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Old 05-05-2021, 11:49 AM   #21
Name: Kevin
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 38
We had an older Scamp with the “ice box.” Useful only for dry storage. We used a Yeti cooler that kept ice for 3 days. In another, older restoration we pulled the ice box and installed a cheap 120v dorm fridge that worked great when we had shore power, and was better than the ice box at preserving ice & perishables. I wouldn’t recommend spending the money on a proper RV fridge for your Boler, but we certainly enjoy our 2-way fridge in our ‘07 Scamp 16.
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Old 05-05-2021, 12:09 PM   #22
Name: Ryann
Trailer: 1974 Trillium 1300
Posts: 77
We've been using a 12v/110 fridge like these:

It fits under one of the bench seats and keeps everything extremely cold to almost freezing.
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Old 05-05-2021, 12:54 PM   #23
Junior Member
Name: Rob
Trailer: Trillium
British Columbia
Posts: 21
Don't feel too torn - there's no wrong answer, you just have to decide what is right for you. A fridge is a luxury, but then so is a fiberglass camper, really. Our fridge works great on propane. The first time we made ice cubes at the campsite was pretty exciting! When we bought the trailer we were told the fridge doesn't work on electric, and honestly we haven't yet bothered to find out if that's true. Some day I'll get the part that is needed ( a round to-it). We still need a cooler too, to pack enough food for four of us. One thing we do to keep things cool longer is to prep and freeze our main meals for days 3, 4, 5... before we leave so we can get away with less ice. Sooner or later though, somebody is going to want something on the rocks :-)
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Old 05-05-2021, 01:17 PM   #24
Patricia Baxter's Avatar
Trailer: 1973 Trillium 13 ft
Posts: 64
Cheaper option!

We had a similar decision, and since we need electric for our cpap machines, we got a dorm type fridge on clearance and put it in where the previous fridge had been. Took a bit of carpentry and cutting of fiberglass to fit in, but it works great. Holds the cold well when on the road too.

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Old 05-05-2021, 01:37 PM   #25
Junior Member
Name: Todd
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 6
I faced the same decision when I got my Scamp 13 a couple years ago.. I decided to bite the bullet and buy the little $600+ Dometic 3-way, and have zero regrets. Almost always run on propane (the 12v is near useless), which it barely sips. We haul a cooler as well, but just keep stuff in it thatís less temp sensitive, and thus donít have to replace ice often (if at all).
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Old 05-05-2021, 05:33 PM   #26
Name: Carl
Trailer: Boler
Posts: 49
It depends on where you will be camping. If you are going to be mainly at powered sites than a dorm fridge is king. I have a 77 Boler and threw out the 3 way fridge as it was non functioning. New 3 ways are expensive but using a cooler can be a pain. So Last year I bought a small dorm fridge and it has a freezer compartment, which the original 3 way or its replacement does not have. It works great for me. I could freeze meat and even have ice cream in it.

If I am staying somewhere without power I can just use my cooler or try using the dorm fridge as a cooler with block ice in it wich is something I will experiment with this summer. Most of the camp sites around me have power. So for me the dorm is king.
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Old 05-05-2021, 08:19 PM   #27
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Borden's Avatar
Name: Borden and Carole
Trailer: 1978 Earlton Ontario boler
Posts: 1,264
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Door #1: Ice Chest
I wrestled with the same issue. Problem is the only fridge that fits in that space is still far too small for our family. We usually cook outside, so itís convenient to use an ice chest we can keep outside near our camp kitchen.

We ended up using the on-board ice box for dry storage of bread, chips, and other non-perishables that animals like to get into. (We plugged up the drain tube after ants got in to attack a strawberry pie we had stored in thereÖ ) We have a 70 qt. Coleman Xtreme ice chest for cold storage, which gave us the best compromise of size, weight, performance, and price for our typical 3-5 day outings.

We use 20# bags of ice cubes from Costco, cheap at $2. They melt faster than a block, but melting equals cooling (physics 101), so I found cubes keep the food colder than a block. We get about 4 days from a bag. Important thing is not to pour off the water, since itís close to 32*F and can still absorb a lot of heat. (The drain tube is one reason the icebox is so inefficient.) Use bins to keep sensitive items out of the soup.

Door #2: 3-way RV Fridge
On the other hand, for longer trips with one or two people, a small fridge might be enough, and you donít have to keep looking for ice. A 3-way allows the most flexibility: AC when you have hookups, LP when you donít, and DC while towing (maybe).

