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Old 27-07-2010, 00:43   #1
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Up to My Neck in Fridge

I have been trawling fridge threads for hours now, and nothing really answers my question... SO here goes....

We have a top opening, home made fridge. It's big. Next to it is a home-made, top opening freezer, which freezes large bottle of water etc.

Now, I was lucky to find some very cheap plastic stacking baskets in a very cheap stationary shop (the sort that most folk use as intrays, and have plastic legs to support them), which fit perfectly into our fridge. Lengthwise, that is. And down the side, we have space for three 2l milk cartons. I keep least used stuff in the bottom basket (such as cheeses and hams - when this basket is empty, I can fill space with frozen water bottles from freezer) - softies in the middle basket, and perishables like salad in the top basket.

"Perfect," I hear you thinking!!! BUT....

Every time I want something from the bottom basket, I have to jam the lid open, take out the top two baskets, retrieve my target and replace the other two baskets - all of this whilst the cold air is flying out the top against all the laws of nature....

How do YOU arrange your fridge? Is there a magic trick I'm missing?
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Old 27-07-2010, 00:48   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaza Dana View Post
I have been trawling fridge threads for hours now, and nothing really answers my question... SO here goes....

We have a top opening, home made fridge. It's big. Next to it is a home-made, top opening freezer, which freezes large bottle of water etc.

Now, I was lucky to find some very cheap plastic stacking baskets in a very cheap stationary shop (the sort that most folk use as intrays, and have plastic legs to support them), which fit perfectly into our fridge. Lengthwise, that is. And down the side, we have space for three 2l milk cartons. I keep least used stuff in the bottom basket (such as cheeses and hams - when this basket is empty, I can fill space with frozen water bottles from freezer) - softies in the middle basket, and perishables like salad in the top basket.

"Perfect," I hear you thinking!!! BUT....

Every time I want something from the bottom basket, I have to jam the lid open, take out the top two baskets, retrieve my target and replace the other two baskets - all of this whilst the cold air is flying out the top against all the laws of nature....

How do YOU arrange your fridge? Is there a magic trick I'm missing?
Your story is an excellent argument for a front-opening fridge.
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Old 27-07-2010, 01:06   #3
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Your story is an excellent argument for a front-opening fridge.
Agreed, and that's exactly what I told hubby before he built it. He won, mainly on account of the fact he built it, and I didn't really want to build it. So, now we have a top opening fridge. With a huge worktop area on top, which is a nuisance to clear when I want to get stuff out of the fridge. Yep, been there.

But, I may as well do the best with what I've got - so how to do it???
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Old 27-07-2010, 01:52   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaza Dana View Post
Agreed, and that's exactly what I told hubby before he built it. He won, mainly on account of the fact he built it, and I didn't really want to build it. So, now we have a top opening fridge. With a huge worktop area on top, which is a nuisance to clear when I want to get stuff out of the fridge. Yep, been there.

But, I may as well do the best with what I've got - so how to do it???
Well, the top-loader is the traditional solution. It's more efficient at keeping the cold in, supposedly.

Our old boat had a top-loader. It was a PITA and I cannot imagine any way to load it which will make much of a difference. You just have to rummage around and partially unload it to find what you're after. Of course, that partially (or entirely) defeats the advantage of a top-loader since you have it open longer and take things out, letting them warm up.

Real sailors don't spend much time in the fridge, I guess. They consider refrigeration to be a great luxury which they use sparingly and patiently.

So I guess I'm not a "real sailor" in this regard. I like to cook on board (and be cooked for) to the same standards I do on land, which means accessing a variety of things out of the fridge. So I'm very glad our new boat has a front-loader (and separate freezer ), although I must say all that refrigeration does suck down a lot of power.
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Old 27-07-2010, 05:18   #5
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Unfortunately, for a top loader, there is no solution to your problem. And you're one step ahead of me with the baskets. I have one without baskets, before going into the fridge I have a 10 minute conversation with my wife (she's the keeper of the fridge) to determine the approximate spot where I might find what I'm looking for. It's not usually where she says it is.
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Old 27-07-2010, 05:25   #6
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I usually get two beers at a time - it saves 50% on openings.

There shouldn't be much cold air exchange as the cold air is heavier. You probably just feel the cold off the top of the lid. Sure it may raise the temp a little but not much. Get a wireless thermometer to keep in the top part and bottom part.

