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Stocking the pantry and fridge for camping


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Getting ready for an upcoming trip.

I thought I'd share some of what I do to stock for camping.

My first shopping trip is to the home fridges and freezer, and my home pantry. I pull staples from dry goods. Partial bottles of ketchup, mustard, mayo, hot sauce are just fine. I might not come home with a partial, to add to another partial bottle. 

I often shop at Costco, so large quantities get broken down and portioned when I  get home. Then,  marinated or seasoned,  and vac packed, labeled,  and frozen, in the case of meats, poultry,  and fish. I like to freeze items flat, on a cookie sheet,, so they stack better.. My freezer is a great start for camping proteins,  just as it is for meal starters at home.

The day before we leave, I usually make and chill a container each of  pasta salad, potato salad, and cole slaw. Freeze sliced lunch meats. I precook a pound of bacon, and pack it in a flat container or ziplock. I cook/"boil" 6 to 12 eggs, as we like boiled eggs, and they can become egg salad for lunch, a quick breakfast, or a high protein snack.

I try to make a list of proteins and ingredients on hand, so we often only have to add produce and bread in a two or three week trip. Sometimes,  not much of that, either. I  carry milk in shelf stable quarts. 

In cooler weather, I  often make a batch or two of soup,  and freeze it. Sometimes precook pasta, and store it in ziplocks, with a little olive oil. Depends on the season.

I don't have a microwave,  but precooked rice, pasta, etc, can be reheated easily stovetop, or in foil packets on the fire.

It's nice to have some meal items prepped for the first few days or first week. Keeps dinner interesting,  but easier, after a long day of exploring. 

Sherry

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Good tips!

Refigerator/Freezer space is limited so I plan our meals in advance so that we only take exactly what we need.  We're leaving in a week so today I made lentil sloppy joes, sweet potato and black been burgers, vegan chili and chunky veggie soup.  Those are now in the freezer ready to go.  I used to put brown rice in freezer bags but since freezer space is so limited, I now purchase the brown rice in those shelf stable packets that I keep in the pantry.  We use shelf stable soy milk that can be stored until ready to be chilled in the fridge.  At home generally I eat a large green salad each day for lunch and during our last trip I made individual containers for the week but they FROZE 😳  I think the fridge was stuffed too full? Since that trip, I've decided that veggie sandwiches will be a better choice.  Oatmeal for breakfast with berries.  I find the fridge and freezer are large enough for a weeks worth of groceries, we eat LOTS of fresh fruits and veggies and they are bulky.  We find that taking a cooler helps, we keep waters, beer and wine in that and it helps free up room in the trailer refrigerator.  

I'm thinking of figuring out some menus using freeze dried components because those are lightweight and can be put into baggies just like the backpackers use.  Mostly for soups, stews, chilis.  

 

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Steph and Steve from Jacksonville OREGON


Oliver Elite II, Pickup May 2019


Ram 1500 4x4 

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Thank you, very good information.  I’ll have to share it with Krunch because my involvement in the food department has to do with grilling and chilling.  Oh and the Oreo's are my responsibility as well.

Mossey

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Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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6 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

Getting ready for an upcoming trip.

I thought I'd share some of what I do to stock for camping.

My first shopping trip is to the home fridges and freezer, and my home pantry. I pull staples from dry goods. Partial bottles of ketchup, mustard, mayo, hot sauce are just fine. I might not come home with a partial, to add to another partial bottle. 

I often shop at Costco, so large quantities get broken down and portioned when I  get home. Then,  marinated or seasoned,  and vac packed, labeled,  and frozen, in the case of meats, poultry,  and fish. I like to freeze items flat, on a cookie sheet,, so they stack better.. My freezer is a great start for camping proteins,  just as it is for meal starters at home.

The day before we leave, I usually make and chill a container each of  pasta salad, potato salad, and cole slaw. Freeze sliced lunch meats. I precook a pound of bacon, and pack it in a flat container or ziplock. I cook/"boil" 6 to 12 eggs, as we like boiled eggs, and they can become egg salad for lunch, a quick breakfast, or a high protein snack.

I try to make a list of proteins and ingredients on hand, so we often only have to add produce and bread in a two or three week trip. Sometimes,  not much of that, either. I  carry milk in shelf stable quarts. 

In cooler weather, I  often make a batch or two of soup,  and freeze it. Sometimes precook pasta, and store it in ziplocks, with a little olive oil. Depends on the season.

I don't have a microwave,  but precooked rice, pasta, etc, can be reheated easily stovetop, or in foil packets on the fire.

It's nice to have some meal items prepped for the first few days or first week. Keeps dinner interesting,  but easier, after a long day of exploring. 

Sherry

 

Sounds very much like what I do.  Though I do like to cook, I'd rather spend my "camp time" enjoying the out doors.

Throughout the year, as I prepare dishes at home, I make larger than two person amounts and freeze some for camping.  Cuts down on the pre-trip preparation.  Pre-cooking the bacon is a great idea - cuts down on the cooking smell inside the trailer.  I sometimes do that with sausage. 

I'm amazed that you can get all that food in a small fridge.  We are accustomed to a 6 cu ft Dometic fridge, but it is very poorly designed, so not the most efficient at storage.  We usually carry a week's worth of meals, then stock up on groceries along the way, as needed.  Very rarely do we eat out.

