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Sumner10 09-12-2012 08:48 PM

Fridge Build and Install...
Not sure if this is the right forum to post this on or not, but our Endeavour came with an ice box (out of the way) and an inefficient 12v/120v upright fridge. After taking measurements at the boat I made a new 12 volt fridge that we are really happy with after using it for a couple months. I have no firm data at this point, but feel it is using less than 20 amp/hr per day and maybe less than 15.

I feel that is due to....

...the large amount of insulation used (4 inchs on the wall, 3 inches in the lid and 7-9 inches for the floor. Also we choose...

...the 84 series compressor condensor. The box is all ... box ....

...under the 2 lids with a 1/2 cu. ft. evaporator/freezer and the total box is about 4 cu. ft.. The compressor is designed for boxes almost twice this big so is not worked very hard.

Here is a picture going into the boat ....

... It sticks out further than the old counter which is good as now we have more counter space.

Items that are needed more often, daily, are in the smaller section under the lid where the bowl is above and ...

....the larger side is reserved for the freezer and longer term storage.

The whole build and install can be found here on our site....

Endeavour 37 Interion Mods Index

...if there are any questions I'll be more than happy to try and answer them,



Our 26 MacGregor and Our 37 Endeavour and Our Trips

olson34 09-13-2012 10:56 AM

Re: Fridge Build and Install...
Good job! And....
You've shown a "great truth" that most folks would rather not hear.....
While the type of machinery used is important in these conversions, the amount of insulation is more important.

Back in the 80's (might have been late 70's...) I recall a great article about keeping food cold. The author had a plywood tri and was a minimalist sort of sailor. He built an "ice box" that had something like 8" of foam around all the sides - might have been even more - and his final test involved placing a 20# block of ice inside and then measuring the loss of solid ice every day and charting its demise.

He was able to make 20# last something over a week in the tropics. Might have been days longer, but I do want to exaggerate.

The point to the exercise, in the larger world, was that before he was going to install a powered fridge and have to deal with providing enough AH per day to run it, he needed to reduce the need for it as much as possible.
He said he succeeded, and I believe him!

CapnBones 09-13-2012 11:15 AM

Re: Fridge Build and Install...
My ice box is way too big (In my opinion) and not well insulated. I really want to replace it, but is under the counter, and there is no way to insulate around the outside because there is no clearance to get in around it. I think I just wanted to complain. Has anyone ever insulated from the inside if that makes sense, I am afraid I would just create places for moisture to get trapped and become mold. I would like nicer counter tops, maybe I will just rip it open...hmmm

SchockT 09-13-2012 11:26 AM

Re: Fridge Build and Install...
Looks good! What did you line the box with to cover the insulation?

Please tell me the duct tape is temporary! It is the only thing marring a good build!

bratzcpa 09-13-2012 11:34 AM

Re: Fridge Build and Install...
Just wondering what the cost for condensor unit was. Do you recall approximately how costly that was? Did you buy it new?

Sumner10 09-13-2012 11:54 AM

Re: Fridge Build and Install...

Originally Posted by SchockT (Post 921790)
Looks good! What did you line the box with to cover the insulation?

Please tell me the duct tape is temporary! It is the only thing marring a good build!

Hey, here I thought that tape looked pretty good :rolleyes:. It will all be replaced when we go back to the boat. I did...

...get the bottom all caulked in and will do the same for the rest of the trim when we go back.

I lined the box...


... Wall-Tuf and found it at the local lumber yard so I would think if I can find it in this little town you could find it about any place. One side is smooth and the other side has a pebble texture. I put the smooth side out.

More on it here...

Interior Mods page 2



Our 26 MacGregor and Our 37 Endeavour and Our Trips

Ajax_MD 09-13-2012 12:06 PM

Re: Fridge Build and Install...
Damn fine job. My boat isn't nearly as large as yours, and as someone else mentioned, my icebox is integrated into the boat's structure and I'm not ripping it out.

I'd settle for simply insulating it better so that the ice lasts longer. You've given me some great ideas for that. Thanks.

CapnBones 09-13-2012 12:08 PM

Re: Fridge Build and Install...
I went through and read the whole build, I think now with my integrated ice box I can add a couple inches of insulation and use that wallboard and caulk to line it so it is waterproof. Might give that a shot.

Sumner10 09-13-2012 12:16 PM

Re: Fridge Build and Install...

Originally Posted by bratzcpa (Post 921793)
Just wondering what the cost for condensor unit was. Do you recall approximately how costly that was? Did you buy it new?

I'm not sure I can post a link to it here and not violate forum rules, but we bought the compressor/condenser and the evaporator (freezer compartment) from Defender.

The compressor/condenser is a Coolmatic 84. It is based on the Danfoss BD35F compressor and is rated for boxes up to 8.8 cu. ft. and our box is about half of that so it doesn't work hard. There is also a 50 series based also on the Danfoss BD35F compressor but not quite as efficient and we would of had that one maxed out. The price was less than $700.

You also need an evaporator to go in the box and that can be a flat plate design if you don't want a freezer compartment. They start about $175 and you need to size this stuff for the size of the box. We wanted a small freezer section mainly to ...

....keep some meat for a few weeks at a time and went with the Waeco VD-09 evaporator that is also a freezer. It is priced about $220.

The only negative is that the box is so well insulated that we have to keep the thermostat (comes with the above items) down to the point that the freezer is at 22 degrees so that the items in the other part of the box don't start freezing. The rest of the box stays between 34 and 40 depending on how far it is from the freezer section. 22 keeps meat froze and water froze, but ice cream will get soft. We really don't have enough room to keep ice cream anyway. I might install one of the small fans that will run a month on one small battery and that should circulate air and allow us to get the freezer section a little colder, but then again just one more thing and it is all working great for our needs just the way it is now.

I worried about hooking this all up, but it is really easy once the components are mounted. You just....

...attach the coolant lines from the evaporator in the box to the compressor and run 12 volts to the compressor and you are done. The thermostat....

...attaches in the box and has wires that also run down to the compressor and ...

...plug into it on the left side above.

Hope that helps,



Our 26 MacGregor and Our 37 Endeavour and Our Trips

Sumner10 09-13-2012 12:50 PM

Re: Fridge Build and Install...
Just a note on adding insulation. I feel the highest priority for insulation is on the bottom of the box. Heat goes to cold. In your house the biggest difference between the inside of the house and the outside is at the top of your ceilings since the heat in the room is rising to meet the cold air in the attic. So insulation in your attic is going to pay bigger dividends that say your walls since that is where the biggest temperature differential is.

With the box it is the opposite. The cold air in the box is dropping to the bottom so the biggest temperature difference is going to be there with the warm air under the box.

With that in mind I'd work as hard as possible on more insulation at the bottom of the box either inside or out or both and of course if you can add to the walls do it,



Our 26 MacGregor and Our 37 Endeavour and Our Trips

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