HER PERSPECTIVE: On our Honeymoon we discovered a lot about food in a Vanagon. We took too much, and then had to pitch a bunch of perishable stuff at Lake Mead because it was so damn hot and our original fridge wasn't up to the task. We took a bottle of gin, because Leigh loves G & T's. We discovered, though, that ice was a rare treat, and cocktails are harder to make than simply opening a beer.
We had the chance to score a sweet fridge, and celebrated our first foray into the woods with a big fridge/freezer combo with ice cream sandwiches and Frosty Paws for the dogs. It wasn't a G & T, but it was damn refreshing just the same.
The new fridge has a whole lot more space, but we're still not able to carry a lot. We found a glass container that fits exactly in the door and will hold a 1/2 gallon of milk, orange juice, or gin. Whatevs. You can find it here - if you're able to find one in your local Target store, make sure the lid fits snugly. There seems to be a lot of variation in fit from lid to lid and container to container. They do make smaller ones as well.
HOW HE DID IT: This was one of the best upgrades we've done, but it's also one of the least creative. We stumbled onto a really nice guy selling everything we wanted (and more!), so we jumped on the opportunity. We installed a Truckfridge (TF49) in the stock fridge location, attached a solar panel to the roof, and put a MPPT solar controller behind the driver's seat (the latter two covered in another post). Nothing earth shattering, but I'll go into a bit more detail.
I had an unfair advantage with this one, as the fridge we bought came out of a Vanagon and already had (almost all of) the necessary parts. I located the two brackets such that the fridge was as high as possible, put some 1x1s on the front to attach the fridge to, and the fridge was mounted. I had to space the hidden AC outlet towards the front a bit to clear the fridge, and I ran the fridge wires up to the aux battery box under the driver's seat.
For the old fridge, I put a fan in the city water external box, so I decided to wire that into the new fridge. I've swapped the polarity, so it pulls fresh air in as opposed to pushing hot air out (mostly because of relative locations). The extra fan is on a switch, so it either doesn't come on at all, or only comes on with the fridge fan (which has been replaced with a bigger and quieter fan).
CONS: If I had bought one new I probably would've opted for the TF65, and spent some time rebuilding the cabinet to fit it in. Also, while it's hugely better than the Dometic, in 100°F+ temps, it's not quite as cold as I thought it would be. There are fewer tubes in this one's condenser than in current ones, and my friend with a new TF65 has no issues. That having been said, I'm still really, really happy with this one. It's a no-brainer in my opinion.