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Amazon Reviews van build

Amazon Product Review

Euhomy Mini Fridge with Freezer, 3.2 Cu.Ft Mini refrigerator with freezer, Dorm fridge with freezer 2 door For Bedroom/Dorm/Apartment/Office – Food Storage or Cooling Drinks(Silver).

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Welcome back for another Amazon review of the products we used in our van build. Today, I wanted to briefly review the refrigerator we selected for our mini kitchen. Before going over the pro’s and con’s of this specific model, let’s go over a things to consider before buying any fridge for your build. 


Things to Consider Before Buying any Fridge: You’ll want to consider each of these things altogether, like a circle rather than in a line. 


Energy Consumption vs Budget

As you shop different models, you’ll want to keep a close eye on the energy consumption of the fridge. The more expensive models have more efficient compressors, so they’re easier on your electrical needs. One day, we’d like to upgrade to something like this from Dometic or this from Whynter. However, this was an area where we decided to save on the budget for now and consider an upgrade at a later time.
I’m not super knowledgeable about the voltage/consumption/watt hours, but Ivan figured that if we could not recharge our batteries for some reason, we’d last about 3-4 days with the fridge running. So, you’ll want to carefully consider how you plan to recharge your batteries and how much fridge you actually need.
On the one hand, we have a less efficient fridge – but on the other hand, we’re using propane for our heating and cooking so we have a bit more electricity to give to the fridge.


Space

In the midst of determining your budget and energy needs, you’ll have to visualize your space. We built our van from scratch, so we knew we could essentially build around the fridge. We settled on the Euhomy model and basically built a cabinet area for those dimensions. If we ever do an upgrade, we’ll have to reanalyze the space and possibly do a little construction to fit it in. 
We decided to go with the cheaper, simpler option for a fridge. We got the 120volt. You have to take into account how much energy it uses, the cost, size. This is why we are using propane for things like heating and cooking, so we can give more electricity to the fridge. 
There are so many options and a lot will depend on your layout. Do you buy a fridge to fit the layout? Or, build your layout to fit the fridge?

We decided on the Euhomy 3.2 cu foot mini refrigerator with a freezer from Amazon. We purchased it at $199.99, it’s currently available for $189.99. I’ll briefly run through the pro’s and con’s. 

Pro’s:

  • Decent size fridge area and freezer area. This is a major pro for us. The freezer is a separate compartment with it’s own door. I’m surprised how much we’ve actually fit in there. We currently have like 8 pounds of elk meat and 2 (unboxed) Costco pizzas nestled in there. The fridge area is also decent. I do not think it would be enough if we had any kids or extra mouths to feed, but for the 2 of us we are able to keep quite a few ingredients in there. 
  • Slot for cans – we didn’t drink pop, until we discovered Zevia. So, the designated can area in the door is a nice little perk. It holds 6 cans. 
  • Bar on door – there is a swinging bar on the door that allows are bigger items to be stowed like a carton of milk or a jug of orange juice. I’ve been please a few times when I thought something was too big and then realized it would fit in the door.
  • Good size drawer/crisper on bottom and shelf in the middle. 

Con’s

  • You have to get used to the small size – we’ve lived with “dorm” fridges before, so it’s our first time scaling down from a full refrigerator. If this is the first time you’ll be using a tiny fridge, it’ll take some getting used to. Particularly, eating left overs before buying new food.
  • Not as efficient as more expensive models – Without any solar charging, we calculated that we could run the fridge for maybe 3-4 days on the batteries. This isn’t a major con, just something we keep an eye on.

That said, I’m enjoying our little fridge! Hopefully this gives you some helpful information while you’re shopping for your fridge. Questions? Let me know in the comments!


If you click this link to the oven and end up purchasing something from Amazon, we may get a commission at no extra cost to you. It’s a great way to support us on the road!

Sincerely, Hanna

Categories
A Little Lost, A Little Found van build

Consciously Incompetent

When starting a new project, there are several levels of competencies:

Unconscious Incompetence – you don’t know if you’re capable or not, you don’t know where the gaps are in your knowledge. The problem here is that you might not recognize your mistakes. If you’re a person filled with false pride…then this can be a dangerous place to be!

Conscious Incompetence – a humbled place where you recognize, “I have no idea what I’m doing.” This is the place where Ivan started as he jumped into the van build. He pursued the knowledge of others and tried to absorb and apply the things he learned.

Conscious Competence – you’re now able to do the things that seemed impossible, but you still need help and you still need to consciously think through each step you take. Ivan is getting closer to this conscious competence regarding the van build. He has built up experience with plumbing, carpentry, and wiring – but he still needs to tread carefully.

Unconscious Competence – now you’ve arrived! If you can hop on a bicycle and peddle away without second thought, you have unconscious competence. The training has been internalized and you can proceed unconsciously, without making mistakes.

As we began the van build in a state of Conscious Incompetence – Ivan purchase blueprints from Trent & Allie. He proceeded with caution, made some mistakes and fixed them, and planned to follow the blueprints exactly.

However, now that he’s been in the van almost everyday for about 3 months, he’s starting to recognize where he can step away from the blueprints and make his own decision.

Not to be too sappy here – but, it’s a little like that transition from teenager to adult. Day by day, you start recognizing “Oh, I can make this decision myself instead of copying my parents.” Comedian Christina Patsziski referst to this as the “Patsziski Effect”.

Example: Why do I keep moving my dang charging cable around the house, when I could just buy another one?

Or: Hm, nothing is stopping me from buying and eating Pop Tarts for dinner.

In our case: Well, maybe we don’t need a closet here – maybe we want more counter space.

The van really started to feel like our van build when we decided to change the original layout from Trent & Allie’s design. We will now have 1) no closet, but more countertop; 2) a L-shaped couch instead of 2 facing seats; 3) a semi-convertible bed; 4) a sliding pantry inspired by Tio Aventura.

I’m excited about the bed we are doing! It took Ivan quite a bit of puzzling to tease it out into a plan. Half of the bed will be mobile – it will pull out and in. We will attach a harness to the mattress so that when it scoots it, the mattress slides up the wall and becomes a back cushion for sitting.

slide the arrows to see this pushed in/pulled out frame

This bed change allows for extra seating under the bed – hence, the L-shaped couch. The L-shaped couch was inspired, because it helps us maneuver around the inverter and wiring that was set up prior to these changes.

Being able to have the freedom and confidence to say, “I’m doing something different.” makes me feel like we really are part of Van-iverse. There’s nothing wrong with the original design, but it now feels like our van will have more of our personality.

Have you experienced that transition from (Un)Conscious Incompetence to (Un)Conscious Competence? If so, please comment and share!

Until next time,

Hanna