

As a final comment, can I say that anonymity on the internet can result in a lot of he said she said arguments. I am quite happy to discuss the test results carried out by 4WD Monthly and the positives of the Evakool fridge-freezer products with anybody that would like to call me or e-mail me.

Rod Miles
National Manager
ph: 07.5492.7777
e-mail: admin@evakool.com.au
FollowupID: 13184

Reply By: Member - Martyn- Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 21:35

Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 21:35
No personal experience with Waeco so I don't like to comment, I've had a 40L Bushman that had to be returned to the supplier twice after loosing about 80 litres of food on two trips so I won't have one of them again. Personally I have a 40L Engle and wouldn't swap it for anything, I find it a very good all round fridge, very reliable etc etc. I have it mounted in a lock mount on the sliding top of my roller draw in my GQ. We go camping as a family of four and we can usually have enough supplies for about 5 days in the fridge, canned beer box juices and square plastic containers with the contents written on the lid for easy location. I find the Engle very economical with the power, quietish, lots of accesories easily available and the dealers don't run for cover when you come in with a problem, if you really have one which I've found is rare. Keep the shiny side up
AnswerID: 19300

Follow Up By: Mal58 - Thursday, May 08, 2003 at 12:27

Thursday, May 08, 2003 at 12:27
I have had a bushman for 3 years, been to Central QLD and into Flinders Ranges with it, no problems. I regulary recommend it to friends and associates.
Now you have me worried, and hence curious about the difficulties that you experienced, so please personal Email me at Lewis.Family5@bigpond.com with the details.

FollowupID: 12220

Follow Up By: Member - Martyn- Thursday, May 08, 2003 at 22:05

Thursday, May 08, 2003 at 22:05
I'd only had the fridge about three months and went to Mt Augusta, the fridge was great on the first day but on the second day after a bit of a hammering on corragations I got some food out that night and the fridge was warm, couldn't get it to go at all, in the end I had to throw most of the food away. When I got back to Perth the shop I bought the fridge from swapped it without question for another one. My second trip I can't even remember where I was going, anyway the fridge worked a treat but the digital read out went blank, I pressed the up and down keys to try and make something happen, the temp chenged but i didn't know what the setting was, I changed battery and anything else I could find including a fuse I found somewhere all to no avail, the shop wouldn't exchange the fridge a second time so they got it repaired for me, as soon as I got it back I sold in the local paper and bought my Engle, no problems since, I might just got one that was made on Friday afternoon, I'm sure yours will be fine.Keep the shiny side up
FollowupID: 12252

Reply By: Allfour4x4 - Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 21:36

Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 21:36
Can't wait to see the can of worms opened here !
I think 80lt far to big unless your'e feeding an army.
Most people I know using 40-60lt. Interested to see comments on Waeco
which after all does use a renowned compressor, with decent insulation,
But is mainly run down for being plastic??? Personally I have the 40lt. Engel and love it - Keep an eye on the Discount Camping site (SA) as they have great specials every now and then. Bought ours there at a price no one wanted to match in Sydney.

AnswerID: 19301

Follow Up By: Member - Martyn- Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 22:14

Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 22:14
Sorry it wasn't 80 litres in one hit it was two trips where I lost 40 litres of food on each trip. The Bushman was a 40 ltr fridge the same as the Engle I have now. Keep the shiny side up
FollowupID: 12125

Reply By: diamond - Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 22:23

Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 22:23
gday ice.i dont own a 12 volt fridge.but theres been plenty done here on them.from what ive seen they both seem to be as good as each other only diference being price.
AnswerID: 19311

Reply By: chopper - Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 22:31

Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 22:31
I have an electrolux 3way, great on gas, very happy with it.

also a 19ltr Engel, economical, cools real quick, veryhappy with it

also a Waeco 110lt for work, cools a lot slower, but when up and running, a great unit, very happy with it too.

did that help?
AnswerID: 19314

Reply By: hiluxer - Wednesday, May 07, 2003 at 08:11

Wednesday, May 07, 2003 at 08:11
Own an Engel, happy with it, its been in a rollover got wacked in the side, panel beated and it still seems to be working fine. Waecos seem to work ok too a friend has one. Only thing with them is do not leave them in the sun the lids have a tendacy to warp because they are only plastic, put a cover on it and you should be OK.

