Fridges again - Evacool, Waeco, Engel, Liemack comparison ?

Submitted: Saturday, May 17, 2003 at 22:11
ThreadID: 4970 Views:4116 Replies:12 FollowUps:15
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Evacool have heaps of insulation & have a great compressor same as Waeco I believe ! Is this true ? The fiberglass does not worry me as I have taken my Evacool esky every where without a problem & it keeps ice for ages.
Has there been a comparison with the Evacool any where between these three. I know the handles on some of the Evacools stick out a bit but you need a bit of circulation around your fridge anyway. How cold do these fridges go when comparing and how often do they switch back on to maintain - does the insulation on the Evacool have major benefits ?
Also back up service ?
Also what is this Liemack ?
PS. Use in back of car mostly on the long trips with occasional stationary camps for a few days - less strain on battery I suppose the better - especially seeing I have an automatic.Cheers, Beddo
Surf KZN185
<- Yengo NP, Central Coast NSW
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Reply By: Rob - Saturday, May 17, 2003 at 23:55

Saturday, May 17, 2003 at 23:55

Off your question topic but what is your approx itinerary for the Kimberley. I have seen on other posts that you are heading up there soon via Mt Isa etc. We are heading up early June from Syd for 7 weeks wanting to cover Bungle Bungles, Mitchell Plateau, Kalumbaroo, and a few other places. Broome is a maybe depending on time but if we do I want to do Cape Levaque whilst there. We are wife and 9 & 6 year old boys in white Nissan Patrol with Camper Trailer, and myself.

AnswerID: 20342

Follow Up By: Jeff (Beddo) - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 17:03

Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 17:03
Rob, my wife and 4yr old girl are heading off on about the 28th June to Lawn Hill for a few days and will look possibly at the Dinosaurs in the area - we are suppose to be meeting up with 2 other vehicles around the 10-11th July between Mt Isa & Barkly Homestead. I may however head for Kakudu before before meeting up with them to see the wildlife before the Cane Toads manage to kill everything. In total I will be away for 9 weeks and have to be back in Sydney by the 28th August. From Kununurra we will be doing the Gibb river Rd including Mitchell Plateau then down to Derby and Broome and perhaps Cape Leveque. After this towards Bungle Bungles then via the Tanami down south to thru Alice & south to Marla, Oodnadatta, Broken Hill and Sydney. I think I'll be sick of driving ! Not sure if we will meet along the way.Cheers, Beddo
Surf KZN185
<- Yengo NP, Central Coast NSW
FollowupID: 13046

Reply By: Rob - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 00:14

Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 00:14
Better have a go at your question while I'm here.

4x4 Monthly had a good comparo a year or so ago covering most of these fridges, it is worth tracking down for a look.

Most of these fridges go to -18C or close if turned right down.

New Waeco looks good with the little dairy compartment and they have had some very competitive deals lately, free cover and inverter. I believe their lid problem has been fixed.

Engel is still a competitive fridge and there are no shortage of people recommending them.

I think the Liemack is the fridge that requires heavt duty wiring due to high start current. It uses more power but I think it has a higher cooling capacity.

We have had a Bushman for a year and a half and it goes well. It had good figures in the 4x4 comparo and that helped swing my decision. The temp control is digital and you dial up the temp you desire and the readout gives constant indication. This is superior to a mechanical dial in that it doesn't alter when bumped.

Hope this helps
AnswerID: 20343

Reply By: David Smorgon - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 10:56

Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 10:56
Jeff the Evakool insulation as you have found with the Evakool esky is just as important on a fridge to aid low battery use.

Evakool has always had a dairy compartment

Never had or heard of the mechanical thermostats moving when bumped
I do know of those in our group that have had the electronic thermostats fail more than one.

Many in our environmental group in Victoria and N.S.W. (about 80) have had various brands of fridge, now the large majority have Evakool. I think that speaks well for Evakool for quality, low power consumption and importantly reliability.
AnswerID: 20355

Reply By: Ray M (Vic) - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 11:33

Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 11:33
According to tests done by 4wd monthly the evakool is the most efficient.
The Liemack was an absolute shocker.

If you want the results which list all the makes email me
AnswerID: 20357

Follow Up By: Ray M (Vic) - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 17:04

Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 17:04
struth, I stuffed up the address, don't even have a hotmail account.

