13 Ways To Improve Efficiency Of A 3Way Fridge

You can do many simple things to improve efficiency of a 3way fridge and help it run better and colder during your holiday – particularly in hot weather.

About Caravan 3Way Fridges

There seems to be no end to Australia’s summertime temperature increases. In the summer months when a lot of us enjoy our caravanning adventures keeping the fridges cold is particularly important. Warm beer and ruined food are the last things we want to find after opening the door to your 3way fridge.

There’s no surprise that Caravan owners choose a 3-way fridge. They are the most convenient on the road since they can be powered by 12v while driving and 240v when available or LPG gas when free camping.

As well as being extremely efficient they are also very quiet. Perfect for enclosed spaces. In contrast to compressor refrigerators 3-way refrigerators are usually affected by the ambient temperature and are unable to cool to lower temperatures. Typically 3way fridges can cool to a certain temperature below the ambient temperature outside. Tropical rated threeway fridges can cool up to 30 degrees below ambient temperature while non tropical rated 3-way fridges can cool to about 20 degrees below ambient temperature.

13 Ways To Improve Efficiency Of A 3Way Fridge

1. Get A Tropical Rated 3 Way Fridge

Tropical rated 3 way fridges cool to about 30 degrees below ambient temperature – non tropical rated three way fridges only to cool to 20 degrees below ambient temperature

2. Shade The Fridge Vents On The Exterior Of The Caravan

Shade the fridge vents on the exterior of the caravan with shadecloth or a canvas awning. You can increase efficiency by up to 20% by keeping direct sunlight off the side of your caravan and away from the vents

3. In Hot Climates Install A 12v Computer Cooling External Vent Fan

In hot climates install a 12V computer cooling external vent fan behind the refrigerator. Hot air will be forced out cooling behind the 3way fridge and improving its efficiency.

4. Install An Internal Fridge Fan

Installing an internal fridge fan reduces frost build up to help your three way fridge cool evenly. It works by circulating the air inside your 3way fridge making sure the cool air gets to all areas.

5. Keep Your Caravan Level

By keeping your caravan level the gas will be absorbed better.

6. Pre Cool 3way Fridge Before Setting Off

Before heading off on a trip, turn the fridge on at home a couple of days using mains power or on gas so it can cool to a constant temperature before you leave. Putting some frozen bottles of water inside your 3-way fridge will greatly improve the initial cooling process.

7. Don’t Fill Your 3way Fridge With Warm Items

Don’t put warm food or drinks in your 3way fridge before heading off on your trip. Cool them in your home fridge first.

8. Clean Vents

Regularly clear the external vents of dust and debris to improve circulation.

9. Turn The Fridge Upside Down

Turn the fridge upside down – for a three way fridge to work the chemicals inside need to be mixed. If the fridge has sat still for a long time the chemicals inside the 3way fridge separate out and the fridge doesn’t work. The fridge needs to be shaken up and an easy way to do this is to remove the 3-way fridge and turn the fridge upside down and side to side.

10. Go For A Long Drive On A Bumpy Road

Go for a long drive on a bumpy road – for a three way fridge to work the chemicals inside need to be mixed. If the caravan jasn’t moved for a long time the chemicals inside the 3way fridge separate out and the fridge doesn’t work. A good long drive on a bumpy road will often fix it.

11. Check Your Gas Regulator

Make sure your gas regulator is in good working order – have it inspected and tested by a licenced gas fitter.

12. Door Seals

Check that your 3way fridges door is sealing correctly. If it isn’t then you can buy replacement 3way fridge door seal kits.

13. Maintenance

Regular maintenance on your 3-way fridge will always make it work better.


A 3way fridge is a simple and excellent choice for your caravan as long as you understand their limitations as to how far below ambient temperature they will work. Regular maintenance and correct installation will help them work to their peak performance level. If all else fails then you can always swap it out for a 12v compressor fridge.