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Old 08-08-2022, 09:39 PM   #61
Rivet Master
 
2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
Join Date: Jun 2022
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Old 08-09-2022, 09:56 AM   #62
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2018 Tommy Bahama Interstate
Orlando , Florida
Join Date: Sep 2017
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Great mods! Bookmarked... I need to go over this thread when I start working on mine again...
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2018 Airstream Interstate 3500 Lounge EXT Tommy Bahama w/ARS
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Old 08-09-2022, 08:08 PM   #63
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
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Originally Posted by wachuko View Post
Great mods! Bookmarked... I need to go over this thread when I start working on mine again...
Thanks Wachuko - means a lot coming from the MOD Master!
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Old 08-09-2022, 08:10 PM   #64
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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Gravity Fed Drain

We did this MOD a while back as we wanted to have a backup to the macerator pump and also be able to keep the grey tank open at a campground especially for showers. With the current AI setup, you can keep the grey valve open but have to go out and turn on the macerator to dump it. So there is no sense in keeping it open.

The way that we use this setup is that when we get to the campground, I set up the gravity side with sewer hose and keep the grey tank valve open. The night before we close it and remove the hose. The day that we’re leaving, I drain the tanks using the macerator. I don’t use the gravity side for the blank tank unless I need to or if the macerator failed. If I did, there’s the added step of cleaning the hose.

This MOD has been done by others so I kinda did a mish mash of ideas from several on this and other forums.

I first started by taking off the macerater pump along with some of the plumbing in particular the Wye connection that was connected into the black tank and the Airstream slinky looking adapter that was attached to the macerator. Talk about a hack job if you’d ever seen one. Airstream could’ve come up with something better to connect the macerator. Let’s not even talk about all the silicone they used.

I had to crawl way under to get the Wye off. Required me to disconnect it at the black tank auto drain valve. This was a pain to put back as I was on my back and as always, it was tight to maneuver around. To reinstall it with new PVC pipe, I had to install a new 3” Valterra slip hub flange as the old one came off with the wye.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Once removed, I had to figure out a layout that would work and this was the hardest part as it was a game of an 1/4, 1/2 or an inch here or there for it to work. Multiple trips to HD & Lowes to find the right fit and do overs.

I had to turn the macerater bracket around and reinstall it so that the macerator was side by side with the back side of the fresh water tank. You will need a flexible reducer to attach the macerator to the 3” pvc pipe. I also used a 3” sanitary tee in place of the old wye. One side has incoming from the tanks, middle went to the new gravity drain and the other side goes to the macerator.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I laid everything out as it should be and did a dry test fit. Once everything lined up, I glued it up and attached the fittings. I used some metal pvc pipe hanger straps in several locations to hold up the pipes and added weight.

For the gravity drain side, I used a manual Valtera gate valve, a 3” bayonet termination adapter and twist on cover with a waterhole port.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

For the stinky pipe storage we ordered a Valtera EZ hose carrier and installed it underneath the van.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Now this project is not an easy one and took me several days to complete. It’s hard as there is no comfortable space to work in, tight areas for fittings and just a royal “PITA”. Was it worth it - to us yes.
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Old 08-10-2022, 01:44 PM   #65
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
Join Date: Jun 2022
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Back Top Shelf

This MOD was done out of storage necessity. Many different versions of this MOD have been done from members on this forum.

I wanted to keep it simple and bought two brackets and attached them to the frame of the back screen with screws. They do not interfere with the back screen's up and down operation. I also bought two aluminum angle L bars and got lucky and found a particle type board from Lowes that almost matched the Walnut finish in our AI and you really can’t tell the difference. The board and rails were cut to length and attached to the L angle bar using evenly spaced screws along the rail. I recycled the small board spacers when I removed the pull out bed frame and attached these to the front of the board to hold our cell phone and watches for charging. On the bottom of the board, I installed two straps and this is our storage for the WeatherTech windshield shade during travel. Lastly, we found some bins that fit up there perfectly for storage.

