Any reason I can't just buy small elec. fridge and put in Compact - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-31-2009, 12:01 PM   #1
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There are relatively inexpensive compact electric refrigerators in 2.5 cf range that will fit into opening where my ice box is in Compact II. A little bigger would mean losing one of the drawers below the ice box. Dometic and Norcold just too expensive for me.

For those who've done this, any down side? Upside? Brands? Yes, I realize I wouldn't have power for fridge while traveling and would have to rely on getting a Coleman Ultimate Xtreme cooler or put self-frozen jugs of ice in fridge until plugged in at campground but as I posted earlier this week, I can't plan any more trips of longer than 2 days until I work out the food storage problem.

Any reason I can't just plug it into trailer electrical plugs at campground and use it? I'm new at this and probably sound incredibly stupid but need to know. Thanks everyone for all your suggestions earlier in the week. This forum is a lifesaver. Pat
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Old 07-31-2009, 12:44 PM   #2
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I have exactly what you are thinking about. A previous owner installed a 33" x 18" dorm frig in my Compact Jr. where the ice box had been. The trailer wiring handles it fine. The only real challenge has been a method to secure the door in transit.

http://s293.photobucket.com/albums/mm41/to...sonphotos32.jpg

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Old 07-31-2009, 12:54 PM   #3
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I'm new at this and probably sound incredibly stupid but need to know. Thanks everyone for all your suggestions earlier in the week. This forum is a lifesaver. Pat
To me, it sounds like a perfectly good question to ask. If you're wondering about this issue, you can bet others are too.

Thanks for asking it!
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Old 07-31-2009, 02:03 PM   #4
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There are relatively inexpensive compact electric refrigerators in 2.5 cf range that will fit into opening where my ice box is in Compact II. A little bigger would mean losing one of the drawers below the ice box. Dometic and Norcold just too expensive for me.

For those who've done this, any down side? Upside? Brands? Yes, I realize I wouldn't have power for fridge while traveling and would have to rely on getting a Coleman Ultimate Xtreme cooler or put self-frozen jugs of ice in fridge until plugged in at campground but as I posted earlier this week, I can't plan any more trips of longer than 2 days until I work out the food storage problem.

Any reason I can't just plug it into trailer electrical plugs at campground and use it? I'm new at this and probably sound incredibly stupid but need to know. Thanks everyone for all your suggestions earlier in the week. This forum is a lifesaver. Pat
Pat
I put a dorm frig in our Jr and it works fine. I did rewire the trailer for 120 volts. The hardest thing was making sure it was level when building the platform it sets on.

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Part of the platform is sitting on the wheel well. I use a bungy cord to hold the door close
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Old 07-31-2009, 03:14 PM   #5
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I have exactly what you are thinking about. A previous owner installed a 33" x 18" dorm frig in my Compact Jr. where the ice box had been. The trailer wiring handles it fine. The only real challenge has been a method to secure the door in transit.

Tom Trostel

Tom, The cheap little "kid proof" stick on locks won't do it? Rick Brown says he uses bungee cord. Should I be concerned about refrigerator falling out of its place while in tow? Sure have had drawers come open and the ice box. Thanks for reply. Pat

p.s. just realized after looking at your pictures that I could cover fridge door with something so wouldn't matter what color fridge I buy is.
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Old 07-31-2009, 03:54 PM   #6
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Tom, The cheap little "kid proof" stick on locks won't do it? Rick Brown says he uses bungee cord. Should I be concerned about refrigerator falling out of its place while in tow? Sure have had drawers come open and the ice box. Thanks for reply. Pat

p.s. just realized after looking at your pictures that I could cover fridge door with something so wouldn't matter what color fridge I buy is.

