Reviews

  • Choosing the right generator to power your air conditioner

    Check out all the specs at http://www.generatoryamaha.com.au/

  • Correction Notice

    The following has been published on the 4WD Action Magazine website;

    CORRECTION NOTICE FROM VIPAC ENGINEERS AND SCIENTISTS LIMITED- 2015 FRIDGE COMPARO ENGEL 40L FRIDGE FREEZER POWER CONSUMPTION RESULT

    In issue 228 (January 2015) 4WD Action published the "2015 Fridge Comparo" article in which a number of 12V 4WD fridges were compared against various criteria, including their power consumption.

    The findings of the "Fridge Comparo" were based in part on test data provided by Vipac Engineers and Scientists Limited, the laboratory that conducted the independent testing of the fridges.

    Since publication it has been discovered that there was an error in the power consumption data provided to the magazine in respect of the Engel 40L fridge/freezer (MT45FP).

    Regrettably, as a result, the power consumption for the Engel model reported in the Comparo as being 956 watt hours per day, should in fact have been reported as being the lower figure of 34.42 amp hours per day.

    Vipac Engineers and Scientists Limited

    The following has been published on the Waeco website;

    Waeco has recently published comparative advertising material which stated that the Engel 40L fridge/freezer (MT45FP) consumed power at the rate of 80amp hours per day which was converted from a result of 956 watt hours per day published in Australian 4WD Action Issue #228.

    Waeco has since been advised by Vipac Engineers and Scientists Limited, the Laboratory that conducted the independent testing, that this result was incorrect, as the Engel 40L fridge/freezer only used 34.42 amp hours per day.

    Waeco apologizes unreservedly for publishing the incorrect information.

  • Engel Fridge Slide Review

    engel fridge slide 40L 60L 80L side slideAs a market leader in portable fridges, it's comforting to know that Engel is no slouch when it comes to providing quality accessories to go along with them. Fridge Slides are always considered a must-have accessory if you're planning on keeping your fridge stored inside your vehicle for any length of time, and once again, Engel has you covered here in spades.

    Engel's slides come in four main sizes: the 515SLIDE is perfect for smaller 15L fridges, the 525SLIDE will fit up to a 21L Engel fridge, the 530-540SLIDE stores up to a 40L unit, and the 560SLIDE is your go to for up to 80L. In addition, those looking for a Side Slide that slides out along the short ends instead of the long are also in good hands, with Engel's 540XSLIDE side slide for 40L models, and the 560XSLIDE for up to 80L.

    Regardless of size, all of Engel's slides feature a solid steel construction, meaning that they're built to last, and in a nice addition, they also feature a solid steel tray instead of trays that contain large gaps that can be found in other brands of slide. What this means is that the slide can be used for much more than storing your portable fridge. With the solid steel tray, you could also just as easily use the slide for cookers and camp kitchens, toolboxes, ice boxes, camp cupboards, battery packs - just about anything you'd like to have easy access to during your travels.

    Included with each slide is a set of brackets and turnbuckles for securing your fridge to the slide. Simply unscrew your fridge's handles, place the brackets on, and refit the handles back to the fridge. The turnbuckles then secure the fridge to the slide via the handle brackets. The brackets fitting snugly beneath the handles is a nice touch, which means you don't have to remove them entirely.

    Those that own Engel's MR40F Eclipse are covered as well, as Engel has an Eclipse Slide Kit (ECLKIT) available to suit that unit.

    If you're looking for a solid, versatile, well-made slide for your fridge, that also has the added benefit of having dozens of other uses, without breaking the bank, Engel's range of Fridge Slides are definitely worth a look.

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  • Engel Smart Battery Box Review

    engel smart battery box battbox dual battery system portableEngel are a well known name in the portable fridge market, providing some of the most reliable, high quality and innovative fridges to campers and travellers right across the country. But what about powering these fridges? What do Engel have that will help keep your fridge running day in, day out as you venture across the countryside? Luckily for us, Engel not only produce quality fridges, but quality accessories to go along with them, like the Engel Smart Battery Box.

    Engel's Smart Battery Box does more than just power your fridge, though. The box turns a normal deep-cycle battery into a complete portable power station, ensuring that you'll keep not just your fridge running, but your laptop, phone, iPod, power tools, speakers, TV, lights, and just about anything else you can plug into it.

