This console cooler for your car may be the biggest ‘duh’ invention in a long time.
In the past year, I’ve driven to all my adventures — mountain bike trailheads across the Northeast nearly every summer and fall weekend, plus two laps cross-country. For most of those trips, I had to pull over to grab a cold drink from my cooler, which lived in my back seat or passenger wheel well.
Then I turned my center console into a cooler with Dometic’s CCF-T, which puts cold drinks and refrigerated snacks at my fingertips, no ice required.
In short: If you can stomach a little light vehicle modification — drilling a hole in your center console — the Dometic CCF-T adds serious convenience to your Ford. Of course, it also adds a $600 hit to your wallet, but if long road trips are on tap for your Ford pickup or Expedition, it could be well worth it.
Dometic CCF-T Center Console Refrigerator Review
The innovative, 12-can capacity Dometic CCF-T Center Console Refrigerator seamlessly integrates into the center console right where I can safely reach it while driving.
The front of the fridge has an on/off button. When the fridge is on, a snowflake lights up with a blue LED. When it’s off, the snowflake is dark. But it’s okay to leave it on all the time, because the CCF-T automatically shuts off once the vehicle battery hits 12v.
When I shut my truck off with the fridge still on, the next time I started the engine, the fridge powered up automatically. It’s worth noting that you cannot adjust the CCF-T’s temperature. It’s factory set to 37 degrees F, and Dometic says it fluctuates between 32 degrees F and 41 degrees F.
Installing the fridge took me about 30 minutes, and the only stressful part was cutting a hole in the center console for the fridge fan with a hole saw — because, you know, I was cutting a hole in my truck.
I followed the directions that came with the fridge and it installed seamlessly — ready to roll. Don’t worry, there’s no wiring required. The fridge plugs into a 12v outlet in the console.
A low-noise, low-energy, automotive-approved compressor powers the 7.5L fridge, so it’s nearly silent.
No More Extra Steps
“We saw the opportunity to develop a product that we historically produced only for OEMs on expensive, high-end vehicles. We wanted to offer consumers the same via an aftermarket, self-install option to bring the convenience of the center console refrigerator to a broader consumer base,” Tim Hall, Dometic’s vice president of commercial passenger vehicles division, said. “Everyone who gets to experience the benefit of having cold drinks and food easily available in their vehicle loves it.”
He’s right. I had cold drinks at the end of every mountain bike ride. I could grab a seltzer while I was driving. And my sandwich wasn’t baking in the sun all day in my car.
The console cooler eliminates the extra steps of locating a cooler, loading it with ice packs or ice, drinks, and food — and then loading it into the car. Now, I just drop a six-pack and snacks into my console and hit the road.
The cooler has two USB charging ports on the front. I never used them because I have USB ports in my truck. And with a phone or other charging cables plugged into the Dometic, I’d have to keep the center console lid up because my center console doesn’t have a cord port.
The only downside to having a cooler in my center console is that I can’t use that space as my in-car junk drawer anymore. But I’ve found there are plenty of other places to stash the gear I used to keep in there.
Ford Trucks Only: Dometic CCF-T Compatibility
For now, the mini-fridge fits the Ford F-150, F-250, F-350, and F-450 for model years 2015 and beyond. It also fits Ford’s Expedition (2018 and newer) and Ford’s Raptor.
Hall said that Dometic is currently working on CCF-T for additional applications, especially to target additional truck and SUV lines.