Cool food/drink during months on the road
What is the best way for maintaining a cold cool box whilst spending several months on the road, when you're spending nights in motels or camp sites? How easy is it going to be to re-freeze the cold block in your cool box/bag? Would you suggest using something different? I don't know what you guys use over in America, but in the UK we have boxes and bags that can be filled with food and drink which are kept cool due to the frozen, plastic-wrapped block of ice.
I'm just thinking of money-saving ideas for when I'm on my road trip. If I can eat out of a cool box instead of restaurants all the time, surely I must save some $$$.
Coleman brand makes an Xtreme cooler that is heavily insulated and is supposed to keep ice intact for up to 5 days or so. You might look into these. They are a bit more expensive but I have friends who camp for a week in the desert each summer and keeping food cooled has always been a problem. As long as they are careful to open the cooler as little as possible, they have had ice for their entire trip with the Xtreme cooler.
I usually do shorter excursions so I haven't bothered with the expense of an Xtreme. Ice is easy to find along the way. Virtually every gas station sells ice in bags for coolers. YOu can buy it cubed or in a block. It's no big deal to dump daily, or every other day, as needed and refill with fresh ice.
I also use a small 12-volt cooler in my car that is about 9 pop cans in capacity. In fact, on car trips this is usually the only cooler I use. It's nice not to hassle with ice at all. However, I do carry small zip-lock bags for ice if I need it. The 12-volt coolers draw a fair amount of electricity so you shouldn't have them running for long while you're stopped somewhere. If I'm planning a longer stop, I'll fill the zip-lock bag with ice and leave it in the 12-volt cooler while I'm gone so I can turn the cooler off and not have it drain my battery. The amount I take is small enough where I can easily fill it from pop dispensers at mini-marts or places like McDonalds for free.
You can eat much cheaper by using a cooler and preparing your own sandwiches and other foods. I usually take a small 1-burner stove with me as well so I can cook simple meals. Most grocery stores have deli sections so you should have no problems cheaply refilling your food supplies.
Coleman Xtreme Cooler
Thanks very much Judy, that information was very useful. Do you know anywhere online that I can have a look at these coolers? Do you have a weblink please?
Thanks very much.
We can do that!
Here is a link for a 70qt Extreme Cooler but there are other sizes as well.
Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-16-2007 at 05:48 PM.
Reason: URl Format
You can search for the Xtreme coolers here.
Here's one with 12-volt coolers.
Mine's like the Koolatron in the upper left corner for $59.95 but I only paid about $30 for it at Wal-Mart
Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-16-2007 at 05:50 PM.
Thanks Ed. Thanks Judy. That info will be very useful.
I use two ice chest. In one of them, I have all my stuff, with some ice to keep it cold. In the other one, I load just dry ice, and open it once a day only to refresh the first one. It also helps if you seal it with tape to make sure there's no leaks. It's worked while camping for one week out in the desert with 100+ degree temperatures, but it's a little bulky. For a long term roadtrip, I'd just keep buying ice at gas stations an supermarkets. You can find it almost everywhere for only a couple of dollars.