I am SO GRATEFUL to the many forum members that have shared their ideas, plans, mods, successes & failures on this site! It always has been and will continue to be a major asset to us and our van.
A big shout out to Tim (FITZ) who I visited in CA and spoke to on the phone many, many times. It’s people like Tim that reinforces the fact that there are great people (initially strangers) that are willing to give you a hand and spend time with you to help you out.
My wife & I have lived and worked in Alaska for over 35 years. We’ve also been lurking on this site for nearly 7 years, traveled to SMB West twice (several years ago), almost bought a couple used E350's, but decided to put it all on hold until we retired. Having a rig in Alaska while we both worked full time just didn't make sense to us.
Well, I retired 1 1/2 years ago and my wife is retiring in May, so we finally bought a MB 4x4 Sprinter!
Our build will hopefully start at SMB Austin in the next couple months and we are getting into the nitty-gritty of details.
The van: 2017 144" low roof 4x4 with a planned penthouse top and the RB150S build, 2 100 wt solar panels on the roof w/ inverter. We will have an Aluminess rear bumper, deluxe box, tire carrier, and 2 bike trays mounted above the deluxe box. We are also installing Van Compass Rocker Guards & ladder and ARB onboard air and eventually VC Skid plates and 7500# suspension upgrade. We also plan on adding the Agile Warn winch built into the front bumper. Most other things will be standard on the build except for a larger fridge, some additional 110vt outlets & USB outlets throughout, and rheostat controls on the interior lights so that they can be dimmable.
As many of you know, each decision on these vans (especially the 144” wheel base) is a compromise one way or the other. One decision I am contemplating is what fridge to install under the galley counter. We will be traveling for long distances and extended times and want to have the most fridge & freezer space we can squeeze in. Has anyone installed a fridge with the compressor remotely mounted (outside the fridge) and if so, has SMB installed one for you? Any pros or cons if you have?
We are considering the Vitrifrigo C130RBD4:
Vitrifrigo C130RBD4-F-1 (Old # C130LAC) 4.7 CU FT AC/DC Refrigerator with External Comp
It has 4.7 cu ft of space including .6 cu ft of freezer space.
It should be able to still fit under our galley counter however, since we will also have a single induction cooktop, the counter will have to be raised an extra 2” reducing some of our view out the side window behind the counter. Probably worth it to us for the extra fridge space.
I would love to hear from individuals that have installed larger than standard fridges under the galley counter and what your experience has been with particular manufacturers. Also to see if anyone that has mounted the remote compressor.
Any other thoughts or comments on the "extra" particulars of our build would be appreciated!
Thanks again to all for helping get us to this incredible point in our lives!
Paul & Annie