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Old 05-25-2005, 01:52 PM   #1
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What is 2 way vs 3 way fridge?

My RM 3804 can be replaced by a 2 way RM 2807. Is my old 3 way better? I would think that it runs on propane, electricity when plugged in, and also Generator? What's the big deal 3 way vs 2 way?
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Old 05-25-2005, 01:58 PM   #2
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Two way is LP and AC110 (either from shore power or the generator). A three way also runs on 12v DC current as supplied by your engine's alternator or battery if the engine isn't running. You probably really don't need a 3-way fridge in your motorhome.

Roger
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Old 05-25-2005, 02:04 PM   #3
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Thank you. I see. But if I go on an extended trip, and don't want to use propane, and of course not run the gen set either (it's propane), then a 3 way would be ideal because it could stay cold as I'm driving by using the alternator! I would think that it's good to have (in my case). I hear it's tuff to find 3 ways anymore. I wonder why...it's a good idea IMHO.
Thanks for your reply.
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Old 05-25-2005, 02:38 PM   #4
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The 12v heater is less than half power of the 120v or propane. It is ok while driving but not camping, sort of a temperature maintainer only.

There are far more trailers than motor homes. Most tow vehicles don't have a very heavy charge line to the trailer and the heater needs about 8 amps, power for the control circuits, plus power to recharge the batteries. A lot of manufacturers probably won't consider them for that reason.

And they are quite a bit more expensive, could be also why they aren't so common.

If you want to use 12v (indirectly) how about a cheap inverter? You could run the frig off of it while in motion and would have it to use for the tv, etc. while parked when no hook ups are available.

John
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Old 05-25-2005, 02:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrodokk
Thank you. I see. But if I go on an extended trip, and don't want to use propane, and of course not run the gen set either (it's propane), then a 3 way would be ideal because it could stay cold as I'm driving by using the alternator! I would think that it's good to have (in my case). I hear it's tuff to find 3 ways anymore. I wonder why...it's a good idea IMHO.
Thanks for your reply.
I'm assuming its a cost issue. Note that the amp draw when operating in 12 volt mode is fairly heavy. Any problem in the 12 volt delivery system can leave you with a dead battery. This is very apparent when you are dealing with a trailer.

In my past history my first SOB travel trailer had a 3 way refrigerator. I used to travel with it in 12 volt mode. I had a couple of times where the charging pin on the receptical of my tow vehicle was not making a good solid connection with the pin in the trailer plug. End result I got to some campgrounds with a dead battery. While in itself not the end of the world you have to understand that in the newer trailers, running the refrigerator on propane still requires 12 volt power. A real problem if you are boondocking.
In my case I had a Hi-Lo which required 12 volt power to raise the top of the unit. Thankfully I brought jumper cables with me and I used the car battery to supply the power.

Jack
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Old 05-25-2005, 02:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrodokk
Thank you. I see. But if I go on an extended trip, and don't want to use propane, and of course not run the gen set either (it's propane), then a 3 way would be ideal because it could stay cold as I'm driving by using the alternator! I would think that it's good to have (in my case). I hear it's tuff to find 3 ways anymore. I wonder why...it's a good idea IMHO.
Thanks for your reply.
If you pre-cool your fridge, and it has cold items in it, it's unlikely that you'll be able to drive enough hours for the inside of the fridge to raise more than a couple of degrees even with the fridge off. Our fridge in the trailer is a two-way only, and we've never had an issue with it getting warm while being off while we're driving.

I don't even think our '85 325 motorhome had a three way... i'm pretty sure it was LP/AC only...

Roger
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Old 05-25-2005, 02:58 PM   #7
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Thank you. All very good points. The cost was/is not an issue, but function is. I understand the potential problem with the 3 way if used indiscriminately. So now my question changes to this: should I have my 3 way rebuilt/repaired, or just downgrade and buy an already rebuilt 2 way from Crane's in Vallejo or Palomino? They don't have the 3 ways in stock. The cost would be the same for rebuild or downgrade. If I decide new, then of course I would go 2 way. It would be nice to still have a 3 way for resale in the future...I think. Thank you.
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Old 05-25-2005, 03:15 PM   #8
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Being as the price is the same, it is already wired, 3 way. You can use it or not, but I wouldn't loose the option.

