Anyone with a FW have an added freezer?

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Back2PA

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I installed an Engel freezer on my coach and would like to move it to the fifth wheel I am contemplating switching to next year. The freezer requires a compartment opening 26"H x 31"W. As all of my FW searching so far has been online (will do more hands on looking this winter) I have been unable to ascertain the size of the various FW compartment doors. My first thought is to use the forward facing compartment where the FW genset is located if equipped (I will not be getting a built-in genset so this compartment will be available). If appears visually that on some FW this compartment door may be big enough, although there are other issues, such as room to open the top-load freezer once it slides out - this issue could be insurmountable. My backup plan, if the door(s) are big enough, is to mount the freezer just inside, left or right, of the main storage compartment. Even if this works, it will be a huge compromise to accessibility to the remaining space in said compartment, which would then all have to be accessed from the remaining door on the opposite side.

Depending on configuration there might be a chance the freezer could be mounted inside, if there is a closet/pantry with adequate dimensions.

This freezer is setup to run on 12V using its own inverter. The beauty of the design is the very low power draw, allowing one to boondock and still have a true freezer. Plus, while traveling, since the freezer runs off 12V there is never a concern about the freezer being unpowered.

So my question is whether anyone with a FW is running an aux freezer. If yes, what type and where have you located it? Thx
 

Rene T

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Scott, Is the door for the freezer on the top? If it is, you may have an issue using the front compartment because the shaft for the front landing legs run across in there. If you want, I can take a measurement from the floor to the shaft. I have a Montana.
 

Back2PA

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Rene T said:
Scott, Is the door for the freezer on the top? If it is, you may have an issue using the front compartment because the shaft for the front landing legs run across in there. If you want, I can take a measurement from the floor to the shaft. I have a Montana.

Yes Rene, it's a top load which could be an insurmountable problem considering the genset compartment and the area in front of it probably wouldn?t allow the the lid to open, unless I could come up with some ingenious mount which I can't imagine. Or, if there was enough vertical space to get the freezer through the opening and the floor dropped a little inside, rather than slide the freezer as I do now I could just lean in and open the lid. In fact, this would be preferable as I wouldn?t have to mount the very expensive slide mechanism. Again will have to physically see the compartment. Just trying to do legwork for now. So yes, if you could give me measurements for the door opening and compartment depth and height that would be great.

BTW, your 343RL has the exact floorplan I like, been looking at the Montana 3400RL and Everest 344J.
 

Rene T

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My side pass thru compartment has a opening of 29.5" H X 51.5" W.
The front compartment door is 26 H" X 36" W.  The height from the floor to the landing leg shaft is 26". The problem you're going to have if you can snake it into the front compartment is you won't be able to open it because the shaft will be running across the top of the freezer door.  :'( :)(

Looks like your best spot would be the side compartment even then, you won't be able to open the door maybe  a couple of inches.  Not good. 
 

Back2PA

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Thanks for taking the time to do that Rene.

I had a look at a couple later model Keystones today, and it appears to me that in those the freezer would fit in the front compartment and I could open the freezer far enough to use it sitting stationary - it sounds like Keystone may have moved the shaft you're talking about because it didn't look like anything would be in the way - but... since I'm considering units a couple years older than yours the info is relevant, thank you. Re the side compartment, my plan (if feasible) would be to use the slideout tray I have which is designed for the freezer - it's call a 200% slider and extends over twice as far as it is deep. This would allow the freezer to hang outside the compartment to open the top, same as I do now (see attached).

Just got some salmon out of the freezer for the barbie tonight!
 

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judway

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I have the same installation as seen above, except I built my own slide. If your door is the same size it should work fine.
 

Back2PA

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Rene T said:
My side pass thru compartment has a opening of 29.5" H X 51.5" W.
The front compartment door is 26 H" X 36" W.  The height from the floor to the landing leg shaft is 26". The problem you're going to have if you can snake it into the front compartment is you won't be able to open it because the shaft will be running across the top of the freezer door.  :'( :)(

Looks like your best spot would be the side compartment even then, you won't be able to open the door maybe  a couple of inches.  Not good.

Rene, I had a look at a 2005 Montana 3400RL today, and the front compartment was exactly as you described - I could snake it in and it would fit on the floor, but the shaft would be less than 5" from the top of the freezer. I'll have to go measure again and find out how far from the back of the compartment the shaft is, if it's back far enough there's a chance I could still get the freezer open say 45 degrees but I doubt it.

Are the floors flat in your side compartments, i.e., is the lower lip of the door equal to the height of the floor? Also, what is the vertical dimension floor to ceiling of the side compartment?

While the opening is big enough on the 3400 I looked at, just about a foot inside the door the floor of the compartment steps up considerably.

Thx
 

Rene T

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The lip down to the floor is 2".
the floor to the overhead is 32"
The back wall of the front compartment to the shaft is 17-1/2".

