Have you been looking to update and take the next step up from the trusty old esky? Maybe you are in the market for a new fridge/freezer? Then you may find this helpful as I share my thoughts with a review on my own Waeco CFX75DZ Fridge/Freezer.
Before I bought the Waeco I was running a cheaper old Techni Ice 45L Fridge/Freezer, however with an upcoming trip from my home in Victoria’s North East to The Cape York Peninsula, situated in Far North Queensland, we soon found out that the little Techni Ice Fridge was going to be too small for our family, but more on that later.
When doing my research for a new, larger fridge, I had a few prerequisites that the new fridge had to fulfill, they were,
- It had to be able to be used as both a fridge and freezer at the same time.
- It had to have a large enough capacity for a family of four to live off for a substancial amount of time.
- It had to fit in the allocated space that I had reserved for a fridge.
1. Our trip up north meant that we were going to be away from home for about 6 weeks, and we would be living out of our Triton and tent for the majority of that period. This meant that we weren’t going to have the luxury of our large fridges and freezers from home and nor were we going to have the luxury of a supermaket just around the corner, that we could regularly call on whenever we needed to buy more food or even more beer. So we figured that pre freezing some meat and pre cooked meals would be a good idea. Heating up the pre frozen, pre cooked meals proved to be a real time saving god send for us, allowing us to have good hearty meals, without spending too long over the gas cooker.
2. Being that we would be away for a lengthy period of time and that we wern’t exactly sure as to where and how often we would be able to replenish our food and drink stocks, we needed to make sure that the fridge was large enough to carry an ample supply of food and drink for our, then, family of four, for a substancial period of time. I don’t know about you but I didn’t like the idea of having to try and get two young kids, 3 1/2 and 1 1/2, to ration their food supplies, all because we couldn’t carry enough food (if you have young kids you know what I’m talking about).
3. This trip and the setup that I was building was based on the idea that we would be basically living out of our ute and tent, we wern’t going to be towing a camper or trailer, so there was only a specific amount of room that was available for the fridge to fit into.
After much toing and froing, my choices basically came down to Waeco’s range of CFX Dual Zone Fridge/Freezers. and inparticularly the CFX75DZ and the CFX95DZ, so into the store to physically check them out and measure the two fridges. It quickly became clear that the CFX75DZ Fridge/Freezer was going to be the fridge of choice as the larger CFX95DZ would not have physically fit in the space I had allowed. That made my choice an easy one.
True Dual Zone?
A few details about the Waeco CFX75DZ Fridge/Freezer. Firstly it is a true dual zone fridge, meaning it has two completely separate compartments inside the fridge in which the temperature can be adjusted in each compartment individually from each other. This can be done via the bright blue LCD control panel at the end of the fridge, or it can be controlled by the Dometic Waeco Fridge control app, more on this later.
Both compartments can be indepently adjusted to between 10*C and -22*C, meaning that the fridge has enough oomph to truely become a freezer, whilst still allowing those all important beers to stay at just the right temperature in the compartment next door.
In case you weren’t aware, the “75” in the name of this fridge indicates the capacity of the fridge in litres, thats right this is a 75 litre capacity fridge, one compartment is a 30 litre capacity compartment and the other is a 45 litre capacity compartment.
How Is It Powered?
The entire range of CFX Dual Zone fridges are a dual source power supply, meaning that they can be used by either mains, 240V, power supply or by a 12 Volt battery supply. The fridge comes with both the mains power lead and the 12 Volt power lead, the latter has a “cigarette lighter” style plug on it which can easily be plugged into most 12 volt power sockets that are found in your car.
I have one major concern with all “cigarette lighter” style plug sockets, and that is that I don’t trust them to stay properly connected all of the time, especially if you are travelling over lengthy corrugations. Can you imagine pulling up at the end of a long day of driving, only to find that your beer is hot, the meat and milk is off because it got hot and the butter has melted and is now covering everything, making for a very frustrating and upsetting clean up. This has happened to me, with other fridges, well atleast not to that extent, but the contents were definately starting to warm up, so I can very easily relate.
My solution, Anderson Plugs. I bought an extra replacement power lead and removed the original 12 Volt socket and fitted a 50 amp Anderson Plug connector, a bit of over kill but atleast it won’t let me down. This was an easy job to carry out, with a little bit of electrical understanding and know how, this conversion can be completed quite quickly.
Features or Gimmicks?