From what i can see everyone has different personal expereiences with different makes. Engel will have better resale value if you decide to upgrade in the future

cheers and good luck
AnswerID: 19331

Follow Up By: Allfour4x4 - Wednesday, May 07, 2003 at 18:35

Wednesday, May 07, 2003 at 18:35
Engel has damm good resale - Ever tried to buy a secondhand out of the Trading Post in Sydney? price is very high and you can never be quick enough.
FollowupID: 12190

Reply By: Pat - Wednesday, May 07, 2003 at 09:15

Wednesday, May 07, 2003 at 09:15
Hi All,
I’ve had a 50lt. Weaco for just over a year. Enough room for food and a small number of drinks for the two of us. We head for the shops about once a week while camping but could go longer if needed. I have run it for over 80hr continuous on an N70 battery before the cutout kicked in. We also used it as a freezer for three months while we where between houses. Haven’t had any trouble with it yet.

Heading for the Cape in June so we’ll give it another workout then.

See Ya
AnswerID: 19336

Reply By: Rod - Wednesday, May 07, 2003 at 09:27

Wednesday, May 07, 2003 at 09:27
Suggest you look in the yellow pages for companies who repair camping and caravan fridges and go down and talk to them about reliability and after sales service from the manufacturers. I did. They told me about the expensive parts in the engel, the number returned for repair and the build quality of the waeco. I ended up buying an evakool (not from the repair place) and I'm chuffed after previous bad experiences with 3-way gas fridges.
AnswerID: 19337

Reply By: athol - Wednesday, May 07, 2003 at 10:23

Wednesday, May 07, 2003 at 10:23
Bouht an Eva-cool 60lt retrofit fridge freezer at the show , went camping on the weekend and YOU BLOODY BEUDY best thing I've ever bought. May be a little larger than others but you get heeps of useable space. And I actually made ice cubes for the bourbon (thats what I call roughing it). I've also got a 50 lt chescold 3 way, good on gas but useless on 12v so its going.
AnswerID: 19342

Reply By: rors101 - Wednesday, May 07, 2003 at 11:46

Wednesday, May 07, 2003 at 11:46
My EvaKool ED70 fits very nicely into the GU between the rear doors and seats. Althought its long and narrow (900 odd long) it gives me a lot more room next to it. I'm going to use it on a boat also - perfect 2 seater beer fridge. If you are looking at slides I have just made my own storage unit using 100Kg fridge slides available from Nova Sales in NSW and a frame made from qubelok aluminium from Capral Aluminium.
The other fridge I seriously considdered was the Autofridge - it is no secret that a lot of the Pros use them. The tropicool was also on the shortlist but a bit agricultral - perfect for a tray back mind you.

AnswerID: 19349

Reply By: Mark from Getaway Portable Refrigerator Hire - Wednesday, May 07, 2003 at 12:23

Wednesday, May 07, 2003 at 12:23
Ice, We have used the Engels, Autofridges and Trailblaza's. All of which have their place. One of the Engel's has had the power unit replaced twice (first time 2 days after purchase) and then 12 months later. The Trailblaza has had the compressor replaced and the electronic unit (all under warranty) and the service from Norcoast Refrigeration (Trailblaza) is excellent and Margaret is really helpful.Their fridges are exported also to countries where WHO are involved. The Army also use these. Autofridge, we haven't had any problems with after 4 years apart from the odd thermostat requiring adjustment.
Evakool looks really good and in theory (and practice from threads) they would be good also. At the end of the day the standout from our experience, is the Autofridge but you do pay for it. There are some excellent fridges manufactured in Australia (most, if not all, hand made) so do a Dick Smith and buy Aussie. Regards Mark
AnswerID: 19354

Reply By: athol - Wednesday, May 07, 2003 at 13:38

Wednesday, May 07, 2003 at 13:38
Rors101 I'm interested in a slide as all the ones at the show were not long enough or would not extend far enough as I want to mount inside an insulated box on the draw bar of camper trailer. Could you Email me with details at bengee@ozemail.com.au
AnswerID: 19364

Follow Up By: rors101 - Wednesday, May 07, 2003 at 16:40

Wednesday, May 07, 2003 at 16:40
H/D 100 kg 1m slides (approx 900mm extension):

Then goto "roller drawer slides" and choose "FR 1105"

the 100kg are not cheap ($120ish) if you dont need 100 kg get the 36kg 600mm length max only $40 odd a pair.

