Refrigerator alternative in Burro is this possible? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-18-2007, 09:07 PM   #1
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Greetings everyone!

I had an idea that I don't know will work in our 17 ft Burro. You see we have the ice box and it does grow tiring not having a refrigerator but at this point I do not want to be cutting holes into our burro to install a 3 way camper refrig.

So I thought if I was going to be in campgrounds or living for a long period where I had access to AC why couldn't I pop out the ice box and put in a simple dorm size refrig?

I found several that would closely fit the opening on Amazon like the Haier 1.7 cu. ft.. So not knowing much about this topic, I know there are some skilled people here who can tell me if this would work especially with regard to enclosing the refrig where the ice box is.

I thought if I chose the proper type to match the dimensions of our current ice box, I could continue to use it as an ice box when we don't have access to ac.

Also, is there any possibility that a small size refrig could run off an inverter if you had a large enough battery bank and inverter?

So any one do a modification like this? I'm open to all suggestions.

With gratitude,

Laurie
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Old 05-19-2007, 12:47 AM   #2
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I have seen many examples where people have balked at the expense of replacing their gas/electric friges, and put in a cheaper "Dorm" (compressor) frige instead. I have seen many trailers on eBay where a dorm frige replaced an icebox.

I don't know about running it off an inverter, tho...

Do you have room for a regular cooler/ice chest to suppliment the frige for those times when you don't have hook-ups?
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Old 05-19-2007, 06:07 AM   #3
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I have an Scamp 5th wheel that has a compressor/dorm type fridge. It runs about 2 minutes then off about 12 minutes. So it is only running about 8 minutes per hour. It works great and no vents to the outside. It runs through a 700 watt inverter. I have a 140 amp/hour deep cycle battery on the trailer. When I am plugged in, the converter keeps the battery charged. It came from Scamp this way. I can be off A/C for about 2 days before the battery runs down. A small 1000 watt generator brings the battery back to life when boondocking. Mike
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Old 05-19-2007, 08:26 AM   #4
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Welcome to FiberglassRV Laurie & Tish, we're glad you're here!

I'll leave the answers to others, but I will tell you that several of our members have installed dorm-style refrigerators, I'm sure someone will be answering up shortly.

In the meantime, enjoy the forums and if you get a chance post some pics of you and your rig...we love to at pictures.
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Old 05-19-2007, 10:33 AM   #5
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I don't know about the inverter, but we had a dorm-sized refridgerator in our 13' Burro. We had a small dorm refridgerator in our UHaul when we bought it but cut a larger hole in the fiberglass and replaced the small one with the large one my son used in college. We loaned the small one to a Japanese visitor to my university who's staying here for a year.

We prefer to stay where there is electricity and have a generator for boondocking.

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Old 05-19-2007, 10:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
I have an Scamp 5th wheel that has a compressor/dorm type fridge. It runs about 2 minutes then off about 12 minutes. So it is only running about 8 minutes per hour. It works great and no vents to the outside. It runs through a 700 watt inverter. I have a 140 amp/hour deep cycle battery on the trailer. When I am plugged in, the converter keeps the battery charged. It came from Scamp this way. I can be off A/C for about 2 days before the battery runs down. A small 1000 watt generator brings the battery back to life when boondocking. Mike
Now that's my type of idea Mike thanks for sharing it. I'm wondering if you know how many amps it is drawing per hour. Also, how loud is the compressor when it cycles. Because that is another issue for me is not wanting a noisy unit.

The compressor type is the real type of refrigerator right? Not the type that just cools things down to 40 degrees below the ambiant temp? How cold does your refrig keep food and do you have the small freezer compartment? And if so would you recommend getting one with or without the ice tray area?

We hope to go with solar with a 2 amp panel and not buy a generator and because we don't have a converter, I can run an external battery charger like Gina D. does to recharge my battery when we have electric.

Mike any idea of the make and model of your refrigerator.

I'm really inspired by the info you shared and look forward to others opinions on the subject especially on what make and model would be the quietest, coldest or take the least power.

Thank you!

Laurie
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Old 05-19-2007, 11:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
I have seen many examples where people have balked at the expense of replacing their gas/electric friges, and put in a cheaper "Dorm" (compressor) frige instead. I have seen many trailers on eBay where a dorm frige replaced an icebox.

I don't know about running it off an inverter, tho...

Do you have room for a regular cooler/ice chest to suppliment the frige for those times when you don't have hook-ups?
Fred I'm thrilled that you replied because when I met you at the San Antonio Lake Rally you and I explored the refrigerator issue and you struck me as one of the most knowledgable people that I met over the weekend. So I appreciate your ideas on what I now hope to do.

My ideal is to use my ice draining tray in the ac refrig so when I'm using ice the moisture can drain through like it does in my ice box yet then I realized OH MY that means I'd have to put a hole in the refrigerator some where so the tube could go through and then out the burro!

So my question to you Fred and to others would that be possible to drill a hole somewhere in the ac dorm frige without it effecting it's operation or hitting wires and destroying the entire refrigerator. What would be the best location for the hole?

If that is not possible, I suppose I could improvise some kind of drain pan that I could empty by hand when I'm using ice.

You see I really don't want to 'have' to carry an extra ice chest though we do carry one now because the burro fridge is so small once you have the ice in their you only have one shelf left. So the ac fridge would be a great improvement in size over the ice box.

