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Old 11-16-2019, 12:21 PM   #1
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Food storage

Hi there!

We will be embarking on our first, but hopefully not last, extended trip in our MH in January. I wanted to take a lot of prepped frozen meals so that I'm not cooking all the time: also we will be boondocking about a third of the time.

Obviously, the fridge/freezer is not large enough for all this food. I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with a portable, electric freezer? (We usually do dry ice on our camping trips, but this is way more than that!)

We will be in southern Arizona and a few weeks in SoCal.

Thanks for any ideas!
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Old 11-16-2019, 01:03 PM   #2
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GJ, we considered an extra freezer but rejected the idea because of the power draw. Unless you have hookups, it would be tough to run the freezer with the batteries and then charge the batteries continually.

Instead, we often boondock for weeks at a time, bringing about ten frozen entrees with us. We cook meals at home (mostly BBQ meat) and freeze meal-size packets. About six of them fit into the freezer of our on-board fridge. The other four go into the cooler with blocks of ice (we freeze two liter bottles of water at home).

We then use the meals in the cooler first, because they are no longer frozen.

We often have meals that don't involve frozen meat. For example, we will make ramen and will add canned meats and vegetables. Hot soup may come in handy -- the southwestern deserts can get pretty chilly during the winter!

Taking all of this together, we can often go 14 days without having to shop for main course meats. And markets will often have pre-packaged BBQ meats, such as pulled pork, when we have to re-stock.
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Old 11-16-2019, 01:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GJ Kids View Post
Hi there!

We will be embarking on our first, but hopefully not last, extended trip in our MH in January. I wanted to take a lot of prepped frozen meals so that I'm not cooking all the time: also we will be boondocking about a third of the time.

Obviously, the fridge/freezer is not large enough for all this food. I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with a portable, electric freezer? (We usually do dry ice on our camping trips, but this is way more than that!)

We will be in southern Arizona and a few weeks in SoCal.

Thanks for any ideas!

My DW is a wizard at this and is constantly searching the internet for new ideas. I think she got a lot of inspiration from Pintrest which has a large section on Rvs and camping. Last fall we took a trip to the Lower-48 via the Alaska Highway and we always had a good variety of meals to eat that took minimal efforts to prepare on the road.
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Old 11-16-2019, 02:06 PM   #4
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One third of the time boondocking? Not sure of how long that actually is. A freezer would pull allot of energy and Iím not sure of your set up. So...perhaps a large cooler with dry ice.
Everyone cooks/eats differently. A instapot is awesome, cookers much quicker and pulls less power than a crock pot. There isnít anything you canít cook on a bbq-grill. If your not a cook you could still go with the cooler & dry ice for prepared meals. Dehydrated soups are super easy too!
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Old 11-16-2019, 02:14 PM   #5
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What kind of RV do you have?

Inverter?
Generator?
Solar panels?
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Old 11-16-2019, 02:15 PM   #6
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We use a Food Saver Vacuum sealer to save left overs and pre-made meals. It reduces the food to a minimum size. Just donít go overboard on the bag size.

The meals can be thawed and reheated or just dropped in a pot of boiling water to reheat.
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Old 11-16-2019, 02:29 PM   #7
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I happen to have a 5 cuft chest freezer in our 5er and the specs on it says it draws 1.2 amps at 120 volts. I also have 4, 6 volt batteries, 520 watts of solar panels on this 5er, an MMPT controller and a 2000 watt inverter. Running only the freezer and the other parasitic drains normally found in the rig, Iíve observed no more than a 8.5 Amp draw on my batteries after sunset with no other outside power source. Assuming Iím fully charged at sunset, my freezer only consumes between 6-10% of my available storage capacity overnight. Ergo, about 23 amp hours.

My setup will easily support what youíre talking about.
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Old 11-16-2019, 04:00 PM   #8
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I can see having frozen meals for your initial long traveling days but not for a whole trip; although you didn't say how long you'll be away.

Bring a grill and grill your meat. Then add a veggie and salad and roll and you're done. No real cooking to slave over.
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Old 11-16-2019, 04:54 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the responses!

I guess I should have said we'll be out for about 3 months. I've already been using my vacuum sealer to make entrees and soups. We plan on dry stuff such as mac and cheese, tuna and ramen for extra.

Also should have said that I'm a vegetarian but hubby eats meat, although he comes over to the dark side a lot.

Yes, we have solar, an inverter and a generator.

We plan on stopping between campgrounds (AZ) to stock up on fresh stuff. Do have an instapot and will be cooking some meals in it.

Dry ice is expensive, to my mind, so that's why we were thinking of a cooler we could plug in.

Again, thanks for all the comments!
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Old 11-17-2019, 07:17 AM   #10
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A cooler like a Yeti or Pelican would allow you to keep some frozen stuff for probably a week or more if you only opened it to grab what you needed that day.
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Old 11-17-2019, 10:03 AM   #11
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GJ, how much solar do you have? It is fairly easy to calculate whether your setup can support an extra freezer -- you plug in each appliance and then use your multi-meter to measure the draw of each item. (If you don't know how to do that, don't despair -- there are lots of YouTube videos on the subject. That is how I learned to do this.)

And if you will be in the southwest for most of this trip, you should have plenty of sunshine. Yes, the sun angle is low this time of year, but it is rarely cloudy.
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Old 11-17-2019, 10:38 AM   #12
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Another route to take. https://www.amazon.com/SMETA-Compact.../dp/B071VK3MXM
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Old 11-20-2019, 01:15 PM   #13
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After reading all the great comments and suggestions, I think we are going to go with two extra coolers. We have an Engel cooler we use for river trips, and I think we're going to make that our full-time extra freezer. We also have a Lifetime cooler from WalMart that really does quite well -- we've had it keep regular ice for almost 5 days out in the heat. That will be our in between cooler. We'll just stop in between campgrounds and refresh with ice/dry ice. BTW we will not have a toad on this trip, so planning is essential.

The electric freezers look great but are super expensive for us, at least for this year.

Thanks again!!
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Old 11-20-2019, 02:55 PM   #14
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Many back pack campers/hikers go to sporting goods stores like REI and get dried food to carry in their back packs. Also I used to pack boxes of MREs I would buy at military surplus stores in my RV for weekend trips before I went full time.
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