6 photos
Dometic Waeco CF Series

20+ years and still going strong everyday

Bought a Waeco CF-35 secondhand 11 years ago, the previous owner had it for 10years before me.
The unit has operated as expected every time
Have never had a fault with it, even when i did flood it with the garden hose once while cleaning it post trip... A quick dry out and operated good as new.
The CF-35 is very friendly on power consumption
I can run it for 3 days in 38 degree heat, and not run a 100Ah batter below 50% SoC.
This is while camped with no charging of any kind taking place.

The old CF i have doesn't a temp set point, but rather it has 6 settings.
It is light, very handy when moving to and from multiple vehicles
The only downside, is this model doesn't have the built in 240volt adapter so you must use a external transformer

Over all, i have used this unit for 11years from day to day shopping to week long camping trips
Has been trusty and reliable and the compressor noise is quite enough you can sleep next to it, handy if you have it mounted in vehicle.

Purchased in January 2010 for $450.00.

Build Quality
Value for Money
Ease of Use
Cleaning & Maintenance

Very good and well priced fridge freezer

Bought mine back early 2017 and I must say its been very good since and no problems. I've had it in some very hot Qld weather and seems to run at -2 or-3 degrees without problem eventhough its using more power, drinks are still icy! It came with the insulated cover and I purchased extra warranty from tentworld. Overall I love it. I use it about every 6 months, If I was in the market for another fridge it would be great to have a dual zone fridge freezer.

Purchased in April 2017 for $700.00.

Build Quality
Value for Money
Ease of Use
Cleaning & Maintenance

Excelent Fridge/Freezer

I've only had it a year but has worked well each time we've used it. It does what it's designed to do and keeps food cool/frozen depending on the temperature you choose. No complaints and if you are in the market for a fridge can say I'm happy with mine and recommend you consider this unit.

The only issue I can think of is that the lid feels a bit wobbly when you open/close the unit. This is because with a removable lid the hinges aren't very tight. That's a small issue in the scheme of things and I can once again recommend this unit with a five star rating.

Date PurchasedFeb 2018

2nd Waeco Freezer. Old one was the 50L & still working.

Wanted a smaller freezer for smaller car use. Have the old CF-50 for the big 4WD. I do a lot for road trips now in the car & keep the CF-18 on the folded down rear seats behind the drivers seat. It's set up so the front passenger can reach in easily when I'm driving & get a cold drink etc. My thinking was the CF-11 was just too small & the CFX-28L too big for this type of use. I am careful not to overload it & ram the lid down so as to not break the hinges/latch. The CF-18 is working wonderfully after 2x 10 day & 1x 4 days trips & is now about 6mths old. It's very easy to carry into a Motel if no fridge is available.

The CF-18L are not a common unit so I couldn't see one in a store before purchasing online. The storage area is sort of divided into two adjoining compartments, one higher, one lower. The small & quite deep section has no freezer tubes inside the walls. The tubes are in the higher section & cold air falls into the deep section which freezes very well. There is just enough room for 2x 1.25L & 2x 1L bottles if one inverts some of the bottles. The other higher section can fit 4-6 shorter stubble 600ml water bottles lying down. You can use the higher section as a fridge esp. if the sun is beating down on the lid & in my case I only have it on half the time (say 2hrs on, 2hrs off) while driving & using the cig plug to charge other devices. It is suitable for a couple &/or a small family. This suits my needs perfectly.

If it's rigged up properly to a dual battery system like in my 4WD this little unit will fully freeze if running 24/7 easily. Unless I'm doing a round OZ trip with the 4WD & a camper trailer or staying in remote areas for a long time I can't see the 50L Waeco getting much use now.

Date PurchasedJul 2018

16 Years old and still running

What a great fridge, never had an issue with it.
In the 16 years I have owned it it may have been turned off for 3 months in total.
"It has been every were man".
My missus broke the handle lock once, brought one from WA (Broome) on the net, they have all the spares.
Never had a cover for it, it just keeps going and going.
I have three other fridges, two Engels and a Lumix.
The Engels are over 35 years old and do short cycle a bit but still run well..

