Size of fridges - What do people use ?

Submitted: Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 14:07
ThreadID: 8445 Views:3372 Replies:17 FollowUps:7
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I would be interested to know what peoples opinions are about the size of fridges they use when going away with however number of people for what length of time etc. I’m trying to determine a comfortable amount of storage of food and cold stuff to be sufficient for Three adults one child (3 ½) for two weeks supplies. I am considering the below mentioned unit ( Waeco CF-110). It’s the same I think on floor space as the CF-80 but a bit taller. Was thinking for a bit extra you get a fair bit more room.
I Had thought of two smaller units but not sure about that idea.
Does any one own a Waeco CF- 110 and have an opinion to share?
One last thing if there is someone who has met or knows of a good supplier in WA

Thanks to every one in anticipation to their replies.


William and Diane.

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Reply By: Moose - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 14:49

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 14:49
A few things to consider.
1 - how much room do you have in the vehicle for the fridge? ie make sure that the fridge will fit in the allocated space.
2 - for a family of 2 adults and 2 kids we've found that 60 litres is great. I doubt we could cope with anything smaller. It's a wee bit too much room just for a wekend but for those longer trips it's perfect.
3 - If you intend to carry large drink bottles make sure the fridge is tall enough to take them.
4 - if it has a freezer section all the better. On long trips we take pre-packed meat meals in the freezer section and this has proven to be very handy. Of course if you prefer to buy from local butchers along the way this may not matter. However will there always be a butcher where you're headed?
5 - consider the amount of power required to run it and how you'll supply it.
Sorry - I know nothing about the Waeco.
Have fun.
AnswerID: 36845

Follow Up By: koh - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 14:59

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 14:59
G-day Moose,

Thanks for the reply
Rooms not a problem.. back of a 100 series LC


I have more the enough. I have three bateries on board. (Optima's) and a power pack thats 650cca rated.
I can isolate 1 2 or three from each other in any order.

FollowupID: 26645

Reply By: Outnabout David (SA) - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 14:55

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 14:55
I get by with 40litres for a couple of weeks for 4 adults. The trick is to pack and buy wisely. Buy plenty of tin or dehydrated foods such as peas and instant potatoe. Store long lasting veg in the darkest place you can find and use last. Cryovac your meat in meal size portions so there is no leftover or very little and stuff that will be used the next day. Ie cold roast leftover meat for lunch. Use longlife milk or powdered milk. Only buy what you need until you get to the next shop. ie don't buy two weeks worth of perishables if you are going to be near a fruit and veg shop every 2nd day. Melissa who is on this site has her own website which has a lot of helpfull hints and some good recipes.
Two small fridges use more power to run than 1 big one but one big one takes up a lot of valuable space.We have so little time to enjoy our land
AnswerID: 36847

Follow Up By: koh - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 15:17

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 15:17
Thanks for the reply David. Ill see if I can find Melissa’s web site in past posts. Extra recipes never go astray. We’re fairly organized when it comes to the caravan and packing food etc because your never to far from shops etc, and when there’s only a couple of you its not too bad for long week ends and the like with a portable fridge, as for shopping for the two weeks for 3 +1. There is a science to it seems. I cringe at fitting in the weekly shopping going into the calvinator at home let a lone a port fridge for twice as long. It definitely comes down to the essentials.
FollowupID: 26646

Follow Up By: koh - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 15:21

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 15:21
I should have mentioned I we wont be taking the caravan for the two weeks in question. so we will only have a portable unit in the LC
FollowupID: 26648

Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 15:56

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 15:56

As David mentioned above, you might find the "Food" section on my website helpful regards camp catering, food storage, menu planning and recipes etc.

We (2 adults, 1 child and another on the way) use a 40L engel, no esky. We've found this to be plenty adequate for our needs and have no plans of upgrading to a larger fridge. There is no need at all to carry fruit & veg in the fridge, cryovac packaged meat will last for weeks so it doesn't need to be frozen. We always have room for a few beers and wine (can get some really good casket wine - we usually buy 2L caskets and refrigerate only the bladder, no box). Got three 1L water bottles which we rotate so we always have 1 or 2 in the fridge chilling. All cold drinks we place a few at a time in the fridge and replace with a hot one each time one is removed. Same principle applies to tetra packed milk, juice etc etc. By refrigerating only what we need to, when we need to, we always have plenty of room left for items that must be refrigerated (eg. marg, condiments, cheese, luncheon meat etc).

Maybe before you actually hand over your $'s, you could do a test run at home with a similar size cardboard box and see how you go fitting in everything you consider must go in the fridge. One last point is that if your fridge is being bounced around in the back of the 4WD, I believe it is better to have it more full than less full. Reason, tightly packed items won't move around as much, hence less leaks and breakages.

Hope this helps.

