|The Waeco CF-50 and the Engel MT45 are the No 1# sellers for each brand and are perfect for heading away.|
Portable fridges such as Engel and Waeco are extremely popular in Australia. For many Australian campers having a refrigerator is their only choice when heading out bush into remote areas. Given the distances involved, the time and space available the use of an icebox is often not practical.
Regularly we see people in the store with different ideas on how they will use their refrigerator when out camping. In some cases I would agree with their methods but in others I believe that there is a better way. This is how I believe you should use your refrigerator when out bush to achieve the lowest power consumption and the most usability this is also recommended by Engel and Waeco.
This guide applies typically to your Engel MT45 and your Waeco CF-50 the two flagship models for the two leading brands in Australian portable compression refrigeration.
- Set your fridge to 3 degrees. Setting your fridge to freeze is generally unnecessary and uses more power. Thus drains your battery quicker.
- Vacuum seal your meat. Often this is known as cryovac, however cryovac is just a brand of vacuum sealer. I have been told many different time frames for how long red meat with no bones will last for, but most agree that it is well and truly over a month on refrigeration. Longer than I've ever been away! Maybe one day... Vacuum sealers can be bought inexpensively and are useful around the home too. If you'd rather not buy one, often your local butcher will do it for you inexpensively.
- Limit the amount of drink cans in your fridge to how many you can drink in 30minutes. Your Engel or Waeco can cool down drinks very quickly. This keeps more space for foods that need constant refrigeration. Grab a drink and replace it immediately, it'll be nice and cold before you're ready to drink it.
- Keep your fridge full of solid objects at all times. If you do not have enough food, put in water bottles or soft drink cans to fill the spaces. It is important to have as little amount of air in the fridge at any time, as air transfers heat quickly whilst solid objects do not. Solid objects also assist the fridge in cooling down warm objects.
- Minimise how often you open your fridge and do not open it for too long.
- Arrange your fridge in such a way that everything can be accessed quickly and with ease.
- Always reseal your fridge after opening.
- Keep your fridge in the shade.
- Before heading away on your trip run your fridge on 240v to get the cabinet cold.
If you follow these guidelines you'll ensure that you get the best use out of your fridge and do not consume any more precious battery power than necessary.