Engel 40LT Fridge/Freezer buy one or not?

Looking at buying a new fridge for our big adventure around oz and have narrowed search to our favoured brand and volume being the Engel 40LT Fridge/Freezer.....Anyone with good or bad comments about this exact fridge would be greatly appreciated. We are a family of 2 adults and 2 kids (ages 5 & 2). Cheers
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Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Apr 13, 2009 at 19:06

Monday, Apr 13, 2009 at 19:06
Not very big for a family, but you can't do better than Engel. Is it a dual zone fridge? I have two older Engels, 30 litre and 40 litre. They can be used as either fridge, or turned up full as a freezer. With two, the smaller one can be used a freezer. We have one in the tow vehicle for lunches and drinks and one fits under the bed in the caravan.


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Follow Up By: Member - Fred B (NT) - Monday, Apr 13, 2009 at 19:19

Monday, Apr 13, 2009 at 19:19
Ditto with Motherhen. We are very happy with our engel.
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Follow Up By: just goin - Monday, Apr 13, 2009 at 19:23

Monday, Apr 13, 2009 at 19:23
The 40lt we looked is dual zone and has the option of being either fridge or turned up to freezer as your two have. The bloke at the camping store told us that many people put all the items such as meat and things they want to keep frozen or really cold at the very bottom of the fridge. Then if you put your own divider in between these things and the things that you put in the top part of the fridge that you want kept at more fridge temp and also need to access more often. We were told some people put layered newspaper or even a cut piece of foam or styrene.

We will also have a top quality esky with us as well for misc items. We have looked at the 60LT combo engel but its massive size seems too awkward and would prefer if anything to look at buying another smaller engel as well as the 40LT and then have one for strictly fridge and the smaller fridge permanently freezer.... We plan to be able to access shops daily or every few days and therefore dont plan to buy up large amounts of meats and freezable items all at one time like we would normally do with the home fridge/freezer etc.

Hope this helps give you more info
Just Goin
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Apr 13, 2009 at 19:31

Monday, Apr 13, 2009 at 19:31
Hi Just Goin

I agree that two smaller is a better idea than one big one for a number of reasons, including flexibility of use, and being able to cut back to one if you run short of power. I have used a 'meat tray' standing upright to keep a colder zone nearest the motor when we only had one fridge. If you use a layer at the bottom as a freezer, you will not have room to stand up milk or large bottles of drinks.

Often inland areas are quite cold at night, so if you leave the esky outside with the lid off overnight, contents remain cool during the day. Works well for drinks.

You can also carry a lot of products that don't require refrigeration, eg UHT milk, dried veges, tinned fish and the like. When we travel we often don't shop for weeks, and still have back up supplies should we become stranded for any reason.



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Reply By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Monday, Apr 13, 2009 at 19:23

Monday, Apr 13, 2009 at 19:23
What a great choice of fridge :)

I am in the middle of changing over from a 60l Engel and I am going to get 2 x 40l ones as the 60 is to heavy to lift by myself. One will be run purely as a freezer and the other as a fridge.

My family is the same size and kids close to the same age (3 & 5).
If you find the 40l to be to small you can buy a Two Zone to increase capacity with minimal additional draw on the battery.

Cheers Kev
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Apr 13, 2009 at 19:34

Monday, Apr 13, 2009 at 19:34
In years gone by we had 4 kids and managed well with a single 39litre Engel. Only really used it for meat/milk/margarine etc.

These days there is just the two of us (kids have grown up) but for some stange reason, we now have 2 engels and fill them up with everything from bottles of wine to meat, eggs, fruit/veg/chocolate..........you name it!
Engels are good fridges. Our older one is 17 years old - still goes like new.
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Apr 13, 2009 at 20:02

Monday, Apr 13, 2009 at 20:02
The 40 litre Engel is a good choice.

Draws a maximum of 2.4 amps (depending on temperature setting requirements) so is reasonably economical to run.

For a family of four, you may find the capacity a little "cramped" at times, but one of the advantages of the fridge you have chosen is that there is a range of accessories available to enhance your investment.

For instance, an after market accessory manufactured by Two-Zone will turn your 40 litre fridge into an eighty litre fridge/freezer if you need the extra capacity at times.

You remove your original lid, which slides off and install the Two Zone in its place, completing the fitout with the origional lid on top.
run on a higher thermostat setting the bottom of the fridge is for very cold, or frozen products while the top half is a normal fridge.

Whilst not exactly cheap, this accessory is an enhancement for many people.

Bad comments???
There isn't any.



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Follow Up By: Member - Malcolm (Townsville) - Monday, Apr 13, 2009 at 21:59

Monday, Apr 13, 2009 at 21:59
As Bill says - good choice!

I've got a Two-Zone on my 40 Litre Engel - bought both in Darwin in 2005 and havn't had one problem. After 12 months the temp LED will disappear. Just have to look under the lid for instructions on changing the battery (every 12 months) - about size of 5 cent piece.

Run as a freezer you can keep milk, butter, etc in Two-Zone on top.

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Follow Up By: madcow - Tuesday, Apr 14, 2009 at 07:54

Tuesday, Apr 14, 2009 at 07:54
LR44 battery for the display.
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Apr 13, 2009 at 21:13

Monday, Apr 13, 2009 at 21:13
Just Goin
Like all of the above. They are a great fridge. Regardless of how many people you are catering for, the biggest factor will be how long you intend to go before restocking the fridge. Our record for our 40 Litre Engel is 3 weeks. It was use only for meat and milk. I run our fridge just over 1, with an inside fridge temperature just above 1 and even though the milk was out of date by 8 days, the very cold temperatures kept the milk in a fresh state. The meat was vacuum packed and was as fresh as the day that it went in.

