THE BASICS OF WIRING UP A 12V FRIDGE
The ability to keep chilled food and drink, and to have cold beer always at the ready, is the difference between amateur hour and the big leagues.
Yep, wiring up a fridge in the back of your fourby is that one mod that elevates your game from weekend warrior status to full time tourer.
Picking the right fridge to suit your needs is your biggest decision; there are some nifty units on the market these days like Engel’s upright 80L fridges, which are a revelation.
Choosing the most convenient spot for installation and the right mounting hardware is your next battle, but the most important consideration is the 12V system that’s gonna keep you fridge humming along in all conditions.
You’ll need an auxiliary battery to maintain an even charge, and the most popular choices for this application are lead crystal or AGM deep cycle batteries, while the newer lithium ion batteries are starting to gain a firmer popularity base too.
If your auxiliary is primarily going to be used to power your fridge, a true deep cycle is a solid choice, although some prefer to go for hybrid units that can handle cranking duties where required.
A reliable battery charger like REDARC’s BCDC1225D unit is an obvious choice to regulate power flow between alternator, batteries and accessories.
If your auxiliary battery is fitted under the bonnet, and your fridge is installed towards the rear of your rig, you’ll want to run some fairly thick gauge cable in order to prevent voltage drop.
You’ll also want to run a 30 amp fuse as close to the second battery as possible, and an Anderson plug is a good choice to connect up to your fridge, as they’re less prone to rattling loose when underway.
Depending on the make and model of your fridge, and where you choose to install it, a sturdy fridge slide is usually a great option, particularly if your fridge is mounted in a high position.
Most of the big manufacturers sell mounting kits for specific fridge models, but generic mounting kits are available from some of the big distributors too.