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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Living in IA, I would think keeping food cold isn’t a problem most of the year. As far as a microwave, ask a hotel or gas station to use theirs. Most don’t care. Make sure you are using glass and not plastic as your storage vessel, don’t microwave plastic

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Suburb of Des Moines, IA
    Thanks for all of the suggestions!
    Suarez International Staff Instructor, Iowa

    "It's not the will to win that matters--everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters." --Paul "Bear" Bryant
    "Love of theory is the root of all evil." --William M. Briggs

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    If you're going with a cooler, I've had a yeti 45 for three years now. Love the thing, and their ice packs last for a weekend in 90+ weather if you don't load hot cans of beer into it.


    Try to replace hardware with technique. Technique is free, lightweight, and cannot be lost.
    RGF- Greg Nichols-Milton, WI

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Exiled in Texas
    I have next to zero experience in this area, but I can point you to some ideas based on stuff that I've read. I sometimes dream about chucking it all and going to live in a van (down by the river). These daydreams prompted a lot of internet research, and ultimately many unproductive hours on the Expedition Overland webpage and forum. So I'm just regurgitating things that I've heard before.

    -Skip the traditional RV style fridges. Look for advertising that uses the word "overland" or "offroad." The important point here is that some refrigerators won't function at all unless they are perfectly level. So if you park on a slight incline, the fridge won't function.
    -Think about how much volume you really need. If the fridge is too large, it will take more energy to keep it cool. If it is relatively empty, it takes even more energy. So don't buy an 80q fridge if a 48q will do.
    -You are going to need an additional battery. In addition to the battery you have, you'll need a second deep-cycle battery that is isolated. You don't want the fridge to be able to drain the battery that starts the car.
    -You may need an additional alternator. You could go solar, but a second alternator makes more sense for people who are driving regularly. Solar panels are more valuable when you are stopped for a week or more at a time.
    -Insulate the refrigerator for best results, but pay attention to vent locations.
    -ARB and Diometic are the most popular choices among people who live in their vans.
    -All refrigerators have limits, even the one in your home. Most portable, DC refrigerators cannot handle more than a 40-degree shift. Meaning that on a 90-degree day, it will only get your food down to 50-degrees. Some of the better units can shift the temperature 50 or 60 degrees. And the little units that you plug into a 12v lighter outlet might not even be capable of 40-degrees.

    -A super-insulated cooler is much less expensive than a refrigerator.
    -With dry ice, a good cooler can last over a week (as long as you aren't constantly opening it).
    -For a real expedition or living in a van, the cooler is an unsatisfactory choice. But for road trips it is generally more economical and lower maintenance. It also doesn't require any vehicle modifications (battery, alternator, solar).

    -A camp stove works at a picnic table, but is not a good choice inside a vehicle.
    -The camp stove is versatile, very portable, and can be used for camping in general; not just from the car.
    -NEVER use a white gas stove inside a car or tent.
    -The compressed gas stoves begin to have problems when the temperature dips below 20F.
    -Immersion heaters can make hot water for tea or coffee.
    -Larger immersion heaters can be used for sous vide cooking.
    -Small microwaves can work.

    The limiting factor is likely to be the vehicle itself. If you are essentially conducting stakeouts, a passenger car sucks. Even a truck is only a slight improvement. The van reigns supreme in this area. Even a minivan would be an improvement.
    Last edited by LawDog; 11-18-2019 at 03:17 PM.
    Virtute et Armis

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Thank you, counsel. Learned something in spite of myself.
    Warrior for the working day.

    Es una cosa muy seria. --Robert Capa

    "...I rode the range in a Ford V8...Yippy Yi Yo Ki Yay." --Johnny Mercer (as modified)

    "What cannot be remedied must be endured."

    Vale et omnia quae.


  6. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Se AZ
    ICECO makes the state of the art 12volt vehicle refrigerators and freezers

    From owning a few they are not joking when they advertise how cold they get from ambient temperature. I won't run anything else in Arizona
    Originally Posted by Gabe Suarez

    War is not moral...fighting of any sort, is not moral. It is about killing the adversary. So here is the rule. Do what you need to do to win...have a ready explanation to justify it according to whatever rules you are supposed to be playing only with people you can trust or work alone...then stick to your story and keep your mouth shut.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Over the road truckers have these crock pot type cookers that plug into 12v cig lighters sockets. Check them out online or at your local truck stop. Load it up in the morn and cooks while you go down the road. Ive you want to get super fancy a big enough inverter will run a small microwave. Ive known construction type guys do this.

    Coolers with frozen water bottles work just fine keeping stuff cold for me.


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