Are you a four-wheel-driving enthusiast or a fan of camping trips? Then including a fridge and an accompanying fridge slide is an absolute must. A 4WD ute with a portable fridge slide is more than just a luxurious addition to your vehicle, it’s essential for keeping your food unspoiled and your beers nice and cold. If you want to live the offroad life, a high quality fridge and slide is the way to go.
Of course, there are fridge slides and then there are fridge slides and knowing the difference can make all the difference. To help you understand the different types of slides on the market and the different sorts of applications, we’ve included all the information you need to know to get started.
What to consider when looking for a fridge slide
Every vehicle has a different amount of space available for incorporating a portable fridge, plus previous alterations, modifications and fittings you’ve added to your vehicle already will impact the amount of space left. The size of your fridge will obviously need to reflect the size of the space it’s going in.
You might think of all fridges as coming in one single shape, but there’s actually a significant variety available on the market. Lengths, widths and shapes vary so you should absolutely make sure that the fridge and the accompanying slide in question fits the shape of your four-wheel-drive or ute space.
Some portable fridges open from the top and some open from the side. You might have a preference but your vehicle’s configuration might force your hand one way or the other. Your fridge slide will need to facilitate access to your fridge, so make sure to consider how the lid opens.
You should also take note of the hinge configuration. If the hinges open on one end or along one side will affect how much you can open the fridge and thus how much vertical space you will need in order to access what’s inside.
The basic fridge slide
The basic fridge slide is a good option for its simplicity and ease of use. Mounted directly into your vehicle, the slide does what its name suggests and slides out, bringing your fridge out into the open for easy accessibility.
As long as you’ve taken the measurements accurately and chosen the right size to fit your fridge, you should be able to bring it out far enough to access whatever you need to .
Standard fridge slides are made from either stainless steel or, if a light weight is essential, aluminium. Either way, when you purchase one from a reputable supplier such as Dunn and Watson you’ll be choosing a high quality, durable and long lasting system to support your fridge.
Basic fridge slides do come in a range of sizes to suit fridges of all capacities, shapes and sizes. Of course, you will still need to closely consider numerous factors when comparing fridge slides:
- Size and dimensions
- Weight and carrying capacity
- Opening mechanisms, lock and hinge placement
- Amount of contents that you need to store inside
The fridge drop slide
The fridge drop slide is extraordinarily popular for four-wheel-drive fit outs. It’s not hard to work out why. The drop slide works in a similar way to the basic slide in that it slides horizontally out on a set of drawer slides before the drop mechanism is engaged and the fridge is lowered by anything up to 30 centimetres. This allows you to access your fridge and the contents within at a far more manageable height especially if the fridge opens from above. For many ute or 4WD owners, the drop slide means that you don’t have to worry about how high the fridge is when it’s stowed away. Much like the basic fridge slides, these models also come in either aluminium or stainless steel.
When you’re shopping for a drop slide, make sure that you consider what type of features it brings with it. For example, does it have lock-in and lock-out functionalities so that you can rest assured the fridge is safely and securely in place when you’re using it?
Measuring the drop slide is especially important as well because you’ll need to make sure that your fridge is the right dimensions so that it can actually slide out enough and drop down to the right height.
The drawer system slide
The drawer system fridge slide is an excellent option if you’re installing a drawer system in your ute. If you’re a tradie and on the tools a lot, but don’t want to sacrifice much needed space for your equipment this is the way to go.
The fridge slide can be installed on top of the pre-existing drawer system and is an affordable addition after the fact. Of course, there are a couple of drawbacks: For one, when the slide is extended it can expose the contents of the lower drawers. Secondly, you won’t be able to incorporate a drop down slide so the fridge will remain higher which can affect accessibility.
Neither of these points are reasons to not consider the drawer slide if that suits your current setup, requirements or preferences, however.
Particular points to note include:
- What is the weight capacity that your drawer system can support?
- Does your vehicle have enough space above the drawers to fit the slide and fridge?
- How will it be secured and locked in place when stored away?
Fridge slide cage
While less a different type of fridge slide and more an optional addition to the slide, the fridge cage (sometimes called a barrier) helps to prevent items from falling behind and out of reach when you slide the drawer out. The only thing you need to bear in mind is that you keep enough space to include the cage as well as the fridge itself. But don’t worry – the cage itself allows you to pack even more contents within, on the sides and even above the fridge.
Let’s find the best fridge slide for you today!
The entire Dunn and Watson team are more than just professional experts on all things 4WD hardware, we’re enthusiasts as well–just like you! So if you’d like to chat through what sort of fridge slide you’re looking for, we can help make sure we find the perfect option that ticks all the boxes and keeps everything you need cold, fresh and accessible.