Do you bring coolers? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 01-19-2014, 09:39 PM   #1
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Nate R's Avatar
Name: Nate
Trailer: 1981 Casita 13. TV: 2011 Honda CR-V
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Do you bring coolers?

Trying to get an idea of what others do.

If you have a fridge on your rig, how big?
Do you bring a cooler along when you camp? 2 coolers? 3? How many people and how long does that support you?

Wondering how much food the small fridges really hold for people in real use....Can you get by for a weekend for 2 people with no cooler, and just the fridge in your FGRV?

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Old 01-19-2014, 09:50 PM   #2
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
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Considering that not all your food should need refrigeration, the typical FGRV refrigerator is more than adequate. It's all about: a) Only taking what you will need and, b) package sizes & shapes. Small, tall and square is best, round and fat, not to good for space conservation. For just a couple, even 5 days isn't all that difficult.


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Old 01-19-2014, 09:55 PM   #3
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
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I carry a cooler for those frequently required items such as drinks. :-) Simple because I often running my old fridge on propane and in hot weather the less its opened the better as it takes it awhile in hot weather to recover from having been open. You could easily get by for a week-end trip for two with only using the fridge though.
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:27 PM   #4
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When we camp, installed fridge is ALWAYS full.

We pack 2 coolers (ice cooled) and a suplimantal 'dry goods' container.
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:39 PM   #5
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Trailer: 2011 Scamp 13'
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'So glad you asked as this was a question I had when I was a "newbie". Now that we have camped with the trailer off and on for two years we have a "system". We have an "icebox", not a refrigerator, in the trailer therefore we have to estimate how long a block of ice will last and when we might need to "re-supply". Generally, an ice block will last 3-4 days if the weather is not too hot. If our trip is for 3-4 four days we only need to use the icebox as there is enough space for everything. If our trip is longer we bring a cooler. The icebox is for meats, cheeses, eggs and salad dressings. The cooler is for fresh vegetables, lettuce, cabbage, carrots and fruits such as apples and oranges. I put a wire shelf into the cooler so the fresh items are held above the ice block and are not swimming in melted water. We keep the cooler in the trunk of the tow car so bears (in bear country) cannot get into it. Sometimes we plan to only have fresh food the first 3-4 days and then move on to staples for our other meals when we extend our trip. Think dry spaghetti or rice or dehydrated vegetables, cans of tomato sauce, chili, beef stew, tuna, chicken, fruits, vegetables etc. Staples like fresh carrots, potatoes, cabbage, apples and oranges last a really long time if they are stored in a cool spot.

Think like a sailor or a backpacker when camping and you can have some terrific meals without having everything fresh. Check out this book and website for some great food ideas. The Boat Galley Cookbook
The Gleeful Glamper
Gilda (Jill-da)
"Here we go again on another amazing adventure"
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:16 AM   #6
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Name: Eddie
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21, Lil Joe
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The website you linked to is really great. Galley space in my new trailer is really tight and I had bought several paper towel holders but none really worked. The bungee cord paper towel holder I think will solve my issues.
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:38 AM   #7
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Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
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I'm with Carol. Bring a cooler for those items that you want to keep cold, but are used frequently... like beverages... juice, bottled water, beer, wine, etc.

Even those using ice boxes would be surprised how long it takes to get the interior back down to cold temperature everytime the door is opened. I think it's especially important to keep the door closed if you're depending on ice.

Do yourself a favor and get an indoor/outdoor temperature gauge. Put the outdoor portion inside the refer/ice box and monitor the temperature. It's cheap insurance compared to food spoilage or possibly getting sick while out camping.
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:50 AM   #8
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Name: Eric
Trailer: Scamp 13
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We have a family of 5 and have a small fridge inside our Scamp. We have different styles of camping and eating. We can stretch the one fridge out to 4 days, but more typically we stop every 2-3 days as we are conveniently by a grocery store. Sometimes we add another fridge when we camp in one spot for longer periods of time (~7 days). That is largely due to what we eat and how much food/drinks we choose to keep cold.

I use compressor fridges and have found them very effective at keeping things cold in the hot weather or with frequent door openings. However, those variables obviously make them work harder.
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Old 01-20-2014, 11:04 AM   #9
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On longer trips I bring a cooler for extra ice and food. (I just have an icebox so less room than a fridge.) Weekend trips, or cooler weather, no.
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Old 01-20-2014, 11:22 AM   #10
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Trailer: 2017 Escape 21
Oswego, NY
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I have a 5 cu ft refrigerator, and keep a small cooler in the back of the tow vehicle. I use it to keep things frozen driving back from the store, and to hold some of the more important stuff when defrosting the fridge. Almost all my trips are long term (months).
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Old 01-20-2014, 12:19 PM   #11
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Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
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We commonly take more than one cooler, One in the TV to keep cold drinks and a couple of those small soft-sided ones to keep stuff which could suffer from the heat, like cameras or candy, or for carrying drinks and snacks on a walk or a bike ride.
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:19 PM   #12
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
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My 3 cubic foot fridge seems large enough for one or two people.

However, I have become disenchanted with its cooling ability and intend to take a cooler next summer so I can be certain that my milk and stuff won't spoil. I wish I had a Danfoss compressor 12v fridge... or maybe even an icebox would be better than this stupid Norwarm (NorCOLD my FOOT)!
In the '60s, people took LSD to make the world seem weird.
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:28 PM   #13
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Escape 19 and Escape 15B
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We have a nice large 6.7 cu-ft 3-way fridge in our Escape 19'. It is large enough that for many trips we could make do without a cooler. However, I like to bring along a cooler for mostly drinks, which can then sit outside with me when we are enjoying the sun and having a few cool ones.
Dave W - 2013 Escape 19', 2013 Escape 15B and 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser

"You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." - Yogi Berra
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:30 PM   #14
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Name: Russ
Trailer: Scamp 16' side dinette, Airstream Safari 19'
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We have a mid sized fridge that really works well and has no trouble keeping food at any temp we select. The size is good for a few days duration.
We also carry 2 plastic Colman coolers about 24" long size. One typically has block and cubed ice and a few drinks that are accessed often. We store it in the shade outside the trailer.
The other cooler is used for dry food storage to protect it from sun, bugs, and animals. It is also stored outside.
This has been working well for us.

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