Scamp 13 foot: Refrigerator in the front? - Fiberglass RV
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Old 03-13-2021, 04:28 PM   #1
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Name: Alan
Trailer: Scamp
Massachusetts
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Scamp 13 foot: Refrigerator in the front?

We're planning on a 2-month trip and we want something better than a cooler for food.

I'm thinking about trying to install a Dometic RM8501 in the front-center where the bunk beds are (They will be removed of course)

Dimensions say it will fit, and I have no problems doing the required fiberglass, sealing, LP and electrical so we don't die.

But I'm not sure about driving with grill openings in the front which will pour rain into the guts of the refrigerator. I suppose I could ALSO build a cover for that, but ugh.

Maybe it would be better to install it in the side and relocate the stove to the front center?

Has anyone done anything like this?

Crazy, stupid, genius or somewhere in the middle?
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Old 03-13-2021, 05:03 PM   #2
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
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Rain is already an occasional problem with side vents. I would think much much worse if vents were in front. And if in front I would never expect to be able to use it on propane when in motion, and using it on 12 VDC can be a challenge also. Frankly, considering how much is involved in properly installing an absorption fridge, I would opt for a danfoss / secop compressor model that is quite efficient on 12 volts. With a little more battery and a method (genset/solar) to charge them these fridges can work quite well.
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Old 03-13-2021, 05:04 PM   #3
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I wouldn't make any holes in the front. I have a hatch there and it has to be covered with a vinyl rock cover or water infiltrates, even when closed.
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Old 03-14-2021, 08:12 AM   #4
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Agree. You will need to cover front vents when towing, which means you cannot run the fridge while you tow. And frankly, I suspect even with a cover, you’ll have issues with water intrusion. Bad idea IMO.

If you really want your fridge up front, consider a 12VDC compressor fridge. It might require some upgrades to your electrical system, but the payoff is simpler and more reliable operation (and no exterior vents anywhere).
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Old 03-14-2021, 08:15 AM   #5
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Name: bill
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There is a reason no one does it. Playing with fire, or in this case water.

What ventilation is required for a truck compressor fridge? I’d consider that, add battery and solar for the win.

I’ve done a little initial reading. Seems like compressor fridges can be vented inside the camper, but airflow and vent size is important.
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Old 03-14-2021, 12:15 PM   #6
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Name: Manley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post

Iíve done a little initial reading. Seems like compressor fridges can be vented inside the camper, but airflow and vent size is important.
I believe thrifty bill is correct.
I have a Dometic DC fridge that is not vented to the outside.
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Old 03-14-2021, 12:40 PM   #7
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Name: Alan
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OK, dumb idea.
Thank you all.

NEW idea!

How about above the wheel well in the door-side closet?
- The closet is 20.25 inches wide and an RM8501 is 20.7 inches
- I could build a roof support on each side that would also hold the fridge.

I'm not sure PRECISELY where the two exterior grills go, so I don't know if I would get into the belly-band area. (Ugh)

Maybe I can find an installation manual and do some more measuring.

Now, still a stupid idea?
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Old 03-14-2021, 02:59 PM   #8
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Name: BigT
Trailer: Boler
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Fridge in Boler 13 foot

I am rebuilding a 13 foot Boler. We couldn't afford a three way fridge. So I bought a bar fridge. I have taken the stove out and reconstructed the cupboard. We have storage in part of the bottom where the original fridge was. Above that and below the top cupboards we have built a spot for the new bar fridge. We will use 2 12v fans to push air through to help cool and we are replacing one upper window with a fridge grill with screen behind it to keep bugs out. I would never put a grill in the front of a trailer as you would be creating a huge risk for water to enter when driving in the rain.
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Old 03-15-2021, 06:32 PM   #9
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If you will be travelling each day you could probably get away with a compressor type fridge/freezer from Whynter, I have one and it works great, 110 or 12vdc

Itís a chest style and if used as a freezer it can be unplugged a few hours at a time

Joe
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Old 03-16-2021, 10:45 PM   #10
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Name: Scott
Trailer: Scamp 13'
California
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After installing one in the "normal" location on the side, of a scamp that did not come with a fridge. I don't know if it could be done easily. the venting like other said is the biggest issue. keep in mind it also needs to be sealed off from the inside of the scamp. That was the bigger pain in the butt thing about the install. I made a video on my install if you want to see what it took. It was close to 15+ hours to install it. But when I do pressure wash my scamp I need to be careful to avoid the fridge vents, or water does go inside.



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Old 03-16-2021, 11:56 PM   #11
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Name: Lynn
Trailer: '06 Scamp 16
Rochester, New York
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Absorption (propane) fridges are nice because they work without hook-ups. They need proper installation with venting. Compressor fridges are nice because they work without external venting. Think of the one in your kitchen. However, they need adequate power to run. The efficient 12 volt models are expensive.

I used a small dorm fridge in our pop-up for several years. Ran it from an inverter in the car while driving and froze blue ice in the freezer section. That was good for an overnight. For longer stays, I installed an ice tray with a drain in it. Not ideal but possible if you plan to keep moving.
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