Frigid - It means cold

in Outdoors and morelast year (edited)

Copy of Change (1).png

Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow -

That's the Big Dog, my four wheel drive. He's a Toyota Landcruiser 200 Series and whilst he looks pretty standard he's a little more advanced than when he rolled out of the factory. You see, to do what I do, go where I need to go, factory-spec vehicle's don't cut it and so I accessorise my four wheel drives reasonably heavily.

I'm still working on this one and have a long way to go but he's already got a few items: ARB bull bar, spot lights and front recovery points, Old Man Emu off-road suspension/lift with an engineered GVM upgrade (gross vehicle mass) which allows him to carry more load. A REDARC electronic brake controller to control the brakes on my off-road camper trailer when being towed and I have a GME XRS UHF radio to go in (a Christmas present to myself) which I'll post about separately. I'll cover the fridge/freezer and auxiliary battery system today. Yeah, it's a lot of stuff, but there's more on the list...Little by little.

Why the fridge

I usually travel remotely and for periods of well over a week at a time so having the ability to refrigerate food and drinks is a very handy thing.

Sure, I could eat baked beans out of a can, and sometimes do, but it's more civilised to have the fridge on board. It means I can get further away from civilisation and can eat more interesting and fresh foods and that suits me fine. Of course, it also comes in handy when going to the market as there's no need to hurry home with the stuff, one can put it in the fridge and do other things making the trip more streamlined and efficient...Also, who doesn't like an ice-cold beverage when it's hot huh?

I have my fridge mounted on what's called a roller-floor, also from ARB and it has a sliding top (the floor) which the fridge sits on.

Underneath is a low drawer that slides open independently. You can see it below in the image. The Landcruiser is a big vehicle and mine came with a third row of seats making it a genuine seven-seater. I removed them though as it took up too much room and I rarely have anyone in my vehicle, let alone six people plus me. This leaves room for the fridge and some load still, although most of the load goes into the off-road camper.


Below are a few more images. The larger image is the roller-floor pulled out over the tailgate which makes the fridge easier to access. Keep in mind my vehicle is quite high so I can't actually see to the bottom of the fridge. Most things are in packets or tubs anyway though so it's rare I'd need to, I just reach in and go by feel.

You can also see the drawer extended and a few things I keep in there. When on a trip I load it differently, mainly recovery gear, but around town I have my rattle-gun, breaker-bar, a snatch-strap, shackles, tyre puncture-repair kit and a wooden jacking platform. This last is to allow the vehicle to be jacked to replace a tyre because the suspension lift has made the standard jack too low to lift the vehicle off the ground sufficiently.

In the images you can see me pulling the roller-floor out (lower left) and holding the fridge lid open. (Lower middle).


How does it work

A fridge like this will not work off the standard 12V power socket like the one that charges a mobile phone for instance. Besides, I need it to run when the car is not running, like at campsites - There'd be no point if the fridge cut out right?

I fitted an auxiliary battery system, sometimes called a dual battery system. This charges when the car is running and the stored power provides power to the fridge when the vehicle is off. Simple? Nope, not really simple at all.

You see, most new vehicle alternators shut off when the car is running and the cranking battery is charged back up after a start - This is done as an environmental thing although I'm not sure how effective it is. The Toyota vehicles have what's called a temperature-sensing alternator which, at a certain temperature, will severely reduce its output. That means the auxiliary battery won't get charged fully and my fridge won't run when the car is off - That is bad.

To solve this issue I've fitted a REDARC BCDC charger (battery charge DC) which takes the reduced output from the alternator and boosts it back to full output and feeds it into the auxiliary battery. Problem solved. It's an ingenious bit of kit made right here in South Australia.


I can't show you my charger as it's mounted under a panel, I'm pointing to it in the top left image and the right image shows it closer up. I have the REDARC BCDC1225D which is cool because it accepts alternator power and solar also, seamlessly. This means I could roof-mount a solar panel and it would prioritise that input until there was none, like at night, then seamlessly swap back to vehicle/alternator power. It also means I can plug my portable solar panel in when I'm at camp giving me endless power input to the auxiliary battery.

I can also plug an unregulated solar panel into the BCDC charger directly (at camp) and in the lower right image above you can see an extra anderson plug input that goes straight to the battery...This is where I'd plug a regulated solar panel in. In the former case the BCDC charger becomes the regulator for the power input. I'm a prepared dude, so wanted both options.

