Saturday, October 31, 2009

Geeking out on our VW camper

Our little 1984 Volkswagen Westfalia pop-top camper received a refrigerator transplant today. A few years ago I removed the OEM Dometic refrigerator because it didn't have the cooling horsepower to keep up with the heat of the southwest and replaced it with a more modern Norcold unit.

The Norcold kept things nice and cold, but it was too noisy for me. It made a thrumming sound whenever it ran, which was pretty much every ten minutes. And it vibrated the galley cabinet so much that everything on the stove-top or around it would rattle. I spent much time chasing down rattly things whenever the compressor it kicked on.

Well, a few weeks ago I sold that refrigerator to one of the aides at the place where I go for physical therapy -- a cyclist/runner with a Westy that has a faulty refrigerator. He said he has no problem with the noise level. Some people are bothered by noise more than others.

To replace it, I purchased a Vitrifrigo brand refrigerator, a design which uses a more efficient compressor and is much quieter as a result.

My son came over today to give me a hand installing it.

In the process of changing the door from left-hand opening to right-hand opening we immediately lost the latch spring.


"What was that?"

"I don't know. Wait -- what happened to the spring?"

He had to drive to Bend Lock and Safe, where he works, to find a replacement.

A little creative woodworking with a jigsaw to open up the front of the cabinet a bit, a little electrical wiring, and the new refrigerator was installed.

It's real quiet: all I can hear is sound of the little muffin fan blowing air through the condenser. It's also more roomy inside, and has a real freezer section. And a tiny, tiny little ice cube tray, Barbie sized.

Of course, there won't be any camping for many months now, but I'm glad that when we start camping next spring, I won't be getting up in the middle of the night, swearing and moving pots and pans around to quell the rattle.

1 comment:

  1. Greetings,
    I am in the process of a camper conversion on our 2002 Sprinter high top van. I ran across your blog on installing a Vitrifrigo into your Westfalia. There is a 3.2 cu' Vitrifrigo that would complement our galley design nicely. I found a marine supply in Seattle that sells the fridge, but I cannot find any reviews or additional information on this brand. Are you happy with your fridge?

    Many thanks for your time,

    John Cutter
    SLO, Calif.


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