One of the most important 4×4 accessories is the camping fridge, because no-one in their right mind likes using an esky! Of course, you’ll need to install a quality fridge slide as well, so that you can easily access your fridge and have some 4×4 drawers customised, so that your fridge fits snugly in the back of your 4WD or trailer.
Let’s start with deciding on the size fridge you need and then at the different types that are available.
What size fridge do you need?
For a weekend trip, you can most probably get away with a 35L or 40L fridge, which will easily fit most 4×4 drawers and fridge sliders. The larger fridges from 50L to 65L are good for a week away for a couple or a family of four, whilst the bigger 80L+ fridges are great for longer trips and larger groups of people. They are however, going to be very big and heavy, causing problems with weight distribution in 4WDs and might not fit into 4×4 drawers. You would also need a heavy-duty fridge slide to take all that weight.
If you are considering buying an 80L fridge or larger, it’s generally a better idea to select two smaller fridges, so that you can even up the weight distribution in your vehicle.
What type of fridges are available?
The best types of fridges are the two-way fridges that run on a 12-volt battery or electricity, and the three-way fridges that also run on LPG. As part of your 4×4 accessories, you should already have at least one deep cell battery, so running these fridges shouldn’t be a problem, although a dedicated battery is a great option for the larger fridges.
Two-way fridges: Even though these are designed to run off your vehicles battery, you need to keep your batteries charged all the time. Pulling into a powered site helps, because they can be run off the site’s power and a solar setup is also another great option, but it doesn’t work at night! You can however, remove the smaller fridges from the fridge sliders and use them outdoors if you are settling in one location for a while, using solar during the day and hooking it up to the site’s power at night.
Three-way fridges: As they use gas flow heat exchangers, not compressors to operate, these are quieter than the two-way fridges. Unlike the latter fridges, the-way fridges need to be kept level to operate, so they are not good for complicated 4WD trips. They will also eat up your batteries, but one gas bottle will last for week! These fridges also need good ventilation, so remaining for long periods on fridge sliders in your 4WD or trailer is not a good idea.