Large or small refrigerator? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-23-2017, 12:00 AM   #1
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Large or small refrigerator?

Hey all,

My wife and I just ordered a Scamp 16 layout 4 and couldn't decide on which fridge. I really like a tall closet for hanging up wet ski clothes in the winter so we went with the smaller fridge.

But we can change the order for a few more months and just welcomed our first child this weekend. If we plan on having 2 kids, will we regret not getting the larger fridge? I just thought we could always bring a soft cooler with ice if we needed more fridge space.

Thoughts?

Thanks!

Ben
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Old 10-23-2017, 04:31 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum Ben. Just my opinion but after a slew of RVs you can't have to big of a refer. The wet ski clothes can be hung in the tug. I did the cooler thing with a small refer and two little kids, didn't work to well. On another note, you may want to rethink hanging wet clothes inside the TT as there is enough condensation produced by people sleeping in cold weather without adding to it with wet clothing. There's my 2 cents for you .
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Old 10-23-2017, 06:41 AM   #3
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I agree with Dave. Even the larger refrigerators often do not seem to have adequate space, and keeping a cooler filled with ice which rapidly melts is both inconvenient and expensive.
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Old 10-23-2017, 06:55 AM   #4
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To me, a better question might be side exhaust vent or roof exhaust vent. I believe that the roof vent works better (after all, hot air rises better than it goes sideways). I have the larger fridge on a Scamp 16 with the roof vent and it works much better than a smaller fridge I had with a side exhaust in a pop-up camper. Heck, the larger fridge even keeps food frozen in the freezer section.

Not that it is as good as my home fridge. No absorption fridge works as well as a compressor type, but neither does a compressor fridge work on propane.

I also got lucky in that the fridge I got requires no electric at all. Many newer ones require 12 volts for the control board, but mine has only mechanical controls. You might ask exactly what model you are getting and look into that question, but I am pretty sure that Evelands won't give you the option to special order one. Which is too bad... it is nice to know I can run my fridge even if I have no shore power and someone steals my battery.
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Old 10-23-2017, 07:18 AM   #5
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This is a topic I have given some thought to having installed the largest Truckfridge in my older Scamp a couple of years back. We really like the big fridge (and actually being able to MAKE ice in camp) but there is a significant "cold dump"* every time we open the door. I truly think a better, albeit more expensive, option for me/us would have been a smaller built-in fridge and a separate portable fridge for drinks/snacks/lunch. The portable fridge could go in the tug while on the road and sight-seeing to not only have your cool stuff at hand but it would be running off the tug and not your trailer's battery power all the time. The top-opening portable would also not have the cold dump when opened, and I think could also be turned down to freezer level for more freezer capacity if that was desired. Just more options with the two units. I like the idea and options so much I think a portable compressor type 12V fridge may be my Christmas present to myself this year.. I have a ten day boondock coming up next January/February and the extra fridge space will be handy.

*I have thought about cutting and propping a thin piece of Styrofoam in front of the shelves so the door items could be accessed without the cold dump but have not gotten aroundoit yet.
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Old 10-23-2017, 07:37 AM   #6
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The bathroom would be a better place to hang wet ski clothes. The tug won't work too well in cold weather, since I assume you want them to dry overnight. If you're on power, running a small space heater in there would help it along.

And you will probably want power, as the main cabin furnace will run a lot in sub-freezing weather, and the blower depletes your battery quickly.

Not being a 4-season trailer, I assume you're planning to dry camp (plumbing drained and winterized) on your ski outings? You might use the toilet only and flush from a gallon jug, since the black tank is inside the cabin, but other than that you won't be using the bathroom much.
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Old 10-23-2017, 09:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosenice View Post
Hey all,

My wife and I just ordered a Scamp 16 layout 4 and couldn't decide on which fridge. I really like a tall closet for hanging up wet ski clothes in the winter so we went with the smaller fridge.

But we can change the order for a few more months and just welcomed our first child this weekend. If we plan on having 2 kids, will we regret not getting the larger fridge? I just thought we could always bring a soft cooler with ice if we needed more fridge space.

Thoughts?

Thanks!

Ben
Ben, welcome to the forum.

A 1.9 Cubic foot refrigerator is very small. If you aren't clear how small that is, you might be able to see a small dorm refrigerator for sale locally at a Fred Meyer or such. While none of the manufacturers are consistent in their labeling, finding something labeled around 2 cu ft would give you an idea.

I agree that the top-vent RV refrigerators work better. And, we also found it worked well for us to hang our wet jackets and clothes in the bath area. Condensation is a big issue in these small spaces.

To me, one of the miracles of travel trailers is a refrigerator that can operate for weeks on very little propane. We like to have a lot of fresh foods on hand, including salad makings. We liked the 4.0 cu ft refrigerator in our Casita and are now looking forward to a larger refrigerator in the trailer we have on order.