Cheers and all the best with what ever you buy

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Reply By: ross - Monday, Apr 13, 2009 at 22:35

Monday, Apr 13, 2009 at 22:35
You can get a Waeco CF50 at the moment for $999,not sure of the cover is included.
I have a 50 and its been a great fridge
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Reply By: lizard - Monday, Apr 13, 2009 at 22:59

Monday, Apr 13, 2009 at 22:59
Hope you have a better run than me , my 39 litre Engel had to be repaired twice in 5 years ... 1st time $599 , 2nd time $487 ...gave it to my son ... got a 110 litre Waeco instead .
AnswerID: 359434

Reply By: ian - Monday, Apr 13, 2009 at 23:34

Monday, Apr 13, 2009 at 23:34
We started with one 40l, now have 2 Waeco fridges. You pay a price for comfort and convenience. There are a few good brands.
Engel and Waeco are 2 of them.
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Reply By: Hooroo WA - Monday, Apr 13, 2009 at 23:48

Monday, Apr 13, 2009 at 23:48

I have both - 39lt Engel which is about 25-30 years old (handed down by my wifes grandfather) and a 60lt Waeco.

We leave the Waeco in the back of the Patrol and the Engel under the awning.

About 2 years ago at Exmouth the car was parked with an inside temp of over 60C and the Waeco was ticking over nicely at minus 3 in the fridge mode as if it was 10C in the car.

The Engel was in the annex where the ambient temp was nearly 50C and it was still humming away at minus 20.

Amazing that both fridges were working at well over 60 below ambient.

People bag either brands but we have both and love both. The Waeco is cheaper though and the 60lt has the same footprint as the 40lt which is great in the back of the car.

So dont be loyal to a brand just for the sake of being loyal.......But not only do we switch brands on fridges we also commited a cardinal sin and sold our Land Cruiser 80 and bought a Patrol.

Also look at Auto fridge, a bit more expensive but very efficient.

Seeya and good luck.
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Reply By: just goin - Tuesday, Apr 14, 2009 at 08:06

Tuesday, Apr 14, 2009 at 08:06
Thanks to everyone for their valuable advice and comments,

Its obvious that the Engel Fridges are well regarded by all. We have considered the Waeco's but thought that the plastic look of them makes them appear a little less robust than the tougher looking Engels....however it seems that you cant judge a book by its cover so to speak!!!

The Waeco's are a bit better priced and we could prob do a bit more research on that brand as well. Either way we are obviously on the right track.

As we will be towing a camper trailer with a Rodeo Dual Cab, the plan is to have the fridge mounting on a fridge slide in the back of the Rodeo on the LHS. Main reasons are ease of access in terms of safety and if you are stopped on the side of the road you can get into the fridge easily from the passenger side without the camper trailer on the towbar or passing traffic worrying you. I like the fridges that open from the back straight up rather than the side opening option as this would prove to be very awkward for access etc etc if we still placed the fridge in this position....

Well thats the plan anyway....

Thanks again for all the advice

Just Goin

Leaving Newcastle NSW (hopefully and fingers crossed) early to mid July 2009 and heading north - and JUST GOIN!!! Minimum 3 months to a maximum 6 months - unless of course something catches up and keeps us longer than we planned. Hubbie a Boilermaker, so who knows maybe good coin out there for us travelling family of four......................
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Follow Up By: ross - Tuesday, Apr 14, 2009 at 15:01

Tuesday, Apr 14, 2009 at 15:01
Most people who buy the Waeco,usuall buy the cover.
Both of my Waecos look new with both of them having travelled.

Plastic is more dent resistant then metal
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Reply By: LeanneW - Tuesday, Apr 14, 2009 at 11:47

Tuesday, Apr 14, 2009 at 11:47
Hi Just Goin,

Don't dismiss the Waeco - we have a 60L one that works really well.
We chose the Waeco because we were told (hopefully it's true) that they are cheaper and easier to repair than other brands, because they have a compressor motor like household fridges. Having said that, we have never had a problem with ours, so have had no need to validate this.
I agree that they do look a bit 'plasticy' and not as nice as the Engels. The plastic is very tough though.
I am sure you will be very happy with whatever fridge you get.
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Reply By: Bluemetaldaisy - Tuesday, Apr 14, 2009 at 13:51

Tuesday, Apr 14, 2009 at 13:51
It looks as though you've made your mind up but I agree with the other posts re the Engels 40lt. We have one and had no problems with it at all. We're a family of 4, and we have a C/T, so the Engels sits near the Drifta kitchen under the annexe. Our idea is to keep the frozen stuff and things we don't need often in it and the drinks, butter, lettuce/tomatoes, etc. in the esky to prevent freezer burn. I suppose I could buy the two zone and forget the esky, but I don't know how it'd go, given you'd be opening the fridge all the time for stuff. Anyway, the Engels/Esky combo works for us. A great fridge, worth the money!
AnswerID: 359504

Reply By: troopy 2005 - Wednesday, Apr 15, 2009 at 20:25

Wednesday, Apr 15, 2009 at 20:25
Get in touch with the engel service agent in sydney ,they were in arundell park ,and deal direct, saves money and get the best advice . Another tip buy the proper engel power outlet as the cigerette plug tends to vibate lose on rough roads.We have 3kids and a 40l a bit of planning and monitering and youll love it.
AnswerID: 359727

Reply By: Best Off Road - Wednesday, Apr 15, 2009 at 20:35

Wednesday, Apr 15, 2009 at 20:35
Many brands of fridges on the market, they all keep stuff cold.

Engel, expensive and have poor insulation.

Waeco, better value, but still poorly insulated.

Check out Evakool. Value, robust, great insulation and Aussie made.

I've owned an Engel, still own a Waeco and wouldn't buy either again.



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