Update:  I just went back out and came up with an idea. How about dropping the floor in the front compartment 10" to 12" or more if need be. I've got plenty of room to do that. A good welding shop should be able to do that in no time. The only concern will be if you can snake the freezer in there past the shaft.
 

Back2PA

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Thanks. That doesn?t sound promising.


I?m going to go back over and have another look at that 3400 today just for measurement purposes, and I?m also going to see if I can find a 343RL in town to look at. After l spent some time in the 3400 yesterday I decided I want the fully enclosed bath (toilet, sink and shower) like you have, and similar to what I have now, rather than the vanity in the bedroom. The Everest 348R is a contender also with the fully enclosed bath plus a second vanity which is close to my setup now.


I?m hoping the 343 or 348 have larger side compartments than the 3400. I?m finding compartments with big door, but then the floor of the compartment steps up and there isn?t much room vertically.
 

Back2PA

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Rene T said:
Update:  I just went back out and came up with an idea. How about dropping the floor in the front compartment 10" to 12" or more if need be. I've got plenty of room to do that. A good welding shop should be able to do that in no time. The only concern will be if you can snake the freezer in there past the shaft.


Hmmmm, very interesting idea, and there?s a top end highly rated welding shop a mile from here that does primarily RV related work. Wouldn?t it sorta hang out of the bottom though?


I?ll look at the 3400 with your idea in mind. 99% sure that floor isn?t structural to the trailer so no concerns there. Pretty sure I could get it in there. I think I may build a cardboard mock-up of the freezer rather than rely on measurements.
 

Rene T

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Sun2Retire said:
Wouldn?t it sorta hang out of the bottom though?

I think I may build a cardboard mock-up of the freezer rather than rely on measurements.

Who cares if it hangs down. It won't affect anything. There's no reason that I can see as to why the RV manufacturers don't do it. It may be that they don't want the owners to store more adding to the weight.

That's a great idea about the cardboard. You'd only need a template of the end to see if it would drop in or slide in a side compartment.
 

Back2PA

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Rene T said:
Who cares if it hangs down. It won't affect anything.

I'll go stand and scratch my head looking at it today. I imagine the welding shop could make the mod you suggested in 2-3 hours.

I'm sure this whole freezer thing seems ridiculous to some but once you get used to having a storehouse of steaks, fish, homemade chili, spaghetti sauce, soups etc at your fingertips it's hard consider doing without (and I went to great trouble and expense for my current install). Really nice to have when fulltiming (the other day I picked up a ton of chicken on sale, that should pay off the freezer in... let's see... about 30 years  ::) )
 

Memtb

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  Maybe I?m trying to over simplify the situation! We?ve had a 5.0 cu. ft. freezer in our 5er for 3+ years. It required ?NO? modifications to the 5er, offering additional useable table top (or whatever), which is welcome in most any RV, also offering ?easy? access to the freezer! ?Unless? additional seating capacity is needed.....put the freezer inside. We removed one of the two recliners, while retaining a couch/ hide a bed, which ?may? be adequate comfortable seating for your needs! This gives easy access to power (already in the unit), whether your on shore power or on an inverter. On the subject of inverters, our freezer is on a small (800 watt) stand alone inverter....for extended boondocking!  We place a decorative ?throw? over ours, making it nothing more than a ?slightly? large end table. The top can be used for anything from the grandkids photos, or to use as counter space for your binoculars or cameras, etc.  Just a different approach to your desires!
 

Back2PA

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Memtb said:
  Maybe I?m trying to over simplify the situation!  Just a different approach to your desires!

And certainly worth considering if it comes to it. Primarily I am trying to not lose my substantial investment in a nice piece of equipment - I already own it so I'm trying to find ways to keep it. If I didn't already own it there would likely be any number of solutions, no doubt virtually all of them cheaper and easier!  ::) Secondarily, it's extremely efficient, pulling around 1.5-2A while running on 12V. While I'm not planning on extended dry camping it's still a good thing.
 

Back2PA

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Rene T said:
That's a great idea about the cardboard. You'd only need a template of the end to see if it would drop in or slide in a side compartment.

'Course, I didn't do it the easy way as you suggested - I built the whole cardboard box with swinging lid on top!  ::)

I couldn't attached a picture to an email or message, so in case I wasn't clear in my explanation in the message I sent, attached is an example of the step-up floor the '05 3400 has in the side compartments - deceivingly large door, and then floor immediately steps up to 18" or less. I believe newer 5Ws eliminated this but it's hard to find that info.
 

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Rene T

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Sun2Retire said:
'Course, I didn't do it the easy way as you suggested - I built the whole cardboard box with swinging lid on top!  ::)

I couldn't attached a picture to an email or message, so in case I wasn't clear in my explanation in the message I sent, attached is an example of the step-up floor the '05 3400 has in the side compartments - deceivingly large door, and then floor immediately steps up to 18" or less. I believe newer 5Ws eliminated this but it's hard to find that info.

Your tanks are probably in the raised section.
 
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