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Old 01-12-2022, 01:40 PM   #1
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Default Move fridge up higher?

As I'm still in the research phase of buying a B one of the things that I'm seeing is that many have the fridge on the floor. Only a few models have the fridge elevated higher. Not too crazy about getting down on my knees to get something out of the fridge. At 68 years old the knees and back don't work that great.
Has anyone moved the fridge to a different cabinet? Mainly I'm thinking of ditching the propane/electric fridge and going with an electric fridge, I plan to increase battery capacity and add solar on whatever I buy.
We'll use the B mainly for road trips and occasional short camping trips.
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Old 01-12-2022, 10:13 PM   #2
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As I'm still in the research phase of buying a B one of the things that I'm seeing is that many have the fridge on the floor. Only a few models have the fridge elevated higher. Not too crazy about getting down on my knees to get something out of the fridge. At 68 years old the knees and back don't work that great.
Has anyone moved the fridge to a different cabinet? Mainly I'm thinking of ditching the propane/electric fridge and going with an electric fridge, I plan to increase battery capacity and add solar on whatever I buy.
We'll use the B mainly for road trips and occasional short camping trips.
2016 PW Lexor TS. Our fridge is about 20 inches off the floor. It came that way from manufacturer. Appliances can installed anywhere. It is matter of space and designs. My wife does not mind the fridge on floor. What she does not like is for the microwave to be up high! That is her deal killer.
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Old 01-12-2022, 11:19 PM   #3
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I never liked an under counter type refrigerator. For one they were too small and lacked an adequate freezer. In my second and third van I had a large NovaKool with separate freezer at the bottom so the refrigerator was at a convenient height. We didn't need that big of a combination for most trips so we opted for a smaller one door but very adequate freezer which would hold 4 frozen pizzas and a half gallon ice cream container. It is the Isotherm Freeline 115 (4 CF.) It sits 18" above the floor.
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Old 01-12-2022, 11:25 PM   #4
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Pizza and ice cream, that's all I need! My DW would disagree of course. Ok add bacon to the fridge and I'm in heaven.
I've been reading a bunch on running the roof air with LiFePO4's, inverter, and alternator charging. It would be great to be able to eliminate the Onan. For our type of use we'll only need Air conditioner for driving across Texas and to cool down the coach in the late afternoon.
I've installed LiFePO4's in 2 other class A's but not for A/C use.
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Old 01-12-2022, 11:57 PM   #5
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I've discounted running an air conditioner off batteries. I had 800ah of lithium ion batteries and in our new van I reduced it to 576ah. The larger Volta system of 13,000+ watt which I think only ARV installs in a Class B might be capable. We don't need AC while driving. The chassis system providing air in the cab is sufficient. If we were concerned about AC in a campground we would simply seek shore power. Mostly we travel seeking the proverbial 70 degrees seasonally. We do have the second alternator and we have eliminated the Onan as well as propane. Again, my 95% rule if needed or 5% of the time if you don't need it, and yes, I have got caught in 100 degree weather in September off grid only once in roughly 1,500 days on the road. Thats 0.007%. Deemed way under 5%.
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Old 01-13-2022, 12:06 AM   #6
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Gotcha, unfortunately to get to 70º's I have to drive 2-3 days starting out in heat and humidity, then just heat, and finally cool.
Wonder how the dash air will work in 90-100º+ while driving? I'm sure the cab will be ok but not sure about the rear of the B.
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Old 01-13-2022, 12:12 AM   #7
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Gotcha, unfortunately to get to 70º's I have to drive 2-3 days starting out in heat and humidity, then just heat, and finally cool.
Wonder how the dash air will work in 90-100º+ while driving? I'm sure the cab will be ok but not sure about the rear of the B.

We had a long stretch of 105* days headed from Denver area to the coast. Shore power at night and van dash air while driving. No problem with our 07 Chevy keeping cool. Be sure to use the Max AC or recirc setting so you aren't trying to cool and dehumidify outside air.
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Old 01-13-2022, 12:38 AM   #8
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I highly value the ability to run A/C from battery. Although I agree with seeking shore power when possible, it isn't always an option. Even excluding boondocking, many very attractive campgrounds have no electricity (e.g., many National Parks). In addition, a very common scenario is coming off a long, hot hike and wanting to cool down at the trailhead. We can run our A/C for two hours in our current rig, and it has been great. Really looking forward to significantly extending that going forward. And, I am REALLY looking forward to an engine that I won't be afraid to idle. (Not at campgrounds, but rather at trailheads, parking lots, and boondocking locations.)
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Old 01-13-2022, 12:57 AM   #9
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I plan to increase battery capacity and add solar on whatever I buy.
We'll use the B mainly for road trips and occasional short camping trips.
Most people have the initial impression that bigger is better with refrigerators, batteries, etc.. For the use pattern that you described, this is probably a mistake and a waste of money.

For example, the drinks seem to take up the most space in our refrigerators. At home we probably have 1-2 weeks of drinks (pop, beer, etc.) in the refrigerator. This is really unnecessary in a small van when it only takes a few hours to cool things off. It just takes a few seconds to replace a cold can of pop with a warm one from the closet or to just restock the refrigerator every evening. We can easily get by with a small refrigerator in the van that only holds 1-2 days of drinks as long as we use it wisely. This also would then allow us to get by with a smaller battery bank which also saves space and money. With our second alternator I can recharge the battery capacity that a smaller refrigerator uses in about 15 minutes of daily driving. A solar panel with its low output would be a complete waste of money unless we went several days without driving at all (which is rare) and then we would even need to park in the sun to get the benefit of solar (we prefer good shade).