    With a built-in 150W Inverter, the Smart Battery Box hosts a plethora of sockets to suit a wide range of devices, including a 12v cigarette lighter socket, 240v socket, Anderson socket, and even a USB socket to keep those handheld devices running that we can't seem to live without.

    Operating the Smart Battery Box is a breeze - simply insert and connect your deep-cycle battery of choice, turn it on, let it sync to the battery's levels, and you're away. The Smart Battery Box accepts all major types of batteries, such as Gel, Calcium, Lead Acid and AGM, and works with batteries up to 130Ah - more than enough power to keep your fridge running for a few days.

    Not only does it greatly increase the utility of your battery, but the box also contains a powerful 6 Amp, 7 stage Smart Charger that will charge your battery for you when connected to 12v or 240v power, your vehicle's anderson connection, or solar panels. A handy digital display gives you a live feed of your battery's current charge, and even alerts you to any faults that the battery may have. It's worth noting that the 240v Charger is sold separately, and at about $100, it's not a cheap addition - it would have been nice to see this included as part of the package, as it's very likely something you're going to want to have.

    Being a portable system, the Smart Battery Box provides a great, flexible and much more affordable alternative to installing a dual-battery system in your vehicle - an exercise that can set you back somewhere in the vicinity of $1500 or so. Just plug it in to your vehicle's cigarette lighter socket via the included 12v to 12v DC charger, and let the Smart Charger take care of the rest.

    For use with a standard 40L portable fridge, we recommend using a 120Ah Deep Cycle AGM battery, which will run fridge that size for about 2 - 2.5 days. Connected to a 120W Solar Panel, the Smart Battery Box will charge your battery back to full in about 5-6 hours of good sunlight. The box can also charge while in operation, meaning you can have your fridge connected to the Smart Battery Box while it's recharging via solar panel, providing a potentially limitless amount of power.

    It's also worth giving a nod to the Smart Battery Box's environmentally friendly operation. As opposed to a generator, the Smart Battery box is silent, requires no fuel, and produces zero emissions, which means you'll be helping to keep this beautiful country of ours clean and healthy for the kids and grandkids to follow.

    All-in-all, the Engel Smart Battery Box is one of the best portable power solutions available on the market. It's easy to use, costs nothing to run, is fully portable, and provides great utility for your battery - a great addition to any camper's kit.

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  • Engel MR40F Eclipse Review

    engel mr40f eclipse 38L 40L portable fridgeEngel has been a household name when it comes to portable fridges for decades, and is one of the leading manufacturers in the portable fridge industry. And while Engel's products are renowned for their quality and reliability, they also often carry a price tag to match, which can make or break the decision for many on whether or not to take the plunge.

    Luckily, Engel have come to the party with a cheaper alternative in the MR40F Eclipse that not only packs all the Engel goodness into a slick 40L package, but does so without breaking the bank.

    To fit into the lower price point, Engel have made a few changes to their tried-and-true formula. The Eclipse's case and lid features a polypropylene construction; a durable, hardy plastic as opposed to the heavy, more solid steel cases of their Platinum series. There's some sacrifice in durability and longevity here, but it also means the Eclipse is quite light for it's size at 22kg.

    Handles on the MR40F are plastic also, though they are arguably more comfortable than the steel handles on the Platinum series when it comes to moving the unit around, and feel nice and sturdy. Some corners have been cut when looking at the lid latches however, which are plastic also, and could be prone to snapping if rough-housed too much. Engel do sell replacement latches separately should the need arise.

    In a handy little feature, the fridge features a removable and reversible lid, allowing you to hinge it from whichever side you prefer.

    Inside, though, you won't find a cheaper no-name branded compressor, but Engel's famed Sawafuji swing motor - the very same compressor used in their more expensive lines. With only a single moving part, which minimizes the chance of fault and increases the lifespan of the unit, the inclusion of the Sawafuji almost makes the MR40F Eclipse worth the price of entry alone.

    The Eclipse also features the dual 12/24v and 240v sockets found in it's flashier cousins, and comes with both cables in the box. Remarkably, the fridge is also backed by Engel's 3 Year Warranty, giving you the same peace of mind that comes with buying a more expensive Engel product.

