Journey Waeco fridge vs thetford fridge

Tucker

Well-Known Member
May 4, 2016
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Geelong, Victoria
#1
Hi everyone, I'm just wondering what everyone has or recommends between the 218l Waeco fridge and the standard 3way thetford 185l. So I can order and put our journey outback 22.58-1 if needed thanks in advanced for any help
Cheers
 

mikerezny

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Sep 11, 2016
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Mount Waverley, VIC
#2
Hi everyone, I'm just wondering what everyone has or recommends between the 218l Waeco fridge and the standard 3way thetford 185l. So I can order and put our journey outback 22.58-1 if needed thanks in advanced for any help
Cheers
Hi,
that is an interesting question and the choice will very much depend on your anticipated usage: how much off-grid you intend to do and how long do you want to go away for on a single trip.

In essence, the question is not just a choice between two fridges.
It is more like a choice between:
a three-way fridge and two or more 9kg gas bottles (which will give you about 10days off-grid per bottle, and
a two-way fridge and two or more AGM/Gel batteries, enough solar on the roof to keep the power up to the fridge, possibly a portable solar panel to chase the sun to avoid moving the van around, and possibly a generator in case you get long bouts of no sun. There is also then the possibility of going lithium to keep the weight down.
Just keep in mind that if you add any items after the van leaves the factory, the weight comes off your load allowance.

Another important consideration is whether trips will be done in hot weather. It is worth checking whether each of these fridges is Tropical rated. Two-way fridges will cope better in hot weather.

Three-way fridges are very quiet, two-way fridges have a compressor which can be annoying at night time, especially in the small confines of a van.

A further consideration is that it is more important that a three-way fridge is operated with the van more close to level. This is not as critical with a compressor fridge.

A three-way fridge will draw much more current on 12V than a compressor fridge. Consequently, if you want the fridge to work well on 12V when you are traveling you will have to ensure that the wiring on the tug is adequate. I don't know the model Thetford, but it will continuously draw around 20A on 12V.

Whichever way you go, it would pay to ensure the fridge is installed as per the manufacturer's specifications to ensure they will work efficiently.

I hope this helps

cheers
Mike
 

Tucker

Well-Known Member
May 4, 2016
219
318
63
36
Geelong, Victoria
#3
Hi,
that is an interesting question and the choice will very much depend on your anticipated usage: how much off-grid you intend to do and how long do you want to go away for on a single trip.

In essence, the question is not just a choice between two fridges.
It is more like a choice between:
a three-way fridge and two or more 9kg gas bottles (which will give you about 10days off-grid per bottle, and
a two-way fridge and two or more AGM/Gel batteries, enough solar on the roof to keep the power up to the fridge, possibly a portable solar panel to chase the sun to avoid moving the van around, and possibly a generator in case you get long bouts of no sun. There is also then the possibility of going lithium to keep the weight down.
Just keep in mind that if you add any items after the van leaves the factory, the weight comes off your load allowance.

Another important consideration is whether trips will be done in hot weather. It is worth checking whether each of these fridges is Tropical rated. Two-way fridges will cope better in hot weather.

Three-way fridges are very quiet, two-way fridges have a compressor which can be annoying at night time, especially in the small confines of a van.

A further consideration is that it is more important that a three-way fridge is operated with the van more close to level. This is not as critical with a compressor fridge.

A three-way fridge will draw much more current on 12V than a compressor fridge. Consequently, if you want the fridge to work well on 12V when you are traveling you will have to ensure that the wiring on the tug is adequate. I don't know the model Thetford, but it will continuously draw around 20A on 12V.

Whichever way you go, it would pay to ensure the fridge is installed as per the manufacturer's specifications to ensure they will work efficiently.

I hope this helps

cheers
Mike
Hi Mike thanks for the reply the van will have 2*160w solar panles and 2*100 amp battery's from Factory we plan to do 50/50 free camp to CV parks in July we will be away for 5 weeks and in 4-5years we are starting a 12+ months away around oz as we will have this van for a long long time which is why I am trying to get everything I need on it at the factory just because of the weights to have the full 600kg atm hope that helps
Cheers Lee.
 
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mikerezny

Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2016
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Mount Waverley, VIC
#4
Hi Mike thanks for the reply the van will have 2*160w solar panles and 2*100 amp battery's from Factory we plan to do 50/50 free camp to CV parks in July we will be away for 5 weeks and in 4-5years we are starting a 12+ months away around oz as we will have this van for a long long time which is why I am trying to get everything I need on it at the factory just because of the weights to have the full 600kg atm hope that helps
Cheers Lee.
Hi @Tucker,
here are some VERY VERY rough estimates to consider if you get the 2-way fridge: (and apologies if I made any arithmetic errors).

The fridge will typically consume about 50Ah per day. If you want the batteries to last, it would be advisable to seldom run them below 50%. So without sun, and no other load on the batteries, you would have a typical range of two days (100Ah) before you would need to consider alternative power sources. It would be advisable to not run for three days and get to only 30% SOC (State of Charge).

