I finally found a used refrigerator
and I thought I'd pass along a few tips.
I was looking for a small refrigerator
to fit where my ice box was in my UHaul
. So my starting point was to measure the height, width and depth of the cabinet space to determine which models would fit there.
Refrigerator Conversion Chart
Next, I used Search Tempest to look within a reasonable driving distance as shipping is about $100 or more on a small refrigerator
. Search Tempest will also find hits in eBay, which may be within driving distance. This search engine found some refrigerators on eBay that were in hidden categories I had not found by myself, so it is worth looking at their hits.
When you do the ST searches, set the search radius in miles, and the maximum price. I used $250, which kept me from getting hits on whole trailers. Search in "all for sale", as refrigerators end up in many categories. Use search terms like camper refrigerator, camper fridge
, dometic, norcold, icebox, camper parts, gas fridge
, gas refrigerator, lp refrigerator, etc. "Camper parts" is especially good.
The most likely source for a used refrigerator is a scrapped out popup camper. Once the canvas rots out, they are often scrapped for the usable parts, including the refrigerator. The people that scrap these campers tend to live on the fringes of the city on larger lots where they can have stuff like junk trailers.
Be forewarned that when gas refrigerators fail, it is usually catastrophic. There is a sealed unit on the back with ammonia in it that costs about $350 or more just for the cooling unit. Labor to install it is extra. So, if the refrigerator doesn't work, it is probably nearly worthless.
If the unit is not connected to gas, see if you can get the seller to demonstrate the refrigerator on 120 volts AC or 12 volts DC. As the refrigerators are silent, it is difficult to tell if it is working. One method I used was to use a non-contact thermometer that I bought at Harbor Freight on sale for $6.
Non-Contact Pocket Thermometer
The tubing above the heating unit should get up to over 200 degrees F. fairly quickly and the fins inside the refrigerator should show less than 32 degrees F. within 20 minutes or so.