FollowupID: 13047

Follow Up By: Michael - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 20:59

Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 20:59
Hi Ray, I still love my Liemack 90L, its hard on batteries but it works fantastic, It really is knowing how to manage it, once you do you'll never buy anything else. Michael
FollowupID: 13055

Follow Up By: Solar King - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 22:27

Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 22:27
Liemack now defunct as a company did not comply to Australian standards for cabinet temperature. The thermostat allows the fridge to swing over 6C which is outside the standard. Liemack was the massive over weight child and the glutton in the power consumption of the portable fridge industry.
The power consumption done by a NATA certified lab was 100% higher than the next fridge. The weight of the 50L Liemack was a massive 34kg (75lbs) compared to the average 18kg.
FollowupID: 13059

Follow Up By: Ray M (Vic) - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 23:20

Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 23:20
Good stuff Michael. As long as it works for you and you're happy with it you have nothing to wory about.Hooroo
FollowupID: 13065

Follow Up By: Paul Cerefax - Monday, May 19, 2003 at 12:03

Monday, May 19, 2003 at 12:03
sell my second hand liemack at large loss four week ago
now saving the difference money to buy evakool 50 good fridge like the geo guys use
FollowupID: 13085

Follow Up By: -OzyGuy- - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 04:51

Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 04:51
Solar king,

* Please inform me where I can read the " Australian standards for cabinet temperature " that you quoted above

* where I can read the " Australian standard " that does state what temperature swing is permitted in a 12 volt portable fridge sutch as an Evercool.

* What is the temperature swing of the Evercool fridge
FollowupID: 13145

Follow Up By: Dargo Mathews - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 09:21

Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 09:21
state government regulations in victoria and nsw requires a refrigerator to cycle within 4c the health inspector is bloody strict on checking this they stick a tempreture recorder in our fridge for 3 days
FollowupID: 13160

Follow Up By: -OzyGuy- - Wednesday, May 21, 2003 at 14:40

Wednesday, May 21, 2003 at 14:40
I have reread The kings post re; stating that LIEMACK fridge " thermostat allows the fridge to swing over 6C which is outside the standard " - the implication of that statement that the temperature of the food changes 6c is in fact pure blatant Bullshet.

The actual digital thermostat sender is placed inside the insulation material.
NOT in the fridge area at all.

It is in an area BETWEEN the 304 grade stainless steel inner fridge cabinet and the galvanized steel outer cabinet wall, it reads the temperature of the area of the insulation, NOT the contents of the fridge and yes it turns the fridge on when the digital temperature guage measuring the INSULATION material goes up 6 degrees higher than the setting you preselect.

Why will The king not answer " Followup 6 out of 7 " posted above ?

FollowupID: 13284

Follow Up By: -OzyGuy- - Saturday, May 24, 2003 at 20:41

Saturday, May 24, 2003 at 20:41
solar king,
you posted --> "LIEMACK did not comply to Australian standards for cabinet temperature" where do you get that information from to indicate that you are telling the truth ?
Is it another one of your "fairy stories" again.

How often do you have to be asked to back up your post's with the relevant facts....If you can!
FollowupID: 13524

Follow Up By: -OzyGuy- - Thursday, May 29, 2003 at 13:30

Thursday, May 29, 2003 at 13:30
Soler king
In the test results you are quoting in 4wd Monthly, the method of testing the fridges is as follows...

"in discussion with ADI testing staff WE decided"

( you implied that the Australian Defence Industries STAFF actually did the test, that was not true, ONLY their facilities were used, by NON qualified people, so nonqualified the tests had to be done twice )

"to use temperature profile replicating the type of daily temperature variation a fridge might encounter. While tropical areas and winter highlands temperatures gradients would look a lot different"

( YES, THEY ADMIT IT AND THEY CERTAINLY WOULD BE DIFFERENT, so why not set up the test to replicate the conditions where the fridge's would normally be used.... short answer, most of the fridges would FAIL)

"The fridge enviromental chamber was designed with a peak of 55 degree's for only 2 hours, ramping up and down either side to an ambient assumed temperature of only 15 degree's during a 24 hour period"

( WITH A BACKGROUND AMBIENT TEMPERATURE OF ONLY 15 DEGREE'S, indicating the fridges were tested at less than 15 degree's for more than half of the test time, that is not a fair test for some one who wants to buy a fridge to use up in the hot north Australian conditions is it )

"Some of the fridges took up to eight (8) hours of moitoring and adjustments to 'drive' them down to a cycling opperational temperature between zero and 40 degree's that they could maintain without constant monitoring."

(With LIEMACK'S digital temperature monitoring you do not get those hassles, so how long were those 'problem' fridges tested for, if it took 8 hours just to get them down to opperating temp?

These facts reprinted from your quoted 4wd magzine test, prove that your biased posts are not relevant to the NORMAL temperature workings of a 12 volt fridge)

FollowupID: 13931

Reply By: Old Jack - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 14:11

Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 14:11
The short answer is that Quality of the insulation of any refrigerator is very important, the Evacool have gone to long lengths to make sure it's spot on, basic rule is the thicker the greater the resistance to heat infiltration, the better foam fill the better the quality of the insulation. If you already own one of there Eskies you already know from experience what a differance it makes.

when just sitting the biggest heat load on a fridge is the heat infiltration through the insulation, then anything that is inside the fridge making heat(vegetables are still alive so make some heat). of course when you put something in warm (hot beer!)you have to suck the heat out this is where the refrigeration comes in. the more Efficient the design of the refrigeration "system" the less power used to remove the heat put in by leakage & product put in.

as for getting service, ask anywhere that sell's them for a list of service agents for each of there products & see what sort of response you get.

