RV refrigerators can be really annoying. Not only are they extremely finicky, they also are insanely expensive to buy, fix, and replace. We had our small RV for only a handful of months before our Norcold refrigerator kicked the bucket. Oh, the dreaded flashing green lights. Turns out, the guts of the thing were beyond repair and a new fridge was necessary. However, we didn't have $1200 lying around to drop on a new fridge.
What did we do? We went without.
Let me tell you, there is definitely struggle in not having an RV refrigerator. We came up with a few clever options. One of which included a cooler and constant rotation of ice. How very primal of us.
Yet, ice got expensive, and the constant fear of running out and losing all of our goods to the warm elements was exhausting. Also changing out the ice and water and contents was not worth the time or trouble. We ended up ditching the cooler after a while, and just went fridge-stag.
It turns out, without a fridge came a lot of wiser food investments. We stopped wasting food by buying more than we needed, and often stuck to beans, lentils, soups, fresh veggies and fresh fruits. If you want to become vegan real quick, take a sledgehammer to your fridge ASAP. (kidding)
So, fast forward to a few months ago, we finally came up with the perfect solution for our RV fridge dilemma. No, we still didn't want to spend $1200 on a fridge which just sucks up propane, or needs constant electricity to function. We mulled over a lot of solutions, and eventually came up with one that fit our needs: a small beverage fridge with low amperage and watts that could be run off solar. For the same price as an RV fridge we got an entire solar kit and a glass-door refrigerator—how cool is that?!
This is what we bought:
Now, we're knee deep in figuring out how to install the RV solar kit (we did get two more panels for it), but we have the fridge all snug. Removing the old fridge was pretty damn easy. The difficulty comes with plugging up your propane lines properly and removing the trim. We ended up with a lot of empty space because our new fridge was so tiny. So, we decided to cut some birch and create a custom built fridge box with extra storage. It came out better than we ever could've imagined. Though we're still undecided on whether to stain it, paint it, or just leave it au naturale, it looks pretty damn cool. Trim options to be assessed shortly.
We're going to write more in detail about the process of RV fridge removal and installing this new puppy, as well as our full RV solar setup in the next few weeks. But in the meantime, here are a few pics. STAY TUNED!
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