caravan fridge rating

Submitted: Friday, Feb 20, 2009 at 21:56
ThreadID: 66150 Views:4013 Replies:9 FollowUps:4
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hi all , just would like to know about the ratings on three way fridges in vans . firstly where do you find the rating ? is it on the compliance on the fridge oris it stamped someware . also what are the ratings and what do they mean . cheers
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Reply By: Member - Fred B (NT) - Friday, Feb 20, 2009 at 22:19

Friday, Feb 20, 2009 at 22:19
I dont't know what you mean by ratings... but all the manufacturer's details, model etc. should be under the kick plate at the bottom of the fridge... if not there, then on the frame paneling just inside the door area, usually on the same side as the door hinge. If you are looking for the energy rating system, that usually just comes as a sticker on the door when you buy it or in the owners manual
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AnswerID: 350166

Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Friday, Feb 20, 2009 at 23:29

Friday, Feb 20, 2009 at 23:29
First things first - the Europeans have a standard that ALL fridges are tested against. The climate rating is just part of this.

The climate rating is related to a temperature at which the fridge will operate at its maximum efficiency. You will find this rating on all fridges marketed in the European community. It is not a requirement for sale in Oz so you won't see it on many fridges in Oz. If it is included it will be on the manufacturers plate which is normally installed somewhere around the door. See and this.

Those fridges that are labelled 'T' will operate satisfactorily in ambient temperatures up to 43 deg. I am not sure of the other ratings.

Waeco have advised that some of their upright fridges meet the 'T' rating, I don't know if they have declared it on their label. Vitrifrigo do not state what rating their fridges are, however I have heard that they are only 'N' rating. The later Dometic fridges have their rating on most of them. I believe that all their current fridges of 90 litres and above built in Sweden are 'T' rated. I believe there are some manufactured in other places that are not so check what you are getting.

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AnswerID: 350172

Reply By: kcandco - Friday, Feb 20, 2009 at 23:46

Friday, Feb 20, 2009 at 23:46
http://www.lets-getaway.com/caravanfridges.htm

Zacc I know the frustration you are experiencing. Have a look at the site shown above. Scroll down a few paragraphs. In my opinion dont believe what a caravan salesman tells you about fridge ratings. My brother recently bought a new van and I might be harsh but from my experience they just want to make a sale. He now has a $1000 fridge that doesnt keep his beer cold. Keep asking questions and go elsewhere unless you get the info you are after. Its your money!!

good luck
Kc
AnswerID: 350175

Reply By: Member - Niss42 - Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 17:51

Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 17:51
G'day, Zacc.
In a 3 way fridge, only accept one with a "T" (tropical) rating on the data plate, all others are only rated for European conditions which are a lot cooler than here in Aus.
The other alternative is to go for a 12V compressor fridge.

niss42
AnswerID: 350273

Reply By: zacc - Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 19:12

Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 19:12
thanks guys for all your replys
AnswerID: 350291

Reply By: Racey - Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 20:04

Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 20:04
12 volt compressor frig is the only way to go. The 3 way types are all absorption units which rely on heat input to operate. They are very inefficient and don't work to well in the hot weather regardless of what the salesmen say.

We currently run a Waeco 160ltr and it has never let us down.

Cheers
Racey
AnswerID: 350304

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 21:21

Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 21:21
Hi Racey
"We currently run a Waeco 160ltr and it has never let us down."

You should say what the rest of your set up is, re charging batteries , battery size,time you stay camped without driving etc for the that statment to mean anything.

"The 3 way types are all absorption units which rely on heat input to operate. They are very inefficient and don't work to well in the hot weather"

THIS furphy continues to be circulated.
Correctly installed & ventilated 3way fridges will perform quite satisfactory in temps up to 40c as many have found out.
FEW if any are correctly installed by van manufacturers . You do not need large battery banks , generator or solar panels for a three way & the still work in in prolongedv wet or cloudy weather. For some one who does not have oddles of $ the 3way is the way to go. Just make sure you operate it level , & ensure it is correctly installed[ plenty of info on how to do this on various sites]or I can detail my set up if required.

JUST TO CLARIFY I have both, + 240w of solar+ 200ahrs of battery & I have often been glad I have the 3way to fall back on after prolonged periods of bad weather.
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Follow Up By: Racey - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 19:39

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 19:39
Hi Oldtrack,

Our setup is 2 100ah sealed deep cycle batteries and an 80 watt solar panel and as I said it has never let us down.

