WE requested all suppliers provide (as close as possible to) 40 to 50-litre single-zone fridges. Why 40 to 50 litres? This volume fridge is one of the most popular sizes and is perfect for short camping trips. Larger capacity fridges are ideal for longer trips and larger families, but this compact size is a great starting point.
What’s the go with the old Engel? That’s my personal fridge; I purchased it in 1990 for $1199. I needed a fridge for my two-year working holiday around Australia. On that trip it was wrapped in two-inch-thick foam with a pillow on top to help with insulation and, while that worked a treat, it also trapped moisture and caused a little surface rust to form. It then served as my freezer while I lived in Darwin – I got to eat ice cream for the first time in two years! While I’ve looked after it the best I can, it hasn’t been babied and it’s copped a couple of dents, had the removable lid hinges twisted and straightened a couple of times, and even had a Two Zone clipped to the top for extra capacity.
You know what? Not a damn thing has gone wrong with that trusty old fridge and it has been the best camping product I have ever bought.
You know what else? Fridges cost about the same price now as they did 26 years ago and little has changed with their specs, other than a fancy electronic thermostat control, a compressor fan and an internal LED light. So we figured we’d chuck my old Engel into the mix to see how much fridges have improved, if at all.
Each fridge was loaded with these typical products.