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Old 10-20-2019, 06:08 PM   #1
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Fridge Install Tips & Questions

Hey Gang,



I'm finally starting to build out the interior of my quigley E350 van and looking forward to putting in finished body panels, bed platform, shelves, the roof fan, and cabinets. Obviously a big project that will probably take me to the end of the year at the rate I've been going. Right now I have a passenger bench seat installed and that's about it - so pretty empty and open rig.



Anyway, I have a question about installing my mini fridge: I have a 2.1cf standup whynter fridge which I already bought but haven't installed yet. I went with the standup version (as opposed to top opening chest style) mostly due to price difference, I know they're less efficient but that's where i'm at right now. I just can't justify dropping $800+ on a fridge at this point in the build. I just took the van out for a weekend trip and had some fun a several miles of easy off roading with bumps and ledges and a few streams. As I was driving over all of these fun road features it occurred to me that my passengers in the bench seat were bouncing all over the place.



My fridge contents will also bounce all over the place and probably rattle like a mother F@#$r when I'm doing this. Not to mention the fridge compressor and components rattling and bouncing.



Do you guys have any advice on the best way to install a standup fridge to minimize rattle? I've looked at Jage's page and a few others here on the 4m about dynamat, etc insulation and what not, seems like the noise can be a real problem. Should I try bolting the fridge to a frame that is connected to the body of the van? If the noise and insulation is an issue I was thinking I could make a wooden box that the fridge sits in (picture 1 inch gap between fridge and wooden frame box) and then insulate that 1" gap with foam thus providing some thermal, sound, and mechanical damping to hold the fridge in place. Then use this box as the mounting point for attaching it inside the vehicle. Is that a good idea, bad idea? thoughts?



For the contents of the fridge - I feel like an upright fridge will have way more contents moving around and making noise compared to a chest fridge. Is this the case, how do you guys deal with it, is it super annoying or not that big of a deal? I saw Jage did a good job with bungie cord that seems like a good start that I might try to adopt.



Since the fridge is not installed yet, I'm also still open to returning it and spending more cash for a chest style (maybe black friday sales etc) but is it really worth it for those who have used chest style fridges vs standup fridges?



Thanks in advance for advice!
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Old 10-20-2019, 07:05 PM   #2
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simple resolve for product in the fridge moving around & creating noise - keep it full.
This will also help hold temp and fridge will cycle less. We keep a cooler in the Van for beverages, so initially we have more room in the fridge for food. As we use the food we transfer beverages over.
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Old 10-21-2019, 09:11 AM   #3
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Towels, cardboard pieces between bottles and as stated keep it full.
Make sure the door is securely latched, worst feeling is when that door opens.
In a cabinet and screwed to the subfloor (or usually cabinet frame has been enough for us.
When designing your cabinet, consider leaving space for rigid or ?? insulation around the the sides, top of fridge and make sure very good airflow across the condenser/ grill area. Definitely allow for air from the bottom and heat escape at the top.
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Old 10-21-2019, 11:14 AM   #4
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I have a front opening one with a small freezer compartment at the top. It's built into a cabinet, so doesn't move, but I've never had any issues with it being noisy, even though it's usually filled with beer bottles and other food items. Lately I've been using cut to size cardboard boxes to hold items, and it makes it easier to find what I'm looking for without emptying everything out to reach the back stuff. In addition, on those rare occasions when I forget to latch the door, the boxes help prevent all the contents from barfing all over the floor. As Ray mentioned, adding insulation to the top and sides will really help reduce run time. I also added a small computer fan to assist with air circulation over the condenser.
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Old 10-21-2019, 05:17 PM   #5
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I have a Dometic fridge that is mounted in the galley cabinet. Like Arctic Traveller said above, it doesn't move and isn't noisy. One thing I did years ago was to remove the shelving that came with the fridge and replace it with plastic storage bins, I have three, two narrow and one wide and it is a vast improvement in storage. I can pull out a bin and close the fridge while I search through it, and the bins keep everything organized.

Regarding your question, an added bonus of the bins is minimize the potential for stuff moving and rattling around.
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Old 10-22-2019, 07:55 AM   #6
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Awesome info guys! Sounds like I was kind of on the right track with building a cabinet space for the fridge and using insulation on the edges. In the manual my fridge was saying it needed 4" of space behind the unit ... ha! like any of us have 4" of space to spare, I think I can keep maybe 2" of space just by virtue of the curvature of the van wall (as opposed to building a flat panel to back it up against). I wonder if it would help to have air under it? Like mounting some unistrut to the base of the van wall (Fridge is going to go behind the drivers side chair) and then connecting unistrut to that piece and bolting the bottom of the fridge to that.



Sounds like my concern about contents is not an issue - the towel idea, keeping it full, and using storage bins makes a lot of sense. The storage bins especially because if something leaks or breaks it's contained and easy to clean up.



I just plugged the fridge in for the first time to see how noisy it is and it's like super quiet which is awesome!



I'll post some pictures up once I get around to the install. Still meaning to put together a proper van build thread. Maybe if I have time this weekend I'll get some more pics up to show the process so far.
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Anderson View Post
Awesome info guys! Sounds like I was kind of on the right track with building a cabinet space for the fridge and using insulation on the edges. In the manual my fridge was saying it needed 4" of space behind the unit ... ha! like any of us have 4" of space to spare, I think I can keep maybe 2" of space just by virtue of the curvature of the van wall (as opposed to building a flat panel to back it up against). I wonder if it would help to have air under it? Like mounting some unistrut to the base of the van wall (Fridge is going to go behind the drivers side chair) and then connecting unistrut to that piece and bolting the bottom of the fridge to that...
Here's a good thread for you to go through.


http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...fan-10171.html




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Old 10-23-2019, 02:00 PM   #8
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Thanks for the link to the video Herb, I haven't seen that one before.



How do people measure the current draw on these units? Is that with the inverter readout or a separate thing like the "kill-a-watt" watt meter? That would give me a better idea if the unit is struggling, it's rated for max power consumption of 75W/ 0.88Amps
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Old 10-27-2019, 12:34 PM   #9
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We use these...

We use these little spring loaded adjustable restraint bars to keep things in place and keep items from shifting during travel so they don't fall on my feet when I open the fridge:
https://www.amazon.com/Camco-Refrige...df_B000EDQR4Q/


Those were just the first ones I came across, we actually have one that is two bars with a plastic panel in between that is even more useful.


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Old 10-28-2019, 12:45 PM   #10
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Thanks for the tip Bassers - yeah that's like a shower curtain rod for the fridge
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