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Dometic Waeco CF-50AC

Dometic Waeco CF-50AC

2.9 from 27 reviews

See the Best Portable Fridges / Freezers in 2019 as rated by Australians on ProductReview.com.au.

Very good but not perfect

I have had the CF50 for approx 12 years. It has run off a second battery in my ute or as a second fridge at home. Basically very reliable but had to overcome 2 issues. I now have the fridge wired to the 2nd battery with Anderson plug connectors. Much better than the Waeco socket. Recently, the thermistor failed (which is common) which meant that the digital readout showed 60C degrees while the fridge was actually working overtime and freezing. I took the punt and followed a You Tube clip to cut open the base of the unit to find the thermistor. A friend then spliced in a replacement thermistor which cost about $50. It now works perfectly on 240 and 12v. The bottom of the case looks crappy but function over form is my motto. Put the fridge cover on and there is no sign of violence.

Purchased in March 2007 for $600.00.

Build Quality
Value for Money
Ease of Use
Cleaning & Maintenance

Good Camping Fridge

This was a birthday gift, as we go camping all year round and have for the last 30 years relied on ice and eskies. So first trip was a good test. I pre-cooled it overnight and stacked everything properly. I have an old ute which has a 120 Amp Hour 12 volt deep cycle battery, so power would not be an issue. It worked a treat, kept the food and drinks at a constant 3 degrees and had plenty of storage space. It came with a insulation blanket to keep it cooler in direct light, and we had 3 days of 29-33 degrees. So far I can recommend it.

Purchased in February 2019.

Build Quality
Value for Money
Ease of Use
Cleaning & Maintenance

Great Product - highly recommended

I bought my CF50 on sale for $699 at BCF. I have had it for over 18 mths and have been running it 24-7 - 50% on 12volt on 1 x solar panel & 1 x 120 amp battery in my caravan for weeks on end & 50% on 240v. Always maintains my preferred temperature -3 deg C and gets there fast, Best $699 I have ever spent.

Purchased in November 2017 at BCF Physical Store for $699.00.

Build Quality
Value for Money
Ease of Use
Cleaning & Maintenance

Buy an Engel - What I should have done.

Barely lasted and the compressor went.
When it worked it would drain my 135Ah battery in 1 day. Not really acceptable when you're running off battery and solar power. Jump the fence, spend the coin and you won't be disappointed with an Engel. As they say, a poor man pays twice and I've learned my lesson with Waeco

Date PurchasedAug 2018

Waeko CR 50

Purchased in 2010 and have run it non stop as beee fridge at home and hooked up to battery in car for holidays. Finally bit the dust!!! I have had an excellent run with this portable fridge. Changed the fuse but it sparked up and it does not look good

Date PurchasedAug 2010

A Positive Experience

Purchased the CF-50 49Litre in 2009. Used as fridge. Used in the household and traveling on the road. 12V in back of vehicle and 240v at caravan parks. Very sturdy, totally reliable, holds temperature well especially in our Australian hot and humid conditions. Easy to transport. Great love the brand

Date PurchasedApr 2009

When it works its fine

Does ok when it works, from day one ive had problems with this plastic fridge, was in the market for an Engel but was talked into one of these crappy units, waeco dont have after sales service or do they do their own repairs, they just send you to a agent where they rip you off by onselling and charging exhorbent ammounts of money for doing crap all, just been ripped of again $75 inspection $200 thermistor then a further $187 for pcb, then i was told the lid was broken. What an absolute farce, this will be the last $ i spend on this crap box and will be going back to engel. Of which i have had for over 30 years whithout a hitch still going strong.

Date PurchasedJan 2009

very poor fridge

the compressor failed and was repaired under warranty. the fridge goes into error mode when running through my invertor and must be hardwired to the battery. It has now failed again and the service agent has advised me that the gas is leaking and it is not possible to repair it as the leak is internal.
$1000+ for 2 weeks use a year over 6 years= very poor value.

Date PurchasedOct 2010

Unreliable and poor quality construction for the price.

