When looking for an RV refrigerator, it's essential to consider one that offers maximum convenience while on the road. A 3-way RV refrigerator is a great one because it has a variety of options you can use. You can run the unit on a 12-volt power, LPG or 120 volts. You don't need to get a compressor when you have a 3-way refrigerator. This is because the model uses a heat exchange system to remove the heat. 3 way refrigerators have low maintenance, and they are super quiet to give you comfort while on your RV. Below is a review of the best 3-way RV refrigerator to help you shop easily for your vehicle.
I recommend the buyer to purchase the Norcold N3104AGR 3.7 cub.ft 1 door refrigerator because it has a large capacity of 3.7cu.ft. This means you can store more food in the fridge without the worry of going bad. The unit has a temperature range of 0 to 10 degrees Celsius to ensure the food quality remains and no bacteria are found in the fridge.
01. Smad Small Propane Fridge 3 Way Refrigerator for RV Outdoor Camper Gas 110V 12V,1.4 Cu.ft.
This is a perfect refrigerator for apartment, campers and vehicles. The unit has an easy to use manual for all the controls you want. When operating on propane ensure that all the valves between the gas container and the refrigerator are open for it to work. After purchase, ensure you have put the refrigerator upright for six hours before you plug it.
You can either plug the refrigerator in LPG,110 volts or 12 volts. It is advisable not to use the two at the same time. The unit uses 65 watts to operate.
It takes between 6 and 8 hours to cool inside from 90 degrees Fahrenheit to 32 or 50 degrees Fahrenheit when it is empty. When the refrigerator is full of food, the time needed to cool is between 2 to 4 hours.
The fridge temperature range is between 0 and 10 degrees Celsius, which is good to keep your item fresh and cool.
The Smad 3-way absorption refrigerator is a silent model with an absorption cooling system. The Silence of the model gives you comfort and peace while you are on your RV.
The refrigerator has an interior light, which helps you see what you want to pick during the night. Inter
Weight and DimensionThe refrigerator is 48.4 lbs with a dimension of 18.11 * 18.9 * 26.77 in. It is lightweight and compact for easy movement. It is a small refrigerator that does not take much of your small space. It has three model options in terms of capacity. You can choose a tie of 1.4, 2.1, or 3.5 cubic feet refrigerator.
02. Smad Propane Refrigerator 3 Way Gas/110V/12V Refrigerator with Freezer for RV Camper with Electric/Gas Thermostat and Flame Indicator, 3.5 Cu.ft.
Smad small propane fridge 3 Way refrigerator for RV Outdoor camper gas 110V 12V,1.4 Cu. Ft. It is also suitable for indoor use.
The fridge requires a power of 65W to function efficiently.
It works best at 110 Volts or 12 Volts. The two, however, should never be plugged in at the same time.
Cooling temperature Time
When empty this fridge will take about 6 to 8 hours to cool to 32-50° from 90°F
When the refrigerator is full, it will take about 2 to 4 hours to cool.
The 3 Way refrigerator has a dimension of 15.75*17.71*25.2* inches.
Weighs only 39.6 pounds making it very lightweight and compact. The lightweight also makes it easier to carry around.
The 3 Way refrigerator uses the Odb absorption cooling system, which works silently. There is no need to worry about noise disturbing you.
This fridge will go up to the lowest temperature of 32°F, making it highly efficient. One can easily control the temperature by use of the temperature thermostat control.
The 3 Way fridge has a capacity of 1.24 cubic feet. It has racks that can be removed with a lot of ease, making it easy to organize.
03. SMETA 3 Way Fridge Propane Refrigerator without Freezer Gas/12V/110V for RV Truck Camping Off Grid Fridge 2.1 cu ft, Black
It is essential to ensure you are RV husbands when using the gas refrigerator for safety purposes. Keep your refrigerator upwards for about 24 hours the first time you are using it to function correctly.
This refrigerator can be powered by AC 110 volts, DC 12 volts, and gas/LPG depending on your needs. The input power required is 90 Watts AC and DC. The refrigerator consumes 0.5 lb of gas for 24 hours. Between 4 and 7 weeks, the fridge can consume 20 lb propane.
When the refrigerator is empty, it takes between 6 to 8 hours to operate to the desired temperature.
