Installing a Fridge

Does anyone have advise about running a fridge (ARB 73 QT ZERO FRIDGE) in a Tacoma (2021). My plan is to gut out the back seat and run wires so I can charge/run this fridge. I don’t want to burn out my alternator or drain my battery. Looking for help wrapping my head around this and seeing what I might need to make this work electrically.

Just use a cigeratte lighter port and make sure you adjust the ARB battery protector setting accordingly. ARB’s are solid and shouldn’t kill you battery. Anything more is a bit more complicated and can be done but it depends on your goals. For example: Running solar? Running separate battery that charges from alternator/main batter?

Other option if your really concerned about the car battery is to run an intermediate like a jackery/goal zero “solar generator” that plugs in to your lighter and charges while you drive and then disconnect it and let it run your fridge when your not running it. I think those have input cutoffs as well.

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second that is the easiest way to go. I would also add that the extra insulation for the fridge might be a good investment

I don’t see how the fridge would burn out an alternator :thinking:

fridge drains battery, alternator is pushed to the extreme to recharge battery, wash, rinse, repeat… wears out an alternator very quickly. that’s why DC/DC chargers are nice to limit how much power is drawn to charge second battery. modern variable power alternators are little less susceptible to this problem but still you shouldn’t push it


My 130a alternator and 85w solar panel charge my odyssey just fine. Never had a dead battery from fridge use and I’ve tested it to 4 days without running the truck. Battery shows nominal voltage for being 3 years old.

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I can only speak from experience with an ARB but it doesn’t draw enough to have any worry about alternator wear. I’ve had my ARB fridge for probably almost 20 years now and run it in several different rigs. Conventional wisdom is that on average a fridge draws less than 1 amp. When the compressor runs it draws more of course, 5-6 amps. On the whole though they are pretty efficient.

Man these are great pieces of insight. Thanks everyone. I’m glad to know there isn’t that much power draw required. Figure as long as I keep it charging while the vehicle is running that’s my best bet. Mine as well experiment with the cig lighter and see how far that takes me.

I’m curious about your set up. This would probably be the method would’ve chosen. How much did that set up run you? Is the installation complicated? Maybe this would be my fallback because I plan on needing a power source to use other electrics

Since you will be placing the fridge in the cab, you can use your 12v in the dash and only have it on when the truck is running. The alternative is to run a new outlet in the cab or replace the existing and wire it direct to your battery. Running a wire through the firewall grommet is easy. Then you’ll have a constant 12v source.

I’m running a fridge full time in my 15 Tacoma. I also run dual batteries with a relay that helps. Your stock alternator puts out about 85-100 amps of power. You’re definitely not going to burn that out. I ran the same set up in my FJ60 and I believe that alternator only put out 65 amps. Never had any issues. But maybe consider a dual battery set up if you start running multiple electrical items.

sure that’s not amps? 85 watts would barely cover head lights and running lights

Amps. Sorry was typing fast but you get the point.

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