When new, it was very good at keeping things cold, but used a lot of power. (I had an insulated cover which came with the fridge)
The lid broke just after 2 years, on the hinges (very weak, cheap plastic, should be metal)
The temp control buttons started to "stick" around the same time, making it hard to set.
12V motherboard went after 3.5 years. $550 to replace and the 240V circuit went a short time later, it now only runs on 12V as I refuse to spend any more money. Thermostat stops working after extended use and freezes everything. I have to switch it off for a few hours to reset. (and defrost!)

I spent over a year travelling around Australia with it and lost count of the number of people that had various types of Waeco fridges, who had similar issues. (no bad Engel stories, it was always a Waeco that failed!)

My (and others) advice is "DONT BUY A WAECO" or if you already did "Should have bought an Engel"

Date PurchasedDec 2006

Great fridge when it has a decent controller fitted

I simply inserted a pair of Anderson plugs into the Waeco supplied power lead. I then made up another lead also with an Anderson plug, used the positive to power an STC-1000 linking from the 12 volt control in to the cooling in lead. I added an earth to the 12 volt in side and inserted the sensor supplied with STC-1000 into fridge compartment and taped it in place along with a distant reading thermometer. ALL PARTS bought for a total of $40 from internet. Plugged in to 12 volts and control is set pointv +/- 1C, Ideal for transporting some very expensive medicines my uses. (try $10,00 per annum and you will see why I am so pleased.) Previously it had been repaired by the Waeco local repairer for $120 and three returns, to no effect. This set up allowed me to compare the fridge as it was and how it is now. We use it outback, bush and beach for up to three months a trip.

Date PurchasedAug 2006

Been perfectly reliable, no complaints

I bought my CF50 about 5 years ago and it has never missed a beat. I have never turned it off other than to transfer it from the house to the car or caravan in that time. Yes, I use it as a permanent beer fridge.

It works perfectly okay with factory supplied cord and it works no problems with the car's factory wiring, even when the car is turned off. I've had no issues running it on the caravan battery or my little 38 A/H jump kit. Heck, I've even used it with a 120w solar panel hooked into the caravan / jump pack.

I read someone had an issue with the plug not connecting properly into the cigarette socket over rough terrain. Here is what the Waeco rep told me himself about that -

1) Believe it or not, there are varying sizes of cigarette socket. So if you are plugging it into your car and having issues it is most likely the socket. (This is true, try putting a cigar lighter from a Volkswagen into a Toyota and you will see what I mean)

2) Waecos have 2 types of socket on them pull that red bit of plastic off and it becomes a Narva socket. If you have the RAPS 36 Battery, you will notice it has 2 sockets on it. The smaller socket is the Narva type. Plug it in there and it won't rattle loose. Waeco also sell a wiring kit that can be installed into a vehicle that has this socket with it along with the recommended thickness of wiring (which is pretty heavy btw)

Date PurchasedAug 2011

Waeco Power cords

Will cool/freeze under 240 V conditions, however the power leads are unsatisfactory (Mickey Mouse stuff and under amped that heat up), particularly under rugged conditions when connected to the Waeco power pack 36 battery - bouncing around on rough tracks, breaks the contact frequently, causing no charge.
The box itself is great, its just the power leads that do not carry the capacity of power needed. I had my Waeco leads spliced over with ENGEL leads (more contact and do not vibrate in the socket) by an Engel/Waeco service manager. He said, next time mate buy an ENGEL and get if right - sure cost more but!!!!
So, Waeco good box, how about connecting with high quality leads with 6 - 8 mm contacts - like ENGEL
Waeco/Engel Reps tell Waeco customers like me - Buy ENGEL nest time - a sad indicement.
Also, Waeco continually change the compressor componentry - cheaper & cheaper versions - Waeco reps conclude that is has caused a deterioration of quality of the overall product that does not compere/compete with Engel.
In summary - WAECO is a great box. That little fellow on your team who has gone Mickey Mouse on under powered leads & contacts should be sacked. I know of 6 people lined up outside Mt Isa service manager's office, alongside myself with Waeco power lead problems....hey no Engel probs
Dave - So what the go Waeco?

