2 way or 3 way fridge

Submitted: Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 20:20
ThreadID: 2989 Views:1940 Replies:9 FollowUps:15
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I have been looking at getting a fridge and have differing opinions on 2 or 3 way fridge. Have been leaning towards a Engels 40 litre but talking to a friend today , they would definately go for a 3 way.
I don't have a dual battery system and was thinking of getting one installed for use with the fridge but after reading all the posts on these systems am wondering wether to forget that and buy 3 way. i carry a spare 9kg gas cylinder so I figure this would run the fridge for a while.

I also have an Evercool esky so was going to use the Fridge mainly as a freezer to store meat and make ice etc.
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Reply By: Andrew - Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 20:56

Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 20:56
Gday Brad,

If you plan on staying at camp sites for extended periods than gas is definetly the go. That 9kg gas bottle would run my 40l chescold for 3-4 weeks. Gets down to -20, no worrys making ice. However it uses about 10 amps on 12v and can flatten your battery very quickly. You defenitly need a deep cycle, dual battery set up, for those quick stop overs when you dont want to set the gas up. You only get a few hours out of the battery when the engine is off.

For shorter stops Engel for sure. Andrew.
AnswerID: 11406

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 21:06

Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 21:06
Brad on the majority of batteries that are in good condition - under two years old, you can normally safely go three hours on 12vDC and most definitely two hours. You could always put on a low voltage cut-out for safety sake if you get held up or forget.

You only buy an Engel if you can afford nearly new price to repair it.
You buy a Danfoss powered compressor now for quality
FollowupID: 6315

Reply By: OziExplorer - Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 21:02

Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 21:02
Brad, it depends on how you are going to use a three way fridge.
If you travel daily in an average 4WD and you are off the main highways the bouncing around of the liquid in a three way fridge causes the system to flood and it will not cool down at all. Once you get onsite and you have the three way fridge level, they are great and work very well on gas.
Brad if you are looking to use the three way fridge to make ice for your evaKool, not on. A three way freezer just does not have that amount of freezing capacity.
The reason I now use a 12vDC fridge, is I travel a lot on rough roads and need something that will cool down while travelling and has capacity to pull food down from warm. I have two 75w solar panels, so power is not an issue to me.
With fridges, you have to look at how you use the fridge and the purpose it will be used for.
Would I buy another three way fridge, without hesitation if it suited what I needed. We lived on absorbtion refrigeration for 9 years, and yes, used to leave it running on gas all the time while travelling, but because it was a tall fridge the fluid inside did not flood the system and it was just magic.
AnswerID: 11407

Follow Up By: Andrew - Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 21:43

Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 21:43

You say you ran it on gas while travelling, how do you cope with the smell of the exhaust? Unless you travel with all the windows down, which isnt always possible. And what about when you leave the vehicle and need to secure it, its a gas chamber. I would love to travel with mine on gas, however the fridge is directly behind my seat and i cant stand the smell. The performance on 12v is satisfactory, mainly because of the high ventilation and limited openings while travelling.. Andrew..
FollowupID: 6321

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 21:53

Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 21:53
Andrew it was an RM760 two door Electrolux mounted in a caravan with a proper Electrolux roof vent, and fully sealed to the inside of the van. This is the unit I used to run on gas while travelling.

Would not run a three way on gas inside a motor vehicle while travelling. I used to run my Chescold on 12v while travelling or stationary. I had the wood grain Chescold which was their freezer model with the thicker insulation and used it mainly as a fridge. I used it in Northern Australia and the freezer was a higher capacity unit than the fridge and had no problems even in summer.
FollowupID: 6324

Follow Up By: Rodeoowner - Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 22:03

Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 22:03
Don't ever run your fridge on gas while travelling!! Ozi I know you think this is ok to do, but it is really, really dangerous.
FollowupID: 6327

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 22:26

Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 22:26
Rodeoowner it is legel in most states, if not all. With a proper gas and fridge installation it is not an issue.
I cannot possibly see why it would be dangerous. The flame has automatic flame failure gas shut-off.
The gas fitter in Howlong where I got my certificate was fixing a fridge in a caravan while I was there and discussed about running a fridge on gas while travelling and he runs his while travelling. Gas is no more dangerous that a faulty petrol tank and/or fuel system. At least I always have a gas warning device and automatic shutoff which I would like to see more in Australia. They are popular in Europe, UK and US. You can hardly buy the things here and cost a small fortune.

