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Old 05-16-2018, 02:12 AM   #1
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2 way vs 3 way fridge?
The 2 way in my van works but I'm thinking of putting a 3 way in it...
Also, what size generator should I be looking at to run the fridge, lights, and AC?
Solar generators?
Solar systems?
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Old 05-16-2018, 02:15 AM   #2
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2 way vs 3 way fridge?
The 2 way in my van works but I'm thinking of putting a 3 way in it...
Also, what size generator should I be looking at to run the fridge, lights, and AC?
Solar generators?
Solar systems?

3-way is passť.
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:38 PM   #3
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I've owned three van fridges thus far -- two 3-ways and one 2-way. My suggestion is that, before you make your decision, you skim the following:

(1) This blog post of mine (here), in which I discuss all three of our fridges.

(2) This thread (here) about the performance of the Dometic 2351. That model or its successor is one of the most commonly-installed 3-ways in vans due to its small size, and the application being discussed in the thread is not entirely the fault of the installation method being discussed - part of the problem is deriving from the fridge itself. I say "skim" because that one has 351 posts. Ask yourself: why would any fridge justify 351 posts?! Answer: a lot of frustrated users.

(3) This forum thread (here) where the pros and cons of both fridge types are debated. It includes some commentary on failure modes and come-backs (failed fridges still under warranty). This thread was initiated by a poster who had a 2-way and was considering swapping it for a 3-way, so you'll immediately see the proper-context issues raised in it.
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Old 05-16-2018, 02:08 PM   #4
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This may be too late, but I would like to suggest that the term "2-way" is not the best choice as a label for a compressor fridge. There exist 2-way absorption fridges: my old rig had one that was propane/120VAC only. Also, there are lots of compressor fridges that are "1-way" (12VDC only). Moreover, as I have said, the 120VAC input to a compressor unit is largely irrelevant to B-vans.

"3-way" is probably OK as a synonym for "absorption", since all 3-ways are absorption and not everybody knows the latter term. However, IMO, we should use the term "compressor" when that is what is meant.

I hope I am not being pedantic, but I have been genuinely confused by this use of "2-way".
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Old 05-16-2018, 06:54 PM   #5
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This may be too late, but I would like to suggest that the term "2-way" is not the best choice as a label for a compressor fridge. There exist 2-way absorption fridges: my old rig had one that was propane/120VAC only. Also, there are lots of compressor fridges that are "1-way" (12VDC only). Moreover, as I have said, the 120VAC input to a compressor unit is largely irrelevant to B-vans.

"3-way" is probably OK as a synonym for "absorption", since all 3-ways are absorption and not everybody knows the latter term. However, IMO, we should use the term "compressor" when that is what is meant.

I hope I am not being pedantic, but I have been genuinely confused by this use of "2-way".
I think the evolution to "2 way" from "3 way" occurred because the 12 volt mode caused more problems than it solved. Typical 12VDC drain on a Dometic is in the neighborhood of 15 -20 amps. The better designed "3 ways" required ignition on for 12V operation (which presumably would mean engine running and alternator support)) Also, the 12V boiler BTU is substantially lower than the AC boiler BTU so the practical consequence is that the 12V mode can do little more than hold an existing fridge temp.
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti View Post
This may be too late, but I would like to suggest that the term "2-way" is not the best choice as a label for a compressor fridge. There exist 2-way absorption fridges: my old rig had one that was propane/120VAC only. Also, there are lots of compressor fridges that are "1-way" (12VDC only). Moreover, as I have said, the 120VAC input to a compressor unit is largely irrelevant to B-vans.

"3-way" is probably OK as a synonym for "absorption", since all 3-ways are absorption and not everybody knows the latter term. However, IMO, we should use the term "compressor" when that is what is meant.

I hope I am not being pedantic, but I have been genuinely confused by this use of "2-way".
By 2 way, I mean that my fridge is shoreline or propane only. Neither can be used while I'm driving.
By 3 way, I'm talking about shoreline/propane/12vdc that can run while I'm driving/idling.

Sorry, I'm pretty new to all this.
I would like to be able to keep the fridge running as much as possible.
Is taking out the working "2 way" and replacing really going to be worth the trouble or expense?
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sooperdrave View Post
By 2 way, I mean that my fridge is shoreline or propane only. Neither can be used while I'm driving.
By 3 way, I'm talking about shoreline/propane/12vdc that can run while I'm driving/idling.

Sorry, I'm pretty new to all this.
I would like to be able to keep the fridge running as much as possible.
Is taking out the working "2 way" and replacing really going to be worth the trouble or expense?
My apologies. I totally misinterpreted your question -- your terminology is correct. I was the confused one.

Now that I understand:
Do you have an inverter (converts 12VDC to 120VAC)? If so, turning it on should allow you to power the fridge in 120VAC mode. If not, adding one would probably be cheaper and easier than replacing the fridge.
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:57 PM   #8
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No it does not have an inverter. I didn't even think of doing that. I'm sure I could wire one up easily enough. What size inverter would you suggest?
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:29 PM   #9
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What size inverter would you suggest?
Depends on what you might do with it. If it is just for the fridge, just look at the power spec for the refrigerator and round up. If you have other uses for the inverter (and have the battery to support it), then the sky's the limit.
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Old 05-17-2018, 12:52 AM   #10
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I'm adding 3 batteries and a 300 watt solar system. I'm thinking an inverter that is big enough to run the fridge and AC...
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