Where WAECOs go to die!!

I had to take my Dometic (Waeco) CR1110 in yesterday to have the voltage controller replaced. About 2 months out of warranty- so $350 later !!

Anyhow- in the guys workshop there was a 'mountain' of dead Waeco fridges that had been replaced under warranty- must have been a couple of hundred.
It's all very good to say "that they do have a warranty"- but I'd be very peeved with a fridge full of tucker- and the unit dies into a trip miles from anywhere. The warranty wouldn't be worth much then.

I'd rather have a reputable brand that can 'cut the mustard' in our extreme conditions.

J&D
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 11:38

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 11:38
Hi J&D

I am not into knocking any products, but a few years ago on one of our Simpson trips, there were only two brands of fridges on the trip, one brand new Waeco and the rest Engel's.

The chap with the Waeco was telling every how better his fridge was and how much money he had save compared to buying a new Engel.

Two days into the trip, he is pulling hot drinks and meat out of his fridge....it died.

He then coped a real hammering on how much he saved compared to how much he lost and having a fridge that lasted the outback terrain.....

It was replaced after the trip, but they would not come at the contents and the inconvenience of no fridge for 2 weeks.




Cheers



Stephen
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AnswerID: 477550

Reply By: Bazooka - Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 11:42

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 11:42
Regular Explorozers will no doubt have a sense of deja vu.

So where precisely is this workshop Wombat?
AnswerID: 477551

Reply By: Member - Paul&Bill M riverton- Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 11:48

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 11:48
as a trucky ill swear by my engels only fridge to have we rarely turn them off
AnswerID: 477552

Reply By: AlbyNSW - Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 11:54

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 11:54
A couple of years ago I had a fridge repaired from an independent repairer who does all brands.
I quizzed him on which brand is best and he said the best fridge was the old original beige Engels but went on to say their newer product has just as many issues as the other brands.

They are all expensive to repair so long warranty on whatever brand you choose is a plus.
I carry two smaller fridges rather than one big one as you can be sure that they will let you down when you need them most.
AnswerID: 477553

Follow Up By: ross - Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 23:14

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 23:14
I got told the same thing by an independant who use to fix them in Perth.
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Reply By: Bush Wanderer - Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 11:55

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 11:55
Purchased my FF70 in Oct 1995.....before Waeco was even really heard of in Australia. Still running perfectly after dozens of remote are trips including csr corrugations.

Now lid is held down with engel clips, and the bottom of the fridge has hairline fractures, but it still works perfectly. Danfos compressors are made to last. I have replaced the seal which was a 5 minute job costing nothing as I had the stick on seal laying around.

Extremely efficient.

When others see it, as it's not recognizable with today's Waecos, they wonder what brand it is. They are then blown away with its age thinking that only an engel could be this old.

Just lucky I suppose.....or maybe I have given it a hard life with it having it running virtually continuously for 16 1/2 years.
AnswerID: 477554

Reply By: Crackles - Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 12:21

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 12:21
Yes my fridge died last month too. Bloody Autofridge.........only lasted 28 years with one failed plug up till now. Unfortunately the diamentions of the new model are slightly bigger & wouldn't fit in my storage space so have swapped over to an Engel.
Doesn't surprise me that the workshop had that many dead ones. In my local club there have been more issues with them over the years compared with all other brands. Heck they have their own discount stores selling 2nds & warrenty repaired units so must be alot of minor issues.
Cheers Craig..............
AnswerID: 477557

Reply By: Bush Wanderer - Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 12:48

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 12:48
Did the workshop guys say why they were collecting the buggered units ? You would think that they would toss them in the skip to save space and maybe keep a few for spare parts. Would have the be a massive space saver tossing them.
AnswerID: 477560

Follow Up By: kevmac....(WA) - Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 14:37

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 14:37
working in landfill for local city council I would suggest they store them coz they dont wanna legitimately pay for someone to degass them(lawfully) before disposal.
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Follow Up By: wombat100 - Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 14:52

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 14:52
I guess they wait til they have a semi-trailer full then ship them back to Waeco to be written off !!
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 16:04

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 16:04
So what's the name of the workshop Wombat?

We know a few Waeco's have had voltage regulator?? problems but these are easily fixed and Waeco wouldn't be replacing or ditching perfectly good fridges by the truckload.

Or are you having a lend?
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Follow Up By: Bush Wanderer - Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 19:46

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 19:46
Kevmac,

Gotcha. I know that we had to have a decommissioned tag for the refrigerant being removed for a road side pickup for an old fridge.

But still hundreds.....that's extreme if it's true.
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Reply By: Mick O - Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 14:37

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 14:37
Yet my Waeco 50 hasn't missed a beat in the 5 years of running it over numerous rough trips. I've got had it beside the Engel 40 and have been very happy with them both.