:o) Melissa
Petrol 4.5L GU Patrol &
Camprite TL8 offroad camper
FollowupID: 26654

Reply By: chopper - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 15:39

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 15:39
I have a CF110 mounted on a fridge slide in the back of the troopy.

The fridgeslide sits directly on the floor.

The fridge does not slide completely out of the slide length, (there is probably 20 centimeters that i have had to cut out of the shelf above it.

here's my point....
I can only just open the lid of the fridge (all the way) in this position, as even when fully extended the fridge door stiil rises in line with the rear doors.

This may be woth considering as I am fairly sure that the back of a troopy would be taller than the back of a 100, you may find that it is impossible to lift the baskets in and out of the fridge without completely removing the fridge, (you'll then be loading a very big, full and heaviy fridge.

I'll post now and then go measure the height of the open door on slide and you can look for yourself.

On all other matters, I have been very happy with the 110.
AnswerID: 36851

Follow Up By: chopper - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 15:43

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 15:43
height w/ door open and slide is 1030-1050 mms
FollowupID: 26652

Follow Up By: koh - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 16:01

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 16:01
Good point Chopper,, I just went and measured it. I have approx 1000mm to the roof. but I think I would loose another 50 mm where it slopes down at the back, which might come into play considering the length of it. Bugger !!.. How high is the slide? might be a bit hard using it with out one so mounting it staight to the floor might not be a good idea...thinking out load here a bit ..... any one got measurements (hieght with door open) on the CF-80. may be on their website,, ill check any way,
Nice to know you are happy with it.


FollowupID: 26656

Reply By: Big Trev - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 17:02

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 17:02
We have used a 32 litre Engel for years, even a 3 week trip outback with 2 adults and 4 kids (yes 4). We have 7 seater Nissan Maverick and with all seats in use, it was the only fridge (with feet off) that would fit in the space at the rear of the rear seat of the GQ.

As Outandabout David said, buy wise. If you think about it, there isn't much that NEEDS to be cold.

We carried meat and one open 1 litre of milk, what else needs to be refridgerated, beside the grog, and even then if you are smart you put 4 in, take 1 out and replace it with a warm one, providing you don't drink too fast the rotation is adequate.
AnswerID: 36868

Reply By: Member - Des Lexik(SA) - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 17:05

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 17:05
Will, I also have a 100 and I have a 70 litre Trailblazer on a rear slide that serves us well. a 80 litre would also be OK I think. The Trailblazer is a great fridge, doesn't give any grief, low power use but heavy. Check out their website Norcoast Refrigeration I think. They may have an agent in cede malis
AnswerID: 36870

Reply By: KiwiAngler - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 17:07

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 17:07
William and Diane

I have a 100 series TLC and have the drawer system in back with an Engle 45lt and a Waeco coolmatic 35 which I keep in the back seat. By moving the 1/3 part of the seat completely up against the back of the passengers seat the Waeco fits in perfectly.
Why 2 fridges??
I was sick of having the fridge items (+5c) (eggs, marg, tomatoes etc ) frozen so I run the Engle in freeze mode (-5c) and the Waeco in fridge mode with the drinks, marg, tomatoes etc etc in. It works for me.
The point about access to whatever fridge you put in the back is very valid PLUS if you are shorter even when you pull the fridge out you will need a step ladder to see into it :-)) Not a problem for me at 6'3", but others will certainly know what I mean :-)
AnswerID: 36871

Reply By: Arkay - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 17:11

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 17:11
If you are thinking about fruit & veg, also think if/where you will cross the fruit fly quarantine zones. Any remaining fruit etc. & you have to scoff the lot there & then, or lose it all.
These zones are marked on all good maps or ask your local motoring organisation.
We have used 40litres (actually takes 39 litres) for years. When you take out one coldie, or finish a UHT milk, or whatever, just replace it with a non-cold one. By the time you get to your next stop all's cool.
AnswerID: 36872

Reply By: Member - Anne - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 20:16

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 20:16
Hi William and Diane,

We have just travelled for 8 weeks around W.A. using a Waeco CF-50. There are only 2 of us, but we had more than enough space for food for a week at a time. My advice would be to buy vacuum-packed meat, which keeps for at least a fortnight, and packs very neatly into the fridge. I also have some ready made meals vacuum-packed (bolognese sauce, curry etc). We found that frozen stuff didn't keep well, but dried veg like Surprise Peas etc, made up for that.

Have a great time - we did!

AnswerID: 36901

Reply By: Member - Paul - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 20:42

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 20:42
I agree with I KiwiAngler with regards to 2 areas but now you can get the Fridge/freezer cpmbo in both the Waeco and Engel. We just returned from 6 months with 2 adults and 3 kids under 10yrs and use a Waeco 50lt and a 60lt esky - the main prob being that if you buy 1 bag of ice per day for 6 months you have spent over $500.00 on ice.

