With so many options for the 12V refrigerators, I chose the drawer refrigerator. It fits perfectly in the trunk behind the rear seat. There is no need for a slide as is the case with traditional top open fridges. With a drawer, access to food is extremely convenient. Dometic CD-030DC comes in black color that matches interior carpeting of the cargo area.

Parts used:

  1. Dometic CD-030DC Drawer Refrigerator
    30-liter capacity
  2. Waterproof relay
  3. 10 AWG wires
  4. Fuse holder
  5. Automotive switch
  6. Plywood
  7. Aluminum c-channels
  8. Shower door rollers
Dometic CD-030DC::12V drawer refrigerator::
Dometic CD-030DC
Custom made base::Fridge stands on a rectangular base::
Custom made base

Weight added: 45 lb / 20 kg

The whole idea was to install a refrigerator without drilling any holes in the car body. This drawer fridge stands on a rectangular base made with plywood and is screwed to it. The base is fastened to the rear seat reinforcements. This prevents the horizontal refrigerator movement. In order to prevent vertical movement I added sidewalls between the base and the already existing shelf in the rear cargo area. Refrigerator sits well in the rear and does not move while driving. The only problems are the bottles and food containers that sometimes move inside the drawer. This is a common problem of all car refrigerators. A simple solution is to use soft foam packing as a protection against irritating rolling.

It was also necessary to install the compressor cover behind the rear seat. I wanted to avoid accidental damage to thin hoses caused by falling objects. There was a little space left between the fridge and shelf. It was an ideal location for an additional small drawer. Traditional drawer slides proved to be very heavy. Therefore, I constructed much lighter slides using aluminum c-channels beam and shower door rollers to allow a gentle movement.

Fridge on the base::Fridge mounted to the base::
Fridge on the base
Fridge behid the rear seat::View from behind::
Fridge behid the rear seat

Installed refrigerator covers exactly half a small compartment in the floor of the trunk. I had to remove the original cover before installing the refrigerator. A flat floor in the cargo area is very important, and the loosing of extra space would be simply a mistake. Therefore, I added a custom folding hatch attached to the base of the refrigerator. Small leather hook helps to keep the hatch in the open position.

Sidewalls to help hold fridge in place::To avoid vertical movement, I added sidewalls::
Sidewalls to help hold fridge in place
Sidewalls with drawer slides::I built slides out of aluminum c-channels and shower door rollers::
Sidewalls with drawer slides
Folding hatch::Folding hatch is to cover compartment in the trunk::
Folding hatch

Dometic CD-030DC is so quiet that it is hard to tell if it works even with the engine off. I am very pleased with this addition. The fridge is also energy efficient. Operating all night, for over 12 hours without starting the engine it does not cause any problems with the battery. The manufacturer claims that this refrigerator has a built-in safety switch that shuts it off when the voltage drops too low. This is in order to prevent total battery discharge.

Drawer refrigerator installed::Floor compartment access is through folding hatch::
Drawer refrigerator installed
Additional small drawer::Above the fridge there was a space for additional drawer::
Additional small drawer

© 2014 Maciej Swulinski