Going camping is great. If you’re here, you love it as much as we do. There’s nothing like the great outdoors and travelling on journeys that go for thousands of miles. However, food plays an important part in the role of road trips, camping trips, or maybe just driving for work. There’s nothing like getting into a large tent to sleep under the stars.
Food is necessary and needs to be consumed daily, of course, but transporting loads of consumables can get tiresome, especially if they need refrigerating. That’s where the problems come in.
You might think a regular cooler would work, but then you have to deal with everything that comes with a cooler. It is only temporary and the ice will eventually melt. This can not only make your food wet and soggy, but it can also be a hassle to dump it out to add more fresh ice.
Removing the food, putting the ice in, and then digging into it to put your food in is only a few steps of keeping your food nice and fresh. Maybe there’s not a store nearby that sells ice. This doesn’t include the constant wiping and cleaning you’ll have to do to keep mold and mildew out.
A Mini Dilemma
If you’re not camping and are on a road trip, you might consider a hotel’s services for a mini fridge or something similar. Those can be nice, but not only do you have to ask for one most of the time (if they even have them), they are REALLY small!
There’s no way that a person can put a week’s worth of food in those mini fridges. Not only that, the more that you put in it, the less it’s able to cool! There’s no guarantee your food will be fresh.
The endless cycle of replenishing ice and moving your food around is ridiculous. You shouldn’t have to go from place to place, worrying about if your food will be good the next day. There are some foods that won’t go bad too quickly, but what happens if you’re not around any stores or hotels? Your food will be ruined in a matter of hours.
If you’re camping, you might not have access to these. When driving an 18-wheeler, you might not run by a truck stop for hours and you may not have time. Road trip? The hotel might not have access to a mini fridge. Maybe you’re at a tailgate party and the ice melts during the hours before the big game—there might be a lot of disappointed friends.
This electric cooler is what you need. Not only can this cooler be used 24/7, it removes the necessity of ice altogether! You can set the temperature for as cool as you want it and it lowers to freezing temperatures in minutes.
Whether you’re on the road or camping, this cooler can be charged with your cigarette lighter or a solar panel. Just plug it up and you’re on your way!
Because it attaches to your vehicle’s cigarette lighter, it will very slightly take energy from your car battery. There’s nothing to fear, though! The battery protection system in the cooler will keep your vehicle’s battery from dying as well.
It will last long enough overnight to keep everything nice and fresh. There are other battery options and add-ons as well, which are discussed further below.
The ARB fridge freezer comes in four different sizes:
- 37 Quarts
- 50 Quarts
- 63 Quarts
- 82 Quarts
Each size can fit a large portion of food, but if you need more and want to go on longer trips before refilling, then you should move up a size. Frozen foods can easily and safely be stored without fear of it thawing over time.
Even in hot weather of over 100°F/37.7°C, it will still keep your food frozen at the cool temperatures of 32°F/0°C. It takes very little power to get to that point, too, and even less time to get there.
Aside from the cooler itself, the ARB comes with two power cords. One is an AC plug which can attach to a home’s wall outlet or some other power provider, while the other is a DC power cord that attaches to your vehicle’s DC power outlet.
The cooler comes with special cord retention, making it easy to store when not plugged up. The cooling functions are fully inside, so you don’t have to worry about huge power bricks or anything like that.
The front panel has a fully-functioning LED screen to make it easier to see your cooler’s temperature and options. The large buttons make it simple to adjust as needed, whether you want freezing temperatures for your food, or cool enough to enjoy some refreshing drinks without freezing them.
There’s not much to it, so it’s easy to get your temperature to the specific enjoyment!
Inside of the cooler, there is a rear LED light that automatically comes on whenever you open the lid, making it easy to view and obtain your frozen or cooled food or drinks.
This makes a great addition to any camping you want to do at night or even a nice bonfire cookout that you may need drinks for. You can bring the cooler to any occasion! There are separate compartments to separate dairy, fruits, or drinks.
Your food will be secure with the powerful locking lid with full-grip EZ latches that are simple to move and even easier to lock.
There is a draining tab at the bottom to make it easy to clean in case the ice melts after turning it off. This will prevent mildew and mold from growing as long as you dry it out afterward.
It is extremely durable and has lasted quite a long time in many customers’ vehicles and on long camping and road trips. While it is recommended that you don’t expose your wiring or connections to the weather, it can be used outside quite easily.
