Fridges and kids - 3rd row seats or trailer

Hi all and sundry,
First post here, (is there some sort of forum topic index at this site that I can't find ?)
we're planning a 6 wk tour from Vic - NT - Qld - back home, but still haven't finalised spread of the kids and the fridge; I'm looking for any suggestions that may help decide. (We're heading off in 4 weeks' time.)
The vehicle is a lwb pajero, with a large roof rack, towing a powered camper trailer. The load is 2 adults and 3 boys aged 7,9 and 10.
Now all of you out there who have had littlies would be aware of the fine tolerances involved in sharing space in the back seat of the car! So we can use the 3rd row of seats and put one of the boys there, so they can spread out a bit and we'll presumably have much less conflict back there.

However, that means we can no longer have the fridge in the car - it will have to go into the camper trailer which we'll be towing. (Unfortunately for this situation the 3rd row is a fixed twin seat unit.) That's not a bad plan, but trouble there is of course our old 40 litre engel doesn't fit into the trailer; the opening in the side of the trailer is 400mm, and the fridge is taller than that.
Modding the trailer to take the current fridge is looking like $1200+; not exactly something I'm hanging out to do.

Maybe it's time for a new fridge - but the height restriction of what will fit into the trailer is limiting the choice of fridge to 31 litre units (waeco 35ac verb or waeco 35cdf seem like the largest capacity fridges that are less than 400mm in height).

Maybe 31 litre capacity will be enough... Or maybe we can put up with the kids not putting up with each other for 6 weeks!

So the questions I have are as follows:
1. Is a family travelling for 6 weeks with a 31litre (only) capacity fridge unrealistic ? (we plan to mix free camping with caravan parks)
2. Anyone know of a decent 40+ litre fridge that's less than 400mm in height ?
3. Is 3 typical kids all across the back seat together for 6 weeks' travel likely to be a disaster ? (this one depends on what ours are like, I know, but maybe you've some stories that can enlighten me!)

Any useful tips would be much appreciated!
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Reply By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Tuesday, Aug 07, 2012 at 23:53

Tuesday, Aug 07, 2012 at 23:53
ok guys,
First thing is where do you plan to go ???? 6 weeks without seeing any form of towns ????? It is impossible with that fridge if you dont have places to stock it, but your plan is most probally 6 weeks holiday, we have done that and it is so easy, nothing is more than 6 hours MAX apart on the trip you are planning so you dont need a big fridge, you are going to see Austrailia so dont stress about the kids, we have 3 and did 11,000klms in 5 weeks and we were fine,, 3 kids across the back seat is NORMAL, buy a DVD system, they will love you for it ..... get a spanner and un-bolt the back seats and throw them in the tip .... you will need that space................
You hear all sorts of crap about "remote" but drive for 4 hours in any direction and you will come across any town with all the food you will ever need ......
I think your main problem is you are looking at the big picture and worry about the kids, they are fine, get a good set of headrest DVD players and some good DVD's and they will last for 1000nds of klms, plan your trip around you and how far you are comfertable to drive in and you will be fine ...................
Just drive and stop..... when ya need to .
Cheers and have a good trip
AnswerID: 492503

Follow Up By: 205 - Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 00:04

Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 00:04
Thanks Joe
We're not going that remote, bit of off road but not beyond civilization for more than a few days at a time.
I should clarify - "fixed" 3rd row means can't just fold out one bum's worth of seating in the 3rd row - it's 2 or nothing.
I get your drift, thanks.
FollowupID: 768186

Reply By: Roughasguts - Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 01:12

Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 01:12
Can you mount the fridege on the draw bar of the camper trailer?

At least you will then have easy access to it while driving!

AnswerID: 492504

Follow Up By: Bush Wanderer - Thursday, Aug 09, 2012 at 23:10

Thursday, Aug 09, 2012 at 23:10
Do you just pop up the back window and hop onto the draw bar while driving to grab a coldie, or do you need to stop LOL

No at bad idea for the draw bar.

FollowupID: 768296

Reply By: Peter McG (Member, Melbourne) - Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 07:33

Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 07:33
If you use the space in the back for fridge and stuff then I strongly suggest you fit a cargo barrier to protect all passengers.

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AnswerID: 492508

Reply By: Member - rosschris - Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 08:09

Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 08:09
we have 3 boys and travellled alot some of the time with friends on outback trips.......with friends we would kid swap during the long drives it was sooooo good dvds then ...we always sat the youngest in the middle seat of the hilux ..when touring... i dont think iot would make that much difference to have one in the third seat when they are bored.....have a barrier behind seat apprecite the space on longer trips with everything easier to find... its good to have your fridge in the car.... keeps it cooler when its hot.... easy access cause its always there... not always having the trailer on the back....anyway the kids will learn alot and enjoy....chris.
AnswerID: 492511

Reply By: Pushy - Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 08:36

Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 08:36

I have found that if you have three in the back seat and they start to get on everybody's nerves it means that they need a break and more importantly the DRIVER needs a break. Stop get out and stretch your legs if even for only 5 minutes. Surely you can afford a few minutes here and there and everybody stays alert.

In most cases if you stop at a creek, small town or a playground you will be often surprised at what you will find.

Even if you stick one in the back seat they will find a way to aggravate each other.

Personally, I hate dvd's or any other form of electronic diversion. It is supposed to be a family trip for everybody to interact.

Stops may add to the time to get to a certain place but small stops let you enjoy more and possibly really connect with the route instead of flying past everything at 100 k.

