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  1. #1
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    Default Advise on camping fridge.

    HI

    I am looking at getting a camping fridge. As i dont own the 4X4 (yet), i need to consider the size as it will have to go in the car boot. Will i be well served with something along the lines of a WAECO CFX35?http://www.outdoorwarehouse.co.za/wa...e-freezer.html

    I like the AC/DC option as most camp sites have powerpoints and DC for the vehicle while on the road.


    Whats your thoughts/experiences?

  2. #2
    Member Andrew Leigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advise on camping frige

    Firstly you will need a fridge with a low voltage cut out to save your cranking battery if the fridge will be connected to run while the car's ignition is off. The Waeco has this, it is nice to be able to set the low voltage cut out to what you want.

    You don't say how many people will camp from the fridge but 35l is not much space when shops are far.

    I am familiar with Waeco the brand name but have not used their products. Although more expensive, the National Luna 50l would be the way to go for me and it is not much bigger but may not fit the boot.

    Check what the fridges ability is in a given ambient temperature. i.e. in 40deg what can it cool to.
    One too many wasted sunsets and one too many for the road .........

  3. #3

    Default Re: Advise on camping frige

    Of you are going to run a fridge in your vehicle don't attempt it without an auxiliary battery or independent power supply. I know Engel make a model of fridge that is flatter that might suit your purpose. They also have great power options such as dedicated power generators and solar solutions. Their portable fridges have proved themselves to be up there with the best you can buy.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Advise on camping frige

    I would save up a bit more and get an Engel. Second best would be a National Luna. They have the least power consumption and are bullet proof. I would go for a secondhand engel or national luna over a new Waeco anyday.

    I have experience with quite a few fridges and you'll have to go far to beat an Engel, they just are THAT good.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Advise on camping fridge.

    I have a Minus 40 it works very well, can freez meat in no time. Even my beer :-)

    Problem is it eats battery power, I will never run without a dual battery system. I will be pushing my car for sure.

    My point is, depending on the make and model the efficiency and power consumption differ, as a example the engel uses much less power and if you lucky wont kill your battery


    PS - Take jumpers you might need them

  6. #6
    Member Andrew Leigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advise on camping fridge.

    @Springer - For this reason I recommended the settable low voltage cut out as you can set it ensuring that the cranking battery has sufficient power to start the engine. Most internal car 12V supplies turn off when the ignition is turned off which will also circumvent the battery running flat. Most fridges will cope with standing in the sun in the boot while you enjoy your lunch at Wimpy en route. Should you inadvertently leave the ignition on then the LV cut out will protect you. You cannot however expect to have the fridge powered by the car when not moving as this will result in problems and this is where the dual battery comes in.

    @Michaelrp - On the 4X4 website you will find that the boys rate the Nat Luna way in front, service, features, efficiency, everything. SnoMaster comes in second (were part of the original Nat Luna team) and then you get the rest. Now not dissing Engel and the rest (Engel in their heyday were regarded as the best) but the 4X4 guys are the boys in the know in my opinion. Service for me is important as are local spares.

    I think you get many good products out there and sometimes it comes down to application rather than make, I would opt for the option with a Danfoss compressor. I bought a SnoMaster as the internal configuration met our needs, I simply could not find that in Nat Luna or any of the other fridges. I wanted a 30:70 Freezer/Fridge split and only Snomaster did this. I also did not want the awkward "L" shape in the freezer compartment as is was not efficient for packing stuff, the SnoMaster did not have the "L" shape. So despite wanting to have a Nat Luna I opted for the SnoMaster. So for me application came before brand.
    Last edited by Andrew Leigh; 17-12-2014 at 08:33.
    One too many wasted sunsets and one too many for the road .........

