The ability to leave home with cold beverages and food make roughing it in the outback a lot easier. Waeco has an extensive range of fridges suitable for virtually every vehicle and caravan. Waeco products work on the car battery and most also operate on 240 volts AC mains. Recently we journeyed to the Flinders Ranges and took along a new Waeco CF-50 fridge freezer. Straight from the box it was filled and chilled overnight before our departure by 240 volt mains electricity. Once mobile the fridge was plugged into a 12 volt battery plug in our 4x4 for the long journey interstate. Unlike some fridges, it was immediately noticeable how quietly the CF-50 ran. So quiet that if there wasn't an illuminated temperature panel, one would be hard pressed to know that the fridge was actually running.
The fridge has two handles which can be used to secure the fridge. The lid is side opening which also is easier to access than end mounted lids. Inside their is a removable basket, a handy interior light and a moulded storage area at one end of the fridge, which is great for things that you don't want squashed such as your butter, fruit, etc. The Waeco has transversely opening lid and the lid can be detached altogether if necessary. The fridge has no sharp edges and is constructed from a strong moulded material. The lid has 4 indents for drink containers. The CF-50 is 630mm long and 360mm wide, and stands 480mm high. It comes with 12 volt and 240 volt power leads and is protected by a 3-stage battery protection and emergency function.
Its average power consumption is a modest 0.86 amps/hr at 12V, 5C interior, 32 ambient temperature. On several days the fridge was left running on 12 volt, with little travel undertaken to recharge the battery and there was never an issue with powering the fridge or starting the car. Upon reaching our destination the fridge was taken from the vehicle and plugged into 240 volts again and I'm sad to say it would not work. We tried a replacement power lead without success. A fridge technician took the time to examine the CF-50 and declared the inverter to be faulty. He also noted that this was not uncommon with Waeco fridges that he had been asked to repair. Putting the fridge back in to the 4x4 it worked fine on 12 volts again. It is disappointing that a fridge that had operated for less than 48 hours should have a fault of this nature occur.
Apart from the fact that it will no longer work on 240 volts, the Waeco CF-50 is a great unit, well designed and manufactured. There just remains a question mark over its reliability following our experience. It is yet to be repaired under warranty.
Two accessories worth getting for your Waeco fridge are firstly an insulating protective cover. We had our fridge in a cover, which protects it from knocks and scratches, and also helps to insulate it from external temperatures. The RRP for the CF-55 was $149.00.
Another handy product that ensures that your fridge is maintaining its temperature is an external thermometer. A sensor cord is fixed inside the freezer and the thermometer secured close by where you can monitor the interior temperature.
This accessory is approximately $30.00.
Waeco CoolFreeze CF-50 AC
Weight: 18 kg
Capacity: 49 litres
Power source: 12/24/240 volts
Cooling capacity: Up to 50C below ambient
Kompressor: German made Danfos BD-35F