Date PurchasedMar 2016

Fantastic fridge

Bought my cf50 second hand off a mate for $500 7/8 years ago and was out of warranty.
This fridge has been everywhere and Iv chucked it in 4wd then shed and so forth hundreds of times and has never failed me.
I'm surprised people have had so much trouble with there's.


have a 50 litre waeco cf 50 5year old nothing but problems , and has got to the stage im not fixing it any more . very disappointing as was told it was the way to go . spent 200 on if 4 months ago now service agent says another 240 to spend on compressor controller 2nd hand part . engel here I come . I aknowledge it is out of warranty.


Get real and don't waste my time, bought CF50 for trip around Aussie, need to again have it fixed. Digital top selector is locked on 2, top lid has broken again, transformer has been replaced, Thompson power plug has failed and replaced all at my expense. Warranty- haha there isn't one. Guess what my neighbour has had same trouble.

Two CF50s and two bad experiences

My first Waeco failed just out of warranty. I took it to an authorised repairer at Cleveland who charged me $460 but they did not fix the problem. After many phone calls and arguments Waeco generously offered me a new fridge for $500. Total cost to me of $960 but they wanted the old one. My hands were tied!.
The replacement one is five months out of warranty and does not get cold. I have been told by a service agent that it will cost $600 to have fixed. Both fridges have had very little use and have been treated with Kidd gloves.
I would not recommend a Waeco. The product is doubtful and service is pathetic.

I made the mistake of buying TWO!

I purchased two very power hungry Waeco CF50's with intention of running one as fridge and the other in freezer mode supposedly to save on ice purchases, to run in the rear of my dual cab with canopy. I have dedicated and correct wiring connected by Anderson Plug direct to my Thumper Extreme 110Amp/H with additional Thumper 44 Amp/H connected to the Extreme and all charged by vehicle when running..this has proved inadequate and both fridges quickly run down this battery set-up when not driving/independent camping. Don't believe the fiction about claimed miserly.86Amp/H poer usage. The Extreme has a digital power draw display which shows actual draw of my CF50..on basic cooling is MINIMUM draw of 4.6Amp/H which increases considerably if set to freezing....in independent camping it rapidly depletes both battery set ups, and I am forced after only few days to resort to my 120W solar or Generator connected to 3 stage charger 10,000mA. to keep them running.
Also when the Thermister goes Kaputt,which it will, due to apparent built in obsolence and income generator for recommended Waeco repairers ,and your CF50 will only freeze and not cool and you first find out when it blows all your bottles stored inside as it unexpectedly freezes..Being just out of Warranty of course...I took to recommended repairer on our trip after Waeco 'helpline' said it would invariably be the 'Thermister'...I dropped it off and told repairer it was the Thermister..one week later while I'm waiting in this Town... he rings and says its the ""THERMISTER"" Dur!..and while it costs $20 odd for the part/Thermister, its obviously a well worn ruse and revenue raiser, that it costs $200 to insert...Dur!...and you get asked to pay for the quote to add to the absurdity...took the thing to the local tip, and bought an Engel..now have one of each until the Thermister goes on the remaining one...Waeco after sales repair service is poor...and when I rang them about my experience they recommended ANOTHER repairer.....I should have bought Engel in first place..

I refer to my review above concerning these poorly made/constructed/designed CF50's....I forgot to mention after replacing 4 light switch set ups <two on each of mine> I simply removed the globes and put up with no lights...the problem?...the shoddy light switch design stays on when the lid is closed..how do you find out apart from the excessive power drawer?...the globe is hot when you open the lid..in other words it is always on!....catch 22 situation...as there is no warning the light is when lid is closed you have to feel the plastic covering the globe...check yours now if you are unfortunate to have a CF50 and see if it's warm/hot using valuable battery power....toss out the globe and remain in the dark is my advice...as the assembly is not cheap and must be a real money earner for Waeco accessory sellers...twice bitten twice shy.....Update November 2015....the thermistor has just gone in my remaining CF50 with all the contents freezing on only one light.....you have to have all your bottles shatter inside creating an almighty mess to find out the planned obsolescence of the thermistor failing has happened yet again...no $200 bills for me as the Council tip will recycle this rubbish for free....why don't disgruntled owners tell their failed thermistor story on here......as a group Waeco should have taken responsibility for this with a total recall of the CF50's and fix them for free however then their authorised repairman wouldn't get their $170-$200 to ""fix"" the thermistor would they.......another Waeco owner tells me they include another thermistor inside the new Waeco's now for when the first thermister packs up now....oh goody...what a plan....what a design.....do they still need to be taken to authorised repairers to have it fitted and at what cost.....?......so ad infinitum.....Further update, I contacted 'Waeco Customer NoCare' on their 'Contact Us" website asking for their recommendation as to whether this 4 y.o. CF50 which only freezes will likely be reliable just as a freezer only, and not burn my vehicle to the ground when unattended....also asked what they would do in my situation $900 spent for about 4 years of infrequent usage..can they recommend a REASONABLE REPAIRER in Bendigo that may carry out the thermistor replacement at a REASONABLE cost and without charging just for a quote...that was 4 days ago and have heard ZIP...nutta...nothing..apparently 'ya spends ya money and ya takes ya chances'...all too hard for them no doubt...just want to get on with selling more new Waeco fridges...another Waeco garbage I take to the local tip....few hundred dollars more and it could have/should have been an Engel...they must really be confident that folk will continue to buy on price alone.....the Jeep of the fridge world...

