ARB Zero 47-Quart Fridge with Mounted Slide-Out Install and Review For the 5th Gen 4Runner
Back in 2020, I took a camping trip to New Mexico where we spent 12 days off the grid. I had just installed my solar panel and was excited to test it out. After the trip wrapped up and we were back home I reflected on how I could improve my gear for the next outing. In the back of my mind having a fridge run off the solar panel was always the end goal, but what fridge was I going to go with? When it comes to getting a fridge, there are so many to choose from now that it’s mind-boggling; Dometic, ARB, SnoMaster, random brands on Amazon, so many options!!
Here’s why I went with the ARB Zero 47qt Fridge/Freezer…
What I was looking for in a fridge/freezer for my 4Runner:
- Small and compact
- Quiet and Reliable
- Didn’t take up more than half of the rear cargo area
- Sat lower/ or was the same height as the rear seats
- Allowed the Rear seats to fully recline
With about 3-6 months of researching and figuring out what I wanted in a fridge and narrowing down the list, I came down to 3 options that would fit into what I was looking to accomplish with a fridge. The 3 I figured would fit my build were the Dometic CFX3 and ARB 63 & the ARB 47. Both companies offered great fridges that would work in the cargo area and provide the compact solution I was after.
Find it Online:
- ARB Zero 47-Quart Fridge: Check Price
- ARB Fridge Tie-Downs: Check Price
- ARB Fridge Slide Tray: Check Price
4Runner Fridge Options
|ARB Zero 47||ARB Zero 63||Dometic CFX3 55IM|
|Dimensions||26.6 x 16.7 x 19.5 inches||29.7 x 18.5 x 19.5 inches||28.3 x 18.9 x 17.9 inches|
|Capacity||65 12-oz Cans||96 12-oz Cans||83 12-oz Cans|
|Weight||52.6 lbs||61.7 lbs||46.97 lbs|
|Lid Direction||Front Open||Side Open||Side Open|
For me, the ARB 47 was a perfect fit. The width of the fridge isn’t that wide. The size allowed me to use up the other full half of the cargo area for camping gear. Another thing was the price. With the ARB 47 being the cheaper of my other 3 options (*at the time of purchase), it made the choice a no-brainer. One thing I had to take a real look at was usability. I’m not out for months at a time and my trips tend to be no longer than a week to 2 weeks tops, so getting a fridge that fits my adventures were key, and what kept me looking into Dual Zone Fridges.
Last year’s trip, we had the solar panel to help keep things charged and camp lights running but if I had a freezer for all the frozen meat we had, we could have benefited from not having to worry about ice levels in our food cooler. The ARB dual-zone refrigerator/freezer could have been utilized for this. That’s kind of the purpose I hope to provide for my next adventure; a superior fridge and freezer setup where I can keep all the meats extremely cold until I need to fully thaw them out.
ARB Zero 47-qt Fridge Features:
- ARB Fridge Freezer Power Pack / Transit Bag / 3-year Warranty
- USB 5v Outlet / Anti- Condensation Technology / Wireless Monitoring and Control
- Emergency Override / AC & DC Power Inlet, 1 Rear DC Power Inlet
- Cup Groves on Lid/ LED Light Drain Plug / Tie-Down Points
- Goose Gear Rear Plate
- ARB Slide, Fridge & Tie-downs
- 5/16 Stainless Steel Bolts/Nuts/Washers
For mounting the slide-out tray, it was a little bit difficult. We had to drill into the rear plate to mount the fridge, we just picked up so 5/16 SS 1in bolts, lock washers, flat washers, and nylon nuts from the hardware store.
Once we lined up the location of the slide, we marked the holes and then drilled and mounted the slide before mounting the rear plate in the 4Runner.
The ARB OEM Slide doesn’t align with any of the Goose Gear (GG) predrilled & tapped holes. Complete oversight on my part…BUT, the ARB slide was cheaper than the GG Slide due to the size of the fridge. GG’s standard slide is only designed for 16th wide coolers. The ARB 47-qt is 16.7 inches wide, just short of fitting in GG’s standard slide. So, if I wanted the GG slide, I would have had to opt for the XL listed at 549, a $150+ dollar difference from the ARB Slide, not to mention a bigger footprint.
Fridge Mounting Options:
- ARB Fridge and Slide Costs: Check Price
- GG Rear Plate: Check Price
- GG Standard Slide: Check Price
- GG XL slide: Check Price
Installing the rear plate was simple, I followed an already existing article by Frank when it came to installing the rear plate.
The only issue I had was when we mounted the driver’s side bracket for the forward mounting holes. Our ARB slide covered one of the holes. We were only able to get one bolt in on the forward mounting location. All other bolts in the mounting of the rear plate were installed. Had I double-checked the location of the slide before committing to drilling I’m sure this could be avoided. Live and learn right!?!
Once the rear plate and slide were mounted, we mounted the fridge and Wowza!! It was just amazing!! Perfect fit for my rig. Mounting it on the driver’s side still allows room to drop the seats for larger cargo as well as still carry up to 3 people.
In the brief time after installing the fridge I was able to test it on 2 separate SHORT occasions:
Test 1: After the install was completed
We plugged in a Jackery 240 that had a 70%-ish Charge and turned the fridge temp to 20 degrees with Boost Mode activated. We tossed in some beers for a job well done to test out the new fridge.
With boost mode activated we seen output on the Jackery in a range from 31-45w without the boost mode the output was around 1w to maintain the 20-degree temperature.
Test 2: Beach trip (no Boost Mode)
The day before going to the beach I pre-cooled the fridge to 30 degrees, that Friday night I plugged the fridge into the solar panel/2nd battery and let it continue to run overnight in the truck stuffed with food. Producing zero power from the solar array, I woke up to the solar controller flashing the top 3 bars of the battery, which indicates about a 75% charge is left. The fridge stayed on all night with no issues. I was able to check the fridge via Bluetooth and all systems were nominal.
After getting all packed up and meeting with friends we headed out to the beach. The whole way there I was continuing to run the fridge on solar/2nd battery. As the day went on there were really no issues with the fridge, it performed great! The battery on the solar array stayed at 95% the whole time at the beach and back home.
The food and drinks stayed cold as we were constantly in and out getting beers and snacks. Saturday night I continued to run the fridge to test the overnight usage again, the following morning the solar charger indicated that the battery was about 80% with only 2 bars blinking on the battery meter.
Overall, I am super happy with my new fridge. I spent a lot of time going back and forth on the 47 & 63 but I’m so glad I got the 47. This thing is quiet, I had a hard time telling when it was idle and when the compressor was running. The size is perfect and still allows me room to stuff a cot behind when on trips. Having the slide makes it easy to get in and out of the fridge.
Opting to have the fridge on the left was a personal preference as to how I like things to flow. The area to the right can be used to cut food, prepare drinks, cook, etc. Looking forward to no longer relying on ice stops to keep food and drinks cold!
At first, I thought the fridge might be overkill for how much I was going to use it but it’s been a blessing. It’s been so helpful for having a cleaner more organized storage setup for cold food and drinks. Coming from a traditional cooler, things were taken out and thrown back in. With the fridge, everything has its spot which keeps it organized. And the consistent temperature makes it all so worth it. If you can justify the cost, I say go for it. This fridge has been great for our day trips to the beach and general adventures out for weeks at a time.