One of the big advantages of using a chest-type fridge/freezer is that the cold air stays in the fridge a lot longer when you open the door. This is a big difference from the cabinet-style fridges/freezer that let the cold air out as soon as there is an opening. The former may save you a little on your power use.
How you camp will be the biggest influential factor in the style of fridge/freezer you will buy. If you boondock a lot having that propane option will keep your fridge/freezer working all the time and save on battery power.
To learn more about the Dometic 3-way fridge/freezer unit, just continue to read our article. It has the information you will want to know about before you take this step. If you go this route be prepared to make some extra propane runs.
There are a few good options you can choose from. Two of the best brands t5o look for when thinking about buying a 3-way fridge are SMAD and Dometic. Thetford may be a third but that brand may not be available in many countries.
Dometic makes a lot of 3-way fridge/freezer units so you have more than one type to look at. The absorbent models run quietly so you should be able to carry on your normal activities in your trailer or RV without any interruptions.
While the chest type was mentioned earlier, it seems that the majority of the options available are all the tower or cabinet-style units. Inside most absorption units you will find 5 components.
There is the water separator, the condenser, the evaporator, the generator, and the absorber. That makes for a simple operation. The thing to watch out for, and this applies more to Dometic than other brands, is that your trailer or RV has to be very level to work right.
One of the reasons people switch to a 3-way fridge/freezer unit is that they can keep their unit working and cool while they are driving.
Many people like the 2-way electrical units as they can use them while driving, then while they are plugged into the shore power. Then, if you are stuck in a location that charges a lot for your electrical use, then your costs can go way up.
The Dometic 4000 3-way fridge freezer helps cut that electric bill down by adding in the propane option. the problem you may have is that the company doesn't seem to make this product anymore.
A search of their website turns up no results and that means they discontinued it. Your only hope will be to find one used. If it is not in good shape, it is best to pass on it as parts may be hard to find at this time.
Also, you would need proper venting in your RV or trailer to make these units work right. Plus, they do demand a lot of electricity when put on 12-volt power. That electrical demand does not always produce great cooling results.
Their best work is done when they are using propane. If you do not mind making extra propane runs to fill your tanks, then this unit may be a good option for your camping needs.
Dometic is not the only RV fridge-making brand out there. If you are not happy with your Dometic products, there are alternatives you can go with. Or if you prefer to stick with Dometic, their website has a long list of different fridges you can use instead of this model.
Two brand names that come to mind are SMAD and Thetford. They produce top-quality products and you would have to measure your available fridge space to find the right unit that will work in your RV, etc.
Not all of your options will be 3-way devices though and you may have to consider going to a two-way system. The good news is that you can always turn your 2-way unit into a 3-way option by adding an inverter in the back.
The cost of the conversion may be prohibitive so you may just want to buy a 3-way unit and save yourself money and time.
1. Lasts longer- the 3-way units actually have fewer parts to break down. This means that they usually outlast 2-way fridges and compressors. They also have fewer repairs to make when something goes wrong.
2. Less maintenance- with fewer parts to worry about, the maintenance duties go down. You do not need to regularly maintain these units like you would a 2-way fridge or freezer.
3. Quieter-absorption fridges, which are normally 3-way fridges, are very quiet. They do not use a compressor to keep your food cold so the noise level is removed
4. They keep running- even when you are driving to your next destination, you can keep your food and the fridge nice and cool. These units work while you drive so you do not have to have alternative storage options for those moving times.
5. Long-running- a 20-pound propane tank will power your fridge for about 2 to 3 weeks. This means you can go further out into the wilderness and stay longer knowing you will have the fuel to cover those excursions.
6. Options- you have 3 sources of power and when you want to save on propane, you can switch to either shore power or battery power.
Using a 3-way fridge for your camping needs may be a smart move to make. Propane is not as expensive as electricity and you do not run the risk of draining your batteries. The key is to find the right brand and model for your RV or trailer. That way you will get the best results.