Want to replace the Ice Box in my U-haul with fridge - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-06-2011, 05:07 PM   #1
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Name: Christina
Trailer: 85 U-Haul
Colorado
Posts: 6
Want to replace the Ice Box in my U-haul with fridge

Hi all,

We are newby owners of an 85 U-haul 13 ct and we would like to replace the ice box with a dorm fridge. I am very new to doing these things myself but am a quick learner and would like advice to get me started! Has anyone with a U-haul replaced the ice box with a fridge? Can we get by with a dorm fridge without having to do electrical upgrades? Will we need an inverter? Any help that anyone can provide would be very much appreciated!!!!

Thanks,
Christina
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:19 PM   #2
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Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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Hi Christina, I see this is your first post... so, welcome to FiberglassRV. I'm not a U-Haul owner, nor have I replaced the frig in my trailer with a dorm frig... I just wanted to welcome you!
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:25 PM   #3
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Christina,

Welcome to the Uhaul family! We have the larger Uhaul. I cannot help you with specifics, but I can tell you that we have one of the larger dorm refrigerators in our Uhaul. It was installed when we got it. We also do not run off battery, so that is not an issue. Others will have to provide the specifics.

CindyL
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christina View Post
Hi all,

We are newby owners of an 85 U-haul 13 ct and we would like to replace the ice box with a dorm fridge. I am very new to doing these things myself but am a quick learner and would like advice to get me started! Has anyone with a U-haul replaced the ice box with a fridge? Can we get by with a dorm fridge without having to do electrical upgrades? Will we need an inverter? Any help that anyone can provide would be very much appreciated!!!!

Thanks,
Christina
There is a similar thread going on here
rv frig 110V to 12V
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:39 PM   #5
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One of the first things that I had to do was upgrade my electrical. My original 15amp circuit breaker (which was also the only 110 plug in the camper) kept tripping whenever I tried to run a small heater on it. This got me concerned about the rest of the 25year old wiring. So I had it all replaced, upgraded the service size, and installed extra duplex plugs. LOVE it, and feel much safer.
So overloading your electrical might be one concern about a dorm fridge - check your system's limits.
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:16 AM   #6
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Name: Darnelle
Trailer: 13 ft Scamp
Minnesota
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Hi Christina,
I put a dorm frig in our 13' Scamp due to our dislike of the built-in cooler and the great price of a dorm frig ($20 scratch & dent). I also re-wired the camper, but not because of adding a frig. I don't remember the power requirements, but I think all circuits were 15 amp; and although I had a 3 or 4 circuit box I think I only used 2 circuits in the camper and the frig and micro were able to be on the same circuit. I only used the frig with 110 volt AC, not 12 volt DC. Had to widen the cabinet cutout a little and fill the gap all around with trim. Good luck -- we were delighted with the change!
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:33 AM   #7
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Name: Christina
Trailer: 85 U-Haul
Colorado
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Thank you!!!

Thank you all for the warm welcome! I am very excited to be a new owner and to be apart of this very fabulous group!!! Thank you for the tips and the link to the other thread going on. It all helps ALOT! I think that it should be a realatively easy project to do- of course I say that now and we all know once you start, it 5 trips trips for supplies and a week longer than anticipated!
Thanks again!
~Christina
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:47 AM   #8
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Name: Christina
Trailer: 85 U-Haul
Colorado
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Originally Posted by Pam Garlow View Post
One of the first things that I had to do was upgrade my electrical. My original 15amp circuit breaker (which was also the only 110 plug in the camper) kept tripping whenever I tried to run a small heater on it. This got me concerned about the rest of the 25year old wiring. So I had it all replaced, upgraded the service size, and installed extra duplex plugs. LOVE it, and feel much safer.
So overloading your electrical might be one concern about a dorm fridge - check your system's limits.
Hi Pam!

Did you have someone do the upgrade work for you? If so, do you mind me asking if you got a couple of quotes on the work and the ballpark range of what those quotes were?

Thanks!!!
~Chrisitna
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Old 07-07-2011, 03:47 PM   #9
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Welcome to the Forum

Having seen what the wiring looked like in my own U-Haul VT I would upgrade the wiring before plugging anything that uses any significant power. ( heaters, microwaves, toasters, hairdryers. ). Those stock circuit breakers are scary, and all the insulation was cracked in the places it wasn't duct taped together.

Regards,

Matt
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:31 PM   #10
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One upside of the dorm fridges is they draw relatively low levels of AC, I believe less than 4 amps. When they're plugged in the percentage of time that the compressor runs is low, listen to your home fridge.

Any trailer AC circuit should be able to handle one.

