Gas Refrigeration Pros and Cons
A Gas Fridge is the ultimate convenience when off the grid. It can operate on 12V battery power, 240V or LPG Gas. So you have the freedom to venture further than ever before – and still enjoy the luxury of chilled food and drink, wherever your adventures take you.
What’s not to love?
Well, nothings perfect and Gas Fridges have their drawbacks. Before you make your choice you need to weigh up the pros and cons.
Pros of a Gas Fridge:
- By far the biggest advantage of a gas fridge is the convenience. You have three options to power your fridge: 12-Volt power, mains electricity (240-Volt), and LPG (Gas). That’s because, instead of a compressor, a 3-way fridge uses absorption refrigeration technology to remove the heat rather than creating the cold. The upshot? You are unshackled from powered caravan sites to enjoy the real adventures of remote New Zealand.
- Very Efficient on Gas
- Gas Fridges are known to run for several weeks on a single 9kg gas bottle (trust us, we’ve done it!). So, if you’re heading out for some freedom camping, at a rest area or in the bush, a gas fridge has got it covered.
- Longer Life Span
- A gas fridge will often only need replacing after about 15 years. Compare that to around ten years for compressor fridges, and this means value for money in the long run. But it does depend on the model you choose and how well you maintain it. Choose a top reliable brand, and you can be sure your fridge is designed to meet the demands of the harsh New Zealand environment. Plus, you get the advantage of the national service agent and spare parts support, which is peace of mind worth paying for.
- Quiet Operation
- This is a bigger plus than you might realise. Thanks to the heat exchange system, gas fridges hardly make a sound. This is a huge bonus when you’re in a small space, i.e. a caravan or tiny home.
- Easy Maintenance
- Unlike compressor fridge, gas fridges have no moving parts which means there’s less maintenance to worry about while on the road. Simply keep the connections clean and the vents free from obstructions, and the rest will take care of itself.
- Runs off 12V Battery
- Gas and mains power aren’t always options available for your fridge. But that doesn’t mean you have to worry about your food spoiling. A gas fridge will run smoothly on 12-volt power from your car or RV. Just remember to switch back to gas or mains if you stop for a while, so you don’t drain your battery!
Cons of a Gas Fridge:
- Not Efficient on 12V Battery
- They might be efficient when running on gas, but gas fridges are not designed to run continuously on 12V battery sources. That’s because they’re only designed to be used on 12V power when the vehicle is running. Some unlucky owners find this out the hard way – don’t be one of them! Running your gas fridge for too long on a DC battery source will drain your battery very quickly.
- Longer Cooling Times
- Absorption gas fridges take longer to cool than compressor fridges, especially in very hot temperatures. Also, while compressor models can also provide consistently cool temperatures even in New Zealand’s warmer environments, gas fridges can’t always get as cold.
- Need to be Level
- You can’t always park a caravan or motorhome on level ground. But that’s what a gas fridge needs if it’s going to operate at its best. Let’s just say there may be occasions where you need to spend a bit of time seeking out the right parking spot.
- More Complex Installation
- Gas fridges need to be installed and certified by a qualified and licensed gas-fitter. This is not something you can afford to ignore – improperly or illegally installed products will void the manufacturer’s warranty, not to mention pose a safety risk. But for many owners, this is a small price to pay for convenience.
Yes you get convenience of three different energy sources with a gas fridge… but really, it’s all about the gas power source. If you want your fridge to run on gas, then a gas fridge is for you. However if you are looking to use your battery source to run your fridge, then it is better to opt for a compressor fridge that are designed with 12/24 V operation in mind. 3 way fridges can run from a 12V power source, but really only for when your vehicle is running.