Jump to content

European Climate Class Requirements (3 Way Fridge)


Recommended Posts


I am living in Australia, and have ordered a new 3 way fridge for my caravan, and note that the attached specification label shows that it is rated as, "Climate Class T", meaning that it should perform to the requirements of a "Tropical" specification. It happens to be a 90 litre Thetford fridge, and I am very doubtful that it will go anywhere near this indicated rating.


The question I have is what are the performance requirements when a manufacturer in Europe attaches a label showing a Tropical rating ? I believe it might mean that the inside temperature must hold 4 degrees C when the ambient is 43 degrees.


Can a forum member please direct me to a "written standard" that quantifies the mandatory requirements for the various Climate Class ratings. ie... SN, N, ST, and T. It seems there are no such standards in Australia for this type of fridge, but Thetford and Dometic both declare that their fridges meet a Climate Class ratings of some level.

Thank you, Barry

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Barry


Every EU produced fridge freezer has a 'climate class', which tells you the range of room temperatures with which it can cope. The two we in the UK come across most are N class and SN class. Both work effectively in room temperatures up to 32°C. (FAT CHANCE but we live in hope!)


N models shouldn't be used in rooms that become colder than 16°C. SN models shouldn't be used at room temperatures below 10°C.


Other classes are ST and T. ST models and they work best at between 18°C and 38°C, and T models between 18°C and 43°C.


More at the UK Consumers association site




What part of Oz are you in Barry?


My niece is in Brisbane and we were there in 2009 - managed to visit Fraser Island and then drive down to Sydney - Byron Bay, Coffs Harbour Blue Mountains and the Hunter Valley (just had to see the vines that grow the stuff I drink so much of)!


Sydney was great - walked all round the harbour - under the bridge and then on into the old part of town. Strange that the Opera House looks so white in all the photos but is in reality a lovely light gold colour.


Hope to be back in a year or two. But this time for a full six months and hiring/buying a MH.





Link to comment
Share on other sites



Virtually all 3 way fridges work on the adsorbtion principle rather than having a compressor. This makes them silent in operation but require heat source to work. Therefore they will not be as efficient as compressor fridges in extreme temperatures. Most are advertised as being effective up to the low 30's and from experience they will work in higher temperatures than this but again, not as good as a compressor model. The efficiency can be inproved by a number of steps including shading the vents, removing the vents and fitting a cooling fan at the rear. Of course making sure the fridge is installed correctly is the first check as invariable this is the cause of poor performance. May professional fitters manage to get this wrong.


Of course the reason they are fitted is the the 3 way option, so they can run without mains electric and also can run on gas. If you are 'offroading' in Oz then this is possibly an advantage but I also suspect many Aussies use generators. On site then EHU is always available.


You can now get compressor fridges that will work on 12 volt and use either the battery or through a charger device and should work as well as a mains compressor fridge.


Depending on what travel you envisage then you may wish to review your options although for most of relatively normal camping the 3 way fridge is effective. My Thetford fridge has worked efficently in Med temps of mid to high 30's without problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Clive,


Thank you sincerely for your info re the fridges. I will look at your site. I took my caravan in today, and was assured that my 90 litre fridge will be "T" class. There will be a bit of a fight it does not perform well. Most fridges are "T" rated in Australia, however I was assured by the Standards Australia that they have no standard that covers this fridge. Thetford are choosing however to put a label inside these fridges and refer to "Climate class T". This is a bit naughty, as I would put money on it that they can not survive at anything like 43 degrees. I will find out soon. I am heading up into outback Queensland, and I am hoping that it will be nice and warm. All the rain they had/are having is a worry though.


live in Adelaide SA, and I am retired after having spent 38 years in the motor industry. I was lucky enough to visit the UK on a couple of occasions when Mitsubishi Australia tried (unsuccessfully) to export the Lonsdale and Sigma to your country. I was stationed at the Colt Car Co headquarters in Cirencester, and had a good look around while there. I loved the history, old buildings, scenery etc etc. Even the weather was kind to me !!


The guy that looked after me in the UK did what you are planning, and bought a car and caravan here in Australia, and toured around for 6 months. He loved it all. I think he will also be back soon.


Thanks again for your help,


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the info. I have small caravan, and 4WD vehicle by choice, as I like to get off road and camp by the river, and in National Parks etc. I am stuck with a 3 way fridge, and if I had one that could handle ambients of 40 degrees I would be more than happy.


I have ordered a new Thetford today, and have been told it has a "climate class T". This is supposed to handle 43, as Clive has advised. Lets hope mine is this good. Time will tell. In Australia we need this sort of performance.

Thanks again,


Link to comment
Share on other sites

You have to accept that 40 degrees is not really the norm for the majority of the world where camping is popular. Therefore makers will market products where they get the best return and Thetford like Dometic concentrate on the 3 way fridge market. Thetford also have a big say in the USmarket supplying fridges for RV's but again these beatss tend to have on board genrators for back up and the compressor type of fridge is usually fitted. Have you looked at what sort of fridge Companies such as Jayco fit for their offroad caravans as these must be designed for the sort of camping you are looking at.
Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...