Friday, 19 August 2011

The benefits of using a 3 way fridge or gas electric fridge.

Three way fridge freezers otherwise known as gas electric fridges operate on Gas, 12V and 240V.  Camping fridges are a source of mystery for many campers today especially when they are presented with the wide range of choice of compressor type fridges.  This article will attempt to eliminate some of that mystery and shed some light on why you may want a gas fridge.

Picture Above: My family and friends touring Fraser Island.

If you are camping in one spot without power for more than three days, then you need to seriously consider a gas fridge. A 4kg LPG cylinder will run a gas fridge for 10 days continuously without any monitoring or concern. That is what makes gas fridges such a great camping product.
The downside is that they are slow to chill down to the desired temperature in comparison to compressor fridges because they are not force driven like compressor fridges.  Three way fridges do use a lot of power on twelve volts, drawing anywhere up to 10 amps.
This means that this fridge cannot be left on while the vehicle is turned off which means it is not particularly suitable for road trip camping.  For this sort of travelling a compressor fridge is most likely the best choice for your usage.

The Dometic RC1180 - currently Australia's most popular 3-Way gas fridge. 

Three way fridge freezers when operated are able to get to 3 degrees or below as a refrigerator or -10 degrees as a freezer in reasonable conditions.  Gas electric fridges need to be reasonably level to give maximum performance- a bubble level takes the stress out of guessing levelness.

How to maximise the life of your gas electric fridge.
To maximise the life and performance out of a gas fridge, run the fridge continuously on either gas or 240v to make the unit circulate. Keep your beers and coke in the fridge in the garage at home when not on holidays to keep the fridge working. Keeping the fridge stored for long periods of time without use is not ideal, put it to work at home as a extra freezer or a bar fridge.

Popular gas electric three way fridges:
-  Dometic Chescold RC1180 technical details and price.
-  Dometic Chescold F400 technical details and price.


  1. A friend said to me with a 3 way fridge if you turn it upside down to mix up the gas it will get colder is this true ? bernie

  2. Hey Bernie, shaking the 3 way fridge or any gas fridge can sometimes mean that the fridge will be able to get colder.

    This is not because you're re-mixing the gas, as far as I'm aware.

    What that is doing, is removing a partial block in the lines. Turning the unit upside down, will dislodge that block and allow the gas to flow more freely through the unit.

    I hope this answers your question? Feel free to contact me on 1300 836 896 if you have anymore questions.



  3. Jon,

    I've got a Chescold RC1180 and it was running fine on 240V the other day, but was running far less cooler on gas. I thought this was strange and took it in for a service. Their verdict, that it was running fine. However, when back on gas, it was hotter than usual again. Do you have any ideas what might be going on?


  4. Hi Aaron,

    That does seem strange as on either 240v or Gas it's using most of the same gear to do the job. Heating element excluded.

    Perhaps you're having a gas flow issue? This could be preventing the burner from operating at full potential. Try using a different regulator with your fridge (the one from your BBQ should work).

    Obviously also double check that you've got a full gas bottle. If it's nearly empty you'll find that it will run, but not at full pace.

    Do make sure that you're running your RC1180 on a flat even surface. I always use a small level.

    Failing that, take a look at this link it's the operations manual for the RC1180. Maybe something will stand out there!

    Let me know if this helps!


    1300 836 896

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