Finally done it!!

After 6 or 7 years (can't remember) have finally changed from bleep box Waeco to Engel.

Being one of the earlier CF-50's I have had all of the problems and finally it played up one time too many on last the last trip.

I went out on Saturday and bought an Engel 40 litre so hopefully I might have a better run at it.

The Waeco has had the following over the years:-

Warped Lid
Broken Hinge Pins
Damage Lid Stops
Dodgy Power Lead
Cooling Fan Broke
Thermistor (Twice)
Dodgy Fuse
Stick Buttons

On this last trip I opened the fridge and noticed that the interior light was warm. When I checked the switch it was stuck down and the light was on all the time, effectively acting as a heater in the fridge!!!

When I took the light apart I found that the spring which holds the switch pin had melted the pin. As the spring forms part of the electrical circuit, it had got hot and pushed through the plastic pin leaving the light on all the time. I took the globe out and that got that sorted for the time being.

The last straw was that we had been driving all day. About an hour before stopped I put a couple of beers in the fridge to cool down then kept going. Luckily I have a remote temp sensor as while I was driving along I could see the temp slowly rising. After half an hour I stopped and checked the fridge. The temperature control button had stuck on so the control was continuously cycling and the fridge was not running.

I had to peel back the control cover and lever the button out with a pin. Got the fridge working again but enough is enough.

I am reasonably easy going but messing with my beer is just going too far!!!

Hopefully I have better luck with the Engel.

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Reply By: Voxson - Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 13:37

Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 13:37
and i thought i was the only one this happened to.
AnswerID: 425965

Follow Up By: Grizzle - Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 13:40

Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 13:40
Which bit let you down??

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Follow Up By: Cruiser .- Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 13:57

Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 13:57
The bit that wouldn't keep his beer cold
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Follow Up By: Voxson - Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 16:14

Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 16:14
Warped Lid.
Broken Hinge Pins.
Dodgey cord.
Low voltage cut out sucks.

I would rather have a reduced battery life because of the punishment that Engel gives it instead of a warm fridge in the morning.
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Follow Up By: Grizzle - Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 16:16

Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 16:16
I hear you!!!!!

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Reply By: Member - Leigh (Vic) - Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 13:41

Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 13:41
Hi Grizzle,
Knowing how passionate you have been in the past about the Waeco I would suggest you write to them and outline your experience and disappointment with their fridge. As an advocate in the past they should atleast hear your story and if they are concerned about your negative experience I'm sure they'd show some good will and replace it for free. Why not give it a go and let us know how they respond as it may dictate what choices others make going forward. That's my take on it!
Cheers
AnswerID: 425966

Follow Up By: Grizzle - Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 13:48

Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 13:48
I have always stayed out of the debate until now. As it happens I have sent Waeco a couple of emails unfortunately with no response.

As I have just bought the Engel I cannot comment on it's reliability. All I can say is in all of my travels with people with Engels I have seen them let down one person. That was only because he inadvertantly caught the control dial when putting something in his car and his beer was not cold when he pulled up. He readjusted the dial and Presto! all was well!!!

As regards passion, you have misinterpreted me. It was actually Frustration!!

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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 13:55

Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 13:55
Maybe the Dometic Australia reps on here who are travelling around Australia blogging along the way can look at the situation and show some goodwill :)

Good to see them out there promoting their products and enjoying themselves at the same time, might be able to assist with your email responses. ;)

I own one of each, and i can say that while the Engel is good for it's situation, the addition of some sticky tape to hold the dial from moving (as happened above) is a constant annoyance. My CF18 is a great purchase and whilst it has a dial, it doesn't seem to have the same issue as the Engel. ;)

Good luck,
Andrew
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Follow Up By: Grizzle - Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 14:24

Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 14:24
i wonder if they are using Waeco or ENGEL fridges on their trip?????????

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Follow Up By: Skippy In The GU - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2010 at 14:27

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2010 at 14:27
An Engel fridge with Waeco stickers :-)
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Reply By: Charles Jenkinson - Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 13:49

Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 13:49
Hi Grizzle,

I'm still using my father's 20 L Engel, which he had hard-wired into his Toyota Tercel in 1981 to store medications - he was a horse vet in those days.

Still works very well! Ideal for shorter trips where perishables isn't a concern.

My father in law has an Engel from the same vintage in the 40 L size - I have used that for some longer trips.

I laugh at the Waeco advertisement where the two blokes in the ute carrying the plastic fridge pass a rusted, discarded old Engel. My feeling is that the Engel lying in the grass (which they're making fun of) probably still works!

My opinion remains - if you want a fridge that lasts a lifetime, buy an Engel!

Charles

_______________________________
Charles Jenkinson
Perth, Western Australia

Gracie "The Grey Ghost"
1991 Toyota Landcruiser GXL (HDJ80R)
4.2L 1HD-T Turbo Diesel
358,940 km and counting!
AnswerID: 425968

Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 16:04

Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 16:04
I recently dropped off my fridge to a service agent for a warranty repair ( not saying brand as is irrelevant)
He was an older fellow second generation 12v fridgy. I quizzed him about brands and what is best.
He said that the TrailBlazer was the top of the tree and that the new Primus units were very well made as well.
I expected him to give a glowing report on the Engel but he did not rate them any better than the Waeco.
His general comments were that all the modern day fridges are too complicated with all of there electronics etc so fail more often than the 'old school ' products.
He commented on the old goldish coloured Engels being a great fridge and that the current ones are not in the same league.

