Engel V Waeco 80Lt Plus

Submitted: Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012 at 20:16
ThreadID: 96792 Views:7446 Replies:13 FollowUps:5
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Hi All,
Looking for some feed back on the pros and cons of the Engel V Waeco 80Lt fridge /freezer combi. looking forward to your comments.

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Reply By: Diksta - Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012 at 20:31

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012 at 20:31
hi mate,

not having owned a waeco i can't comment, but the down side to the engels is the weight once you fill a 60 or 80 then have to move it around it can be an issue, but in saying that i have never had a issue with my engel, it was been great and the steel case positive is that mine is covered in dents and it is still powering along.

having just got back from Cape York, my travel mate was going to replace his Waeco with what i don't know but he wasn't happy with it's performance.

i also have a evakool 80l they are need updating if you know what i mean, the bolts that hold down the compressor came out on all the corrugations and the wires in the 12v plug kept coming loose.

just my 2cents worth hope it helps

AnswerID: 490597

Follow Up By: Gary M3 - Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012 at 21:07

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012 at 21:07
hi mate, you never lift a fridge with anything in it, packed correctly you should be able to lift the two baskets out with the food in them and then move the fridge on its own.
FollowupID: 765958

Reply By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012 at 20:32

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012 at 20:32
Don't buy either unless you have a minimum 250W of solar AND 240AH of battery or don't intend to stay put for more than 12 hours at a time. They both chew power like crazy. Combi fridge / freezer fridges like these 2 models use 3 - 3.5 amps average. That means your average 100AH battery will last 12 hours. The engel is a little better in this respect if it isn't over 35 degrees outside.

Get a fridge only and use cryovacing, even a larger fridge like the Waeco 110l will use half the power.

AnswerID: 490598

Follow Up By: rumpig - Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012 at 21:03

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012 at 21:03
i have had my 80 ltr Engel combi in the back of my fourby since 2006, it now runs on a 100AH battery (as the second battery in vehicle) and has an 80 watt solar panel on the roofrack pumping into that second battery. if i crank the power up during the day to keep the food in the freezer frozen, the solar panel will basically put in what the fridge takes out on a sunny day, i then turn the fridge down at night when it's cooler and turn back up again the next morning. doing the above allows you to sit in the one spot for a few days without needing to run the fourby.
FollowupID: 765957

Reply By: Member - nick b - Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012 at 20:51

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012 at 20:51
"jeep" "jeep" ..... Have you looked at thread 91814 ..?

Engle is a jeep & waeco batsun ...LOL

cheers primus owner
Cheers Nick b

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AnswerID: 490599

Reply By: Ross M - Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012 at 21:39

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012 at 21:39
I use a 39l Engle as a fridge and a Small Waeco as a freezer. It cools down quicker than the Engle. But as mentioned you need the solar backup and a two large batteries to make it all work for you. In hot climates expect the power usage to double.
If one fridge goes under you still have a back up. Not possible with one big fridge, and you can move them more easily to clear out the mice when they get inside the truck after the corn chips.
AnswerID: 490606

Follow Up By: toffytrailertrash - Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 13:10

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 13:10
After doing considerable research I ended up with a Aussie designed Bushman fridge and I haven't been able to fault it. I have had Engel that was made in the mid 80's and unless you can pick up one of these don't bother with the new ones the quality and reliability has gone by the way side and power usage over the hill. Waeco are a great fridge/freezer but the problem with them is their bulk, similar with the ARB, both very good fridges. Bushman designed by a Fridge mechanic from Melbourne and although made in China his back up service is unbelievable, nothing is a problem for him. The fridge comes with an additional collar and a higher lid so when combined give a great amount of usable space. Australian Defence Force now use these fridges. People who have bought the 80 lt fridges have found that they are simply just too big and heavy when loaded if you want a combined fridge/freezer in a large unit I personally think you would be better off with two smaller units and less power drain. Opinions on fridges are so far and wide it will come down to what you an afford and which direction (size) is going to suit your application and boot space. Have a look at them all and compare particularly power usage which a lot of people overlook.
FollowupID: 765997

Reply By: Member - eighty matey - Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012 at 22:06

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012 at 22:06

we have used a 70 litre Waeco (fridge only) for about 11 years. It's copped a hiding and still goes well.

Only problem I've had with it was I had to stick a heavier wire to the rear plug after a while and I now have wired the lead direct to the fridge because I had an issue with the plug.

If we are parked for a few days the 100 watt solar panel keeps it all running properly. We get our meat cryovaced.

Best thing I bought for it (apart from the solar panel) was a cover. It makes a world of difference when it comes to keeping things cool.

