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Old 05-17-2020, 11:04 PM #1
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Onboard fridges

So without spending money on a high end Engel or ARB what is a good alternative? I am looking at costway 55 quart. Here

Amazon.com: COSTWAY Car Freezer, 55-Quart Compressor Travel RV Refrigerator -4degF to 50degF, Portable and Compact Electric Vehicle 12V/24V Car Cooler Fridge, For Car, Home, Camping, Truck Party, Black and Grey: Automotive

I have a outlet in the rear so it seems like a no brainer to just buy it and plug it in. We were loking at getting a Yeti and for a little more I can have this thing. The only issue I see is, we have the pull out rear cargo tray. It's nice but it will mess up because it's not a solid rear cargo area. I have been eyeing one for a while.
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Last edited by Signal; 05-17-2020 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 05-18-2020, 08:28 AM #2
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I have the alpicool. Similar to the costway. It runs well but the voltage sensing is not good and the manual is hard to find. The latches tend to break. That said, ignore whatever saftey voltage sensing it says it has amd make sure you close the lid slowly and then click it in vs slamming it.

Ideally id look at some sort of jackery or goal zero battery (or a dual battery) so that can be inbetween your main battery and avoid draining it (since the voltage sensing is bad). Also that rear cig lighter isnt hot when the cars off so youd either need to wire it to the battery, or get a battery option (jackery, goal zero) and leave it plugged in. Itll charge and run the fridge when the cars on, then when the cars off itll just run off that battery.

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Old 05-18-2020, 09:41 AM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KWSRStorm View Post
I have the alpicool. Similar to the costway. It runs well but the voltage sensing is not good and the manual is hard to find. The latches tend to break. That said, ignore whatever saftey voltage sensing it says it has amd make sure you close the lid slowly and then click it in vs slamming it.

Ideally id look at some sort of jackery or goal zero battery (or a dual battery) so that can be inbetween your main battery and avoid draining it (since the voltage sensing is bad). Also that rear cig lighter isnt hot when the cars off so youd either need to wire it to the battery, or get a battery option (jackery, goal zero) and leave it plugged in. Itll charge and run the fridge when the cars on, then when the cars off itll just run off that battery.

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There's a cig lighter back there? I did find the outlet. I was thinking of doint the dual battery but there are no clubs other 4 runner people in my area. Everyone down here has half lifted trucks and the 4x4 shops want nothing to do with 4Runners just trucks.
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Old 05-18-2020, 11:08 AM #4
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Quote:
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The only issue I see is, we have the pull out rear cargo tray. It's nice but it will mess up because it's not a solid rear cargo area. I have been eyeing one for a while.
I donít completely understand pulling out the tray part.
But would definitely wire it hot. I just upgraded my battery and have no issues running my fridge with fear of draining it. But I also only run my fridge 24 hrs at max with the vehicle off. Usually only turn it on when Iím going to the grocery store or camping for the weekend.
Look into Northstar, Optima, XS Power. There are some good threads on here covering these. Also some good threads about wiring a dual battery setup if you go that route, not as hard as one would think.
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Old 05-18-2020, 01:03 PM #5
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I don't know anything about them, but I suspect it would work just fine.

I have the ARB 50qt, but have been looking for another smaller budget option that would fit better in our other vehical. The smaller Alpicool units caught my eye.

Based on what @KWSRStorm said, I will probably have to baby it a bit if it's susceptible to damage.

If there is a difference between that is the bigger brands, I suspect it might be in efficiency and build quality. I have been pretty rough with my ARB and it's held up great. Still, it's a big difference in price.
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Old 05-18-2020, 01:52 PM #6
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I bought the truckfridge tb-41a which looks similar to the one linked in the original post, except smaller since mine is 41quart vs the 55.

I also have a sliding rear cargo deck and to secure the fridge I drilled one hole in the rear of the tray and installed a D-ring, I secured the front of the fridge to the handle of the cargo deck, see photo attached.
I decided that I didn't want to hardwire the fridge to the battery since I didn't really know all too much about the low voltage disconnect and didn't want to run into issues with running down my battery. What I opted for was a lithium battery that runs the fridge and charges from the cigarette lighter port when the car is running. I have the rockpals 300w which runs the fridge a good 7-8 hours baking in the desert heat and significantly longer in cold weather conditions.

