Any reason I can't just buy small elec. fridge and put in Compact - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-31-2009, 01:01 PM   #1
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There are relatively inexpensive compact electric refrigerators in 2.5 cf range that will fit into opening where my ice box is in Compact II. A little bigger would mean losing one of the drawers below the ice box. Dometic and Norcold just too expensive for me.

For those who've done this, any down side? Upside? Brands? Yes, I realize I wouldn't have power for fridge while traveling and would have to rely on getting a Coleman Ultimate Xtreme cooler or put self-frozen jugs of ice in fridge until plugged in at campground but as I posted earlier this week, I can't plan any more trips of longer than 2 days until I work out the food storage problem.

Any reason I can't just plug it into trailer electrical plugs at campground and use it? I'm new at this and probably sound incredibly stupid but need to know. Thanks everyone for all your suggestions earlier in the week. This forum is a lifesaver. Pat
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Old 07-31-2009, 01:44 PM   #2
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I have exactly what you are thinking about. A previous owner installed a 33" x 18" dorm frig in my Compact Jr. where the ice box had been. The trailer wiring handles it fine. The only real challenge has been a method to secure the door in transit.

http://s293.photobucket.com/albums/mm41/to...sonphotos32.jpg

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Old 07-31-2009, 01:54 PM   #3
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I'm new at this and probably sound incredibly stupid but need to know. Thanks everyone for all your suggestions earlier in the week. This forum is a lifesaver. Pat
To me, it sounds like a perfectly good question to ask. If you're wondering about this issue, you can bet others are too.

Thanks for asking it!
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Old 07-31-2009, 03:03 PM   #4
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There are relatively inexpensive compact electric refrigerators in 2.5 cf range that will fit into opening where my ice box is in Compact II. A little bigger would mean losing one of the drawers below the ice box. Dometic and Norcold just too expensive for me.

For those who've done this, any down side? Upside? Brands? Yes, I realize I wouldn't have power for fridge while traveling and would have to rely on getting a Coleman Ultimate Xtreme cooler or put self-frozen jugs of ice in fridge until plugged in at campground but as I posted earlier this week, I can't plan any more trips of longer than 2 days until I work out the food storage problem.

Any reason I can't just plug it into trailer electrical plugs at campground and use it? I'm new at this and probably sound incredibly stupid but need to know. Thanks everyone for all your suggestions earlier in the week. This forum is a lifesaver. Pat
Pat
I put a dorm frig in our Jr and it works fine. I did rewire the trailer for 120 volts. The hardest thing was making sure it was level when building the platform it sets on.

Click image for larger version

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Part of the platform is sitting on the wheel well. I use a bungy cord to hold the door close
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Old 07-31-2009, 04:14 PM   #5
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I have exactly what you are thinking about. A previous owner installed a 33" x 18" dorm frig in my Compact Jr. where the ice box had been. The trailer wiring handles it fine. The only real challenge has been a method to secure the door in transit.

Tom Trostel

Tom, The cheap little "kid proof" stick on locks won't do it? Rick Brown says he uses bungee cord. Should I be concerned about refrigerator falling out of its place while in tow? Sure have had drawers come open and the ice box. Thanks for reply. Pat

p.s. just realized after looking at your pictures that I could cover fridge door with something so wouldn't matter what color fridge I buy is.
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Old 07-31-2009, 04:54 PM   #6
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Tom, The cheap little "kid proof" stick on locks won't do it? Rick Brown says he uses bungee cord. Should I be concerned about refrigerator falling out of its place while in tow? Sure have had drawers come open and the ice box. Thanks for reply. Pat

p.s. just realized after looking at your pictures that I could cover fridge door with something so wouldn't matter what color fridge I buy is.

They do make small dorm fridges with a lock to keep your roommate from stealing your food, perhaps you can find one in your size!
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Old 07-31-2009, 09:42 PM   #7
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This is what I use on my frig. on my boat

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/store...dkey=SiteSearch

Bill K



Quote:
I have exactly what you are thinking about. A previous owner installed a 33" x 18" dorm frig in my Compact Jr. where the ice box had been. The trailer wiring handles it fine. The only real challenge has been a method to secure the door in transit.