The refrigerator's temperature range is between 37 degrees Fahrenheit to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a suitable temperature to allow your food to be cold faster. It has a rated frequency of 60 Hz
The 3-way refrigerator is a super quiet unit that gives you comfort and peace while using it in the house or your RV. This is because the model is made with an advanced absorption cooling system.
Weight and Dimension
It is a light weighted model 4 easy movement with 48 lb weight and Dimension of 18 * 18.7 * 27.1 inches.
The refrigerator has adjustable shelves that can help you contain messes and the storage containers. It also has reversible door hinges.
LED lightingYou can use the refrigerator in dark places because it has LED lighting that allows you to see what you want to pick inside.
04. Norcold N3104AGR 3.7 cu. ft. 1 Door Refrigerator (3-Way AC/LP Euro, Right Hand Door Auto LCD Control Grey Door)
This is one of the best refrigerators with 3.7 cubic feet of interior storage. The fridge has a reversible right opening grey door. During Transit on your RV, you can be assured that your food will remain intact with the adjustable food fences. The auto LCD control on the door enables you to access the refrigerator in dark places.
The 3-way refrigerator has an obvious rating of 1.8A at 120 volts AC and 16.2A at 12 volts DC. You can either use LPG DC or AC when operating the refrigerator. This refrigerator is a high performer and a reliable one. The power required to handle the unit is 200 Watts.
The refrigerator has an adjustable thermostat that enables the user to adjust according to the temperature needed.
The model operates at the minimal lowest level, enabling you to read and rest comfortably without disturbance.
Weight and dimension
The unit weighs 80 pounds in The Dimension of 34.5 * 25.25 * 23.38 inches. You can put it wherever you want because it is portable.
05. SMETA 3 Way Fridge Propane Refrigerator 12V/110V/Gas 1.4 Cu Ft LP Gas Off-Grid Refrigerator without Freezer - Compact RV Cabin Camping Mini Fridge, Black
This refrigerator is a highly efficient. With a capacity of 1.4 cubic feet, the refrigerator can hold several foodstuffs. The fridge comes equipped with an electric plug and gas.
The model has an adjustable thermostat.
The unit has a temperature range of 32 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, a perfect temperature to maintain food quality and slow bacteria growth.
The model is super quiet because of the advanced absorption cooling system technology Incorporated. The unit has no vibration or pollution.
Weight and dimensionThe product dimension is 15.8 * 17.7 * 24.8 in and the weight of 39.7 pounds. This makes the product movable from one place to another effortlessly.
06. SMAD AC/DC/LPG Compact Refrigerator Propane Gas RV Fridge,1.4 cu. ft, Black
This refrigerator propane gas is equipped with electric and gas on purchase. It has removable and adjustable glass shelves that can give room to tall container storage.
For the unit to function effectively is required 65 Watts of power. It can either be plugged in 110 volts AC, 12 volts DC, or LPG. The refrigerator consumes 90 grams of propane to run consecutively for 24 hours. For campers and RV uses, the unit has a flame failure safety valve.
Allow 6 to 8 hours of the refrigerator to reach the temperature range before operating.
The temperature range is between 32- and 50-degrees Fahrenheit. You can store your food for weeks in the refrigerator with an assurance of finding it in good shape and quality.
The refrigerator is super quiet due to the advanced technology used in a cooling system.
Weight and dimension
The net weight of the refrigerator is 44 lbs and a Dimension of 12.2 * 9.8 * 17.9 inches. You can quickly move the fridge to where you want it due to light weight.
Buying guides on choosing the best 3-way RV refrigerator.
Below is a list of factors to consider when purchasing a 3-way RV refrigerator.
When purchasing a refrigerator, you want to get one that meet your needs. RV refrigerators come in different capacities. Consider the manufacturer's specifications concerning the capacity and its flexibility.
Before purchasing a refrigerator, know the space you have. It is essential to ensure you measure the space you are planning to put the fridge and ensure it fits perfectly.
There are many 3-way refrigerator brands in the market, and it can be challenging to know which one is offering quality products. Take your time and research the different brands available in the market. As you research, come up with a list to help you narrow down to the brand that offers quality and reliable 3-way refrigerators. Consider an experienced brand.
