Submitted: Tuesday, Sep 02, 2003 at 20:22
ThreadID: 6993 Views:4306 Replies:8 FollowUps:13
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Hi all,
I am trying to decide on either the Waco or Engel fridges (40Ltr models). My big problem is that the locking catch on the new Waco's appears to be very flimsy and not very secure. Does any one have a new model Waco and do they have the same problem. This is the model with the reversible lid. The catch on the Engel is very secure but the price is also pretty high.

Any comments would be great.
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Reply By: diamond (bendigo) - Tuesday, Sep 02, 2003 at 20:45

Tuesday, Sep 02, 2003 at 20:45
gday howard.
i remember reading somewhere on one of the threads that weaco have solved there lock problem also if you did have trouble thats why they give you waranty .
but the waeco and with the money you save you can stock it up several times.
AnswerID: 29933

Reply By: simon - Tuesday, Sep 02, 2003 at 20:49

Tuesday, Sep 02, 2003 at 20:49
i thought the new model waco's were now 50l rather then 40 then the next size was 32l mind u i feel they are a bit liberal in there measurements
AnswerID: 29934

Reply By: Phil P - Tuesday, Sep 02, 2003 at 21:22

Tuesday, Sep 02, 2003 at 21:22
Hi Howard,

I owned a Waeco CF50 for 6 months and used it for various offroad trips. The fridge performed perfectly. I used setting number 3 for temperature (this seemed to be the right temperature). The Lid caused no problems. The reason I sold the fridge and replaced it with an Engel was that the Waeco CF50 has a "Rattling" Compressor. Every time I went over a very slight bump in the road the fridge would "clunk". This is not a problem when the car is fully loaded because everything else packed in the car would hide the "clunk".

The "clunk" drove me up the wall. If you go into a store that sell's Waeco CF50's and gently lift one side of the fridge up & down 10 centimetre's in a brisk movement you will hear the "Clunk".

They Engel has no clunking sounds & so far is working as well as the Waeco.
The downside to the Engle is;
No internal light
The door only opens one way (I had to move my fridge slide close to the centre of the car)
Smaller Capacity
$150-$200 more expensive
Less Warranty

Phil P

AnswerID: 29937

Follow Up By: Brian - Wednesday, Sep 03, 2003 at 09:25

Wednesday, Sep 03, 2003 at 09:25
g'day Phil. I have just borrowed an Engel fridge unit that has the "clunk". DO you know whether the "clunk" is bad thing, or will it continue to run OK. I don't want to return the unit damaged. Any advice would be welcome.
FollowupID: 21028

Follow Up By: Phil P - Wednesday, Sep 03, 2003 at 12:02

Wednesday, Sep 03, 2003 at 12:02
Hi Brian,

The "clunk" was in my Waeco 50L. The noise is related to the piston inside the compressor. This is NOT a bad thing just an annoying thing.

Phil P
FollowupID: 21049

Follow Up By: Bazza - Wednesday, Sep 03, 2003 at 12:03

Wednesday, Sep 03, 2003 at 12:03
I'm curious, the "clunks" everone talks about in both the Engel and the Waeco, expecially the Waeco because I have one, was the noise there from new or did it start soon after? I ask because the only "clunks" in mine is if I drop beer while trying to get one out. I would like to know if it's problem that developes.
FollowupID: 21050

Follow Up By: Brian - Wednesday, Sep 03, 2003 at 12:11

Wednesday, Sep 03, 2003 at 12:11
Bazza, I am told that the clunk that I hear in the borrowed Engel fridge, (which is an Engel white cooler box with an Engel refridgeration unit bolted to one end) is the compressor moving on its springs and hitting the inside of the "black dome" - compressor unit. Unfortunately I haven't been able to get anyone to tell me that this movement is not causing any damage.
FollowupID: 21053

Follow Up By: Willie - Wednesday, Sep 03, 2003 at 13:35

Wednesday, Sep 03, 2003 at 13:35
My 18 year old plastic 15lt Engel which now lives in the back of the town car used to clunk severely over corrugations. It has a swing motor that clunks against the compressor. This fridge has never been serviced and still works well. My new 32lt Engel in my 4by does not clunk over severe corrugations.

I would not worry about the clunking.
Never a dull moment
FollowupID: 21069

Follow Up By: Brian - Wednesday, Sep 03, 2003 at 15:19

Wednesday, Sep 03, 2003 at 15:19
Thanks Willie. Appreciate your voice of experience.
FollowupID: 21082

Follow Up By: Steve - Thursday, Sep 04, 2003 at 20:32

Thursday, Sep 04, 2003 at 20:32
Brian I think you are confused Engel do not make a white cooler box with a motor bolted on the end I think the fridge you are talking about is an Evakool.The movement is normal as If this didn't happen you would break the rotor on the first bump that you hit. All Danfoss compressors are mounted on a spring base to enable the movement
FollowupID: 21198

Follow Up By: Brian - Thursday, Sep 04, 2003 at 22:35

Thursday, Sep 04, 2003 at 22:35
Thanks Steve. It is an Engel cooler box. I believe that they haven't been on the market for long. Nearly identical to the Evakool and Downunder type of ice box - esky type thingo, but definately Engel. A 'lation of mine retro-fitted the compressor (Engel Unit) after purchasing the ice box. Thanks for your advice on the Danfoss unit. One thing's for sure, when the time comes for me to buy a fridge, I won't be buying one with that type of compressor in it. The "clunking" could drive one crazy.
FollowupID: 21211

Reply By: TonyT - Tuesday, Sep 02, 2003 at 21:57

Tuesday, Sep 02, 2003 at 21:57
I'm also looking for a fridge- Freedom Camping Melb. are flogging Waeco 50L plus a 6 can 12V fridge as a package for $999. $WD Accessories Guide (Pub. by 4WD Monthly) Vol.1 No.4 (I bought it August) tests all the fridges- there look to be better fridges than Waeco but maybe not at the price- several made in Australia- I reckon I'll pay more and buy local- just another opinion- cheers TonyT
AnswerID: 29940

Follow Up By: Member - Glenn(VIC) - Tuesday, Sep 02, 2003 at 22:39

Tuesday, Sep 02, 2003 at 22:39
Hi Tony,

That sounds like a pretty good package. I have had my 50L Waeco for twelve months now and have had no problems. I paid $900 for it then. The problem on the road is that unless you have go go gadget arms, or an adult in the rear, you cannot consume cold beverages on the road. The extra smaller fridge would solve my problem.

