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Bushman Original SC35-52

Bushman Original SC35-52 (page 2 of 5)

4.8 from 92 reviews

Great unit and the best service.

have had the unit in our boat for years with no trouble at all. when used at home this week the 240v converter thing e blew, the manufacture offered a replace at reduced price (without me asking).
not only an excellent unit but unbeatable service.
the great feature is being able to change the size so when we go for the day its small capacity and large for longer periods on the water.

Date PurchasedMar 2013

Long lasting awesome fridge

I purchased my original Bushman fridge in 2003 at the 4wd show in Melbourne, it ran constantly in my Troopcarrier and shed until 2014 when the evaporator plate separated from the cooling lines.

This happened a week before a trip so I bought a new Bushman.

When I returned from the trip I had the old fridge repaired at a cost of $250.

I now use the old fridge in my shed as a beer fridge, it runs 24/7 and is still doing as good a job as the day I got it.

Bushman is the only fridge I would recommend , price service and reliability is all #1.

Date PurchasedAug 2003

Would be lost without it

We have owned this unit for more than 5 years and it was recommended to us by our camper trailer manufacturer upon purchase of the camper trailer
We love the fridge as it operates well and it’s easy enough to run via a variety of different means and maintains temperature even during 44degrees days

Date PurchasedDec 2012

Fantastic. wish i had bought one 30 years ago

Works a treat and love the different basket levels. I think my missus loves it more than me. We use it on our bush block connected to a 135A deep cycle with 120w solar without any problem. My son says its heaps quieter than his well known other brand of the same size without the added bits.

Date PurchasedNov 2017

Top quality fridge.

I bought it around 2007. It has never let me down and the after sales service is second to none. It's done over 200,000 road kilometres without a hitch. A small problem 7 years ago with the transformer was fixed. I was given the latest model tranny as well as the latest digital control panel, plus a heavy duty lead. How much? Nothing! Unbelievably good service.

Date PurchasedNov 2007

Perfect fridge for camping and touring

We bought this bushman because it is far better and more versatile and usable than other convential fridges
we went to the factory to buy it and paul was so helpful and demonstrated how best to use it they were really great
we took the fridge away for a long holiday plugged in to the back of our van and it worked perfectly cant reccommend it enough

Date PurchasedSep 2017

Great design. Brilliant customer service from Bushman.

Terrific fridge, we can highly recommend the Bushman. Equally as impressive as the fridge itself is the customer service from Bushman (DP Refrigeration based in Melbourne). I researched fridges for months, and called Bushman a few times with questions and spoke directly with Paul or Gary Kottmann who own the company and designed the fridge 20 plus years ago. Their customer service is exceptional.
There are other good brands of fridge, I'm not a Ford vs Holden kind of guy. In this review I point out a few features that I think Bushman do better. I will mention that when looking into fridges I called three fridge repairers to ask their thoughts. All three of them said Bushman was the most reliable, the most power efficient and the cheapest to repair.

The fridge itself is a straight forward design with it's MAIN focus to refrigerate your food and drinks. Other fridges have things like Wifi smart phone controls, but for me it's complicating things and is just one more thing to go wrong in the future. There is a lot we love about this fridge including...

* Very low power usage. The Bushman website states the fridge will use Average 0.67 Ah (set at -4º in 25º ambient). For Amp-Draw Nerds... I ran a test and measured the voltage drop of my battery over 24hours. We have 2 x 120Ah batteries (240 Ah total). I ran the Bushman for 24hours, set at -10 degrees, with nothing inside (making it less efficient than a fridge with food inside). Ambient temps ranged from 21 to 30 degrees. The battery started at 13.16 volts and finished at 12.88 volts after 24 hours. Using a standard AGM State of Charge Chart with 13v as 100%, the battery went from 106% to 95% in 24 hours. I might add some more figures in my review at a later time.

* We have gone camping for 10 days and the Bushman worked brilliantly. Meat stayed frozen in the bottom while food, butter, cheese was nice and cold in the top. Cans of drink are ice cold. I think for memory I set the fridge at -2 during the night and set it colder (around -5) during the day when the solar is charging the batteries. I am probably setting it colder than needed but we usually have a fair bit of battery amps to use up.

* The Bushman is very quiet. I borrowed an Engel 40L before we bought the Bushman and found it a great fridge, it made a bit more noise than the Bushman.

* A fridge / freezer makes things cold... by removing heat. One thing Gary from Bushman pointed out when I called, is they purposely designed the 240V adapter to be a separate unit outside the fridge, like a laptop charger. 240V power adapters generate a lot of heat by nature (feel how hot your laptop charger is), if this is built inside the fridge that's more heat the fridge is working hard to get rid of. Having the adapter outside the fridge makes the Bushman far more efficient. Makes so much sense. Another part of the design which makes sense is there is ample ventilation. The Bushman has ventilation on 3 sides and also the top, with a fan to extract heat also. Compare that to some other brands like Waeco where there isn't ventilation on the top and the compressor is located under the fridge, the compressor produces heat, heat is under the fridge, making the fridge work harder.