 I much prefer the interior of the Norcold, with the wire racks (ours are plastic) and larger door shelves.  We plan to carry a cooler in the pickup for our journey from Tennessee to Oregon - December 7 delivery.  It's not a Yeti, but a high performance Coleman.  We cover it with a down blanket during the day and use large gel ice packs and a remote thermometer to monitor temp.  It stays 40-45 deg for two to three days, without replenishing with fresh ice.

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Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; taking delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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The refrigerator size has been the only possible shortcoming I can see with owning an Oliver. I've been researching all the fiberglass brands, and will be going to see an Ollie this week. We do not eat out much and because of the way we eat, there is a lot of cooking involved as well as a lot of fresh veggies. We'd like to primarily boondock, so would like to have enough food with us that we don't have to keep going into a town for supplies. I suppose when I see the refrigerator in person I can get a better idea of how it would work for us. I think a good cooler is a great idea for drinks. But that big 6 or 7 cu in the Escapes looks like a great size for us. Guess there are trade-offs!

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Replacing the gas unit with a 12 volt compressor one can almost double your inside storage volume.

Carrying a similar portable unit in your TV also works VERY well, if you have the space and are willing to deal with extension cords or a portable solar panel to keep it running when parked long term. I have used our medium sized (50 quart) classic ARB fridge for many years, but it only goes along on longer trips, over ten days. I plug the 12 volt power cord into the Ollie solar port with a 25’ extension cable.

https://arbusa.com/portable-fridge-freezers/

If I ever get around to replacing the “Dumbetic” gas fridge, I will probably stop carrying the ARB one, since it won’t be needed.

John Davies

Spokane WAs

Edited by John E Davies
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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Speaking as someone who has a compressor fridge, this repetitive hand wringing about the absorption fridge has gotten ridiculous. Sure, a compressor fridge is better, but not by that much. If you don’t like it, then just put a fridge freezer in your truck. That’s something that will actually make a difference in how you travel. 

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Quite true, Overland. I didn't "double" my storage replacing the dometic, by any means. Maybe a .5 cubic foot. And, I  got a smaller freezer. 

Susan, how I get that much "stuff" in my fridge is the same way I packed for the old fridge. Containers sized for the time we planned to be gone. Freezing items flat, so they stack better. Removing excess cardboard packaging helps, too.

We also carry a lot of fruit and veggies, but many items can be stored outside the fridge . Tomatoes, onions, potatoes, squash, etc. are best stored in a basket, actually. Peppers, zucchini, waxed cukes are fine outside the fridge for several days.  Apples and oranges are fine. Paul likes to eat them cold, so I  just put one or two in the fridge each  day, not the entire bag. 

We can manage quite nicely for two weeks without going to the store, if we like. And, that was the same when we had the Dometic. 

We also use a cooler for beverages, and sometimes put some produce in there, on top, as lettuce can freeze in the wrong spots in any fridge.

Sherry

Edited by SeaDawg
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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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I would love to see a larger fridge/freezer in the EII.  Would it even be possible to place the convection microwave under the sink/stove area?  I know those six drawers are wonderful, but losing 2 (or 3) wouldn't be that bad, would it?  Just a thought.

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I like it the way it is . . . . . in RVs, everything is a compromise.  I would not want to give up the microwave delete cabinet or the galley drawers for sake of a cu ft of fridge storage.  We pack what we can and shop along the way, if necessary.

We have a high performance cooler; a Coleman - not as expensive as Yeti (not as efficient I suppose, but more affordable and less apt to be stolen).  We pack food items less sensitive to temperature (produce) as well as cold drinks, in the cooler.  It is also good for pre-cooling items that require refrigeration, such as leftovers.  We have three wireless thermometers - one each for the fridge, freezer and cooler.

Acurite multi sensor indoor-outdoor temperature and humidity monitor

I chose this one because you can see all three temps as well as ambient temperature on one screen; no need to cycle between channels.  

Bottom line: Food management, while camping, takes some thought and planning, but we manage to make it work.  And, you can always carry a few freeze dried meals 😀

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Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; taking delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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I'm a huge proponent of prepping meals before a trip.  It's always worked because our trips have never been longer than 10 days and we've had a reasonably sized fridge (and once even a separate freezer!) This may all change once retirement hits in a year or two.

One of my prep tricks is to freeze leftovers in  1 or 2 meal portions, marked with a piece of blue tape that says "Camping X1 or x2).  I also prep a few cans of tuna for sandwiches so I don't have to make a mess on the road.  I just got back from 3 nights in the desert and ate like a queen:  Chicken tikka masala, chicken burritos, and bolognese lasagna.  I try to keep it as simple as possible!

Breakfast is a big meal for us, and I usually bring some pre-roasted potatoes, and make an egg scrambler with pre-cut veggies, goat cheese, and pre-cooked bacon.  

OK....time to go make dinner.  I'm hungry now...

 

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We have a an ARB portable - it really makes a difference-  we use it for the liquids, (beer, soda, H2O) and anything that just doesn't fit well into the Dometic. Quite honestly, it makes a real difference the longer trips. It runs off DC/AC, and the solar more than keeps up.  

My SO hates it - says it takes up to much room - yet praises the utility - push - I say. I need to leave it in the rear of the Truck, and all will be well. As Overland  stated - as long as my Dometic runs to design, I am fine with it. Not worth a change until it dies - in a decade  - or two.....

 

Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"

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