A 160W solar panel will deliver about 8A each. But on the roof, they are unlikely to be in an optimal position for much of the day, so I would estimate 5A per panel on average. You need to recover 50Ah, and you can produce about 10A total, so you need about 5 hours of sunlight per day to generate 50Ah needed to supply the fridge for 24 hours. You will also need to recover the power used by other loads: TV, water pumps, lights, radio, charging portable devices.

You might also want to consider getting a good multi-stage charger capable of charging 200Ah of batteries so you can recover quickly if you get to a 240V supply or have to run a generator. My 100Ah battery is capable of being charged at a maximum of 20A, so with two batteries, you could consider a 40A charger. I have a Jayco supplied Ritar RA12-100DG GEL battery. If you are supplied the same, note that they are actually only rated at 89Ah.

cheers
Mike
 
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Drover

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Nov 7, 2013
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Cooloola Coast, QLD
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#5
My mate with a new New Age who is travelling around the place long term is putting a third battery in as he reckons he needs more storage with the compressor fridge and the other usual power drains of long term off grid camping, he has 2 x 120ah AGM and 200w of roof panel with a 120w portable.

I actually couldn't choose which type I would prefer as both have their Pro's and Con's, either way 2 x gas bottles is a must.
 
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Scrounger

Active Member
Oct 7, 2016
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100
33
Shoalhaven
#6
I had a 20 Bushtracker with all the whistle n bells F250 to tow it and the must have compresor fridge.
I free camp 80% of the time and to keep power up to that fridge was always in the front of your mind.
I had 4 x 110 amp baterys in the van 4 x 120w pannels on the roof, 50amp xantrac batery charger 2kva honda gen set.
The truck 2 x 40lt engles and 2 x start batterys plus 3 x 110a house baterys, thats a shed load of weight n power storage.
BUT when camped in the terotory for weeks n months at a time I needed to run the gen set prety regularly as the FRIDGE was sucking down power as fast as it went in, you were alwys watching the amp meter/batt guage

After an illnes I have a Ranger and a 18.58.2 ob with 3 way fridge, I spent 4 weeks last year back on the Roper River in the NT it was a pleasure to park in some shade and not wory about power, I do have a portable panel and 25 meters of cable extention to get the pannel into some sun for the 2 x 110's in the van and 110a house in truck, I was getting betwen 4 to 8 amps from the portable and the odd bit from the roof top this was enough to be well powered.
Jan would wash twice a week so the gen set would run for 45 minutes to an hour, yes it will run off an inverter if parked in full sun to replace what's used.
I knew my gas use was 10 to 14 days so I grabed a spair bottle to take in.

I never wanted a 3 way FRIDGE but its been worthwhile for the stress free confidence, I dont think I would have a compressor fridge again unless I also had very good lithium batery set up with ample panel's
Just my 2 cents worth.
 

NoWorries

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Sep 28, 2015
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Perth
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#7
The thing I hate about getting the Waeco is that Jayco want you to pay $1800 extra to get a cheaper fridge.
Dometic 3 way are about $2500 rrp
Waeco 12v are about $2000 rrp
Why Jayco Why

I swapped my three way out for a compressor last year and it was the best thing I could have done, no more warm fridges after a 10hr drive and I only carry one gas bottle now.
You do hear the hum of the compressor but you get use to it within a hour.
 
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Eddii

Active Member
Jun 28, 2017
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Burua Central QLD 4680
#8
@Tucker Have you considered having a portable fridge? Save the money and buy a fridge to go in your rig.
I was going to tick that compressor fridge option until I found out how much it was worth. Plus upgrading solar panels + batteries to cope with extra load.
 
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Tucker

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May 4, 2016
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Geelong, Victoria
#9
@Tucker Have you considered having a portable fridge? Save the money and buy a fridge to go in your rig.
I was going to tick that compressor fridge option until I found out how much it was worth. Plus upgrading solar panels + batteries to cope with extra load.[/Quote


Hi mate I do already have a Waeco cf40 and a cfx95
 
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Tucker

Well-Known Member
May 4, 2016
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Geelong, Victoria
#10
The thing I hate about getting the Waeco is that Jayco want you to pay $1800 extra to get a cheaper fridge.
Dometic 3 way are about $2500 rrp
Waeco 12v are about $2000 rrp
Why Jayco Why

I swapped my three way out for a compressor last year and it was the best thing I could have done, no more warm fridges after a 10hr drive and I only carry one gas bottle now.
You do hear the hum of the compressor but you get use to it within a hour.
What solor and what size and how many battery's do you have
 

NoWorries

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Sep 28, 2015
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#11
You might not want to know about my solar and battery setup it might scare you off.
I have 400ah of battery and 200w solar plus a 160w portable unit for long trips during winter
But my fridge is a 280lt and I also run a 40lt engel and I have a large inverter for the coffee machine etc.
 