It is best to be placed in a vehicle or the back of a truck. The coverings and other add-ons assist with this.
While it is one of the best freezer coolers on the market, there are a few negatives in this. The price is relatively high for such a piece of tech, but it is cheaper than most others of similar design.
It is a bit heavier than many would prefer. The 37 quart weighs around 40 pounds without anything in it, so it can be difficult to move around.
It has been known to fail at times, but ARB offers a large warranty for manufacturer errors. They will replace it quite quickly and pay for the shipping should something not work right.
There are plenty of additional, yet optional items that can make your ARB fridge even better. While these are optional, they will work in most situations and are worthy purchases to make when looking for different ways to take it with you.
There are better insulation options to add to your cooler, taking the stress off the cooling function of it. It will be easier to transport and make things easier on your energy usage, even if it’s already consuming a little bit.
ARB Transit Bag
While it is durable, constant travelling can cause your ARB fridge to get banged up quite a bit. It will last a long time if you keep it safe, and the best way to do that is to seal it up in ARB’s transit bag.
Not only will it protect your big purchase from dings and dents that it can gain from being moved around too much, but it will also keep your freezer more insulated and it will use less energy when freezing your food.
There are different ones for each size of freezer, so make sure you get the right one. The navy blue padding will keep your cooler safe and makes it easy to strap down onto the slider with the tie down straps.
Reaching to the back of your vehicle to get into your ice chest can be annoying, especially if it’s a truck or a vehicle that is high off the ground.
Rather than climbing up and digging deep into your cooler, you can attach it to the metal sliding device that allows you to extend your cooler from the back of your vehicle to outside of the vehicle.
It is relatively pricey, but it is sturdy enough to extend enough to give your back a break. You can install it in the back of your truck or van in most cases, where the ARB freezer fits best.
There is also room behind the freezer to clasp water jugs or other containers onto if you need reserves. There are different sizes for this as well, so be wary when ordering yours!
ARB Tie-Down System
While there are plenty of straps out there that you could use, ARB provides a custom-made tie-down system to attach your freezer to your slider or other latches that can hold it. If you want to keep your freezer stable and locked down, this is your best bet.
It will keep your freezer secure with easy-to-screw belts that attach to the slider. It simply grasps onto the cooler and locks it down safely.
Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit
While not specifically tied to ARB, this solar panel will take the strain off your vehicle battery. Solar energy is the new frontier and it works just as well as a car battery would for your ARB freezer. Since it uses 12 volts to run, it is the perfect fit.
The instructions to set it up are all there, so you don’t have to be a skilled electrician to install the panels. Everything you need is there!
It’s not only a great choice for your ARB freezer, it is also great for off-grid camping. If you have smartphones or laptops you enjoy bringing along with you on the road, there aren’t many options aside from pulling the juice from your vehicle.
With this solar panel, you can charge multiple things over the course of a few hours.
Aside from this review, there are hundreds of customer reviews that praise the freezer for its ability to keep food cool or frozen without ice. It freezes quickly and doesn’t waste much energy. With its battery system in place, it will keep your vehicle battery from going dead, too.
It was taken on a 3,000 road trip toward a mining territory in the middle of nowhere. Even 4-wheeling out in the dirt, the fridge survived without any problems.
A person working nuclear plants and was on the road for 5-8 weeks at a time bought one. He can make fresh food each time and home-cooked dinners without worrying about it spoiling. No water means the absence of sogginess and he’s been happy with it for over two years.
A customer hooked their ARB freezer up to the Renogy solar panel and was amazed at how little energy it took to operate. They were surprised by the quality and even more so at the speed of chilling.
Regular coolers don’t work as well as they should. They keep your food and drinks cool for a small amount of time, but can end up soggy and wet if you don’t go through the grueling annoyance of transferring the ice. They can easily become mildew-infested and gross.
If you’re on a road trip, you might have to stay a hotel. There’s a possibility of them not having a mini fridge. Maybe they do, but it might not fit your food. There’s too much hassle in it.
The ARB Fridge is one of the best things you can invest in if you enjoy camping or road trips. Even if you’re a truck driver or drive for other jobs, it’s the perfect addition for your ride. It doesn’t take much energy and it will keep your food frozen if you need it to. For its price, it will do everything you want in keeping your food cold. It surpasses its fellow electric coolers by a landslide!