I was also toying with the idea of using the burro ice box for pantry storage and buy a dorm fridge and put it where our porta potty is now and put the porta potty next to it so we would give up some floor space but visually we would maintain the continuity of the spacious feeling in our burro since we don't have the bathroom unit in our model. The only problem is the porta potty would take up our Airdale Jude's bed and I don't think she would appreciate being relegated to lying on the floor near the sink.

I hope everything is going well for you and Robert and your house project and that you both are living, loving and learning.

Warmly,

Laurie
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Old 05-19-2007, 11:46 AM   #8
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Laurie, My dorm fridge is a Kenmore(sears) compressor type. Has a separate freezer compartment with door. Very quiet running. Says 70-100 watt draw. Be sure to figure a 15% duty cycle, as it only runs about 8 minutes per hour. Maintains temp comparable to home unit. Makes ice and keeps ice cream just fine. My new Scamp 5th wheel has a large 7 cu/ft gas/12volt unit. It doesn't maintain as constant temp as the compressor type fridge, but I do a lot of boondocking and it will be better than running the generator. Mike-B
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Old 05-19-2007, 01:22 PM   #9
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Laurie, My dorm fridge is a Kenmore(sears) compressor type. Has a separate freezer compartment with door. Very quiet running. Says 70-100 watt draw. Be sure to figure a 15% duty cycle, as it only runs about 8 minutes per hour. Maintains temp comparable to home unit. Makes ice and keeps ice cream just fine. My new Scamp 5th wheel has a large 7 cu/ft gas/12volt unit. It doesn't maintain as constant temp as the compressor type fridge, but I do a lot of boondocking and it will be better than running the generator. Mike-B
Good Morning Mike,

I appreciate the prompt reply. I like that yours can keep ice cream and I now realize your's might be bigger than I can put in the burro. The burro dimensions are around 19 inch, by 19, by 19.

So if yours has a seperate freezer compartment, I'm thinking it must be bigger than the 1.7 cu ft. I am looking at. The small cube ones. So what size is yours?

And one last question, how silent is your unit when it's cycling on?

Thanks so much!

Laurie (who is off to sears online to check their selection of refrigerators)
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Old 05-19-2007, 03:22 PM   #10
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When Dee and I had our Scamp 16 we got tired of "frozen lettuce" and no freezer so we replaced the frig with a 110v Whirlpool from Lowes. Had to enlarge the hole in highth a coupla inches and it fit fine. Plugged into the same outlet as the 3 way model.Capped off the propane and 12v. Worked great. When we sold the Scamp we put the propane model back in. We have used the Whirlpool in our Lil Bigfoot since. I have an inverter but only used it one time. I found on our trip that we traveled max 6 to 8 hours and with the frig door bungeed shut we never lost a icecube. We also like the quietness. Keith
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Old 05-19-2007, 03:28 PM   #11
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While we are on the topic, how good are the iceboxes? How long will they keep ice?

Bobbie
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Old 05-19-2007, 10:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
17 ft Burro - Dance Hall Edition


I have been in thier Burro. It has no bathroom (But it DOES have a lovely covered Porta Potti that doubles as a guest chair...)

It is CAVERNOUS in there without the bath. Almost makes me want to take mine out....
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Old 05-19-2007, 10:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
So my question to you Fred ... would that be possible to drill a hole somewhere in the ac dorm frige without it effecting it's operation or hitting wires and destroying the entire refrigerator. What would be the best location for the hole?

If that is not possible, I suppose I could improvise some kind of drain pan that I could empty by hand when I'm using ice.
Blub, blub, blub...

I feel I may be in this a little over my head, here... I, myself would be afraid to modify the frige like that.

But, having said that, we do use our frige like an icebox for short periods of non-powered time while driving. We have a small freezer in our 4 cubic foot gas/electric frige in the Fiber Stream. When we are parked, running the frige on propane, we keep 4 "Blue-Ice" modules frozen. When we get underway, we transfer the "Blue-Ice" to the frige compartment and pin the door shut. It stays cold all day, up to 18 hours, especially if we do not open the frige during this time. Then when we stop, we switch the "Blue-Ice" back to the freezer and turn on the power to the frige. So I know that using the frige as an ice-box is possible. The question becomes how to deal with melted ice?

I think you're thinking on the right wavelength with the drain pan idea.
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Old 05-19-2007, 10:32 PM   #14
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As long as you have enough clearance for ventilation of the coils in the back.

Quote:
Greetings everyone!

I had an idea that I don't know will work in our 17 ft Burro. You see we have the ice box and it does grow tiring not having a refrigerator but at this point I do not want to be cutting holes into our burro to install a 3 way camper refrig.

So I thought if I was going to be in campgrounds or living for a long period where I had access to AC why couldn't I pop out the ice box and put in a simple dorm size refrig?

I found several that would closely fit the opening on Amazon like the Haier 1.7 cu. ft.. So not knowing much about this topic, I know there are some skilled people here who can tell me if this would work especially with regard to enclosing the refrig where the ice box is.

I thought if I chose the proper type to match the dimensions of our current ice box, I could continue to use it as an ice box when we don't have access to ac.

Also, is there any possibility that a small size refrig could run off an inverter if you had a large enough battery bank and inverter?

So any one do a modification like this? I'm open to all suggestions.

With gratitude,

Laurie
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