Friday, May 29, 2015

Van Build: The Fridge Install

Excited to complete the project we decided to tackle the Fridge Install first. So now would be a good time to get out the instructions right? Nope. Turns out the best time would have been before I painted it. Except then I was still in the decision stage. I was still on the fence of whether or not to go 3-way or 2-way. The instructions clearly stated that there had to be two vents. An intake and exhaust vent, one above the other. There were some major issues. I had only installed one. Then there was a large window in the way. :a7: Back to the drawing board. Son of a biscuit. Out go the front cabinets, and insulation. Now to source a replacement window. I took some time to find one with the right dimensions. And, don't forget I'm cheap. A custom one never entered my mind. I found one on e-bay, it was white, however. I can paint it black. It was an RV window, and not a van one. It ended up being far better than the old one. It cranked out, and had a screen. Now to take the window out and fill the big hole. I had some sheet metal left over from a HVAC project at the house and fit it.
Measure three times and fill once. I used the same method as before, making a body line by hammering the metal on a piece of strapping. Using panel adhesive and spot welds about three inches apart I affixed it for good. I had to use an old shelf bracket to stiffen the narrow piece between the window and upper vent. Welds and adhesive there, too.
I decided to install the window first, then paint around it. Since it was an RV window the application wouldn't be quite right. I drilled some holes, applied a hefty bead of butyl tape and riveted it in with big rivets. Then I painted it. Again. Then put the cabinets in. Again.
Some other considerations that had to be made included an upper curved baffle that directed the air up and out and a baffle on the in side of the outer wall, to ensure that only 1 1/2 inches was between the wall and back of the fridge. A fan had to be installed, switched from the circuit board that turns on with the fridge. 3/8 copper tubing into the vehicle had to be used, then down to 1/4 for each appliance, all on their own in-line shut off valve. But wait there's more... get your free copy of how to install a propane fridge today! Gee wiz, no wonder SMB went with a 2 way fridge.

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