The shelf has been up there for three years now without any issues or signs of coming loose or apart. Very convenient having the shelf in place and happy with this MOD.
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Old 08-10-2022, 01:47 PM   #66
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Old 08-10-2022, 03:05 PM   #67
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StogieMan View Post
We got our speakers, tweeters and amplifier in from Crutchfield a few days ago. I wasnít looking forward to this project as the weather has been unbearable but our annual cigar trip to Westpoint, NY with a bunch of buddies is this weekend and of course I didnít want them listening to music with those pathetic speakers for another year.

I ended up replacing the front speakers, tweeters and house speakers with Alpine ones to keep it consistent with our Alpine Halo 11 head unit. The back speakers where working and no issues with them but just wanted to have all Alpine speakers installed. I did not have a chance to install the amplifier as I really didnít get chance to or have the time for as I need to take the head unit off, run wires to the battery etc. so thatíll be in the coming days or weeks.

I used this reference from someone that documented it perfectly and did a much better job than I would. His instructions were spot on!
https://sprintervanusa.com/2016/09/1...dash-speakers/

The back house speakers were an easy drop in replacement. The current speakers have an about 1/4 to 1/2 spacer to allow the speakers to fit. The Alpines that we chose were very close in size and I had no issues using the spacers that were in place.

The front speakers and tweeters were a different story. Not hard but just time consuming. The Alpine tweeters that we chose didnít completely fit so I had to cut around the existing tweeter hole to allow the Alpines to fit. I was able to install them and then ran the wires to the side door through the wiring harness that is already there.

The side speakers were also easy to install with the adapter rings that we bought to allow the 6.50 speakers to fit. I added some Dynamat baffle material and some sound deadening material provided with our ring adapter order and put everything back together. All sounded great and really looking forward to installing the amplifier to hear the difference. This took me all day as it was just hot and meticulous work. After the first door was done, the second went smoothly.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Speaker-Ada...-/141887556531

Would I upgrade my speakers again if I had to do it all over again - absolutely. Not, sure why Airstream doesnít do it and only installs the house ones as those house front speakers sound horrible. I also removed the that center speaker and taped the connection. Next will be the amplifier install.

A few more things that I forgot to mention in this post.

The first one is that you need to remember to put back the yellow connection referenced in the picture if you remove it. It's on the same wiring harness as the front door speakers and has nothing to do with the audio connection but has to do with your airbag feature which is very important.

The second is that I did remove that center speaker and the speakers sound much better without it.

Lastly, if you order the speakers from the link I provided, they also send you a generous amount of sound deadening material. I now have enough left over for two additional doors.
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Old 08-18-2022, 12:33 PM   #68
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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Exterior Shower Outlet replacement

I needed to replace my exterior shower outlet as I had a decent size leak every time we used it. As in a previous post, I thought that I could get access to the other side from the inside to unscrew the threaded water connection and housing back plates but a no go and needs to be done from underneath the van. I replaced it with the same one that I found on Amazon.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Not a hard project at all except finding the back side of the shower housing, removing a bunch of foam and removing a soft rubber type insulation tape. Once you removed all of this, you’ll have access to the back threaded connection that you can unscrew. Once you unscrew the water connections, then you have to unscrew the plastic threaded back plates and out comes the whole outlet housing.

You can then just install the new one with no issues in reverse order. I did not like how tight the water connections were to the outlet and wanted to make it easier for future replacement and also insulate the two water lines instead of just having them run from inside the van and down the outside into the exterior shower. You’re talking a total of about 6-8 inches of exposed to the cold lines. This rubs me the wrong way as Airstream could’ve avoided putting those lines outside by moving up the exterior shower a couple of inches and kept those lines inside the van but I guess they have their reasons.
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Old 08-18-2022, 12:34 PM   #69
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I cut both hot and cold lines and pulled them up from inside the van. Instead of using PVC and PEX fittings to the outlet, I used two 30Ē regular braided faucet hoses. This way I could just pull out the housing for an easy disconnect next time around. I found a void in between the frame which Airstream totally forgot to insulate as they probably have no idea that itís even there but I used it to my advantage. Thatís the picture with a light on the bottom. I found it by feeling my way around and using a flashlight. After I ran the lines, I insulated the heck out of that void, area and connections and put everything back together on the outside.

On the inside, I redid some plumbing and added some SharkBite regular and threaded connections to the two existing lines. I turned on the water and pump to check for any leaks and was good to go. Definitely should be easier next time around.