    Controls on the MR40F still hold to the old-school dial based system with a digital display, rather than making the leap to the fully digital features of the more expensive MT Platinum fridges. It's a feature that is sorely missed after experiencing the ease of use the Digital Series' affords, though they are still perfectly functional, and for the price, you can understand the reason for the exclusion.

    Whilst not being the flashiest unit at the party, and with some sacrifices being made to lower the price, the Engel MR40F Eclipse nonetheless impressively contains all the quality and reliability you've come to expect from Engel. And at under $800 for an Engel-made 40L unit, it makes the perfect entry point for those looking to get the Engel name and reliability at an affordable price.

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  • Engel MT60FCP Combi Digital Series Review

    engel MT60FCP Combi fridge freezer digital 60LWhen you think of portable fridges, Engel is often one of the first names that come to mind, and for good reason. The industry leader has been at the forefront of popularity and reliability for over 50 years with their range of heavy duty steel-cased fridges, and now they're back with a new range that is sure to please the camping and travelling crowd.

    Enter Engel's MT60FCP Combi Digital Series, a new entry into the 60L size range aimed at small families or couples looking to take an extended getaway. Released alongside their MT60FP model, the Combi unit features many of the same features found in it's single-zone compatriot, though this model features a handy dual zone setup.

    As with the rest of Engel's current Platinum range, the MT60FCP Combi has a strong, well made steel case, which provides the best wear-and-tear available on the market - one of the reasons you see 30 year old Engel's still going strong regardless of a few knocks and dents. Unlike the polypropelene cases of other models, there's no threat of the MT60FCP Combi splitting or cracking if it takes a knock or two.

    Housed inside this sturdy exterior is Engel's famed Sawafuji swing motor, a well made and reliable compressor that Engel has been using across several generations of fridge and freezer models that contains only a single moving part. Engel pride themselves on quality, and it's easy to see that in their choice to continue using the Sawafuji instead of switching to a cheaper, in-house brand of compressor like other current models on the market - a good move, and one you'll be grateful for.

    Setting itself apart from it's MT60FP sibling, the MT60FCP Combi contains a built-in divider that separates the fridge into two sections; a larger fridge section, and a freezer. The steel-cased wall has been built into the fridge's shell, and this is both a positive and a negative. It means that it can't be removed like the one in the MT45FCP Combi, and you are stuck with the one single position - if you want the freezer section larger than the fridge, you're out of luck. However, this has also allowed Engel to build a fan into the wall itself to better circulate air across both sections of the fridge - a great feature that ensures your fridge will always be nice and cold.

    The MT60FCP Combi comes with the standard 12/24v and 240v power outlets found in most of Engel's models, and the cables for each are included with the fridge. The fridge also comes with a full-height basket for both the fridge and freezer sections, as well as a lid to cover the freezer and keep everything nicely chilled even when opening the fridge door.

    Engel's new digital features are here as well - the MT60FCP Combi now comes with a built-in Battery Monitor Cut-out system to save your car battery from ever being in danger of going flat while the fridge is connected, as well as a digital thermostat that allows you to set the exact temperature inside the fridge - a big step up over the older high-low dial based controls.

    As with the MT60FP, the MT60FCP Combi can be difficult to manage on your own, even when empty, given it's hefty 850mm width. Packed full of food and drinks, it definitely becomes a two-person lift - something to be aware of if travelling solo.

    Whether the MT60FCP Combi is for you really depends on whether you need to keep things frozen at the same time as refrigerated or not - there's no right or wrong answer here. What is true though, is that if you're in the market for a 60L Dual Zone fridge, you'd be hard pressed to find a better alternative than Engel's new MT60FCP Combi Digital Series.

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  • Engel MT60FP Digital Series Review

    engel mt60fp digital fridge freezer 60LWhen you think of portable fridges, Engel is often one of the first names that come to mind, and for good reason. The industry leader has been at the forefront of popularity and reliability for over 50 years with their range of heavy duty steel-cased fridges, and now they're back with a new range that is sure to please the camping and travelling crowd.

    The 60L size bracket is a popular one for small families or couples looking to get away for an extended period of time and need something bigger than the more modest 40L options, and Engel has this covered with their new MT60FP Digitial Series model.