A word on batteries

Cranking batteries, the one's that start the car, are not designed for sustained draw on their power. They crank the starter and engine, the car starts and that's it. From there they need to charge up again - They are depleted quickly and will not keep supplying power long-term. That's why I fitted a deep-cycle battery as the auxiliary - These are designed for sustained draw.

My auxiliary battery is a 120Ah (ampere hour) battery so if fully-charged will deliver enough power to run my fridge for five to seven days depending on ambient temperature and how often it is opened. With my solar panel plugged into it and, even just overcast days, it's a virtually unending amount of power.


Above is my engine bay and at right front you can see the cranking battery. At left front is the deep-cycle auxiliary battery. You'll note some cables running to it. That's my trickle charger.

To keep a deep-cycle battery in good shape it needs to be floated. So, I have a CTEK charger mounted on a post in my garage and when I park the Big Dog I clamp it on and power the auxiliary battery from the 240V power supply in my house.

When it get's to full charge the CTEK floats it up and down keeping the battery nicely conditioned. It drops to a certain point in charge and the charger tops it up, it drops again and is topped up again and so on. I only drive the Big Dog a couple times a week so it's not an issue to plug and unplug this device - No big deal.


Lastly on the battery and BCDC device, I've had it wired through with chunky cabling to a secondary anderson plug at the back of the vehicle under the tow-ball.

This is where I plug in my off road camper trailer which also has a battery system on it - Two 80Ah deep-cycle batteries for a total of 160Ah which runs the water pumps, lights and the fridge/freezer I have on board the camper trailer. The trailer also has it's own BCDC charger to boost the power input to the batteries plus a pure sine wave inverter - This is a very smooth form of power output which will run pretty much anything including laptop computers.

Back to the fridge/freezer

My fridge is also an ARB product and is pretty cool. It's capacity is 60L (15.85 gallons) so is quite large. It will run down at -18°C to +10°C (0 to 50F) and has Bluetooth connectivity so one can see the temperature on one's phone.

Below you can see the settings which are, clockwise from top left: Temp, measurement (C or F), Bluetooth channel and cut-off. The cut-off can be set at low, medium or high. I set mine at medium. This means medium draw off the battery. So...When the battery drains to about mid-point the fridge will stop. It's designed to protect the battery from being completely drained which deep-cycle batteries do not like. Cool huh?


Here's a close up of the interior. The bottles and my hand are for perspective. Those bottles at the back are 1.5L each. There's also a compartment right to the rear which is for things that don't need to be quite as cold; butter for instance. Don't worry, I'm not drinking all those beers, they are for a BBQ I'm having for a few mates today.


It's a very cool set up and I really like it - It is just so convenient. I actually have two as I took the one out of my pickup before I sold it but that one is not currently mounted. No, I'm not loaded, I just used to work at ARB and got massive discounts and loads of stuff for free -A perk of the job I guess.

I only have one gripe with my fridge which is the lid doesn't stay open by itself. Ever-thinking though I rigged up a strap to attach it to a gas-strut on the vehicle door so I don't need to hold the lid open in one hand...Or drop that bastard thing on my head...Which I have done. It's not pretty, but it works.


So folks, that's about it for this post...I know it's long and I also know few, if any, will get through it. That's ok though, I don't mind. Having said that, if you did read it and have any questions please let me know. If you ask me a question I've covered in the post I'll just direct you back for another, or first, read. Ok?

Design and create your ideal life, don't live it by default - Tomorrow isn't promised so be humble and kind

All the images in this post are my own and it was written in response to interest in my fridge and battery system by @brandt


Plus one for the cTech charger, I have the 15 amp version, charging my battery from flat to 80% in 2 hours.

A handy bit of kit I reckon.

That engine bay is so tiny. No room for anything new and shiny! Helped a mate work on his Triton not long ago, there was so much space... but not enough mount points. Struggled to get some after market relays in for his insane headlights / driving lights set up. lol.

The engine bay is massive, the thing is, so is the V8 and all the systems they cram in there. Lol.

The issue you had is a common one to be honest, with many vehicles. I still have to put a diesel fuel-filter into mine, but luckily there's a place for it.


The slide out mechanism the fridge is mounted on is slick! I would love a set up like that on a patrol suv. They have modular storage customized for patrol units, but they are super expensive and few agencies will foot the bill for something like that.

