How to Install a 12V Upright Fridge

Step 1: Measure Your Cut Out Space

A 12V upright fridge will vary in the dimensions (l x w x h) relative to the cut out or recess dimensions.

E.g. Often a fridge may have a narrower cut out required than the overall width of the fridge. This is to allow for frames, doors and the overall shape of the fridge.

You can find the cut out required in the specifications of each model.

Vitrifrigo C85I 12-24V Fridge & Freezer 85 Litre


Step 2: Frame Or No Frame?

Some fridges will include a mounting frame. These are often for trim purposes only and don't supply the full structural support required to securely mount the fridge.

The Dometic NRX range has one flush mount frame available. To securely mount a Dometic NRX12V upright fridge there are pilot holes inside the fridge designed to be screwed through, thus mounting the fridge internally to your cabinetry.

There are some upright fridges on the market that come standard with a frame or mounting such as the Bushman DC range. These frames offer structural support and are screwed into from the outside of the fridge cabinet.



Step 3: Ventilation

The condenser on compressor fridges work best when they are cool/not too hot. Air needs to flow through the condenser and away / out some sort of vent.

Excessive heat will lead to inefficiency and extra workload on the refrigerator, potentially shortening the life of the refrigerator and the batteries (when running on dc power).

Generally speaking, 12V uprightfridges under 100L will require one vent behind and at the top of the fridge.

Whereas, larger fridges will require two vents, one at the top and one the bottom to help the airflow. For example, the Dometic RUC range pictured here uses two LS300 vents.


Step 4: Electrical

A 12V upright fridge will vary in their voltage input configurations, some fridges like the Dometic range come standard with 12/24V and 240V. The 240V side is easy and can be plugged in to a standard Australian GPO.

Other fridges like the Bushman and Engel range will only allow for 12/24V input.

When no battery power is available and you need to run from a 240V only power source, you will need to choose the appropriate adaptor. When parked at a powered site, the manufacturer recommends to leave the fridge connected to the 12/24V battery whilst charging the battery from the built in 240V to 12/24V battery charger.

When connecting the 12/24V you will need to hardwire to the terminal block at the back of the fridge. You must consult the operators manual and cable/fuse size guide when hard wiring the fridge. Cable sizes vary depending on voltage and length of cable run.


Check out our full range of 12V upright compressor fridges on our site today!


DISCLAIMER* Please note, this advice is general in nature and we strongly recommend consulting the product manual and where relevant, a professional installer.

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