Chescold Explorer Fridge/Freezer

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 23, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 1010 Views:9678 Replies:4 FollowUps:2
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I have one of the above fridge/freezers and have a couple of questions that you guys out there might be able to answer. Firstly the reason I chose the Chescold was I needed a fridge that would run on gas as I do a lot of bush camping and I am not set up for full time (say a week) on a 12 volt system. I know the Engels are great but they don't have a gas version. My problem is that after three years since I purchased the Chescold and on my last trip it decided to give up the ghost while on gas and alas no cold beer. Now that won't do, so I have contacted the manufacturers who say it needs a good service as the LP gas might have been dirty that I used. I also contacted the firm I purchased it from and they tell me as it is a gas fridge as well as 240 volt and 12 volt that I need to store the fridge upside down when I am not using it and just put it the right way up a day or so before I am heading off on a trip. Now this works OK as I have had it upside down for about three weeks and put it on the gas and guess what it works fine. My main problem is that I might decide at lunch time Friday that we are off for the weekend and we fill the fridge with food (and beer) and arrive at our bush camp for the weekend and the bloody fridge don't work on gas. My concern is that the manufacturer tells me that all it needs is a service but the store I bought it from and several other people tell me it has to be stored upside down. Now I am asking you guys out there is this normal for a fridge that uses LPG and is that the reason why most of you obviously have Engels. When it is working it is brilliant but a pain in the butt if I can't just take off at any time an not know if it will work on LPG when I arrive at my camping spot. I have noticed a lot of talk on the forum about fridges so hopefully someone out there can help steer me in the right direction. As the fridge initially cost me about $900 I was hoping that it would be just what I needed. Thank you in advance for any replies and I hope someone can shed some light for me.
Can't go camping without COLD BEER. (Homebrew of course but that would take up another hour of typing)
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Reply By: Mark - Tuesday, Apr 23, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Apr 23, 2002 at 00:00
Hey Brian. I'm a gas service technician, so I think I can help you. With 3-way fridges it is common for the refrigerant gas in the pipes to get airlocks in them. If this happens the fridge won't work. Don't worry about storing the thing upside down. Just before everytime you use it gently and slowly tip it on it's side, then upside down. You should be able to hear the refrigerant gas trickling through the pipes. Leave it until you can no longer hear the refrigerant gas trickling (probably 30 seconds), than gently put it back the right way up. This process will get rid of any airlock in the systyem, and away you go.

I have had several 3 way fridges, but have only had to do this about half a dozen times, through probably 5 years of camping with them.

Also remember that if the fridge works on one power source (ie gas or 240V) but not another, then there is a problem. If the 240V works,but not gas, it needs to be serviced. If the gas works, but not on 240V then usually that would indicate that the element isn't working.

Hope this helps!

PS you haven't bought a dud fridge!


AnswerID: 3039

Reply By: Colin- Tuesday, Apr 23, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Apr 23, 2002 at 00:00
Mark is the expert and seems to have answered all your questions. It does seem though, that your frig needs a 'service' - whatever that entails. My Sadec is 20 yo has always worked best on gas and I only started turning it over in the last 2 years!? Do a search on "Sadec" and you will find some other mods I have done which have improved the frig performance. Gotta have that cold beer at the end of the day.
AnswerID: 3042

Reply By: axel+ karen - Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00
mark and colin have got it right,,tip the sucker upside down for awhile ull be suprised,,also look at the site colin sugests ,has made all the difference to our chescold,,it used to go to 0, on gas -4 on 240 and +2 ON 12vlts,,,, now after collins mods runs up to -8 on gas,, -18 on 240 and -6 on 12 volt ,, best thing is ours is only a fridge not a fridge /freezer ,,,now have cold beer always,,,axel
AnswerID: 3079

Follow Up By: Goran - Thursday, Apr 25, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Apr 25, 2002 at 00:00
Axel,what is the adrres of this site?I did the search on Sadec, but not much come trough relating to the gas fridge.
FollowupID: 1221

Follow Up By: Darian - Friday, Apr 26, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Apr 26, 2002 at 00:00
My Chescold has been running really well for 10 years. Have had to tip it once or twice, but in moderate weather it is a real performer - runs well on 12 volt while mobile too. Mine stopped cooling at Innamincka last week, but a mate pointed out that it was too far off level (car on a slight slope). Propped him up one side and off like a rocket it went.
FollowupID: 1244

Reply By: Bill - Friday, Apr 26, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Apr 26, 2002 at 00:00
I have a 240v/gas fridge in my caravan - it's 24 years old and still going perfectly on both (hope I don't have to tip it!!) Levelling the van is important though. I also have an even older Finch for off road travel and it works fine on all 3 powers - again level is important. A mate had trouble with his Finch and fixed it by tipping it upside down.
AnswerID: 3151

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