They do make small dorm fridges with a lock to keep your roommate from stealing your food, perhaps you can find one in your size!
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Old 07-31-2009, 08:42 PM   #7
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This is what I use on my frig. on my boat

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/store...dkey=SiteSearch

Bill K



Quote:
I have exactly what you are thinking about. A previous owner installed a 33" x 18" dorm frig in my Compact Jr. where the ice box had been. The trailer wiring handles it fine. The only real challenge has been a method to secure the door in transit.

http://s293.photobucket.com/albums/mm41/to...sonphotos32.jpg

Tom Trostel
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Old 07-31-2009, 10:14 PM   #8
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We removed the ice box from our Scamp after one camping trip & replaced it with a dorm-size Haier fridge that we found at Sam's or Wal-Mart (can't remember which.) It worked great but was too small for our needs, so we sacrificed the utensil drawer above the fridge, cut out a taller opening & installed a 4.5 cubic foot Haier. Seems like it cost about $140 & has a locking door. We love it! We can carry enough food, drinks, etc. to last several days. Before we travel, we connect the power for several hours to get the fridge really cold (it ices things over on the top shelf) & everything stays good & cold for hours. It works great for us!
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Old 08-01-2009, 12:56 PM   #9
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This is fantastic ideas. We have been debating what to do about the fridge in our boler. It is super old rusty and the wires are all frayed. A replacement is WAY too expensive.

One question I do have is can these mini-fridges run on battery power too or do they suck up too much power? A lot of the campgrounds we like going to do not have hookups.

Cheers

Ursula

P.S. Thanks for the post Pat, we were thinking the same way
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Old 08-01-2009, 03:05 PM   #10
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Pat
I put a dorm frig in our Jr and it works fine. I did rewire the trailer for 120 volts. The hardest thing was making sure it was level when building the platform it sets on.

Attachment 22279

Part of the platform is sitting on the wheel well. I use a bungy cord to hold the door close

Rick B. and Tom T,

you guys' pictures show that it can work as did Sandra's post and emails but when I take out the ice box and need to lower the platform it sits on because need another 5 inches for fridge (unfortunately eliminating a drawer), I'm concerned about sturdy enough and fixing it right. I'm handy but I don't have a workshop or garage with tools and I'm not a carpenter. I do have basic tools. Don't want new fridge breaking down through to the next drawer or falling out onto the floor. Wiring seems to be pretty good - plugged in 5000 BTU a/c with no problems and still able to use lights, radio, and one small electric appliance. Pat
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Old 08-01-2009, 03:35 PM   #11
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Pat,

I have seen it done all the time...
50% of the time its incorrectly installed when people ask me to look at it.
Almost 90% of the mistakes are that the rear coils do not have enough airflow...
When I do it for someone, I add a mini box fan to blow on the coils or exhaust out warmer air from them wiring to the compressor on/off circuit.

Pay attention to this issue and they are great when shore power is not an issue.

Harry



Quote:
There are relatively inexpensive compact electric refrigerators in 2.5 cf range that will fit into opening where my ice box is in Compact II. A little bigger would mean losing one of the drawers below the ice box. Dometic and Norcold just too expensive for me.

For those who've done this, any down side? Upside? Brands? Yes, I realize I wouldn't have power for fridge while traveling and would have to rely on getting a Coleman Ultimate Xtreme cooler or put self-frozen jugs of ice in fridge until plugged in at campground but as I posted earlier this week, I can't plan any more trips of longer than 2 days until I work out the food storage problem.

Any reason I can't just plug it into trailer electrical plugs at campground and use it? I'm new at this and probably sound incredibly stupid but need to know. Thanks everyone for all your suggestions earlier in the week. This forum is a lifesaver. Pat
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Old 08-01-2009, 08:19 PM   #12
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Pat,

I have seen it done all the time...
50% of the time its incorrectly installed when people ask me to look at it.
Almost 90% of the mistakes are that the rear coils do not have enough airflow...
When I do it for someone, I add a mini box fan to blow on the coils or exhaust out warmer air from them wiring to the compressor on/off circuit.

Pay attention to this issue and they are great when shore power is not an issue.

Harry
Pat
Harry brings up a good point, I put a vent behind the frig through the wall. I don't have a close up picture, but this picture will show you the small vent on the back hand corner of the trailer were the frig is. As you can see we use a cooler for our drinks.

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Old 08-01-2009, 10:29 PM   #13
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Really only downside to the dorm fridge vs the RV 3-way is the inability to boondock and run your fridge on propane. After 3 years of Scamping we know our camping involves many occasions where we need the fridge on propane so the dorm fridge doesn't work for us.