Why do you think it is dangerous?
FollowupID: 6333

Follow Up By: Rodeoowner - Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 23:19

Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 23:19
Ozi, we've had this discussion already. Lets agree to disagree.

PS. don't tell too many people about your gasfitter putting a complaince plate on your camper. If a gasfitter certify's work that he knows was performed by an unlicensed person, that's enough for him to lose his licence.

FollowupID: 6340

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Friday, Jan 17, 2003 at 08:19

Friday, Jan 17, 2003 at 08:19
Rodeoowner anybody can do the gas installation work, but of course it has to comply with the standard. No different in the electrical game, anybody can do the work, but you have to get it checked and approved by a licensed electrician.
There is no provision under any law to stop anybody from doing any work and then getting it approved. This would be restrictive trade practices, and as much as some people would like to see it, it will never happen. Was exactly the same in the new house I built. I did all the gas work, plumbing work and electrical work. All is approved and passed with flying colours - did not have to make one change. Everybody was impressed with the neatness and quality of work.
FollowupID: 6349

Follow Up By: Rodeoowner - Friday, Jan 17, 2003 at 11:39

Friday, Jan 17, 2003 at 11:39
Ozi, you are quite obviously correct in every thing that you say. What would I know? (Nothing apparently!)
FollowupID: 6359

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Friday, Jan 17, 2003 at 13:11

Friday, Jan 17, 2003 at 13:11
Rodeoowner, not what I say, what the laws of the land say.
I hold a number of trade certificates in three states, and do certification work for those that do work themselves. Nobody should ever be forced to engage another person to do work for themselves. However, they should get it checked appropriately. They tried to bring this in in Victoria in some trades and it got trounced. People are not allowed to do work for others without being licensed - yes, that is the law.
FollowupID: 6369

Follow Up By: Thepublican - Friday, Jan 17, 2003 at 20:38

Friday, Jan 17, 2003 at 20:38
Ozi ,the day you deem to know the law for gas fitters and electrical fitters in Qld we will see how your "trade certificates" stand up, be game and name your gas fitter in Howlong,you will be able to keep him/her company on the dole line.
FollowupID: 6387

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Friday, Jan 17, 2003 at 21:14

Friday, Jan 17, 2003 at 21:14
publican where your gutter clown bum chum glen

FollowupID: 6389

Follow Up By: Blitzdriver - Friday, Jan 17, 2003 at 21:18

Friday, Jan 17, 2003 at 21:18
ozi forget the trash gutter clown filth just rubbish people no manners no school no use
FollowupID: 6390

Reply By: rodeoowner - Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 21:38

Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 21:38
G'day mate, just like you have already heard - 3 way for extended camping, 12 volt for travel based camping. You can make a small amount of ice (like to add to the odd drink) by sitting the ice block on top of the cooling plate. You won't be able to make bulk ice with it though. I usually used my eski style 3 way fridges hooked up to the single starting battery via a relay, so power was only available whilst the engine was running. No need for dual batteries with this system.

Cheers, hope this helps.
AnswerID: 11409

Reply By: paul - Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 22:43

Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 22:43
i have to agree with Rodeo owner about ice making. (Ozi i have a danfoss) All our gas/12v fridges work on gas fired cooling tubes behind the walls floors etc of our portable fridges. When it gets down to negative 18 or 20 then that is a static temperature that is diluted by distance from the walls. In our domestic freezers there are fans blowing over fins through which the same gas travels so just like riding a bicycle in winter you have serious wind chill factor. I wondered why my 12v fridge could not make ice anywhere near as fast as my Kelvinator - answer was the wind chill factor. Right now cold air is blowing over my ice cubes in my kelvinator at minus 30 degrees, whilst if those ice cubes were in my 12v fridge the plates would be minus 20 or so but no movement of air and if the ice tray two ice trays are on top of the other the second top one won't be ice for - maybe all day. Just something to be aware of - yes i had visions of making a bag of ice overnight, not so sure now till we get domestic style freezers, but then maybe they would not be portable - any fridge mechanics out there to correct me ?
AnswerID: 11413

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 22:48

Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 at 22:48
Here is a good ANIMATED picture of how absorbtion refrigeration works.
The picture is a tad slow, but watch it.
FollowupID: 6335

