AUTOFRIDGE / GOOD OR BAD ?

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 22:27
ThreadID: 58620 Views:4976 Replies:11 FollowUps:4
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has any one used one of these fridges in a eutectic mode, and if so what did you think of the fridge over all ?
As the 75lt costs arround $2300.

mike wa
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Reply By: Member - 120scruiser (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 22:36

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 22:36
My mate that I used to go bush with had one and loved it. He used to put it on the night before we left and then only ran it 2 hrs a day. My engel cycled all day and night. I wanted one but just couldn't afford it at the time. Very very good fridge.
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Reply By: Shaker - Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 22:47

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 22:47
Arguably, there is none better!
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Reply By: Member - Mark E (VIC) - Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 23:03

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 23:03
Mike,

I have had the 39l for over 12 years and have been very happy with it's performance either in 'normal' mode or using it in 'eutectic' mode.

I would love to trade up to the 73l now that I have a family and camper trailer, but alas $$$$ don't come that easily at the moment.

The only problems I have ever heard with these fridges is dying through lack of use. The old ones tended to dry out the seals and then leak coolant if not used for lengthy periods of time. It happened to a mate of mine who bought one second hand, but then didn't do as I suggested and merely stored it in the shed for months/years on end. ...then cried foul when it wouldn't work on his way to the CSR.

I have an external power supply for mine and use it as a beer fridge at home on its lowest setting and just leave it ticking over.

Everyone reckons there fridge is the best, so ultimately it will be your decision, just like the car, CT, etc... I will say that most of the serious solar dealers sell Autofridge.......... (should I duck for cover?????)

Cheers,

Mark
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Reply By: AdrianLR (VIC) - Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 23:22

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 23:22
Our 39L is now about 7 years old and hasn't missed a beat. Runs at home as the drinks fridge and I put it into eutectic mode (ie take the drinks out and run it on maximum overnight) before a longer trip. For short trips it just runs as a fridge.

Nothing is free though. The three "costs" that more common fridges don't share are:
1. The cash cost is higher than most but if you expect that you'll own it for say 10 years then that's not too bad.
2. The cooling plates are the sides of the fridge (unlike a normal fridge where you have fins at the back) so you need to ensure there is an airgap at the sides when packing and
3. To operate in eutectic mode you have to manually switch the fridge on for a few hours in the morning and 3 or so in the evening. If you don't want this to think about and you have lots of battery capacity then any fridge will do. With space restrictions in the Pajero (and the Disco before it) the Autofridge was the best option for a smaller second battery.

They (very) occasionally come up second hand if you want to wait.

Adrian
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Reply By: lbudgie - Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 23:26

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 23:26
i got one. bought it second hand, had it for about 6 years now. she is the ducks guts!!!
all good
have not had a problem with it.
you can sometimes buy them cheaper second-hand , try the trading post.
well worth the $$$
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Reply By: MJR - Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 23:54

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 23:54
thanks for all your replys , i am going to get one next week as we
are heading to north at the ene of the month and i ready have a 40lt engle which we plan to use as our fridge and the auto as our freezer.

cheers / mike wa
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Follow Up By: Tim - Stratford (VIC) - Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 at 00:25

Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 at 00:25
G'day Mike,

Sorry I'm a bit slow on the reply - just got home from work!

We've got the 73 litre. Prior to going away last Friday I cranked it down to -0.5. Left home at 4pm and didn't get back until about 5pm Sunday - never turned it on all weekend. Got up to 1.8 by the time we got home.

Av outside temp was about 15c during the day and down to about 4c at night.

You won't be disappointed.

Tim.
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Reply By: MJR - Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 at 00:50

Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 at 00:50
thanks tim , they sound good .
although the price hurts abit !

mike / wa
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Reply By: traveller2 - Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 at 08:19

Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 at 08:19
We've had one since the late 80's when they started making them. As has been said keep it running fulltime and they just keep on going.
I don't have a dual battery setup so run it in eutectic mode on a time clock (2 hrs am & pm) all the time when camped.
Turn it on flat chat during the day when travelling for a few hoursand don't run it at all when stopped overnight.
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Reply By: Member - Brett M (QLD) - Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 at 14:15

Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 at 14:15
Hi Mike
As everyone else has said they are an excellent fridge.
I'm about to sell g my 39L one, for $650 if your interested.
It has been rebuilt recently and is in excellent condition.

cheers

Brett
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Follow Up By: Member - Mike R (WA) - Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 at 21:57

Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 at 21:57
thanks for the offer brett , but i have my eye on a new one.
as i can claim it through our business.

regards mike / wa
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Reply By: Crackles - Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 at 17:11

Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 at 17:11
Mike an excellent fridge that is particually suitable for use in conjunction with solar where it runs during the day & the eutectic holds the temp overnight. Also many that travel daily don't bother with a dual battery system so although they seem grossly over priced they can save a few dollars for some by not fitting another battery & isolator.
The insulation is thicker than many of the popular brands so even when used in a cycling mode they still use less power particually in the heat.
During cooler nights the fridge does tend to freeze items pressed up against the sides even when set to 1 so we have no hesitation in turning it off.
When cranking the 73L up it can take up to 5 hours to cool the eutectic fluid down initially so some care may need to be taken to ensure the battery isn't flattened before you leave. Even when turned off for 4 days the fridge still feels cool inside highlighting it's excellent insulation.
Timers are available that can be adapted to automatically cycle the fridge twice a day if you think you may forget.
Cheers Craig...........
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Follow Up By: Member - Mike R (WA) - Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 at 21:54

Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 at 21:54
thanks craig , they sound like like the ducks nuts of fridges i
will pick one up next week.

regards mike / wa
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Follow Up By: Crackles - Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 at 22:26

Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 at 22:26
They are certainly good but other fridges have some handy user freindly features like separate Fridge/Freezer compartments, a built in 240 volt transformer, temp gauges, food baskets & a price tag less than a full sized home fridge ;-) Our family have 3 Autofridges, the oldest going on 28 years & still running strong. If reliability & efficiency are your priorities then it should serve you well.
Cheers Craig............
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Reply By: steve robinson - Friday, Jun 13, 2008 at 10:54

Friday, Jun 13, 2008 at 10:54
I have the smaller version. It has been disappointing from the day I got it. I followed the instructions as to pre cooling it before trips to the extent that I ran it on max for 2 days beforehand using either a waeco power converter or using a 12 Volt battery charger on the battery.
I run it constantly on max when the vehicle is running (usually 6 - 8 hours per day) and then turn it down to 2 or 3. In remote camps I will run it on the genset during the day for 2-3 hours. Full of frozen food and water bottles it will last 1 - 1 1/2 days before it is no longer cool enough for meat and dairy products and that is without opening it more than 2 or 3 times a day.
I have a dual battery set up with a large sized deep cycle battery. The deep cycle battery will never last more than a day at low settings. The distributor said that this is normal even though their advertising talks of days of use.
At a cost of $1500 in 1998 I could have bought 2 Engels or Three Waecos and maybe still had change.
AnswerID: 309664

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