  7. #7

    Default Re: Advise on camping fridge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Leigh View Post
    @Springer - For this reason I recommended the settable low voltage cut out as you can set it ensuring that the cranking battery has sufficient power to start the engine. Most internal car 12V supplies turn off when the ignition is turned off which will also circumvent the battery running flat. Most fridges will cope with standing in the sun in the boot while you enjoy your lunch at Wimpy en route. Should you inadvertently leave the ignition on then the LV cut out will protect you. You cannot however expect to have the fridge powered by the car when not moving as this will result in problems and this is where the dual battery comes in.

    @Michaelrp - On the 4X4 website you will find that the boys rate the Nat Luna way in front, service, features, efficiency, everything. SnoMaster comes in second (were part of the original Nat Luna team) and then you get the rest. Now not dissing Engel and the rest (Engel in their heyday were regarded as the best) but the 4X4 guys are the boys in the know in my opinion. Service for me is important as are local spares.

    I think you get many good products out there and sometimes it comes down to application rather than make, I would opt for the option with a Danfoss compressor. I bought a SnoMaster as the internal configuration met our needs, I simply could not find that in Nat Luna or any of the other fridges. I wanted a 30:70 Freezer/Fridge split and only Snomaster did this. I also did not want the awkward "L" shape in the freezer compartment as is was not efficient for packing stuff, the SnoMaster did not have the "L" shape. So despite wanting to have a Nat Luna I opted for the SnoMaster. So for me application came before brand.
    Thanks Andrew. The Voltage Sensitive Relay(VSR) will go somewhere to keeping power on your cranking battery however it will not be ideal with only one battery. Ideally you need a deep cycle battery and a VSR to cut off your cranking battery once the car is off if there is any intention to use the vehicle to power the fridge without running into problems, I certainly wouldn't recommend anyone use a single car battery to run a fridge for any length of time. There are also many options to power the fridge off an independent power source if one is away from Eskom power. If the OP is just using the family sedan I would suggest adding all the extras to run a fridge might be a little OTT. But each to his own.

  8. #8
    Member Andrew Leigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advise on camping fridge.

    Agreed 100% Springer.

    I have a dual battery system in my Tuna and it gives me peace of mind. The dual battery runs both my car fridge and the caravan fridge, through and inverter, while driving. I can stop for 6 hours and both will run at full volume without affecting my cranking battery. But there was a cost to that and often camping is about affordability.

    I used to go to the Kruger and by the time I got into camp my fridge used to be at 14 -16deg C, got sick and tired of that so now I am waxed , warm lettuce is not a problem but warm beer is.

    To the OP. I camped for about 7 years (in the Kruger) with only a Coleman 48 Cooler box. If you are clever, make sure you stuff is sealed, keep the cooler in the shade with blankets over it you will be amazed at what can be achieved with ice and a cooler box.
    One too many wasted sunsets and one too many for the road .........

  9. #9

    Default Re: Advise on camping fridge.

    And to add... there is NOTHING better than a bitterly chilled beer out of an Engel :)

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Advise on camping fridge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Leigh View Post
    Agreed 100% Springer.

    I have a dual battery system in my Tuna and it gives me peace of mind. The dual battery runs both my car fridge and the caravan fridge, through and inverter, while driving. I can stop for 6 hours and both will run at full volume without affecting my cranking battery. But there was a cost to that and often camping is about affordability.

    I used to go to the Kruger and by the time I got into camp my fridge used to be at 14 -16deg C, got sick and tired of that so now I am waxed , warm lettuce is not a problem but warm beer is.

    To the OP. I camped for about 7 years (in the Kruger) with only a Coleman 48 Cooler box. If you are clever, make sure you stuff is sealed, keep the cooler in the shade with blankets over it you will be amazed at what can be achieved with ice and a cooler box.
    Thanks for the replies guys, i think the fridge will be on hold for now, as my needs are not seriously long camps or road trips, just few days weekend breakaways. I do the coolerbox thing but thought it was time for a descent fridge. I did some reading on the 4x4 forums and seems its just a bit too much pt with all the extras (extra battery,etc.)that will go into a normal car.

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