Oh Gawd, here we go again. It never ceases to amaze me, how people buy stuff they have absolutely no understanding of how it works, and the best example is these three way fridges.
OK, for the beginners here, let me explain.
These fridges work by heating chlorine gas, this gas is forced through smaller and smaller pipes thus causing cooler temps within the element.
The gas is heated by;
1. a 240 volt electric element wrapped around the heating module.
2. a 12 volt electric heating element wrapped around the heating module.
3. a system of pipes within the heating module that get heated up when the lpg gas is lit.
Notice, whilst the method of heating the module may change, the amount of heat always remains the same as it's designed to do, no matter whether 12 volt, 240 volt or gas, it stays within the thermometer regulated variables.
If your fridge is working properly, there should be no difference between cooling from whatever source your using. If it does not, you should take it to your nearest service agent to have it serviced and resolved. It has been known for gas jets to enlargen over time(burned) needing replacement, and jets becoming blocked or obstructed from foreign object within the gas. Electrical heating elements do burn out from time to time needing replacement.
IMHO, these are excellent fridges and do not get their due from the camping fraternity at all.
They are QUIET, ECONOMICAL,and run for days and days on a 9 kilo gas bottle unobtrusively keeping things cold in the back ground.
You don't need GENERATORS, masses of DC batteries, or solar panels, alternators to get the most of these fridges, just a little gas.
The trick is, if your going to use your three way fridge, turn it on 240 volt 24hrs before you plan to depart, allow the frdige to reach it's proper temperature, fill it with whatever you plan to take, don't rely on the fridge to freeze your stuff, do that with your in house freezer, then place it in the three way fridge, anything you buy, cool it down first in your home fridge, then when it's nice and cool, place it in your threeway. I'm sure you get the drift buy now. Allow it to stabilise itself before you leave.
Then place it in your car.
Now here we have a few prerequisits. The main one is automotive wiring. 99.9% of existing wiring in cars today is rated at 10 amps, so are the plugs(cigarette lighter) which is INSUFFICIENT for these fridges, they need minimum 15 amps, remember, your powering up a heating element, basicaly a coil of wire wrapped around the Module, that wire gets hot from the power running thru it, so it needs LOTS AND LOTS OF AMPS to do it's job properly, if the wire supplying the power is too small, it will over heat and can cause your car to catch fire.
So the first thing you need to do is visit your auto electrical shop and tell them to instal a wire of sufficient capacity to handle the load, together with a RELAY wired to your ignition. This will do two things, one ensure sufficient power is supplied to your fridge and two, only allow said power when engine is running, thus you'll never flatten your battery when the fridge is plugged in. Got that, turn your igniton OFF and the fridge will automatically be also turned OFF. Turn your engine back ON, and your fridge is also back ON. easy hey ?
When you reach your camp site, remove fridge from car and connect lpg, ignite and adjust temps to desired level.
I've found with our Chescold, as long as it's reasonably level, there's never been a probem.
Due to the constraints with these chlorine gas systems, these fridges loose some of their abilities if the surroundings become too hot, such as entering the tropics, their effectiveness does reduce somewhat.
This can be easily over come by fitting a Computer fan or two, to the rear and direct the airflow over the cooling system, then they operate normaly.
The power to supply these fans comes from a small solar panel(or any other 12 volt source and is minimal in amount it requires) readily available from any auto motive accessory shop.
So there we have it folks, hope there's a better understanding now, of how to make the most of your threeway fridge.