which fridge for off road/ remote camping

Submitted: Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014 at 11:58
ThreadID: 109529 Views:2096 Replies:7 FollowUps:0
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Looking at a new van and are weighing up 12v/240v Compressor against 3 way 12v/240v/gas. any comments welcome Tks Teago
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Reply By: The Landy - Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014 at 12:16

Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014 at 12:16
We have been served very well for 15 years with the Engel product.

But to your specific question, if you haven’t reviewed the following article it might be a good starting point as it covers the questions you are canvassing.

ExplorOz - Fridge Review

Good luck
Baz – The Landy
AnswerID: 539210

Reply By: Member - mechpete - Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014 at 12:32

Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014 at 12:32
I have 2 engel fridges both 39lts for over 15yrs and have served me well ,
stay away from 3 way fridges as gas is not very efficient in hot climates
my opinion only .
cheers mechpete
AnswerID: 539211

Reply By: Emerging I.T. - Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014 at 12:33

Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014 at 12:33
I think Landy touched on reading the review, see his link. Reason for that is that the principles of cooling/refrigeration are different when comparing 3 Way vs a 12V Compressor Fridge. As for the 3 way fridge most people use these in Gas mode, this is a great form of economical cooling however it takes a longer time to begin cooling vs a 12V Compressor fridge. A 12V Compressor fridge consumes power so you need battery/charging/solar capacity. A 9KG Gas bottle can run a 3 way fridge for weeks. If you have 12V power capacity as per above the compressor fridge is quick and convenient. 3 Way fridges are not that effective and consume more power in 12V mode, so it's horses for courses and depends on what the van has in the way of battery/charging/capacity.
AnswerID: 539212

Reply By: oldtrack123 - Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014 at 13:08

Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014 at 13:08
Hi Teago
Give careful consideration to your decision.
A compressor fridge needs a good power supply to keep it going
Depending on anbient temp, amount of warm loading , & actual thermostat setting,etc , most will use from 45Ahrs to 100Ahrs per day.
If you are long term camping away from mains power, You need A large battery bank,
& a means to replace that every day in all sorts of weather [.by either solar or generator]

Quality, Modern ,tropical rated ,3ways CORRECTLY INSTALLED installed will perform well under most conditions , running on gas .

A standard botle of gas will last at least 3<4weeeks just running the fridge.

You SHOULD NOT use ANY 3way 0n 12V operation , from the ANY house /van battery & ONLY from the TUG battery while it is being CHARGED by the alternator

In that situation, the power they use is somwhat irrelevent!!!

AnswerID: 539213

Reply By: Member - Teago - Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014 at 18:03

Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014 at 18:03
Thanks to everyone that has responded.
I have had marvellous service from my 40 litre Engel as well
I have also had good service from my 3 way dometic with possibly 2 exceptions a) in a very hot environment no matter if on gas or 240v it does loose its temp . I have heard that a small 12v fan blowing on the workings will assist.b) I am told the new ones are not as strong as the old units and replacement parts like drawers break easier and boy they cost a pretty penny (like all dometic parts )
As I will be solar sufficient with 2 x150W panels and 3 x 150 ah batteries I am leaning towards a compressor type which will be more robust as well as cool down quicker and stay cold Teago
AnswerID: 539220

Reply By: Member - Chooky and Wobble - Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014 at 18:13

Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014 at 18:13
I agree with all the above comments.
After due consideration of how often we would be in hot climate we chose the 3 way in the van and a large Engel and a small Engel, both 12/240, in the back of the vehicle. We use the small Engel as a freezer if we are in hot areas.
This set up has served us well including the Darling River, Broken Hill, White Cliffs and Lightning Ridge all during hot weather.
Our van has a thermostat controlled Fan and we have a tarp runner fitted to the fridge side of the van to ensure it is in the shade at all times.
You just have to be sensible.
As we are from Victoria we do a lot of camping in the cooler weather and the gas is much more economical for those times.

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AnswerID: 539223

Reply By: Member - Tony (ACT) - Sunday, Sep 21, 2014 at 07:04

Sunday, Sep 21, 2014 at 07:04
We have a 12 volt only fridge in our Trooper Caravan and have been away for the past 5 months without any problems apart form a few cloudy days in a row. We run the genny to bring batteries back up to 100%.

As we bush camp most of the time our gas bottles last a lot longer. We are on our 2nd bottle after 5 months.
AnswerID: 539323

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