I must insist absorption units are inefficient if you check any authority on these units you will find that a fact. This link will get you started.http://www.airah.org.au/downloads/2002-08-02.pdf

Considering an Elux unit has a 12volt input of approx 10 amps (120 watts) and compare a similar sized compressor frig _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx only 3-4 amps, we are more than 50% in front. Running on gas is the same, the energy input is higher than a compressor unit.

I can accept the comments about correct installation. However, 40+ degrees and absorption units are stretching the operation of these units. With compressor units installation also rely on correct installation. When the ambient temperature rises with a compressor unit, the condensing pressure increases and the motor works a bit harder to maintain the compartment temperature; that's not possible with an absorption unit as far as I am aware. Regardless I would not go back to an absorption unit.

Cheers Racey
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FollowupID: 618937

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 21:56

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 21:56
Hi Racey
"Our setup is 2 100ah sealed deep cycle batteries and an 80 watt solar panel and as I said it has never let us down. "

So with that battery capacity [ discharged to 50% max recommended depth of discharge for long life] & depending on ambient temp & fridge setting & warm loading etc you could run it for from 2 to 4days with no /little solar input.[or other means of recharging]My question still is how long do you claim you can run it in bad weather. Even in good weather your 80w solar will only put in about 30ahrs per day while your usage for the fridge alone could be between 20& 60 amphrs
It still comes down to how long you can go without having to find or use some additional means of battery charging.!!

"I must insist absorption units are inefficient if you check any authority on these units you will find that a fact. This link will get you started. http://www.airah.org.au/downloads/2002-08-02.pdf"

Totally agree if it was the thermal energy efficiency you were referring to between absorption & compressor fridge,those facts are well recognised.[& is why the post war domestic absorption fridges disappeared as cheap compressor fridges came onto the market. Who remembers the COLD FLAME & SILENT KNIGHT ABSORPTION FRIDGES , REAL ELECTRICITY CHEWERS.

I believed you were referring to the operation of the fridge, NOT IT'STHERMAL EFFICIENCY , which I think is what most would have thought.
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FollowupID: 618989

Reply By: kcandco - Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 21:09

Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 21:09
I tend to agree with Racey and would go 12 volt. Then spend some extra on agm batteries to boost battery capacity.

regards Kc
AnswerID: 350315

Reply By: paulnsw - Sunday, Feb 22, 2009 at 14:58

Sunday, Feb 22, 2009 at 14:58
Thetford 3 way fridges are a useless hot box
Thetford goes to 12C at 32C
got a full refund after going to consumer affairs and had Waeco compressor fridge installed. Kept 5C when 2 wks ago was 42C
AnswerID: 350404

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Sunday, Feb 22, 2009 at 16:26

Sunday, Feb 22, 2009 at 16:26
Hi Paul
You should have bought a Dometic [{Electrolux] a long time on the market, well established name. Even the standard rated uprights will perform & freeze in the freezer @ 40c IF correctly installed.
Many years of personel experience leaves me very happy with mine. Yes slow to react ie to drop temp if heavily reloaded with warm goods. needs to be level etc as per previous post , but ALWAYS working unless temps get above 40 something.
We go for long periods away from supplies & use our Engel as a deep freeze. MY solar panels are mounted so I can tilt & rotate to track the sun from dawn to dusk, I also access how much power I need to recharge bats each morning & if anticipating a surplus turn the Engel to max freeze for the day, then turn it back to a warmer setting for the night. This gives me max efficiency from solar power available ,yet many times I have had to make use of the 3 ways freezer section OR PULLED OUT THE GEENY IF IN AN ALLOWED AREA.
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FollowupID: 618736

Reply By: Best Off Road - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 06:49

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 06:49
You will hear a lot of hearsay and innuendo about gas fridges, mostly from those who have never actually used a good one.

I have used an ST rated Dometic, a T rated Dometic along with both Engel and Waeco Compressor fridges.

FACTS

-ST rated fridges are next to useless once it gets to 35 degrees

-T rated fridges will hold an internal fridge temperature of 0 on a day of 43, with the thermostat at less than half setting.

-Compressor fridges also work well but eat power in hot conditions. This is OK if you have access to 240 volt, but if you plan to bush camp be prepared to spend a fortune on batteries, solar and/or generator.

On balance, a T rated Dometic is the best option.

Cheers,

Jim from _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx.

AnswerID: 350705

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