Iím trying to get all the smaller stuff done before I start on the refrigerator project.
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Old 08-18-2022, 12:38 PM   #70
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 717
Dump Station Housing LED Lights

One thing that has always bothered me was not having a lit area for dumping in the dark. I see that the new AIís now have this option which is great. Since I already had everything torn apart and replaced the outside shower outlet, I figured why not?

I ordered these small LED screw on lights from Amazon and installed them with a small rocker on/off switch. I started with the macerator reel housing. Drilled a 7/16 small hole on the left side and installed the first light. Then I ran wiring from underneath to the exterior shower. Drilled a hole on the top side and installed the second light.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ADHUXGU...roduct_details

I ran the wires through the same location as the the braided hoses that I replaced and into the inside of the van to the back side of the dump valve housing and I drilled two holes on the top. One for the light and the other for the rocker switch. Then I ran the wire through the back of the shower and into the the jump seat and wired it in to our Victron Lynx distribution buss bar.
The rocker switch inside the dump valve housing controls all three lights. Now, I just flip the switch on at night and can get some very good lighting. These are small but very bright.

Overall pretty easy installation as I already had things apart. Without having things apart, it would be a bit more time consuming removing the freezer, shower housing etc. This one was definitely worth it for me as Iím the one that gets the dirty job of dumping in the dark.

One more project on the roof above the refrigerator.
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Old 08-18-2022, 01:15 PM   #71
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1996 19' "B" Van Airstream 190
New Britain , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2022
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StogieMan View Post
I cut both hot and cold lines and pulled them up from inside the van. Instead of using PVC and PEX fittings to the outlet, I used two 30Ē regular braided faucet hoses. This way I could just pull out the housing for an easy disconnect next time around. I found a void in between the frame which Airstream totally forgot to insulate as they probably have no idea that itís even there but I used it to my advantage. Thatís the picture with a light on the bottom. I found it by feeling my way around and using a flashlight. After I ran the lines, I insulated the heck out of that void, area and connections and put everything back together on the outside.

On the inside, I redid some plumbing and added some SharkBite regular and threaded connections to the two existing lines. I turned on the water and pump to check for any leaks and was good to go. Definitely should be easier next time around.

Iím trying to get all the smaller stuff done before I start on the refrigerator project.
Yep, they build vans with insulation in them, not insulated vans....
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Old 08-19-2022, 08:36 PM   #72
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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Pepwave Max Transit Pro Dual Modem & Australian Shepherd 7-in-1 Antenna

Ok, so I finally got to the last project before tackling the refrigerator. Weíve been doing some research on getting some type of solid internet service while on the road. A couple of times we got caught without service and a no no as we own own a small business. Everything that weíve read is all over the road. Starlink does look promising and a route that we may take down the road.

Itís head turning with the choices - 3G,4G,5G etc. Antennas, which one, 5-in-1, 7-in 1. We figured that if we were going to spend the money then why not going with something that has some type of future proofing. I know that this is not always doable but but we went with the Pepwave Max Transit ProDual and the 7-in-1 Australian Shepherd antenna.

Of course the only area that we had available that was not next to the AC as recommended was right above the refrigerator area. Again, it worked out perfectly for once since we had it apart already. Toughest part mentally was drilling another hole in the roof. It called for 1 1/2 hole to be drilled. I poured some bourbon and went to to town. I drilled a perfect hole in the right location. Painted over the newly drilled hole and waited for it to dry. Once dried, I took off the 3m film cover, added some Sikaflex around the void and dropped it into place. This antenna is magnetic so it drops pretty fast into place. I had access from the bottom to screw in the nut, albeit tight as always. I ordered some black Sikaflex that should be here tomorrow and will be using that around the antenna as itís black.
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Old 08-19-2022, 08:37 PM   #73
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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I already had the front locker and area above the drivers apart so it was a little easier to run the seven antenna cables. I ordered a 12v power kit and tied that into the a cable that was there previously for the old setup and worked out perfectly. The hardest part was believe or not - screwing in all those tiny antenna cables.

