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HMD1056

Fridges and Convection Ovens

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Would it be possible to move the Convection Microwave under the stove and put a larger fridge in the space freed up?  Drawers would be lost--less storage for stuff, but in the OTT II there would still be drawers.  And a larger fridge means larger food storage space, and for me fewer shopping trips.  A drop in or portable small induction stove would mean less propane consumption.  Boondocking for long periods of time isn't for everyone, so simply needing propane for heating water and the furnace would provide the opportunity to use less fuel.  I am not trying to reinvent the mouse trap, just thinking about what would be (for me) a more perfect travel trailer.  I do know these options are available on other trailer brands--but that isn't an option for me.  Any thoughts or ideas?  Thank you!

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HMD -

All things are possible with enough time and money. The current propane cooktop really doesn't use very much propane - the water heater and furnace consume much more. However, it would appear that what you really want is a larger fridge. This topic has been discussed a number of times on the Forum previously and the "problem" basically comes down to the molds used for the Oliver shells. Without significant alteration to these shells there is simply no way to fit a larger fridge while allowing for proper ventilation of the fridge and room for a microwave/convection oven. Even if you take out the microwave/oven deal there are still problems.

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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The problem you'll run into is that the upper cabinet is shallower than the fridge cabinet below. So you'd have to find some way to build out a cabinet for the top half of the fridge. I'm sure that's possible, but I'd have a hard time envisioning a way to do it attractively.

 

I think that building out something either in the closet, or reworking the dinette with a countertop and cabinet below would be a better route for a larger or extra fridge. But the easiest route by far is to just put a portable fridge freezer in the truck. Between our truck fridge and the trailer, we can carry three full weeks of food.

 

You'll find that your cooktop uses so little percentage of your propane supply that it's really not a factor. If we're not using the furnace, we'll return from a three week trip with practically full tanks. In contrast, an induction cooktop would really gobble up battery power.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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A few of us have swapped out the 3way fridge for 12v danfoss/ secop type compressor fridges. Since the compressor is much smaller than the cooling units on the 3ways, you can pick up another .5 to maybe even 2 cubic ft of fridge space, in the same footprint. This holds food for a week or two for us. We use a cooler for extra beverages.

I don't think the factory is doing electric fridges, yet.

 

We have an original shorty Legacy, 2008. We removed the unused microwave, and built a big storage compartment instead, which hold a good week or two of drygoods for us.

 

If I ever find an electric drawer freezer that could replace a drawer, or possibly even the former microwave cabinet, I might do that. Haven't found anything for our dimensions, but might be something out there for the bigger EII. The drawer units are much more expensive, though, than the more standard reachins.

 

A dropin induction would be really nice for many people, and probably a possible retrofit. I'm not sure, as we don't have the battery power ( yet), to use induction for cooking, and we don't often camp where we can plug in. rv induction cooktops are 110, not 220 like home builtins, so could be kind of slow compared to what you are used to, if you have an induction range at home, particularly if you use both burners at once.

A few people carry a single induction burner, along with the propane cooktop.

 

Sherry

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Thank you all for your replies. I hadn't thought about the changes to the structure or the fact that it is molded to fit the fridge and microwave. Was a huge duhhh moment on my part. Thank you all for your patience and your knowledge.

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Well, Oliver modified something to make the convection microwave fit.

I can't say whether the factory would swap out 3way for dc electric fridge, but it sure wouldn't hurt to ask. We love ours. Novakool is one brand. Ours is a truckfridge, made by Indel. I know if at least one other Indel, an Isotherm, in an Oliver.

The more people who ask, the more likely the change will be considered, imo..

 

Do you plan to camp mostly with hookups? To run our electric fridge, we added a 100 watt portable panel to supplement our 200 watts of fixed solar.

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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One more question, Team Oliver!

Does anyone have recommendation (s) for a portable refrigerator/freezer for the back of the pick-up truck? I have been doing some research and these are the ones I have come up with:

1. https://www.amazon.com/ICECO-Refrigerator-Compressor-Insulated-Cover/dp/B07TXG7G1Y/ref=sr_1_15_sspa?crid=1H6JBVQPG09F0&keywords

2.https://www.amazon.com/Whynter-FM-65G-65-Quart-Portable-Refrigerator/dp/B002W8DM5I/ref=pd_cart_vw_crc_1_1/137-4569418-2013729?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B002W8DM5I&pd_rd_r=3137a090-7a92-4b64-b156-3fe4a92292b3&pd_rd_w=RAs76&pd_rd_wg=Y95nI&pf_rd_p=17d06ce6-6a01-441b-8e2f-2cb964e49101&pf_rd_r=FHQAPEQGQY4C4T6S2EHP&psc=1&refRID=FHQAPEQGQY4C4T6S2EHP

3.https://www.amazon.com/Dometic-CFX-75DZW-Electric-Portable/dp/B078X5XZ9Z/ref=pd_cart_vw_crc_1_4/137-4569418-2013729?_encoding=UTF8

Reason we need an extra refrigerator: 

1. Need more space to keep fresh food

2. More time out

3. Makes eating while driving easier and healthier since this unit will be in the pickup truck back seat (2017, F250 Lariat) - We do have a concern regarding safety about keeping the unit in the backseat. Any thoughts in regard to safety are appreciated.

