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No More Ice Runs or Wet Sandwiches - ARB Fridge

July 22, 2017.

It was July 8, 2017. I know because I will always remember the day @mrs.turbodb said, "You should just get a fridge for the truck."

We'd just returned from our week-long trip to Canada with the little kiddo, where we'd pre-prepared and frozen many of our meals, using our crappy 48qt cooler to keep everything chilly. Of course, even sandwiched in the middle of our gear and under the CVT, we had to get ice every day (does Canada not have block ice?) - which meant staying relatively near civilization.

So when we started talking about our next trip (attempting to run the OBDR again), we knew we needed to do better. And that was the day that @mrs.turbodb spoke the magic words.

On July 14, this showed up on the front porch.

We brought it inside and plugged it in. It cooled. It was quiet. It was an ARB 50qt Fridge Freezer - 10800472. We had big grins on our faces. And later that night, when we were talking about putting some water in the freezer for our next trip, we realized…we don't need no stinking ice! And then we thought, "What are we going to do with all the room in there?"

But what we did need now was power in the bed of the truck. Second and third gens of course have power in the bed already, but being the proud owner of the best gen, well… I guess there were some improvements in later models.

So I gathered supplies:

  1. A waterproof PVC box (4"x4"x2") (I got at Lowes; also at amazon)
  2. Two weatherproof 12v outlets from Blue Sea Systems
  3. Two weatherproof toggle switches
  4. Two 1/8" rubber grommets
  5. Some 14 gauge wire (red and black) and loom
  6. Blade connectors
  7. A few zip ties
  8. Electrical tape
  9. 1" 3M VHB tape (not cheap, I had some already)
  10. 1" x 3 1/2" plastic strips (I cut them from an old electrical box)

And some tools:

  1. Drill and bits
  2. Fish tape
  3. Soldering iron

Materials gathered, I drilled holes in the box for the 12v outlets, switches and rubber grommets and installed them. Then, I tackled the wiring. That was a bit trickier but I was able to send the wire and loom from the Bussmann I installed earlier this year, down through the engine bay by the passenger firewall, and into the frame along the passenger side. Using the fish tape to pull it through the frame to a hole under the bed (I never want to have to do that again), I wrapped the loom fully in electrical tape and ran it up between the bed and cab; then under the bed liner; and finally, up the side of the bed rack to a convenient mounting location under the CVT.

Now, we have switched, fused power in the bed, and we'll be eating in style on the road.

Of course, we still need to go to town for gas, but that can be days between runs...

3 Comments

  1. mrs.turbodb
    mrs.turbodb April 19, 2018

    It remains an excellent purchase.

  2. Chris
    Chris May 17, 2019

    Hows this holding up so far?
    Why did you attach it to the floor of your tent and not to the rack or somewhere on the bed?
    Your website it awsome. Love all the pics!

    • turbodb
      turbodb May 18, 2019

      The 12v power box isn't actually attached to the floor of the tent, it's attached to the bed rack, with the 4 zip ties you see here - they hold it into a corner of the rack platform, which is perfect...and removable when I take the rack off.

      That gets it pushed up out of the way of everything I'm sliding in/out of the bed all the time, which is nice. And its holding up great - no problems with it at all, and super convenient.

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