    The MT60FP is a hefty beast at 790L x 441H x 490D (850L with handles attached), which is to be expected at this size range, and has the platinum finished steel case that Engel fridges have become known for, ensuring it will keep running year after year regardless of what's thrown at it. Surprisingly, the 60L model is actually shorter than Engel's 40L options, which is handy to know when space might end up making the decision for you.

    Inside is Engel's Sawafuji swing motor, a tried-and-true compressor unit the company has been using across several generations of fridges and freezers. This isn't a bad thing though, as the Sawafuji is one of the key components that has earned Engel their reputation for quality and reliability. In the age of cheaper manufacturing for a 'throw away' society, it's comforting to know the heart of your fridge heralds from the old school train of thought, where things were built to last. With only a single moving part, you can be sure the Sawafuji in the MT60FP will keep on running long after it has any right to, and probably longer!

    The MT60FP boasts both 12/24v and 240v outlets, and both cables are included with the fridge. On average, you can expect a fridge like this to run for about 24-36 hours via a standard 120Ah Deep Cycle battery via 12v power.

    The MT60FP's single expansive compartment has plenty of room for food and drink storage, and comes with a pair of full-height baskets to help keep things organised. The baskets fit together snugly, ensuring no space is lost or wasted - a small but nice touch that can often be a source of frustration on other dual-basket models.

    The real winner here though are the new digital features Engel has included right across their latest range of Platinum series fridges. Included in the MT60FP is a built-in Battery Monitor Cut-out system, which will protect your car battery from ever being drained completely. It's a vital piece of kit that you often pay a premium for if purchased as a separate piece of equipment, so having it built directing into the fridge is a real boon. As well as this, the MT60FP also now comes with a digital thermostat, allowing you to set the fridge to a specific temperature and forget about it, instead of wrestling with the older high-low dial based controls.

    At over 30kg empty and almost a metre long between handles, the MT60FP can be an awkward lift - even moreso when full, so keep in mind that you'll likely need a second helper to get it in and out of your vehicle. If you're travelling solo, you might want to think about using a fridge slide as a more permanent residence to save wrestling the bulky unit in and out of it's hidey-hole whenever you pull over for the night.

    The 60L size bracket has always had plenty of options for families or distance travellers to choose from, and making the right choice can be difficult. But, with a solid steel case, proven compressor, quality build construction, ample room and new built-in digital controls, it's safe to say that there's now a clear winner for your hard-earned in the new Engel MT60FP Digital Series.

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  • Engel MT45FCP Combi Digital Series Review

    Engel-MT45FCP-Popup6Engel has been a longstanding and reliable name when it comes to the portable fridge market, with their various models of durable, steel-cased fridges servicing several generations of happy campers and travellers over their 50 year run.

    Soon after the massive success of their gold MT45FG 50th Anniversary Limited Edition fridge, which boasted all new digital features not seen before on Engel's range, Engel decided to bring those same digital features into their standard range, starting with the brand new MT45FCP Combi.

    The MT45FCP Combi maintains many of the mainstays that have made Engel one of the leading names in the portable fridge industry. The new Digital Series continues tradition with a solid steel-case construction that will ensure the unit can withstand a good amount of punishment well beyond the lifespan of it's closest competitors. This makes the model slightly heavier overall than other polypropelene cased fridges, but with the added benefit of never cracking or splitting and a life expectancy that could easily reach into the decades, it's a small price to pay.

    Inside is Engel's famed Sawafuji swing motor, a high quality compressor the company has been using across several generations of fridge, and for good reason. With only a single moving part, the Sawafuji has helped solidify Engel's reputation for quality and reliability, and ensures the fridge will run with a minimum drain on power.

    The MT45FCP Combi boasts both 12/24v and 240v outlets, and includes the cables for both as part of the package - no cheap 240v adaptors here. On average, a fridge like this will run for about 2 - 2.5 days via a standard 120Ah Deep Cycle battery via 12v power.

    One of the key new features of the MT45FCP Combi is in it's 'Combi' nature, as this unit is a Dual Zone model with a removable divider that allows the fridge to be used as both a fridge AND freezer simultaneously. The divider can be used in two different positions, allowing for either a larger fridge or freezer section, or removed altogether to act as a standard single-zone fridge or freezer. The addition of the divider means that Engel has gone with a pair of deep, fridge-height baskets as opposed to a single, larger basket, though the single baskets are sold separately and do fit the fridge if you'd prefer to go that way. It would have been nice to have the option as part of the package, but the single zone baskets are relatively inexpensive, and will afford you more usable room if looking to remove the divider to use as a single-zone model.

