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Old 02-08-2018, 14:54   #1
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Converting refigerator to icebox

I'm in the process of re doing my Fridge.
I have a wide, deep, narrow, top loading box now that is not keeping cold. The refrigeration/ freezer unit inside at the top makes it even narrower. Difficult to access contents..especially on the bottom.
I am considering removing the refrigeration unit that is not working and turning the box into an ice box. Taking the part that is in the box out will improve access.

Get a small freezer to make ice only and keep the big existing box cool that way.


Any ideas or thoughts?
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Old 02-08-2018, 14:59   #2
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Re: Converting refigerator to icebox

I think making enough ice using a 12V (portable?) freezer to keep a larger box safely cold will be a PITA and use lots more power than fixing up a proper working well-insulated fridge.
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Old 02-08-2018, 15:17   #3
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Re: Converting refigerator to icebox

A front door as well as the top one was HUGE plus on the boats I had with that door. You can open and get to those canned drinks etc very easy. You could add one maybe?
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Old 03-08-2018, 03:02   #4
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Re: Converting refigerator to icebox

I had the same problem so I removed the wall mounted eutectic tank and used the bottom as the eutectic tank with the freezer section on top of the tank. I installed slats along the sides and made holders for plastic containers out of plywood which I could slide on the slats. I could really pack the box full and each of the three layers was accessible. I put a 24 hour timer on the power supply so that the compressor did not kick in until about 0830 and kicked out at about 1530.

I have another boat now and will be converting it's fridge to a similar arrangement later this year. Tried the ice box thing for about six months once when the boat fridge went down, would not do it again.
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Old 03-08-2018, 07:00   #5
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Re: Converting refigerator to icebox

Pics of the sliding organizer setup would be great if you can post some, maybe start a new thread
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:11   #6
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Re: Converting refigerator to icebox

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Originally Posted by RaymondR View Post
I had the same problem so I removed the wall mounted eutectic tank and used the bottom as the eutectic tank with the freezer section on top of the tank. I installed slats along the sides and made holders for plastic containers out of plywood which I could slide on the slats. I could really pack the box full and each of the three layers was accessible. I put a 24 hour timer on the power supply so that the compressor did not kick in until about 0830 and kicked out at about 1530.

I have another boat now and will be converting it's fridge to a similar arrangement later this year. Tried the ice box thing for about six months once when the boat fridge went down, would not do it again.
How do you clean the slime etc out now and then if the tank covers the bottom?
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Old 03-08-2018, 11:22   #7
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Re: Converting refigerator to icebox

You can obtain a FLAT evaporator and bend it to fit along the sides [U or L shapes] with a 1" stand off, the new evat. can be married to the existing fridge system, this will give access to the box, if box is to deep, fill from the bottom up to reduce volume and access.
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Old 03-08-2018, 12:24   #8
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Re: Converting refigerator to icebox

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maka View Post
I'm in the process of re doing my Fridge.
I have a wide, deep, narrow, top loading box now that is not keeping cold. The refrigeration/ freezer unit inside at the top makes it even narrower. Difficult to access contents..especially on the bottom.
I am considering removing the refrigeration unit that is not working and turning the box into an ice box. Taking the part that is in the box out will improve access.

Get a small freezer to make ice only and keep the big existing box cool that way.


Any ideas or thoughts?
Yes. Do it. In my (modest) experience diesels, marine toilets, and refrigeration are the cause of untold misery on boats, and sailors burn through a astonishing amount of time and money maintaining and repairing this stuff. Look at the forums for proof!
Losing the refrigeration has made life much easier, plus there is just something satisfying about dumping a big bag or two of ice into the icebox. So it only lasts a few days. Who cares? It ain't the Ritz...
But be advised, I don't drink, and when I did it was whisky, neat. Never need much ice except for guests, and I ask them to bring their own.
They're encouraged to leave it though, if they like.
The composting toilet has made life aboard many times simpler also, and allowed 'holes in the boat' to be secured.
Now if I can figure out a practical way of getting rid of the engine, I'd be thrilled!
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Old 03-08-2018, 13:03   #9
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Converting refigerator to icebox

Look at it this way, a small portableís refrigeration system isnít large enough to keep your fridge cold if you ripped it out of the portable and put it in the big box.
So how could it possibly make enough ice to keep the big box cool?

I think you grossly underestimate the need for ice, my big fridge went down with a bad controller a week or two ago, it was most of a week getting a new one, our requirement for ice was between 1 and 2 five gl buckets full every day.

You need to try it before you go too far is my suggestion
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Old 03-08-2018, 22:25   #10
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Re: Converting refigerator to icebox

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Pics of the sliding organizer setup would be great if you can post some, maybe start a new thread
I've sold that boat so no longer have access for pictures but the sliders were just rectangular pieces of plywood with holes in them into which the plastic containers fit. I had a number of types, some with two holes for smaller containers and some with round for round containers.
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Old 03-08-2018, 22:43   #11
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Re: Converting refigerator to icebox

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How do you clean the slime etc out now and then if the tank covers the bottom?
On the previous boat the tank top sat on cleats about one inch above the top of the eutectic liquid and a fan circulated the air in the box through the evaporator and over the top of the liquid. I would periodically thaw the eutectic fluid out and replace it with new water with bleach in it. It was an accidental discovery when frost melted and was retained and froze in the bottom of the box but it worked surprisingly well.

When I rebuild the fridge on the new boat I will put in another 1 1/2" of foam insulation in the bottom and up the sides to make a ledge onto which the tank top/fridge bottom will sit. The top of the tank will be sealed onto the ledge around it's edges. The evaporator tube will hang from the tank top.
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Old 10-08-2018, 06:37   #12
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Re: Converting refigerator to icebox

I guess a matter of preference, what about a drain ? You would need a way to drain the water as the ice melts.
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Old 10-08-2018, 09:25   #13
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Re: Converting refigerator to icebox

Thank you for all the Great ideas.


No drain required as the ice is made in plastic bottles. When the bottle thaws it goes back in the freezer. This also means the ice making process is not consuming water.
It has been suggested that gel packs are more efficient that bottles of water,,,,so there is another option for keeping the ice box cold.


I know ice will work as that is how I keep my fridge cold now...with ice from shore.
Making my own ice w a 12V freezer that is portable like truckers use, cuts that umbilical to shore.
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