Cheers Mick
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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AnswerID: 477566

Reply By: petengail - Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 15:31

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 15:31
I had to take my Chescold 3/way in for a service - isnt working on gas. When we arrived at the workshop was absolutely stunned by the amount of Waeco's that were waiting repairs. Probably 10/1 to Engels. Must have a word with the serviceman when I pick mine up.
AnswerID: 477572

Reply By: awill4x4 - Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 15:47

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 15:47
I had the old beige/green Engel for damn near 20 yrs and sold it while it still had some $ value and now have a Waeco.
It's a bit lighter than the Engel and certainly quieter and it does the job in keeping things cold so I'm happy.
It's a bit like the Nissan/Toyota or Holden/Ford arguments, they also bore me to death.
Regards Andrew.
AnswerID: 477573

Follow Up By: Kimba10 - Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 15:50

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 15:50
""It's a bit like the Nissan/Toyota or Holden/Ford arguments, they also bore me to death"" totally agree.........
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Follow Up By: Bush Wanderer - Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 19:48

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 19:48
Maybe that was the essence of the post.....to create a debate.
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Follow Up By: Pezza QLD - Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 08:22

Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 08:22
So I'm assuming someone held a gun to your head and forced you to open, read and then reply to this thread ?
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Reply By: Kimba10 - Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 15:49

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 15:49
Ive had my waeco for over 7 years now, had the thermistor repaired (under warranty) common problem but modified on the model after mine. Myn runs 24/7 used as fridge then some times if our house freezer is full I crank it down to -15 for a week or so till we dont need it then fill it back up again with drinkw and run at 3d. When I had it repaired under the warranty by a place in Blacktown there were just as many other brands floating arount including Engel, waeco's, bushman (think that was the name I saw for memory) and also some of the 3 way fridge from caravans, this bloke new his stuff and while t the time yes I was spewing it had played up he said once he had fixed the thermistor it would be fine as that was their main let down in the earlier model I have. Would I buy another ?? yes, its been great and even in extreme temps it holds temp extremely well including in the high country where we ran two of them and used one as a freezer with all our meat, icecream, and iceblocks and was still able to start my hilux each morning running just one battery as my duel batt controller died the day before we went away. I did take the battery out of my wifes car with us incase I needed it to jump from or use but never needed to remove it from the rear tray. As long as they do the job that is the main purpose what ever the brand. Waeco and Engel is like nissan and toyota or ford and holden when ever its mentioned on any forum not just on here.....
AnswerID: 477574

Reply By: Member - Krakka - Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 15:58

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 15:58
10/1 waeco v engel in the repair workshop.

They probably sell 15/1 waeco v engel
AnswerID: 477575

Follow Up By: Hairy (WA) - Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 17:48

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 17:48
And I bet if he went into the local Engel repair shops he would find Engles instead of Waeco's piled up to. LOL
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Follow Up By: Member - Krakka - Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 18:05

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 18:05
Yeah Hairy, just like goin' to a Ford wrecker or Holden wrecker or whatever, of course that is what they would have.
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Reply By: olcoolone - Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 16:00

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 16:00
Yeah same thing we see with Holden Commodores.... hey it might have something to do with sell 4 Commodores to any other model.

We have 6 Waeco's and only 1 has had repairs.....ONCE.
AnswerID: 477577

Reply By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 18:19

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 18:19
Timely for me this one - our Waeco FF70 has just died after 10 years almost to the day. Took it into our local fridge repairer, who repairs all brands and yes there were a lot of Waecos on the shop floor - didn't see an Engel amongst them but didn't look that hard either, but it was clear there were plenty of Waecos there. I suppose you tend to notice the one that you have. Also, the biggest selling fridge in Oz is the Engel 40L. The message I have is that the newer Waecos aren't as reliable as they were and I have also seen a lot of old Engels around camps that are still going after 20+ years, so that's what I'm going for next, having looked at the Trailblaza, which was slightly cheaper but doesn't have the dealer/repairerr network and they don't have a protective bag. I'm certainly not knocking my old Waeco because I only paid about $500 for (Fridge shop 2nd) it and it has been bloody good and never had any protection. In fact, it has been pretty well knocked around. I just hope the newer Engels are as good as some of those old one I've seen around.

btw, the diagnosis was the compressor kaput and several hundred for a new one with only 3 month warranty.
AnswerID: 477585

Reply By: Member - Captain (WA) - Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 18:25

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 18:25
There is an interesting poll on Myswag about what fridges people have. With some 1,496 votes it represents quite a good cross-section of what people really have, rather than some chest beating about which brand has the more sales. There are some 24 brands (some I never heard of) with only 5 having more than 50 owners.

Engel 587 (30.6%)
Waeco 496 (25.9%)
Evakool 171 (8.9%)
Dometic 111 (5.8%)
ARB 74 (3.9%)

Basically Engel and Waeco are similair, but Engel do seem to sell a few more. What is suprising is just how many ARB fridges are around, considering that they have only been on the market a relatively short time compared to the likes of Engel and Waeco.

