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Old 12-26-2011, 10:28 PM   #1
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Refrigerator mounting and venting

Going with advice from forum members (Lorna S. especially, thank you) I've made up my mind that I'm going with a small house or dorm refrigerator. I have some questions about securing it on board, and keeping it ventilated. Refrigerators often are marked, "FOR FREESTANDING USE ONLY." I'm assuming that is to assure proper air circulation around them.

Kind of defeats the purpose of having that tough steel bus if the refrigerator goes flying and smashes a passenger in an accident.

I also want to be able to have it next to cabinets etc., depending on floorplan. My original thought was to have it between "studs" and mount a side vent from an RV in the window space and also the roof vent. But is this really necessary?

So I've thought about a setup like in the illustration below. It'd be screwed to a frame via the holes for the unit's feet; the frame in turned anchored to the floor structure. Refrigerators are still available with the coils on the back - where they get plenty of air - at least when freestanding in a building. This setup would not require an outside vent and therefore not need to be between studs.

Also, where are the best places to attach anchors to the refigerator box without F'ing up the insulation or otherwise damaging it?

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Old 12-27-2011, 12:59 AM   #2
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Re: Refrigerator mounting and venting

If you can reach through the vent area on top to mount the brackets to the bus wall then perhaps you could use some kind of industrial strength adhesive to mount the brackets to the fridge. A good adhesive would mean that you'd have to be able to remove the brackets with the fridge, since they'd pretty much become a permanent attachment to the fridge.
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:07 AM   #3
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Re: Refrigerator mounting and venting

Is you refrigerator at the end of you cabinets?
Mine is and why not just cut a slot from the floor to the top where the refrigerator back is and cover it with a louver?
You wouldn't need a fan?
I put my microwave on top of my refrigerator 4.5 cubic foot and have enough space for air flow.
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:45 AM   #4
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Re: Refrigerator mounting and venting

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Old 12-28-2011, 12:13 PM   #5
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Re: Refrigerator mounting and venting

i would just put small vent through the cabinet and roof above the back of the frig, and forget the fan. That is what i have done in all my 5 bus conversions over the last 26 yrs, and have never had a problem. Frig should be bolted down securely of course, n enclosed with metal on sides if its a propane one...
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Old 12-28-2011, 02:18 PM   #6
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Re: Refrigerator mounting and venting

I agree with Lorna. Even a small dorm fridge puts out a good bit of heat. In the summer you will regret venting inside.
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Old 12-28-2011, 05:29 PM   #7
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Re: Refrigerator mounting and venting

I did everthing just like Dr Dan did in the drawing except that I pumped the hot air outside. It works fine summer and winter. I was a little worried about the power drain on the D.C. system so I used 12v.2.5ma. muffin fans taken out of old computers. I agree with Lorna on the issue with the heat in the bus in the summertime. You can't get rid of enough heat out of that tin can of mine in the summer.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:46 PM   #8
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Re: Refrigerator mounting and venting

I kinda agree with bender477 - can you imagine yourself sitting there in the summer, sweating your tookas off and thinking -
"If only I'd vented the refrigerator to the outside!"

Can't imagine there'd be all that much heat ...
Vent inside - vent outside - a distinction without a difference I think.
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:55 PM   #9
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Re: Refrigerator mounting and venting

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Old 12-31-2011, 12:28 PM   #10
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Re: Refrigerator mounting and venting

Thanks for your suggestions folks! I think other readers will find these useful as well.

I like Bender477's mounting method. It's like having seat belts for the refrigerator, so to speak. Avoids drilling holes in the refrigerator body. Also adds airspace around the motor - a good thing.

I did a Google search for "temperature behind a refrigerator" and found a Yahoo! Answers article on the subject. In short, a homeowner discovered the temperature behind his kitchen refrigerator is 105 degrees with a 70s room temp. Reply said this is normal. Outside air and passive circulation would be fine for where we'd be traveling. Between that and the replies I got here, I'm scrapping my original idea.

Edit: Lorna, I like your suggestion for outside vents. Menards (Lowe's, Home Depot, etc) have so many different sizes and shapes of return vents that I can forget about having to align the refrigerator with a bus window for fitting an RV wall vent - more flexibility for the layout. Can stick a vent on either side of a frame member if one had to.
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