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Old 09-19-2020, 12:51 AM   #1
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Replacement kitchen module

I just bought a 2006 EB50 E-350 diesel. the kitchen has no stove and a 12v refrigerator. The inverter struggles mightily with the microwave and the 12v refer drains the batteries in no time. I'd like to replace the kitchen with a pre-built module containing a propane stove, 3-way refrigerator, and sink. I've searched the internet in vain and would rather not DIY it as I live in Hawaii and parts are hard to find.

Does anyone know where I might find a module?
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Old 09-19-2020, 07:29 AM   #2
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How many batteries and amp hours do you have? How old are they? My last van was all-electric and had no problem keeping up with the 12v frig, with 2 105ah batteries on board (I added a third and it was even better). See if you can add an extra battery and/or upsize a bit. Microwaves are really only useful when plugged in, although you can run them for short periods (like to heat coffee or a hot dog) with the inverter on and engine running to provide some extra amps. 3-way refrigerators have their own issues, so be sure you are aware of the downsides before installing one. I never missed not having propane.

If it were me Id upgrade battery bank and get a small portable butane or propane stove that could be used inside or outside. Adding propane lines, a permanent tank, and all that is $$ and a lot of work, and needs to be done right for safety (obviously).
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Old 09-19-2020, 07:30 AM   #3
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It will likely have to be custom to fit the contours of an E series van. Nothing is square or as easy as it looks. Any #vanlife folks/builders there? They are probably. Find them on Instagram.

As for your inverter and power issues, are you trying to run the microwave without the van running? Microwaves suck a ton of power, much better if you are idling.....

Your batteries sound shot though. I would replace them first regardless of what you do with your kitchen.

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Old 09-19-2020, 09:25 AM   #4
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Try Van Specialties in Tualatin, Oregon. They use to sell a pre made kitchen cabinet which held a refrigerator, micro, stove and had drawers.
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Old 09-19-2020, 10:09 AM   #5
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Trail Kitchens may provide some help.

https://trailkitchens.com/collection...rvan-solutions

They have a "campervan kitchen pod" that may work in your van - may have to cover any gaps left on the sides with a board made to match, just thinking out load...
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Old 09-19-2020, 02:31 PM   #6
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FYI, my house battery is a brand new D4. In the morning it was down to 10 or 11 v from the fridge. Since the start assist was always on, some discharge may have been due to that mis-wiring, but a day without sun would mean powering up the 6.0 diesel to use as a generator. I don't want to have to start the diesel to cook an egg or make a cup of coffee. I've had propane refrigerators before that would run for a week with no noticeable use of propane. They are very efficient. I'm also a master plumber and gas fitter, so not afraid of gas installations.
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Old 09-22-2020, 12:28 AM   #7
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Did an overnight test of the refrigerator. On a medium setting starting with 100% SOC by morning it was 23%. New 1110 CCA AGM 4D T904 battery (all that was available on the road). I need to pull the refer and see if the cooling is adequate.
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Old 09-22-2020, 05:44 AM   #8
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For house/RV/Marine deep cycle batteries, amp hours are more important than CCA as you may know. I would think a 4D has plenty of ah. Something is obviously wrong if you are going from 100 to 23% overnight. Fridge draw abnormally high?
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Old 09-22-2020, 02:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wackerb View Post
Did an overnight test of the refrigerator. On a medium setting starting with 100% SOC by morning it was 23%. New 1110 CCA AGM 4D T904 battery (all that was available on the road). I need to pull the refer and see if the cooling is adequate.
You have a direct short somewhere, perhaps in the fridge itself. A 4d should run any small fridge for days.
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Old 09-22-2020, 05:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by wackerb View Post
Did an overnight test of the refrigerator. On a medium setting starting with 100% SOC by morning it was 23%. New 1110 CCA AGM 4D T904 battery (all that was available on the road). I need to pull the refer and see if the cooling is adequate.

As already mentioned...you really need the amp-hour rating of the 4D battery.....and if you can directly measure the amp draw of the fridge the math is simple. Is your house battery a true deep cycle? Since you are mentioning CCA it sounds like your battery may be a starting battery....



I've been out in my van for about a week presently..my small Truckfridge draws around 3A or so with a 30% duty cycle..so about 1 amp per hour averaged out or 24 AH/day. My house batteries are 340 AH AGMs, so assuming 50% SOC as a reasonable minimum for battery life I've got 170AH to use..this implies that I can go about 7 days if I'm just running the fridge. My batteries are aging but even without solar I can get 3-4 days just running the fridge and keeping the batteries at 50% SOC. With 300W of solar I can go indefinitely.


So it sounds like you've got an issue....directly measuring current from the battery and also directly measuring the current that the fridge is drawing will give you lots of information.
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