Look carefully at the features the RV refrigerator has. For example, you should consider a refrigerator with adjustable shelves so that it can be easy for you to store taller containers. While someone is looking for an ice maker someone else might be looking for crispers. Have a list of features you want for the refrigerator to have the best option.
A 3-way refrigerator can run on different powers. That is the AC power, DC power, and LP gas. One of the advantages of purchasing a 3-way refrigerator is running on a 12-volt battery.
Although running refrigerators on propane gas is risky, experts have confirmed that the risk is minimal when you regularly maintain your propane system. You can also use the arb fridge defense system to curb the occurrence of the risk.
The efficiency of the RV refrigerator depends on what power it's using. For the gas's efficiency, ensure your RV is well ventilated to keep the temperatures down.
Do not purchase an RV refrigerator with compressors because it will have more moving parts while on transit. Consider the material that has made the RV refrigerator. Choosing a fridge with strong and heavy materials will offer your services between 10 and 20 years.
Most RVs come with refrigerator installed. The vehicles price includes the price of the fridge. If the need arises and you want to replace RV fridge consider the cost. Most refrigerators are affordable, and you can get one from $1200. The price is also determined by the style and the capacity of the RV refrigerator.
What is a 3-way RV refrigerator?
An RV refrigerator is a model designed for cold storage to preserve food. It is powered by three power sources. The type of energy source you will use depends on your needs. You can run the refrigerator off battery, AC power or propane.
The refrigerator does not have a compressor to cool the system, but rather designed to extract the heat through the absorption technology. The cooling system uses ammonia as the refrigerant to ensure the units are operating efficiently.
The RV refrigerator has five different parts that function to make the machine operate effectively. These parts include the evaporator, absorber, generator, separator, and the condenser.
When it comes to the refrigerator's maintenance, it requires less maintenance because they don't need a regular routine to care for them. They are durable compared to other types of refrigerators, such as the three-way fridge and the compressors.
Types of RV refrigerators
A compressor refrigerator uses AC or DC power to operate. This means you can either use shore power or coach batteries when you have not plugged in. A compressor refrigerator is not affected by altitude, and it cools faster compared to other types. It is also a more efficient product.
These are the most common types of refrigerators for RVs. They can either run off of AC DC or LP gas. Their flexibility makes them more reliable and convenient. We have a two-way, a refrigerator, and a three-way refrigerator in this category. The 2-way refrigerator runs on AC power, and the LPG gas welder 3-way refrigerator runs off ac dc and LPG gas. The gas used is propane.
Compared to the compressor refrigerators, these RV refrigerators take time to cool. You also need to ensure you have parked your RV well for the functionality of the fridge. When purchasing the absorption refrigerator, you must consider a high performer RV propane tank.
Residential style refrigeratorThese refrigerators are popular due to their large capacity. They cool evenly compared to the absorption refrigerators. You can use an inverter or a generator for the fridge to continue functioning when they are not plugged in. RV manufacturers use residential style to mean the large size design and the fact that the refrigerator cools faster.
Types of 3-way RV refrigerator power source
The three-way RV refrigerator can be powered by three energy sources. That is the AC, DC and LP gas.
12volts DC battery
A 12-volt DC battery is a powerful power source that can provide enough power for the entire session you will stay in your RV. To increase efficiency, you can use inverters. A 12-volt DC runs for about 4 to 5 hours continuously. A single 12-volt DC battery with 150 watts, can draw 12 amperes per hour.
If you camp around an environment with a power source, this is the best energy source to use in your recreational vehicle. When you are traveling from one place to another, it may not be a suitable power source because there are some places you may not access electricity.
LPG power sourceAn LPG power source uses propane gas to run the refrigerator. It is a beneficial power source and consumes less gas to operate. For this to work effectively, place the fuel source on a flat surface. It is also necessary to ensure your RV is well ventilated to present a risk. This is because a propane gas can start leaking in the vehicle and cause burning.
The difference between 2-way versus 3-way RV refrigerator
A two-way refrigerator runs through a compressor such as the one used in the home refrigerators. The fridge uses 12 and 24 volts from batteries and can run a 240-volt power from your RV generator. On the other hand, a 3-way refrigerator is an absorption refrigerator. It can work through three power supplies: the 12-volt battery, the 110 volts of electricity, and LPG gas. The refrigerator uses a heat exchange system to extract heat.