The CFX Dual Zone range of fridge/freezers have a couple of “features” that are used as an extra selling point for the fridge and they are mainly a USB Port and a WiFi function that is used in conjunction with their own app.
Firstly, the USB Port, this may come in handy for some as a way to charge up some of those many electrical devices that we all have these days, however for me I have never, ever used this function, why because the setup I have in the back of the ute has a number of dedicated USB Ports fitted and it is simply easier for me to plug into them than to forrage around at the base of the fridge to connect a device up to the port. So it really is a feature of this fridge, just not one that I use.
The second “feature” is the WiFi connectivity. This works with the appropriate Dometic App, that when connected with your fridge allows you to remotely control the many aspects of this fridge, such as turning compartments on and off, adjusting compartment temperatures and even allowing you to monitor the voltage supply to the fridge.
The first downside to this WiFi “feature” is that whenever power to the fridge is removed the WiFi setting reverts back to its default position of “OFF”, meaning you have to physically scroll through the fridges control panel to turn the WiFi back “ON”. It is easy enough to do although it can be a bit annoying if you do remove the power from the fridge regularly.
The other downside to the WiFi “feature” is that when you have the setting switched on, other phones that come into proximity to your fridge will be asked if they want to “pair” with your fridge. NOTE: unless they know your fridges’ password then they won’t be able to connect to your fridge. This is especially frustrating when travelling with a group of friends as they are constantly being asked to “pair” with your fridge and believe me after a while they get sick of it and do make mention of it.
It is for that exact reason that I now refuse to use the WiFi function on the fridge and it is also why I believe that this is not a very beneficial “feature” and is more of a “gimmick” used to help sell the fridge.
I really like this fridge, is has great flexibility with it’s compartments. To be able to independently alter the temperature of the fridges compartments is a huge tick for this fridge and one that I use to help make my trips fuss free.
Another thing that I liked is the overall height of the fridge, at less than 500mm in height, this rather large, fridge has a fairly low overall height, yet it is still tall enough internally to have milk bottles, soft drink bottles and even wine bottles all stand upright, not to mention the copious amounts of beer that can be stacked inside.
One thing that Dometic/Waeco has thought about is the internal clean up. This fridge proves that the company has really thought about how to make cleaning the insides of the fridge and how to make it as easy as possible. To do this, the fridge has an inbuilt drain bung in the base of both compartments of the fridge. This means that to clean out the fridge compartment, or to drain the liquid from a broken bottle, you don’t have to tip the fridge upside down and risk upsetting the compressor, instead the draining and cleaning can be performed by simply removing the drain bung/s and letting it drain out. These bungs are sealed with a neat fitting O-ring which does a really good job at sealing the plug and keeping the compartments air and water tight.
Credit to the designers of this fridge for factoring in the flexibility that the lids offer. With minimal fuss, the compartment lids can be swapped around to allow them to open from the opposite side.
The lights built into the fridges compartments are also nice an bright and in complete darkness, allow you to easily see the contents in the fridge.
The bright blue LCD display control panel can be easily read in just about all lighting conditions, allowing for easy monitoring and adjustment of the fridge and it’s settings.
The extremely strudy fridge handles not only spring down out of the way, when not in use, they also double as a handy way to tie down the fridge and keep it safe and secure.
Whilst I really like this fridge and it’s layout, there are a couple of draw backs for this fridge, however with a little bit of thought you can easily work your way around and live with the these minor issues with no dramas at all.
Like I mentioned eariler, the WiFi option in this fridge needs to be slightly tweaked to avoid interupting others around you, however atleast you can turn this function off and avoid those awkward conversations.
The other thing that could, and can, be cause for concern is how often the fridges compressor runs and cycles. On some days, especially warmer days, it seems like the fridge is forever running. This can take a toll on your battery and power supplies, especially if you are setup camp for a few days on end. This is not an issue if you are driving all day and have the fridge running off of the main car battery. If you are camped for a few days in a row you need to make sure that you have an ample solar input being collected to help compensate for the lack of vehicle power input.
Overall this fridge is a fanstastic fridge and if looked after it will serve you for many years. I know that many people out there dislike Waeco fridges’, however after more than two years of use, in temperatures ranging from sub zero to well over 40 degrees C, this fridge has not missed a beat and has never caused me any problems at all.
Whilst there are a couple of negative points for this fridge, I really do feel that this fridge is a great addition to your family touring setup.
I hope this Waeco CFX75DZ Fridge/Freezer review has helped you make up your mind and helped you with your future fridge purchase.
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