Feature Friday: 6 Portable Fridge Setups For The 5th Gen 4Runner

ARB 73QT Portable Dual-Zone Fridge Freezer In 5th Gen 4Runner

We Asked 5 4Runner Owners Which Portable Car Fridge They Chose To Add To Their Rigs & Why – Here’s What They Said!

This Week’s Topic: Overland Fridges

Welcome back to another Feature Friday! If you missed last week’s FF, we looked at 4Runner Rear Cargo MOLLE Panel Setups.

This week we will be staying in the rear cargo area of the 5th Gen 4Runner and featuring five different overland fridge options for the 4Runner.

As always, feel free to DM the owners on IG to ask any additional questions about their setup if needed.

Enjoy!

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Why Add An Overland Fridge To Your 4Runner?

Iceco Overland Fridge In Toyota 4Runner

So why would anyone want or need an overland fridge in their 4Runner? If you’re only going on the occasional overnight camping trip, a fridge might not be a necessity. However, if you are going out for several days or more, then a fridge may just be for you. Overland fridges aren’t cheap and cost considerably more than even high-end coolers, but they can definitely be worth it.

Here are some questions to help determine if an overland fridge is right for you:

  • How long will you be without civilization for extra ice?
  • What food will you be bringing on your trip?
  • How many people are you planning to feed?
  • What will the weather conditions be like?
  • How cold do you want your trail beer?

The bullet points mentioned above vary on a case-by-case basis. Let’s say you are planning a 4-day haul with temps averaging 85-95 degrees, away from civilization for ice, and you have a family of four to feed. Well, a good cooler may get you by the first day or so, but that ice will inevitably start melting. The contents in the cooler may still be cold, however, there is a solid chance that some food items become spoiled.

Now yes, a solid dual-insulated cooler is more than enough for the average weekend trip 90% of the time. This is especially the case if you daily drive your 4Runner and need as much cargo space as possible during the week.

The cool thing about an overland fridge is that most have dual zone capability (both fridge and freezer) and also have shelves to organize your food.

Once you’ve decided on a fridge that suits your needs and budget, there are some accessories you’ll need in the way of mounting and keeping the fridge at optimal performance. The latter will include portable power banks and covers to help the fridge stay even more insulated and powered 24/7.

Let’s take a look at how these 4Runner owners chose their fridges and why they enjoy having them out on the trail.

1. Jason Johnson (@knucklehead_t4r) – ICECO

5th Gen 4Runner w/ ICECO VL60 ProS Single Zone Fridge

Fridge Details

  • Model: VL60 ProS Single Zone Fridge
  • Price: $800

What Do You Like About Your Setup?

The ICECO VL60 ProS Single Zone Fridge seemed the perfect choice when it came to the needs of our family of five. It fits perfectly behind the passenger seat of the 5th Gen 4Runner. Having the option to open the fridge from either side, an interior LED and a drain plug were what sold us on the model. Also, the built-in battery protection has never failed us,

I have it connected using Anderson SB50 power connectors wired directly to the upgraded X2POWER AGM Group 27F house battery. After 18 months of solid use, we’ve not had a single issue. The best parts of having the fridge for us so far have been using it on our camping trips, weekend off-road trips, post-soccer game days, trips to the store, and the occasional leftovers.

In conclusion, the ICECO has been an exceptional choice for our needs. If you are looking for a dependable and reliable solution for everyday use or weekend getaways it’s a viable option to make life’s adventures even better.

2. Jeremy Shelby (@toy4tac) – ARB

4Runner w/ ARB 73QT Portable Dual-Zone Fridge Freezer

Fridge Details

  • Model: Zero 73qt Portable Dual-Zone Fridge Freezer
  • Price: $1570

What Do You Like About Your Setup?

When picking a fridge for our adventures, we took time to really research all our options. The ARB Zero 73qt Dual Zone fit the bill and checked all the boxes for us.

For starters, the 73qt size sits nicely on the ARB slider in the back of our 4Runner with enough room to still utilize the back seats. It also isn’t too tall or restricts rearward visibility. The fridge’s storage space is more than enough to fit plenty of provisions and those “cold beverages” for an entire group of family and friends on those extended trips.

Originally after installing it, we thought it may be too large for our needs. However, we seem to have no problem filling it up before each trip. The amount of goods this thing holds is just incredible. Another feature is the ability to monitor/control the settings via Bluetooth with the ARB Fridge app. It is a nice feature we utilize more than we originally thought we would.

The app works great and helps not only to control/monitor temps for both zones it also shows voltage info. This is a useful feature to see how the power of our 2nd battery system is doing without opening the back to check the voltage on the Blue Sea panel which supplies the power to the fridge. It has worked well for us over the past 2 years, and we have been very satisfied with our choice and its performance.

3. Mr. T (@trdle_the_4runner) – ICECO

5th Gen 4Runner with ICECO VL60 Dual Zone Fridge/Freezer w/ Cover

Fridge Details

  • Model: VL60 Dual Zone Fridge/Freezer with Cover
  • Price: $850

What Do You Like About Your Setup?

