Camping fridge

Hi all, was just wondering, what makes an Engel, Waeco, Trailblaza or any other big name brand compressor fridge better than an inverter & a standard bar fridge locked down in the back of the ute - what is the difference?
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Reply By: Rockape - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 20:21

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 20:21
I am only going to comment on the trailblaza versus a bar fridge as that is what I have.

The first thing is the Trailblaza has 75mm of insulation which is probably 55mm more than a bar fridge.
Standard bar fridge is upright so it loses much more cold air when opened.
The bar fridge will not pull down to the temps that the trailblaza will reach.
The strength of the Trailblaza against the bar fridge is like chalk and cheese.
I remember trailblaza sitting a cruiser on top of 4 of their fridges on under each wheel.

Having said that many fishermen used to have small upright freezers in the back of their utes run of gensets.

AnswerID: 483128

Reply By: Ron N - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 21:34

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 21:34
Steafandsal - Well, speaking from an Engel owners point of view - basically, it comes back to the fact that my 1977 Engel still performs beautifully - and nothing has ever broken on it, and it has never failed to perform!
Meantimes, someone using a standard bar fridge would have gone through about 4 of them, in the same time as my Engel has served me faithfully!

There's also the additional factor, that the Engel uses the Sawafuji "swing motor" which can be operated on a 30% slope. Not so the standard compressor fridges, they need to be fairly level to perform satisfactorily.
The Sawafuji "swing motor" contains less moving parts, doesn't rotate, and draws less current (particularly on startup) than a standard fridge reciprocating compressor unit.
The KISS principle in design and action.

I guess you can argue that a standard bar fridge is much cheaper than an Engel, so you can afford to buy 2½ of them, before you've spent the same $$ as you'd spend buying an Engel.

However, the Engel offers 12V and 240V functionality, more storage capacity in relation to outside dimensions than a regular bar fridge - and it's lighter.
For most people travelling, the fridge capacity in relation to outside dimensions is a big selling point.
Finally - the Engel possesses a robust steel case all-round, that is pretty resistant to rough handling. In addition, the Engel will cope with bouncing around in a vehicle to a certain degree, that a standard bar fridge would never be able to handle.

Cheers - Ron.
AnswerID: 483134

Reply By: ross - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 23:06

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 23:06
Many years ago,when I 1st started camping and 4wdriving I had a bar firdge I bought for $50.
I didnt take it on hard core offroad trips,but left it at campsites ,either running off a genny or A/C power.
It was still running perfectly 10 years later when I threw it away. I tried selling it ,donating it and giving it away,but no one wanted it.

So as long as you are not going to knock it around and understand it may suck a lot of power through an inverter,it will work fine(and its cheap).
AnswerID: 483136

Reply By: Kalebjarrod - Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 15:57

Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 15:57
The invertor running your fridge will hammer your battery really quick, chilling empty air in a fridge is hard work so having a small fully loaded fridge with a purpose built compressor will always run better and use less power

If you have a power source at camp just hire a fridge, then they drop it off and pick it up and you always get a new clean fridge
AnswerID: 483189

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