Recommendations for a new 60 litre upright camper trailer fridge ?

Submitted: Tuesday, May 10, 2022 at 20:14
ThreadID: 143686 Views:804 Replies:5 FollowUps:13
G'day All

I purchased a 15yo Campomatic camper trailer last year fitted with a 60 litre Coolmatic fridge and I'm pretty sure the fridge is not working as it should - it clunks and bangs every 40 odd minutes and drains the battery within about 8 hours.

Had a search on the net and there are a few that look suitable as far as power use etc go but just asking you learned people for your opinions as there is a fair difference in price between some of them.

Really only need the 12 volt option but I guess some of the 12/240 ones could come in handy on the very rare occasions I use a caravan park.

Look forward to your replies


Cheers
Gazz
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Reply By: qldcamper - Wednesday, May 11, 2022 at 07:47

Wednesday, May 11, 2022 at 07:47
I would at least pull the old fridge out and look at it.
Could be a simple worn rubber compressor mount causing the clunking.
Measure the current draw, may be the battery thats not up to scratch, depends on what you call a flat battery, if you think 50 ah from a 100 ah battery is flat then 8 to 10 hours is about right if the compressor isnt cutting out.
AnswerID: 640487

Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Wednesday, May 11, 2022 at 07:56

Wednesday, May 11, 2022 at 07:56
I swapped batteries and still cannot get more than 8 hours out of the fridge in 15 degree temperature while the 60 litre fridge in the car goes for 3 days on the same battery ( one I swapped ) in the same temperature !

Figured at 15yo it might pay to get a new more economical fridge

Thanks for the reply

Cheers
Gazz
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FollowupID: 919564

Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Wednesday, May 11, 2022 at 09:32

Wednesday, May 11, 2022 at 09:32
Hi Gaz,

My 60 Ltr. Engel is over 18 years old, bought in late 2003, and is still going strong. What size battery are you trying to run it from? Considering that it is most likely drawing in excess of 4 amps per hour, that is nearly 100 amps in any 24 hour period. Yes, it may have seen better days, how well is it insulated in the position it is sitting in?

If looking to replace, are you thinking another upright, or a “chest” type? I prefer chest type, as I believe that you can fit more into a chest type than an upright, as you can stack things on top of one another. Also, they lose less “cold air” when you open them. I would recommend Engel, expensive yes, reliable, absolutely. There is a reason why there are so many Engels that are well over 20 years old and still going strong. As well as an Engel, I also have a 35 Ltr. Waeco that is over 10 years old.

Macca.
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AnswerID: 640492

Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Wednesday, May 11, 2022 at 17:03

Wednesday, May 11, 2022 at 17:03
Howdy Macca

The camper came with a 120 AH AGM but after the first time use of the fridge which only cooled for 2 hours I figured the battery was stuffed. Gave it a good long charge on my Ctek charger on the work bench at home but 3 days later it was at 10.7 volts just sitting on the bench. So I took the 120 amp hr battery out of my Ranger and put it in the camper for last weekends 3 day camp down at Mount Gambier and after about 6 hours on day one which was only about 14 degrees max and raining the battery was down to 11.0

I have a 50 litre Waeco which I bought back in 2005 in my PX Ranger and that would last 3 days without driving in those temps. I have a 60 litre ARB fridge in my Landcruiser which I took the camper to the Mount with and after 3 days the 2nd battery, 90 amp hr was 11.3 and no probs.

Now I think back and remember the previous owner telling me about four times how good the fridge works - I reckon that was his way of not telling me the fridge was stuffed lol

The Campomatic Camper trailer has a tapered front storage section and unfortunately a chest type fridge won't fit. Engel do a 57 litre upright that runs on 12 and 240 which is a bit dearer than some of the 12 volt only fridges available which from memory draws about 2.4 amps per hour.

Had a 60 litre Engel for about 12 years but it gave me more trouble than the Waeco.

I will get it sorted eventually

Appreciate your reply

Cheers
Gazz

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Follow Up By: qldcamper - Thursday, May 12, 2022 at 05:30

Thursday, May 12, 2022 at 05:30
That means your fridge is drawing 20 plus amps to do that to a 120 ah battery.
Do some measurements, dont sound right to me.
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Thursday, May 12, 2022 at 09:47

Thursday, May 12, 2022 at 09:47
It certainly sounds like your fridge is “on the fritz”. Perhaps getting it assessed by a refrigeration mechanic might be a good idea, it might end up being a simple fix, not too expensive. Whatever you decide to do, if buying a new fridge, look up all the reviews you can on line, and I don’t mean Facebook. The old adage, “buy cheap, buy twice”, is certainly true in most cases.

