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Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
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Slightly less popular topic than which tyres or which stove but here goes.
I have notice that National lunar and Waeco and for all I know other manifactureres use the same compressors, a BD35F.
Waeco sell these compressors as seperate units and all the electircs needed to build your own cool box. This includes low voltage cut of switch and 'power management system' and more. http://www.waeco.com/pages/home/index.htm
It looks to me as if National Lunar use the same componants as found on the Waeco site.
Engel fridges get recommended but their energy consumption with the motor running is around the same as the others.
Waeco in the UK, litre for litre, seems to be half the price of the others. Apart from the need to hide the name badge is there any other reason that a Waeco is not as good?
Is it a question of Waeco being less strong or less well insulated? There is an optional thermal jacket for the Waeco just as there is for the National Lunar and the Engel.
I have only used the Engel and seen only one Waeco so I'm no expert, but it seems that a lot of people swear by the reliability of the Engel over all others. From what I’ve seen the Engel is more robust and thicker insulation than the Waeco and it had no problems making ice in the heat of the Sahara…. Not bad .
I also had an engel which worked beautifully. One other thing to look out for is that the fridge you buy will work at extreme angles. This is another bit of functionality that pushes up the price of these units.
I have a -40, improved by sealing the electronics and redoing the electrical connections. It has a Danfoss compressor and a Waeco(?) control unit. So, it seems that whatever you buy, you will end up with internals from the same suppliers. The difference is in the quality of the box and the standard of assembly and finish.
Thanks for recommendations. I was leaning towards an Engel an now feel better about spending the money.
I might see if the Waeco low battery cut out switch can be used on the Engel. On the Waeco web site this look like a small box that goes on the power supply lead. It seems like a good idea to prevent flattening completely the auxillary.
If a proper deep cycle battery is used for the fridge, it can be dischanged several hundred times but it should not remain in that state too long. The gizmo you mention is more useful to prevent a starter battery from running flat.
Ive used the Waeco CCF-18 -(18Litre) on a six month trip (West Africa)- and it was fine - I bought this as it was the right size for 2 people - without having lots of wasted space and I was in a Defender 90, so using a larger Engel was not really an option - just too big.
The fridge/freezer performed flawlessly and was on every day except 2 - in 6 months pretty good - coped with corrogations no problem and 50+ degree heat in Mali. If you have plenty of room and enough cash, go for an Engel, if not the Waeco's are pretty good - maybe not as well insulated, but very usable.
The best setup Ive used is Twin starting batteries in Parrallel (for starting, winch, work and spot lights, etc) and then a split charger to a Third (deep cycle) battery for the fridge and flourescent lights and anything else that could be left on and potentially flatten a battery.
I could run the fridge/lights for 2-3 days with no problem whilst in a camp site. I also took a small trickle charger that I could use at camp sites to keep the deep cycle battery charged if we were there for longer - so I didnt have to static run the vehicle. I was able to get electricity at a few camp sites no problem (for free)- so it WAS worth taking a power lead and travel kettle ! - also it meant I could charge my camera battery up with the charger locked in the vehicle - quite handy.
Ex Drago Driver, LRE Instructor,
LR 90 300 Tdi Overlander
Suzuki DR650 Overlander
..and Bloody Nice Bloke!
I use an Engel and its excellent. I have a solar panel mounted on the roof rack that puts the same charge into the battery that the Engel (with transit bag, which insulates) removes. Excellent but expensive. I went for Engel over NL and Waeco because of a) reliability and b) network of service dealers
I used the same Waeco as Griph on 10 months trans africa. The fan got noisy towards the end, but at home, after getting about a kg of dust out of the fridges internals, the noise was gone and the fridge is as good as ever.
In my opinion, the additional cost of an Engel is only worth it if you're spending an awfull lot of time on the road. Much more then a couple of months every few years.
If you get time I would be interested in what solar set up you have and its supplier.
Sorry Tony for late reply.
The panel is a Shell-Siemens 40W, sourced from A B Butt in Leicester (who could not have been more helpful - and I am an electronic imbecile). It runs to a charge controller whose type aaargh I cant remember.... then it dumps the power in my auxilliary battery which has a split charge.
Remembered the type of charge controller - its a SolSum 5.0, again from A B Butt.
I have various voltmeters and whatnots connected up which tell me that when the sun is shining strongly the panel puts in what the fridge drains out. Obviously thats not always!! I have got lots of insulation round the fridge though which cuts down the heat leakage....
The whole lot cost me 200 sterling in the summer. Its all DIY-fittable, and took about two days. The panel is across the front of my roof rack. If you want I can email pix.
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