3 way fridge

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 12, 2019 at 11:15
ThreadID: 137802 Views:925 Replies:7 FollowUps:3
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was looking into 3 way portable camping fridge around the 40 litre to suit when camping in one spot & not touring . I have already got a few 12 volt units , was thinking off loading .
pros & cons ?? . I see they use about 10 / 12 amps on 12 volt power which would be double what a 2 way fridge might do . Dometic do one around that size & bushman do a 61 litre . wondering if anyone has any comment on any other units , experiences etc
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Cheers Nick b

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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2019 at 12:19

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2019 at 12:19
.
Much more amps than a 12v compressor fridge Nick, which draw about 3 or 4 Amps but then only about 30% of the time whereas the 3-way draws the full current of up to 15A full-time. But then, you would only run a 3-way on 12v whilst travelling and the alternator can handle that.

I'll leave "experience" to others.
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Follow Up By: Member - nickb "boab" - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2019 at 20:49

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2019 at 20:49
Thanks Allan : could you clarify a comment I read elsewhere. A 3 way fridge on 12 volt will draw 15 amps continuously or 15 amps per hour
I was unsure what they meant .
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2019 at 22:44

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2019 at 22:44
.
Yes Nick, a 3-way fridge has a thermostat on the 230v which switches on&off to regulate the input, but on 12v the input is a bit less so the power is put to the works full time. So it is "15 Amps continuously". And, as it happens in this case, it is also "15 Amps per hour" because it is pulling 15A continuously.

The "Amps per hour" expression is not really a valid engineering term but is a useful way of describing the energy being consumed over a period.
Taking the fridge above, if the 15A was 'on' half the time and 'off' half the time then it can be said that the fridge was drawing 7.5 Amps per hour. The 'correct' engineering expression would be 7.5 Amp-hours. So in a full day it would consume 7.5 x 24 = 180 Amp-hours.

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Reply By: Kazza055 - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2019 at 12:44

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2019 at 12:44
A compressor fridge can easily be run from a battery and solar panel setup.

A three way fridge will drain your battery source very quickly, most people only use them on 12V while driving and switch them over to gas if camping without mains supply.

My D-Max only supplies 12V to the van while the motor is running, it is connected via an ignition relay.
AnswerID: 623798

Reply By: RMD - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2019 at 14:56

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2019 at 14:56
Nick
Unless you don't have a 12v solar setup and you have a big gas bottle, I suppose the 3 way might be a stay in one place option.

The 3 way on gas, or 240v, or 12v, cools far slower than the others and if hot weather they need to have a fan to cool the condenser unit in the rear to get reasonable performance.
If travelling over rough ground the 3 way is far more likely to fail internally due to vibes and shocks, then you have no fridge. The 12v are more reliable and you already have some, why change?

Years ago I had two Finch 3 way units in a row and both gave up with internal mechanical faults where the gas separater screen broke of the tubes. They both travelled in good riding vehicles.
Not sure you are advancing your cause with a 3 way.
AnswerID: 623802

Reply By: KevinE - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2019 at 15:41

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2019 at 15:41
We had one & loved it, but as has been said, they break easily on rough roads. I've never had to do running repairs on a 12v fridge, but I did have to on the 3 way.

The gas can be a pain to light at times too.
AnswerID: 623805

Reply By: Bushranger1 - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2019 at 16:59

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2019 at 16:59
Gday Nick,
I got a spare 3 way for base camping to back up my Engel 40L. Only ran it on gas as WAY too much power usage on 12V
Scrapped it a few years later & bought an Evacool 12V fridge because over about 30 deg the 3 way just could not keep temps down enough.
These days just run the Evacool & the Old Engel is my backup for large groups.
Dont bother with the 3 way unless you only tour down South.
Cheers Stu.
AnswerID: 623808

Reply By: Member - nickb "boab" - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2019 at 20:55

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2019 at 20:55
Thanks everyone for replies .. Is the portable three-way fridge different to the caravan fridge on gas cos the one in our van he is a ripper.
Cheers Nick b

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Follow Up By: Keir & Marg - Thursday, Feb 14, 2019 at 11:43

Thursday, Feb 14, 2019 at 11:43
Dometic 3-way fridges can have a standard cooling circuit or a tropical rated one. After I bought my old second-hand Jayco Penguin, I found the previous owner had gone to Darwin and shaken the standard cooling unit to bits on rough roads; they'd put a tropical rated unit in, which is why the three way was such a ripper, and continues to be so for the Penguin's 3rd owner who recently travelled to FNQ and NT. Our newer Jayco Freedom has a standard cooling unit in it, and we are unimpressed with its performance once the outside temp reaches 25C or more. I've just installed a set of Karls Kool fans in the top vent and it seems to be much better.
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Reply By: Batt's - Friday, Feb 15, 2019 at 21:05

Friday, Feb 15, 2019 at 21:05
Personally I would spend the money on a portable solar panel and batteries to suit as your 12v fridges they will keep your items at a more consistent temp in all conditions as you have complete control over the temp and your food items will last longer. Once set up your fuel supply is free from the sun.
3 way is just consistent at draining power and sucking gas they have high fluctuating internal temps they freeze things in cooler weather, don't keep things cool enough in hot temps any where near as good as a 12v compressor fridge does. You have to sometimes make a windbreak for the flame which then can make you paranoid so you keep checking it instead of completely relaxing and enjoying your camping ( just give me a minute darl going to check the fridge again lol ). You can't safely keep it out of sight from prying eyes inside your tent if you want to. Some people like them but they haven't really advanced the tech over the yrs to come any where within range of competing with a compressor fridge.
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