Fridge inside or outside?


New member
What's the general consensus on keeping you refrigerator enclosed inside the trailer vs. the vehicle? I have searched but didn't find much information. I have heard most people recommend not to keep one inside the trailer due to lack of ventilation, but then you see everyone build a box/cabinet around one when they transport it inside their vehicle. It doesn't seem like that would be much different.:confused:


I'm in the process of building out a custom tongue box with slide for my fridge on my trailer. I am definitely taking ventilation into consideration for this project since I live in the Arizona desert where temps in the summer routinely reach 115F. Some of the considerations for ventilation in my circumstance are air volume in the box around the fridge, vent placement to minimize dust and water infiltration and the decision to go active or passive (fans or no fans).

I decided to go with louvered vents on the back side of the box (it will not be flush against the trailer) with foam filters and no fans. The lower vent will be placed in the same location as the fridge's vents and there will be vent up high to let hot air escape. If this arrangement does not work out I will likely go with an active system using an intake fan and exhaust fan.

With compressors on air conditioners and large commercial fridges sitting on roof tops in AZ and literally cooking from the heat and still operating I don't believe a fridge would be damaged by being in an unventilated box. I believe it would be inefficient and possibly be unable to maintain temperature however.

Just my 2 cents.



I put a cooler in my trailer once, never again. I probably drive a little faster than most, but the trailer bounces around a LOT more than the Jeep does. Everything that was in my cooler because a giant slushy. If you're just going down the highway and car camping you'd probably be fine. But any real wheeling and I'd keep it in the vehicle.


I keep it in the vehicle, in the back. It doesn't throw that much heat, but it keeps the unit out of the dust and elements, which I expect to increase it's usable life.

When it's not going adventuring, my fridge (ARB50) is happy on the enclosed porch keeping my adult beverages cold and handy.


I've decided to keep my ARB 50 in my 4R and one of the new ARB 60 stainless fridges in my trailer. Best of both worlds!


Expedition Leader
Same here...I run it in the truck, because it's usually temperature controlled, then bring it out once the kitchen is set up. Depending where I'm at, I'll lock it to the wheel for safe keeping.


  • roam8.jpg
    165.4 KB · Views: 22


I just purchased the Engel MR040 Marine fridge. I installed it is my Smittybilt scout trailer. It is in an enclosed compartment ( you can see the pictures in the Smittybilt scout trailer thread here on EP)
It pulls 3 AMP at startup @ 13.6 Volts, That decreases to 2.5 Amps as the compressor have been running for a minute. After the compressor switches off , in this case @ 35 deg. F, inside, the draw drops to 0.1 amps for the fans inside the unit. I let it run with the door closed for several hrs, and it was 74 deg inside, and after 5 hrs, the temp was only @ 75 deg. F. I presume this was in fact due to the garage temperature heating up, not the fridge, as it went to 75 deg, in the first 30 minutes, but stayed level at 75 deg. F. I know the compressor in the Engel, uses less energy and radiates less heat than any of the other ones, but I thought I would offer my testing of the Engel, with respect to mounting it inside an enclosed box. After my testing, I have decided not to vent the cabinet. Hope this helps you a bit.

Forum statistics

Latest member