http://s293.photobucket.com/albums/mm41/to...sonphotos32.jpg

Tom Trostel
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Old 07-31-2009, 11:14 PM   #8
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We removed the ice box from our Scamp after one camping trip & replaced it with a dorm-size Haier fridge that we found at Sam's or Wal-Mart (can't remember which.) It worked great but was too small for our needs, so we sacrificed the utensil drawer above the fridge, cut out a taller opening & installed a 4.5 cubic foot Haier. Seems like it cost about $140 & has a locking door. We love it! We can carry enough food, drinks, etc. to last several days. Before we travel, we connect the power for several hours to get the fridge really cold (it ices things over on the top shelf) & everything stays good & cold for hours. It works great for us!
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Old 08-01-2009, 01:56 PM   #9
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This is fantastic ideas. We have been debating what to do about the fridge in our boler. It is super old rusty and the wires are all frayed. A replacement is WAY too expensive.

One question I do have is can these mini-fridges run on battery power too or do they suck up too much power? A lot of the campgrounds we like going to do not have hookups.

Cheers

Ursula

P.S. Thanks for the post Pat, we were thinking the same way
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Old 08-01-2009, 04:05 PM   #10
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Pat
I put a dorm frig in our Jr and it works fine. I did rewire the trailer for 120 volts. The hardest thing was making sure it was level when building the platform it sets on.

Attachment 22279

Part of the platform is sitting on the wheel well. I use a bungy cord to hold the door close

Rick B. and Tom T,

you guys' pictures show that it can work as did Sandra's post and emails but when I take out the ice box and need to lower the platform it sits on because need another 5 inches for fridge (unfortunately eliminating a drawer), I'm concerned about sturdy enough and fixing it right. I'm handy but I don't have a workshop or garage with tools and I'm not a carpenter. I do have basic tools. Don't want new fridge breaking down through to the next drawer or falling out onto the floor. Wiring seems to be pretty good - plugged in 5000 BTU a/c with no problems and still able to use lights, radio, and one small electric appliance. Pat
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Old 08-01-2009, 04:35 PM   #11
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Pat,

I have seen it done all the time...
50% of the time its incorrectly installed when people ask me to look at it.
Almost 90% of the mistakes are that the rear coils do not have enough airflow...
When I do it for someone, I add a mini box fan to blow on the coils or exhaust out warmer air from them wiring to the compressor on/off circuit.

Pay attention to this issue and they are great when shore power is not an issue.

Harry



Quote:
There are relatively inexpensive compact electric refrigerators in 2.5 cf range that will fit into opening where my ice box is in Compact II. A little bigger would mean losing one of the drawers below the ice box. Dometic and Norcold just too expensive for me.

For those who've done this, any down side? Upside? Brands? Yes, I realize I wouldn't have power for fridge while traveling and would have to rely on getting a Coleman Ultimate Xtreme cooler or put self-frozen jugs of ice in fridge until plugged in at campground but as I posted earlier this week, I can't plan any more trips of longer than 2 days until I work out the food storage problem.

Any reason I can't just plug it into trailer electrical plugs at campground and use it? I'm new at this and probably sound incredibly stupid but need to know. Thanks everyone for all your suggestions earlier in the week. This forum is a lifesaver. Pat
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Old 08-01-2009, 09:19 PM   #12
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Pat,

I have seen it done all the time...
50% of the time its incorrectly installed when people ask me to look at it.
Almost 90% of the mistakes are that the rear coils do not have enough airflow...
When I do it for someone, I add a mini box fan to blow on the coils or exhaust out warmer air from them wiring to the compressor on/off circuit.

Pay attention to this issue and they are great when shore power is not an issue.

Harry
Pat
Harry brings up a good point, I put a vent behind the frig through the wall. I don't have a close up picture, but this picture will show you the small vent on the back hand corner of the trailer were the frig is. As you can see we use a cooler for our drinks.

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Old 08-01-2009, 11:29 PM   #13
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Really only downside to the dorm fridge vs the RV 3-way is the inability to boondock and run your fridge on propane. After 3 years of Scamping we know our camping involves many occasions where we need the fridge on propane so the dorm fridge doesn't work for us.

If you know you'll always have juice and never dry camp or would be happy with carrying a cooler when you dry camp then you can put in a dorm fridge for a good bit less $$$
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Old 08-02-2009, 04:42 AM   #14
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[quote]Pat
Harry brings up a good point, I put a vent behind the frig through the wall. I don't have a close up picture, but this picture will show you the small vent on the back hand corner of the trailer were the frig is. As you can see we use a cooler for our drinks.

Attachment 22300


Rick, how is that awning pictured attached to trailer?
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