Whether you can run on 12V while towing depends on a number of factors, including the output of your alternator and the gauge of the wire that sends power to the trailer. Some tow vehicles simply cannot do it, especially smaller and newer electronics-laden models. Others can do it if you re-wire the charge line with a heavier gauge.

The alternatives are (1) tow with the fridge on propane (generally considered safe, but there is a small risk, and it must be turned off to refuel, on ferries, and in some tunnels and bridges); or (2) freeze small blocks of ice and put them in the fridge while towing, leaving the door closed and the fridge off.

Most of the smaller RV fridges are 3-way. I strongly recommend one with manual controls, no electronic control panel with lights and buttons, which not only consumes precious battery power but worse, wonít run at all if your battery is dead. Used is a good possibility- the size you need is common in tent trailers and truck campers. Yes, you do have to cut two fairly large holes in the shell. For safety the back of the fridge must be tightly sealed to the shell to prevent exhaust from LP operation getting into the cabin.

Door #3: 12V Compressor Fridge
A 12V compressor fridge does not require large holes in the shell. Itís much more efficient than a 3-way on 12V, but it still may require upgrading your battery and charging capability, often with solar. The come in chest (more efficient) and built-in styles. They are expensive, too, and there's not much of a used salvage market.
Like your solutions, great descriptions on their choices.

Like the last one as freezer in fridge is so small, do they make a little freezer for trailers? 12v or maybe propane.

The bolers 3 way fridge uses so much battery on 12v we only use it for travel between sites as propane will not work while driving. We use 110v if available at camp site and propane if no 110v is available. We pack light always; it is a must for us. No ice box would work as well as the three way fridge for us.
Our postage stamp in heaven.
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Old 05-05-2021, 11:25 PM   #28
Name: Jeff
Trailer: 2003 13' Scamp
Posts: 39
just to share: Bought a thermo-electric cooler, Coleman brand, about 38 quart, plugs into car cigarette lighter, or AC-DC converter, claims to cool interior to 40 degrees cooler than ambient temperature. Did cool to 25 to 30 degrees cooler than ambient, which was tolerable for trip we took to New Mexico in February, but not going to be good enough when warmer than 70*F, so returned it. Also, AC-DC converter that came with died, replacement that cost $50 got so hot scary when in hotel overnight.
Thinking of getting a compressor 12V refrig in chest format, dislike invconvenience of buying ice.
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Old 05-06-2021, 05:47 AM   #29
Junior Member
Name: Wynn
Trailer: Rpod 190
Posts: 9
Icemaker option

I have an rpod and we use a
Kohree Portable Refrigerator 12 Volt Refrigerator Fast Cooling Small Freezer (-7.6įF-50įF), 26 Quart (25 Liter) Electric Coolers Car Fridge for Vehicles, RV, and Camping-12V/24V DC and 110V/240V ACfrom amazon at $300, it came with a 3 yr warranty and we opted for the 4 yr extended warranty so if it dies, Amazon will pay the original price as they always have on a warranty. Bad a bad deal if you have the space. Mine sits in our truck. Whats nice is if cools from room temp to -5 in 15 minutes, we plug it into the truck when we head out or go shopping.

We also have the

Countertop Ice Maker Portable Ice Making Machine -Bullet Ice Cubes Ready in 6 Mins - Makes 26 lbs Ice in 24 hrs - Perfect for Home/Office/Bar, LCD Display & Ice Scoop & Bucket(Red) from amazon with the 3yr extended warranty. My neighbors died this year and amazon paid out. I am a fan of warranties where compressors are concerned. Anyway, the icemaker generates a gallon bag of ice or more daily which we use in our cooler. We sit the icemaker in the shower or outside and it chugs along for the camp trip. So far we have not had any ice problems. It weighs about 15 pds and rides in the shower floor when we travel out of the way.
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Old 05-06-2021, 09:05 AM   #30
Junior Member
Name: Rod
Trailer: Trillium 1300
Posts: 2
Fridge or cooler

Hello all, we bought our 76 Trillium last spring and after the first trip we removed the dorm style fridge and put our existing Koolatron cooler into the space, on an added slider.

We put it into the tow vehicle when driving and use a Renogy Solar kit to recharge the battery when we are in one spot for a while. Also have a converter to use shore power for the rare occasion where it is available, ( also to pre-cool at home before leaving).

We are going to buy a second Koolatron for this season, the existing one has lasted 15 years of lots of car camping.

As noted by others pre-freezing soups, stews and some ice in the square yoghurt containers lasts 4-5 days in BC temperatures. good luck
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