The 12 VDC compressor-style refrigerators are very efficient but also very expensive - on the order of around $750 and up. If a 12 volt "refrigerator" costs about $200 or less, it is a different technology which will only cool the contents to 30-40° F below the surrounding temperature, if that. I would call these coolers, not refrigerators.

If you did go this route, do you have the space to carry a separate refrigerator or cooler in the tow vehicle? It might be more convenient to not have it in the small trailer. Or it might be inconvenient depending on your style and vehicle.

A lot of this is going to relate back to your style and your intended use. Are you planning on weekend trips with lots of cereal and beans? Or, do you envision longer trips with more chilled foods and beverages?

Hopefully some of this will help you guys make a decision that works for you. Good luck!
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Old 10-23-2017, 10:32 AM   #8
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We find the small fridge to be plenty since we always keep a cooler in the TV anyway. It is nice to have the cooler in the TV,great for overflow and for those day trips away from camp,also to carry supplies back from the store to camp.
It is also great having it at the picnic table for lunch items and cold drinks.
We have a small ice maker too which is the best thing to have when shore power is available.

Another idea is a Coleman cooler which runs on 110VAC/12VDC.
You could plug it in the TV or the outside outlet on the trailer or simply use it with ice. It is nice to have a cooler outside the trailer during the day.
It can be used vertical like a fridge or down as a regular cooler...
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Old 10-23-2017, 10:37 AM   #9
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Ben, welcome to the forum. One thing to consider is how packed you can efficiently load your fridge, large or small. We have the larger fridge in our Casita and know that it does not work to pack it like you would at home. A small fridge still needs air circulation and space between items you put in it. For your family I suggest the large fridge will be better suited to keeping the food cold.

Mark
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Old 10-23-2017, 10:43 AM   #10
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Mark is correct. Absorption refrigerators are more efficient when there's air space around the food. But, the freezer is more efficient when it's packed!

The important thing to remember, you refrigerate food just like you buy it. Dairy and protein (and opened food or/left overs) go in the refrigerator. Apples, cucumbers, lettuce, potatoes, tomatoes, etc. only need to be kept cool. When was the last time you bought a whole onion and it was in the refrigerator? Like never. I know this is difficult when you see this big "cabinet" and storage space is at a premium. You'll figure it out.
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Old 10-23-2017, 10:43 AM   #11
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Another consideration is how often you are able to refill the refrigerator. If you camp near grocery stores, you can get away with a small refrigerator, and may find the extra cabinet space useful.

On the other hand, if it is a 30 mile run to the nearest food store, the large refrigerator will be appreciated.
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Old 10-23-2017, 11:48 AM   #12
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We have a Scamp 16, layout 4, with the small refrigerator. It has worked out well for two of us. We recently bought a nice rotomolded ice chest for when we might need additional cooler space.

We like having a place to hang shirts and coats and having storage in the lower part of the closet. The only change I would make would be to have Scamp install a cabinet door in the lower part of the closet.
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Old 10-23-2017, 11:50 AM   #13
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OK wow thanks guys for all the advice!

I am concerned about overall weight and tongue weight, which both go up with the larger fridge.We would be pulling it with an Outback 3.6r, which I've read lots about and don't want to start a debate about here.

Currently my wife and I are very active and enjoy roughing it in the woods on backpacking trips, etc... but living in Portland we see a camper as making a weekend camping trip in the rain doable with a kid. It's a way to get out of rainy portland in the fall/spring/winter essentially. So it's hard for us to think about getting a larger refrigerator when we see ANY refrigerator as a huge upgrade from our $27 coleman cooler. I was thinking that the small refrigerator combined with something like this https://www.amazon.com/RTIC-Soft-Pac...&keywords=rtic would allow us enough space and also be something to have in the car and take on day trips away from the camper

Ski trips would probably just be with my friends for a while and not the whole family yet, but I didn't even think about the electrical need for the propane furnace. I guess that's why my friend suggested I buy a Tiny Tot wood stove haha.

Hanging the wet clothes in the bathroom is a great idea as we will not be using that on any ski trips.

The money isn't much of a difference, it is only $~250 it is more about storage space and weight for us.

I'm also having a hard time finding videos of scamps with the layout 4 and the small fridge, apparently almost all youtube scampers have the larger fridge!

Thanks guys!

Ben
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Old 10-23-2017, 01:28 PM   #14
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We use a good quality cooler, block ice and rock salt to keep our frozen food frozen on our horse trips into the Emigrant Wilderness. Usually 2 weeks and 21 miles on horseback to the nearest store. We use snow to replace block ice once or twice during the trip. Old school but it works great! frozen food stays rock hard for the whole trip.

The camp is at 9,600 feet and the temps are mild (80's during the day and 50's at night). If you are camping at higher temps, the duration between ice refills will be shorter. If you are boondocking and need to expand your freezer, this method works well.
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