SMAD or SMETA AC/DC or 3-way refrigerators - anyone here have one?

Discussion in 'Refrigerators and Coolers' started by Rich Knack, May 28, 2018.

  1. Rich Knack

    Rich Knack Member

    66
    9
    May 25, 2018
    Charlevoix, Michigan
    While looking for an affordable multi-powered refrigerator to replace the AC "dorm" fridge in my camper, I ran across some 12V/120V and 3-way (AC/DC/LPG) absorption refrigerators made under the brands SMAD and SMETA in China. The AC/DC ones are well within my price range; the 3-way ones are a little over half a paycheck for me. Has anyone here actually used one of these refrigerators? I'm looking at something around 1.6-1.7 cubic feet - I am GUESSING that is the capacity of the AC fridge I already have, so I don't want to go much bigger or smaller. Reviews on Amazon for the 3-way didn't go below 3 stars, but apparently it doesn't come with gas fittings and the pilot is hard to light. I was looking for opinions from folks here who have actually used either the 2-way or 3-way models, and I am leaning towards the 2-way.
     
  2. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

    5,126
    1,676
    Oct 15, 2006
    Graceville, Florida
    12 volt heater does not really cool the unit down and will kill the battery if not careful. Lp works best and is the fastest to cool down 110 volt works well too. I installed a dorm reefer in one PUP, and used an inverter to run it on the road, then 110 v when at a campsite with power, I also installed a fan behind the reefer to pull heat out it worked really well .
     
  3. Rich Knack

    Rich Knack Member

    66
    9
    May 25, 2018
    Charlevoix, Michigan
    The fridge I have right now is a cube-shaped "dorm" type fridge. Running it from the inverter sounds like a good idea BUT what if you are at a campsite that does not have a full hookup? Before getting the camper I was only using a tent and a cooler/ice chest, but it would be nice if I could ditch the cooler and the mess of ice bags/packs. The 3-way is a nice idea however they ARE rather more expensive.
     
  4. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

    5,126
    1,676
    Oct 15, 2006
    Graceville, Florida
    3 way might be a better solution in your case. Do not expect much from the 12 Volt heater tho.
    I never boondock I usually stay in State Parks in Fl. mostly, if I did boondock I would carry my small generator and a battery charger to charge the battery. I would also double my batteries for the extra amperage.However I always stay where I have electric.I also carry a cooler and a portable ice maker that makes 21 lbs of ice a day and usually give ice away when I leave the CG.
    You might check around at the RV dealers and see if someone might have a good used reefer that would work for you.
     
  5. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

    490
    358
    May 28, 2018
    California
    I have a 3-way in my clipper. I never use it on 12v - just not enough juice to keep it running without using a generator. The propane option is more expensive but it is the best for dry camping. Mine is actually 43 years old and still running great (knock on wood). I agree to check around and see if you can find a used one. Often, they will stop running on propane, so folks will replace with a dorm style. You can look at those - it may be it just needs a new thermocoupler or the holes cleaned out.
     

Share This Page