AnswerID: 492517

Follow Up By: fisho64 - Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 21:59

Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 21:59
thats pretty funny, Id be "stopping to stretch the legs" before backing out of the driveway most times.
FollowupID: 768257

Reply By: dindy - Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 08:49

Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 08:49
Just a thought, I don't know what the cargo area seat configuration is in your pagero as you don't say what model ypu have. I had an NG and it had separate seats. Would it be possible to remove the existing seat and beg borrow or steal a single seat for the duration of your trip? If a single seat fits it may be an option to see if you can get one from a wreckers. Then you have this setup for future trips. The fridge can sit beside the single seat.
AnswerID: 492518

Follow Up By: dindy - Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 09:06

Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 09:06
Another thought, full of them today, I always found the best way to keep the kids occupied was to involve them directly in the trip. That is to say give each of them some responsibility, for example swap the seating arrangements around so mom might drive one day dad sits in the back and one of the kids is the navigator, one can make sure that driver is keeping to the speed limit keeping track of fuel consumption etc, looking after tyre pressures one looking after the camper etc it sounds a bit geeky but if you involve them right from the beginning they won't feel that they are just being dragged along. ps i saw more fights about dvds and electronic gizmos than anything else until they got disposed of at a truck stop one evening!
FollowupID: 768195

Reply By: Wheretonext - Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 09:46

Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 09:46
At the moment we are traveling (9 wks) and have 3 boys also!! And they are seated altogether!!
You will need a fridge with 3 boys and a well stocked one at that!!
If you can afford to buy another fridge then do so and then you have 2!! One for the back of the car for cold drinks!! As you will need plenty of cold drinks!! And keep the other one in camp trailer!! All I can say traveling with 3 kids is easy!! Also this is our second trip!! Enjoy your holiday!!
AnswerID: 492524

Reply By: Pushy - Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 09:48

Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 09:48

I think you find a 31 litre fridge a bit small but with good planning it can work.

It all depends how many cold drinks you need at the end of the day.
AnswerID: 492525

Reply By: The Bantam - Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 09:57

Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 09:57
This may be no help at all BUT.

have you checked the loadcarrying and towing capacities of both the vehicle and trailer.....AND have you put it fully loaded over a weight bridge.

Remember if you are near towing capacity your tow vehicles load carring capacity may be reduced.

I post this because most station waggon 4wds have quite poor payloads and by the time you put 5 pasengers, a bull bar and a roof rack on, you may find yourself overloaded.

SO.....the choice may be less peace and harmony and more legality and safety.

AnswerID: 492526

Reply By: member - mazcan - Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 15:27

Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 15:27
hi 205
i disagree with the suggestion of installing a dvd system you are taking your kids to learn about out of way places and an alternative way of life thats different to normal life style
so let them take it all in as you go rather than have them staring at a screen on the back of a seat rest
get them interested in navigation and reading up on where your going and features of each area to watch out for plus taking video and photos and recording the trip details on a daily basisin a travel diary
that will be far more educational than staring at dvds
they have enough of that at home
off hand i cant think of any fridge that low
my 40lt engel is 480mm high
AnswerID: 492542

Follow Up By: Ross M - Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 16:04

Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 16:04
I agree with you "mazcan", DO NOT buy a DVD player for the kids, they don't need more of what is already freely available and possibly ruining their outlook on life.
I drove Interstate coaches and the poor knowledge and outlook of many young people can only be attributed to getting more and more of what already is stuffing them up.
Let them learn travelling means distance and patience and there is always things to see and learn about the everchanging landscape.
If the parents have a positive outlook then they will want the travel to enrich the lives of the young. Gotta take the good with the not so good.
Once their eyes are opened to the world they can develop as rounded humans, not square eyed with no future adjustments possible.
FollowupID: 768224

Reply By: Member - Grant- Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 21:02

Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 21:02
Hello 205.
I have 3 boys, 10, 8 and 7. Fortunetly the Prado has a split 3rd row, so we have a 59 litre Weaco sitting next to the rear child.
Yes, 3 lads can be a hand full, but you need a fridge, and 31 litres probably would be a pain. I'd stick them all in the 2nd row, limit the DVD time, get them involved as mentioned, play spotto and give them competitions about your travel locations. 2 years ago we didn't have a camper, and had all 3 in the third row, with no DVD players. Played games all the way to the Cape (from SA) and all did well. Admittedly the Mrs and I started to wig out after about 6 weeks.

Good luck and have a great time.
AnswerID: 492559

Reply By: Alex I - Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 21:15

Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 21:15
Only joking:
Sell the kid's to the slave trade and fill the fridge with beer!
Only joking!
Hat, Coat, Gone.
AnswerID: 492563

Reply By: Alex I - Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 21:16

Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 21:16
Only joking:
Sell the kid's to the slave trade and fill the fridge with beer!
Only joking!
Hat, Coat, Gone.
AnswerID: 492564

Reply By: zigglemeister - Thursday, Aug 09, 2012 at 18:00

Thursday, Aug 09, 2012 at 18:00
Hi, I had the exact same problem as you wrt kids and fridge - five kids meant the fridge had to go in the trailer, but after looking at all the 40-50 litre ones, couldn't find one to fit. In the end I found an Evakool 70 litre fridge. It's longer but lower than most, and fitted nicely into my trailer. I just went and measured it, it's about 425 mm tall, so maybe too tall for your trailer still, but I thought I'd mention it just in case, because it was a bit counter-intuitive to look at BIGGER fridges to find one that fitted.
AnswerID: 492599

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