I agree it's a pain compared to home but we just accept it. No biggie.
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Old 27-07-2010, 05:47   #7
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This sort of shows have we've done it. Worked pretty well.

Rebel Heart - The boat and her crew - Charlotte's Blog - How to Clean a Fridge on a*Boat
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Old 27-07-2010, 06:12   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaza Dana View Post
hubby before he built it.

.....a huge worktop area on top, which is a nuisance to clear when I want to get stuff out of the fridge.

Yes, well now you can tell him he is an idiott.
Perhpas it will reinforce it in his brain if you make him cook dinner for a week!

We have 2 fridges, on top opening which we dont use and the other is a normall door type. We also have another provisions cupboard witch is top opening. On the few occasions I have to get stuff out of either its always a big pain in the butt.

I would seriously ask hubbie to see if he could rip out his joke and put in a front loader. If you are going off cruising for a few years then think of the anguish you will save!

Calculate at home how many times you open the fridge when making a dinner for 2. That must transpose to the number of times on a boat. Maybe on a boat we are a bit better, but not by much.





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Old 27-07-2010, 06:22   #9
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Originally Posted by Aaza Dana View Post
Is there a magic trick I'm missing?
Yes.

Eat less = less access required

Although I have no fridge (it's on the list) I won't let that minor technicality get in the way of giving you my opinion

2 Fridges - 1 top loader (Freezer?) and 1 front loader (for the half opened stuff).

Let me know how it goes and I might consider doing the same
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Old 27-07-2010, 06:42   #10
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Every time I want something from the bottom basket, I have to jam the lid open,
We have pneumatic struts on ours (like those for hatchback autos) that hold the lid up. They are easy to retrofit.

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Old 27-07-2010, 07:03   #11
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We have pneumatic struts on ours (like those for hatchback autos) that hold the lid up. They are easy to retrofit.

Mark

Mine has some sort of spring strut (old technology). This usually gives when you've got your head stuck in the box, lucky my lid only has 3 inches of insulation so you're only unconscious for a few seconds when that lid comes down. The cold air revives you quite quickly.
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Old 27-07-2010, 07:46   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaza Dana View Post
Agreed, and that's exactly what I told hubby before he built it. He won, mainly on account of the fact he built it, and I didn't really want to build it. So, now we have a top opening fridge. With a huge worktop area on top, which is a nuisance to clear when I want to get stuff out of the fridge. Yep, been there.

But, I may as well do the best with what I've got - so how to do it???
A few weeks of role reversal, with him doing all the food preparation, may see it torn out and a new design rapidly implemented

Failing that, can someone fabricate wire baskets that hang vertically?

P.
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Old 27-07-2010, 07:49   #13
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I used to have afront opening fridge. You spent your time on your hands and knees pulling stuff out so you can get at the back. It consumed a huge number of amp hours and the cold plate frosted up so quickly that I had to defrost it almost twice a week.

I now have a topopening fridge of about 7 cu ft. It is the old freezer with the holding plates changed to a large L shaped evaporator that fits on two walls. Getting at stuff can be a PITA but I consider it to be a tradeoff for getting my power comsumption down aswell a only defrostng every 2 weeks or so.

It is so much more effiecient that I have added a small portable freezer and still use less amp hours then before. I am exclusively on the hook and don't have a generator so power usage is an issue.
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Old 27-07-2010, 08:13   #14
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I agree with Billy. Power is an isssue for most of us. Front loaders will use more amps than a top loader. No offense, since we're complaining about the men a bit, women have this tendancy to try to fit 10lbs of crap into a five gallon bucket. Sometimes it's more of an issue on what to take food wise than the size or design of the fridge. I'm just guesstimating(sp) but I think about 90% of our food does not need refridgeration. I'm curious as to others percentages.
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Old 27-07-2010, 09:03   #15
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we had a top-loader on a previous boat. One of the problems with it was that it was too deep for practical use. So we filled a bunch of plastic one-gallon milk jugs with water, froze them, and then lined the bottom with these jugs. It gave the compressor a bit of release because it no longer had to deal with so much empty space, and it made it far easier for us to reach items on the "bottom."

The newest boat, of course, has front loaders. Now, instead of diving for beers, I have to get down on my knees and pray for them.
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