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Camping Freezers Fridges Refrigerators

12v Fridge

If you are in the market for a 12v fridge for your car or off-road vehicle, there are several points to consider before taking the plunge. I will briefly discuss here some of the more pertinent factors relevant to the purchase of a 12V refrigerator in the hope of making you a more informed buyer.
Compression Or Absorption Technology
The cooling system in nearly all refrigerators utilizes one of two basic technologies: Compression refrigeration or Absorption refrigeration. Each of these systems has its respective advantages and disadvantages for use in a 12 volt cooler.


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The major advantage of an absorption refrigerator is that these devices can potentially be powered using gas. If you are considering a 3 way fridge like those used in a caravan for its flexibility (they can be run off 12v DC, mains or LPG) then they will be an Absorption type fridge, as Compression refrigerators cannot run from gas.

One cheap 12v refrigerator good for those on a budget is the Koolatron KWC-4 Coca-Cola Personal 6-Can Mini Fridge. This highly decorative fridge can conveniently cool half a dozen cans of soda to about 40 degrees Fahrenheit below the ambient air temperature.
However, if you plan to run your 12v fridge freezer off DC all the time, rather than using LPG propane, you should definitely lean towards purchasing a compression refrigerator. This type of unit has several advantages absorption units’ lack.
Firstly, while both technologies can be setup to utilize 12v DC, a compression model will use a lot less power than a comparable absorption. This will make a huge difference when you are parked and have the 12 volt fridge freezer powered from your vehicle. An absorption fridge will draw down the car battery quite rapidly, with a well-chosen low amperage compression fridge it may be possible to leave the unit plugged in several hours with minimal impact to your battery charge state.
In fact, a compression 12v fridge can be so energy efficient is it possible to rig yourself up a setup using solar panels to keep it running indefinitely. Given the price of solar power, the fact that this is considered an option speaks volumes to the efficiency of these 12v refrigerators. Particularly noteworthy for their cooling efficiency are the 12v Danfoss compressor fridges.
A second drawback to absorption units is the issue of leveling your portable fridge. They really need to be maintained very close to level in order to work correctly. If you take your vehicle off-road you may well be deliberately seeking out ‘non-level’ terrain. 12v DC Compressor refrigeration shine under these conditions.
Fridge Or Fridge Freezer
If you want a 12v freezer, you should probably again opt for a compressor unit. Absorption 12 volt fridges can usually cool only a certain number of degrees below the ambient temperature and thus makes for a poor 12 volt freezer. With a properly equipped compressor fridge freezer temperatures are possible.
Choosing A Brand

There are several manufactures of 12v fridges suitable for use in vehicles. Norcold, Waeco and Engel are all well regarded model lines, Engel and Waeco refrigeators in particular have a very good reputation for ruggedness and durability. Engels Engel AC/DC Fridge Freezer – Engel MT45F-U1 is a very well regarded 12v fridge freezer that gets rave reviews. The firm Novakool has a line of 12v marine refrigerators intended for use on a boat.
When shopping around you will notice these 12v compressor fridge models are generally significantly more expensive than a similar 12v absorption model; and you may be tempted to purchase a cheaper 12 volt refrigerator freezer absorption model.
However, when buying a 12 volt cooler a budget model may be more trouble than it is worth.
If you are looking for a true 12v fridge intending to use it solely with a 12 Volt power supply, it is almost certainly worth the extra expense for the compressor type of 12 volt refrigerators.

Categories
Camping Fridges Refrigerators

3 Way Camping Fridge

For families that love to camp, one of the most useful items of equipment they can own is a 3 way camping fridge. The beauty of a mini portable fridge for camping purposes is that you can cool food and drinks away from home. When that fridge is a three way model, you can power it almost anywhere!
These camp refrigerators are referred to as ‘3 way’ because they run on any of three different power sources. You choose the power according to what is available to your 3 way camping refrigerator at any given time.
The best choice, of course, is to run your fridge off 110V – or whatever your local voltage is -mains power. When shore power is available to power your electronics, it is usually available in unlimited quantities. When running from mains your camping fridge can run non-stop and you will have no concerns about running out of fuel.
For those camping locations where shore power is not available, the next best choice is to run the 3 way fridge on propane. Most 3 way camping fridges are designed to be very efficient when powered by LPG, so a small tank can last you quite some time. Because of this propane camp refrigerators are ideal for extended camping trips in remote locations. Propane fridges are also great if you want a permanent fridge for an off-grid cabin.
The final power source three way camping fridges can utilize is 12V DC. The usual source of this is your vehicles battery. The chief drawback to this means of power is that you can quickly drain your starter battery if you leave the fridge plugged in too long without the engine running. This makes 12V DC refrigeration best suited for use while your vehicle is actually on the road. There are solutions to improve the viability of 12V for your refrigerators – dual battery setups, solar panels – but they do not come cheap.
There can be no doubt that the addition of a 3 way camping fridge freezer can really add a lot of pleasure and enjoyment to your next camping trip or adventure.
These fridges will allow you to maintain chilled food and drinks on just about any camping trip you can imagine, and are a great addition to your camping sites facility list. A lesser camping refrigeration solution does not have 3 way capability will give you fewer options, and may leave you without cooling capabilities in some circumstances.
As discussed, the great flexibly in powering these fridges is what makes them so popular. If you are in the market for a 3 way camping fridge, one of these units is definitely worthy of consideration.

