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Westy fridge - how long on leisure battery??
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thfcian
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 4:01 am    Post subject: Westy fridge - how long on leisure battery?? Reply with quote

HI guys,

I have a 1975 Westi interior all original and it has a Waeco "Cold Machine" fridge fitted which I am pretty sure was the orignal fridge.

I am about to go on a European tour and do not want to have to hook up every night as wild camping is such a better experience.

I was wondering ifa nyone had an idea of how long these fridges last on a leisure battery when the battery is not getting charged form the main van battery?

Ian
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pioneer1
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Standard coolers in NAmerica have 3 modes.Battery power when you drive,propane or hook to A/C when you stop. The battery won't last long
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 8:03 am    Post subject: Re: Westy fridge - how long on leisure battery?? Reply with quote

thfcian wrote:
I was wondering ifa nyone had an idea of how long these fridges last on a leisure battery when the battery is not getting charged form the main van battery?

If it's anything like the Dometic that Westfalia originally installed in our North American delivered units about 45 minutes to an hour on the battery, the 12V heater in it draws alot of amps and is really only meant for when you are on the road.

Any pics of this Waeco?

Pioneer, it seems we weren't to be trusted with propane fridges so Westfalias delivered in North America only came with 2 way fridges, Euro models had 3 way systems, we didn't get the propane option until the Vanagons came along.
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oorwullie
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi ian,

in my experience all westies in europe had electrolux 3 way fridges fitted as new ( except obviously for the models that only had a coolbox).

i'm not 100% sure but i think your waeco is a compressor unit commonly used on boats and fitted in your bus at a much later date than 1975.

as the man said, pics please for clarification. Idea

edit:

it seems that waeco started making their fridges in 1974, so maybe yours was a special order and is original factory fitting.

but i still suspect not.

Wink
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Sven F
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

a Waeco fridge will most likely not be an original installation, and a compressor fridge (which is tons better btw)

Battery life widely depends on your battery.
Most newer Waeco fridges have a Danfoss BD35f compressor, this motor will draw about 1 amp's averege when running, but then the ambient temperature and capacity of the fridge and how you use it (opening all the time) will widely affect how much energy it consumes, as the motor runs as needed.

Battery capacity and battery techonogy is a complete science for itself.

For starters, identify your fridge.
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thfcian
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've dug out the brochure for the fridge and found recipts and fitting notes so it is obviously a replacement. I will have to have a more detailed lok at it then. It is built in to the cabinet and fits perfectly so is not a new compressor type which I have in another bus, they run for days ona the leisure battery!
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oorwullie
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

waeco only made/ make compressor fridges and that for the last 39 years.

post a few pictures and the dates of your receipts should tell us what model it is.

there's plenty useful info about waeco and other compressor frigos on boat and camper forums if ye google deep enough and get past just the adverts for 5 hundred thousand suppliers............

i came across a very useful discussion about converting a westie berlin 3 way to waeco , it's in german but ye can look at the pictures. Wink

we will see if anyone responds with specifics to my question regarding how it actually works in the long run and at mediteranean temperatures.

http://forum.bulli.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=9764

oh, and if yer passing thru' swissland gies a shout. Idea
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thfcian
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As an update to this thread, I have looked into the fridge details and it is the Waeco Coolmachine 54 as detailed in the link below. It looks like a compressor fridge that draws about 40W which I believe should mean it will last at least one night on the leisure battery without needing to drive and recharge the leisure battery.

So if my calculations are correct, on a 12V leisure a battery it will use about 3 amps, not sure if this is good or terrible? Or even if I am barking up all the wrong trees here!!

Could anyone with a more detailed knowledge have a lok below and give me their thoughts please.

http://www.waeco.com/za/3606_423.php

Cheers for any help,

Ian
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pioneer1
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This may be too simple but...why don't you test it one day at home and find out how long your battery lasts?
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thfcian
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah I will try to do that but the van is in the garage getting a new engine and then we are taking it for two months round Europe so I'm not sure how much opportunity I'll have to do that. I was just looking for any expert help.

Ian
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

in the end how long it'll operate is dependant on what battery you have and the ambient temperatures. and you can always switch it off at night.

i'd never heard of your model 54 till now but the general opinion from what i've read on german sites is that the 55 draws about 1 amp,
they are the bottom end of the range and described as for boat use in cool water. the tropical models for HOT climates are a lot more expensive.

bon voyage.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I checked the link out...I am wondering about the OP's 75 Westy interior setup. Does this fridge replace/fit into the interior of the N. American late model bays where all the cabinets are on one side of the bus? The one with the chest-style fridge to the left of the stove/sink unit? My fridge works but it takes a long time to get fully cool and only runs on the 2nd battery for an hour or so. I would love to upgrade the guts to something more efficient. If anyone has any links to share please do. I've done a search and googled it but I haven't found a wealth of info on what I'm looking for. I'd love to hear from someone who has retro-fitted something new in the stock location.
Thanks guys....and gals....
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:43 am    Post subject: we did this Reply with quote