Hoo roo,
AnswerID: 490609

Follow Up By: Member - Broodie H3 - Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012 at 23:24

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012 at 23:24
I agree , the cover does help, and getting the right setting for freezing is also critical for battery use,We have the waeco and have had it for years. I hope this helps.
Broodie H3
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FollowupID: 765972

Reply By: Member - Tony Z (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 18:50

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 18:50
Have not had a Engel but have an 80lt waeco fridge/freezer, been away camping in summer at the beach with a160w solar set up and 100amp batt for weeks on end and no loss of power or not freezing. We do load it with pre frozen food before leaving home Good Luck
AnswerID: 490670

Reply By: Kate5 - Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 22:18

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 22:18
We have an 80lt waeco that I run of a 75ah thumper. I found I can get a weekend out of ours with only topping up the battery for a bit every under Queensland winter conditions. I always keep a bag of ice in the freezer which keeps the temp more regular. I have a cover for it and find this helps alot. It does struggle when the ambient temp goes above 30oC I find.
Ours suits us for weekends away perfectly but for longer trips I would go for the 2 smaller fridge option especially if you wanted a freezer.
It can also be hard to gauge the temperature in the ridge compartment - I bought a wireless thermometer which is very useful.
AnswerID: 490693

Reply By: desray (WA - Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 22:22

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 22:22
I would buy 2 40 litre fridge/freezers not the 80 litre. I had a 60 litre fridge and whatever you wanted out of the fridge it was always at the BOTTOM, everything out and back in to get it , real pain. Two smaller fridges work much better and use about the same power.
AnswerID: 490694

Reply By: Jedo_03 - Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 22:30

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 22:30
Waeco have been good to us for over 10 years...
We had a 30L first and used it mostly as a freezer on extended trips (using the van fridge as the fridge - via an Anderson from the vehicle when we were moving) and always kept our meat and vegies frozen...
We gave that one to the daughter (still going good...)
Then we got the 50L, and first big trip with that we had a TWO-ZONE on top which I rigged up with computer fans and cardboard baffles so that the Waeco stayed as a Freezer and the Two-Zone was our '2nd fridge'... That configuration worked well, temperature wise... We installed Fridge/Freezer thermometers in the Waeco Freezer and the Two-Zone fridge and monitored the temps and all stayed at appropriate temps in Darwin and the North in the dry season... But that was the only time we bothered with the Two-Zone cos we didn't really have a need for 2 fridges...
We have done a fair few extended trips up North in the dry season using our Waeco 50L as a Freezer... We have it set at -10 and make sure that meat and vegies are cycled for use within a month...
This trip - we stocked it with Pre-Frozen meat and vegies at home on 18th June and set for -10 degs and hooked up to a 100A AGM in the rear of the Patrol and the only charging has been from the vehicle alternator - and the battery has always been showing over 12V...
We do connect to 240V in CP's...
Waeco's DO pull 3.5-4.0AH... But not constantly...
Keep the Freezer as FULL as you can... The more FROZEN stuff you have inside - the less the motor needs to run... and as another poster has said, get an insulated cover (I use the cover - and we have also added sheets of corrugated cardboard, slid down inside the cover, as added insulation...) and we reckon the motor runs for only about 4 or 5 hours a day... so that's only about 20A... Not a huge drain on a 100A battery...
We are 3+ weeks into our 5 States in 5 Months Trip... anti-clockwise from Broken Hill - Bourke - Longreach - Cloncurry - Townsville - Cairns - Cooktown - Karumba - Mt Isa - Three Ways - Katherine - Pine Creek - Jabiru - Darwin - Katherine - Timber Creek - Kimberleys - Broome - down the coast to Perth and South WA - cross the Nullabor - home for Christmas... The Waeco is showing -10... The van fridge is reading +3... The beer is cold and the meat is frozen...
AnswerID: 490696

Reply By: The Bantam - Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 10:56

Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 10:56
The main difference between the engel and the waco is the motor/compressor.

Engel is owned by swafuji and they make their own unique patented motor........waco is a box fitted with a danfos motor/ compressor.....many other fridges use a danfos motor.

the engel motor may be a little more efficient, rugged and capable of tolerating running off angle and on bumpy roads better, but the danfos motor can achieve a much better temperature difference.

the temperature difference is the difference between the temperature of the outside air and the temperature that can be achieved inside the fridge.

Run as a fridge the engel has enough temp dif to cope with almost any outside air temp you may encounter, but run as a freezer in hot areas it will be running very close to its temperature difference and will become very inefficient.

both the engel and waco have quite poor insulation and thus people report improved performance from the use of covers.

there are a couple of smaller fridge builders that graft a danfos motor onto a pretty decent esky.....they may not be as pretty but thay are far more efficient than either the engel or the waco

Remember as soon as you say the word FREEZE, you at least quadruple the energy consumption of your fridge.

So may people seem to want to drag big fridges and freezers about, there are lots of us that don't think that is very clever.

Remember that -15 is the recomended maximum temperature for a freezer.

we have seen above people claiming that they are running 80 litre freezers on 80 watt pannels with 100 amp hour batteries....sorry folks you are dreaming.
read further and they are running the freezer well above the recomended temperature, running the vehicle to charge or one way or another it simply is not keeping up.

