This 3-way fridge can run on LPG
Very efficient on LPG (lasts for about four days on a 4kg bottle)
Need to buy gas cord and regulator separately
Reviewers often mention the need to replace their element
Hard to kill!
I have had my Dometic Fridge for 15 years or so, and take it on camping holidays where it gets salt spray. There was some rust. There is an annoying 12V connection on the back which should be recessed so it does not get damaged in transit. Works best on gas, but if you have a big 4WD it will remain cool on the 12V. Works well on 240 Volt, and I use it as a backup for parties. Will freeze overnight on 240 Volt. I have replaced the injector and this improved gas consumption after 10 years they get a bit clogged. If this does not fix it it may be ...time to get another chescold. It has ammonia not gas as the refrigerant, so this never needs replacing. Should be better instructions on how to replace injector as the first time this is done it takes longer. I would design the replacement more simply if I were to give advice as this is really the only thing that can be done to improve running after it is 4 or 5 years old. I always tape the gas inlet as several of the campers have had mud wasps make homes in the inlet when the fridge is stored. The plastic carcass, case is very robust. I rate this fridge very highly, and if you intend using a gas fridge for some time it is robust and reliable and from new you will get great value. MAny are shifting to solar which means you need to cart around huge panels which often get easily damaged for a 12V fridge. Not as efficient on 12V as some, however on the longer camps it has cooled the beer, kept the frozen stuff frozen, is easy to clean, could use a bung to clean the carcass out. Don;t always use fridge freezer separator. One of the best items I have bought which is now a family heirloom, and we have three.
Purchased in November 2006 at Gold Coast Camping Store for A$990.00.
I am now on my third fridge and have never had any issues. Definitely agree they are not a touring fridge but great when you set up camp for several days. I will have cold on 240v before the trip then run on 12v in the car (swapped out the Hungarian plug for an Anderson) & then gas when camping. Tough units which have coped with barge trips to Nth Qld islands and rough 4wd'ing. A service after several years keeps them running like new.
Problems with 12v
I have a Chescold RC1180. Works fine on gas and 240v, but not on 12v. It’s in a camper trailer, Anderson plug connection. Power is getting through to our trailer as our 12v powered lights operate well. . A battery charges the separate battery in the trailer. The fridge top seems warm when we open up, but this may be just be the heat travelling through the trailer. The fridge was fully serviced 6 months ago by an expert, with no problems.
Anyone got some advice?
Purchased in April 2002.
Perfect for Off-Grid Camping
We have had one and it works perfectly on 240v and gas, less so on 12v. Very frugal on gas - I’ve heard tell of a month on a 9kg bottle! Silent and easy to light and set up. Had to buy an aaptor separately for 12v and it basically is of use only travelling from A to B.
240V replacement element.
I recently had the element replaced as cooling on 240V had stopped suddenly. On gas & 12V it was still ok. I live at the Gold Coast & purchased the replacement element from Dometic at Varsity Lakes. I tried to install the new element myself but that was more of a challenge than I expected so I asked an electrician friend of mine to do the work. I now have cooling again on 240V which is great!
The date purchased below is for the element. The fridge must be at least 10 years old & has been many trips including the longer outback trips.
Good hard wearing reliable fridge / freezer.
I've been running this 50l fridge freezer over the past 6 years - mainly beach camping, ideally this fridge is a find a camp & stay there for a week deal. Not so much as a tourer stop / start deal every day. Though I've done both with it. There is not one fridge fits all out there. Pro's & Cons. Pro's = lots! as a fridge with a separate freezer (or all one compartment in you pull out the internal divider) very handy for freezing food / bait & planning your week or weeks! Its a tough constructed fridge , travels well. Before a trip if you haven'...t already been running it on 240v plug it in 3 or 4 days out from your trip to get it up & running nicely, if your travelling from home to your camp site ( 2- 4 hours or so ) you can not worry about 12 v ( I'll come back to 12v that's a storey in its self.) It'll keep everything cold / frozen & hook it up to your gas bottle when you get to camp. It runs extremely well on gas. For memory you can run it for about 8 days ( 24 hours a day) on a 4kg bottle. Now 12volt, I looked into this & spoke to a good auto electrician & chescold fridge mechanic - the best way is to hard wire a Anderson plug to it ( as per pic) the little black plug they supply is terrible - slightly loose & really hard to connect / disconnect all the time & run it on your auxiliary battery while travelling. But you'll need h/d 6mm cable with Anderson to Anderson from fridge to battery - it draws about 10amp per hour ( lots ) where a 2way will draw about 2amp. But there are pro & cons with those as well. I just did 3 weeks across the Simpson desert where I'd run it on 12v during the day while travelling & hook it up to a gas bottle at night - I guess that's the con ( down side). So in a wrap , great fridge best as a stay put camp site fridge but can be used on the move with 12v if you spend some money & set it up right. But think of it as a gas fridge. Any questions feel free to ask - Cheers!
