12 volt fridges

Submitted: Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 15:13
ThreadID: 7427 Views:7308 Replies:15 FollowUps:6
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I am interested in any comments good or bad on the everkool or engel fridges. I will be going to cape york in june 04 and am interested in the reliability of these fridges over the rough tracks and corrogations. Rang everkool about this and they said "should be ok ". The 4wd is a 03 patrol wagon. The fridge will be around the 40 to 50 lt size.

Any comments will be useful.

Thanks mark
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Reply By: Big Trev - Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 15:39

Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 15:39
I've had one for a few years, never had a problem, however when I know I am going on a rough jaunt I hook the fridge onto a spring base from Engel, overpriced for what it is, but it does take the jolt out.
AnswerID: 31982

Follow Up By: Big Trev - Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 10:18

Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 10:18
Mind you I also bought an Engel voltage protector at the same time. WHAT A WASTE OF MONEY!!! I have since spoken to reputable local auto-elec, and he told me that he had had an Engel for about 10 years, never used a voltage protector, and has run the 2nd battery flat more times than he cares to remember and has never had a problem.
FollowupID: 22883

Reply By: Member -BJ (Sydney) - Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 16:20

Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 16:20
We have the 40ltr Engel & no problems in 2 yrs of travel. Evercool had some problems with their earleir models but i think this has been fixed. Do an archive search fridges have been covered a plenty.Regards Bob
Where to next
AnswerID: 31987

Reply By: Blackie - Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 16:21

Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 16:21
If you use the search facility here you'll get more stuff on fridges than you can poke a stick at. So much so that you will probably be worse off than you were before you started. But then thtas what you're here for.
Good Luck
AnswerID: 31988

Reply By: floyd - Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 16:28

Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 16:28
Try a Waco fridge. I priced them against Engel and it was around 20% cheaper at the time. I got the 50 litre fridge/freezer with a dairy compartment and it has performed really well for a year. Has a 5 year garuntee which is I think 2 or 3 years better than the engel. It is also a fair bit lighter than its steel equivalent which makes it easy to lift. I have had a problem with the lid catch breaking and Waeco sent a new one to me while I was on the road no questions asked. Took 2 days but was the best service that I have ever experienced with a waranty. They have technical staff on hand to answer any questions and have been really helpful when I have needed to call them. Try http://www.waeco.com.au/au/ to check them out. Cannot comment on Engel or the other brand as I have never used one. Just picked one up and it was heavy.
AnswerID: 31989

Reply By: Member - Melissa - Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 16:43

Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 16:43

We've had two Engels over 12 years and never had the slightest problem with either of them (21L & 40L). During this time we've lived and travelled extensively throughout NQ, Top End and WA all year round. Fridges have been jolted and bounced around over some very rough tracks. Have heard some people say that their Engels struggled to keep up with the heat during the warmer months up north but we've never experienced this problem ourselves. I suspect their problems we related more to battery and/or using too light cable.

From what I've heard the Evacools have a good reputation and are gradually building a following. But for my money, the Engels have been around far, far longer than most other brands and have a proven history of reliability and being able to take the hard knocks.

:o) Melissa

Petrol 4.5L GU Patrol &
Camprite TL8 offroad camper
AnswerID: 31992

Reply By: William and Diane - Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 17:10

Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 17:10
Cant help you much Mark but Id be interested to see what you or others are paying for a 40 lt Engel at the moment , loacally here in WA i can get one for $1100, can anyone compare this price?

AnswerID: 32000

Follow Up By: GLAYVA MAN(bendigo) - Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 18:05

Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 18:05
gday william and diane.
i cant help withy the engel but i know the weako about $750 here.
same sizejamieson wild cat
FollowupID: 22837

Reply By: Member - Roger - Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 17:23

Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 17:23
Have had an Engal since 1995 and this unit has bin to The Cape, Gibb River rd, Taz, the Simpson, the Gulf and many more places. The last trip it was used continously for 12 months with three of these as a freezer.
My only complaint is that the motor is noisy when everything is quiet. But I will not change it for any other. It's the grey 39ltr model without auto voltage select.
AnswerID: 32003

Reply By: chopper - Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 18:18

Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 18:18
Engel is good
Evakoo is good
Waeco is good

and Electrolux is good on gas!!
AnswerID: 32011

Follow Up By: haze - Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 18:46

Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 18:46
But the best by a Slim Dusty mile is a trailblaza!!
FollowupID: 22841

Reply By: Ed - Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 19:18

Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 19:18
OK, may as well "throw my hat into the ring" here...

I have a 29 ltr Engel that I acquired "pre-owned" in 1978 or early '79..
can't remember exactly... (previous owner upgraded to a larger Engel)...
In the 25-odd yrs that I've had this 'fridge, it's spent most of its' life in a vehicle, crossed the Nullabor no fewer than 8 times, been across the Top End in the middle of summer, and all points in between... During "festive seasons" of course, it serves as a beer fridge..
It is certainly showing its' age, and has that "well travelled" look about it, but it still works as well as the day I got it, and has never failed!!