I look forward to the day I can begin contributing from our experiences and not just asking questions. Thank you for your patience and time.

Happy and Safe travels to all!

Mirna.


R2W

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I have a mid sized ARB compressor fridge that rides behind the driver seat on long trips. I have had this unit about ten years and it has been flawless. I made a 12AWG adapter cable that plugs in my trailer’s external solar port. When stationary overnight I run the cable inside the TV to the fridge. It works fine and saves the truck battery. A 100 watt portable panel would do the same but obviously would not provide any power overnight or when shaded...

The compressor draws 2.3 amps when running on DC, and has about a 50% duty cycle on normal hot days. It runs a lot more on a sunny summer day, so I try to park in the shade and crack the windows if I don’t have it plugged into the trailer. These units need good airflow in back, so you have to be very careful not to obstruct the intake and exhaust grills with anything.

https://expeditionportal.com/buyers-guide-portable-fridge-freezers/

https://olivertraveltrailers.com/forums/topic/3247-how-to-external-solar-dc-power-cable-using-factory-furrion-port/
 

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies
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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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ARB fridge pics, I can easily access it through the open passenger window. Either hold up the lid, or pop it off its hinges and set it aside. Easy.

John Davies

Spokane WA

E0C2E75E-EC8C-4FC4-8436-F44276B4F778.jpeg

E54F408C-30E0-4AF1-9887-739E5576AD11.jpeg

B1261E9B-FEC8-4081-9E90-CEA3A9E5A8BC.jpeg

Edited by John E Davies
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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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We have a National Luna fridge/freezer.  They're pricey but rugged and seem to get the best reviews.  Expedition Portal did a good roundup of fridges a few years back, so you might check it out.  It's a little dated, but if you search there for 'refrigerators' you can dig up reviews of newer models and brands.  The one thing I would highly recommend is that you get something that can either be set to a freezer, or better, has two compartments that can be switched.  That really gives you options for longer trips.  With both sides of ours set to freeze, we can head out with three weeks of food no problem.  

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Greetings on this beautiful Sunday afternoon in the Pacific Northwest!  Thank you to each one of you for all these wonderful insights and suggestions. They are, as always, very helpful! 

BTW, we just reviewed the ARB models.  They appear excellent!  We will check out the National Luna next before deciding.

Best, 
Mirna and PK

Edited by Mirna
updating information
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R2W

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12 hours ago, Mirna said:

3. Makes eating while driving easier and healthier since this unit will be in the pickup truck back seat (2017, F250 Lariat) - We do have a concern regarding safety about keeping the unit in the backseat. Any thoughts in regard to safety are appreciated.

You are VERY wise to be concerned. I strap mine down using 1” ratchet straps. I fabricated stout attach points using steel plate, at the seat rail mount areas. I also have a really strong nylon cargo barrier net. This net would work great in your F250. It will not replace straps, but it is extra insurance in case you are in a bad accident. It will also restrain pets or other heavy objects that could otherwise end up in your lap, or break your neck...

https://raingler.com/collections/ford-f250-f350-vwr-heavy-duty-cargo-nets/products/2018-newer-ford-f150-f250-f350-divider-for-supercab

If you decide to order a net, call and talk to them first, there is a discrepancy in the model year between the page header and the URL - make sure you get the correct version.

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies
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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Thank you, John.  I will call tomorrow.  This is excellent!

Best,

Mirna.


R2W

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This discussion has been interesting for me. I just read about ARB fridges, and they appear to be very high quality, with prices equally high. John Davies says his fridge draws 2.3 amps, and for overnight use that would be 2.3 amps x 18 hours = 41 amp-hours. John, do you hook up your fridge to the trailer when you are boondocking, i.e. not on shore power?  

We have a small Koolatron 12V cooler that fits between the front seats and the folded-down rear seats. I selected this model because it is 8.5 inches wide, and fits perfectly in this space. It also has good reviews. 

IMG_3854.thumb.JPG.00d160b473578b8889d870dd3d3a8631.JPG

We primarily use this cooler for drinks, lunch, and snacks that the passenger can access while we are driving. On longer trips we have used the cooler to extend the capacity of the trailer’s fridge. Sometimes we have brought it into the trailer at night and plugged it into a 12V outlet. However, thus far we have only done this when we have shore power. I now know that this cooler draws 4.5 amps, so overnight use would be 81 amp-hours. Doable, but one would need to carefully monitor the batteries. 

