Installing a refrigerator - Fiberglass RV

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Old 08-02-2008, 05:25 PM   #1
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Trailer: 1981 Burro
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I have a 1981, 10 foot Burro that I'm modifying for two bird dogs and me. One of the first changes is to replace the small under counter icebox with a 5.5 cubic foot, Nordcold refrigerator. The Norcold foot print is larger and taller, so we gotta cut some fiberglass, build a fully encapsulated cover for the unit, mount in place and finish the cut fiberglass that was cut. In some cases this will be adding a fabricated panel to a newly exposed cut out, other areas will require fiberglassing and faring into the surrounding surfaces.

Looking for suggestions, previous do', and don't, Fabrication materials, ETC., any input would be gratefully appreciated. Any books any one has read that might help with certain portions of the make over?



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Old 08-02-2008, 09:50 PM   #2
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Name: Frederick
Trailer: Fiber Stream
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One of the first changes is to replace the small under counter icebox with a [b]5.5 cubic foot, Nordcold refrigerator.
I see there have been several viewers, but no comment, yet.

It sounds like an ambitious project to me. In Bolers, Scamps, and similar [b]single shell, horizontal belly-band trailers, the kitchen cabinetry is a separate piece, easily modified.

The Burro is a [b]double shell, vertical belly-band design. The kitchen cabinetry is molded into, and is part of the inner shell. Cutting out that much material and splicing in new would be a challenge to overcome the new stresses introduced. The new refrigerator sounds like it will be [b]twice as large as the old. I assume you are deleting the gas cooktop?

That much modification requires more fiberglass working skill than I have. Good luck!

Frederick - The Scaleman
1978 Fiber Stream 16 named "Eggstasy" & 1971 Compact Jr. named "Boomerang"
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Old 08-03-2008, 06:08 AM   #3
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 23,914
I'm wondering the same thing. Have you considered encasing the refrigerator in a light-weight wood cabinet? You could paint it gloss white and it would hardly be noticeable. Since the refrigerator is bolted down, the cabinet is more for aesthetics than anything.
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 08-03-2008, 05:50 PM   #4
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Trailer: 1981 Burro
Posts: 4
Thanks for the reply’s. I will wind up putting the refrigerator in a lightweight wood cabinet to isolate the pilot light and propane in case of a leak, install vents in the rear for the same purpose. I am going to remove the old ice box (done) and propane stove, cut out that area for 24" wide and deep, install a 2" floor lift to get around the shell radius at that point and mount the refrigerator. There will be a fair amount of fiberglass work, daunting, but doable. If I had done my homework I would have started with a fiberglass trailer that had removable cabinets, oh well.
Once again thanks,

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Old 08-03-2008, 08:48 PM   #5
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Name: Roy
Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
Posts: 4,852
I don't know if this helps, but here are a couple of links to conversion charts for RV fridges. Maybe you can find a current model that will better suit your requirements with less mods.

Both links open as PDF documents.
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