John
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Old 05-25-2005, 03:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrodokk
They don't have the 3 ways in stock. The cost would be the same for rebuild or downgrade. If I decide new, then of course I would go 2 way. It would be nice to still have a 3 way for resale in the future...I think. Thank you.
To me if the components, doors, shelves, interior are good, my preference would be for the rebuild. If you go with a replacement it may require some alteration of the cabinetry that surrounds the refrigerator. Now if you can get a perfect fit then new might be preferred due to the additional bells and whistles.

Just keep in mind that many of the older refrigerators require no power to run when switched to propane. Newer units need 12 volts to keep things like water heater and refrigerator control boards operating.

Regards,

Jack
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Old 05-28-2005, 12:58 PM   #10
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What is 2 way vs 3 way fridge?

Greetings Astrodokk!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrodokk
Thank you. All very good points. The cost was/is not an issue, but function is. I understand the potential problem with the 3 way if used indiscriminately. So now my question changes to this: should I have my 3 way rebuilt/repaired, or just downgrade and buy an already rebuilt 2 way from Crane's in Vallejo or Palomino? They don't have the 3 ways in stock. The cost would be the same for rebuild or downgrade. If I decide new, then of course I would go 2 way. It would be nice to still have a 3 way for resale in the future...I think. Thank you.
Whether new or rebuilt, I would definitely keep the 3-Way RV Refrigerator. I have had excellent service from my 3-Way Dometics and wouldn't consider down-grading to the two-way--in fact, the 3-Way Dometic in my Overlander has only been operated on LP for about five hours since it was installed over six years ago. My first 3-Way Dometic was in a 1980 Nomad 19' light weight special trailer, and it performed flawlessly throughout the life of the coach.

There are several alternatives offered by Dometic in their various lines -- see:

Dometic Americana Series Refrigerators (This is the series of single-door 3-Way refrigerator that I had installed in my Overlander.)

Dometic New Dimensions Series Refrigerators (The New Dimension Series is evidently available in only 2-Way models.)

Dometic Royale Series Refrigerators (These refrigerators are all apparently double-door models with availability of both 2-Way and 3-Way operation.)

I am a big fan of the Dometic 3-Way refrigerators, and know that when the 2-Way model in my Minuet acts up, there is no question in mind about its replacement -- it will be a 3-Way Dometic from the Americana Series.

Good luck with your decision!

Kevin
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Old 05-28-2005, 03:42 PM   #11
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Yes, at this time I have the Dometic Royale Designer Series RM 3804, 8 cu. ft., 3 way auto detect. Dimensions are 55 1/2 by 23 1/2. I was cleaning the little tube that comes out of the thermostat and heard a "hiss" as I bent it. There went all the cold control! Crane's in Vallejo actually advised only replacing the thermostat first, too see if that's all that's wrong with it. I really like this unit and would like to fix and keep it. The double doors are wood grain, but the fridge handle is broken. Hopefully they can fix that too.
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Old 06-01-2005, 02:34 PM   #12
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Replaced the fridge

Allan Crane at Crane's RV refrigeration in Vallejo opened my RM 3804 and saw that the PO had done some "adjustments" to the thermostat and fins in it. Also, the fridge has been leaking green stuff AND is rusting all over the place where the plastic veneer is peeling off. Bad news was that this RM 3804 is actually NOT a 3 way as I thought! Some of these with the 3 designator are only still 2 ways. I asked how he knew it was only a 2 way, and he showed me the connections in the back (there weren't) AND more important to me, there was no "idiot light" up front to show the 12V mode...just 2 lights to show gas or electric. Either way, to me, the fridge was a gonner...it smelled, looked bad, and seemed like it was on it's last leg anyways. Allan by no means suggested to replace. He was actually working on only replacing the thermostat to see if it would work with a different one, when on the spur of the moment I asked him to rip out the whole thing and replace with a rebuilt RM 2807 that he had. He did it in an hour! The install is better than previous!
All total was $775.! Well worth it to me. I'm very happy. After I got home, the fridge was nice and cold, as I had left it on for the trip back. It's so nice to have one of these classics with EVERYTHING working!!! Just for the record, I still would prefer to have a 3 way either in here again eventually (years) or in a new rig, because the 3 way just makes alot of sense to me.
I HIGHLY recommend Crane's for your RV coldage.
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Old 06-01-2005, 04:33 PM   #13
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Hey that was a good deal. Congratulations!

Jack
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