Like many of the people on the site we have upgraded our AC to 10 seperate outlets, mostly for convenience because we don't have any heavy draw items, no microwave or Air Conditioner, at least yet.

Norm
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:40 PM   #11
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Trailer: Hunter 1 / Jeep Liberty
California
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New Dorm Fridge

Christina,
Welcome, I replaced the ice box in my Hunter with a dorm fridge. I looked around and found one at Best Buy that had a seperate freezer door. I took out a drawer and put it in. I did add an extra vent to the outside of the trailer. I pick up a vent cover with the screen in it at Home Depot, cut a hole smaller that the vent and sealed and installed it. No electrial problems.



Linda
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:22 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Christina View Post
Hi Pam!

Did you have someone do the upgrade work for you? If so, do you mind me asking if you got a couple of quotes on the work and the ballpark range of what those quotes were?

Thanks!!!
~Chrisitna
Christina, I had the work done by a local camping place. Total cost was in the range of $550 I believe. I had all new 110 wiring installed, plus 4 extra 110v plugs installed in the trailer, and a GFI 30amp panel with 1 main and 2 or 3 circuits in it (cannot remember for sure how many). I also had 2 100V lights wired in, and a 12v light. (whew, quite a bit!) I had a 30 amp circuit box installed because it wasn't really that much more than a 15amp and I figured it would be more than sufficient if I decided to put in AC. I did not do much price shopping, because the local shop came highly recommended by a friend.
Of course you could do the work yourself for much less I'm sure, but I know nothing about trailer wiring, converters, inverters, tieing in batteries, 12volt wiring, etc. So I figured I would let the professionals handle it.
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:15 AM   #13
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Name: Christina
Trailer: 85 U-Haul
Colorado
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Originally Posted by Pam Garlow View Post
Christina, I had the work done by a local camping place. Total cost was in the range of $550 I believe. I had all new 110 wiring installed, plus 4 extra 110v plugs installed in the trailer, and a GFI 30amp panel with 1 main and 2 or 3 circuits in it (cannot remember for sure how many). I also had 2 100V lights wired in, and a 12v light. (whew, quite a bit!) I had a 30 amp circuit box installed because it wasn't really that much more than a 15amp and I figured it would be more than sufficient if I decided to put in AC. I did not do much price shopping, because the local shop came highly recommended by a friend.
Of course you could do the work yourself for much less I'm sure, but I know nothing about trailer wiring, converters, inverters, tieing in batteries, 12volt wiring, etc. So I figured I would let the professionals handle it.
Hi Pam,
Thanks! From the sounds of what most are saying, it looks like it would be a good idea to upgrade and you having given me a good idea where to start! I wish i knew more about electrical but I think that is one area best left to the professionals!
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:08 AM   #14
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Trailer: U-Haul 13 ft ('Lil Eggo')
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Red face Dorm Fridge in Uhaul

Hi Christina - Welcome!
I haven't been on this forum for a while, but I have done just about everything that can be done to our Uhaul - including fridge, converter replacement, new plugs, air conditioner, new curtains, new cushion covers, etc.
We bought a fridge from Lowes, ($80) almost exactly the same size as the icebox. I think I had to trim less than 1/4" off on one side! I used some plastic trim (the kind they have to go around the outside edges of plastic shower surrounds - also Lowes) around the edge of the hole, and just "pushed" the fridge into the opening - its a very tight fit... I took the cabinet "insert" out temporarily (beside the icebox) for extra access room to get behind and under the fridge. I had to put a couple of 2x4 blocks to the floor underneath the fridge for it to sit on, as it sits up off the floor inside the cabinet a little. Just have to be careful not to hit the propane line going to the stove, etc. As for the electrical - I actually just ran another wire off of the junction box before it goes to the battery. You can take overhead cabinet inserts out and actually run the new wire from the brown "plug", inside and behind the cabinet inserts, down behind the stove, to under the storage compartment (under the bunk bed to the right of the ice box). I then just bolted a plastic electrical box underneath that storage box, wired a outlet into it, and plugged the fridge into it. This also gave me an extra electrical plug underneath the storage compartment, which I use to plug in a power strip for other things. The only downside is that you have to have electrical power (or a generator) to run the fridge - you can't run it off the battery or propane. I've had this for over 3 years and absolutely no problems. We mostly camp where there is power anyway, but if we don't, we just carry a regular cooler. If I can get time in the next couple of days, I'll take some pics and post them, along with the brand of fridge, etc. It really is NOT hard to do at all, just takes a little time... I've had the fridge, a small microwave, lights, laptop, etc. run off the same circuit and never had it trip...
You've definitely come to the right place for information - I learned a whole lot about my little camper from the people on this site...
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