cooling ideas

Submitted: Thursday, Sep 15, 2011 at 14:47
ThreadID: 89035 Views:1961 Replies:6 FollowUps:5
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Hi All

Would appreciate your advice as to how to keep the food cool make it through a 5 day stay in the Hiace without spending too much extra money. Once have the van in the location - am there for 5 days - so can't get out to get ice once the first bactch melts.

Usually move around so it's a not a problem to keep the battery going for the fridge and lights. Any suggestions when staying in one place for exteneded time. Don't want to spend the money on solar or gene just for this one occassion.

Tips appreciated

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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Thursday, Sep 15, 2011 at 14:57

Thursday, Sep 15, 2011 at 14:57
Keep your food like our parents and grandparents did, with a Coolgardie Safe


J and V
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AnswerID: 465088

Reply By: oz doc - Thursday, Sep 15, 2011 at 15:10

Thursday, Sep 15, 2011 at 15:10
Zeddie, a couple of things come to mind- start with block ice- it stays frozen longer. You can make your own using empty milk containers which has the advantage of containing the melted ice/water and keeping it away from the food. Start with as many food items frozen as possible. Meat, milk, ready made meals(curry, stew, casserole),yoghurt- can all be put into the esky frozen and taken out to thaw as neccesary. Take fresh fruit/veggies that don't neccesarily need refrigeration- eg root veggies, cabbage(rather than lettuce), eggs will keep for a few days without refrigeration.Dont forget dried peas, potatoe whip, tinned taters and carrots, corn and other veggies- none of these need refrigeration. Plan meals such that you use the perishable items first and leave meals made from packaged items(such as packet pasta and tinned fish) last. Not sure what you like to drink, but you could take cordial and use the melted ice from your milk container ice blocks to make up a cold drink. Hope this helps a little.Cheers doc.
AnswerID: 465090

Follow Up By: gordon_adel - Thursday, Sep 15, 2011 at 15:22

Thursday, Sep 15, 2011 at 15:22
LOL..I've just answered this very same post on a different web site with basically the same answer.
FollowupID: 739046

Follow Up By: oz doc - Thursday, Sep 15, 2011 at 15:31

Thursday, Sep 15, 2011 at 15:31
Haha G-A- great minds thinking alike. I forgot to mention - for drinks-start the week with frozen uht juices and the beer/white wine cold, towards the end of the week move to tea/coffee,cordial and red wine. doc.
FollowupID: 739048

Reply By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Sep 15, 2011 at 15:31

Thursday, Sep 15, 2011 at 15:31
Slightly Confused Z - you seem to refer to Ice (eskies) and battery fridge - no matter , most points work for both.

The first rule in these things is to take food that requires less cooling.

Almost none of our food requires cooling, lots of simple things you can do.

E.G. take nothing that requires cooking - just heating e.g. frozen pies etc for first 1 or 2 which can be carried out of an esky (with common sense = out of sun in airtight container)

E.G. Milk , take a long life carton per day - no cooling needed, throw out excess.

E.G. Bread - leave out of esky , suck air from bag (sides will collapse around bread with slight vaccum, and re-tie the end.

But the chardonay , well thats another story , and must be cold , so we take a cask pre-frozen (removed from box) which becomes the ice in an esky .
With fridge - just decant 1lt/day and place in fridge.

Ice though is best taken as a big block if you can - and this block should be at 1 end of the esky so that objects closer to it are colder.
Note - Big block can be water in plastic container.

Also - drain water from any ice , wind takes more heat from esky than sun.

Many people do dumb things - like forget to start with everything cold, open esky 10 times a day or buy something not cold from shop and place in esky.

Don't forget

1/ Rivers can cool things.
2/ Running car for 1/2 hour with fridge on max - keeps everything healthy

Robin Miller

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AnswerID: 465094

Follow Up By: zeddie - Thursday, Sep 15, 2011 at 19:22

Thursday, Sep 15, 2011 at 19:22
Thanks for your advice Robin.
Great thinking about the Chardy.

FollowupID: 739075

Reply By: BJ - Thursday, Sep 15, 2011 at 16:19

Thursday, Sep 15, 2011 at 16:19
A small block of dry ice wrapped in newspaper
AnswerID: 465097

Follow Up By: Rob! - Thursday, Sep 15, 2011 at 17:11

Thursday, Sep 15, 2011 at 17:11
In addition to the advoice above I'll second dry ice. We go to moreton every year in November for 5-6 days and take about 10-12kg of dry ice. But make sure everything is sealed in plastic zip-lock bags or other containers. The C02 will alter the taste of your food if it gets into it.

Having ice-cream on the forth day is a treat.

FollowupID: 739061

Reply By: zeddie - Thursday, Sep 15, 2011 at 19:23

Thursday, Sep 15, 2011 at 19:23
Thank you for sharing your experience.
Very much appreciated
AnswerID: 465117

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Sep 15, 2011 at 21:08

Thursday, Sep 15, 2011 at 21:08
Hi Z,

The first thing you need is a good quality Icebox, not Esky.
I have an Evakool 47 litre fibreglass Icebox and it is one of the best available.

Secondly, block ice is the best to start out on your trip with.
I do not use frozen milk cartons as I believe they take up too much room.
I use a couple of plastic containers which are approximately half the length of my Icebox and about the same width. When water is added and frozen, I end up with two blocks of ice about 3 inches thick which line the base of the icebox well.
I place the goods to be kept cold on top of this, (mainly beverages as I also have a fridge) and top up with a bag or two of crushed ice.

The block ice helps keep the crushed ice from melting too quickly and the crushed ice forms around the beverages, etc., thus leaving none, or minimal gaps.

There is still some remains of the block ice several days later.
5 Days minimum is not a problem.

Block ice is not easy to come by in anywhere apart from major towns and even then, I find a slab of block ice is generally too cumbersome to fit easily in the icebox even when chopped in half.
My "home made" slabs are the right size for my icebox and cheap to produce.

I have tried "dry ice" and wouldn't bother with it again.


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AnswerID: 465133

Follow Up By: zeddie - Thursday, Sep 22, 2011 at 00:02

Thursday, Sep 22, 2011 at 00:02
Thanks Sand Man
Appreciate your tips
I'll start my own ice-making!
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