The unit's that use the Danfoss compressors would be better coverd out of warranty by the fact than just about any refrigeration service company would have access to Danfoss compressor's in the event that on fail's later, with the Engel's Sawafuji, you have to get on through whoever the agent for them is(you cant get wholesalers to compete on price when they can only by them thought on place). Danfoss are sold by most commercial refrigeration wholesalers australia wide.
as for the Liemack/Reefer thats a whole differant kettle of fish. they use a Much bigger capacity refrigeration system than most of the other "portable units" in reality they are a "Commercial Quality" cabinet, If you where wanting to actually fast freeze they have the balls to do it compared to any other unit on the market and in all fairness is not a comparable product. basically they would appear to have no better or worse insulation than other units on the maket, what they have is a Much high capacity refrigeration system that will shift a lot more heat quicker than anything else on the market. this of course requires a higher power input while the unit is operating. a lot of people will bag these units but if you need to fast freeze you can't defy the laws of physics.

AnswerID: 20358

Reply By: Jeff (Beddo) - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 17:05

Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 17:05
Thanks all for the responses it comes dowe to dollars - I have another look at the Waecos seeing they are cheaper - but the Evacool is leading at present.Cheers, Beddo
Surf KZN185
<- Yengo NP, Central Coast NSW
AnswerID: 20366

Follow Up By: Solar King - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 18:49

Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 18:49
Jeff if you intend to keep the fridge for a reaonable period then the Evakool is well worth paying the extra and saving a few extra months to get it. The Evakool also has a better compressor suspension system than all the other brands on the market. Evakool is the cheapest fridge to own long term.

If you only want to keep the fridge for a short time then the Waeco will do the job. Expect the Waeco to use more battery power. If you are going to use it in summer this can really be a pain in the big toe.
Among the fridges of the same type as Waeco they are all equal in having insufficient insulation. The fridges that fall in this class are Waeco, Bushman, Vitrifrigio, Engel/ARB (cannot afford to be repaired). All these fridges are or should be under $1,000. My choice in the cheaper bracket would be Waeco because of service and warranty.
FollowupID: 13049

Reply By: Member - Nigel - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 20:19

Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 20:19
I've had an EvaKool for 68 litre 18 months now.

We live in Far North Queensland and rarely turn the fridge above the lowest setting. Over easter it ran for 65 hours off a 90Ah battery that is as old as the fridge.
AnswerID: 20377

Reply By: PETER - Monday, May 19, 2003 at 06:52

Monday, May 19, 2003 at 06:52
we have a waeco. Karyn at 18000212121 looked after us we have no complaints after all what do you expect from a fridge . yep ours does that very well and we had no complaints about the cost either regards peter
AnswerID: 20396

Reply By: Jeff (Beddo) - Monday, May 19, 2003 at 20:22

Monday, May 19, 2003 at 20:22
Thanks everyone for your assistance - sounds like insulation is the go so I will be looking very closely at the Evacool if I can afford the extra.Cheers, Beddo
Surf KZN185
<- Yengo NP, Central Coast NSW
AnswerID: 20458

Follow Up By: -OzyGuy- - Sunday, Jun 15, 2003 at 15:20

Sunday, Jun 15, 2003 at 15:20
Jeff, while you are saving your money, look up the Reefer web site, then compare them for yourself.

The prejudicial and purely one eyed ppl who have posted comments above, that when challenged they can NOT answer or substaniate their biased ideas which are not based on fact, if they were they would have posted the relevant answers for people like yourself to make decisions based on the Truth.

As has been stated by another poster the Reefer range of fridges are of more af a commercial quality product, exceptionly well made and work better in the hotter temperatures of the far north than those with the smaller imported compressors in the less expensive brands.

