What is a three-way-fridge?

How the heck does a three-way-fridge work? In fact, what is a three-way-fridge? The amazing part is that three-way-fridges have been used in caravans for many years. Until we purchased our first caravan a couple of years ago I also didn’t have a clue how they worked.

Like a lot of things in caravanning, I think they are really cool (no pun intended).

When a van is hitched onto a vehicle, an electric connection pin from the van (or trailer of any kind) must be plugged into the vehicle. It is through this connection that tail, stop and turning lights work in conjunction with the vehicle’s lights. With a van, the electrics while the vehicle engine is running, also work the fridge and puts charge (or power) into the caravan’s battery.

On overnight stops, whenever we camp without plugging the caravan into a power outlet, the power to run the lights comes from the caravan battery.

Vehicle engine

The first part of the three-way-fridge is worked from the vehicle engine.

An electric cable is plugged into the side of the van when the van is parked overnight, or for any length of time. All the van’s electrical needs come from this outside electrical source.

Electricity definitely the easiest

This is the second part of the three-way-fridge, working from electricity.

Often a van is parked away from electricity, but the fridge is still required to keep cool storage. The gas bottles are turned on and this gas is used for cooking and the fridge. How something hot (like a gas flame) works to keep a fridge cool is way beyond me, but it works.

Gas very convenient

So this is where the third part of the three-way-fridge gets its name.

There is a dial on the fridge that you turn to D/C (direct current) for driving, A/C (electricity) and obviously GAS. D/C and A/C are a flick of a switch. A couple of buttons need to be pressed to get the gas on the fridge working, but it is also easy. The hard part is just to remember to switch the fridge over to the required setting.

Fridge sizes vary. Some can be quite small like a bar fridge. Others with large compartments and freezers.

Whatever the size, they all work very well and are greatly appreciated by all campers.