Replacing our RV Fridge – Part 4: Building Cabinets

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When I set out to replace our absorption fridge with a 12-volt Nova Kool model, Stef and I had this idea that we could put up webcams in the shop and in the RV for people to watch the progress.  I eventually vetoed that idea when I realized I might be caught eating Cheetos or scratching myself on camera.  So this video is about as close as I’m ever going to get to that “Big Brother” kind of experience.


This is the time where I start “building” what will eventually live in that cabinet space.  This turned out to be harder than I had anticipated.  The cabinets themselves aren’t difficult, and neither is the compressor refrigerator or microwave install.  What turned out to be the sticking point in the whole thing was figuring out what to do with the battery.

You see, the battery is large.  And I couldn’t put it back like it was since I had to move Truma ducts.  And I didn’t want the battery standing on end anymore, so that left me with precious few options for battery placement.  Further complicating things, I had to come up with a way to SECURE the battery.  (You don’t want a 120 pound battery flinging out of a cabinet when you take a hard left!)  And finally, the battery had to be mounted in a way that it could be removed and serviced or replaced without destroying the cabinets.  All these complications – and the lack of a clearly thought-out plan ahead of time – led to a couple days of head-scratching before I figured something out.  I eventually got it solved, and you’ll see what I came up with in the video.

I’m still working on the cabinets now, but I’ve turned the corner and can actually see the finish line.  It’s a good thing too, as we’re due to leave on a trip soon!  As I write this, the “Boxes” of the cabinets are done, and I’m down to doors and drawers, and installing the appliances.  I had to order some longer battery cables (they’re super heavy-duty), so I’m still mostly working during daylight hours only.  I’ll do one more video in this series where I walk through the finished product.  We’ll see you next time!

James is a former rocket scientist, a USA Cycling coach, and lifelong fitness buff. When he's not driving the RV, or modifying the RV (or - that one time - doing both at once), you can find him racing bicycles, or building furniture, or making music. In his spare time, he works for a large IT company.

    10 thoughts on “Replacing our RV Fridge – Part 4: Building Cabinets

      1. James - Post author

        Well, if you’re saying Stef can predict the future, I’m certainly not going to argue! lol. 🙂

    1. Ted

      What’s truly impressive is that at no point does Stef complain that you are interfering with her reaching the “5th limb of yoga” during all that construction.

      Also, assigning a Roomba to do clean up duty will free up time for cat videos. 😀

    2. Aaron

      Following your weekend progress through videos has been a lot of fun. Thanks for cranking out the videos so quickly…or should I be thanking the rain for keeping you inside?


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