How cool would it be to have an onboard fridge when I used to work graveyards and everything was closed! I know just enough about electricity to get really bit by it on occasion, so I would need to leave all of that to a professional.

P.S. I really, really hate to be that guy but you accidentally misspelled "tire" a couple of times....I know you would want to know. 😁

The photos below are the most recent of a long history of run ins with electricity. This particular incident knocked the knife out of my hand and almost dislocated my shoulder....lololol I'll learn one day....but definitely the hard way.



It's all pretty cool. That roller-floor is only one part of a whole system. There is a right side and then two outer wings that finish it all off but I wanted the basic thing. The system comes with deeper drawers and all also...You can see it on the ARB website if you're keen. Also, ARB is an Australian company but is world wide...They are available in the States and have loads of things for the Nisan Patrol.

Now...You and electricity...I think...Well, enough said right? Maybe leave it for the experts.

And...Tyre/tire...Usually when I speak Australian I offer a translation for you Americans - I'm sorry on this occasion I did not. 😀

And...Tyre/tire...Usually when I speak Australian I offer a translation for you Americans - I'm sorry on this occasion I did not. 😀

ah you forget I speak fluent Cosmic Psychos and The Chats! lolol

Ah yes, the Chats...Act like them when you come down here and you'll be...Well, I'll leave the rest unsaid. You'd make the news though. 😆

That fridge is very, very cool!! and handy too!
Here we only have to worry about warm items for about 3 months.

Your vehicle makes me smile. Everyone needs a toy? to play with and a reliable truck.

I travel to places most will never see but on a documentary and I need a vehicle to take me there and back safely - Big Dog is it. My last was a pickup and it was loaded with everything. I was still working in the off-road industry at the time and for a lot for free and for very cheap as my vehicle was used as a show-vehicle to highlight the systems. It was a good thing.

There's still so much I need to do to Big Dog but I'll get there. After I mount my UHF in a few weeks the next will be new tyres. I wanted to wear the factory ones out before I spent another $2,000 on BFG's and it won't be long now, maybe March.

I like my truck and doing some stuff to it means I can engage better and more safely with my hobbies like shooting, hiking, camping and kayaking. I can get to places where other people are not.

Thanks for your comment.

 last year (edited)

we go hunting, shooting, and camping. Not on your scale though. But for us, a truck is a must. It is the vehicle that gets the most care because when you are up north in the middle of nowhere and do not have cell need it to work.

But we never had a fridge. LOLL

and you are welcome.

Trucks are the best...I don't know why someone would want to drive anything else if they do the things we do.

Looks like a great setup, thanks for sharing! It looks like the area where you installed the auxiliary battery is designed for just such a use case, is that correct?

The fridge looks plenty roomy enough for a single guy and probably even a couple. I like your solution for keeping it open too. I use a similar approach for my car's rear hatchback door, which refuses to stay open in cold weather :)

Don't worry, I'm not drinking all those beers

A likely story ;)


Good spot, yes the previous model 200 had a second cranking battery, yes two, with the second located where I now how the auxiliary deep-cycle. A change was made at Toyota and that second cranking battery was removed which made it much easier to out in the auxiliary. It's also possible to put a tertiary deep-cycle actually, but I don't need one.

I've been away for 15 days and stored enough old food in the fridge to be eating fresh food on the last day. 60L is a surprising out of room if packed correctly.

Damn some life goals here! The truck outfitted with that stuff really makes it possible to camp for a long time, toss a solar panel on top and you’ve got chilled stuff as long as you need it! Makes sense now, the whole thing with you out camping a lot. Important to be able to sustain yourself comfortably! Makes it easier for sure lol. I wonder if I could convince Siena about something like this someday hahaha.

We just got the little man some camping gear for Christmas, so camping will be in my future this coming year for sure! Got a nice rocket stove, hopefully cook up some decent stuff! Still going to collect more gear but our big theme was camping for Christmas stuff. Much better than more shit lying around the house we don’t need!

I started small, loads of second hand stuff when I was in my twenties and as I began to earn more I bought progressively better stuff. I still get out camping in a very basic way as I enjoy the simplicity of it, but I have the means to have better equipment and so I have it.

It's cool you're getting E-dog into camping...Later in life he will thank you for the education I think - Rounds out a man if he knows how to look after himself and others you know?