Date PurchasedNov 2002

Cools well and good on power BUT

I have purchased this unit and have been testing it for several days under different conditions. Everything about it seems a good product, except for the closing mechanism on top. On the basis of this alone, I would caution anyone against purchasing this or any similar waeco products. To click it shut I have to apply a fair amount of force and sometimes it pops open on its own. This is not a one off defect, it is a serious design flaw that can easily lead to food wastage and flat batteries. The only way to fix this would be to modify the tooling and or use a higher grade of plastics. I regret rushing into this purchase, reading through other stories online and the wording in the warranty, I am not expecting them to be easy to deal with when i inevitably have to make a warranty claim.

Date PurchasedSep 2018

Most Waeco's are fine. Engels also breakdown but not as often.

My 40/50L is 7-8yrs old. Can't remember which size, where I bought it. It works but it's not a home fridge/freezer on 240V. No mobile fridge is perfect. Waeco’s are not as robust as Engels but are smaller, probably more efficient size wise, use less power, easier to carry around, softer rounder corners but still tough. Engels are better for more extreme conditions, larger, more permanent installations & for the more particular/fussy person, ugly (fridge, that is), easily dented sheet steel sides, more pointy corners. My unit gets carried from my Troopy (big ugly Landcruiser) to the Hyundai to the Audi. Will buy a Waeco CF21L for the Audi & a newly purchased tiny AWD (Diahatsu Terious) Engels aren’t suitable for placing on leather seats. (Yes, I know it should be tied down)

Put in frozen bottles of water, softies, meat etc. from the home freezer before a trip. Use the corners (the coldest/fastest cooling areas) & sides to freeze water bottles, quick chills beers (glass bottles), recent purchases esp. meat/seafood. Put less cold temp. fridge items like fruit, bananas, butter in the fridge section which doesn't always get too cool on super hot days. Always monitor your fridge/freeze esp. in differing outside temps & in a locked car on 40C days. Put colder fridge items cold meats, your thawing meats higher up in the middle where it’s cooler. Use corners to freeze water bottles & use them in a small soft cooler bag for day use, picnics, walks etc.

Set it at the lowest temperatures on hot days & when driving & turn to a warmer settings when parking to save your battery & overnight to avoid excessive freezing. Rotate your items, don't open the lid too often, supervise children & drunks scavenging it's depths for beer, both who don’t shut the lid properly. Latches can fail, so clamp it down or put something on top. Be nice to Waeco people, they gave me a new latch but I never put it on as the lid sits tight naturally.

Date PurchasedJan 2010

Dometic Waeco CF-40

For the price what you get is OK. A CFX model is obvioulsy much better and nearly double the price.
I can live with fluctuating temps as we only use as a drinks fridge and use an Opposite Lock for the food.
It does a great job for the drinks. I probably would not use it to keep my food in but I havent tried it in freezer mode as yet though.

Date PurchasedSep 2017

Perfect addition to my camping equipment.

This was the best thing I purchased to travel oz with,it kept all my food and drinks nice and cold when crossing from coast to coast and camping out on the Nullarbor.
A great design,easy to use controls and with the insulated bag you can’t go wrong.
Fits enough food for a family of 4 for 4 days.

Date PurchasedSep 2017

Lid hinge points are weak plastic that snap and need to replace the lid

We have had the unit for 4 years and are looking to purchase our third replacement lid for the unit. The little plastic lugs that hold the lid in place are easily snapped if some tries to close the lid when the unit is over full or if the lid is simply not pushed all the way into it's track.

This is a very poor design and I'm surprised that Waeco/Dometic are still selling the same units with the same problems several years on.

At $65 a pop for a replacement lid this fridge is becoming an expensive unit. We are looking at almost $200 worth of replacement lids on a $600 item!!??

Definitely not something you'd want to take camping with kids as they would break the lid very quickly.

Once the lug is broken the lid cannot be closed and the fridge becomes a dust collector in the shed.

Date PurchasedApr 2013


I bought this unit 1 week ago, I use this in a motor-home. The temperature is erratic. The outside temperature is 31 degrees C. I set it to work at 2 degrees centigrade, but it hovers between + 7 to - 7. I will return the unit to the store where I bought it. I cant understand why it drops to minus 7 degrees C. It is easy to transport; I stored bread, butter, and some fruit in the unit

Date PurchasedDec 2017

Very good unit

Had ours for 3 years lots of use in camper trailer and home made van. It flashes the red light when disvonnecting if the battery supply isnt strong. Side control and plug unit is annoying if cramped, would be better at the front. Cig plug ...better to use anderson plugs. Cover is worth the money. Optional fold up stand takes up little room and saves your back
Works great

Date PurchasedJan 2014

Has been worth it

I bought my Waeco cf-40 back in 2007, it's still running, probably not as efficient as it use to but still does the job. It has had its problems though but I have managed not too have spend money on it. I now have to sort the pins out on the top board to lower the temperature and I've also had to unscrew both boards off their mountings to have it kepp going which suggest weakness or stress across the board. For the money is definitely by another, still might need too for another 10 years of I can keep this one going.

