This article was produced in partnership with Dometic
In-vehicle refrigerators are usually only found nestled between the perforated leather seats of the fanciest motorcars—Bentleys, Rolls-Royces, Maybachs. Nominally stocked with Champagne (and a bottle of Grey Poupon), these electric coolers let the jet set snack and sip something chilled while traveling on the road. Thankfully, folks who jockey something more rugged like a Ford F-150 or Chevrolet Silverado can experience the same luxury with Dometic’s CCF-T Center Console Refrigerators.
As the leader in on-the-go refrigeration systems, Dometic makes a wide range of products to keep you cool, comfortable, and relaxed while enjoying the outdoors. Its products outfit a range of vehicles (including RVs and trailers). And while it’s offered stand-alone electric coolers for ages—a big hit with the overlanding crowd—the recent introduction of the center console cooler first with Ford trucks and now debuting for Chevy and GMC (2019 and up model year for the Silverado or Sierra 1500, and 2020 and up for the 2500 and 3500 series) is a major innovation.
Dometic’s mission to “make mobile living easy” best sums up the purpose of the product, says Christopher Rine, product manager with commercial and passenger vehicles at Dometic. “The CCF-T aims to solve the problem of having a cooler in the back seat to keep your beverages and snacks cold on long road trips. And it’s all about performance: With its compressor-based refrigeration design, you’re guaranteed cold food and drinks regardless of the ambient air temperature.”
An Easy In
These center console fridges were engineered to slide right into the current console space—easy enough to install yourself, notes Rine—utilizing the 12-volt power source to juice up the coolers. The CCF-T includes an integrated LED light to illuminate your chilly contents, which can fit into the roomy space (7.5 liters, or 12 cans for Fords; 7 liters or 9 cans for Chevy/GMCs), and two USB charging ports for phones and other digital devices.
Controlling the fridge is easy with a soft touch interface, and the compressor is rated for automotive use, so it’s quiet and low on vibrations. Built-in technology will also cause the fridge to turn off once it senses the vehicle’s battery drop below 12 volts, thereby saving power so your truck starts and operates correctly. The CCF-T will stay locked in between 37 to 41 degrees F—no need to mess with adjusting the temp up and down. It’s all automated.
Future Fridge Plans
Rine says Dometic is currently developing a unit to fit the 2021 and newer F-150s—expected to launch in early 2023—as well as Ram trucks. “However,” he says, “there’s a lack of 12-volt power in the console and a sliding cupholder that’s challenging to design around.”
Likewise, other vehicles like smaller trucks and modern SUVs are potential candidates, but fitting all of the refrigeration components in such a small space is a tough task.
“There’s a limited amount of space to work with in the console and the refrigeration design is critical to a properly functioning fridge. Due to the size of the compressor and refrigeration components, we quickly ran out of room for anything larger than a can of soda and a candy bar. Size is a big consideration. We want to make sure what we design brings value to the customer.”
He did mention models to fit vintage SUVs—like Land Cruisers and Land Rovers—may be added to the pipeline down the road, but for now, tossing one of their smaller portable models like the CDF 11 or the CFX3 25 is your best option.