Changing from a Ice-Box to 3 or 2-way Refrigerator - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-23-2014, 08:23 PM   #15
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No noise Gilda
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:51 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Gilda View Post
Why not consider reverting to the ice box? We have an ice box which keeps a block of ice for about 3 days in hot weather, more in cool weather. Most places we camp we find ice. We are in the market for a high-end cooler that is super insulated to use in addition to our icebox. True, the block of ice takes up a "hunk" of room in the icebox/cooler which is also a consideration. Basically, we are happy with the icebox as it is simple and requires NO maintenance. Good luck with your choice.

BTW (by the way) do RV refrigerators make ANY noise? I am a light sleeper.
Thanks Gilda,

An Ice-box would take care of my needs quite well. When we first started camping...back in the dark ages...our family of four was finally able to move up from a tent, to a slide-in pickup overhead camper! We thought we were in hog's heaven with real beds and an ice-box!

I just wanted an estimate of costs should I decide to go whole hog in restoring the trailer.

None of the LP or 110 volt refrigerators i have owned made any noise. When on LP there is a small pilot light that heats the coils, and when using 110 volts, a electrical heating unit heats the coils The only noise might come from an tiny exaust fan that some people place at the back of the unit to aid in the unit working better. Most RV refrigerators have a difficult time keeping the food very cold when the temp igets close to100 degrees!

Opening the vent door to allow beter air flow sometimes helps.

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Old 08-17-2014, 01:07 PM   #17
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propane fridge

Bill; I'm looking at same thing. Have 13 ft Burro with ice box. Really want a 3 way fridge. Had one in a Palomino pop-up years ago that worked really well - thrifty on propane. Dometic has a 1.9 cu ft model that runs about $500 and Norcold has a 1.7 about same price. Installlation is another issue. Havent found anyone near me yet that will give me an estimate on installation. David
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:20 PM   #18
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Bill; I'm looking at same thing. Have 13 ft Burro with ice box. Really want a 3 way fridge. Had one in a Palomino pop-up years ago that worked really well - thrifty on propane. Dometic has a 1.9 cu ft model that runs about $500 and Norcold has a 1.7 about same price. Installlation is another issue. Havent found anyone near me yet that will give me an estimate on installation. David
Hi David, from what I've seen on the ice-box installed Compact's (and I assume the same problems would exist with a Burro trailer) there are two major modification that would have to be made:

(1) The instullation of a 110-volt power line from the trailer's breaker box, and the instullation of a copper LP line to the new fridge, attached somewhere along the LP line that goes to the LP's stove.

(2) The cabinet work required to install the new fridge.

I hate to think what a Oklahoma Cty RV Company would charge to do those two things, since they often bill about $90.00 an hour.

I believe I could install the electrical lines, and LP copper line. However, it wouldn't be easy and would take me at least a full day...if I had all the fittings, etc. The cabinet instullation is another story, and I'd most likely spend days messing with it...and the end results wouldn't be pretty!

At this moment, based upon the comments posted here, I'll most likely just use the 110-volt dorm fridge as a ice-box for now, unless a good use 2 or 3-way fridge comes my way! Don't discard your ice box should you install a fridge...I might need it!

Bill
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:38 PM   #19
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I am with Byron, when off the beaten track I never use the 12v option on my fridge, as I like to save the power for other options such as heat. Have solar but it can't be counted on to keep up in all the locations and times of year I camp as the propane option can be.

Have a couple of friends with new trailers that came with 12v only option for their fridges and its been discussed many times that they wish the trailer had come with a propane option on the fridge as their old trailers did. We usually have this discussion early in the morning when they have gotten up and discovered they are out of power due to lack of sunlight for the solar the day before & the need for heat during the night and the lack of a generator due to their desire not to have to lug one around, along with the gas that goes with it.
Somehow I missed seeing this message when it was posted last month!

Thanks Carol very much for your comments.

I believe your friends experience's reflect actual true-world conditions!

