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The article from which the following extract on the climate class rating of refrigerators is reproduced by express permission, Collyn Rivers, Caravan & Motorhome Books, Broome, WA 6725. This article is protected by Copyright. Books - Caravan and Motorhome Books
Climate Class Ratings
I to explain here just what I mean. A number of fridges sold in Australia are marketed as 'tropicalised'. Whilst this is a reasonable description of their design and construction, the term 'tropicalised' can unintentionally mislead those not familiar with fridge technology.
The increasingly accepted European Union (CEN) fridge performance standard, includes so-called 'Climate Classes' in which the most stringent is Climate Class T. And that 'T' stands for Tropical. So in the way that 'oils ain't necessarily oils', a 'tropicalised' fridge ain't necessarily Climate Class T.
There are four (CEN Standard) Climate Class ratings.
Fridges rated 'SN', and 'N' (which stands for Sub Normal, and Normal respectively) are designed and rated to work up to 32 degrees C.
Fridges marked 'ST', (which stands for Sub Tropical) are designed and rated to work up to 36 degrees C. Those marked 'T' (which stands for Tropical) are designed and rated to work up to 43 degrees C.
A correctly installed fridge Climate Class rated fridge can be relied upon to work satisfactorily up to the highest ambient temperature for which it is rated. But once past that temperature, cooling performance is likely to drop off. If, for example, you have a Climate Class SN or N fridge (ie. designed for 32 degrees maximum), but it's 42 degrees outside, the beer in that fridge is likely to be up to ten degrees C warmer.
So if you are planning to spend time in places that are very hot, it is prudent to use a 'T-rated' unit. I have yet to encounter anyone even locally using a correctly installed 'T-rated' fridge that was not completely satisfied with its performance. And I live in the Kimberley which is one of the most consistently hot areas of this country.
Do note that the European Union Standard that includes Climate Class ratings is not obligatory in Australia. Nevertheless Dometic and a few other fridge vendors market fridges in Australia that have the 'Climate Class' rating noted on their compliance plate (which you'll find inside the fridge). Climate Class T fridges were for example fitted in several display Winnebagos on display at the Casino Rally and many CMCA members have recently bought them.
Be clear regarding this: a statement that a fridge is 'tropicalised' does not imply that it meets Climate Class 'T' requirements.
Dometic states that its fridges that do meet the 'T' standard (and are designated accordingly on the compliance plate) are the larger models RM 2453, RM 2553, and RM 4601. The company claims only that its smaller fridges are 'tropicalised'.