There are major differences between the ARB units and my Koolatron cooler. The ARB has an efficient compressor that draws only 2.3 amps, while mine draws 4.5 amps. The ARB also has robust insulation to help maintain temperature without power, while the info I find online suggests my unit has much less insulation. The ARB units are much better engineered, but they also cost ten times as much as mine. 

Here is my idea, and I would like feedback. In another thread, Overland mentioned using a 12 volt battery pack; this item has 3 amp-hours. So I am thinking about battery packs. Sometimes we park the car and go for a hike, and as the engine is off the temperature of the cooler is not maintained. I would like to connect the cooler to a battery pack to power the cooler during the hike, and on occasion I might use the battery pack overnight. I can find more robust battery packs at Amazon, from 11 amp-hours to 38 amp-hours, that have good reviews. Would this strategy work?
 


David Stillman, Salt Lake City, Utah

2016 Oliver Elite II  Hull 164    |    2017 Audi Q7 tow vehicle. 

Travel and Photography Blog: http://davidstravels.net

 

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Mirna, many of the less expensive 12v coolers are thermoelectric.  They use more power, and can really only cool 30 to 40 degrees below ambient temperatures. 

ABS, Dometic, Indel and other far more expensive machines use a danfoss/secop compressor,  using half the power, and cooling through greater temp ranges. That's the similar compressor used in our 12v box, and others who have replaced their three ways with 12v fridges.

A less expensive thermoelectric may work fine for you, if you don't often camp in extreme temps. I  have a thermoelectric wine cooler in the family room. It's great. But, I'm only trying to go from 78 to 45.

If you want serious refrigeration,  with minimal power, youll want to look  at units using the danfoss / secop compressor.  ABS, Dometic, the new Truma, and the like.

The danfoss/secop compressor units are much more expensive.  It's up to you to decide if it's worth the much larger investment, based on how you will use it, and how often you will use it, and ambient temps.

I'd honestly wait on buying an electric cooler til I'd camped a few seasons, to detrmine your needs . 

We just use a cooler, and ice, to refrigerate beverages, and save room in the fridge. Although I'd love to have another portable fridge, I'm good with the cooler plus fridge for the last 12 years.

Just my thoughts.

Sherry 

 

 


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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we have used an ARB for many years - it sips power, and is very rugged. Highly recommended.


Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"

ALAZARCACOFLIDMTNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAWYd56201524964bac5483378b34b491562080842sm.jpg

 

 

 

 

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On 2/2/2020 at 4:52 PM, DavidS said:

John Davies says his fridge draws 2.3 amps, and for overnight use that would be 2.3 amps x 18 hours = 41 amp-hours. John, do you hook up your fridge to the trailer when you are boondocking, i.e. not on shore power?  

As I mentioned above, I power it from the trailer when parked more than three or four hours, using a 12 v cable plugged into the solar port. It is much  better than running down your TV battery, and much more efficient and safer than running the trailer inverter and using a high voltage extension cord. (When you do that, you are converting the trailer's DC to AC and then back to DC again at the fridge. Each step loses a significant amount of energy.)

You need to understand “duty cycle” - it is the amount of time the compressor runs. Typically on a HOT day it runs about 50%. If you are towing and the cab is 70 deg, it won’t run as much. If the cab is completely closed up and 140 degrees, obviously it will be running constantly. At night with a cool cab it will hardly run at all. I try to keep the TV shaded with windows cracked. When parked in direct sunlight, I install reflective sun shields in ALL TV windows facing the sun (and its future path). I also keep the ARB set at around 0 degrees. If it is not too hot at night, even when unplugged the fridge temp only rises to 20 to 25 deg.

Lots of thermal mass is very helpful in maintaining cold temperature - keep it full ! I keep a couple of half gallon milk jugs filled with ice inside if there is room. The more stuff inside, the longer it takes to warm up and thaw if it is not being powered. I freeze the jugs at home before leaving, that way the ARB doesn’t have to do that work.

ARB makes a heavy duty outside insulation blanket for truly horrific environmental conditions. It is very expensive and I have never felt that it was needed. If I were given one, I probably use it.

I hope that helps.

PS, once you start using this type of fridge, you will NEVER want to go back to buying ice, dumping melt water and throwing away water-ruined food. Plus you cannot actually freeze stuff with an icebox.... that is the big difference!

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies
  • Thanks 1

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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What John said!!!  Never having to buy ice is a great thing. 

A few years back, we were in AK, and had a week long wilderness river trip on he docket. We had some frozen Alaskan caught fish in the ARB - I had a single house battery in my van  -  specifically for the ARB - the fish remained frozen - and the battery was no worse the wear -  after the week it was all good.  I must admit I wished my Oliver fridge/freezer was of a similar build.  

RB

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Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"

ALAZARCACOFLIDMTNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAWYd56201524964bac5483378b34b491562080842sm.jpg

 

 

 

 

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