ice box to actual fridge conversation. possible? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 05-03-2015, 10:27 PM   #1
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Name: jaime
Trailer: in the market
Posts: 1
ice box to actual fridge conversation. possible?

I am new to the fiberglass camper world and am trying to take in all the knowledge I can before diving in. BUT it also seems that I can educate myself for many months/years or I can dive in and start having fun on the road with my family. It appears the 13' are fairly sought after and ya have to be quick on the draw to buy or you'll lose out on the purchase. Looking at a 13' 1996 Casita, new tires, sound shell, new battery, new ceiling vent/fan, no evidence of leaks. My question is that it has an ice box and not a refrigerator which I was hoping to have an actual small refrigerator in the camper. Is this impossible to swap for an actual fridge? if so, any thoughts on cost to do this? Thanks a bunch, jj

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Old 05-03-2015, 11:02 PM   #2
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Name: John
Trailer: Boler
Deep South
Posts: 671
No it is not impossible to swap out, but if you are looking for one that will run on propane they are pricey for the units themselves and the back of the unit must be vented to the outside of the trailer. If you are new to LP refrigerators I suggest having a professional install it, you might try Camping World. Now if you are talking about a 12v or 110 refrigerator and no propane you should be able to handle that yourself if you have general handyman skills...we went with a 110v Emerson 1.7 cu ft model to run off an inverter and (2) 6 volt batteries or standard 110 when we have hookups available...

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Old 05-05-2015, 04:27 PM   #3
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Name: Adam
Trailer: Boler
Posts: 2
I am doing the same thing! New to fiberglass RVs, and recently purchased a 1973 Boler 13'. We are replacing the ice box with a 3-way fridge (old Dometic 211 we picked up for CDN $150). I had already decided to redo the propane line to the stove, which I'm going to do myself (once I feel confident after doing more research).
I've decided on using soft copper tubing, and my problem is finding the right fittings. The selection at Lowe's wasn't great. Anyone know where I can find the right stuff?

Also, where can I get the appliance hose to go to the fridge? Is there a name for the connector type?

Planning on having no copper connections inside the camper, so any leaks would be outside (and I will be checking with soapy water of course). Also, planning on installing the vent to outside, and isolating the back of the fridge to the walls using some hard foam insulation.

Thanks for the help, loving the forum!
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Old 05-05-2015, 04:36 PM   #4
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Posts: 5,281
Typically the fitting on a propane fridge is a flare fitting. It requires a tool to flare the copper pipe.
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Old 05-05-2015, 04:44 PM   #5
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Name: Adam
Trailer: Boler
Posts: 2
Hi David, okay good. I picked up a flaring tool yesterday. Clearly just lacking some research :P
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Old 05-05-2015, 09:30 PM   #6
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Name: Doug
Trailer: Trillium 1300 1973
British Columbia
Posts: 181
Hey Jaimejo
How handy are you?
I was in the same boat, looking to buy a unit with an icebox. While making an offer I bought a cooling unit that I intended to add to the icebox. The deal for the trailer fell thru and I bought a Trillium with a 3 way fridge. I've got $55 into it, but it is a project.
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Old 05-05-2015, 09:51 PM   #7
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Name: Dave & Paula Brown
Trailer: Lil Snoozy
Posts: 1,297
Jaime, a 12 volt only "Danfoss Compressor" style refrigerator by NovaKool, Truckfridge, etc. will run you around $700.00, and are very to install, and no outside venting needed.
Dave & Paula
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Old 05-06-2015, 04:32 AM   #8
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Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
Posts: 3,558
Out the top or out the back??

From Nova Kool-
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Old 05-06-2015, 07:33 AM   #9
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 766
I am adding 12 Volt quiet computer fans to aid in the cooling of my old Norcold 12 / 120 refrigerator. I saw somewhere a circuit that rectified the 20 VAC that drives the swing motor from either the 120 volt transformer or the 12 volt inverter and then a regulator to get 12 VDC from that for the fan.
If the Danfoss has 12 volt switched going to the motor then that could be tapped for the fan as well.
I am also building in a cooling chimney to aid in convection cooling for the old unit.
I have found that my adding the aluminum tape to the condenser coils on the rear have made the unit quieter and more efficient. It cycles less and that means it uses less power to keep the fridge cool. I checked and made some ice last night.

I found some ice trays at the container store this weekend that have rubber covers that "seal" the top so that perhaps the thing could make some ice without the water spilling all over!

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