There comes a time in every woman's life when the only thing that helps is a glass of champagne - Bette DavisIn 2004 when we bought Tientos, the fridge/freezer was an aluminium empty shell, that just held ice. Given we do NOT camp, a working fridge/freezer was a necessity! So we fitted an Evaporator plate for the fridge, a Lemellar unit for the freezer and two compressors, all 12v WAECO. The freezer just this month gave up the ghost, so we decided to completely rebuild the whole system! This was a seriously scary task initially but with only a couple of hiccups not too bad. For some of the photos, I seriously apologise; wrong setting on the camera, and you can't go back..but you get the picture!
|The original fridge/freezer|
|With its old aluminium box. The hatches remained the same design|
|Definitely time for a change!|
|Old compressors removed|
The mess begins. Everything has to be removed from the top down and it was quite exciting seeing what was there (or perhaps exciting is the wrong word?)
We knew we already had a problem as moisture appeared to be seeping through the bulkhead but were taken aback with the saturated open cell foam.
|The demolition begins|
|Mountains of sodden foam|
|The old Lemellar unit|
|So much landfill from a fridge|
|The old box is out|
|Surprisingly, the old shell was pretty good|
|Foam, foam and more foam|
|The dreaded fibre-glass|
Once the new insulation was in place, it was time for the new 'box'. Marine ply was cut to fit and once again, fibre-glassed, then painted with two-pack paint. The box was completed as one unit with the 'centre' panel of fibre-glassed covered foam build separately. This was inserted into an aluminium extrusion which allows us to increase either the fridge or freezer space as needed.
The new hatches were the same design to fit in nicely and seal from the top.
We had intended to install evaporator plates on both the fridge and the freezer; unfortunately the plate could not be bent to suit the freezer, so back to the Lemellar unit. We still have extra capacity though not as much as we originally hoped for. With foresight, we waited until we knew the dimensions before ordering the units.
|The new evaporator plate for the fridge|
|Lemellar unit for the freezer|
We had originally built the compressors in under our chart area and we would leave them there but decided to add a venting system for the hot air. Bearing in mind there is not a lot of air, but we wanted a more even distribution. One was directed through the old marine air-conditioning vent to a saloon locker; the other vented to the engine room which has its own vent system. Keith installed the door to the system originally (it has its own 'lint' liner to prevent dust and cat hair getting to the units and just needs a wash periodically). The door is actually bought from an air-conditioner supplier; it is an air intake with a dust filter.
|Compressors in place|
|Also a cool place to store our vacuum on the right|
|Keeps the catz and the hair out!|
|New hinges on the new hatches|
The total capacity of the new fridge/freezer is 130l or 65l each. With my 'what-if' philosophy coming into play here; should a compressor fail, each individual unit is able to keep the other going.
|The centre piece actually allows us to increase fridge/freezer space|
|And the champagne is cold again!|
May all your bars be wooden and well-stocked!