* Cost to repair. One thing I really like is the simple design of the Bushman. If the digital controller stops working under warranty, Bushman will mail you a new one and you replace it yourself by taking out a few screws! Brilliant. If your fridge is out of warranty the controller will cost you about $70 I believe (2017 prices). One fridge repairer told me to replace the digital controller on a Waeco will cost about $600.

In summary we love our Bushman and highly recommend it to anyone, because of great customer service and the design of the fridge itself.

Date PurchasedSep 2016

what a great product!

First review I have ever written but while looking at there website I couldn't resist. I have had mine for as long as I can remember. Had a few panels replaced and because of the service this wasn't a issue. Mine has lived in my 4x4 all its life and has a few battle scars but works a treat. I am currently looking at another one for a second vehicle and I wouldn't even look elsewhere. Thanks to the team and up the customer service.
Cheers Rick

Date PurchasedJan 2000

The Night before Christmas

Well not exactly but just filled up the Bushman to the brim with freshly portioned Raw & Fresh mince from East Coast Dogs for my "Fur Baby" because we are heading up North on the night of the 24th December and won't be back for about 3 weeks! Turn it on and it don't sound right! A quick search and call to Bushman in Melbourne and they talked me through removing the 5 S/S screws and sure enough totally corroded from the old batteries! They have promised to pop a new circuit board into the express post and we are hoping we get it by Friday. Just wanted to say thanks for answering the phone after 5pm and helping over the phone!

Date PurchasedMay 2005
1 comment
Update on "The Night before Christmas" So these guys close at 5:00pm yet still answer the phone after 5pm and then managed to get the new circuit board into an express post bag and rushed it to an Australia Post Express Post box before 6pm. I was stunned they got it out that quick and I had it on my doorstep the next morning!!! Awesome job Bushman. You'll be glad to know I ran out of time to install the new unit but will do it when the old one finally gives in. (I pulled it apart the same night and washed off all the corroded gunk and cleaned and resoldered terminals. Then put in new batteries and it started working again) By the way I think we purchased ours before 2005 and it still runs like a charm and in the heatwave we had in NSW and Qld during this Christmas 2017 break the Bushman filled to the brim kept the contents at -7 C the whole time even though the outside temps were above 35 C most of the time.

20 years old

Just had a new panel sent to me and I put it in first bit off work done on it in 20 years, the service the best, part Sent over night, works great and service on the phone all so to the point and very helpful, again thanks Brett

Date PurchasedMar 1997

Great investment

I absolutely love this fridge. Mine is about 5 years old now. The versality of the various size combinations using the included collars and lids is great, no collar and flat lid if you need space in the back of the car or colllars and high lid if you need more space in the fridge. Tough and easy to get at, the basket options inside are also very flexible. Recently I had a problem with the on/off switch getting a bit dodgy. I called the company to ask if I could just buy a new control unit with switches as I knew it was out of warranty. No questions the guy just said that shouldn’t have failed what’s your address I will send you a new one no charge. It arrived a couple of days later with clear instructions and I swapped it out in 5 minutes with zero technical skills. All working perfectly again. Great customer service and they deserve their reputation for standing behind their products.

Date PurchasedJan 2012

Very versatile low power consumption

I have had this fridge for over 10 years I mainly use it as a fridge rather than the freezer which is quite capable of doing. I set the temperature at 2° which means it turns on at 4° Off at 0°. So my drinks are really cold and fresh things such as salad products I put in the baskets above. Over the 10 years I have had a couple of issues. When I called Bushman there was no issue at all the support and backup and guidance everything was back on track.

Date PurchasedMar 2007

Awesome experience

Needed a part for my older bushman fridge spoke with Gary he didnt have what i wanted but took details, when an older fridge came in he rang and said he had the parts i required and sent them to me no charge for the parts or postage great service and i will buy a new fridge from him when i require a new one

Date PurchasedAug 2007

Great customer service

Bought our Bushman last Christmas and has not missed a beat since then.
Somehow I managed to lose the red spacer that is used on the 12v plug for the cigarette lighter connection. (Still worked but 'loose')

An email enquiry to Paul resulted in a complimentary spacer being shipped and in my hand in 2 days. Couldn't do better than that.
Well done to the Bushman team

Date PurchasedDec 2016

Great fridge. Exceptional customer service.