If you know you'll always have juice and never dry camp or would be happy with carrying a cooler when you dry camp then you can put in a dorm fridge for a good bit less $$$
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Old 08-02-2009, 03:42 AM   #14
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[quote]Pat
Harry brings up a good point, I put a vent behind the frig through the wall. I don't have a close up picture, but this picture will show you the small vent on the back hand corner of the trailer were the frig is. As you can see we use a cooler for our drinks.

Attachment 22300


Rick, how is that awning pictured attached to trailer?
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Old 08-02-2009, 02:23 PM   #15
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Rick, how is that awning pictured attached to trailer?
Here is the link to where I posted it on the forum
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/in...howtopic=36386
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:01 AM   #16
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This is fantastic ideas. We have been debating what to do about the fridge in our boler. It is super old rusty and the wires are all frayed. A replacement is WAY too expensive.

One question I do have is can these mini-fridges run on battery power too or do they suck up too much power? A lot of the campgrounds we like going to do not have hookups.

Cheers

Ursula

P.S. Thanks for the post Pat, we were thinking the same way
Buying a new propane/electric fridge is quite pricey, but I knew I wanted one because where we're going AC won't often be available. So I've been haunting craigslist for nearly two months and today picked up a fridge for $200 -- not much more than an AC-only dorm fridge.

Running a dorm fridge from a battery isn't attractive to me because it would require an inverter to convert the DC to AC, several large and expensive deep-cycle batteries and frequent recharging, or a generator. In contrast, a 5 gal propane tank will run the fridge and cooktop for weeks with far less noise, exhaust, and expense. Oh yeah, it's a lot lighter too!

The biggest problem I had was finding a fridge small enough -- the Compact Jr is only 6 feet wide and I didn't want the fridge to stick out into the aisleway very much. If you have a wider trailer suitable fridges show up much more often.

The propane/electric fridges are deeper (front to back) than dorm fridges, and for that reason I will be mounting it where the icebox used to be, halfway between the floor and ceiling on the curb side of the trailer. That's where the trailer is the widest and that position allows me to tuck the fridge back another 1 1/2". In our narrow trailer that 1 1/2" difference is quite important!
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Old 08-03-2009, 05:39 AM   #17
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Thank you all for your suggestions, support, input. The various posts showed me that I'm not quite ready to cut off ability to camp without electricity. Soooooh, after looking at 100's of compact refrigerators of all types, also realized I don't want to spend enormous sum of money on propone fridge plus the money for having it installed with gas line and vent.

I've bought a 70-quart Coleman xtreme cooler and its place will be at back of car with easy access through hatchback. (I have a PT Cruiser.) Will continue to freeze the blocks of ice for it and trailer ice box. For this summer, I'll try this - if still not a solution will try again re fridge.

Thanks again for all your help - again the forum came through!

Pat

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Old 08-03-2009, 05:11 PM   #18
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Thank you all for your suggestions, support, input. The various posts showed me that I'm not quite ready to cut off ability to camp without electricity. Soooooh, after looking at 100's of compact refrigerators of all types, also realized I don't want to spend enormous sum of money on propone fridge plus the money for having it installed with gas line and vent.

I've bought a 70-quart Coleman xtreme cooler and its place will be at back of car with easy access through hatchback. (I have a PT Cruiser.) Will continue to freeze the blocks of ice for it and trailer ice box. For this summer, I'll try this - if still not a solution will try again re fridge.

Thanks again for all your help - again the forum came through!

Pat
Another PT TV and I thought I was the only one

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Old 10-29-2017, 01:11 PM   #19
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Securing

Hi Rick,

How did you secure the compact fridge so that it stays in place?

Thanks,

Maxine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Brown View Post
Pat
I put a dorm frig in our Jr and it works fine. I did rewire the trailer for 120 volts. The hardest thing was making sure it was level when building the platform it sets on.

Attachment 22279

Part of the platform is sitting on the wheel well. I use a bungy cord to hold the door close
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Old 10-29-2017, 03:16 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by maxypantsinyk View Post
Hi Rick,

How did you secure the compact fridge so that it stays in place?

Thanks,

Maxine
Maybe Rick will see your post, maybe not. He hasn't been on FiberglassRV for a while: Last Activity: 05-06-2014 12:57 PM

Maybe someone else can answer you though?
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