    Carried over from the MT45FG Anniversary model are the new digital features. The MT45FCP Combi comes with a built-in Battery Monitor Cut-out system as standard, which will protect your vehicle battery from ever being drained to the last drop and leaving you high and dry, as well as a new digital thermostat that allows you to set the fridge to a specific temperature instead of playing the guessing game of the old dial-based models. Both are welcome features, and really help to set the unit apart from the competition.

    Physically the fridge is the same size as it's MT45FP sibling, and so may fall prone to the same height issues that can raise their head with that unit. It's a minor gripe, though - just be sure to measure the space you want to store it carefully before purchasing, or make a little extra head room - you'll be glad you did.

    The new digital features along, with the flexibility of a removable divider, cement the MT45FCP as arguably the best quality dual zone fridge on the market in the 40L size bracket, finally giving campers looking for a dual zone option at that size a unit worth putting their money towards.

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  • Engel MT45FP Digital Series Review

    Engel-MT45FP-PopupEngel has been a longstanding and reliable name when it comes to the portable fridge market, with their various models of durable, steel-cased fridges servicing several generations of happy campers and travellers over their 50 year run.

    Engel's latest entry into the popular and hotly competitive 40L market is their MT45FP Digital Series, and true to Engel form, this unit proves to be one of their best releases yet. A successor to their incredibly popular MT45FP Platinum fridge/freezer, the MT45FP Digital includes all the traits that make Engel the leaders in the portable fridge industry. The sturdy, solid steel casing is tough and durable, meaning your fridge will happily wear the odd knock or dent without any issue year after year, unlike some of the polypropelene cases of other brands that are prone to cracking or splitting under punishment.

    The fridge is once again powered by Engel's famed Sawafuji swing motor, a compressor that has served the company well over the years. With only a single moving part, the Sawafuji is powerful, quiet, and needs little in the way of servicing, with a minimal chance of fault even after decades of use. It's the same compressor Engel have relied on for many years, and has helped gain them the reputation for reliability that their products carry. With many of the bigger brands moving towards cheaper, self-branded compressors to cut manufacturing costs, it's good to see a company still willing to invest in tried and true quality and reliability - as the old saying goes, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it.'

    Like most Engel units, the fridge runs on both 12/24v and 240v via separate outlets, and comes with all the cables required. On average, a fridge like this will run for about 2 - 2.5 days via a standard 120Ah Deep Cycle battery via 12v power. The unit can be used as either a fridge OR a freezer, but not both at the same time - if you're after a dual-zone unit, that's where their MT45FCP Digital comes in.

    The real drawcard here though are the new digital features. After the popularity of Engel's gold MT45FG 50th Anniversary model, they decided to upgrade their standard units with the same digital wizardry found in the limited edition unit. The MT45P Digital boasts a new built-in Battery Monitor Cut-Out system, which will save your car battery from ever being drained and leaving you stuck in the middle of nowhere - a feature that would normally costs about $250 alone if purchased as a separate unit. Coupled with this is a new digital thermostat, allowing you to manually set the exact temperature of the fridge, making the older dial-based 'low to high' controls look archaic by comparison.

    One thing to note that's always been a potential caveat with Engel's smaller range of fridges is the height. It's quite tall for a 40L unit at 508mm, so be sure to measure up the space that it needs to fit before purchasing, though the unit is so good you'll likely want to try and make room for it.

    With the new digital features now built in as standard on top of Engel's already famous reliability and quality, the MT45FP Digital Series is a real winner for anyone in the market for a new 40L portable fridge. It's sturdy, clean, well made, looks great, and not only lives up to the Engel name, but sets a new benchmark for anything the portable fridge giant is looking to follow up with.

    engel mt45fp digital review portable fridge 40L

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  • Waeco CF-50 Review

    Looking for a great Waeco CF-50 review? Find a review on the Waeco CF50 portable fridge/freezer here. See the features of the Waeco CF-50.

    Waeco CF-50ACVERB

    • 12V or 240V
    • Reversible lid
    • Hinged on long side
    • Main compartment with wire basket and wire divider
    • Crisper/dairy section

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