Order them from Nover Sales in NSWhttp://www.nover.com.au

No association...

make your frame from Qubelock and infill with ply:

Enjoy, its like playing with leggo again.
FollowupID: 12185

Follow Up By: Member -BJ (Sydney) - Thursday, May 08, 2003 at 17:28

Thursday, May 08, 2003 at 17:28
Athol how do you plan to vent hot air from box on draw bar as i have same idea for our trailerWish i was still here / Gulf in July
FollowupID: 12237

Follow Up By: athol - Thursday, May 08, 2003 at 19:06

Thursday, May 08, 2003 at 19:06
BJ, I plan to construct the box from sheet aluminium aprox 2-3mm mig weld it all up hinge a door both ends with dustproof seals and insulate with either styrene or the black high density faom that fridgys use to insulate a/c's etc it's available in sheet form. At both ends in the doors I plan to fit louvred grills covered inside by either a foam filter or adapt a cheap air filter ( say common Holden ).Aussie Swag campers use the grills with a foam filter but use a lift up lid {may be easier}
FollowupID: 12243

Follow Up By: Member -BJ (Sydney) - Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 22:20

Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 22:20
Athol, had same idea but worried if enough heat would escape through filter can you let me know if heat loss is ok .
Email is rjbeatty@optusnet.com.au Wish i was still here / Gulf in July
FollowupID: 12443

Reply By: bruce - Wednesday, May 07, 2003 at 20:11

Wednesday, May 07, 2003 at 20:11
Have a look at ..fridgeshop.com...they have Waeco seconds at great discount prices..that is if you are not in a big hurry...because it is getting popular..I got a 50l model and cannot find any thing wrong with it..ring 1800212121 and ask for Karyn ..they also have the covers at $49 less than normal price cheers
AnswerID: 19391

Follow Up By: george - Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 17:59

Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 17:59
Is this the same fridgeshop.com.au the was claiming some time back to be in no way linked to WAECO PACIFIC?
If you look at the back page of the Waeco catalogue or on their website 1800212121 is the phone number of WAECO PACIFIC.
I would bet that WAECO dealers would be really impressed to find out that WAECO sell factory seconds direct to the public.
FollowupID: 14063

Reply By: Solar King - Wednesday, May 07, 2003 at 21:19

Wednesday, May 07, 2003 at 21:19
You would be crazy to waste money on an Engel. Engel have a high failure rate and the parts are so expensive you will through it away and buy a quality fridge.

If you want to buy a quality fridge once and have no problems then buy an Evakool. Evakool is cheaper than a rubbishy Engel and more expensive than a Waeco. Due to the quality insulation of a Evakool they use substantially less power than other brands and need no covers. Other good feature about Evakool the top makes a good work surface because it is flat. Evakool besides being a great quality fridge the cabinet is made in Australia for Australian conditions. An Engel should be the same price or cheaper than Waeco, as Engel is not even as good as Waeco.
AnswerID: 19404

Follow Up By: kevin - Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 21:38

Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 21:38
I bought a super-cool fridge 4 years ago (they're now call Evakool) and it stopped working within 6 months, I took it back and was given a new one as they couldn't fix it. this one lasted lest that 6 months, again took it back and after a month was given another one. this one lasted a bit longer only because I did not use it. but when I did go away it stopped again. I was pretty lucky because I got one more but you guessed it, it didn't work. I do have to admit when it did work it was great.
I have talked to the service manager of the now Evakool about my geat fridge and his respone was that the only thing I can now do is to do a complete refit for the small cost of $1100.00. plus posting from sydney to QLD. $400.00.
I can buy a brand new one from them for this cost so now I have a very expensive esky. As you can see there is not much nice things to say about my fridge but I am now look at buying one that last a least 2 years.
I have talk to a few people about Waeco and Evakool and have heard some bad reports. A service man I know who fixes these brands of fridge said he won't even touch most of these makes.
FollowupID: 12434

Follow Up By: Solar King - Sunday, May 11, 2003 at 16:49

Sunday, May 11, 2003 at 16:49
Kevin Supakool was the compressor made by an outside Australian company and is no reflection on Evakool. Pity you quote misinformation as Evakool were refitting the units for the cost of the Danfoss compressor. To quote a $400 freight charge is the most ludicrous thing I have heard for a long time and proves your misinformation. The largest repairer of portable refrigeration in Australia says that any of the Danfoss powered fridges are the most reliable in Australia and then it depends on build quality and quality of insulation. He has a yard full of Engels that cannot afford to be repaired because the parts are so expensive. He quotes among the best brand of fridges on market the Autofridge Evakool Trailblaza Explorer at the top of the tree then the others coming next. The only units with sufficient insulation for Australia are the Autofridge Evakool Trailblaza Explorer.
FollowupID: 12472