One of the 2-way refrigerators' advantages is that it provides a low temperature for the fridge to cool faster. Despite the 3-way refrigerator having advanced technology, it takes time to cool.
The 3-way refrigerator is super quiet compared to the 2-way refrigerators. The two-way refrigerator compressor produces the same noise as your home fridge.
EfficiencyThe compressor refrigerators are much more efficient than the 3-way absorption refrigerators when plugged in the RV. Also then 3-way refrigerators are much better when it comes to storing your food for some time as you travel. This is why the refrigerators are considered to be much efficient.
3 way rv refrigerator
2 way rv refrigerator
AC, DC, LPG
AC, DC, LPG
Absorption cooling system
Efficient for long use
Smaller for tight space installation
How do I keep my RV fridge cold while traveling?
When traveling, ensure that your fridge is cold enough so that it can store your food and leave them fresh and quality. For this to happen, you need to do the following.
- Initiate the cooling process before traveling.
Start initiating the cooling process before you start your journey. You can do this for 24 hours before you start your journey. The energy produced will be capitalized on your refrigerator for it to function efficiently. When the refrigerator has nothing, turn into the coldest temperatures while resting upright. While traveling, you set it to the required temperature to ensure cold is preserved for long, even when the charge runs out. If a refrigerator has a freezer, set it to the lowest temperature to serve you for some time.
- Use the refrigerator when you only need it.
Regular opening and closing of the refrigerator will allow the temperature inside to occupy the cold air. This situation may cause a fridge to operate slowly. Know what you need while on the go and take the items out all at once.
- Pack the refrigerator well
Ensure there are no open spaces in the refrigerator. Place items in close contact to ensure cold air has room to escape. You can fill these open spaces with frozen beverages or ice packs.
- Use crystallizes
You can use some crystallizers to preserve the ice inside the refrigerator. You can use wool, wood shaving and felt cloth to insulate ice. You can also consider purchasing frozen foods. Please avoid using the dry ice because it producers carbon dioxide.
- Use a generator
How do you fit a 3-way refrigerator in a campervan?
Proper fitting of the refrigerator in a campervan will make the fridge perform flawlessly.
- Make robust housing for the refrigerator.
It is essential to consider having a robust housing for the refrigerator for safety and Forest ability. Look for materials that are strong for this. Suitable accommodation should ensure the fridge stand on its feet, including its lower hinges.
The spacing of the housing should be enough to make it easy to remove the refrigerator during servicing. It is also essential to ensure you have left between 10 and a 20-millimeter gap behind the fridge. This is to avoid squeezing the knobs and allow enough space for heat extraction.
How you open your refrigerator door also matters. You should be able to remove the refrigerator fittings and items you want to use easily. You can leave a maximum of 105 degrees for the refrigerator to open appropriately.
A refrigerator will perform correctly when the RV has enough vents. Vents should be between 240 cm squared and 300 cm squared.
- Cooling unit
The campervan user needs to fill the cooling unit off from the RV interior. This will allow the refrigerator's optimum performance and prevent the living Spaces from getting cold draughts. If this is not done, warm air will enter the cold air in the fridge, and it will not perform as expected.
- Campervan door and a refrigerator distance
When fitting your refrigerator the distance between the campervan door and the unit should be 25 mm or more to avoid the obstruction of the cooling unit ventilation.
- Flue top
The refrigerator comes with screws to help you to secure the flue top and avoid restriction risks. Ensure there is a 5 mm space between the combustible material and the flue pipe. Consider a 10 mm space between the blue top and the end of the flue pipe to ensure no discussion of the flue cover. Ensure the flue cap fits perfectly to provide no dirt or moisture for accident preventions.
- Gas pipe
How do you use a Dometic 3-way fridge on gas?
- Check whether you have sufficient gas.
When using a propane option, ensure you have sufficient gas. Ensure the propane tank is full.
- Turn on the gas
There is a valve on the top of the cylinder that will help you turn on the gas.
- Open any onboard shut off valve.
This on-board shut off valve enables the gas to pass through the gas line seamlessly when open.
- Setting the thermostat knob.
