Waeco Coolers

Submitted: Thursday, Dec 04, 2003 at 16:44
ThreadID: 8966 Views:2091 Replies:6 FollowUps:2
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Lads and Lassies

Your thoughts, if you please, on Waeco coolers,... NOT fridges.

We currently have a 3-way and I'm quite happy, notwithstanding its shortcomings on 12V. But I'm thinking about an aux unit merely for keeping tucker cool, either day trips or longer.

I realise they're not all that crash hot but would appreciate any feedback as to whether they're a waste of time or not. Bought an el-cheapo from local supermarket which seemed to work well but only lasted one use ... funny that. Got our 60 bucks back tho.

For $200 (45 litre) the price is right ... but not if they don't work.

I seem to understand they drop the ambient temp by perhaps 20 deg with minimal current draw. OK as long as it's not 40 deg outside.


You're only as old as she feels

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Reply By: Mark - Thursday, Dec 04, 2003 at 18:00

Thursday, Dec 04, 2003 at 18:00
Hi Ross,

Choice magazine has just done a report on portable fridges and coolers in their latest issue. In a nutshell, the Waeco cooler would keep food at 5C when outside was 32C (figures from memory). The other brand coolers kept food at 5C at 25C, but went to something like 9C when at 32C.

At 10C outside, the Waeco kept the food at 60C while the others were around 55C. Choice recommended the Waeco over the others.

Note that the Waeco, like the others, was drawing power virtually all the time and need ~5 amps. These suckers like the amps.

I do not own any of these coolers (I have an Engels) but I must admit that the Waeco cooler seemed like a good budget buy.

Note that Choice made the point that these type of coolers/warmers keep the food cool/warm and should NOT be used to try and say cool drinks from an ambient temperature. They simply do not have the cooling capacity for that.


AnswerID: 39425

Reply By: thomo - Thursday, Dec 04, 2003 at 20:04

Thursday, Dec 04, 2003 at 20:04
I just bought one of the small coolers the other day for between the seats in the fourby tried it out, went for a drive up the bush put a couple of drinks out of the fridge in before we left we were gone about 14 hours and the drinks were just as cold and the end of the drive.
AnswerID: 39437

Follow Up By: Mick - Thursday, Dec 04, 2003 at 23:39

Thursday, Dec 04, 2003 at 23:39
Didn't you get thirsty Thomo? Fancy leaving them untouched for 14 hours!!
FollowupID: 257172

Follow Up By: thomo - Friday, Dec 05, 2003 at 15:52

Friday, Dec 05, 2003 at 15:52
i new someone would say that,i drank three the one that was left was still cold,.
FollowupID: 257211

Reply By: Member - Ross - Thursday, Dec 04, 2003 at 20:38

Thursday, Dec 04, 2003 at 20:38
Thanks for your responses guys. Mark, they would appear to draw somewhat more amps than I expected. Food for thought but still less than a full blown job.

I have run a cable (that's probably the best description) to the back of the truck .. always seem to figure bigger is better.

So expect the one wire to handle both, but that aside ... the single 100 A.H. battery has more important things to do ... like ensuring locomotion.

More cogitation to follow .........................You're only as old as she feels

AnswerID: 39445

Reply By: Pete G - Thursday, Dec 04, 2003 at 20:52

Thursday, Dec 04, 2003 at 20:52
Had one for 2-3years now (Waeco 32 litreTropical). If you load them with cold items they work quite well. They struggle if loaded with too much hot stuff at once. Need about 12hrs to bring 3 x 1.5 litres down. Helps if you precool them first before loading. For water we load a couple of frozen bottles and this helps tremendously. There is a 240V transformer available so you can hook the cooler up at night where 240 is available.

Ours is fed from the ciggy lighter (no second battery) and you have to remember to switch the cooler back on each time after switching the ignition off (they will not start themselves up automatically). Certainly OK for day trips but they do like a few amps. We tend to use ours on longer trips where the vehicle runs all day. For what you pay IMHO they are a reasonable investment. I have not had any experience with the elcheapo copies of the waeco.

In summary a good investment for day trips and would work OK on overnighters if you had access to 240V at night or when camped. However, I would not use them to get the beers cold.


Pete G
AnswerID: 39448

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, Dec 04, 2003 at 21:35

Thursday, Dec 04, 2003 at 21:35

Haven't tried the later model ones, as mentioned above, but have 2 different Peltier effect fridges that we used to use regularly on holidays to coast. In an airconditioned vehicle, they keep drinks at pleasant temp. Even had the bigger one, a Koolatron, freeze carrots when left unopened for some days, and hooked to 240v.

As for using them camping, the money you save on purchase, can go toward buying a Christie genny, to keep the battery charged.


AnswerID: 39455

Reply By: stevesub - Friday, Dec 05, 2003 at 08:59

Friday, Dec 05, 2003 at 08:59
Got an Engel in the Landcruiser - brillant, got a small Waeco peitier effect cooler bag in the Landrover, OK if the ambient temp is below 25 but hopeless otherwise not too good if hotter, Draws 4 to 5 amps all the time and really needs to be pre-cooled - either the frige or the contents to work properly.

Great when you go to a party, take the fridge with your tinnies and or wine in it, plug it in at the party and keep everything cold.

Hopeless for camping, we went the esky and ice way instead of using the fridge with the power consumption, now with the Engel and dual batteries in the Cruiser, no problems.
AnswerID: 39496

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