With a 63.4qt capacity, this fridge/freezer is the perfect size for those weekend camping trips and possibly even longer depending on how you pack. The true dual zones allow you to set each one to be either a fridge and/or a freezer or even completely shut off.

I usually run the fridge off of my Jackery 500 and it can last a few days on a charge depending on variables like the weather. It comes with a 5-year warranty on its SECOP (Danfoss) Compressor and 1 year on other parts.

Some things I suggest would be to omit the cover and get a tilting sliding tray to mount the fridge on. I find the cover kind of gets in the way when opening and closing the lids and we have to use a step stool to be able to reach things with our regular slide-out. Other than that, I love my setup!

4. Jillian Infurchia (@4runnerandthebeast) – Dometic

4Runner w/ Domestic CFX3 45 Fridge

Fridge Details

  • Model: CFX3 45
  • Price: $1050

What Do You Like About Your Setup?

I’ve been running the Dometic in the 4Runner for two years now. The first power solution I used only powered the fridge for about six hours in 90F weather (combo of the 4Runner’s battery + a 280wh power station). To improve upon that, I recently installed a 64ah dual battery system with a 100w solar panel on the hood. This keeps the fridge running all the time, even when sitting in the hot sun of Florida.

Having the convenience of a cold fridge in my vehicle all the time has amped up the creativity of camp meals while out exploring the trails. The fridge also doubles as extra food storage during the holidays and is a great way to keep food cold when Florida gets hit by those nasty hurricanes.

Pros:

  • The convenience of having a way to safely store food off-grid and in a state that is hot 90% of the time.
  • It’s quiet and doesn’t give off a ton of heat, which is nice since I typically sleep next to it when I’m camping.
  • No more soggy food.
  • Never have to worry about getting ice before a trip.
  • Bluetooth connectivity to the CFX3 phone app for ease of adjusting the temperature and monitoring power consumption.
  • Removable baskets make it easy to transfer from the house to the 4Runner.
  • Deep basked holds about 16 – 12oz cans or two 1 gal. jugs of water side by side with room on top for cans, perfect for a weekend worth of food for a few people and a decent amount of beer.
  • The drain plug at the bottom makes for easy cleaning.
  • With a sufficient power solution, it is dependable and also looks good.
  • The dimensions are great for the 4Runner with a set of 8″ high cargo drawers.

Cons (minor):

  • The price is steep.
  • The lid doesn’t always latch, so it doesn’t always seal properly.
  • There is no way to prop the lid open unless you can fully flip the top back.
  • The fridge is a bit heavy for me to load and unload from the 4Runner on my own, so I have to fill it while in the vehicle.
  • If you don’t fill the fridge, it will cycle the compressor often.

5. Jeremy Friedman (@friedman_adventure) – ICECO

5th Gen 4Runner w/ ICECO 43QT JP40 12V Refrigerator Portable Freezer

Fridge Details

  • Model: 43QT JP40 12V Refrigerator Portable Freezer
  • Price: $550

What Do You Like About Your Setup?

I’m really pleased with the overall size of the fridge and how efficient the temperature control is. The fridge’s low power draw is relatively minimal as well. It’s not the biggest fridge out there but it still allows me to carry 5 gallons of water and gear next to it in the trunk. Overall, this fridge has definitely been a value purchase with a great return.

6. Adam Nguyen (@Adam.Built) – Kick Ass

Adam Nguyen (@Adam.Built) - Kick Ass

Fridge Details

  • Model: KickAss 75L Portable Dual Zone Fridge/Freezer
  • Price: $899

What Do You Like About Your Setup?

The KickAss 75L Portable Dual Zone Fridge/Freezer was a no-brainer for my family of five to suit our needs.  It provided enough space to store all our goods to help us feel at home away from home.  It allows us to use any side as a fridge/freezer and has battery protection to keep the unit from draining much-needed power off-grid.  It fits perfectly in the back seat of our 5th Gen 4runner leaving space for our other camping essentials. The unit has an LED screen with Bluetooth compatibility so it was an ideal unit for us.
 
The unit has built-in Anderson SB 50 connectors built-in and is connected to a Kickass DCDC Control Hub run by a Kickass Power Station with 120AH AGM secondary battery.  The Fridge is sitting on a Kickass Fridge slide with table. This is a plug-and-play set up so the installation was simple and we can configure the unit any way we like without having to permanently dedicate it to a section of the vehicle.  
 
The Kickass 75L Fridge been useful for small events to camping trips, and has not given us any issues.  It stores all of our food and drinks and given it is a big unit, it makes up for the extra treats we can store on a trip.  It is a solid unit that can take a beating.  It draws about 2 amps per hour and is consistent at cooling.

Final Thoughts

4Runner Camp Setup w/ ICECO Fridge & CVT Tent

I use to be against overland fridges and thought a cooler would suffice for expeditions. However, this week’s Feature Friday completely changed my mind about that. I hope you all got some good insight on fridges and whether they’re right for your setup.

We want readers to get inspired by a variety of rigs/products. Submit your build for Feature Friday here to get featured. Next week we will be showcasing rigs with 35″ Tires to help inspire your future tire upgrades. If you would like to submit your build for next week, include your setup details and an awesome photo that shows it off.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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