Sorry but I don't have any data yet but we did this small "sears" 110vt install running off a pair of big Trojan 6vt golf cart batteries on 2 solar panels. As soon as the wiring is in and it's running I'll post some figures.[img]
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
[/img]

This shows off the dimensions to the window line better[img]
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
[/img]

I like it because the freezer can hold a 10# bag of ice and over all can store 4 cubic feet of food. AND maybe a little beer. Gets cold in about 30 min. Has little effect on my 300 watt gas gen.
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oorwullie
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ROCKOROD71 wrote:
I checked the link out...I am wondering about the OP's 75 Westy interior setup. Does this fridge replace/fit into the interior of the N. American late model bays where all the cabinets are on one side of the bus? The one with the chest-style fridge to the left of the stove/sink unit? My fridge works but it takes a long time to get fully cool and only runs on the 2nd battery for an hour or so. I would love to upgrade the guts to something more efficient. If anyone has any links to share please do. I've done a search and googled it but I haven't found a wealth of info on what I'm looking for. I'd love to hear from someone who has retro-fitted something new in the stock location.
Thanks guys....and gals....


what he probably has is the original fridge ( someday he might post photos.........) with the waeco compressor unit.

if you look at the pictures in the germanforum link i posted ,there are photos of a conversion to the original "berlin" chest fridge using the waeco 55 equipment.

i still have never gotten any really satisfactory answer there to my question regarding how it cools in hot summer southern euroland climes..........
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AAAHH...so one could keep the original Dometic fridge unit and replace the compressor/guts to it? This is good to know. I'm keeping mine intact for now, but eventually I'd like to update to a more efficient, better cooling unit that can run off the 2nd battery longer. Thank you for the info and link oorwullie!
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thfcian
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oorwullie wrote:


what he probably has is the original fridge ( someday he might post photos.........) with the waeco compressor unit.

if you look at the pictures in the germanforum link i posted ,there are photos of a conversion to the original "berlin" chest fridge using the waeco 55 equipment.

i still have never gotten any really satisfactory answer there to my question regarding how it cools in hot summer southern euroland climes..........


You are completely correct oorwullie, it is the Original frigde unit but it has had a new Waeco 54 compressor unit added at some time in the last 5 or so years I think.

I get the van back form the garage next week and will test in overnight to see how long it runs for.

I also checked out that link to the German forum and liked the fact that you can retro fit a compressor to a Berlin interior as they mostly have defunkt fridges by now!

Oh and here is a picture of the unit, but sadly only with the door closed on it.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a Dometic 45CEW in the location noted above. I believe this is the OE fridge for North American 74/75 Wesfalias.

The fridge hasn't been running for approximately 2 years although when I bought it, it ran fine. Got it down to 22F at one point. I finally decided to finish wiring my camper interior so I thought I better check out the fridge before I run out and buy a new compressor style unit or a compressor retrofit kit.

The van was levelled and the fridge turned on full (red temp. knob on lower left side). Power was coming from the stock 15 amp. power unit. After 3 1/2 hrs (8:00pm last night) the temp. was at 35F. Temp inside the van was in the mid 70's. I also adjusted the temp knob to about 1/4 of the way to full. One hour later the temp had risen to 43F. I checked the temp. at 7:30 this morning and it was 44F. Temp inside the van had dropped to 60F. When I opened the door I soom heard the unit cycle on with a click at the control knob.

I also checked the amperage draw and it was 4.60 to 4.63 amps. Voltage was about 13 volts. The unit is rated at 5.0 amps as per the decal inside the unit. Turn the temp knob down below the current fridge temp and the amps dropped to zero.

So it doesn't appear that the current draw is as bad as some folks have indicated nor is it continuous. I have no idea how many times it cycled on and off over night to maintain the 43/44 F temp.

So if I am going to run a series 31 AGM battery, perhaps the addition of a decent solar panel would provide sufficient recharging capability for a few days stay in the woods particularly in our temperate climate.

Maybe I don't need that new fridge after all!! FYI.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to give some closure to this thread.

We have been away for a month now and have had to camp without electric hook-up on a few occasions.


The leisure battery ran out after about 10 hours the first time we ran the fridge on it overnight. This wasn't too bad as we were up and away about an hour later.

However if I turn the fridge down and the van has had a god run that day I can now get the battery to last overnight for up to 22 hours and still be powering the fridge which is great!

So I can at lerast do a night with no hook up needed!
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

what size battery do you have and where are you in what sort of temperatures (daytime highs/nighttime lows)?
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've replaced my original fridge in my Riviera with a Waeco CR65 fridge. It runs about 2 days from the leisure battery bank in 105F heat whilst being parked in the sun. I've got 2 leisure batteries (Optima Blue top 4.2), so with one battery expect about a full day under those conditions.

The modern compressor fridges with good insulation make a huge difference compared to the original stuff.
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