It’s all now all installed and tomorrow I’ll setup the Pepwave modem. Overall this one was a tough one. Fishing all the wires was a PITA. Cleaning up all the wires was a PITA. The biggest PITA was re-running all the wires from the our Victron setup. Previously, I ran all the wires through the front of the black tank and up the dresser and into the locker. The OCD in me got the better of me and I ended up removing and re-running them through the back of the shower. Yup, that added at least another 3 hours to the job but worth it as it’s a cleaner run.

I actually love this low profile antenna as it looks pretty sharp. Another project that needed to get done especially this day in age when you’re not retired and still working. Pricey - yes. Worth it - absolutely!

Pepwave Max Transit
https://mobilemusthave.com/collectio...7-lte-a-router

Australian Shepherd 7-in-1 antenna
https://mobilemusthave.com/collectio...arious-options
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Old 08-20-2022, 07:27 AM   #74
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
Join Date: Jun 2022
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Cat 6 Cable

One more thing that I forgot to mention was that I ran a Cat 6 cable from the Victron Cerbo GX to the new router.

I was having some trouble and others have as well keeping the Cerbo GX connected on WI-FI. It would stay connected for a day or two and then get bumped off. You then need to reboot it for it to reconnect.

There is a “so called fix” for this by opening up the Cerbo GX and rearranging the two Antennas. I did it and did not solve the problem. Has worked for others though. The Cerbo GX prefers to have a hardwired line to the router so hopefully this solves the issue.


Cerbo GX Fix
https://community.victronenergy.com/...ouch-conn.html


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Old 08-31-2022, 06:48 PM   #75
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
Join Date: Jun 2022
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Refrigerator Mod

We were having all types of issues with our refrigerator and freezer not cooling and ordered a residential style fridge that was on backorder for an undetermined amount of time. It wouldíve fit with some modification and we wouldíve taken the chance with it but we couldnít wait for it to be back in stock so we explored other options. Thereís not much out there besides the Nova Koolís size wise to fit in the current space so after doing some research and not finding anything, I decided to try out Frankelcid88ís refrigerator MOD. post #98.

Ok, first let me give a big shout out and thank you to Frank for this MOD. He graciously gave a short but very detailed version write up and gave it a 9 star level of difficulty. Iím going to up him one and give it it a 10 as Iím not as proficient as him. I did reach out to him for some clarification and he graciously responded so again thank you Frank! I didnít deviate much from his write up but made some minor adjustments on the fly. The only thing that I didnít do was add a 1500 ohm resistor as I couldnít find them and when I did, they were on backorder. I went with the 500 ohm one for the refrigerator. The fridge didnít have one installed at all so a 500 one will do better than nothing. Iíll see how it goes, monitor it and see if I need to add the 1500 ones to both the fridge and the freezer.

This MOD was hard, tedious, time consuming, annoying, a big PITA and I would rank this up in my three hardest MODS on this thread. Actually number two as number one was running the plumbing for the gravity fed drain. Every bit of it took time to complete and no easy shortcuts along the way. I started out by removing the refrigerator and freezer. Around both there are plastic plugs that you need to remove to access the screws. About half of mine were corroded and two broke off so when I reinstalled them, I used some new stainless steel ones. You need to first remove both doors before pulling them out as there is no room in the galley to remove either without removing the doors.

The freezer was a bit easier as itís lower to the ground. I just put a small stool in front of it, pulled it out and placed it on the stool. I them removed the AC and DC wiring to it. Take pictures so that you know where everything goes. The refrigerator was a bit tougher as itís higher. I pulled it out and rested it on the kitchen counter and fridge cabinet. I took pictures of the wiring and removed the wires as well. I then just picked it up and removed it.

Once removed, I had access to the back area of the fridge and freezer. I also removed the bottom shelf where the freezer rests. Two screws and off it came. Since I had everything apart I did a few more MODS at this point as documented on this thread.
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Old 08-31-2022, 07:00 PM   #76
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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The funny thing is that our freezer had a fan and resistor installed on it but the refrigerator did not - go figure. Once I had both the freezer and the refrigerator in the garage, I first started with the refrigerator and removed the thermostat. You need to undo the screws in the back to loosen the coil so that you can get access to a few more screws. Once those screws are out you can then remove a white plastic housing piece from the back where the thermostat wire enters. Once you remove it, then you need to undo some of the duct seal that they use. From the inside unscrew the thermostat, unhook the thermostat connection from the back of the fridge and pull the wire out along with the aluminum temp sensor wire through inside of the refrigerator. You basically do the same with the freezer as itís almost an identical setup.

