Making Space for a Fridge in the Nissan Frontier: Custom Storage Drawers

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Some years ago Brooke kind of whined to me moments after we crossed into Mexico for a two-week trip by going, "You're going to add a fridge to the truck next, right? It'd really be nice to have."

Okay, just kidding.  About the whining part only.  But she really did command a fridge - as in REFRIGERATOR.  Fridge/freezer to be a little more specific. (More info: 5 Things to Know About 12v Fridge/Freezers)

Why are you laughing? You think I'm kidding?

All my friends had one, and in particular Scott Brady once quipped, "Any stock vehicle can run most trails in Baja as long as it has a fridge." Meanwhile, everybody who owned one said they didn't know how they got along with out it before.  (Right, as if ice is so scarce). Good ol' K.C. always railed on the idea of a fridge in the recreation truck, rolling his eyes: "Dude, seriously, you don't need a damn fridge to go out for a three day weekend. An ice chest with 8 pounds of ice will get you though."

But whatever.  Brooke wanted a 12-volt Engel fridge, and the only reasonable way we were going to fit it was to squeeze it into the truck bed rather than the cab. Fine . . . I wanted one too. They're cool, and it presented me with a little challenge to build these weatherproof an robust custom drawers.

Construction & Photos

  • 1/2" and 3/4" Baltic birch plywood
  • 30" 100-lbs capacity full extension ball bearing slides
  • Speaker handles with spring loading
  • Coated in "herculiner" truck bed liner for weather resistance


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# r.f. 2009-11-15 23:21
whered you get the handles for the drawers? gives me good ideas for my own set up. but I have a ARE camper shell and have space for the engel 60 liter
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Mark Stephens
+4 / 0
# Mark Stephens 2009-12-03 00:14
I got the handles from usspeaker ( The handles are awesome.
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# John 2010-11-13 13:01
Hi Mark,
Very nice storage setup. Did you put any type of weatherstrippin g to keep out rain/dust around the doors of the drawers, or are they covered by your tonnaue/camper shell for protection?
PS your truck is my inspiration for my Frontier!
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0 / 0
# Mark 2010-11-14 15:06
Hi John -
Oh where or where do I begin? Okay, no, I haven't sealed drawers. I've thought about sealing the tailgate, and I really should. Sealing the tailgate would do the best job. I have no good excuse as to why I haven't done that yet. :-)
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# Joe 2011-06-14 21:24
Okay I know nothing about these fridges, but I'm interested. Do you keep it hooked up to your truck battery 24/7 while camping? Does it drain the battery? Do you need a generator to keep it going when the truck isn't running?
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+2 / 0
# Mark 2011-06-17 15:23
Joe, you gave me an idea. In short, yes, it's always connected to the battery. However we do have an auxiliary deep-cycle battery for these extras. No generator required. I'll post something more detailed.... hang on.
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+1 / 0
# Mark 2011-07-19 12:53
Joe, we've posted up answers to these questions and more on this page, check it out:
5 Things You Need to Know Before Buying a 12v Fridge/Freezer for Your Truck or Camper
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Custom Truck Beds
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# Custom Truck Beds 2012-02-19 08:23
Great post. I really like it. Thanks for sharing. I will surely gonna be back. Thanks for sharing.
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