Took out fridge - now what?? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-01-2006, 05:32 PM   #1
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So I took out the three-way fridge - I never did figure out how to use it, it was heavy, and it was coming out of its own accord anyway. But now there's this big gaping hole in the side of the trailer. Should I just wall it off and ignore it, or try to patch the fiberglass, or what?

And tell me, what would _you_ do with the space?

Thanks!

-Laura
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Old 04-01-2006, 06:11 PM   #2
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Is the outside vent still there?

If so, I would place something behind it from the inside, being careful to seal it well so water won't get inside the trailer.

That way, should you (Or a new owner) ever choose to put a 3 way back in, the hole will already be there and accessible.
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Old 04-01-2006, 06:25 PM   #3
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Wink

Our local Costco has a neat looking upright "5-Day" plastic cooler that looks like a perfect fit in my empty ex-refrigerator spot. Umm, just under 18 inches wide, and deep, I think, and maybe 24 inches high, but not sure.
<blockquote>It is tempting me ....$39.00.
Even has wheels.
Color matches my cushions.
</blockquote>
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Old 04-01-2006, 07:43 PM   #4
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As a variation on Gina's suggestion, I would leave the openings (for possible later use, and to avoid doing fiberglass work), but replace the vent panels with solid panels. Possible materials include aluminum (painted, brushed, or polished), stainless steel (brushed or polished), or fiberglass sheet (like the stick-built trailers use - maybe a couple of suitably sized scraps could be obtained from an RV repair shop).

I would like to use the space for a high-efficiency 12VDC compressor-type refrigerator, but would settle for a 12VDC electronic cooler (such as a Koolatron). Another alternative would be to put the electric cooler somewhere that it could be used with the lid opening on top, and make the hole into a storage cupboard.
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Old 04-01-2006, 07:52 PM   #5
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Yes, the outside vent is still there. We had been referring to it as our "custom-built pass-through" but couldn't think of any good use for such a thing. :-) I'll ask my father-in-law for a solid metal panel, he works with metal.

We had thought about one of those 12v coolers. Does anyone use one? What do you think? Coleman makes a big front-opening one, and there are some small ones too. We don't need that much capacity, just cheese and milk for the bambino and someplace to keep meat for a day or so...
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Old 04-01-2006, 08:00 PM   #6
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...We had thought about one of those 12v coolers. Does anyone use one? What do you think? Coleman makes a big front-opening one, and there are some small ones too. We don't need that much capacity, just cheese and milk for the bambino and someplace to keep meat for a day or so...
I have two of the "electronic" coolers, and find that while they work reliably, their maximum temperature differential (from the cooled inside to the surrounding air) isn't always enough, and they take a surprising amount of power - that's why I would prefer the high-efficiency compressor-type unit. They also don't work particularly well as plain coolers, because they leak heat through the cooling system when shut off. I think they're good for situations in which you want portability and have a continuous supply of DC power, such as in the van while on the road.

Since there are no parts in these coolers which care which way is up, most are intended to be used either as a chest (door on top) or upright (door on front). You lose less cold air when opened if kept in chest position.
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Old 04-01-2006, 10:28 PM   #7
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Laura Heiman Posted Today, 03:32 PM
Quote:
We had thought about one of those 12v coolers. Does anyone use one?
I have a Coleman 12v/110 cooler. The 12v is great to keep stuff cold while heading to my destination. They are, however, rather noisy. I put in an outside 110 power supply, near the door. I put a small table outside the door, and the cooler under it while I am camping with AC power. For me, it works great. I have even used it in the desert, with a tarp over it and air space, and had things stay quite cold. If you are booondocking, then a 5-day cooler might be best, to keep baby's milk well chilled.



