When we initially decided on a Shell Four Wheel Camper model — our first idea was to place our rotomolded cooler against the bulkhead and finish the gap left between the two benches with a cabinet that would create a u-shaped sitting area. We quickly found out that pretty much every cooler out there (A) needs to be placed away from the bulk head to get the lid to open, which (B) pushes the cooler out in front of the turn buckle access hatches. So that plan was scraped early on.
However, finding another spot for a cooler proved difficult. It ended up somewhere on the floor which made it difficult to move around the camper (especially with the top down) or on a shelf where it blocked other storage and was unusable with the top down.
Which leads us to a recent nine-day trip where we battled maintaining ice. So we’ve thrown up our hands in celebration and purchased a fridge. We decided on the IndelB 51A because of the review done by Overland Journal and the dimensions. It fits between the bulkhead and the turn buckle hatches – and the top opens in a fashion where it can be placed against the bulk head. Win-win-win.
We chose to run 10 gauge wire with inline fuses directly from the battery, through the side shelf storage, to a dedicated 12V plug for the fridge. That left us with the existing 12V plug from the factory to use for other powering needs and bypassed any potential issues with fuses or wire thickness that would cause fridge issues.
Adding a fridge is a big unknown in power use. So we also added a volt meter to keep an eye on our single house battery that only gets charged by the truck (no solar). Time will tell if we’ll need to upgrade that further.
The last part was finishing out that original idea of an u-shaped sitting area. We purchased hard rock maple Formica laminated birch plywood to match as close as possible to the factory interior. We welded up a frame and assembled everything. The cabinet is able to consume our water, dry food storage, and kitchen items – which frees up the floor completely during trips. This has made quick work of setting up and taking down camp — and making those mid-day meals between destinations.