One issue i have with my fridge is that the lid opened vertically instead of horizontally, taking up lots of room. My lid would just about open completely in the back so I didn't have to hold the lid open when I was using it. I made a drawer to take up the 60% portion, the whole thing was secured to the sliding cargo deck so that I could just slide it out for easier access.
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Old 05-18-2020, 02:15 PM #7
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I think I read about the costway that is why I linked it. I don't mind hard wiring it in but I have never done anything like that before, I do waht dual batteries so that it a plus.
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Old 05-18-2020, 03:06 PM #8
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This might still be running... how I picked mine up a few years back.

Indel-B Fridge/Freezer Sale - Spring 2020
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Old 05-18-2020, 03:32 PM #9
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I haul a lot of work gear (photography) in my runner, so going with the smallest Yeti cooler (20l I believe) was my speed. I can easily relocate it to the backseat passenger side floorboard with plenty of room to open if my loadout in back is large that day. I looked into fridges because they are awesome, but seem a bit unruly to be swapping in and out frequently.
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Old 05-18-2020, 04:08 PM #10
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does it actually work to run a fridge off the socket in the back? I've tried running a few things off that power and nothing has worked. It's like it gets power, but not enough to work. Doesn't matter if running and the higher wattage selected.
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Old 05-18-2020, 06:10 PM #11
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does it actually work to run a fridge off the socket in the back? I've tried running a few things off that power and nothing has worked. It's like it gets power, but not enough to work. Doesn't matter if running and the higher wattage selected.
Depending on the fridge power requirements, it could be possible to see issues with the inrush current from compressor startup as the battery voltage decreases.

When the voltage is lower, it requires more current to push the same power, and the OEM wires are pretty small.

Personally I ran some 10 AWG with an Anderson plug which I can use for various items, including the fridge.
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Old 05-18-2020, 06:20 PM #12
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I looked into fridges because they are awesome, but seem a bit unruly to be swapping in and out frequently.
It's not too bad. Because I off-road I find it necessary to tie it down, and that's probably the most time consuming part. It applies to on-road use too, but you could get away without doing it if you don't fold the seats down, otherwise I feel it's unsafe.

Other than that, just throw it back there and plug it in.

While I love having the fridge, the most annoying part about it is compressor noise when camping/sleeping in the truck. It's louder than I thought it would be.
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Old 05-18-2020, 06:27 PM #13
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Truckfridge.com and Dometic are my choices. I have now owned both. Dometic is a little more expensive, but offers more options, such as wifi linking.

Hope that helps...
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:19 PM #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bumbo View Post
Depending on the fridge power requirements, it could be possible to see issues with the inrush current from compressor startup as the battery voltage decreases.

When the voltage is lower, it requires more current to push the same power, and the OEM wires are pretty small.

Personally I ran some 10 AWG with an Anderson plug which I can use for various items, including the fridge.
you might as well be speaking Portguese. Electrical is not my strong suit.
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:35 PM #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KWSRStorm View Post
I have the alpicool. Similar to the costway. It runs well but the voltage sensing is not good and the manual is hard to find. The latches tend to break. That said, ignore whatever saftey voltage sensing it says it has amd make sure you close the lid slowly and then click it in vs slamming it.

Ideally id look at some sort of jackery or goal zero battery (or a dual battery) so that can be inbetween your main battery and avoid draining it (since the voltage sensing is bad). Also that rear cig lighter isnt hot when the cars off so youd either need to wire it to the battery, or get a battery option (jackery, goal zero) and leave it plugged in. Itll charge and run the fridge when the cars on, then when the cars off itll just run off that battery.

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I did what was suggested in the above second paragraph, with a 500w Jackery lithium. I use a Dometic CFX3 35. I plug it into the 12 volt outlet on the Jackery, and charge the Jackery from the 12 volt 4Runner outlet while driving. I have a Goal Zero 100 watt solar panel to charge the Jackery when camping. I donít have the slide on cargo tray but do have a DFG Off-road fridge slide mounted on a platform I made. Iíll try to post a picture of it.
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