3 way v compressor fridge

Discussion in 'Fridges & Ovens' started by ronidog1, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. ronidog1

    ronidog1 Funster

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    Hello

    I am trying to get my head round the advantages and disadvantages of a 3 way fridge over a compressor. When I bought my current campervan a few years ago 3 way fridges seemed to be great but tempermental, not like slopes and need lots of care and attention. I have found that that the compressor fridge is ok except in very hot weather when the battery is not charging. Also they are really expensive to replace!

    Anybody got a view from their experience?

    ronidog
     
  2. UK Pete

    UK Pete Read Only Funster

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    Having had both , i sway towards the compressor it suits my needs perfectly, and if you are solar powered like myself, it runs off the sun, you can hear a small thump when the fridge turns on and off but other than that its quite and efficient , a bit more expensive i know, but the less gas appliances i have the better
    pete
     
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  3. matamoros

    matamoros Funster

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    If you think 12v compressor fridges are expensive to replace then compare them with the price of dometic 3 way equivalents. To replace our largish fridge/freezer in a Hymer caravan would have been about £1400. As we are always on hookup it was replaced with a domestic 240v model for around £170.
     
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  4. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    you won't be the first .. or the last.. I've also wrestled with this conundrum..

    Much depends on your style of camping.. if you are moving every other day, park wild, use sites etc etc

    For obvious reasons, the absorption 3 way fridge has the most flexible fuel source, ie 3 ways.. but on the downside, less rugged, the newer models seem to have a lot more electronics so less reliable and costly to repair..and, if you are traveling outside the EU comfort zone.. possibly hard to get repaired.

    For these reasons I think most expedition campers prefer a compressor fridge.. more reliable, less to go wrong, and works in all climates.

    Summing up..
    You travel most days, don't use sites much, travel outside the EU, are prepared to fit solar panels, an extra battery, and perhaps a B2B charger.. go Compressor.
    or
    You tend to stay on sites with EHU, travel mostly in the EU , don't want the expense and or the added payload of solar and a bigger battery bank.. go with the 3 way absorption fridge.

    On balance.. the 3 way is probably the most suitable for most peoples needs..
     
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  5. Ranger

    Ranger Funster

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    Other advantages of the compressor fridge are, no running costs, no ugly holes in the side of the van and no draughts. Its a winner for us.
     
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  6. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Good points.. 1 & 2

    however, if it's been installed correctly there should be absolutely no draughts with a 3 way .. draughts mean it's a dodgy installation.. or a bodge. and may allow CO gas into the hab area.
     
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  7. 1_man_and_his_dob(lo)

    1_man_and_his_dob(lo) Funster

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    Just to confuse things a bit, I would argue that if you're staying on sites with EHU a lot then a compressor is fine because you don't have to worry about battery drain.

    I don't bother adding the 2nd battery to my (limited storage space) van when I'm heading off on a trip where I know there's EHU powering my Waeco/Dometic compressor.
     
  8. Bertie Bassett

    Bertie Bassett Read Only Funster

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    What Scotjim said in #4 plus we have a compressor Fridge in our current PVC, we also have 2 hab batteries and can only say we will be sad to get our new van with a 3 way. The compressor works great as long as you run it overnight before you start off on a trip and all the stuff you put in it is already chilled. If it isn't pre-chilled the fridge takes a bit of time to bring it to where it needs to be. Compressor 9/10 3 way 7/10 ( in our experience).
     
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  9. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    I don't know but just looking at Amazon there are A+ rated fridge/freezers that are only rated at 50watts and cost less than £200. Would it be feasible to run one of these from an inverter (which are now pretty cheap) rather than forking out loads for a 12v model.
    Anyone know ?
     
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  10. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    Can't answer the elctrical question, however a domestic (ie household) type fridge/freezer isn't meant to be constantly 'bumped' around in a vehicle so that may have a bearing.
     
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  11. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Quite feasible and no electrical reason why not .. but.. as Minxy says, domestic units are not built to stand up to the rigours of traveling in a van, so that may shorten the life..

    however .. a certain Funster @vwalan with a mini artic runs a domestic fridge/freezer in his trailer. ... and I think also on solar power..
     
  12. Bertie Bassett

    Bertie Bassett Read Only Funster

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    Good one and I too will be interested in the answer RR.
    Just seen Scotjim #11 and am inclined to go with that response.
     
  13. dabhand

    dabhand Funster Life Member

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    Don't know the ins and outs, had a 3 way Electrolux AES for last 14 years, hasn't missed a beat wilding++ and hook up, it just seems to work! Last van had the same but an older 1983 model, that worked perfectly too, unless you were parked on a hill!
     
  14. ronidog1

    ronidog1 Funster

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    So if you are parked on a hill what happens?
     
  15. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    you roll out of bed.. :LOL:

    absorption fridges on any power source need to be level to work properly, if run on a slope they won't cool properly and it can damage them..

    Doesn't need to be perfectly level.. IIRC up to 5deg is ok.. check the handbook

    this diagram may help explain why being level is important

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. ronidog1

    ronidog1 Funster

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    Each time I park on a hill I must turn off the fridge? Not too good for a panel van used in the hillier parts of the UK!
     
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  17. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    if by parked you mean camping on a hill, yes, I'm afraid so
     
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  18. ronidog1

    ronidog1 Funster

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    Jim, I was thinking of parking the van on a hill for a day whilst walking
     
  19. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    always have had 3 way, but one in present van is so efficient even in high summer it amazed me...I discovered its because of the way its been installed..properly! yes its just a stock fridge but can freeze the contents if you turn up the stat to high even in 35+ deg. all the vans I have had have struggled and i have fitted fans etc to get them to work in the past
     
  20. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    same answer..
    but when you park up the fridge will be cold and if full of food and drinks will remain cold for a while without being on.. so out walking for the day should be ok..

    suck it and see
     
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