By setting the thermostat knob to the highest setting, you will be increasing their refrigerator efficiency.
- Turn the energy Selector (A)
Turn the energy selector (A)to position gas.
- Light the burner
To light the burner, you need to press a button (D) in and hold it for several seconds. The next step is to press button c several times for the piezo igniter to light the burner. You will know whether the banner is light up when there is a flame on the refrigerator indicator (B). You will be able to see the red indicator in the greenfield.
Press button D for the other 10 seconds after the gas is lit. Repeat the same procedure with the gas that does not light up. If you want to shut off the refrigerator, you need to turn knob (A) on Off position.
If you're not using the refrigerator anytime, it is essential to ensure you turn it on the off position and also shut off any onboard was in the gas line. It would help if you also emptied everything in the refrigerator to provide it does not go wrong. You should again defrost and clean the fridge through the right cleaning process and leave the door ajar.
How does a 3-way RV refrigerator work?
For a 3-way RV refrigerator to work it himself the absorption technology to extract heat instead of calling the system. The unit goes through five steps to function effectively.
The refrigerator uses ammonia to function as a refrigerant. To keep the system in operation the hydrogen and water keeps the ammonia in motion at low pressure which causes the ammonium to evaporate. The process causes heat to be removed from the fridge.
In the absorption phase the refrigerant liquidifies again after absorption to reduce pressure for more liquid to evaporate. Hydrogen and ammonia water mixture solution is created and separated in the absorber. Ammonia is collected at the bottom where is the hydrogen moves to the top.
The water mist and the ammonia are heated by the generator and in the process, ammonia is extracted.
After the extraction of ammonia there is bubbles and water vapor that remains. During the separation process the two are removed through winding-up hill tubes isolating the ammonia. The vapor and water are also separated.
It is essential to know and understand the kind of RV refrigerator you are going to purchase. This way, you will be able to make the right decision to buy the best RV that will work for you while traveling. The best 3-way RV refrigerator reviewed in this guide will help you get the best option. It is also essential to ensure you consider the brand you're purchasing because some counterfeit brands will not last long.
Are 3-way fridges any good?
3-way refrigerators are good for individuals who do not require heavy-duty cooling. These are the best refrigerators for your RV because campers don’t need to store highly perishable goods. These refrigerators are mostly run by gas, and it is important for a camper to have enough ventilation. These are good refrigerators because you do not need any investments to get charging equipment or batteries because you can use the LPG gas bottle for its operation.
How long does a 3-way fridge last on gas?
Running your RV for bottled gas is efficient and convenient. You can power your refrigerator for a couple of weeks. When you have a 9 kg bottle of gas, you can be able to run the refrigerator between 2 to 3 weeks before refilling.
How long does a 3-way fridge take to get cold?
If the refrigerator cycle is set well, then it can take about 24 hours to get it cold. This is when loaded food. It is important to know that getting the right temperature for a new 3-way fridge can take some time when you have frozen food. When the freezer is 80, and the refrigerator is at 40 degrees, this is the best time to store your food.
How long will a 12-volt battery run a fridge?
There are various variables that will determine the length of time a 12-volt battery will run a fridge. For example, most refrigerators use two or more power sources. The small refrigerators that use the 12-volt can take between 2 and 4 hours to operate efficiently.
Is it safe to travel with my RV refrigerator on propane?
Yes, it is safe to run your RV propane fridge while driving. The only issue is that you are exposing you are are we to risk when you leave propane operating. When a propane line is not well put, it can ignite and cause great danger. Instead of running your refrigerator on propane, you can consider running it on a generator for a 12-volt DC power.
Should I leave my RV refrigerator all the time?
To increase the durability of your RV refrigerator, you can shut it off when you're not using it. The best way to ensure your refrigerator is functioning when traveling is to ensure you turn it on 24 hours before. This way, you are refrigerator will cool down efficiently. You can also consider using a Cool fridge fan in the freezer and the fridge to keep the air moving around and ensure it does not have warm spots.
What is a 3-way refrigerator for a camper?
A 3-way refrigerator for the camper is a basic tool that can help you switch to propane to conserve energy. This is a good refrigerator because you can run it off via LP gas DC power or AC power. It is an absorption fridge that extracts heat instead of creating the cold.