Categories
Camping Freezers Fridges Refrigerators

Norcold Refrigerator For The RV

When considering the purchase of a gas refrigerator for any kind of vehicle a major concern is going to be safety. For this reason is it in your best interest to only consider a trusted Norcold refrigerator when buying your gas fridge.
Thetford Norcold is a well-known manufacturer of electric and gas refrigerators for RVs, the trucking industry and boats.
Below I highlight some of the technology used in Norcold motorhome refrigerators intended for Recreational Vehicle and caravan use.
Many Norcold RV refrigerators utilize a technology called ‘Gas Absorption refrigeration’. The basis of this technology is using heating to cool. This sounds counter intuitive, so here is a brief description of how it works. The cooling cycle is based on the refrigerant Ammonia. Heat from burning gas is used to boil ammonia into a gaseous state. This ammonia then gets absorbed into water, and the chemical process it undergoes during this absorption causes the cooling effect.
If your intended application for recreation vehicle use, the Norcold Gas Marine refrigerators are worth consideration. They are available ranging in sizes from 1.7 to 17 cubic feet. I will touch upon a couple of the more popular models below.
The smallest is the Norcold 323T 1.7 cubic foot gas absorption refrigerator is very popular with owners of smallish RVs or travel trailers. They are known for their ease of installation, reversible doors and a special travel latch that can be engaged while traveling.
At the very top end is the Norcold PolarMaxRF 2117. This unit is really only practical for the very largest of RV’s, the very lengthy ones with several slides. That said this build in fridge is a great unit. It has 17 cubic feet combined of fridge and freezer space. Built in ice-maker, automatic defrost, recessed door handles with travel safe built-in latches and food fences to keep the contents securely in place. Essentially this unit has all the features you might find in a midsized fridge-freeze in a stick house. These are a good choice for RV freezers or RV fridges.
Norcolds N510 and N512 product lines are somewhere between these two extremes. I it has all the essential features needed for RV refrigeration. With 5.5 cubic feet of storage it is a happy compromise between having sufficient space inside, without taking up too much precious space outside.
All of these fridges/freezers have the flexibility of multiple power sources. With the ability to operate them as 3-way fridges, you have the ability to operate them an electric refrigerator from 12v DC or mains power when you lack – or are not comfortable utilizing – propane.
If you are considering the purchase of an RV refrigerator, seriously consider buying a Thetford Norcold refrigerator freezer.

Categories
Camping Fridges Refrigerators

3 Way Fridge — Versatile Cooling

The 3 way fridge is one of the most popular choices for use as a camping refrigerator.
So exactly what is a 3 way refrigerator? The ‘3 Way’ in the title relates to the 3 different power sources these small portable fridge freezers can operate on. Usually they can be powered by any of the following: 12V direct current, mains power alternating current and LPG gas.
3 Way Fridges can be powered using 12V DC, such as that found within a car battery. As when powering a car fridge, limited battery life is a drawback. If you operate the 3 way refrigerator too long without the car running, you can run down your starter battery leaving you stranded.
A regular power outlet, or mains power option, for powering a 3 way camping fridge is very useful. This is the same power source a standard in house refrigerator uses. By liberating the operator from the restrictions of their car battery, they can run the fridge full time. Of course, the related drawback is that mains power is not always available everywhere you might want to run your 3 way refrigerator.
The third power option is the use of LPG gas. Generally propane – but sometimes butane – is used. Having this final power source available lets a three way fridge owner fill in the gaps when electricity to power the refrigerator is not available. Running the camping fridge off gas does, of course, require that the owner keep a supply of gas on hand.
The key to the popularity of the 3 way camp fridges is their versatility. With the three means of powering them that are available, the owner will always have an option to keep the fridge freezer running anywhere. This flexibility is what distinguishes them from their chief competition, the 12v fridge freezer.
For a cookout in the backyard the fridge can be plugged into the mains power. On a road trip, the owner can have a supply of cold drinks available by running the fridge from the car battery. Finally, when camping in a remote destination – like one might find on a 4WD off road trip – the propane option can be used to power your 3 way fridge freezer.
Probably the best known manufacturer of 3 way camping fridges is Dometic; so if these devices sound like something you might want to buy, you might start with their model line. Another well known manufacturer is Waeco refrigeration – a subsidiary of Dometic. Also worth considering are Norcold and Engel.
If you are looking to buy a portable mini fridge, and want to ensure your fridge can be used in as many location as possible, you should definitely consider the purchase of a 3 way fridge.