If you want to keep up with a 40 liter fridge reliably on a continuous basis and without flogging your battery you need at least 160 watts of pannels and 200 AH of battery. run as a freezer ( particularly if you are feezing down) and it will no longer be long term reliable and will struggle to keep up, particularly in hot overcast weather.

For those who think their feezer is keeping up...remember it is possible to keep food frozen (not down to -15) in a well prepared good quality icebox for 5 days easy...and that is a total loss system.

Realy.....ask ya self are you running a freezer or are you simply running a slow defroster.

AnswerID: 490713

Follow Up By: rumpig - Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 16:52

Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 16:52
i must be dreaming, because i can keep food frozen in the freezer section for weeks at a time with our set up mentioned above and have done so numerous times. yes the vehicle gets driven at stages and would help charge the battery some, but it's done whilst we tour around looking at stuff, because that's the whole point of going on holidays for us, not sitting around in one spot doing nothing.
i've just asked myself... it's a freezer not a slow defroster, as it keeps our food frozen.
does our freezer go below the magical number you have quoted...maybe it does, i've never looked and i don't really care. what we do works for us, we've had the fridge since 2006, toured lots of the country with a heap of food frozen in the frrezer section and eaten weeks later on the trip and never gotten sick, so obviously it's working for us.
FollowupID: 766117

Reply By: Jedo_03 - Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 20:40

Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 20:40
Well... I must be dreaming as well..!!!
One thing I didn't mention is that WHILE the vehicle is travelling, the FREEZER is powered by the vehicle alternator - and not the AUX battery...
In fact, the alternator keeps the Waeco going AND charges the battery...
So on an average day (as a caravan tourist) with the Waeco always in the back of the vehicle...
(1) when we are on site, the Waeco is connected to 240V
(2) when we leave site, the 240 is disconnected and the Waeco is plugged into the 12v Aux...
As long as the engine is running - the Waeco receives power from the Alternator.
(3) when we reach our destination we stop the engine and leave the Waeco connected to the battery...
The time on battery could be anything from 1 to 6+ hours...
But remember that this FREEZER is chocker full...
When we leave the vehicle, the temp indicator says -10...
When we return to the car, the temp indicator says -10...
No defrosting occuring here...
On another note - the recommended temperatures for frozen products depends on more variables than just the temperature...
Type of food / product...
Bulk size of product... (eg a whole 2.0kg chicken will stay frozen longer than a chicken leg......
Length of time frozen...
Amount of food / product in the freezing compartment...
In all our years of using portable freezers, we have always set the temp at -10 and we are still here to tell the tale...

AnswerID: 490756

Reply By: The Bantam - Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 11:18

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 11:18
It all depends on what you are expecting.

Remember there are plenty of people out there who are on the road continuously or camp away from power for 2, 4, 6 or 8 weeks at a time or longer and leave their fridge at camp entirely dependent on the solar pannels.

There is a very big difference between long and short term expectations.

In anything other than the short term, anything above -15C is simply not safe for frozen food and that is a well proven fact agreed by health authorities world wide......if ya talking about long term frozen storage think more in terms of -20 or better......-10 is on the way to defrosted.......some would say thats barely cold enough for a beer.

(before anybody cracks a darky over this....its was a joke.....the theoretical ideal varies with type but in australian beer is frequently served between 0 and -5C and thats a whole other argument)

Likewise 2 weeks is hardly a long time to keep anything and is far more practicaly achieved by vac packing and storing in the fridge for many things.

there is also a very big difference between stopping things from melting, which is what lots of people are doing rather than actually "freezing" things.

People who hunt or fish do often operate their equipment as "freezers", quite a few people use their equipment to make ice.

This sort of activity is far more demanding and will require a lower temperature setting and will result in the motor running continuously for 24 hours or more.
A single 80 watt pannel and a 100AH battery will not keep up with this for even a day unassiated.

Yep if you are stuffing a device with already properly(better than -15C) frozen food, setting it to -10C and expecting 2 weeks, ya not operating a "freezer", ya operating a power assisted icebox or a slow defroster.....this will demand a great deal less power than the same device being operated as a "freezer".

AnswerID: 490806

Reply By: Jeep Jeep - Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 13:23

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 13:23
Well thankyou to all who have spent the time to comment on my question of Engel v Waeco. I have taken on board many useful tips which i think would not matter which brand you went with. I also think from the comments posted you are either an Engel man or a Waeco man.

I was originally looking to purchase the 80Lt Combi Fridge Freezer plus solar to assist when necessary as our trips for the next several years will be 2 to 3 weeks at a time [until retired] then we plan to travel for extended periods.

My reasoning for puchasing the 80lt now is we have 2 young teenagers who come with us on these trips so the extra size now will be useful as well as when we are travelling for longer periods. Maybe we dont need the 80Lt?


AnswerID: 490822

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