New Expedition ARB Vehicle Refrigerator

For those of you looking for a great fridge this new ARB unit has potential. It is not yet available in the USA but we are waiting to get our hands on a test unit. Probably the most exciting thing is the new hinge design that hopefully will solve the quirky old one that we have battled with across several continents already. We will post more when it becomes available. The following is the press release from ARB Australia.

January 2009
ARB Fridge Freezer
Following one of the most exhaustive development programs in its history, ARB 4×4
Accessories is thrilled to announce the release of its new Fridge Freezer. Featuring
superior cooling performance, low amp draw, and a host of user-friendly features
tailored to 4WDing, the ARB Fridge Freezer is specifically designed for off road use.
The concept behind the design process was simple – ARB wanted a portable fridge
engineered by 4WDers for 4WDers. “From personal experience we knew there were
features on current fridges that weren’t up to scratch,” says James Luke, ARB’s chief
engineer behind the project. “So we focussed on these to create a fridge truly made for
off roading.” The result was over three years of design, dozens of prototypes, thousands
of kilometres of field testing… and a portable fridge with a host of new and exciting
The ARB Fridge Freezer incorporates the world renowned Danfoss compressor, whose
German-built quality is second to none. Proven reliable throughout the world, the
Danfoss compressor is coupled with a smart electronic control system which ensures
maximum cooling efficiency down to minus 18°C and a controlled, low amp draw.
The use of the Danfoss compressor has the added benefit of requiring only a small
amount of space for mechanical components, which allows greater storage capacity in
the fridge interior. Together with an evaporator integrated directly into the cabinet walls,
this extra space translates to a usable capacity of 47 litres – or a huge 72 x 375ml cans.
“We didn’t actually set out to make a three slab fridge,” Luke says. “But I’m sure people
will appreciate that we did.”
Incorporating a separate compartment for fruit and dairy, the interior cabinet also
features a reversible basket which offers the option of separating the fridge contents or
alternatively allowing longer items such as fish to be positioned along the entire length.
For night use, an internal LED light features a concealed magnetic switch that
automatically turns off the light when the lid is closed, eliminating power wastage. And a
drain plug has been integrated into the base of the fridge for effortless cleaning.
Externally a similar physical size to ARB’s previous 40L Freezer/Fridge model, the ARB
Fridge Freezer features powder coated, robust zinc steel cabinet sides to withstand
extreme Outback conditions. The tough injection moulded lid and base were chosen
specifically to address the issue of scratches, dents and corrosion commonly found in
these areas as a result of off road use.
Considerable research and design has been dedicated to tackling the poor lid hinge and
catch designs found in current portable fridges. While many fridges incorporate small
hinge pins that are often difficult to reposition once the lid has been removed, the ARB
Fridge Freezer utilises a unique stainless steel detent hinge that allows the lid to be
easily and securely slid into position. The hinge also enables it to be opened past 90°,
ensuring owners don’t need to hold the lid up while removing contents from the fridge.
The simple to use, large cam lock latch is located on a dedicated front together with the
front carry handle and control panel, and provides a positive seal between the lid and
cabinet for optimum cooling efficiency. The use of a dedicated front is also an important
element of the overall off road design, as it ensures that the lid, temperature control
panel and handle are all together within easy reach when the fridge is stored in the rear
of a 4WD.
Incorporating a weather resistant touch pad and easy to read digital display, the control
panel features both current and target temperature readings, and is recessed to protect
it from damage and accidental bumps. The panel is also run directly from the fridge
power supply rather than its own independent battery, eliminating the need to replace
the panel battery at a later date.
Able to be operated on 12/24DC and 100~240V AC power, the ARB Fridge Freezer
includes an integrated battery protection system that allows users to select the minimum
operating voltage for the fridge to prevent excessive discharge of the vehicle battery.
Right angle power plugs and recessed power lead clips protect the power cord and
prevent accidental disconnection.
The team at ARB is very excited about the new ARB Fridge Freezer. Marketing
Manager Matt Frost states, “This product epitomises ARB’s philosophy when designing
new accessories. Years of research backed up by expert engineering and quality
materials ensures optimum off road functionality that won’t disappoint.”
The ARB Fridge Freezer comes with a comprehensive three year Australia wide
warranty. A range of accessories are currently under development, including transit
bags, tie down systems, and fridge slides.