Love it...would never go back to dry ice!
Have only used it once on a 6 day camping trip but it worked a treat, no issues at all. We run it for a week on 240v prior to camping to make sure all was good And for a couple of hours on gas (side note - you need to buy the gas cord and regulator separately, they don't come with the unit)
We ran it for 6 days and it didn't even use half a 9L gas bottle in temperatures of 30'c +. It kept everything frozen and even froze the milk in the fridge, we just turned it down to low and the food in the fridge stopped freezing but remained icy cold.
Would highly recommend it.
Used to work great but now hopeless.
Have a Chescold RC-1180. Does not get cold on 240V nor Gas...flue gets hot on both but no cooling effect any ideas?...Opened up back and nothing obvious. Turned unit upside down and heard the coolant sloshing but made no difference. Any help appreciated. I measured DC element (2ohms) and AC element 500 ohms but I suggest these are ok. Nice blue flame when on gas but not cold.
September 27th 2017 Update: Too expensive to repair
Finally had some feedback from Dometic on the RC-1180....suspect the cooling unit itself is faulty which makes it...too expensive to repair according to service agents...terrible. The unit was never abused and always level, kept out of the sun etc. Will now buy an Engel as was advised before I made this mistake. A faulty AC or DC element I can handle but not the cost of its cooling unit. $1299 for rubbish.
Have owned the fridge for many years and it has never missed a beat. I have taken it with me on many distant trips to the outback on rough and smooth roads. Before leaving I pre cool it on 240v and place cooled fresh and frozen food inside. I travels in the back of a twin cab ute under the canopy, so not exposed to sun. Due to high 12v consumption I do not run it on this setting when travelling but turn it on gas at the end of the day. Even in hot weather I have had no trouble with frozen food thawing using this method. If camping in one spo...t for any length of time I place the fridge out of the sun, usually under the van awning, and it runs a treat, and I have to check it regularly to ensure it is not running too cold. I also check the pilot each morning to make sure it hasn"t blown out during the night, which it has on the odd occasion. The only criticism I have is having had to replace 2- 240v elements since I bought it new. The first cost about $66 (a long time ago) and the most recent, $106 which is getting expensive. I trust it will last well into the future.
We purchased the Chescold RC1180 because the caravan we were towing at that time and we were planning our trip to Ayres Rock (Uluru) and Alice Springs. We looked at many of the models and found that most, at that time, claimed to get the temperature down to say 20 degrees below ambient. But if it was 40+ outside then the fridge temperature would be 20, no good for freezing. The RC1180 and a couple of others actually maintained freezing as well as having a fridge section. The RC1180 suited us best and, although heavy to manoeuvre, it definitely ...served its purpose. We now also use it when shopping and it stays in our BT50 all the time. We have taken it to places without power (Wilsons Prom) and others and used on gas with no problems. The main recommendation is that it needs a larger 12 volt wire than normal and the regular cigarette connectors will burn out. Make sure you put the recommended wire thickness and convert the connectors to an Engel plug, this was done by Harrison 4WD in Bendigo. We have an Anderson plug as well for the caravan. The only real problem was when the element needed replacement and the good people at 'All RVs and Campervans' in Bendigo fixed it it no time.
Has worked well for over 11 years.
Travelled over 25,000kms of rough corrugated roads and remote tracks in touring alone. More again on camping trips and road trips.
10a continuous power draw at 12v so only use 12v for travelling / short stops.(lunch, shopping, sight seeing. etc.)
I get it cold on 240v before I leave, plug straight into car when driving around to run on 12v and then set up on gas when I arrive.
Basic level on gas and aways cold. By basic I mean that I mostly do it by eye and wiggle it a bit in the dirt or put a rock or a stick under one end.
Plugged in to two different working 240v gpo's and tried the 12v and still nothing. I think I got a dud. Camping in two days time. Stressing now due to work times clashing with store times and it was the last one as they were on special. Will try to swap it over but a bad start so far..
Works brilliant on gas, ,in cooler months I even turn it off over night to find everything still cold and items in freezer frozen in the morning . Great insulation, last trip I forgot the gas hose, managed for 3 days with the meat and 2 bottles of water i had frozen before leaving home. I have wrapped the outside with foil insulation for the summer months. A bit heavy to lift in and out but purchased a flat top trolley to move it around on. Had 240 volt wired into car for longer trips, run it on electricity at home.
