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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: skinnyindy on July 30, 2014, 02:52:06 AM

Title: Road trip food cooler
Post by: skinnyindy on July 30, 2014, 02:52:06 AM
We just got back from a long road trip and we rented a minivan for it because we had two adults, 4 kids, and camping stuff.  We could only buy coolers from stores we drove by and we did see a yeti but they a 're too big and expensive.  Previously we used an electronic cooler but it died quickly so hubby said not again.  But we had to keep buying ice for this year's cooler and the food got soggy.  If we ever do this again, what should we use to keep the food dry but cold?  Double Ziploc s didn't work.  Clamp shut plastic containers?  We wasted a lot of money on food.
Title: Re: Road trip food cooler
Post by: lakemom on July 30, 2014, 05:08:02 AM
Water frozen in 1/2 gallon plastic jugs.  Nest one in each corner of a LARGE cooler then lay a few down on the bottom.  Fill with already cold food.  Put a thick layer of newspaper over the top of everything in the cooler.  Put down the lid.  One thing that really helped us a LOT when traveling long distances/times with the kids was a smaller cooler with drinks/snacks for the day in an accessible spot in the van (for us usually between the front seats but new vans all seem to have a console there).  The big cooler with lunches and everything else was in the cargo spaces under other things and not opened except at lunch and at night.  I also repackage everything we put into the cooler into freezer ziplock bags (sometimes double bagged depending on item) or use the Foodsaver to package items that will be open and used up (ie...meat for the grill for dinners).  We also used to have a few of the "feezer pack" ice things in larger sizes and they work really well too but I wouldn't go out and buy them when frozen water works just as well.
Title: Re: Road trip food cooler
Post by: skinnyindy on July 30, 2014, 08:31:51 PM
We were driving across the country and camping some of the time or motels.  We couldn't freeze things regularly. Has anyone used a car refrigerator, not an electronic cooler? I mean the one with a real compressor.  Because we were traveling for two months, food was an issue since we needed less processed/fast food due to my hubby low salt diet.
Title: Re: Road trip food cooler
Post by: Goldielocks on July 31, 2014, 03:07:32 AM
Friends - our extremely non MMM friends, bought AN $800 real compressor type fridge and it worked great.  An Australian model.  Designed for camping.

I just bought the Coleman 5 extreme, 70 at for under $70.  No one is selling them second hand and sales are rare.  We used our last cooler for 20 yrs, so $70 is likely OK but seemed a lot for a cooler.

  I too double zip lock all and freeze bottles of water, juice, ice pack, meat, almost everything in it is very cold or frozen atvyhe start.  Everything is in plastic tubs ( yogurt containers) where possible.  We use a second cooler for fresh foods and soggy items that would be bad are kept in a tray at the top only. (Bread) After 4 days, ( I am hoping for longer with the new cooler) we start to buy block ice.  I either put it into its own tub, of wrap it three times in bags to seal it.  Note that cold water getting all soggy is good insulator.

Tomorrow we are on a 10 day trip, and I will try to buy dry ice on day 5 instead of block ice.

Hubby bought an electronic cooler for the car snacks, so wed Weill see how long it lasts.