No doubt that other brands mentioned (using the Danfoss compressor unit) are all very good units, but as far as reliability goes, then this Engel is
We've been thinking for some time about getting a larger fridge, and you can be sure that if/when that time comes, Engel will be at the top of the "short-list"...

Ed. C.
AnswerID: 32017

Reply By: Member - Luxoluk - Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 19:36

Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 19:36
Australian 4wd did a fairly detailed comparison over a year ago of a range of 12V fridges. Some good insights to be gained. Whilst I have a 40ltr Engel and are happy with it I think the Waeco 50ltr is extremely competitive given its pricing. I recall some earlier issues with warranty for Evakool 12V fridges but I think these have since been sorted. I tend to look for the big fellas who have a broad service network or who are renowned for good customer service. They tend to respond better when it counts, both voluntarily and/or under pressure if you get my drift! If I wanted to store a block of ice however I would be buying an Evakool esky...undoubtedly a most impressive product!! (IMHO of course.)
AnswerID: 32018

Reply By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 21:09

Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 21:09
I think Ray's Outdoor are selling the 40litre engel for $850 in Adelaide...._____________________________________________

AnswerID: 32029

Reply By: Harry - Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 21:20

Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 21:20
G'daye Mark,
My 40ltr. Engel was purchased in 1984, been in the back of 4 4wd's ever since and all over the place,( 500,000 kms) mostly Nth Qld, and 2 yrs ago the compressor died when 3 days out on a trip. Dropped a block ice in and this lasted for 5 days. 17yrs running around the bush is hard yakka.
What I'm trying to impress here is the insulation is damn good, and that trip was in the gulf country. I now have a non clanging fridge, owners of the older Engels will know what I mean.
I will buy a new one soon as they have a fan in now and run more efficiently.
They are still selling at around $1149. Somebody in W.A can get his for $1100, go for it mate , that's a good price.
I always run a thermometer so I can keep a check on internals. If you have a second battery, the fridge will soon tell you about it if it's not doing it's job.
AnswerID: 32032

Reply By: Member - Geoff & Karen - Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 06:35

Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 06:35
Hi Mark.

I have a small transport company and in total have 11 engel fridges of all different sizes and ages from 15 years old to 18 months old. We have never had a problem with any of them not even a warrenty claim. One was in a rollover and was put in the new truck and hasn't missed a beat. Another one was stolen up in the territory and was replaced with another brand (can't remember the name, only one available in the next town) but this was soon replaced with another engel because the lids kept breaking. Some of the trucks are on shuttle and two up driving work and travell all over australia with 4 of the fridges permantly wired up and never turnt off as these trucks travell around 10-12 thousand kms a week. As you can imagine they would have a fair amount of abuse from time to time from different drivers. The engel may be dearer to purchase initially but in my industry i am a firm believer in what you pay for is what you get.
Cheers Geoff.
AnswerID: 32044

Reply By: David N. - Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 09:38

Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 09:38
IMHO the Evakool is the bees knees. Very impressive product. (A much earlier model which looked totally different had, I believe, some problems- it had a different compressor).
The Evakool for some time has had a Danfoss compressor- the best in the business. Also add that to the Evakool "esky" and you have an unbeatable product. The others mentioned are good- but from experience incl many trips with mates I believe the Evakool is the best- good compressor, brilliant insulation. ...least running time.... least electricity.
AnswerID: 32063

Follow Up By: Shaker - Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 16:21

Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 16:21
You hit the nail on the head when you mentioned insulation.
Evercool insulation is second to none, so less running time!
FollowupID: 22906

Follow Up By: Member - Cocka - Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 23:32

Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 23:32
I was just browsing this whose-who of fridges and always find it amazing that no one ever bags what they considered was the best buy. Trouble is in most cases no one has ever tried all the different brands to give a comparative result. However 4WD Monthly have just done a 4WD Accessories Guide and the known brands are all there, tested under lab conditions. There are some good comments.
Two major factors in selecting fridges should be the quality/thickness of the insulation and the ability of the motor and ventilation to disperse the heat. The faster the heat can be removed the better any fridge will work, if they have to stew in their own heat they run continuously and burn out. I have fitted a small 6V computer fan to blow over the condensor vanes and its doubled the efficiency . Inside a vehicle try a plastic tube from an air con outlet to blow across the condensors if you cant fit a fan, or let air blow in some where and never pack things around the motor end that will impede air flow.
I have never used an Engel but it always amuses me that you have to buy a jacket to put over the fridge as an extra because the insulation is not good enough.
FollowupID: 22947

Follow Up By: ToyMotor - Saturday, Sep 27, 2003 at 16:40

Saturday, Sep 27, 2003 at 16:40
And a spring base to cope with corrugations!

FollowupID: 22968

Reply By: smiles - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2003 at 21:32

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2003 at 21:32
MARK , on 12volt fridges all brands except engel are 12v only and you need to by a converter if you want to use on 240v - engel are tri voltage 12/24-240v all inbuilt - all parts sold sep- if needed 3 yr warranty -service agents australia wide -40ltr -max amp at start up 2.5amp will freeze -21 at 35 degree - new model 57ltr combo 25freezer/32fridge controlled refrigeration by fan for fridge Cheers
AnswerID: 33050

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