What is three way vs two-way

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New member
May 12, 2019
We have 2010 Wolf Pup by Forest River and are selling it. One question asked from potential buyer s, is it three way (fridge and stove) or 2 way. I have no idea what this person means, except that one way is LP and 2nd way is 12V. So, what is third? We may have that but I don't know. Thank you!
Fridge (absorption, not residential):
    Runs on heat generated by a heating element that is powered by 120 volts AC.  Also can be run on heat generated by a propane flame.  Some fridges also can run solely on 12 volts DC in addition to the other 2 methods.  Note:  All absorption fridges require 12 volts DC to power the control board regardless of means of providing heat for the absorption cycle.

    Stoves:  Don't know any RV stoves that generate heat for cooking with two different means, gas or electricity.

    Water heaters:  Many can heat water with propane or a 120 volt AC heating element (many can run both at same time too).  Also require 12 volts DC to power the control board.

One way means only one power source, LP, 12VDC or 110VAC. Two way usually means 110V or LP, fridges and hot water heaters are commonly set up this way because they would quickly drain the house battery(s). 3 way is just that, all three are available.
Thank you both! A person who was inquiring about our trailer said she was looking for 3 way stove and fridge and I didn't think they existed in modern trailers. Anyway, thanks. It's very helpful.
I don't think any of my trailers ever had a 3-way, but some of my old motorhomes did.
The potential buyer probably heard the buzz words somewhere and has no idea what they really mean.

There's no such thing as a "two-way" or "three-way" stove, and a fridge that runs on 12 volts DC is pretty useless due to the high current draw.
Absorption RV refrigerators have two primary modes, LP and AC.  Because of the limited power available at 12 volts, the cooling system works at reduced capacity in 12 volt mode and is designed to slow the warming of the interior, not run the refrigerator indefinitely.

The 12 volt limitations and high power consumption are why most modern RVs only come with 2 way (LP and AC) refrigerators.

Recently induction/gas cooktops have appeared on the market where the burners are divided between the two sources of heat, but these are designed for houses, not RVs.  They may be able to be custom installed in an RV but I don't know of any that are included from the factory.

Induction/gas cooktop
There is a practical way to do 2-way on a stove but .. It's obvious

I have a propane only RV stove and oven. Atop it sits an electric "Rotisserie Oven" kind of a large toaster oven.. I have both Resistive and inductive plug in burners (3 resistive one inductive) I can plug in as well (I added an additional circuit to the kitchen. GFCI and all).

Just I put the cover over the propane burners and use it as counter top.

I do not know of another way to do this.
Oh I have ONE 12 volt cooker as well.  But again .. Different box.
My friend put a residential fridge in and AGM Batteries with a large inverter.  I guess he is limited to the more boring "one way".

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