Do you need a fridge in the Winter - in the UK?

Apr 13, 2012
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I travel alone and my small van can carry only 5kg of gas

I never use the fridge on gas - rather use it for heat and cooking

The fridge is small anyway so I have decided to try not to use it at all - except for food storage

I carry canned food and dried foods instead of chilled food and I prefer beer to lager, hate cheese straight from the fridge

I don't mind shopping every day for fresh food - plenty of spare time when I'm in the van anyway so for me I can't see any problems

Do you need a fridge?



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OP
Barclaybasher
Apr 13, 2012
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Having lived on a sailing boat in Spain, through the year without a fridge I know it can be done, without hardship.

It seems that Motorhomes are having to fit solar and refillable gas to keep up with increasing energy demands when there might be an alternative....................... use less energy


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OP
Barclaybasher
Apr 13, 2012
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Cool box kept under the van worked for me for nearly two winters
and milk will keep at normal winter day's ok for two days any way.
And when it snows fill carrier bag with snow to keep milk cold in cool box
or usually a pub will give you a bag of ice for penny's
bill
Since posting I have searched cool boxes
The Igloo Maxcold and Coleman Xtreme cool boxes can keep ice for up to 5 days - no electrickery or gas - just ice cubes

Revues off Amazon:
(Coleman Xtreme)
1.Can't recall what the label said, but we travel from the UK to Southern Spain over a period of four days and all of the food inside was still frozen when we unpacked it. This is the second time we have done this journey.
2.No electricity just ice cubes in bottom, was brilliant . I was sceptic but v happy to find it did all it claimed.
3.No freezer boards or cold pack you just put ice cubes in bottom of the box, after a week camping in sunny weather we still had frozen ice cubes when we came home (topped up after day 5)


If I do find I need a cooler (fridge) I will be buying one(y)

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Jun 30, 2013
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Its fine without a fridge if you shop everyday for fresh stuff, but our idea of a holiday is to stay away from shops as long as we can, hence the reason we have a large fridge and freezer.
But, we spent years travelling every summer through France in a VW camper with just an evaporative coolbox. We learnt to use it efficiently, and it kept everything cool with just the need every now and again for a block of ice ( sold everywhere then), and of course, back in the 80's, summers were always longer and hotter!
I would be without a proper fridge now though....
 

vwalan

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Its fine without a fridge if you shop everyday for fresh stuff, but our idea of a holiday is to stay away from shops as long as we can, hence the reason we have a large fridge and freezer.
But, we spent years travelling every summer through France in a VW camper with just an evaporative coolbox. We learnt to use it efficiently, and it kept everything cool with just the need every now and again for a block of ice ( sold everywhere then), and of course, back in the 80's, summers were always longer and hotter!
I would be without a proper fridge now though....
yes they were great . had them in vw splitties and in my t25 . then in my t2 i took to africa a few times .easy cool boxes they were called
cup of water every day . worked real good . they were at one tiome made at collumpton by woods industries but not for several years now . mind i liked the chalk lined ones best the real old ones .
 
OP
Barclaybasher
Apr 13, 2012
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Fridges which are not switched on but have their doors shut start smelling bad pretty quickly...
JJ :cool:
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They do smell - but not after being cleaned then door left open to dry out - then it is just another cupboard.

When traveling in the van a daily visit to the shop is not an unwelcome diversion (fresh bread in France & Spain(y)) and I will have other dry/tinned food for other days (no FB pies though) and I hate the big 'supermarket shop' anyway

I will buy a cool box (non electric) just for milk and any fresh meat or fish which I don't have every day. Most fruit, veg, salad, eggs and many other things kept in a fridge just don't need to be in a fridge

I am not removing the fridge but, for what would need to be in it, I think I can do without it......saves gas (which I can't carry a lot of) - and it doesn't matter if it breaks down




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Hollyberry

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You don't have to use fresh milk. You get used to powdered milk pretty quickly.
Or you can put milk, cold meat, cheese in a secure box ( I'm thinking cats, foxes, not thieves!) under the van at night.
 

Bertie Bassett

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But it's probably because her brain is bigger than mine! (y) She may well read this post!
 

Al-Di

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when we camped, we put milk and other bottles in a bucket of water, changed every couple of days, never had a cool box,

Alan + Diane,
 

DBK

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It's amazing how dependant we are now on things like 'fridges. My first European holiday in the early 60s with my parents with a home made camping trailer was done, wait for it, without a refrigerator! We drove from Carlisle to Yugoslavia.

