Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mother Gets A New Fridge...

The Mother Ship came with a pretty side by side refrigerator with wooden panels that match the cabinets.  We loved the fact that it was side by side and had an ice maker.

As time went by, we found that we never used the ice maker because most of the campgrounds that we stayed at were on well water or water that we didn't want to drink--even using a whole camper filter so the ice maker turned out to be a waste of space for us.
The original RV fridge

We were sitting in the camper one day when my eyes began to burn.

Just as I began to ask Gman if his eyes were burning, the propane detector began blaring!

We vacated the camper and then opened everything that could be opened to air it out.

As it turns out, according to the internet, RV propane/electric fridges use Ammonia, hydrogen and an anti-corrosive agent.  No wonder my eyes were burning when that leaked out!

We checked around and found that to replace that 12 cu ft side by side would cost somewhere north of $4,000.  Yep!  For that, we could get a Sub Zero!  Are you kidding???!!!

We needed to get the fridge replaced as it was JUNE!  Yes JUNE!

Thankfully we were staying not far from my parent's home and were able to tote everything to the extra fridge in their garage and our little chest freezer that we had in their garage.

We did some noodling and measuring and found that in a camper of the size of ours, we didn't really use it unless it was parked in a campground so we didn't need the option of running on propane.

Out came the fridge.
The fridge and shelf that the fridge sat on removed from the camper.

We could not believe how BIG that thing looked once it was out!  And HEAVY!!!!  Wowzers!

Next, we sawed out the supports and took out the drawer that was underneath the old fridge which left us with a nice opening.

Space after removal of drawer and old fridge.

The gas line was crimped and soldered and cut off and the hard wiring was capped off.  I was totally surprised that there was an electrical plug in there already!  Nice!

Arrow points to old vent which is now insulated and covered.
Next we insulated the fridge vent as we would no longer be needing it since we would not be using a propane fridge.  We covered the insulation (which used to be around the old fridge) with a panel of 1/4" steel--a leftover that our friend had from one of his projects.  It was caulked and voila!  Done!

Grooves in new ceiling of opening to let out heat from new fridge.
The area above the fridge was covered with another piece of that 1/4" steel plate into which a couple of vents were cut so that the heat from the new fridge could go up and out of the camper.  You can see the two little grooves toward the back if you look closely in the picture.

It was now time to do some shopping.

The final opening was measured again and then I checked all around on the internet.  We could pretty much get any size household fridge--even the cute french door fridges (which totally make me weak in the knees!  I LOVE those!)

There was one big consideration though.  We had to be sure it would fit through the doorway into the camper.

After looking around for quite a while, I decided on a regular black 18 cu ft fridge.  No ice maker, thanks!

We headed to Sears Outlet and bought the new fridge.  According to the internet, the 18 cu ft model we were getting actually weighed 50 lbs less than the 12 cu ft model that was originally there because it didn't need the extra propane part of the fridge.  The new fridge was more efficient as well.


We had to wait 6 long days for the new fridge to be delivered, but the day finally arrived!

The guys had never delivered to an RV before.  This was a first!

They were not sure they could get it into the camper.  Yep, you can.  Measured.  Double Measured and visited the store to measure in person.  It will fit guys.

And it did--without removing the doors.

Installing the new fridge!
The guys got it into the camper and slid it right into place.  

It looked like the opening was made for that puppy!  Perfect!

I could have gotten a cabinet depth model but this one just sticks out about the same amount that the doors are thick which allows the fridge doors to fully open but doesn't stick out so much that it gets in the way at all.

They leveled, left and carted the old fridge off.  Their first RV fridge cart off.  :)

And now, we have a nice residential fridge that weighs less than the original fridge but has 50% more space and is much more energy efficient.  We love it!
New Fridge.  Perfect!
When we move the camper, I just put some duct tape on the doors to secure them and off we go!  No big deal and the food stays cold a LOT longer than with the old fridge!

You know what else I love about the new fridge?

With the addition of some fluorescent dry erase markers, it is also a great dry erase board!
Fluorescent dry erase markers make the fridge a GREAT dry erase board!
I use it all the time to keep my grocery list and mark down appointments or recipes that I don't want to forget!  (I use the front of my microwave for that too and it works great!)

Funny.  I was so worried about putting a residential fridge into our camper and lately Gman and I have been touring the new campers.  The big ones all come with the residential fridges now!  

We were ahead of the game.

Go figure!  :)

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