3-way or Compressor fridge

Bmhdg76

Well-Known Member
Oct 6, 2012
769
516
93
North Lakes, Qld.
#1
Hi all,

Well hopefully in the next week or two we will be on the serious hunt for a good second hand expanda or be placing some hard earned down on a deposit for a newie...

One question we are struggling with at the moment is the fridge. We have always had Engels and love them. We are free campers and will have a good (200w) solar setup with generator as a back up. We are a family of four so we are trying to figure out should we go to the 150L 3-way or should we stay with the standard 90 and then change it over to a 140L waeco compressor type?

What are people's experiences with the 3-ways on gas? How long does the gas last on a 9kg bottle? We usually do our cooking on a camp stove but with a panda, not too sure what we will do whether we cook inside or whether we use a cooker outside so gas use will be pretty minimal.

I know a lot of people comment re compressor noise etc but that does not concern us.

The price difference for changing in a new van is approx $900 and we can get a Waeco at trade price so negligible difference for us but obviously we would then also possibly need to modify the cabinet But from what I have seen the sizes are almost identical.

Thoughts/comments/experiences would be greatly appreciated.

BJ
 

Capt. Gadget

Obsessive & Compulsive Gadget Man
Dec 1, 2011
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Sunny Northam W.A.
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#2
Hi BJ My main regret is not getting the bigger fridge just for the fact that if we take off for just a night or 2 which is becoming more often with us with the convenience of the Panda, it would be easier to stick everything in the one fridge instead of dragging the engel along for drinks. I'm a fairly light sleeper so a 3 way fridge is the go for me, the gas seems to go for ever we still on our 1st bottle and have had the van for over a year now, but we do the majority of our cooking on the weber outside I think the gas is a far more economical option than a compressor fridge on 12v
 

crackacoldie

Well-Known Member
Jan 8, 2013
2,570
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Newcastle NSW
#3
We have the larger Waeco, great fridge, runs for days on batteries and solar and is pretty quiet. It also gets cold quickly once it is turned on, the 3 ways take a few days to cool off.
 

greynt

Active Member
Dec 15, 2012
243
171
43
Yarra Valley
#4
Would defiantly go the 150l fridge. Have 2 kids and would struggle with the 90. We are happy with ours (3way) and as the kids sleep right next to it, the quieter the better(don't need anymore excuses for "why we can't go to sleep").
Must admit we have not used on gas yet so cannot comment about that. Just turn on a day before leaving to help to cool it down.
Cheers
greynt
 

Bmhdg76

Well-Known Member
Oct 6, 2012
769
516
93
North Lakes, Qld.
#5
Hmmm. Thanks guys. Just got back from Bne Camperland and got priced up for the 150l. I think we will go that way. It's just the unknown of it all. Thanks for the reply so far.
 

cruza driver

Hercules
Staff member
Nov 9, 2010
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Mighty Victoria
#6
Like others have mentioned gas seems to last forever. When we did a 4 week trip upto the NT we used the gas for the running of the fridge and never needed to swap over to the 2nd bottle.

I have only filled one of the bottles once in 2 years and they both need filling now is there pretty economical imo
 

TTBRIDGE

Well-Known Member
Mar 12, 2013
382
346
63
Brisbane - Northside (North Lakes)
#7
Hey Bmhdg76,

Your local to me, just around the corner in fact. We are in Griffin. We have ordered our new van from Bne Camperland as well, i tossed up the same thing for about a month. We upgraded to the 150ltr from the outset, i then decided to go with the compressor style Vitrifrigo 150ltr fridge after looking at all the pros & cons as the best time to do it was from the start.

However Jayco will not fit the Vitrifrigo 150ltr, as it is not been "Jayco Engineered" this is a real shame. As the Vitrifrigo fits in the same hole and requires less cooling vents to be cut into the wall. With a young family i think the 150ltr is a must. On this basis the Jayco fitted Waeco is not an option as they will only fit a 110ltr.

It was all getting to complicated to do the compressor fridge, they were not giving me a good refund to delete the fridge so i figured i would stay with the 150ltr 3 way dometic. If i don't like it (Conflicting reports) i will rip is out and flog it on ebay and replace with a Vitrifrigo The $$ will work out the same or better than i was going to get from the factory and they both fit through the door. It is just a bit of stuffing around.

To this day, i am still unsure if the compressor is required, but a few people close to me have all swapped to the compressor style. So given i was starting from scratch i was going to change. But seen as i cannot stayed with the 3 way and can decided for myself on fact not anecdotal discussion. I guess if nothing else one benefit with a 3 way is you can seek out the shade as conditioning the battery's is not as critical.

If you do go with the compressor you will also need 2 - 3 batterys, where you might have got away with one. It all adds up in cost and weight. Considering the gas is already on board it might be better to use it.

Good luck with the choice, i know how hard it was for me and i am still not sure i got it right.

Tim
 

Brad

Well-Known Member
Jan 2, 2012
2,645
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Rowville, Victoria
#8
Hey I have always wondered at what point Jayco considers the warranty to have been broken for new vans. Would you think Jayco would care if you had a warranty claim for something else and you had gone and changed the fridge over?
 

Bmhdg76

Well-Known Member
Oct 6, 2012
769
516
93
North Lakes, Qld.
#9
Hi TT

THANKS! You are in the exact same frame of mind as me and yes, not too far away at all! This is our first cvn and can only speak from pur camper trailer experiences, but the in-laws actually build there own motorhomes and only ever use the compressor type fridges - Engels or Waeco's. they say they have never had any success with the 3-ways, but the last they used one was probably 20 year ago! As the old saying, once bitten twice shy...

Batteries don't concern me too much as I prefer solar any day as we never had a problem in the old camper trailer. we were looking at possibly changing to the 140L Waeco, but as you said they won't do anything bigger than the 110 even though the 140 is the same size as the 150l Dometic! Still not sure what we will do. Probably end up doing the same as you and change afterwards if we feel the need to.

Brad, they would have to be able to prove the fact that what you changed caused the issue. Eg they couldn't say by you changing the fridge, we won't cover that leak in the roof!

BJ
 

TTBRIDGE

Well-Known Member
Mar 12, 2013
382
346
63
Brisbane - Northside (North Lakes)
#10
Hey BJ,

I watch with interest what you do. I was thinking compressor type as well, like you, solar, 2 battery's and an Engel fridge served us extremely well in the camper. Just a shame Jayco do not see it that way.

I also have heard horror story's about 3 ways, i think part of it comes down to the ventilation. I posted on this forum about 3 ways when i was considering what to do and the group response was very positive. So ran with the 3 way as the guys on here no how they work in the Jayco installation.

What lead time on the build are they quoting you if you order now?
 

Bmhdg76

Well-Known Member
Oct 6, 2012
769
516
93
North Lakes, Qld.
#11
We are looking at the 14.44-4 and if we order now prob around mid June so not too bad, but much longer wait if we delay. We are just waiting on an answer on finance before we sign the dotted line.
i think we will do like you and worst case scenario, pull out the 3-way and sell online and install the waeco.
 
Oct 13, 2019
61
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8
perth
#12
We have had both three way and Waeco compressor, so when 3 way stuffs up its Waeco for us. Don't know if all Waeco units are the same but ours auto selected the power depending on what was plugged in if you forget to unplug the 12v it selects the highest value all controlled by a small pcb