Bill
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Old 08-17-2014, 06:04 PM   #20
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I've stayed with the ice box so far but I bought a 5-day cooler to bring along extra ice. I'll put a couple of blocks in it and then store it under the trailer (bought one that fit on purpose.) As long as I only open it when I need the new ice block, it will hold my blocks very well. Solved the problem of not being able to find block ice- except for the weight I'm stuck with when bringing it from home. It doesn't work as well if I keep food that I want to have access to in the cooler- then it gets opened too often.
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Old 08-17-2014, 06:56 PM   #21
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I've stayed with the ice box so far but I bought a 5-day cooler to bring along extra ice. I'll put a couple of blocks in it and then store it under the trailer (bought one that fit on purpose.) As long as I only open it when I need the new ice block, it will hold my blocks very well. Solved the problem of not being able to find block ice- except for the weight I'm stuck with when bringing it from home. It doesn't work as well if I keep food that I want to have access to in the cooler- then it gets opened too often.
Bobbie, that's a very neat idea! It certainly would extend a person's ability to stay camping longer.

It might be better nowadays, but a few years back we found it difficult to find and buy block ice. Sometimes, in rural areas, the only "block" ice was ice cubes froze into a block...and sold as block ice! It seemed to melt real fast.

Thank you Bobbie,

Bill
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:31 PM   #22
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That's why I did it, Bill. I could never find block ice on the road, and after 2-3 days my initial 20 lbs would be gone and I had to resort to cubes. I can put two 10 lb blocks in the cooler, plus any frozen foods that I don't want for a few days, and keep it out of the sun.

Someone did a cool replacement of the icebox with a slide-out cooler inside the trailer, so you might look at that, too. Raising the lid keeps the cold in unlike opening the icebox door.
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:54 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Bobbie Mayer View Post
That's why I did it, Bill. I could never find block ice on the road, and after 2-3 days my initial 20 lbs would be gone and I had to resort to cubes. I can put two 10 lb blocks in the cooler, plus any frozen foods that I don't want for a few days, and keep it out of the sun.

Someone did a cool replacement of the icebox with a slide-out cooler inside the trailer, so you might look at that, too. Raising the lid keeps the cold in unlike opening the icebox door.
Bobbie, I'll have to look up that modification. That would be a lot cheaper than buying a new fridge, sonce I have several good coolers on hand.

Thanks again,

Bill
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Old 08-24-2014, 09:35 PM   #24
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Not sure if this is helpful, but when I brought home the Dolphin there was no fridge. There was a big hole with a vent at the back and an outlet under the counter. The original fridge was an RM211. I picked one up used for $150. I had it installed at the rv place. He had to redo the propane and he ran new wiring with a gfi outlet, so that should be comparable to installing from scratch. It cost $400 for the install.
This fridge is 3 way. I think it's great, I can put it on shore power to cool down before we leave, switch it battery powered while we drive, then if need be flip it to propane when we get where we're going.
Just food for thought.
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Old 08-24-2014, 09:44 PM   #25
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Sorry, just had a look at the receipt and the $400 included a part that was needed for the fridge, it was $115, so the actual install was only about $285.
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Old 08-25-2014, 01:03 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Bobbie Mayer View Post
I've stayed with the ice box so far but I bought a 5-day cooler to bring along extra ice. I'll put a couple of blocks in it and then store it under the trailer (bought one that fit on purpose.) As long as I only open it when I need the new ice block, it will hold my blocks very well. Solved the problem of not being able to find block ice- except for the weight I'm stuck with when bringing it from home. It doesn't work as well if I keep food that I want to have access to in the cooler- then it gets opened too often.
Very good. However there's a couple places at least that you could into trouble with that arrangement. Yellow Stone NP and Big Bend NP require that all coolers be place inside and out of sight. The bears in Yellow Stone andJavalienas in Big Bend. Both animals know a cooler when they see it and assume there's food inside.
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Old 08-25-2014, 07:50 AM   #27
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The bears in Yellow Stone and Javalienas in Big Bend. Both animals know a cooler when they see it and assume there's food inside.
Ha! We never could find a bear at Yellow Stone, but, several times at Big Bend, had to drive off packs of Javalienas, that were tearing up tents to get at the coolers inside the tents!

Nasty little critters!

Bill
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Old 08-25-2014, 09:42 AM   #28
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In bear country, cooler goes in vehicle, not trailer. A determined bear could break into either, so my thinking is (1) vehicle with windows closed is better sealed against odors, (2) vehicle has better insurance & more easily repaired/replaced, and (3) we're not in there!! No food of any kind in our bedroom (=trailer).
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