Our 35-52 is almost 13 years old its been around Australia along the gibb river road. Through the goldfields and every where in between. On our recent 2 week fishing trip up north we managed to crack the circuit board on really rough tracks. Up to this point never had a reason to complain about the fridge. Hell its 13 years old. Thought oh well new fridge. We got home the fridge still hanging on and working just. Gave Bushman a ring. On the off chance they could help. What manufacturer still makes circuit boards for fridges that old. Bushman does 2 days later new board arrives in the mail. As well as new seals and and rubber grommets. That they thought i might need since the fridge was old free of charge. So $88 later. My fridge is running smooth as. Thanks guys. Your service is second to none..

Date PurchasedJan 2005

Had it for years and never had a problem. Value for money

I bought my bushman original over 10 years ago for camping and keeping the beers cold... never had an issue with it. I love how you can go from fridge to freezer and 35 lt to 59 lt in one unit. My fridge is only as noisy as every other brand, which isn't noisy in my opinion. Everything is still original and going strong .. lile a woman, a fridge will stick around as long as you treat it right! great aussie company with service to match. Cheers.

Date PurchasedJan 2005

Buy one and you will regret it.

I have taken fridge on many a camping trip and use around home, out of all fridges I've owned the bushman causes the most headaches, cable supplied with unit is if extremely poor quality, handle broke off (fridge wasn't even full), constantly failing to start ( supply voltage is not the issue it's the unit itself, fridge is very loud when running compared to other fridges.

My money would have been better spent if I'd just brought bags of ice for my eski.

Do yourself a favour and buy an Engel Waco or arb fridge.

Date PurchasedMar 2012
1 comment
Hi. Thanks for taking the time to write a review. Our apologies if you have experienced this with your fridge. Have you given us a call at head office in Research VIC? Please do. As this does not sound right. We are always happy to talk to our customers and help in every way we can. Hope to hear from you soon. BUSHMAN.

Problem Starting

This unit has been a continuing problem as it has not reliable. I have had a new temp/indicator board fitted with no improvement. Initially I had the light power cord which it was delivered with. I upgraded to the HD power cord without any appreciable difference. It appears as tho the startup current is excessive when on battery (new separate battery fitted) and the battery has been running the fridge for a few (4) hours. It tries to start a few times and then wont start even after the battery has received additional charge. I have lost faith in the unit as we only use it mainly during the winter season when travelling around WA. I am now seriously considering getting rid of it as it has not proved reliable. It is mounted in the back of a covered 4WD ute and used about 3-4 months a year during the Winter months.

Date PurchasedMar 2012
1 comment
Hi Edam, Our apologies for your experience to date. In the scenario you explain it sounds like the fridge is sensing a low current after it has been running on your battery for a few hours, so when it senses the low current it stops running to protect your battery from further discharge. There could be many different reasons why the compressor is sensing low current and hitting low current cut-out. We are more than happy to look at the fridge for you and the setup in your car to diagnose the issue. Please contact us at head office in Research, VIC on 03 9437 0737. Cheers, BUSHMAN.

Best fridge ever

10 years old been from 1 end of the country 2 the other on every rough road in temperatures varying from -8 to+45 still as good as the day I bought it can't recommend it highly enough lowest power use of any fridge I've had super reliable and great features

Date PurchasedJan 2007

Best choice

We purchased this fridge about 5 years ago and we have put it thought all the extreme temperatures Australia has to offer and bad desert roads, dust etc with out it letting us down once. It lives up to its reputation with it been very economical with the power with great temperature control and built solid.Had an issue with a broken clip once and the customer service was great, received it in the mail the next day from Gosford dealer. Cant complain about that service.

Date PurchasedApr 2012

Page 2 of 5

Questions & Answers

I just bought a second hand bushman sc35-42 and it freezes. It won't stop running, any help would be great. Jason
1 answer
Hi Jason. First check under the control panel. There is a toggle switch which should be in the OFF position. Take the top off the compressor compartment to get to it. If you’re still stuck, call us on 03 9437 0737 when you are with your fridge a we’ll talk you through some tests. Cheers. Tom.

I would be operating on a boat with 12 V DC and 240V AC. In DC, how many amps will it draw in freezer mode? Regards Mark
1 answer
Hi Mark, the average consumption in 35L as a deep freezer (-18º) will be between around 1.5 Amps per hour average.

Hi Just purchased a secondhand sc35 can't see anything on the online owners manual should the power light be red once at temperature Cheers
1 answer
Yes -the redlight shows its working. Green light shows its at temperature. Try "Set' the temp down to say - 10 . The fridge should start showing the red light. Then raise the set temp to say + 3 and the fridge should stop and the red and green lights come on. Hope this helps.


Bushman Original SC35-52
Price (RRP) $1395
Release dateJan 1998

Visit official website - Download manual