Fridge high or low... on the drawers or at floor level. Input needed

#1
I am in the final stages of designing my sleeping platform/storage area in my 100 series Land Cruiser. My initial thought is to have a shelf that is high enough to have 2 Pelican 1650's underneath with a 20 gallon water tank along the back edge of the seats. I'll make the platform level to the rear seats folded over so I can extend the platform over them creating more sleeping space.

My question is I am not sure I want the fridge (Engel 45mt) up on top of the platform? The spaced gained underneath the fridge would certainly be used, we are a family of 5 with little kids so there's always "one more thing" to pack. I was thinking the 1650's could hold my tools/spares (1 case) and my kitchen setup in the other. These are my most commonly carried things when I am off-road. To drop the fridge down to the "floor" level I would certainly gain access to the fridge, but I give up the storage space. I plan on carrying a folding stool to access the fridge if I keep it on the platform as I am lifted with 35's so the height is considerable.

What are your thoughts? High or low? Why...

Thanks in advance-
 

Herbie

Rendezvous Conspirator
#2
I have a different style of vehicle, but I went High, with a front-opening fridge, specifically to free up some really valuable storage volume.

In my case, I spent literal years trying to find the best place to put a chest-fridge, but was constantly finding that the need to leave room over the top of it to swing open the lid was wasting critical space. I also really hated that the flat top of the fridge was a magnet for whatever random crap my family would set down, so every time I wanted something out of the fridge I needed to relocate my wife's bag, or a stack of coloring books, or whatever. I didn't necessarily mind stowing gear on top of it while under-way, but in-camp it always accumulated stuff that needed to be moved whenever I wanted a beer!



By going front-opening with it opening into the "aisle", I was able to move the fridge way up, and free up a huge amount of space to store my toilet and a very deep drawer that holds a stove and some cook gear. Since the cabinet follows the curve of the van wall, there's also a hidden "shelf" behind the toilet storage where I can stow other infrequently accessed items.
 
#3
You could put the fridge low, on a slider, and enclose it, giving yourself a shelf above the fridge to store your pelican cases. They'd be easy enough to remove, and your fridge would still be easy to access.
 
#4
This ^

I enclosed my fridge to keep surface above it open for items while cooking or sleeping.







I prefer to keep my fridge low due to COG and being able to reach into it esp. for my wife. They do sell fridge slides that tilt too but they seem pretty expensive off the shelf. Also you can slip a slide out under the fridge for extra surface area the fridge may take up upon slide out.
 
#5
being able to reach into it esp. for my wife. Also you can slip a slide out under the fridge for extra surface area the fridge may take up upon slide out.
^^^This...
I too run on 35" 's and the height is up there... i did without a drawer and dropped the fridge to the floor.....
Also installed a shelf under the fridge that slides out, but did not use a second drawer slide for the shelf....

https://photos.app.goo.gl/3lv6aGqZRKQc8bDb2
 
#6
My BJ74 has it mounted on top:


It's a PITA. I have to climb onto the bumper to access the fridge.

My HDJ81 has it mounted on a slide on top of a smaller drawer:


That storage unit is quite tall so the fridge is still not low, but it's a lot better than the setup in the 74.

I wouldn't go top mount unless you're planning a tilting slide (or you're 6'9"...). The drop slides are a nice solution but they're really big and really heavy.
I plan on redoing the storage in the 74 to relocate the fridge to floor level. The 81 I can live with.
 
#7
If you do go with a slide, check out the Alucab tilting slides. Just picked one up recently for my ongoing DIY trunk setup, and it makes a huge difference. My wife couldn't reach into the fridge if it was non tilting (JKU on 35s), so it works perfectly. Really happy with the overall weight of the slide and the smooth action for it.

That said, I'd vote low with an enclosure/shelf for the fridge with a slide.
 
#9
I went on top of drawers to maximize storage space. It's on a heavily modified Alu-cab tilt slide and works great and fills the entire space above drawers perfectly.


Sent from my E6810 using Tapatalk
 
#11
Personally, I like the fridge low. I am about to 'enclose' ours to give a shelf above (for sleeping mats etc to be chucked in). My thinking is I access the fridge frequently and using a stool would be a pain. There are drop-down fridge slides available but generally, these are pretty expensive and involve more steps to get into the fridge. I figure there should be as few as possible movements to access things (maybe I'm impatient).
 

rayra

Expedition Leader
#13
beautiful fit and finish on those drawers, Driller, very nice work.


to the OP, if you can reach in the fridge from the ground with the fridge on the floor, do that for the convenience of it all. Having to put down a step every time you want to make a quick grab for something will get old fast. Especially with 3 kids.

And a pair of Pelican 1650s just to use as drawers is a waste of $500. But then again I'm cheap & broke. If you can afford to spend like that with 3 kids, congrats, more power to you.