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Indel B Travel Box

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Indel B Travel Box from EquiptAs our journey toward building our TRD FJC into a capable overland/extended camping (See Tacoma Magazine, Sept 2012 for my rant on that subject) has progressed, it became very clear that we would need a portable fridge sooner rather than later. Like many of you, we combed Expedition Portal and back issues of Overland Journal, along with other forums and recommendations from friends on which fridge to go with. While we’ll be using the fridge often, we have no expeditions across Africa planned. Since we have a custom storage shelf in the back of the FJ, we didn’t need a complete array of accessories. A basic, quality, easy to install and use fridge would do fine for us.

 

Before the 2012 Overland Expo last May, I called Paul May from Equipt Expedition Outfitters for his take on fridge options. After discussion our needs and some of the options, we decided to try the Indel B Travel Box. After reading through the Indel B Test & Comparison on the Equipt site, it seemed that this fridge would suit us just fine.

We opted to go with the largest version, the TB51a 50 Liter so that we would have the most storage available when on a trip. Each of the three models (31, 41, and 51) have the same footprint, the only difference is height. At 23” tall, the 51 model just barely fits in the back of our FJ on the custom platform. If it where any taller we’d have to use a slide to access it.

Installation was fairly straightforward, although a little customization was necessary in order for everything to fit in the back of the truck. Since we use the M-PAC Springtail rear storage bags, we had to modify the mounting of the cooler so that our back door closes properly. In lieu of the included carrying handles, I modded two spar pieces of aluminum as hold-downs for ratchet straps. Since the fridge is often removed from the FJ, we needed something that’s quicker & easier than standard bolt-down installation methods. While the aluminum is holding up OK, I will eventually replace these strips with steel to avoid bending.Prior to installing the fridge, I added a 12v socket in the side of the storage compartment in the rear. This provides a perfect place to plug the included 12v adapter for the fridge in. Indel B includes a 110v power option as well, so when not in the FJ this fridge has found a permanent place on our work bench. The 12v socket works perfectly and keeps the cord out of the way of other gear that lives in the back of our truck.A great feature of the Travel Box is a power cutoff switch, which is very important since (at the time of initial testing) we didn’t have a dual battery system. The switch can be set for high, medium, or low voltage, which relates to the voltage on your battery when the fridge automatically cuts off. We set ours at high, which is 13v, to ensure we could still start the FJ in the morning. It’s easy to adjust the temp in the unit, although it comes from the factory in centigrade, it’s not difficult to switch to Fahrenheit.

During our Overland Expo – Arizona Strip – Utah Road Trip adventure this spring, we used the fridge non-stop for nearly two weeks without any issues. It was also installed for the FJ Summit this year, providing cold drinks to everyone in our trail groups. We’ve also used it for tailgating this fall, and it has served well keeping libations cold in the garage when not on trail duty. Luckily it’s easy to clean since I managed to leave salmon inside with it unplugged for 3 days. It took a little bleach to remove odors, but the inside is as good as new now.

This fridge uses the same Danfoss compressor that many popular brands include, so we expect years of trouble free operation. The controls on the top of the unit are easy to use, although in our mounting solution it can be a little hard to read the current temperature. Still, keeping the electronics off the lid means less wiring combined with moving parts (which means less chance of breakage), so it’s a tradeoff we can live with. The inside light and separate storage area for eggs or vegetables are great features as well.

The features of this fridge meet our needs and will server most FJ owners well. Mounting in your specific setup will need to be figured out, so think of that before you order. The feature set matches many more expensive options, and at just $700 MSRP for a 50L fridge, the price is certainly right. We’re very pleased that Equipt has brought a great, cost effective fridge solution to our market.

More Photos!

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