I just installed a 12V refrigerator
in my Scamp
, and I thought I'd do a quick how-to in case anyone else was thinking about it.
First off, these new 12V refrigerators are freaking amazing. They only draw 30 watts of power, yet they're cold enough to make ice on a 90 degree day. That means you can run your fridge
for days on just the battery
, and indefinitely if you have a medium-sized solar panel
. I'm using the Engel SB70, but some comparable models are the Norcold NR751, and the Nova Kool R2600. They all use the same compressor.
Anyway, here's what I started out with.
This is the standard Scamp
ice box and it's held in place by 4 rivets. Just drill them out.
Once you've drilled out of the rivets, it should just fall
right out. Don't forget to pull out the drain hose.
Aaaand now I have a big hole in my galley. The ice box and the stock Dometic fridge
both use the same size cutout. It's 20 3/4" tall, and 17 3/4" wide.
The Engel fridge
is the same height as the ice box, but its a bit wider. We'll need to widen the opening to 18 1/2". I'm trimming the left side, since there is a wooden support glassed into the right side. I'm using painters tape to mark my line, and to protect the finish in case the saw decides to take a walk.
The best tool for this is an oscillating saw. If you've never used one, these things are pretty sweet. They cut through fiberglass like butter and they don't splinter the surface. This one was $19 at Harbor Freight.
Next come the floor supports. The old ice box was suspended in the air by 4 rivets, and its weight
was supported entirely by the front of the galley. That is not going to cut it for this fridge. The fiberglass is not terribly thick here and this unit weighs 44 pounds. We need to support the weight
from the bottom.
The floor of the trailer is exactly 3 inches below the cutout, so our supports need to be 3 inches high. If you take a pair of 2x4s and stack them on top of each other, they will be exactly 3 inches high. The floor supports look like this.
The fridge sits on a pair of plastic skids, so you'll want to attach your floor supports so that they line up with these skids. Once they're in, you should be able to slide the new fridge into place.