Date PurchasedFeb 2007

I don't know what's going on

Our "green light" is orange and our temperature is going from -0.4, -0.3, -0.2, -0.1 than back up again and than it changes from -0.4 to -0.3
We use it a lot for drinks and camping and this only happened two weeks ago when the "green light" was orange again.

What's going on?

Date PurchasedDec 2013

Take a long time to cool

It was set at freezer mode -15c. Overnight is around -7c. Another day then it is -15c. Put it in the car with the engine off. It run for 3hours before cut off. The car can still be start. If you run it in fridge mode it probably double the duration. The cut off threshold was set to high. The battery at that time is 12.03v.

Date PurchasedMar 2017

Really good and efficient.

I use this fridge in my van running off a 130 amp hour battery and it seems to run forever. Because I have a solar charging system I never need to turn the fridge off. It is almost silent and doesn't seem to pump out too much heat. The only fault is the removable lid comes off a little too easily.

Date PurchasedAug 2016

Two units failed within a month

Ordered a Dometic CF-18 unit from online marketer, for use a cockpit freezer on sailboat, under helm seat and large cockpit canopy. First unit failed upon arrival. Requested a replacement and one was sent [happily]. New unit worked for 1.5 weeks, then failed. Failure description: Unit seems to start normally [soft compressor noises], then within 10 seconds, error light flashing and unit stops cooling. Measured voltage of supply battery and is above 12.6v. Failure description is the same for first and second units. Will report problem again, but no longer trust Dometic CF-18 unit.

Date PurchasedOct 2016

No more bags of ice.

Only recently purchased ,cannot find any negative issues .its effecient &cools rapidly .i have been using it thru cigarette lighter socket in front of my hilux but will soon run a dedicated line from battery and change to anderson plug to keep voltage losse to a minimum. I will also fit a solar panel &regulator to see me thru the work day.

Date PurchasedNov 2016

Waeco CF 40 - lemon

Have had my CF 40 for approximately 10 years. When it is working it cools things effectively. However, in the last 3 years I have spent the price of a new one on repairs - both upper and lower circuit boards packed up. It has been used sparingly and stored properly during that time. With that and the inconvenience of 2 x 3hour round trips each time to have it repaired I will never buy another Waeco. Good luck if you do!

Keeps Going

I have had my cf40 for ten years plus running all the time in the back of the cruiser the only time it stops is if the car has not been used for some days and the battery runs down. The only problem is the display is not working any more but all other functions work fine.

Page 1 of 2

Questions & Answers

How do I have a freezer and a fridge at same time in my ear I cf40
No answers

If you connect both the 240v AC cord and the 12v DC cord simultaneously, can the waeco work out which voltage to use or is that too much to ask of it. If the 240v AC was then turned off, would the fridge automatically switch to 12v DC? and vica versa, would the fridge automatically switch to 240v AC if the 12v DC was turned off? Richard
2 answers
Good question. I would also like to know the answer to this one.I believe and according to the manual, the fridge has an intergrated power supply with priority circuit for connecting to an AC voltage. The priority circuit automatically switches the fridge to power supply operation once connected to AC even if the DC connection is still attached. (connect and disconnect being the operative words here) I would think it goes without saying that it will automatically go back to just 12V DC once the AC is disconnected. I couldn't tell you whether there would be any difference between the meaning of turning off versus actually disconnecting.

I have a Waeco coolmatic rpd 215 that’s not cooling in the fridge compartment. Waeco repairers have found that all the oil has drained out of the compressor and gone into the workings of the fridge. Could this have happened through a storm which tripped the electricity for a day when last camping?
No answers


CF-40 (41 L)CF-11 (10.5 L)CF-18 (18 L)CF-50 (47 L)CF-35 (31 L)
Price (RRP) $799$799$799$799

Visit official website - Download manual