This is really cool addition to your vehicle and if you didn't mention you worked at ARB I think I would have guessed because the amount of information you had on the many accessories that one can fit into a vehicle in my opinion went beyond love for vehicle and more like a work thing.

It's a very cool fridge and I could see the importance in day to day life. On Christmas day, my mate Belemo's car had a very bad stench that we discovered was beef he bought a couple of days ago and had found its way underneath one of the seats and stunk up the whole place.

That could have been easily tossed into a car fridge and saved us the agony of continuously flinching for like 15 minutes.

Thanks for the amazing content, was an interesting read. If I ever have questions about cars then I guess the owner of "The Big Dog" is my man.

The old, left some meat in the car and it went rotten smell huh? I've not done it but know it can be unpleasant. An on-board fridge would have solved that issue for sure.

I don't know everything about cars but if you have questions I'm happy to help to the best of my ability. ✅

I like this post alot,it is a prove that science is long beyond a single man imagination,having said that a vehicle like your vehicle engine vehicle cannot last Nigeria and one cannot enjoy it as much you are enjoying all the benefits that comes with it because cost of maintianance is very high. Moreover,the spare part and extra battery accessories will be very difficult to purchase talkless of maintaining them in this bad road network here. However, I like the fact that the vehicle give you the result you deserve by being able to drive far away from city to remote area or uncivilised area in other to source for information, and the fact that you can preserve your food for as long as a week or more.
Vehicle suppose to be A MOBILE HOME but that can only happen where technology is advanced.
Thank you

I've never been to Nigeria, nor will I ever be there, so I can't really comment on what it's like. I know Australia though, and what I need is this vehicle. Get's me where I need to be.

oHHH... neat... yeah.. ummmmm...wonder what that is..... hmmm .. .well.... wonder what THAT means.... ok, ok... looks like a lot of work.... ummm hmmmm.... ok, ... seems like you've figured out exactly what you need for your adventures.

excuse me while I go wash some of this testosterone off

LOL ! 😂 🙂 😉

Haha! This didn't make much sense to you? Sorry, there's no way, at least for a knucklehead like me, to make it more easily digestible. I guess, keeps stuff cold wouldn't have made for a very good post.

I hope you weren't too bored. 😊


Yeah, I totally got that you hooked up a fridge in your cruiser. laffin

It was quit a wade.

Lol, I get you. It'll all make sense some day...Or not.

Hey @galenkp, here is a little bit of BEER from @brandt for you. Enjoy it!

Learn how to earn FREE BEER each day by staking your BEER.

The first thing I was expecting was a built in generator. But, you circumvented that with the extra battery and the multi input charger. That makes more sense where you're from when you have the ability to use solar almost 365 days a year.

Up here, I'd likely still go with the generator (also connected to a second battery) as we can't count on enough sun to satisfy the charger. However, that would involve bringing extra fuel ... hrmmmm.... But, with it being below freezing from December to May (give-or-take), I wouldn't need the electricity for cooling - so my demand would be less.

OK, OK, you kitted out the Big Dog perfectly!!!! Even the bungee to hold the fridge open is practical.

And just in case you are running low.


I have a portable 2 KVA Yamaha generator but rarely use it. The battery is silent, the generator is not, and then, as you say, additional fuel is required. It's a good option in some cases but with all the sun down here the auxiliary battery plus solar works well.

With the 2x 80 Ah batteries on my camper trailer I don't ever run out. I have two 120w solar panels and plug one to the car auxiliary and one to the trailer system. Power isn't the limiter out in the wilderness here, it's water. My camper has 130L capacity so working on 10L/day (for two) I have 10 days. That's just water for consumption. So yeah, it's much less in reality so camping near water is essential usually, although I always bring an extra 40L in jerry's.

You need to stake more BEER (24 staked BEER allows you to call BEER one time per day)

It's a very cool set up...

I should certainly hope so!

😉 Yeah, if it's not cool then there's a problem. It all works a charm though.

Good to know. If finances and time allow, I plan to start a van conversion project next summer. I want a fridge, deep cycle battery backup, solar panels, and a generator for sure.

That sounds like a pretty decent project. There's a lot of those getting around down here, mostly owned by grey nomads. (Older retirees who venture around the country in RV's, tow caravans and in vans as you describe.)

I'm nowhere near gray yet, but I am getting the itch to travel again.

Oh no, I didn't mean it that way. It's just a term used here, by the nomads themselves also.

I'm well grey and I have the urge...But had it long before I was grey.