Used 4 times in 4 years and now too expensive to repair
When it was working it was great for getting large volumes of drinks cold but it stopped working on gas even though it had a good flame. Then the 240 v stopped and it's too expensive to repair. Quoted 780 to $1000 and it's only 4 years old and only used around 4 times.
My advice is don't buy this rubbish.
Great camping fridge
We have a RC1180 and find it great for camping. Plug into 240 v a few days before leaving and it cools down well. Our last trip was to Moreton Island and the fridge was off power for about 8 hours before we hooked up the gas. Everything was cold. We camped this time for 6 days and loaded up the fridge each night with soft drinks and beer (and wine). Camp sites near us had people shifting solar panels around and fussing over their fridges, We had nothing to do. Just kept producing cold beer. When we travelled to other spots during the day we jus...t used a Coleman esky fed from the Chescold. Bought near new off Ebay for $500 this has been a great fridge. Great back up at Xmas and the ham fits in it really well! I intend putting a dual battery setup into my NX Pajero. Had originally considered an Engel for the back but might just heavy wire up the Chescold. Take it out at Fraser or Moreton and run on gas but considering using it for a Cape York trip on 12 v. Disadvantages? Maybe on 12 v but once you have camped for a week on a beach and the beer is always cold without any fuss or major spend on solar panels then you become a fan. My sons who are followers of the latest four wheel drive trends and have all the bits on their FWDs are very keen to borrow the Chescold for camping. Initially it was all Waeco and Engel, great fridges too, but just the set and forget of the Chescold with the 16 L freezer has sold them.
Great little fridge
Have had chessman 3 way bushman for 25 years and everything works just fine, the seal on the lid has come adrift, other than that, for its age, doing just great. Has done many a mile over the years and never let me down. Would highly recommend this brand to anyone wanting to purchase a good fridge.
I've had the green chescold for 15 years,
..Never used the 12V. Blown the 240V element four times. [Always on start-up]. Was told to start and get cold on gas before turning it to 240v which seems to work. Was always careful to not handle it roughly so as less likely to damage element. Runs absolutely fantastic on gas.
Perfect portable 3way
I've had the Dometic Chescold RC1180 going on 3 years, I brought the unit new I have found it works just a little better on gas then 240 volt, it does work well on 12 volt providing you run 6mm wiring directly to the fridge. If you don't then don't bother using 12 volt also please remember these fridges pull continuous power 120 watts so if you don't have dual batteries and isolators you will end up with a flat battery. The handle design could have been implemented better but all in all it's been brilliant, my mate purchase the cheaper jackeroo 3way fridge and the RC1180 out does it in every way possible.
Questions & Answers
Got a chescold 60l just checked it not working in any mode , have been running it on 240 for a while to keep it used , any insight from any one ? It's 20 odd years old , has it just run out of life ?
Gday Ian, check that there is not a strong smell of ammonia from the rear of the unit. If ammonia has leaked then the fridge will not work unless you replace the absorption unit (about half the cost of a new fridge) . It can only be a leaky absorption unit (as described) or that the refrigerant needs to be made to cycle properly. If your fridge has been not level then this may occur. Try turning your fridge upside down for 4 hours. Then right it , and vigorously shake both ways at 30 degree angle for a couple of minutes. Leave for 30 mins , then connect 240V and see how you go.
Best of luck,
Hi-I have recently been given a chescold f400 ,it has a red bung or plug at the bottom and when its removed it seams blocked inside ,is it some sort of drain.Im trying to get the gas funtion to work and wondered if there may be a connection.The gas flame is good and the flue is clean but no cold at all,works fine on 240v.
Final question,should the gas flame increase and decrease when you adjust the thermostat or does it remain the same,Thanks Trevor
What gas can I use on this propane or lpg
I think LPG 9kg gas cylinder normally or 240 volt / 12 volt. this is why it is called a three way fridge. They work best on 240 V and gas. A two week camp trip would use one and a half 9kg cylinders at most if running well. The injector must be kept clean, a bit of a job to replace. It runs on amonia, so A three week trip between 2 and 2.5 cylinders. If not working well more. The The plug for car will keep contents frozen though most likely would not freeze anything from scratch. We take separator out and place frozen stuff on the bottom of the fridge. The alternative is solar and cart solar panels around, and a heavy deep cycle battery. refrigerant almost never is replaced. If refrigerant is gone, the fridge is most likely Cactus. Will get 10 to 16 years out of the fridge if it is washed with fresh water after being near salt. When in storage cover gas inlet or mud wasps will nest there.
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