My mother packed tinned butter, which I doubt you can even buy these days though there may be a specialised market for it somewhere. :Eeek:

I remember the old folk still managed to enjoy a warm gin in the evening before being seduced by brandy and Cointreau. Tea was made with powdered milk. I can still taste it!
 
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tambo

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Since posting I have searched cool boxes
The Igloo Maxcold and Coleman Xtreme cool boxes can keep ice for up to 5 days - no electrickery or gas - just ice cubes

Revues off Amazon:
(Coleman Xtreme)
1.Can't recall what the label said, but we travel from the UK to Southern Spain over a period of four days and all of the food inside was still frozen when we unpacked it. This is the second time we have done this journey.
2.No electricity just ice cubes in bottom, was brilliant . I was sceptic but v happy to find it did all it claimed.
3.No freezer boards or cold pack you just put ice cubes in bottom of the box, after a week camping in sunny weather we still had frozen ice cubes when we came home (topped up after day 5)


If I do find I need a cooler (fridge) I will be buying one(y)

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I just sold my coleman extreme.....basically the claim is a lie , yes it will keep things cool for five days but the ice claim is nonsense it melts within 24 hours the water from it stays cold but it starts to smell pretty quick too I only ever used it for keeping juice and cider cold in the garage instead of using all the space in the fridge.

Wouldn't be without a fridge at any time of year nowadays but in my vw camper days I didn't have one
 
OP
Barclaybasher
Apr 13, 2012
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I just sold my coleman extreme.....basically the claim is a lie , yes it will keep things cool for five days but the ice claim is nonsense it melts within 24 hours the water from it stays cold but it starts to smell pretty quick too I only ever used it for keeping juice and cider cold in the garage instead of using all the space in the fridge.
Wouldn't be without a fridge at any time of year nowadays but in my vw camper days I didn't have one
That's all I need(y)

Was the ice loose or in a sealed bag?


Thanks for posting
 

tambo

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I've done it both ways loose and left in the bag , I've also tried ice in first with stuff on top and the other way of stuff in first then ice on top ....if makes no difference it still melts within a day ....i bought the box about 5 years ago from the gelert shop near Portmadoc in Wales , I used to use it whilst tenting when had no fridge and then used it with the van as an extra cooler for drinks ......don't get me wrong it does keep cold but not as cold as a fridge and certainly not ice on our French trip in July it needed new ice daily despite never being out the garage so wasn't like it was sitting in sunshine etc , i sold it last week on Gumtree for £35
 

Carol

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For fruit & veg I always carry it in a extra large click & lock type and box, when we park up I put it right under the van, never had a problem in 30 years. For milk use long life, it's usually gone before it turns sour, with regular shopping I can see no reason why you could not manage.
 
OP
Barclaybasher
Apr 13, 2012
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That's a difficult concept to get across in here at times.

Today: massive inverter, extra battery just to make a slice of toast.

And don't mention hair dryers.

or vacuum cleaners.........................


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OP
Barclaybasher
Apr 13, 2012
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It seems that part of motorhoming is buying 'stuff ' - me included - trouble is then you have to buy a second or third leisure battery, an inverter, solar panels, generator etc to power the 'stuff '

As a lone traveler I see the fridge as my most wasteful (energy-wise) piece of equipment that I can easily do without - families might not agree.

Years ago my wife and I with 3 small children had quite a few holidays in a small coach-built MH, including across France in July without a fridge or toilet - and campers still do.

I do not intend to 'rough it' - just without the fridge, extra battery, solar.................(y)

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oldun

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They do smell - but not after being cleaned then door left open to dry out - then it is just another cupboard.
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No it's not it's a tightly sealed cupboard unlike all other cupboards which allow air to flow around inside them. Keep a fridge door closed for a a long time and, clean or dirty, it will start to smell and mould will start to grow.
 
OP
Barclaybasher
Apr 13, 2012
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No it's not it's a tightly sealed cupboard unlike all other cupboards which allow air to flow around inside them. Keep a fridge door closed for a a long time and, clean or dirty, it will start to smell and mould will start to grow.
True, but I will use it as a cupboard, it will not be closed up for long periods(y)

Empty, switched off fridges become a problem when they are not defrosted and allowed to dry out - that's why it is better to leave the door(s) slightly open when left and not leave them closed up for long periods - which wont happen anyway
 
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Jun 30, 2013
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We use UHT milk, no fridge required, unless you want it ice cold on your ( insert favourite cereal here).
In fact we only use UHT milk now anyway, even at home. You get used to the taste and it stores well for months.
Allan
 
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