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Fridge or no fridge?

 
greenhorn
Posts: 8
cat tiny house solar
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We are currently building a tiny house in a box truck and have decided we need a shower and toilet after all, so we are sacrificing space for a storage and possible cabinet space for a fridge. We also think we can make a underground fridge out of a cooler(since we'll be living on a farm all season). Yet the prospect of have to go outside to get food seems like it might be a pain. Plus a fridge is at minimum 500 dollars unless we a get one of craigslist. Any thoughts on having a fridge at all or alternative fridges?
 
greenhorn
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Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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We lived without a refrigerator for 17 years, from a few years before our sons were born until they were in highschool, 1973 until 1990.
We milked goats every day, had fresh eggs and a large garden, lots of canned stuff, rabbits and chickens.....it can be done
When we butchered a goat it was for a party. A rabbit or chicken could be eaten in one meal by the four of us...no leftovers.
In the nineties we lived with public utilities so had a full sized refrigerator, and we kept it full with five of us in the house (my mom lived with us then).
Now, for the past several years we have a very small refrigerator...that is all we need. It was fifty dollars from a student moving out of a dorm near here...a GE that holds plenty for the two of us and even has a fairly large freezer for it's size. Seems like even in a tiny house one could be squeezed in somewhere.

 
Anna Whalley
greenhorn
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cat tiny house solar
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Thanks for the reply. I feel I would be able to go fridge free but we could squeeze one in. Since we are building a home on wheels, and we'll have solar power, we want to use as little as possible so we would get a norcold gas/electric fridge which can be over $500. I'm worried the normal dorm fridges waste too much electricity. Thanks again.

-Anna and Kyle
 
sheriff
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Refrigeration is extremely handy to extend the life of perishables.
There are many models of compact design.

One caution: I know that space is a major concern for tiny houses, but make certain to leave plenty of ventilation space for the mechanical parts of the 'fridge. Overheating (due to insufficient air circulation) is the #1 cause of mechanical failure.
 
rancher
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Location: Victoria BC
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I've got a 110L Waeco DC fridge(CF110) in my van, love it. Unlike most(all?) RV type propane/electric fridges, it's a compressor rather than absorption system; it can run on an angle without having any issues, and isn't full of corrosive gas slowly eating out... (I once went to view a small travel trailer, having asked the seller to turn on the fridge the night before. When I arrived, it had failed in the night, and the unit was full of the escaped ammonia...)

It's definitely much bigger(and hence more power-hungry) than I need, traveling solo. It's probably bigger than 2 people need, really. ~65L would be more than enough, and take less room in the van. But I got it used, locally, for a third of new cost... well worth it. Not having to dick around with ice is very nice.

Given the cost of solar, IF you can rely on being places with decent amounts of sun, it may be more cost effective to go with a dorm-type fridge and simply add panels to cover the difference. At least unless you run out of places to put them...
 
Anna Whalley
greenhorn
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Thank you for your replies! WE decided after reading your inputs, to go with a 12v fridge that runs on dc or ac. I don't know why I was thinking we needed it to be gas/electric. So that saves us over 300 dollars. and we've been doing a lot of research on solar and have realized we could easily run a fridge off it since we don't use electricity for much else (no tv, no a/c, no other appliances, etc). Thanks again.
 
greenhorn
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I know I'm a bit late to the party here but I'll be putting a small chest freezer converted into a fridge in my little house/RV/Space I live in until I find property.

http://newlifeonahomestead.com/convert-chest-freezer-to-fridge-solar/

If you have the space you can put that under a counter as long as you hinge it to lift up and hook it in place so you can open your fridge.
 
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