Engels cheapest reasonably sized fridge has served our family really well over the last 7 years.
The Eclipse was meant to be the new, affordable model for Engel, who had seen fridge retail prices increase and a lot of the market start to get priced out of their products, at the same time as competitors were homing in on them and fighting them on the price front.
The Eclipse was the solution. A cheaper to build plastic fridge that was still durable and had the same legendary Engel engine and bits inside.
To this day, the MD40F is the current model, and it looks exactly the same as the MR40F. You can get it for about $800 here.
With the other 40L model costing a cool (pun intended) $1400, suddenly the plastic body doesn’t seem too bad for half the price.
So, how has ours been? We have used it long and hard, and it still works perfectly to this day.
How has ours been used? Many multiple week trips in the back of our old ute tray under the tonneau, day trips here there and everywhere, a trip from Darwin down to Newcastle, the Gibb River Road, in our house, and even for the last 5 months in our living room!
It hasn’t skipped a beat the whole time we have owned it and I don’t expect it too, whether used as a fridge or as a freezer. We are currently fitting out our truck for long term travel and have upgraded to a 110L upright fridge, but we still expect to use the Engel as a deep freeze. 38L fits a surprising amount, it fit enough food for 2 adults on our 2 week Gibb River Road trip, with space for water and alcohol as the food emptied.
My one and only niggle with the Engel is the rubber seal in the lid. Over time it has hardened and shrunk slightly, and it’s position in the lid means that when you open the Engel up it tends to fall out and needs to be repositioned in it’s slot before closing the lid again. This isn’t a big deal most of the time, but if you are accessing at unusual angles it can make life difficult. We haven’t explored replacing the rubber seal because it hasn’t annoyed us enough yet, but once we hit the road the story may change, and we can update you with the cost of the replacement part.