Tucker

Well-Known Member
May 4, 2016
219
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Geelong, Victoria
#14
You might not want to know about my solar and battery setup it might scare you off.
I have 400ah of battery and 200w solar plus a 160w portable unit for long trips during winter
But my fridge is a 280lt and I also run a 40lt engel and I have a large inverter for the coffee machine etc.
At this stage I'll have 320w solar and 200amp but as I said before I've for a 40l and 95L Waeco so I'm still undersided on what fridge in the van
 

Scrounger

Active Member
Oct 7, 2016
51
100
33
Shoalhaven
#15
I have been bush camping a long tiime and have made most mistakes already, I only offer this from previous experiences and offer no offense.
If you use caravan parks every second day you will probably getaway fine, but be aware if you go off grid for more than a couple of days you might have trouble.

If you were to bush camp for extended time sorry to say it but your input and storage will not keep up with your outgoings without some 240v help
You must do the math, amps per hour used V amps generated.
Please realise the figures I use are camp fire estimates ONLY and I always guess high safer than wrong.
40 lt Engel 1.5 amps to 2.0amps per hour running so 40 amps in 24 hours.
95 lt no ideaa dont have one but logic would say perhaps as much as 60 to 80 amps per 24 ?
Compresor fridge 6 to 10 amps when on cycle approx 30 minutes per hour, may be 100 amps per 24 hours
So bush math as much as 200 amps per 24 hours used V solar input from 320w you will not make suficient amps per hour from daylight or store it.
I never bother with lights or pumps as its miniscule in comparison.
In my opinion you will need a gen set and a high output batery charger, high output is so you get fast charge with low run time on genny.

I am happy enough with my 3 way, but is it as good as my compressor NO.
But it is much easier to live with not concerning myself with keeping power up to the compresor , parking in the sun etc.
The 3 way I just feed it a gas bottle every 12 days and it works, so unles your pumping creek or river water you will need to move to find water before you run out of gas.
 

NoWorries

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Sep 28, 2015
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Perth
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#16
Scrounger you are dead right, I will run out of juice after about 3 days (as in battery down to 60%) without using the portable solar.
With the portable solar it takes about 5 days then the generator gets turned on. (this is with mixed days cloud/sun and me forgetting to move the solar to chase the sun)
I estimate that I would need another 200w panel on the roof and the portable to be ok on longer trips but im fine with having the gennie on standby.
If i took off the Engel running as a freezer I would probably be fine as i am currently setup.
If I could stop the kids going to the fridge and leaving the door open plus charging about 100 devices like Ipads, phones, drones, torches etc I could probably get rid of the portable solar and one of the 200a/h batteries.
Maybe I could start drinking tea and get rid of the coffee machine :)
 
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Tucker

Well-Known Member
May 4, 2016
219
318
63
36
Geelong, Victoria
#17
I have been bush camping a long tiime and have made most mistakes already, I only offer this from previous experiences and offer no offense.
If you use caravan parks every second day you will probably getaway fine, but be aware if you go off grid for more than a couple of days you might have trouble.

If you were to bush camp for extended time sorry to say it but your input and storage will not keep up with your outgoings without some 240v help
You must do the math, amps per hour used V amps generated.
Please realise the figures I use are camp fire estimates ONLY and I always guess high safer than wrong.
40 lt Engel 1.5 amps to 2.0amps per hour running so 40 amps in 24 hours.
95 lt no ideaa dont have one but logic would say perhaps as much as 60 to 80 amps per 24 ?
Compresor fridge 6 to 10 amps when on cycle approx 30 minutes per hour, may be 100 amps per 24 hours
So bush math as much as 200 amps per 24 hours used V solar input from 320w you will not make suficient amps per hour from daylight or store it.
I never bother with lights or pumps as its miniscule in comparison.
In my opinion you will need a gen set and a high output batery charger, high output is so you get fast charge with low run time on genny.

I am happy enough with my 3 way, but is it as good as my compressor NO.
But it is much easier to live with not concerning myself with keeping power up to the compresor , parking in the sun etc.
The 3 way I just feed it a gas bottle every 12 days and it works, so unles your pumping creek or river water you will need to move to find water before you run out of gas.
Thanks scrounger, for all that info the Waecos I will have plugged in to my tow vehicle and a solar blanket to it or put my spare 100 amp battery's in the van so that would would give me 300amps in van and put the solar blanket into the van so that would give me 320w solar plus 150w portable solar
 
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Drover

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Nov 7, 2013
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#18
Spot on @Scrounger my way of thinking for sure..................................
@Tucker if your feeding the panels thru a single controller make sure it will handle the capacity they can have limits on just how many watts they will accept.

Having read the posts and I think for my style of camping, 90% bush camps, a the 3 way is my choice, I don't want to be worrying about power when parked beside the river and the extra cost is more than I can justify.

Good topic with good informative replies.
 
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