So the story about my dad having had one for years and it just keeps going etc etc etc is not reason to run with the current badged product.
Oh and he gave the ARB ones a bit of a wrap as well.
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Follow Up By: Member - Alastair D (NSW) - Wednesday, Aug 04, 2010 at 15:10

Wednesday, Aug 04, 2010 at 15:10
I have an Engel that I purchased in 1974 and apart from a gas leak from a badly crimped charge line it has worked well. It is now in its 5th 4wd and has done countless Kms across some ! roads, including ~40,000 recently through Russia & Mongolia etc in the back of my Troopy. Unfortunately I don't think the new ones are built to the same standard though I do know that the compressor is more efficient and draws less current.

cheers
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Reply By: Member - Paul F (QLD) - Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 14:05

Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 14:05
Hi Grizzle,

We can't complain (touch wood) about our two Engel's (a 32 and 40). Both are about 3 years old and have performed faultlessly for this period. We even use them for extra 'fridging & Freezing' at home when need arises. Apart from an occasional blown fuse and just recently a new battery for the temperature gauge, we have no regrets about the brand decision.

I reckon another contact with Waeco could not hurt - keep at them.

Paul
AnswerID: 425971

Reply By: Shaker - Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 15:12

Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 15:12
I have only had one Waeco ... never again!
AnswerID: 425975

Reply By: TerraFirma - Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 16:27

Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 16:27
I think the issue with a lot of the Waeco's is the stupid electronics design, the compressor and fridge itself is sound but continually let down by failed electronics, mine freezes everything because the temp controller isn't working correctly. They need to re-design this aspect and get it right once and for all.
AnswerID: 425981

Reply By: patsproule - Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 16:45

Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 16:45
Having repaired a couple, and owning a CF60 that has given us a very good 8 years so far, the main problem with the electronics (other than the well known thermistor issue with the LED display models) seems to be dry solder joints. A quick touch up of the control boards with some fresh solder has seen them trouble free again. Dry joints affect almost all electronic products manufactured over the last 25 odd years.Not an excuse I know but it's not just a Waeco problem. This is followed closely by leaky electrolytic caps.

Pat
AnswerID: 425984

Reply By: Steve - Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 17:39

Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 17:39
Had an FF70 (70 litre) Waeco for 11 years and hasn't missed a beat.

Whoops - that's put the mockers on it now

Sounds like the newer ones not up to much
AnswerID: 425990

Reply By: The Rambler( W.A.) - Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 21:22

Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 21:22
Being an Engel man --I own two with no problems in 10 years--it is great to see someone tell it as it is with all the Waeco problems that never get mentioned with many who have been let down by the same problems.I know of a few friends who have changed from Waeco to Engel and would never go back.I am not saying an Engel can't have a problem but they sure have proved themselves over the years.
Bush camp

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Reply By: Kimba10 - Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 22:02

Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 22:02
Had my waeco for 8 years now, only 2 issues were the hinge pins and yes the old thermister but other wise has done the job in some extreme temps....
AnswerID: 426023

Reply By: Gronk - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2010 at 00:09

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2010 at 00:09
Had my Waeco CF60 for 5 yrs and apart from the dreaded poly fuse, it is still going strong..

Would I buy one again....no !!

Would I buy an Engel......no....too heavy and too big in size ( to fit in the back of the 4x4 )

Trailblazer would get my vote...similar price to the Engel, but I think a far better quality product..
AnswerID: 426037

Follow Up By: Shaker - Thursday, Aug 05, 2010 at 15:55

Thursday, Aug 05, 2010 at 15:55
Trailblazer is not bad ... but you say the Engel is big!
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Reply By: Grizzle - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2010 at 11:14

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2010 at 11:14
I've got to say this thread is not about Waeco Engel Ford Holden style deal.

I'm actually disappointed! When I buy something I really want it to work. I have been around the traps long enough to know that there may be the odd little thing that needs attention now and then even from new.

I don't mind that, what has finally done me in is just the accumulation of issues. It seems that you fix one thing only for something else to go wrong.

Another thing I am conscious of (and this is not casting aspersions on ANYONE) is that a lot of people say "Never had a problem" and then once the car or whatever item is sold you get the true story "Oh well yeah it did that but it didn't bother me"

I wanted it to work, I wanted my food and drinks to be cold, I prepare well for my trips, both vehicle, spares, water, recovery gear, camping gear etc and I don't normally have any serious issues.

Things like this drive me insane and spoil my trip because I am always checking or thinking about it.

Just like the 3 litre Nissan Patrol I think there are enough of these fridges gone wrong to be more than just bad luck or a "Friday Car".

Another forum has a questionnaire on the Patrol, I might look into setting one up on here. This could highlight re-occurring issues and maybe avoid someone being in the middle of nowhere with no fridge to keep their food fresh. If you work it out a fridge full of food in itself is quite expensive. It can add up to hundreds of dollars!!!

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