It is possible that a small refrigerator and a smaller battery bank would work better for you and save you a lot of money. I would gladly trade a smaller refrigerator for a little larger bathroom. I would prefer the refrigerator to be a little higher but it isn't a big deal for us to have it lower.
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Old 01-13-2022, 02:17 AM   #10
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In this era of carjacking I would not idle in parking lots and trailheads unattended. The carjackers might not know the keyless fob system and idling going off as soon as you step on the brake makes it futile, but the break in damage would already been done before they realize that and will have access to your van’s valuables. Idling also attracts curiosity when left unattended.
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Old 01-13-2022, 02:38 AM   #11
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Gotcha, unfortunately to get to 70º's I have to drive 2-3 days starting out in heat and humidity, then just heat, and finally cool.
Wonder how the dash air will work in 90-100º+ while driving? I'm sure the cab will be ok but not sure about the rear of the B.
I didn’t mention I have an insulated curtain sliding on a rail on the B pillar behind the cab seats for winter camping if we chose but I imagine it could be used in hot weather to keep the air conditioning in the cab area as well. The dash AC in a Sprinter does keep it comfortable without going that extra step. I didn’t bother to use that curtain when we boondocked in -11F temperatures last week.

I could get several hours with battery AC. I did once 3 hours not so much for AC but to dry the van out in a hot humid climate. I could have gotten another 3 hours but I doubt it would stretch overnight if we slept 8 hours on 800ah of batteries. I would never idle an engine or run an Onan overnight with air conditioning on. I think that is a self flagellating hell. I doubt anyone does unless they go to Burning Man in the Nevada desert in August. There was once a Class B, named Solar Womp built by ARV for just that purpose. It had the 800 amp hours of battery, second alternator and 1,200 watts of solar panels on a rack over the roof.
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Old 01-16-2022, 05:02 PM   #12
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Before putting your fridge higher, consider how much "living space" you would lose. Also consider the fact that every once in a while, something falls out of the fridge due to driving. With the fridge on the floor, it is far more likely that a container breaking creating a mess wont happen as opposed to it falling from higher up.
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Old 01-16-2022, 05:06 PM   #13
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Seems to have jumped off topic. The question I believe was could you have a fridge up higher, the answer is yes and no depending on cabinets and van shape. I built my van specifically so the fridge could be off the floor by about 24”. The microwave is above and that works fine for us. You just have to be concerned with the van slope of the walls as you go upwards. My maximum height of the fridge was dictated by the internal van skeleton and were I could get the top of the fridge into the window inside depression without havingto have the cabinet deeper.

My cabinet was modelled after davydd ARV build cabinet mock up from 08/2020 with two big drawers under the fridge and a Webasto heater and water pump just under the drawers on the insulated floor. Servicing of the heater or water pump by removing the drawers.
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Old 01-16-2022, 06:01 PM   #14
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Before putting your fridge higher, consider how much "living space" you would lose. Also consider the fact that every once in a while, something falls out of the fridge due to driving. With the fridge on the floor, it is far more likely that a container breaking creating a mess wont happen as opposed to it falling from higher up.
What living space would you lose? I designed our Class B with the theory of

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You have wasted space above counter level, bed level, seat level, etc. save for perimeter overhead wall cabinets and you generally have to have tall cabinets for closet storage, bathrooms, etc. Moving the refrigerator up you can install drawer storage underneath--no wasted space. I desire to see at eye level things like stuff in a refrigerator and microwave. I don't worry about stuff falling out of a refrigerator. Never had that problem.

There are some design philosophies that desire 360 degree view out windows. There is some sacrifices for that in a small Class B. The best compromise for that is for tall cabinets and bathrooms behind the driver where he can't see all that well anyway. There it might be justified but not from things falling out. In my 144 WB Sprinter I maximized verticality. Raising our refrigerator 18" I have open notch with many versatile applications. It has vents for circulation vertical for the refrigerator and horizontally for my lithium batteries. It is often used for a litter tray out of the way when our cat is along, or shoes and bags. I have also designed a fold step to store under. Living space is how you define it I guess but few of us can decide how we want that. Most have to accept what upfitters provide and there are many bad designs.
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Old 01-16-2022, 10:30 PM   #15
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Depends on the layout. I've got a short sprinter Roadtrek. If my fridges was higher, it would be harder to navigate around it. One needs less space on the bottom and more clearance in the top half. At least I do at 6 ft. 2.
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Old 01-16-2022, 11:03 PM   #16
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Depends on the layout. I've got a short sprinter Roadtrek. If my fridges was higher, it would be harder to navigate around it. One needs less space on the bottom and more clearance in the top half. At least I do at 6 ft. 2.
All I can say is I put my money where my words are. I custom designed a short Sprinter with what I said. No speculation here. When I took delivery I emptied out an extended body 24'-4" Sprinter camper van's contents into it. The whole idea was "Less is more" and I probably have a kitchen galley with more space than any short Sprinter I am aware of with a refrigerator and microwave at a comfortable height.

https://www.classbforum.com/forums/f...van-12216.html
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Old 01-17-2022, 12:20 AM   #17
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Everything's a trade off, Davydd. You traded away the feeling of spaciousness.
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