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Author Topic: 3 way fridge .... any good?  (Read 2084 times)


  • Posts: 3
3 way fridge .... any good?
« on: June 27, 2014, 09:18:13 PM »
Hi all!   I just bought a 99 palomino 10' popup. It's my first camper after years of tenting. I don't know much about the fridges in these things and have heard mostly bad stuff about them. Do they really take forever to cool down? Are they just about useless if the temp is over 90 degrees? Should I just switch it out for a regular electric dorm-style one?

Thanks for any advice!!


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  • Posts: 302
    • Budget RVs
Re: 3 way fridge .... any good?
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2014, 06:34:02 AM »
Depends on what you plan for while camping.....If you are going to sites where there is electric, the dorm fridge idea would work.

I found that my popup fridge worked well as long as it got good airflow over the coils in the back of it. I put in a couple of small 12 volt computer fans to help with that. It seemed to make a world of difference. There are various threads on this on the popup forums....I also found the popup fridge quite small, so I also had a 12 volt Coleman cooler for drinks etc...that worked quite well

The ammonia fridges do take a while to cool down...give it a whole day
Hanover, Ontario, Canada

John From Detroit

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Re: 3 way fridge .... any good?
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2014, 11:39:08 AM »
An absorption cooling unit (The formal name for the beast) usually takes 24 hours to cool,  As for being useless over 90.. I know many meat packes that use them and they keep the storage lockers in the sub zero range.. Mine keeps things cold and the official outside is 91 just now, Actual a tad higher on the sunny side of the RV (Where fridge .. Well, where it was a few minutes ago, I see it's PM now).

3-Way is good on 120 volt, Good on Propane.. Sucks batteries like you would not believe on 12 volt.... I would avoid that mode.  But the other two modes .. Well they basically stopped making 3-ways because of how much they draw off the batteries... They make dual mode now, Gas/120v only.. and that is what I have (Along with a very high effiency compressor job)

OH, http://www.campingworld.com/beattheheat

Register.. You might win one not unlike what is at my elbow as I type.> Very nice, 12 volt/120volt compressor unit, draws a great whomping  THREE AMPS when running (Read that "less than many light fixtures" which Well dual 1141 is right about 3 amps too. )
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.


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  • Posts: 1514
Re: 3 way fridge .... any good?
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2014, 08:20:44 PM »
3way work best on lp    all ways best to turn on a good 48 hr befor you leave    you will notice most 3 way on popup fr can be turned on and controlled from the outside whial the popup is down. nice for pre cooling    12 volt is only good for keeping it cool whial you are traveling  down the road
1996  26ft. 3 kids 2 dog and the wife too


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Re: 3 way fridge .... any good?
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2014, 10:07:05 PM »
The issue with a dorm style refrigerator in a pop-up is the generator, inverter, and enough batteries to use it in all situations. Using you 3 way on LP works in most situations you'll be camping in and while traveling.


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  • Posts: 1976
Re: 3 way fridge .... any good?
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2014, 12:00:45 PM »
We run ours on lp while on the road then shore power at night if available to conserve propane. If off during a hot day the ice is starting to melt by happy hour which is not a good thing. We plug it in the day before we leave home so it is cold when we load it and it stays cold even on the warmest days on 4. On 5 the milk freezes. ;D
Ram 2500 diesel
Prowler fifth wheel
Urge to travel