Anyway, continue to debate away about who is best (I have 2 x 40L Engels and 1 x 82L Evakool) but don't cloud the issue with who sells more :)

Cheers

Captain
Its not what you drive, but how you drive it!
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AnswerID: 477586

Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 19:28

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 19:28
Cap, thank goodness for some realistic statistics on this thread.

It is also possible to observe the workshop of either a Waeco or Engel authorised service agent who is therefore most likely to have a preponderance of one brand over the other. So that is not necessarily a valid way of judging a brand reliability.

Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 19:43

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 19:43
My Swag or any site like that isn't a good site to get statistics from.... most people on sites like that know whats good and bad, they are also very brand driven and influenced by others on their decision.

What about those not in the know.

Much like going onto a vehicle fleet forum and doing a poll of what they have in their fleet.... Commodore 1st, Camry 2nd and Falcon 3rd .... then taking it as this is what everyone's view is..... The truth is Mazda 3 is the biggest seller followed by Commodore followed by Mazda 2.





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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 19:50

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 19:50
My Swag or any site like that isn't a good site to get statistics from.... most people on sites like that know whats good and bad, they are also very brand driven and influenced by others on their decision.

What about those not in the know.

Much like going onto a vehicle fleet forum and doing a poll of what they have in their fleet.... Commodore 1st, Camry 2nd and Falcon 3rd .... then taking it as this is what everyone's view is..... The truth is Mazda 3 is the biggest seller followed by Commodore followed by Mazda 2.





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Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 20:02

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 20:02
I suppose thats one way to bury your head in the sand and still think Waeco are the biggest seller, hence why they have the most repairs :)

One of my mates is a Refrigeration Mechanic and also a listed Authorised Waeco Repair Agent. He sees both brands and knows what the real issues are. Apparently, bBy far and away its the electronics, its very rare (but not impossible) for the compressor to fail and this has been Waecos biggest issue. Their new models are much better, but not perfect. Engel never used to have the same amount of electronics hence one of the reasons for their better reliability. But recent models have more electronics and with that, there have been a few issues, but they have learnt form the issues Waeco had previously and so are relatively reliable. But he made the comment he is an Authorised Waeco repairer and not an Engel repairer because there is more business in fixing Waecos!

These days, I reckon both brands are much and muchness (I have both the Engels and the Danfoss powered Evakool, same compressor as Waeco) and as much of the buying decison should be based on price, features like insulation etc... as I don't believe there is any significant reliability difference.

But that doesn't change the fact that there are a heap of legacy issues with Waecos already out there.

Cheers

Catain
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 12:12

Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 12:12
My son who works in the Pilbara region had a "no go" problem with his Waeco when on one of his stays with us in Perth. He had to go back to work so I took it into the authorised repairer who happens to sell both Engel and Waeco. According to the workshop guy I spoke to they fix a lot more Waecos than Engels but the problem is usually in the electronic controls. Apparently the compressor systems in both are very reliable considering the usage they get. He said the Waecos have always had more on board electronics and the newer Engels are starting to go that way. His take was that if you have one of the older Engels...keep it...it will probably outlive you. I have two Engels, the older 29lt I inherited from the father-in-law when he passed away in 1986. He did many trips fossicking for gemstones and we have used it as a freezer on trips (CSR, GRR included) and so far so good. The newer 39lt bought in 1997 doesn't seem to be able to freeze as well but ok as a fridge. The repairer said it was something to do with how the evaporator was fitted to that model???

Cheers
Pop
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FollowupID: 752884

Reply By: mike39 - Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 09:30

Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 09:30
I wonder does Waeco still use the original Danfoss compressor/electronic controller?

My Trailblaza is nearly 20, has very regular use and never missed a beat. All old Danfoss stuff inside.
Someone mentioned no bag for a Traiblaza, would be no use as they use the outer skin as the condenser heat exchanger.

Because we spend a lot of time in high temp regions I have insalled an internal fan to cool the electronic unit and an external on to blow across the condenser surface. Both switch on/ off with the compressor.
mike39
AnswerID: 477632

Reply By: Gossy - Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 09:48

Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 09:48
everyone will have the good and bad stories on fridges and tyres. For the record my Waeco is 7yrs old and has alot of trips under it's belt and still running as good as the day I bought it.
This year I have a 7 week trip where it will be on 24/7 and I have no concerns for it.
Considering 90% of the fridges are all running the same internals it comes down to insulation and body etc to separate them all. At the end of the day it comes down to personal preference; bottom line is it sounds like you've been burnt by Waeco so it's only fair they wouldn't get your money again but in my case I wouldn't look at another brand (unless something drastically changes when I need a new fridge!).

Cheers,
AnswerID: 477635

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 13:37

Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 13:37
Hi Gossy
Re:"Considering 90% of the fridges are all running the same internals ""

EXCEPT Engels whose swing motor compressor is some what unique & proven over a very long time
The Electronics are quite basic compared to some/most of the Waecos

I have two chest type Engels ,one is 44yrs old the other 24yrs old ,both have spent their whole life in 4wheel drives & have never missed a beat.

Peter

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