trillium fridge raising off the floor - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-09-2011, 12:43 PM   #1
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Name: Rick
Trailer: former Boler, now 1980 Trillium 4500
British Columbia
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Smile trillium fridge raising off the floor

Hi again,

Another recent mod we did was to raise the fridge by 2 ˝ inches off the floor. Our limited experience with the new Trillium trailer has been to be constantly irritated by the fridge door running into the floor carpeting or other items left there. Our Boler fridge was about 4 inches off the floor, meaning that a carpet or pair of sandals would not prevent the door from opening. Given the small floor area we have in these trailers, the space in front of the door is difficult to keep clear when the fridge is right on the floor.

Originally I thought to raise it by 3 ˝ inches, the size of a standard 2 X 4. However, when we looked at the back lower exterior vent, where the controls are, I realized that raising it 3 ˝ inches would mean that I could not access the electrical thermostat easily, and I certainly had no intention of moving the exterior vents! So, after trying out 3 inches, we ended up raising it by 2 ˝ inches, which is the height of a 2 X 3.

I also considered the upper exterior vent, where the heat from the fridge exits the trailer. On some trailers it might be a concern that the heat would not be able to escape well, however not on this trailer. The exterior vent is raised above the level of the kitchen counter with a sloped wall leading the heat to it. It was also about a foot higher than the height of the fridge, with nothing but open space around it. So, raising the fridge 2 ˝ inches gave me no concerns at all about changing the efficiency of the escaping heat.

Finally, a person I spoke to about this project raised the concern that a shroud keeps the exterior air (and gas) from getting into the trailer, and this would have to be changed. That was true on the Boler, but again, not on this trailer. The Trillium has a separate fibreglass compartment for the fridge inside, which encompasses the entire interior space for the fridge but has no vents to the other areas of the kitchen cabinet or the interior of the trailer, except for a hole where the gas line goes through. Again, the design of this trailer makes it easier to raise the fridge.

There was also room inside to raise the fridge, in fact I could have raised it about 8 inches if not for the exterior lower vent making it hard to access the controls. If I ever want a bigger fridge, there is lots of room to do it.

So, having worked it all out, I thought, I removed the fridge (4 screws and it slid right out) and put it upside down on my bench for a couple of days. The fridge works fine, but I thought why not shake things up a bit while I have the chance? I then measured and cut out the extra space on the top of the fridge space. It was fibreglass backed by 7/8 inch plywood, very solid. As usual, I used a jigsaw and held the jigsaw away from the surface so that only the blade contacted the fibreglass so it would not get scratched.

Once the fridge was out, I made a new frame from the 2 X 3, installed and fastened it in the space, and slid the fridge back in on top of it. I then sealed the bottom edges with rubber window stripping so that no exterior air (or gas) would leak in from the back. I then used a couple of long screws to bolt it down at the front because the front overhang was not on the new wood frame, and short ones at the back where it sat on the 2 X 3 frame. Installed, but ugly at the bottom.

My original plan was to use the cut out top piece to form the front face for the new bottom, but it turned out that the cut out was fractionally smaller than the space at the bottom because of the thickness of the steel floor plate of the fridge, so that did not work. I thought of installing a drawer there like someone else did recently on this forum, but my wife was unimpressed with that idea. So, I made a bottom base out of old pressboard pieces from drawers I had lying around, painted it with Tremclad RV white and installed it using Shoe Goo to hold it in place. It seems to work very well, and the colour is quite close to the interior of the trailer. I spent a bit of time trying to find a perfect colour match for the cream interior of our trailer in either Arborite or paint, but could not find or make anything. It turned out that the Tremclad RV white is as close a match as anything I could custom mix.

We haven’t actually gone camping yet this spring, but we are both very pleased to have the fridge off the floor. Pretty easy to do, really. Some pictures below.

Rick G
Attached Thumbnails
fridge cutout.JPG   fridge mounted in new cutout.JPG  

fridge bottom panel.JPG   fridge installed at new height.JPG  

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Old 05-09-2011, 08:49 PM   #2
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Name: Roy
Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
Ontario
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Thanks for the idea Rick.
I'll have to check this out after I get my 4500 out of storage.
Roy
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:56 PM   #3
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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Good solution for you! Thanks for sharing
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