The Best Fridge Freezer Options For 5th Gen 4Runner: A Detailed Review For the Off-Road/Overland Enthusiast!
While not an inexpensive purchase for your 4Runner, fridge freezers make a lot of sense. No longer is one dipping their hand into cold, icy water to retrieve items, food avoids becoming waterlogged and there is no reason any longer to constantly have to find and buy ice.
While most of today’s fridge freezers consume minimal power and can often be run from the vehicle’s main battery if moving most days, a dual battery system with solar back-up means one can stay off the grid for extended periods of time.
This article will provide details on some of the most popular overland fridge freezers on the market today. The selection is wide and so are the price differences, almost as much as $1,000 between the lowest and highest priced models.
For purposes of this review, we’ll stick to units in the 47lt/50qt size, the most popular unit for most of the overland community.
ARB Classic Series II 50 Quart Fridge Freezer
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- ARB Classic Series II 50qt Fridge Freezer: Check Price
One of the proven leaders in the fridge freezer market, ARB launched their line-up over a decade ago and have recently revamped their classic fridge freezer units.
Formerly blue on the exterior, the units now boast a gun-metal color with black plastic trim and using an app, can be monitored via a Bluetooth connection.
The fridge freezer has a cooling capacity of between 50F and 0F and offers built-in 12v DC and 110v AC power options.
The units use a Danfoss BD35F compressor, has an internal LED light, offer a three-year warranty and have three battery protection levels.
ARB has many options ranging from 37qts to 82qts with features like Bluetooth controlled settings, and much more. You can check out their entire line on the ARB USA website.
Dometic CFX-50 Fridge/Freezer
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- Dometic Fridge Freezer: Check Price
Dometic has recently upped their game and is making a very good 50lt/52.8qt fridge freezer.
The Dometic uses the same Danfoss BD35F compressor as the ARB and also offers three battery protection levels but only has a one year warranty.
The fridge freezer offers a deep-freeze to -7-degrees, beefed up corners, 12v DC and 110v AC, an interior LED light and an app to monitor the fridge settings.
Depending on how the fridge is being mounted in the vehicle, the side opening lid can be an added bonus.
Dometic probably makes the largest line of light truck, overland, SUV/Truck coolers. There is something in the Dometic lineup for just about anyone. Every family travels a little different so it’s nice to know there is something just right for you out there. You can see the entire line of electric Dometic cooler here.
Engel MT45F-U1 Fridge Freezer
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- Engel Fridge Freezer: Check Price
Another Australian fridge freezer manufacturer, Engel has been in business for a long time and crafts a quality product.
The units have a digital read-out, both 12v DC and 110v AC options, can operate up to 90-degrees below the ambient temperature and feature a Sawafuji Swing Compressor.
The case is heavy-duty, made from galvanized steel, is front opening and has built-in battery protection. The interior capacity is slightly smaller at 45lt/43qt and Engel offers a two-year warranty.
Although this brand relatively small in terms of brand awareness, its design, and reviews give this unit a strong edge in the community.
Indel B TB51A Fridge Freezer
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- Idel B fridge freezer: Check Price
One of the least expensive fridge freezers in this comparison, Indel B offers a lot for a little money.
The heart of the unit is the Danfoss BD35F compressor, found on higher priced units, offers both 12v Dc and 110v AC power, features three battery protection levels.
The fridge freezer has a 50lt/52.8qt capacity, is front opening and the operating temperature range is 0 to 41F.
If you are looking for an entry-level fridge without spending $1000, this is a great option. For around $400-$500+, you can have a very reliable overland fridge similar to the pricy brands, however, it may not come with all the bells and whistles.
National Luna 52 Weekender Fridge Freezer
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- National Luna Fridge Freezer: Check Price
National Luna is based out of South Africa.
These units are made of stainless steel, feature a Danfoss BD35F compressor, have a temperature range of between 20C to -30C, built-in battery monitor, internal LED light and offer a three-year warranty.
The fridge freezer has a 52l capacity and a really nice feature is the dual-direction lid which can be changed to be either front or side opening.
The company also produces a dual compartment fridge offering more control over the temperatures in the fridge and freezer sections. The company is currently revamping its product line so specs and pricing are subject to change.
This is a great option if you are running short on space but still want plenty of room to pack for a weekend. Its straight edge box design allows for nice compact packing/stacking which makes it great for a big family or lots of gear in the back.
Smittyibilt Arctic 2789 Fridge Freezer
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- Smittybilt Fridge Freezer: Check Price
One of the newer players in the fridge freezer market, Smittybilt is no stranger to off-road products and accessories.
Their fridge freezer has a Danfoss compressor, runs on both 12v DC and 110v AC, features a three-stage cut-off protection circuit, and offers an anti-vibration design, has an interior LED light, and has a front opening lid and an LED display.
The fridge holds 52 qt, has a removable storage basket, a separate dairy section and the temperature range runs between -22F and 50F.
SnoMaster Traveller Series TR42S Fridge Freezer
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- SnoMaster Fridge Freezer: Check Price
The SnoMaster Fridge Freezers share a similar look to the National Luna product and its easy to understand why both companies are based in South Africa.
The SnoMaster holds 42l/44.38qt, has a lid open alarm, removable lid, 2 internal baskets, a digital thermostat, a pre-set cutoff voltage and a temperature range of between -22C and 10C.
The fridge freezer has a stainless steel exterior, a wireless monitor, runs on both 12v DC and 110v AC and a transit bag, bottle opener and remote are included in the price. The company also offers a five-year warranty on its 66-watt compressor.
The only drawback with this fridge freezer is that the power cords plugin at the front of the unit which could make for some difficulty if using a fridge slide.
SnoMaster has absolutely made their way into the USA and the guys I know running this fridge really enjoy it. SnoMaster features many of the bells and whistles the mainstream brands like ARB and Dometic but it comes in a slightly lower price point.
Accessories For Your Fridge Freezer
Once you’ve decided on a fridge freezer that suits your requirements and budgets, there are a few accessories most companies sell which can further help and enhance your purchase. These first items are tie-downs.
As these products are often in the fifty-pound range, it’s a very good idea to make sure they stay secure in your vehicle. Transit bags offer additional protection and can also assist with cooling by adding a second layer of insulation protection for the fridge freezer.
Depending on how you’ve installed your unit, fridge slides can help with access to the contents inside.
While the ARB for one has an easy off/on the lid, some of the other offerings can be a bit tight inside the rear of the 4Runner so being able to slide the fridge out and even drop it has some tremendous advantages.
Hopefully, this quick guide will assist in making your decision.
There are no right or wrong fridges here, only the one that is best for what you need.
My ARB has moved with me from vehicle to vehicle for numerous years now and while it was an expensive upfront purchase, it is still what I consider one of my best purchases for camping!