Love our Waeco's

We bought our first CF50 at about 2004.
Following our first use, the fridge sat in our garage for about 3 years until we prepared it for a 2 month trip to the Cape.
We ran it as a freezer for 1 month and then as a fridge, in the car in the heat and the unit kept our food perfectly cold.
We were so happy with it we bought another CF50 which has the digital, I much prefer the old fridge though, a few basic lights and very simple.
They are only used occasionally, so are stored, run and stored again.
On a 31 degree day, I connected our old CF50 up to a 130ah battery, put the empty fridge in the sun, attached a 120watt solar panel I was testing to the battery and ran it hard for 2 hours.
I did not take note of the power draw, but it got to -13.6 in two hours in the heat and empty....not bad I thought.
They are also somewhat weatherproof, ours has operated in the rain on a camping trip.
I would recommend the Waeco.

Shuts down

It shuts down running on 12 volt where car is turned off run s well when car running or on 240 v very good

1 comment
Well it' is running well now on 12 v with car off battery world put in a 9w poly fuse fixed it runs well $130 fix

WAECO, you owe me.

Had an engel for 20 years, we, suffered the poor insulation, it was the model that was built as a 30 Lt and had a base extention to 40, so, the cooling element did not go to the bottom of fridge, big mistake, said, I wont do that again. Bought the waco for round Aus trip. It would not fire up first time I turned it on! took it to local repair man who said, put it in the queue! Told me the problem is in the buttons where they use a foam pellet instead of a return spring! solution, throw away buttons and use a match stick, It worked OK until I stopped checking it, then it always let me down! Would not cool under 11 degrees while traveling! The repair people around Aus cant understand my anger as it can always be fixed under warranty. But, like Toyota, and Cooper tyers, it is always my fault. Working in remote WA (where WA people would not dream of buying a localy made waeco fridge) I travelled 2500 Ks and spent over $2000 getting waco fixed over 2 months. Do you get what you pay for? Would risk buying a National Lunar if this waco did not owe me so much. PS After all the repairs it still does not work on 240 volts, the "MAN" in Newman WA said "Oh" you wanted that too?!!

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Questions & Answers

Hi my 75ltr works ok on 240 but won't on 12V .There's 13:2v at input.will run on emergency but not on low cutout regard Baz
No answers

We have a Waeco CF50 it works fine on 12v but on 240 keeps blowing a fuse any clues ???
1 answer
You probably need to put a power conditioner on you 240 outlet, sounds like you are getting surges, my questions would be do you live with 200 km of a heavy industry site such as steel works or smelters, as these regularly have large load spikes. How old is the home switchboard - if it's more than 20 years old it probably is part of the problem. Either way a simple power surge adapter should fix the problem.

Fridge has freezer and cooling system but it is freezing only
1 answer
If the temperature within the fridge is showing a high figure then it probably indicates that the thermostat is failing. If so, there a youtube clips showing how to replace the thermostat. It is agricultural but works as I have done it.


Waeco CF-50AC
Price (RRP) $999

Visit official website - Download manual
  • MPN: CF50DZ

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