Macca.
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Reply By: Gbc.. - Wednesday, May 11, 2022 at 14:21

Wednesday, May 11, 2022 at 14:21
I had a campomatic M3 with that fridge. They are awful things. Try putting over centre catches on the door at the top and bottom. The doors bend over time from cans etc falling down and jamming against the door.
I hate uprights for off-road work.
I ended up getting rid of the trailer before I ditched the fridge. My next trailer had a chest fridge and the trailer after that. Nil issues ever again.
AnswerID: 640496

Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Wednesday, May 11, 2022 at 21:03

Wednesday, May 11, 2022 at 21:03
G'day Gbc

"I hate uprights for off-road work."

Understand fully - both my 4wd's have chest fridges and no probs. When I ran my tours I had a 50 litre Waeco, a 60 litre Engel and a 60 litre Trailblazer which was the best fridge ever but only suited to the back of tray tops really with their size - only fridge that worked when the temps got well into the 40's !!

I only got this camper to keep the missus happy as she now refuses to sleep in a swag, so not too much off-road work these days when she comes - especially after she broke her nose on the dash when I played a bit too hard a few years ago lol ! The camper is more for touring.

Cheers
Gazz
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FollowupID: 919579

Reply By: nickb - Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 02:06

Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 02:06
I’m onto my third Engel 57L upright. Had a great run with them, all picked up secondhand for $250 or less and all in great condition. Keep an eye on Gumtree/Marketplace, everyone seems to want chest fridges so the uprights go cheap.

When tested on temp 5 (maximum cold setting) they use about 50Ah in 24hrs. When at my normal setting of 2.5/3 it uses about 25-30Ah in 24hrs.
AnswerID: 640524

Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 08:31

Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 08:31
G'day Nick

My camper won't take a chest fridge so upright it is.

Narrowed my choice down to a Bushman 65 litre and the Engel 57 litre. Looking at new, the engel is cheaper and already comes with 240 and the Bushman's needs a 240 to 12 adaptor. I don't really need 240 but it would come in handy at times.

Thanks for the reply

Cheers and cold beers
Gazz
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 11:25

Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 11:25
Gazz,

This is an Engel 80L, containing the staples of life. Even some Moscato cans in there too.



Done numerous Simpson trips, CSR & a number of Beadell tracks, with no dramas. The 57L should perform just as well?

Bob


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Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 11:56

Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 11:56
Howdy Bob

The Engel works out a fair bit cheaper than the Bushman's and I have no doubt will do the job nicely !

Still weighing up my options including taking the current fridge out to have it looked at but where I live makes it a bit of a hassle with the loss of half a day to drop it off and another half a day to pick it up.

Thanks for the reply

Cheers
Gazz
Ps considering where you live shouldn't there be Great Northern's in your fridge :)
1
FollowupID: 919611

Follow Up By: Kazza055 - Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 12:13

Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 12:13
Gazza, have you looked at the Brass Monkey fridges, they have upright fridges in many sizes.
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FollowupID: 919612

Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 12:18

Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 12:18
G'day Kazza

Had a quick look but seemed to have a few negative reviews - luck of the draw I guess.

They are very reasonably cheap compared to others

Appreciate your reply

Cheers
Gazz
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FollowupID: 919613

Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 14:38

Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 14:38
We drink that 3.5 at work, Gazz, well, after work, so just stick with the devil I know.

Bob

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Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: OzzieCruiser - Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 14:53

Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 14:53
In bought a 50l upright fridge to replace my 3way in my camper - has a freezer section and the other usuals - works Ok until I lend it to a friend when he moved house and needed a fridge.

Kept his milk fine but he complained that the freezer while able to make ice cubes had trouble freezing his left over curries and the ice cream kept on melting. I thought it must have been an issue with the fridge and went back and checked the specs - the so called freezer is not actually a freezer but a chiller box (ice maker) and the specs say when turned up to max the max temp in the freezer is only -3degrees C so really too warm to freeze and keep food/icecream frozen.

I just looked at the specs of the upright Brass Monkey fridges and they do not specify the freezer temp capacity so if considering a Brass Monkey or one of the other generic brands I would check this. I see Brass Monkey with their 50l model are calling their freezer an 'internal ice compartment' - so something to check.
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FollowupID: 919615

Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 15:02

Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 15:02
G'day OzzieCruiser

Certainly something to consider as some I have researched don't have a door on the freezer so you wonder how they would work.

Appreciate the reply

Cheers
Gazz
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FollowupID: 919616

Reply By: Dean K3 - Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 14:38

Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 14:38
No association nor have I used them look at bushman fridges similar in size to engel. similar current draw from memory Australian manufactured

one thing I discovered last year folks have a engel fitted to their camper upright 60 odd litre variant. appear they had a fauilt in the circuitry meaning when 240 v applied it would pop a link in circuit.

serviced by Engel dealer prior to trip no fault found replaced link. same thing occurred by time they got to Newman replicated few hours later before Nullagine -get the idea.

ended up having a retrofit 12v board sent up from Perth, fitted up in Broome . No problems since.

a few mods to cabinet i made to improve airflow cut in vents above below fridge installed couple of fans to get airflow running. but oddly this increased the fridge temperature by a few degrees with fan running.
AnswerID: 640527

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