Tis the old story .. you only get what you pay for.
Reefer is similar price to Everkool, however with so many more benifits included and stainless steel quality with all digital electronics, from 50 up to 200 Ltrs.
FollowupID: 14894

Reply By: Fred from VGR - Saturday, May 24, 2003 at 22:43

Saturday, May 24, 2003 at 22:43
I read with interest the debates on use of fridges and the devastating effect on batteries. About 16 years ago I had my first experience with one of those on a yacht which has very little battery recharging opportunities. One weekend and the battery was flat. I figured that there had to be a better way than this on/off every few minutes, draining the battery.
I set out to improve, did my homework and made an electronic unit that gives me control as to when the fridge should start and how long it should run for. The initial unit was perhaps a bit clumsy but an electronics engineer helped me improve this unit to the extend that he urged me to lodge a patent. This was succesful and I made many units for friends. I called it Battery Current Saver.
It simply works on a user select time cycle that automatically repeats infinately until you switch off the power.
You simply set your fridge thermostat to maximum - the coldest seeting, which may be freeze - dial your time and the fridge will turn on and keep running until your selected time has expired. Each total cycle lasts 38 minutes and you can run your fridge for, say, 3 minutes, 12 minutes or whatever you have dialed and the remainder of that cycle your fridge is not running.
Effectively four fridge turns on only once every 38 minutes so you can as an example, run for 8 minutes on and for 30 off or whatever combination you dial.
The end result is just one start, saving up to 70% of current drained from your battery by the fridge. The BCS was tested 'in house' and 'in the field' by University of WA and the field test with an Engel proved that the Engel used 3 Amp but with the BCS installed current drain over the same period is only 1 Amp.
I know this may sound as a commercial reply however I am not in business as such. I just build units 'on demand' and there are now more than 400 units working happily somewhere. If anybody wants more information you can see a brief description under advertisers but you can ask for a pamphlet I have written on the subject. All my friends swear on the BCS and I just want people to know that there is an alternative available although not commercially. You can email me on and address your message to Fred V. I will be happy to supply a copy of the official tests.
AnswerID: 20965

Follow Up By: Terry - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 20:03

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 20:03

Your unit sounds interesting, but all it's doing is taking longer to cool product down. Regardless of the energy savings the physics of energy still remain the same. To drop a 1 litre of water 1 degree is still the same. Your system just makes the unit take longer to get there.
FollowupID: 13579

Reply By: Fred from VGR - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 21:47

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 21:47
Noted your comments. With the standard set up your fridge probably turns on, runs for about 3 minutes and stops for a while only to turn on again when the ambient temperature again activates the thermostat. The ambient temperature is not necessarily the inside fridge temperature. I am not claiming anything about temperature. With a BCS you can set your initial cycle for a continuous cooling for 30 minutes or more, giving you rapid cooling which should be quicker than half a dozen on's and off's in the same period. My point is that the instance of an electric motor starting _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx more power than it takes to run. To make it easier to understand I use a scale of 1 to 10. Assuming a fridge runs 3 minutes on and 3 minutes off, you have 10 starts each hour. If the starting current used is 7 and the running current used is 3 and the average fridge _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx 5 Amp each hour then the starting sequence has used 3.5 Amp and the running 1.5 Amp. With a BCS you have only 2 starts each hour using 1 Amp for starting, with the running remaining on 1.5 Amp.
Total battery drain is now 2.5 Amp or a saving of 50%, assuming the fridge runs for the same period of time. As the thermostat reacts on the ambient temperature there are between 3 and 4 starts each hour which are not necessary if the fridge were to remain closed for that hour and you cannot do much about that. At least with a BCS you can select the number of minutes of continuous running providing you have selected the coldest setting on your thermostat. I do not claim a miracle but it is a vast improvement on the standard thermostat set up. I suppose everything has pro's and con's. Temperature wise there is very little difference in normal fridge performance. My argument is simply that without a BCS a standard fridge will flatten a battery 3 times quicker than with a BCS.
Fred V
AnswerID: 21025

Follow Up By: -OzyGuy- - Tuesday, May 27, 2003 at 16:50

Tuesday, May 27, 2003 at 16:50
the way I understand it some of the fridges with smaller compressors when up in the far north, run many hours at a time just to keep the food temp at around the +2 degree zone, if you limit the running time to only half hour or an hour at a time or similar then surely the internal temperature must rise above the safe temperatures for food when the ambient temp is around 40 degree's
FollowupID: 13790

Reply By: Fred from VGR - Tuesday, May 27, 2003 at 19:07

Tuesday, May 27, 2003 at 19:07
You are correct in that sense but does your fridge not stop and start frequently to keep up with the ambient temperature? The BCS is not limited to time. You can simply dial to maximum and it will run for about 35 minutes and will only stop for three minutes. You can select any time you like for running within that time frame. The difference is that you set your fridge to maximum cooling and it should continue to run. Without a BCS the contents should eventually freeze and you have to manually control the on/off sequence. In the southern states you probably only need 8 minutes on each half hour but in your area you most likely need at least 20 minutes on each half hour.
The big secret of course is insulation. You can do this cheaply with poly foam sheeting which you can obtain from those bigger coolroom builders. If you want to do it at reasonable cost, line the outside with the sheeting and stick it on with a few dollops of silicone. You then cover the entire foam surface with white contact that you can buy in most hardware stores. A total wrap around will prevent the foam from crumbling and actually looks good. A BCS and the foam worked for me.
Fred V
AnswerID: 21225

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