I am now building a new Camper Trailer and intend in having a 40lt on Freeze in the Prado for the meat and the Waeco 50 in the trailer on Fridge for the drinks, veg etc.

Remember that nothing upsets you more than cooking a great steak and finding that your eggs, salads etc are all froxen!!
AnswerID: 36908

Reply By: duncs - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 23:38

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 23:38

We have an Engel 40l 2 adults 3kids and can carry food for two weeks easy. Not many places you will go longer than that without getting to a shop.

Careful planing, minimise perishables, maximise long life and dehydrated food and its not much of a problem.

You can also save a fair bit of space in your fridge by minimising the packaging materials you keep cold. Chuck out the box and just keep the plastic bag. If you need to know what it is get a permanent marker and write on the bag.

Oh, and you don't need to keep 2 cartons of beer cold all the time. Do You?

My motto is "Eat well and sleep well and the rest will sort itself out." I do and it does.


AnswerID: 36952

Reply By: Member - Peter [SA] - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 03:23

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 03:23
Hi koh, we use the 110lt waeco ourselves, have it in the back of our 100 series standard wagon. Top unit, opening the door fully cant be done but hasnt caused us any major probs. only two adults but dont skimp on fresh foods and icecream, plenty of room for beer, also very handy size for use at home, parties bbq etc.
AnswerID: 36963

Reply By: Willem - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 06:42

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 06:42
We upgraded from a 15lt Engel(originally bought to fit in a Suzuki) to a 32lt Engel a coupe of years ago. Not having to carry beer we find the fridge has ample space for food for two people. We carry Muscat for merriment and stress relief and that does not have to be refrigerated. We wrap all our vegies in newspaper(individually) and meat is pre-frozen(no cryo-vac facilities where we live). We carry cheese and powered milk in plastic containers etc. When the fridge gets towards yhe empty satge we stick a towel or a bladder in it to stop things bouncing and rattling around. Have been doing this camping thing for over 30 years so we are very well organised.

Always going somewhere
AnswerID: 36966

Reply By: stevesub - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 10:36

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 10:36
We have 39 liter Engel for 2 people, plenty of space and great fridge.
AnswerID: 36989

Reply By: Diane - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 13:06

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 13:06
It seems there are some very good arguments to both sides of this story.
Kiwi is right, we need both fridge and freezer, Peter has convinced me on the 110ltr and we don’t have to pass thro any quarantine zones for GRR so the fruit and veges are fine.

I spent all yesterday evening pushing a big cardboard box around the back of the LC and after finally deciding it would be fine with a 95% opening of the door. I then realized there was a new dilemma. Did you see all those yummy recipes on Melissa’s website….I now have to get a 110Ltr Waeco and a huge box for all those ingredients a full campers kitchen and……darn…where are we going to sit?

AnswerID: 36997

Reply By: koh - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 13:44

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 13:44
Thank you for the large number of responses to this post people.. Everybody has been a great help with your opinions. There are a few things we have to consider above the norm I guess as with Willem no cryo-vac facilities where we live either. But that’s not preventing pickup from the larger towns or cities when we get to them. Traveling mostly in the warmer months I guess we would have a bit extra in the unit then you would mid year. Room wise.. Moose said make sure it fits. I said I had plenty of room but forgot about having the door open. Do we need to remove the baskets ? maybe not so that might not be an issue.

A lot of Valid points and thanks again


PS ; Melissa – your website is a great site to spend a bit of time at. Lots of tips and tricks etc.. Thanks for Link
AnswerID: 37003

Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 15:10

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 15:10
William, glad you found the site useful. Makes the effort I put into it worthwhile.

:o) MelissaPetrol 4.5L GU Patrol &
Camprite TL8 offroad camper
FollowupID: 26760

Reply By: Bundy - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 19:13

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 19:13
We used a 60L Trailblazer for 4 adults and one 3yo for 14 days from Thargomindah through Innamincka and down to Arkaroola and on to Broken Hill. Only had to buy bread and some milk where available. We had our menu worked out pretty well which allowed us to carry all of our perishables between Thargo and Broken Hill. All meals packed in correct portions etc. Packed the fridge in the order we would require things ie reverse order. No problems!
AnswerID: 37056

Reply By: Drifter007 - Sunday, Nov 16, 2003 at 22:47

Sunday, Nov 16, 2003 at 22:47

I have the Waeco 80L fridge/freezer in the back of my GU Patrol, same foot print as 110. I have it on an engel 60 litre slide purchased form local camping store, it is a perfect fit.

It has been used on about 5 trips including Simpson Xing, Googs Track and Border Track. Have had no problems with it and always had ice available for the Jack's.

Regards Colin ...
AnswerID: 37519

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