For us, the point of choosing camping for our family holidays is so that we can go away lots of times throughout the year and it not cost a small fortune. As there are 5 of us, you can imagine that eating out all the time will soon add up. So in order to keep the cost of our frequent camping costs down, we do as much in-tent cooking as possible.
To further keep our costs down, we take a lot of our own food with us. The reason for this is two-fold. Firstly, although on-site shops can be a godsend, they can be a little pricey and also restricted on the stock they hold. Secondly, we are on holiday and don’t want to have to keep driving to a supermarket every other day.
To help us achieve our goal of multiple low cost holidays, we have purchased a portable fridge freezer. The one we purchased was a WAECO CK40D. It has a 38 litre capacity, and operates on both 12v and 240v.
Our car has a 12v socket in the boot, and this allows the fridge to ‘tick-over’ and keep the food cold whilst travelling. I’m sure that many modern vehicles now have these sockets in the boot.
Here’s the product description of our fridge, it’s quite informative ;
“Thermoelectric / Compressor Cooler. Two cooling systems in one box. This is the world’s first dual cooling system. It incorporates a powerful compressor for static use, as well as a thermoelectric cooling unit for use on the move with deep-freezing up to -15°C. An amazing low cost solution for all your needs! A compressor cooler for stationary and mobile use can be hard on your pocket. Designed as a typical awning cooler it incorporates a powerful compressor as well as a thermoelectric cooling unit. The latter comes in when the cooler is connected the 12-volt car battery. This ensures that the cool chain is maintained during transport from home to the campsite. An amazing and low cost technical solution for an important comfort feature. In compressor mode itprovides cooling and deep-freezing up to -15°C, even at high ambient temperatures. The thermoelectric system achieves 20°C below the ambient temperature. About 40 litres capacity, sturdy cabinet, recessed grips on the sides. Power consumption – DC 48watt, AC 65watt”.
Typically costing between £150-200, you might think that this is a pricey bit of kit. However, ours has now been with us on 5 holidays and we can honestly say that it saves us over £100 each time.And we also get to eat better quality and healthier food instead of constant take-outs and pub grub.
Other advantages of a fridge freezer;
Ice cold BEER !!
What do we take with us?
Fresh milk, bacon, sausage, chicken breasts, burgers, salad.
Things to consider when buying a fridge?
– It’s heavier than you think when it’s full of food, be careful.
– Boot space. Make sure you have enough room in the back of your car to accommodate the fridge. We stack stuff on top of ours, just make sure that the cooling vents are not blocked up.
– Don’t forget you will need a pitch with an electric hook-up, as well as suitable extension lead (which you probably already have).
If your vehicle doesn’t have a 12v supply at the rear of your car, or you purchase a fridge that doesn’t run on 12v, here’s some good advice. Run the fridge overnight before you travel. You can put the food in it, along with a couple of pre-frozen freezer blocks (cool packs). As long as you don’t keep opening the fridge, it should stay cool enough whilst you are travelling.