Reply By: paul - Friday, Jan 17, 2003 at 10:09

Friday, Jan 17, 2003 at 10:09
That's a very cool site Ozi, and i presume is how the gas fridge works cause the gas flame provides the heat for the boiler. Anyone come across a similar diagram for enegl, danfoss or our domestic cooling/freezer units ?
AnswerID: 11422

Reply By: wal - Friday, Jan 17, 2003 at 10:24

Friday, Jan 17, 2003 at 10:24
Hi Brad
To put my two bobs worth in, I have the second battery setup and decided on a Chescold woodgrain model 40l. I made this decision as we intend to do a fair bit of bush camping. As I bought this unit second hand recently, I have spent a fair bit of time testing the unit. I found at 28% ambient the fridge would go down to 2.8c and the freezer the best I got was _10.9c . THe first day I tested it I placed a 2ltr container of water in it and was well frozen in the morning,my next test was 6 takeway containers and was disapointed to find only two near the fins were nearly frozen the rest were still water. On this test I will certainly be taking the Eva kool esky to keep the xxxx cold. Brad I think my unit might have a bit of age on it I am more than happy with it's cooling capabilities on 240v and gas for which i'll use most, it goes on 12v but have not given it a test out yet,but beleive they will hold the temp whilst travelling. I would be interested to hear from the forum as whether my tests are all I can expect, I think I read somewhere about turning them upside down for awhile to improve performance, anyone know anything about this?
AnswerID: 11423

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Friday, Jan 17, 2003 at 12:17

Friday, Jan 17, 2003 at 12:17
Wal I take it you were referring to beer for the 'take away contianers'.Beer because of the alchol it contains freezes at a lower tempreture compared to straight water. You would have probably found if you popped the cap on the ones that were still liquid, they may have frozen on the release of the pressure in the can.

Brad I used to find with my Chescold while travelling, it was better not to run it while travelling, as it actually got warmer as it lost cold through the alumium cold plates because of the system flooding and not cooling.
I would get the fridge as cold as possible before leaving home, then putting a thick towel over/around the aluminium cold plate in the fridge kept it cooler.
FollowupID: 6365

Reply By: Brad - Friday, Jan 17, 2003 at 20:39

Friday, Jan 17, 2003 at 20:39
First of all, thanks for the info everyone has provided. It has really given me something to think about. As most of our trips we tend to set up camp for a few days, I'm now starting to lean towards a 3 way. To go a dual battery set up with a 12/240 and also get solar panels starts to get pretty expensive.
AnswerID: 11453

Follow Up By: Ozy Traveling Aust.. - Sunday, Jan 19, 2003 at 19:25

Sunday, Jan 19, 2003 at 19:25
I believe you should first talk to the people in camping areas, those people who are using the equipment to get HONEST answers and you will see the products working (or NOT working) also available are various fridge tests from 'unbiased' organisations and not 'advertising'.

That said, I have been traveling round Australia since June 1997, yes i'm retired, I have a Liemack, now Reefer, 50 ltr fridge/freezer on a dual deep cycle battery system, recharged from an 80 watt solar pannel, as I have camped at some good fishing spots for MANY WEEKS, not just a few days.
When used on batteries the cooling qualities of 2 way fridges are far superior to the 3 way fridge's and unlike 3 way fridge's, Liemack/Reefer use a "normal" refrigeration unit that you do have at home, I can get ice blocks for my drinks in only a few hours in the freezer @ -14 degrees while the fridge is running at one (1) degree.

You say you are only going to stay a few days in the one place, then you won't need a solar pannel to recharge the battery system.
Hope you don't make the mistake that so many travelers have and buy something that lets you down in the heat of the Aussie day because of BAD advice.
FollowupID: 6446

Reply By: David - Monday, Feb 10, 2003 at 21:07

Monday, Feb 10, 2003 at 21:07
I own both types and I reckon it's no contest. The 12v compressor fridge has 1 disadvantage- it won't run on gas. In every, repeat EVERY other respect, it is hugely superior.
Get a compressor fridge and you won't look back....
AnswerID: 12833

Reply By: bob_h - Tuesday, Feb 25, 2003 at 22:39

Tuesday, Feb 25, 2003 at 22:39
does anyone have experience with EvaKool Freezer/Fridges?
AnswerID: 13948

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