CheersJust Do It!

FollowupID: 21003

Reply By: STAN - Tuesday, Sep 02, 2003 at 22:17

Tuesday, Sep 02, 2003 at 22:17
HI Howard, I once owned a 40 litre Engel.Had trouble with a high power consumption and a lid that could not seal through a design fault. Ants would pour into the fridge past the seal and die because of the intense cold. A dayly routine was to empty the fridge of all contents , flush out the dead ants with water and start all over again. As the fridge was under warantee I took it back to the Vic. agent to be fixed They refused to remedy the problem and told me to fix it myself with silicone...... Such is service from Engel..... I promptly sold the fridge and bought a waeco 40 litre . It uses less power and is more efficeint. I could not be happier Cheers Stan
AnswerID: 29943

Follow Up By: Phil G - Wednesday, Sep 03, 2003 at 18:40

Wednesday, Sep 03, 2003 at 18:40
Stan, I think you must be referring to the previous model engel. I now own two. My old one has been faultless for 12 years. I bought a new 40 litre one 2 months ago for $875 at Rays in Adelaide and it seems to have much lower power consumption. I'm very happy with the new one.
FollowupID: 21106

Reply By: roo - Tuesday, Sep 02, 2003 at 23:06

Tuesday, Sep 02, 2003 at 23:06
Hi Howard,
i have just purchased aWaco 50l fridge, and could not be happier.
I have used an Engel 38L previously and found it to draw more power, and alot noisier. The Waco has a power cut out so it will not drain the battery so you can still start your car. I also rolled my Jackaroo with the Waco in the back, and the fridge still works fine after being flung around it the back as it was not tied down.
A cargo barrier is a must. The external dimensions of both fridges are almost the same.
Happy and safe driving.
AnswerID: 29950

Follow Up By: bruce - Wednesday, Sep 03, 2003 at 10:59

Wednesday, Sep 03, 2003 at 10:59
We bought a Waeco 50l f/f from their factory seconds site and reckon its just had a small indistinct mark on the lid...also got a cover for it from the same place...saved heaps !
FollowupID: 21044

Follow Up By: Phil G - Wednesday, Sep 03, 2003 at 18:42

Wednesday, Sep 03, 2003 at 18:42
Roo, the new Engel has a different compressor now - much quieter than the old one and power consumption (quoted) is down from 3.7 to 2.5 amp hours.
FollowupID: 21107

Reply By: Jimbo - Saturday, Sep 06, 2003 at 12:21

Saturday, Sep 06, 2003 at 12:21

I've had a 39L Engel for about five years. During that time it has spent 18 months continuously running on a boat and used as spare freezer at home for a few extended peiods. Overall it would have been turned on for 50% of the time actually running, as opposed to most that would be lucky to run two or three weeks per year. It has never missed a beat. As for power consumption it draws 3.7 amps when RUNNING, which is not all that often if you are smart. I ran it continously for three days running off a normal (not deep cycle) battery in a Falcon. As we didn't drive the car anywhere I just started the car three or four times a day and ran it for about 15 min. Battery never looked like getting flat. Also whilst I had the engine running I would turn the thermostat up for extra cooling whilst there was extra power and then ease it off. Yes they are a bit noisy. If you sleep in the same room as one, the noise as it starts up can be annoying if you are a light sleeper.

I know a bloke who has a Waeco and he swears by it. My only query as listed previously is their somewhat generous quotation of space. To check this get a tape measure and calculate the actual space. You MAY find the Waeco 50 is no bigger than the Engel 40 as I think Waeco include that space above the compressor which is not a true part of the fridge. You also need to add the cost of a 240-12volt power supply for the Waeco if you want to run it on 240 (the Engel runs on either and comes with specific power leads for each).

I have also been told that after sales service by Waeco is excellent and Engel don't want to know you. Can't comment as mine has never needed work.

If I was in the market again I would certainly consider the Waeco. I like their plastic cabinet becaust it wont scratch, rust or dent. They are apparently lighter as well. They certainly have a price advantage but I would check the measurements first.


AnswerID: 30254

Follow Up By: Jimbo - Sunday, Sep 07, 2003 at 13:13

Sunday, Sep 07, 2003 at 13:13

Today being fathers day the GLW bought me a few magazines one of which is "4WD Accessories Guide" which has an excellent comparison of just about every fridge available.

FollowupID: 21359

Reply By: Macco - Sunday, Sep 07, 2003 at 14:20

Sunday, Sep 07, 2003 at 14:20
I have brought a Waeco 50lt about 9 months ago. I have done a few heavy offroad trips and I must say I dont treat it too kindly but the unit has performed faultlessly. I do not have the noise that everyone seems to complain about but it may be an issue that comes with age? I find running the unit on 2 or 3 is more than ample for keeping the beers etc cold. If using the max setting you can freeze things in 1 hr- As i found out after forgetting to turn it down. The 'turbo' function is very handy as is the console cooler I got in a deal. $999 for both with 12v convertor. I would have no problems in purchasing one of these again.
AnswerID: 30329

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