Waeco fridge in tent whilst out touring

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 06, 2011 at 16:02
ThreadID: 84823 Views:4821 Replies:9 FollowUps:2
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I have just bought a Waeco fridge and will be embarking on our first camping expedition up the centre across the Kimberley to Broome, then down the coast.
Do other campers think it would be safe to leave your fridge connected to 240 volt power whilst you are away sightseeing.
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Mar 06, 2011 at 16:15

Sunday, Mar 06, 2011 at 16:15
Hi Maggie

If you are camping in a tent - nothing wrong with that, why would you want to take the fridge out of your vehicle and take it into the tent. Leave it in the car and it will save a lot of time each day.

By all means if you have 240v power available, run the fridge from that via a long extension cord.

Have a Great Trip.



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AnswerID: 447465

Reply By: Snoopyone - Sunday, Mar 06, 2011 at 16:18

Sunday, Mar 06, 2011 at 16:18
Yep tents arent the most burglar proof things we used to padlock ours to a ring on the chassis of the van with a heavy chain.

However if they really wanted it a good bash with a hammer would smash the handles.

AnswerID: 447467

Reply By: TerraFirma - Sunday, Mar 06, 2011 at 21:09

Sunday, Mar 06, 2011 at 21:09
We presume you mean from an electrical point of view, yes. Safe from theft, your call..! LOL
AnswerID: 447502

Reply By: bks - Sunday, Mar 06, 2011 at 21:50

Sunday, Mar 06, 2011 at 21:50
I think the noise would drive you crazy in the middle of the nught
AnswerID: 447513

Reply By: Member - Lyndonc56.TAS. - Sunday, Mar 06, 2011 at 23:55

Sunday, Mar 06, 2011 at 23:55
Hi Maggie, I concur with some of the replies in part. What size fridge are you talking about firstly? I would be very apprehensive about leaving moveable costly items such as a Waeco in an area where it could 'disappear' such as a tent. Unless you have some trustworthy park neighbours who can keep an eye out on your gear, then I wouldn't recommend you leave it alone. (most fellow campers are trustworthy, however there are opportunists around looking for a 'bargain', if you get my drift.) The question about the 240v AC power is a good one. Under normal operating conditions, you should not have a problem leaving the power connected to the fridge unsupervised, and it should be okay, but leave plenty of space near the vents on the corners to allow for air circulation so that the compressor does not overheat. I have a 3way fridge in my poptop and also a Waeco CF60 in the back of my patrol wagon. The Waeco stays there and is plugged into 240v AC power whilst it is available and into 12vDC at all other times. A tip to keep it cool, any space left inside should be filled up straight away with water bottles or ........bbbeeerrr cccaaannss or food if you have it, so that the compressor does not keep overloading and shutting down. Cheers Lyndon,
AnswerID: 447527

Reply By: MrBitchi (QLD) - Monday, Mar 07, 2011 at 09:25

Monday, Mar 07, 2011 at 09:25
Keep it in the car. If you leave it in the tent you won't have any cold drinks/lunches etc while sightseeing.. Mine lives permanently in the car.
AnswerID: 447544

Follow Up By: Maggie C - Monday, Mar 07, 2011 at 12:53

Monday, Mar 07, 2011 at 12:53
Thank you all for your input. When the ignition of the car is off the fridge will not be working. I understand when I am at camp I can have a 240 power cord connected to it. What should I buy to have power to fridge when the car is parked and we are sightseeing. I have heard of Thumpers, but do not know how they work. We do not have any room under the bonnet to have another battery wired up. Also, I think Waeco sell a battery, but how does this charge up.
I am inexperienced in this line, I do not want to go to too much expense with buying auxiliary power. Thanks again for your help.
FollowupID: 719853

Follow Up By: MrBitchi (QLD) - Monday, Mar 07, 2011 at 13:12

Monday, Mar 07, 2011 at 13:12
A Thumper is simply a portable battery in a box with a built in charger.
What type of car? What model of fridge? Might be able to make some better suggestions armed with a bit more information...
FollowupID: 719857

Reply By: Member - Boobook - Monday, Mar 07, 2011 at 13:17

Monday, Mar 07, 2011 at 13:17
Maggie, IMHO your fridge has a high chance of dissapearing from a tent once you go down the coast from Broome.

I would either leave it with the caravan park owner in a shed or out the back somewhere or preferably invest in a proper 2nd battery set up.

As mentioned lifting the fridge in and out all the time will be a pain in the back!

Do you know that you can't fit another battery under the bonnet, or think that? What vehicle is it? I am sure someone here has a similar vehicle. You will be amaized where batteries will fit.

Unfortunately buying the fridge is only part of the solution. However it is possible to get an inexpensive battery and have a manual switch for the cost of the battery plus about $80 for some wire, a tray and switch, or have a fully automatic one for $200 ish. Derek from Sidewinder who lurks has good value solutions.

He has a few options here if you feel coinfident to do it yourself?

If you could use 240V overnight, and think the max time you will be away from the vehicle for trips etc where there is no power was say 8 hours, then you could get away with a small second battery of about 40 AH which would be similar to a thumper. If you get a sealed one ( SLA etc) then it could fit anywhere in the vehicle without any danger.

Fridges can be a bit of a nightmare if they are not set up right. They are heavy when full, and if not managed correctly power-wise can lead to spoiled food, and food poisoning or no food isn't a fun thing when camping.

AnswerID: 447563

Reply By: Maggie C - Monday, Mar 07, 2011 at 14:01

Monday, Mar 07, 2011 at 14:01
Thanks again, The car is a 2004 Nissan Pathfinder and the fridge is a 49 litre fridge or freezer. Cheers
AnswerID: 447571

Reply By: Member - John and Val - Tuesday, Mar 08, 2011 at 16:36

Tuesday, Mar 08, 2011 at 16:36
Hi Maggie,

Moving a fully laden fridge that size will quickly become a pain. For a trip such as you are planning you would do well to consider a little bit of extra investment in vehicle electrics so that you fridge can stay in your vehicle all the time. Have a look here for some info to give you some ideas. Running a fridge off a single battery can be a bit problematic and when you're a long way from home and hoping to have a great time fridge troubles are about the last thing you want.


J and V
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