ARB Fridge wiring question.

Lono

Adventurer
Just got my new 50 qt ARB. Not surprisingly the manual suggestions a dedicated connection to the battery. Tell me that isn't a "must-do" on a modern vehicle like my '02 Discovery. Yes, I plan on doing that anyway soon enough, but was expecting to use it this weekend via the DII's rear 12v outlet. FWIW, my truck has the IBS dual battery setup with two new batteries under the hood.

Any input on this would be appreciated, as always,

Thanks,

Steve
 

moabian

Adventurer
The power outlets on most vehicles, even new ones, are wired with small gauge wiring that cannot supply the necessary voltage to the fridge...especially over a long run like to the rear of the vehicle. But you can try it. It will probably work fine when the vehicle is running, but might shut down when the vehicle is off...or not. I have used several different fridges over the past 10-12 years. I have hard-wired every one of them direct to the battery through a switch on the dash. There was not a single OEM outlet on any of the vehicles that would reliably handle the load of the fridge when the motor was not running. I'm running dual Odyssey batteries now with the Genesis Offroad kit. I'd certainly use it this weekend...but just keep an eye on it and fire up the motor every now and then if necessary.
 
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pugslyyy

Robinson Fuso
It will probably be okay - the worst that will happen is that it won't run at all, or won't run when the truck isn't running. Those fridges are notoriously finicky about the 12V.
 

AndrewP

Explorer
The problem with the existing wiring is the long distance from the battery and the small gauge of the wire-likely 16. So on fridge compressor start up, when current draw is highest, you get a significant voltage drop in the wiring, which if low enough, will either not allow the firdge to start, or trigger the battery saving mode.

It really is best to run 10ga or better from the battery to the rear (fused near the battery of course). This can handle all the power you will ever need back there and the voltage drop on start will be trivial. Since the 10ga can handle 45 amps or so, I'd fuse it with a 30 amp fuse and call it good.

I have also seen fridges heat up the crappy sockets due to marginal connections, and melt the socket itself. I use Anderson power poles for fridge connections and cut off the cig style plugs.
 
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65BAJA

Da Nu Guy
I have also seen fridges heat up the crappy sockets due to marginal connections, and melt the socket itself. I use Anderson power poles for fridge connections and cut off the cig style plugs.
This happened to me with the stock plug on my older 40qt ARB fridge. I put a Marinco cig plug on it and wired it directly to an AUX battery in the cab. No more issues.
 

basecamper

New member
I have a 2012 JKU with the ARB 50 what the above have said is true in my Jeep it shuts down if not running. The good news is even not running if you leave it closed it will stay cold for quite a while. I have since purchased an ARB wiring kit and wired it direct to the battery, problem solved.

NOTE: Make sure you purchase the right wiring kit apparent;y they changed the plug this year. Ask me how I know LOL. The good news is when I emailed ARB they sent me out the old cord NO charge!! Awesome customer service.
 

AndrewP

Explorer
You don't need a wiring kit. Buy Marine 10 gauge duplex wire and have at it. Greg's Marine wire is an excellent source. Fuse at the battery.
 

m(a)ce

Adventurer
We ran my ARB for on stock wiring in my gfs 2013 JKR for VT weekend trip. Did surprisingly well & held temp fine. Definitely different than my experience on my 5th gen 4R - ended up running the ARB loom.
 
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