Must a fridge be hard-wired in?

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KAC

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I would love to get a fridge to put in my Cherokee. However, I don’t want to do the work to hard-wire it in because I’m going to be upgrading vehicles in the near future.

Is there any particular one where the amperage is low enough that I can just use a plug in my Cherokee?
 

JeepGuy91

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I would love to get a fridge to put in my Cherokee. However, I don’t want to do the work to hard-wire it in because I’m going to be upgrading vehicles in the near future.

Is there any particular one where the amperage is low enough that I can just use a plug in my Cherokee?
I believe most of them are totally fine to run off a 12v plug. I had an old XJ Cherokee and ran a 12v extension cord from the front to the cargo area in the back and ran my dometic that way just fine. I brought 4 quarts of specialty ice cream all the way from Ithaca, NY to Louisville, KY for my wife with that set up. The ice cream was rock solid upon arrival.
 

egilbe

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I run my fridge from the 12v plug. It won't run the battery down because the truck disconnects all power after 30 minutes. That results in other problems that are only partially resolved with a goalzero yeti 200x.

It's a work in progress.
 
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grubworm

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most of the 12vdc units will have a starting amp draw of around 8-10amps then when running, drop down to 2-4 amps...so i'm pretty sure your cherokee has a 15a fuse for the power outlet so you are good to go
 
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Alanymarce

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We run ours off the vehicle power - it has a 12V option and a mains power option - you can plug into either and it handles it. This means that if we are at home (as we are at present, more or less) we can take the refrigerator out. It automatically shuts down once the battery power has drained to a predetermined cut-off point. Lasts a couple of days if it's not too hot, a day in hot climates, although we usually drive often eanough that this isn;t an issue. If you camp somewhere for a week in a hot climate you'll need another power source - solar panels for example.
 
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El-Dracho

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I´m pretty sure that will work with a stock 12V socket in a rig. I guess, it is best to take a look at the manufacturer's specifications. As others have already said, I would make sure that the fridge does not drain the starter battery. Maybe you can use a battery monitor which cuts off when the current gets to a low level. Sometimes the fridges already have something like that.

However, I have had bad experiences with 12 volt sockets in the vehicle, especially when it gets a bit rough on trails. To the fact that the plugs are sometimes not properly seated in the socket (a lot depends on the quality) and a bad connection is not only stupid but can also be dangerous. So better keep an eye on that.

If I use a plug and a socket then I like to use one that can be firmly connected. I solved this for my fridge with an ARB socket and the appropriate plug. Both can be screwed together and that works very well for years now.
 
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jeepers29

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I know with the Jeep JK's, that the 12v plug in the rear, the wire is not big enough and the frig will not keep the temp steady when the jeep is turned off. The ARB wiring harness is a much larger gauge for this reason. Since going to the arb harness, my frig works much better when the jeep is off.
 

cecald

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I know with the Jeep JK's, that the 12v plug in the rear, the wire is not big enough and the frig will not keep the temp steady when the jeep is turned off. The ARB wiring harness is a much larger gauge for this reason. Since going to the arb harness, my frig works much better when the jeep is off.
What’s the “arb wiring harness”? Is that something sold by arb that replaces the stock 12v plug in your Jeep?
 

Drmiller100

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Every connection loses power. Cigarette lighters are horrible. Run it awhile and feel the heat.
It is also a double whammy. It loses power to heat, and the fridge has to run longer as it has less power.
The direct connection with 12 gauge or bigger wires +fused of course,+ makes your battery last longer
 
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Drmiller100

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Also, the alternator makes basically unlimited power when the engine is running. When the engine is off is when it counts
 
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SRN

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The uncomplicated answer is, yes. Nearly all vehicle fridges from an Edgestar to a National Luna will run fine off of a standard 12v vehicle power outlet (aka cigarette lighter). Generally, the biggest downside to not running a dedicated line for the fridge is that most manufacturer installed outlets only run when the vehicle is on. When you get your new vehicle and run a new line, follow the advise people have given about bigger gauge wire, etc, etc for better efficiency. But running the fridge off an existing 12v outlet is just fine.
 
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RoverXventures

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I also run mine off a 12v plug, I had the plug changed to be constantly hot. That being said, my fridge knows when it has drawn to much power from the battery and will go into limp mode, to protect it
 
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Viking1204

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That's why a lot of vehicles have 12V plugs now, not so much for cigarette lighters anymore. I run mine off the 12V plug on my center console in my F-150 and it works great! Get you a good energy efficient fridge and give it a try!
 
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GirlGoneRoad

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I know you said you didn't want a permanent solution, however, you are wanting to power a fridge. If you are constantly driving, or you don't care about stability it temperature at night when it would drain your battery when not moving, then 12v or works. I did a lithium battery with an amstrong plug attached to the battery to charge which would run the fridge for 4 days without additional charging. I also had an solar panel with an Armstrong plug to charge when camping. My fridge was a SnoMaster which is awesome. The lithium battery and housing box can be moved to another vehicle very easily. The nice thing is that it powers everything and charges all your gear that needs a charge. Wanted to share an alternative for using on board 12v.
 

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RoarinRow

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I know you said you didn't want a permanent solution, however, you are wanting to power a fridge. If you are constantly driving, or you don't care about stability it temperature at night when it would drain your battery when not moving, then 12v or works. I did a lithium battery with an amstrong plug attached to the battery to charge which would run the fridge for 4 days without additional charging. I also had an solar panel with an Armstrong plug to charge when camping. My fridge was a SnoMaster which is awesome. The lithium battery and housing box can be moved to another vehicle very easily. The nice thing is that it powers everything and charges all your gear that needs a charge. Wanted to share an alternative for using on board 12v.
Nice setup! That is one serious battery and fridge for sure!
 
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