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Old 27-08-2010, 18:26   #1
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Converting Icebox to Fridge with Shore Power

One of the first things that I want to do with my boat is to add a fridge. I am going to be taking it out on the bay on occasion, but mostly I'm living in it part time and using it as an office.

I considered just adding a dorm fridge, but an Ericson 29 doesn't have a ton of extra space. So, I'd much rather convert my icebox.

Here's what I'm thinking:

The cheapest and easiest solution is to just buy a used 110v fridge and tear out the refrigeration components. Then I can mount them to the existing icebox.

If I head out sailing, the fridge won't operate, but the icebox should keep things cool enough for a couple of hours, right?

What do people think of that as a solution? And, are there any specific instructions on how to do this?

Thanks!

P.S. I did do a search, but couldn't find any threads that answered this specific question.
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Old 27-08-2010, 19:21   #2
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Not sure about being the cheapest solution, but an Adler-Barbour cold machine may be the easiest for converting the ice box. Very easy to install - condenser, evaporator, 12 volts and you're done.
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Old 27-08-2010, 19:43   #3
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If you're going to go through the trouble to convert your icebox, I'd probably go through the trouble to do it right.

A used 110 fridge, torn apart and re-installed in an icebox would be cheaper than a proper icebox conversion, but really only if you make zero mistakes with the project. Make a few mistakes (like break something while you're doing violence to the dorm fridge), and you'll soon wish you had just bought the conversion kit.
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Old 27-08-2010, 20:21   #4
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waeco makes a single unit fridge that is especially designed for converting iceboxes. i installed one several years ago. extremely simple. just cut a hole in the side of the icebox and insert the unit. hook it up to 12 volts and away you go.

you do have to have enough clearance to install the unit but it's definetlely worth considering at under 700 bucks. defender has it at =

Compact Compressor Cooling Kit
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Old 27-08-2010, 23:48   #5
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Rip out the ice box and install the dorm fridge as a permanent fixture to the boat.


Or install one of these..
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Old 28-08-2010, 05:42   #6
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Without gauges, refrigerant and a suction pump, you're not going to do a good job of converting a 5 cubic foot fridge to what ever space limitations you current ice box has. At least not with any level of reliability.

On the other hand if you do happen to understand what's really involved with this type of conversion, you'd probably be looking a a cold plate system or air recirculator already, instead of a hatchet job, on a soon to be well rusted up dorm fridge conversion.
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Old 30-08-2010, 08:58   #7
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To be clear...I ditto the above post...I was inplying a conversion with the parts to save your Ice box was a waste of time with regular fridge parts...just install the cheap fridge to begin with...Heck if you cant find the room for 1/2 a dorm fridge you dont have an Ice box worth converting to begin with.

Haier HNSB02BB 1 7 CUBIC-FT Compact Refrigerator Freezer (Black)
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Old 30-08-2010, 09:45   #8
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I had this same conversation while out sailing Saturday evening. I'm just looking for a way to keep the beer from going skunky during the week when the boat heats up to 120f inside.

We came to the conclusion that it wasn't possible to attach the dorm refrigerator parts without evacuating the system and then recharging it after installation.

The cheapest solution was to drink all the beer every weekend.
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Old 30-08-2010, 11:09   #9
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I'll try to find the original post, but some sailor took a dorm fridge, carefully removed the inside evaporator and thermostat intact while still connected to the compressor, by cutting the side wall of the dorm fridge into pieces. Then he cut a hole in the side of his boat"s icebox large enough to pass the evaporator and thermostat thru, about 4" x 12" ? He took the side of the boat icebox just removed and cut slots to allow the piping from the compressor to the inside Glassed it all in place and used some expandable foam. He fabricated a shelf to mount the compressor on next to the boat icebox or used part of the dorm fridge frame can't remember which. He was very happy with the results for less than $75.00 total. I think the hard part would be not damaging the refrigerant tubes and losing the charge during installation. If you could drop your icebox to allow cutting the tubing slots and avoid cutting the icebox wall, that would make it a lot easier. He was very happy with the results.
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Old 30-08-2010, 11:13   #10
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If you can drop the icebox out of the cabinet, why not just cut the top off of the dorm fridge and bolt/glass it up in place of the icebox?
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Old 30-08-2010, 11:38   #11
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here is the link. He had several later posts advising others how to do the project. Use search feature in the Hunter site. Good Luck & let us know how it worked out for you.

HunterOwners.com

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Old 01-09-2010, 12:40   #12
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So.... I bought a $20 mini fridge from craigslist.

Someday, I might look further into tearing it apart another solution. But right now, I'm just using it, as is, tucked away under the table in the cabin.
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Old 01-09-2010, 12:57   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericson_adam View Post
So.... I bought a $20 mini fridge from craigslist.

right now, I'm just using it, as is, tucked away under the table in the cabin.
There ya go!......

When ambition meets time...Reconfigure your current icebox space for a permanent install of that mini fridge compleat as is!...give yourself a couple inches all around the interior of the new cabinet space to allow for any difference in out side dimensions of any future mini fridge you may need to replace it with down the road ...In the mean time wedge in 1" foam sheeting in that extra space for some extra insulation leaving some ventilation in the back....Keep your eyes open for a used 2 way RV rfidge thats 120/12v and your in like flint.
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Old 12-09-2010, 22:18   #14
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I also remember reading a web post about chopping up a small dorm fridge and using the parts to make an ice box into a fridge. But it was far more detailed than the article ref'd above on the Hunter site. This was done by an Irwin owner and posted initially to the Irwin list serve. The web page link is on an older computer so I don't have it now, but it should be searchable with some time and effort.
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Old 12-09-2010, 23:08   #15
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