Once the thermostats were out, I installed the new temperature sensors that came with the InkBird thermostats. I ran the sensor wire through the duct seal and fished them out on the inside of the fridge and attached them using a small nylon cable clamp and screwed it to the side where the old thermostat was installed. I did the same for the freezer as well. I put back the duct seal, white plastic cover and screwed everything back up for both.
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Old 08-31-2022, 07:14 PM   #77
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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I ordered two new fans, one to install on the fridge and the other to replace the old fan from the freezer. Since I had them apart, I wanted to make sure that I installed new fans all around. These were pretty easy to install with some brackets that I bought at HD. I bought some flat ones and just bent them up slightly. Installing these was pretty straight forward.

I moved back into the AI to make the existing vents bigger to fit the new exhaust fans & grilles and to cut out new holes to fit the InkBird thermostats. For the existing holes to the vents, I was able to use my multi tool to makes the holes bigger and then used a small Japanese saw to clean it up a bit.
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Old 08-31-2022, 07:19 PM   #78
Rivet Master
 
2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 717
Now for that small panel above the pantry area - what a PITA!!! This small piece was held together with thirteen, yes 13 screws and four wood dowels. What a joke! Airstream wants to make sure that this piece wonít fall out but yet they put a few screws on more important parts. Once I removed it, I was able to make two cut outs for the thermostats.

I bought a 15í 4 Core 20 AWG cord. I cut two pieces and made two wiring harnesses, one for the fridge and the other for the freezer. I used two wires for the temperature sensors and two wires for the the thermostat. I first tried making some mole connectors but did a terrible job with those and gave up. I instead used these connectors that I found at a small electronic specialty store for ease of removal down the road. I installed some wire ferrule connectors on the wire ends going into the thermostat.

For the fans, I took the wires coming from the four fans on top and made two wiring harnesses for both. Each harness has for two fans that are tied to the the refrigerator and freezer fans. So each harness had three fans tied to it. I made some connections to tie them into the refrigerator and freezer. These kick on when the compressor kicks on and off when it shuts off for each the fridge and freezer.

I then prepped the DC power connections to the thermostats by tapping in to light in the pantry using these neat T Tap wire connectors. Once these connections were done, I installed each harness to the corresponding thermostat. In my case the two fans and thermostat on the left were for the refrigerator and the two fans and thermostat on the right were for the freezer.
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Old 08-31-2022, 07:24 PM   #79
Rivet Master
 
2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 717
I then moved on to installing the reflexible foil insulation in the back of the refrigerator and freezer cavities as many have. This was probably the easiest part of this project. I taped both of the wiring harnesses to the reflective insulation and down to their locations.

I then reinstalled the freezer and refrigerator. I made all my connections and slid them back into place. I installed the new stainless screws and was back in business. Everything turned on and I waited for everything to cool down to temperature which it did. I like Frank set the fridge to 40 degrees and the freezer to 20 degrees. I let it sit for a few days and the temp held.

Overall very happy and grateful to Frank for this MOD. So far on a trip and the temp is still holding. To be honest and if it sounds like itís not a hard project - it is. I think that I may have also simplified it but itís not.

Good luck if you attempt it and please donít hesitate to reach out if you need any help getting this done.
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Old 08-31-2022, 07:44 PM   #80
Rivet Master
 
2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 717
Links didn't come through on the above posts for the products used so here they are:

Franks Mod Post 98:
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f24...-163027-5.html

InkBird thermostats:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B019I3YCFS...roduct_details

Refrigerator & Freezer Fans:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D493BDX...roduct_details

Exhaust Fans:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KF7T9MI...roduct_details

Exhaust Grilles:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079PQSSCQ...roduct_details

4Core 20 AWG Cord:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RHV5K5F...t_details&th=1

Refrigerator & Freezer Connectors:
https://www.amazon.com/DAYKIT-Female...ef_=ast_sto_dp

T Tap Wire Connectors
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07114RK67...roduct_details
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