12v fridges

Shauny.raff

New Member
G’day, I’m in the market for a 12v ideally 60L fridge to take camping. I’m aware that Engel has the best name and reputation out there but wanted to know if I could save some money going else where. I’ve heard the kings fridges aren’t too bad for the low price tag, what else is pretty good but won’t cost an arm and a leg?
 

red hilux

Well-Known Member
Spend your money one and do it right.
Waeco is good too.

Biggest tI can give you.
Make sure you can see the condenser pipes inside the fridge. ( you can see the pipes that cools the fridge down )
If the condenser pipes aren’t in the fridge, then they are inside the walls of the fridge. This is a very inefficient fridge. Don’t buy it.
 

darb

Well-Known Member
i went with a CFX75 Dual zone because i wanted a fair amount of space in it, yet not a "tall" fridge because I access sideways from a canopy window and prefer a wide but shallower/fatter design. Went with Dometic as it had two proper bins that run independantly of each other, whereas nothing in the ENgel range did that for me ... they have dividers and such but still rely on a "set it really cold and it will bleed some cold into the other section" methodolgy. Whereas the CFX DZ's are two completely independant cooling circuits, but still powered by one compressor.

For the literage, the cabinet size isn't over the top whereas other DZ's that have slightly better thermal efficiency, had big thick cabinets - chewing up more space for lesser literage. Power is abundant, storage space isn't.

Sometimes I run one bin at -18, the other at 3c. Most of the time I just run the bigger bin at 2c and food bin at 3c. Sometimes i'll turn one bin off entirely.

make sure you get one where the evap plates go all the way around, and not a stupid "dairy section" which robs you of useable actual space and typically sits 10c higher than the actual fridge bit.

I've had Engels, i feel they're more expensive, yet not as feature rich. Engels are said to be a bit more reliable over years (though i don't know about the latest gens) ... but are heavier, get dented becaues they're metal, rattle more (ours did), and I don't like their latching system compared to the big boofy lids of the CFX series. The hard plastics don't den't/bend and are lighter. My other fridge is a Waeco (dometic) CF-50, it's never missed a beat in many years stuck in a 4wd.

I detest Kings Brand in general. I'd stick with Dometic or Engel.
I paid I think $1299 for the CFX75DZW.

Whatever you buy, make sure you get it connected to power using Anderson Plug and do away with the ciggy lighter connection - and turn off any of the bullshit battery smarts of the fridge (manage your power at system level, not fridge level).

I put rubber/foam scuff padding all around mine as it gets smashed with gear in the tray. I don't use a bag.
the fridge has loads of grunt and gets down to temp very well, even when i throw a tonne of hot stuff into it.

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Albynsw

Well-Known Member
As Darb has mentioned. Size and lid orientation is important to consider for your particular setup regardless of what brand you are considering
As a side now , a mate who has had both Engel and Waeco over the last 15 years bought an Aldi fridge about a year ago and is happy with it
 

Warby

Well-Known Member
Spend your money one and do it right.
Waeco is good too.

Biggest tI can give you.
Make sure you can see the condenser pipes inside the fridge. ( you can see the pipes that cools the fridge down )
If the condenser pipes aren’t in the fridge, then they are inside the walls of the fridge. This is a very inefficient fridge. Don’t buy it.
Got an example of what you mean? Every fridge i've ever seen has the pipes in the wall/floor of the fridge, so that it's not intruding on the bin space..

Forgot to add... I bought a Waeco CF-50 just before Christmas. Not long enough to really give too much of an opinion on it, but so far I'm happy with it. It's lived in my garage as a drinks fridge since I got it home and it's been on a few 4wd daytrips and 1 overnighter so far without issue,
 
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Aaron Schubert

Moderator
Evakool are good, and Kickass are supposed to be OK too.

I have had 3 of the Evakools (still have two) and never had any issues with them.

Aaron
 

stevemc181

Well-Known Member
I'lll never run another engel unless they get with the times, the internal condensor plates are a pain in the ass to clean behind if anything gets spilled. I sold 2 x 38 litre engels and now run a 90 litre dual zone Kickass (EvaKool) fridge, yep it can be a thirsty beast when I've got one side set to freeze @ -15, but who cares, a decent dual battery and fire up the solar panels and she's all good. I needed a fridge to fit within a specific space, and the Kickass was the only large fridge that would fit where I needed it to. No complaints in the couple of years I've had it, does the job well.
 

darb

Well-Known Member
I'lll never run another engel unless they get with the times, the internal condensor plates are a pain in the ass to clean behind if anything gets spilled. I sold 2 x 38 litre engels and now run a 90 litre dual zone Kickass (EvaKool) fridge, yep it can be a thirsty beast when I've got one side set to freeze @ -15, but who cares, a decent dual battery and fire up the solar panels and she's all good. I needed a fridge to fit within a specific space, and the Kickass was the only large fridge that would fit where I needed it to. No complaints in the couple of years I've had it, does the job well.
they look like good kit. Are they a single compressor and each zone gets its share of the juice (same as the dometics do - only one bin gets cooling at any one time, they alternate if both are demanding which is rare) or does it run two compressors?