Quote:
And tell me, what would _you_ do with the space?
I had a 2-way frig that only worked one-way. I had thoughts of putting in a 3-way...but am dragging my feet on cutting more holes in the Scamp. So...my solution to the extra space was storage.
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Old 04-01-2006, 11:12 PM   #8
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Well one idea would be to "add" an outside shower since the hole(s) are already there.
"IF" that idea doesn't appeal, "I" would remove the vent panels and place some thin plexiglass / plastic there and reinstall the vents (that way when you decide to install an ice box OR sell, the option will still be there - plus it is a "cheap" fix) - on the inside I would finish up a nice storage space for a cooler.
Best of Luck on your "project".
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Old 04-01-2006, 11:47 PM   #9
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Thats an EXCELLENT idea.

Never thought of doing it that way. Great thinking!
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Old 04-02-2006, 06:37 AM   #10
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We took out the UHaul icebox and opted for a storage pantry rather than cooler space, because we prefer to keep the cooler in the car where it's easy to drain, stock with groceries and refill with ice.

That's a flatware drawer at the top. A bungee cord holds boxes of cereal, pasta, instant potatoes, soup, gnocchi, etc., on the shelf. The shelf is set back to make it easy to slide pots and pans into the bottom compartment. Wire baskets attached inside the door utilize that setback space to store condiments and small items.

This photo was taken before I installed hinges and a new door which matches our cupboard and closet doors.

The pantry has a lot more room in it than the old icebox did - the box is quite a bit larger than the opening in the fiberglass. The tricky part was building it so the panels could be pushed through the opening and assembled from the inside - that's why the angle iron in the corners.
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Old 04-03-2006, 02:12 PM   #11
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For plugging the holes, I'd suggest leaving the vents and just sealing the holes up from the inside. Easiest (and least elegant) approach would be a sheet of fiberglass (or well treated thin plywood) and construction adhesive (hey! It's not pretty - but it's inside a cabinet and it works! ).

However - if you're normally camping with access to shore power - you might consider replacing it with a conventional fridge, with maybe a storage shelf in any extra space.

Another option would be to pick up a normal trailer "icebox" (shelf for block ice, drain through hole in floor). Might even exactly fit your hole. JC Whitney carries them and I think the prices were tolerable. I've got on sitting in the garage for that matter...

mkw
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Old 04-03-2006, 03:51 PM   #12
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Why not just use those fine holes? Install an Air Conditioner!

Build a deck on the bottom of the opening with a slight tilt downward, cover with aluminum so water goes out the bottom drain of the large door ( Or Just make a new drain), build a box for the air cond so that the sides and top draw cool air from the top refer vent and exhaust air goes out the bottom larger vent.

looks like this:
PS. Cabinet door on top of Air cond drops down and area hold frying pans and such.
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Old 04-03-2006, 03:53 PM   #13
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I do have and use a 12v cooler. Have put frozen items in it above other cold foods and had it remain with most items frozen for several days with only plugging into lighter while traveling. We have a gas fridge now in RV and plan to remove it or put a tray in for ice. By the way I had only ice box for years and lots of ice to purchase all the time. I learned that putting a large piece of plain box card board in the front of the ice compartment cut the ice melt tremendously and items placed next to the ice stayed really cold.
For anyone traveling and wanting stuff to remain frozen, if you can find an ice plant, you can usually buy a small chunk of dry ice. When I once had to purchase fresh and frozen items for restaurant in summer, and purchasing and travel took several hours in 95-100 degrees, that is how I was able to do so without losses. A styro cooler with lid kept tight and a piece of dry ice will keep ice cream for several hours till after dinner in camp! Dry ice is not ice so learn how to use before trying it!
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Old 04-05-2006, 01:18 PM   #14
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I have a Coleman 12v/110 cooler. The 12v is great to keep stuff cold while heading to my destination. They are, however, rather noisy.
No kidding! I was pondering everybody's great suggestions, and found a 12v cooler massively on sale at Menards, so I brought it home. Is it supposed to be THAT LOUD? It drowns out conversation!

If I decide to keep it, it fits nicely in the space, with room next to it for tall things - cutting board, etc. The AC is already mounted on the back window, or I would have thought about doing that.

Thanks for all the great suggestions, everyone!
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