About the fridge opening... - Fiberglass RV
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Old 01-30-2016, 03:20 AM   #1
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Name: Sylvio
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About the fridge opening...

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This picture is up side down, as usual. Don't know how to correct that.

What should I understand of this big opening behind the refrigerator? Do I still need it if I get an electrical fridge? Can't bugs get in? Why put plexiglass there?

I'm kind of puzzled... Thanks for enlighting me!
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Old 01-30-2016, 05:35 AM   #2
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Those vents are needed for propane but not for electric
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Old 01-30-2016, 07:00 AM   #3
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It depends on the refrigerator type to be installed. The vents could be removed for compressor type fridge (but better to keep the vents) and are required for absorption type fridge to remove the heat.
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Old 01-30-2016, 07:04 AM   #4
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You can place screening inside to keep insects out and a magnetic cover on the outside in the winter to keep cold out when not in use.
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Old 01-30-2016, 07:18 AM   #5
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Hi Sylvio,
I assume that you are taking the pictures with a "smart" phone. I use the quotes because I think sometimes they are a little too smart for their own good. Is there a way to turn off the automatic screen rotation? Maybe after that the up/down of the picture will be recorded correctly. Other than that, processing (rotating) of the picture using a picture editing program should do it. Just a thought.
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Old 01-30-2016, 10:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sokhapkin View Post
It depends on the refrigerator type to be installed. The vents could be removed for compressor type fridge (but better to keep the vents) and are required for absorption type fridge to remove the heat.

I agree - no matter what type of unit , the heat has to go somewhere , if the unit has no clearance to the sides and top the only place for the heat to go is out the back. It is of course better to vent it outside than to the inside of the trailer. As noted in another entry , screen can be put inside the vent to keep out pests.
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Old 01-30-2016, 11:30 AM   #7
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Very helpful. Thanks guys!

Any risks of water coming in? While driving especially?

My vent cover / grill is broken: two slats are missing. I'll need to find a place that sells stuff like that.
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Old 01-30-2016, 11:52 AM   #8
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We're considering using the big vent, which opens on a hinge at the top, as a coffee-sales awning. Just pop it up and put up an "open, coffee" sign. Ha ha.

Inspired by its current dark brown color and the thought we'd call her "the Coffee Bean."

All a joke, not happening, but it's an amusing (to us) idea;.

Paul's going to fiberglass it closed and that'll be the back of a closet/galley area.
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Old 01-30-2016, 12:17 PM   #9
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Bug screen inside backed by 1/4" hardware cloth is what I used to keep bugs out. Works well, I just drilled and riveted right through the vent with appropriately sized washers on the inside so the rivet would hold the hardware cloth.
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Old 01-30-2016, 03:29 PM   #10
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If you are planning a conventional, 120 volt fridge, why not consider instead a 12/120 Volt cooler? We carry ours in a garage/cabinet that I built to fill the hole left when I got rid of our old Dometic fridge. It travels in the trailer on 12V from the car or in the car itself - flexible! 120 in the campsite. And it holds more and is more efficient than the old fridge - 48 watts.

My plan is to seal the vents somehow to keep out moisture but keep the original outside look. I have lots of around my cooler but if you need more ventilation, you might just cover them inside with a screen.
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Old 01-30-2016, 04:15 PM   #11
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It is my understanding that the limit of the 12V car coolers is 20 degrees less than ambient temperatures. If that is true, this isn't adequate cooling in 80 summer weather.

Of course, this information may be wrong.
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Old 01-30-2016, 04:44 PM   #12
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Yes, the information is wrong. It depends on the fridge type. Compressor type fridge provides good cooling ability. But it can't be powered by LP tank.
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Old 01-30-2016, 04:53 PM   #13
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bpfick was talking about 12V coolers.
I believe that they cannot adequately cool when ambient temp is 80F or above. Food should be at 40F or less.
I think they can cool 40F below ambient, not 20F, but not a substitute for a proper fridge.

Make that 20C below ambient:

Mobicool 3-way Absorption Power Cooler, 35-qt
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Old 01-30-2016, 05:00 PM   #14
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There are a lot of compressor type 12V fridges. They cool to 0F. See Robot Check for example.
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Old 01-30-2016, 05:06 PM   #15
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It depends on the ambient temperature how cold any cooler will get.
The Mobicool model I posted cools 20C ( 68F ) below ambient, but it costs $329 in Canada. Other makes and models are cheaper and much less capable.
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Old 01-30-2016, 05:33 PM   #16
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Good compressor type 12V fridge costs well above 500 USD...
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Old 01-30-2016, 07:26 PM   #17
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We have a 12V/120V compressor fridge. It has worked in the summer in the desert in the SW USA with no issues. They are not cheap and we paid $500+ for a marine/RV grade appliance. We love it and would do it again. YMMV.
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Old 01-30-2016, 08:11 PM   #18
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I'll correct my original response by saying that the current vents and clearances in your camper were designed to comply with the installation specs for the original refrigerator. You asked whether the vents would be necessary with an electric replacement refrigerator. Maybe, but the refrigerator you choose hopefully will include its own installation specs. You should make sure to provide vents and clearances per the specs.

It's best to check installation specs BEFORE you buy the replacement refrigerator. Then compare choices and consider what modifications will be needed.
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Old 01-30-2016, 08:25 PM   #19
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Yes, but I think we (I) may have caused some confusion here.
We're co-discussing both the little portable car cooler chests and real refrigerators and perhaps there something missing in communication here.

Apologies.
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Old 01-31-2016, 08:10 AM   #20
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You asked "why put plexiglass there?"

I think because the PO HAD some plexiglass and wanted to keep the bugs out.

I know we do some things for that reason. We HAVE some material that'll more or less approach doing the task, and it's free, and handy, so we use it "for now."

There's not much other reason to put plexiglass over a big vent unless one wanted the light without the bugs.

PS--we're taking the vent out & fiberglassing the vent area because we've decided to use an ice chest.
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