How do you find having the controls at the feet level instead of top of fridge?
 

stevemc181

Well-Known Member
they look like good kit. Are they a single compressor and each zone gets its share of the juice (same as the dometics do - only one bin gets cooling at any one time, they alternate if both are demanding which is rare) or does it run two compressors?

How do you find having the controls at the feet level instead of top of fridge?

Not 100% Sure, but I'd think it is only 1 compressor. I don't have any drama with the controls, I use a wireless thermometer display in my overhead sunglasses holder, so I can glance up and see the temp of each compartment at anytime. The fridge also comes with a wireless app, this is a bit of a pain to use compared to the later bluetooth models though, so I don't bother.
 

darb

Well-Known Member
Not 100% Sure, but I'd think it is only 1 compressor. I don't have any drama with the controls, I use a wireless thermometer display in my overhead sunglasses holder, so I can glance up and see the temp of each compartment at anytime. The fridge also comes with a wireless app, this is a bit of a pain to use compared to the later bluetooth models though, so I don't bother.
Sweet. Yeah the dometics have the wifi app too, i leave it switched off for the most part and do the same as you ... in-cabin monitoring of two wifi senders that live in the fridge itself (i do this so i can actually monitor at different sections in the bin , eg some food will be warmer at the very top) ... and just to double check what the fridge is doing (incase its own thermistor goes awry which is a common problem). So far they're spot on.

I like having the in cab monitoring like you say... its at a glance ... when my boy was about 1 or 2, he used to go turning the damn fridge off! They have an alarm also if sensor goes above a certain temp (i.e someone left a lid open or power problem...)

the readout unit is mounted above my rear view mirror now (attached photo was just when i was first testing).
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Wheresmycat

Member
Just to throw a spanner in the works and no idea of your set up, but if it fits your application have a look at the upright fridges.
Got a 130l in the back of my canopy, and it's bloody brilliant. 160w solar panel on the roof is more than enough to keep the battery at charge in 40+ heat (insulation in the canopy has a bit to do with this). Way smaller foot print, easy access to everything and no fridge slide required.
 

red hilux

Well-Known Member
Got an example of what you mean? Every fridge i've ever seen has the pipes in the wall/floor of the fridge, so that it's not intruding on the bin space..


Here is my old fridge. The condensor pipes were internal of the side walls. You had to actually cool the walls of the fridge down to cool the internal compartment. This fridge had 3 ( from memory ) layers of metal of sorts between the pipes and the fridge.

That fridge also have the evaporator pipes in the walls aswell. So I had hot pipes, cold pipes, then unknowingly I bought a fridge bag and tryied to insulate the fridge more. when really I needed to let the heat out, not trap it in. D183E6E3-F786-46F3-9147-4C205C39DDB9.jpeg
Here is my waeco cfx75dz. The condenser pipes are internal to the fridge. Mounted on the side walls, not in the side walls
 

Warby

Well-Known Member


Here is my old fridge. The condensor pipes were internal of the side walls. You had to actually cool the walls of the fridge down to cool the internal compartment. This fridge had 3 ( from memory ) layers of metal of sorts between the pipes and the fridge.

That fridge also have the evaporator pipes in the walls aswell. So I had hot pipes, cold pipes, then unknowingly I bought a fridge bag and tryied to insulate the fridge more. when really I needed to let the heat out, not trap it in. View attachment 66164
Here is my waeco cfx75dz. The condenser pipes are internal to the fridge. Mounted on the side walls, not in the side walls
Ok cheers, now I think I'm with you... Looks like the Evacool/Rydge Rider didn't have any kind of condensor plate like in the Waeco, but instead was just pipes tucked away inside the insulation behind the fibreglass. Whereas the Waeco has the condensor plate effectively acting as one of the walls of the bin. Is that right?

I'll have to have a look in my CF50 when I get home. Got me curious now hah.
 

ROXY

Active Member
The condenser in a a/c system is what changes the gas from a vapour to a liquid by the means of cooling. It dissipates heat by doing so. The pipes you see internal in any fridge are the evaporator pipes. A condenser in a car sits in front of the radiator. A condenser in a split system is what's outside using a fan to cool the gas emitting heat. Evaperators are what's cold. Cheers
 

stevemc181

Well-Known Member
in cabin above rear mirror (well, rear facing camera - i don't have a rear mirror).
Exactly the same temp monitor I use, works well, I thought the remote sender in the freezer might have battery issues, but they seem to last ok.
 
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