There is nothing as enjoyable as having an ice-cold drink on a hot day, or having ice cream in the middle of an arid landscape. Vehicle fridges can be a great solution for keeping your drinks cold and your food fresh when you are on an extended trip away.
We recently had an opportunity to get out and try the new ‘Zero Electric Coolbox’ from ARB. Designed in Australia to handle the extreme conditions experienced there, ARB Coolboxes are high-performance systems, and this electric coolbox has a temperature range of -22°C to +10°C, giving you the convenience of refrigerated or frozen food and drinks no matter where you are.
The version we tested is the 69L but this range is available in 35L, 44L, 47L, 60L, 69L, 78L and 96L capacities. What can we say? We love this coolbox. The 69L variant has two compartments 24 litre and 45 litre, each of which has independent temperature controls and can be configured for example as a fridge and freezer compartment or two fridge compartments or two freezer compartments. The smaller compartment, most likely to be used as a freezer also comes with a removable internal lid to assist in temperature control. The internal basket system and internal divider wall can also be removed to allow for the full 69L of space to be used as one single large compartment. Even with the baskets and divider walls in place , tall bottles can easily be stored alongside your food. The temperature can be controlled using the built in control panel or the ARB Zero App which connects to a smartphone using Bluetooth, a boost option is also available for a burst of rapid cooling when required. Power is provided via front or rear 12/24V socket and on the front there is also an AC100/240V socket, providing a variety of options, from connecting to your dual battery system, plugging into an auxiliary battery or cigarette lighter port, or into a mains power supply.
The panel at the front of the coolbox also provides a handy USB 5V port with 3,000mA output, very useful for charging your phone or other devices. The electronics also provide a configurable integrated battery protection system with shutdown protection for low voltage conditions allowing you to control the level of discharge of the supply battery.
The Coolbox has a detachable and easily reversible lid, which is extremely useful for matching your vehicle configuration and ensuring access to open and close the fridge is not impeded. We mounted the coolbox over a drawer system using the ARB Fridge Slide and Tie-Down kit. The Fridge slide has a flat mounting base for secure fitment and multi-position latch; the slide enables easy access to the coolbox. Sealed roller bearings prevent dust ingress and incorporate a lock-in, lock-out mechanism to ensure the slide stays in position no matter what angle your vehicle is at. The Tie-Down system securely attaches the fridge to the slide hooking into the built-in attachments on the front and rear of the slide and attaching to the slide base using tough adjustable straps.
The coolbox has a bright internal LED light which ensures that it’s easy to find what you are looking for in the dark. We love the design of the coolbox, it looks great and is obviously very well made, the lid closes with a pleasing click, the rounded corners and edges look very premium and the top of the lid also provides some recessed cup holders.
We have now had this coolbox on a couple of camping trips and it really has added an element of luxury to these trips, with lots of storage space, configurable temperature zones and the handy boost feature. We continually had lots of cool drinks and crispy fresh food and no problems at all with battery life. The fridge slide made accessing the coolbox very easy and the tiedown kit kept things in place even as we moved across some very uneven terrain towards our final destinations. The Zero Electric Coolbox will definitely be a feature of our extended camping trips in the future.