Follow Up By: kevin - Sunday, May 11, 2003 at 17:05

Sunday, May 11, 2003 at 17:05
the super-kool fridge I bought was a great fridge when it worked. but it is a great esky now.
the cost I quoted was from Evakool in QLD for the refit to make it a Evakool. service manager I take to was steve.
FollowupID: 12475

Follow Up By: Mark - Monday, May 12, 2003 at 15:06

Monday, May 12, 2003 at 15:06
I had the same problem with my SupaKool & ended up getting the fridge/compressor replaced a few times under warranty. I gave up in the end & got the Danfoss compressor fitted, it was much cheaper from memory than what you were quoted but was a few years ago. It seems the problem with the earlier compressor (Micro compressors QLD, now bust) was they did not like to be turned off as the gas pressure increased when turned off and leaks occured, bit of a design flaw really a portable fridge that you can't turn off !
Anyway the fridge has been excellent since the Danfoss was fitted. Looks like you are stuck with an expensive esky though unfortunately, as you may as well buy a new one for the difference in price.
FollowupID: 12554

Follow Up By: Steve - Wednesday, May 14, 2003 at 20:56

Wednesday, May 14, 2003 at 20:56
Kevin my name is Steve and I am the Service Manager at Evakool and I resent the mistruths that you have stated . It is very easy to bag people and Companies when you do not have to identify yourself or back up your allegations with facts.There is no way you would have been quoted the supposed figures that you quoted and I'm glad solar king decided to stickup for common sense and dispel your false statements so it doesn't just sound like we are answering you to try and back ourselves up. I challenge you to if you wish to be honest contact me on 0754927777 and ask to speak to Steve Tanner tell the girls that answer that this is in reply to the explore oz forum so that I will know who it is and we will talk
FollowupID: 12786

Follow Up By: Steve - Thursday, May 29, 2003 at 19:52

Thursday, May 29, 2003 at 19:52
Kevin it is now the 29/05/03 and still no contact from you so I guess your comments were all crap as I suspected . Pity that people can't be truthful and honest . As I said it is easy to bag things when you don't have to back them up in person . Pity that people believe people like you in preferance to checking uot the truth
FollowupID: 13955

Reply By: rors101 - Thursday, May 08, 2003 at 13:12

Thursday, May 08, 2003 at 13:12
If you are in Sydney (Mascot area) you may be able to get a discounted Autofridge factory second (scratched) direct from the manufacturer. Quirks advertise and sell only A grade (thus the high price) but if you do a little homework you might find their factory.
AnswerID: 19429

Reply By: Ice - Thursday, May 08, 2003 at 16:19

Thursday, May 08, 2003 at 16:19
Thanks for the feed back fellas
I'll be seriously looking at the 50-68 ltr Evakools
Once again Thanks
AnswerID: 19438

Reply By: David N. - Thursday, May 08, 2003 at 21:32

Thursday, May 08, 2003 at 21:32
I agree - EvaKool is the way to go.
I have one and can't fault it- very solid, very efficient
AnswerID: 19451

Reply By: Member - Nigel - Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 18:18

Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 18:18
My Evakool ED68 stopped working after 18 months - range evakool - they said that the old fuse holders where starting to play up - replaced the fuse holder - still going...

ran in over easter (in FNQ) off a 90AH battery on the lowest setting and even had to turn it off a couple of times to stop it from freezing stuff.

Personally I think the Engel and Waeco are lacking in insulation - if you buy one be prepared to buy the insulated bag as well, but it still doesn't come close to the insulation on an EvaKool or some of the other Australian Made fridges.
AnswerID: 19607

Follow Up By: Solar King - Thursday, May 15, 2003 at 08:19

Thursday, May 15, 2003 at 08:19
Nigel great to see some informed comment. Your information about the covers is correct. Half the time the covers are left off because of the hassle to take them on and off. As you say the covers do not come close to proper quality insulation. Better to buy a quality fridge in the first
Ask any owner of an Evakool ice box how good the insulation is. Ice will last in an Evakool ice box for 5+ days Be a great test to take a Evakool 50 Waeco 50 Engel 50 Bushman 40 and dump a block of ice off the bottom so it does not sit in melt water all the same size and see how quickly the ice melts.
FollowupID: 12818

Reply By: Flash - Wednesday, May 14, 2003 at 15:53

Wednesday, May 14, 2003 at 15:53
Yep- evakool is the way to go.
Had one for a couple of years now- runs atleast 3 weeks out of every 4 and it's a ripper.
Wouldn't own anything else, it's black and white, its that simple.
Mates have had lotsa troubles with others, esp engle.
see ya
AnswerID: 20034

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