Cooler Recommendations? (Best Way To Keep Salad Ingredients Cold)

Topic 28823 | Page 1

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Brett M.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello,

I like to eat healthy. I realize this even more so not having access to a fridge for many days at a time. I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations to keep veggies or other things cool. I'm assuming it will lead to cooler recommendations. But hope there's something I haven't thought of yet. Right now, all I have access to is space for a cooler and multiple cigg outlets. My thinking is if I can have a cooler full of salad ingredients for a week and fill it with ice every other day or so I wouldn't complain (truck stops carry ice, right?). But would that be better than buying salad (or whatever healthy thing) from a truck stop that's already prepared? Normally I'm into making salads kind of ridiculous with even quinoa and craisins but some truck stop salads look really good to me, even having meat or eggs in them but it's like $5+. Anyways, I appreciate any future input or even any healthy food input. If I can help others in the future reading this, I have stocked up hardcore on aldi 70 cent tuna so far.

Mikey B.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello,

I like to eat healthy. I realize this even more so not having access to a fridge for many days at a time. I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations to keep veggies or other things cool. I'm assuming it will lead to cooler recommendations. But hope there's something I haven't thought of yet. Right now, all I have access to is space for a cooler and multiple cigg outlets. My thinking is if I can have a cooler full of salad ingredients for a week and fill it with ice every other day or so I wouldn't complain (truck stops carry ice, right?). But would that be better than buying salad (or whatever healthy thing) from a truck stop that's already prepared? Normally I'm into making salads kind of ridiculous with even quinoa and craisins but some truck stop salads look really good to me, even having meat or eggs in them but it's like $5+. Anyways, I appreciate any future input or even any healthy food input. If I can help others in the future reading this, I have stocked up hardcore on aldi 70 cent tuna so far.

I would recommend you by an iceless cooler. You can get a 40 qt for $120-$150ish range at all truckstops. No need for ice, no mess with melted ice water spills. At $3 per bag of ice you will use a bag per day so the iceless cooler will pay for itself in less than 2 months and you'll have room for drinks and other stuff. The temperature will remain more stable than with ice also. You can keep hamburger meat for about 5 days before it starts turning bad in one. Drinks are ice cold, on occasion mine will have ice crystals it's so cold. They are not perfect but a great economical option 100 time better than ice.

Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi Brett, like you, I enjoy eating healthy. And it's salads, every single night. For three-and-a-half years and counting. I opted not to go the ice + cooler route, because I don't like the idea of draining the water every couple of days. And sifting through the ice. So, you guessed it, here's my recommendation: I use the Coleman cooler that plugs into a 'cig outlet.' You can buy them from a truck stop and pay $130, or get one from Walmart for $108. Walmart used to sell them for $72, but clearly they have raised the price. It works great for me. I keep lettuce/greens and a variety of veggies in it, as well as drinks, yogurt, and cheese. I didn't get a real refrigerator because I don't have an APU in my truck, and didn't want the 'fridge to drain my batteries when the truck isn't idling. The salads sold in the truck stops aren't bad, they're just small. And as you pointed out, over $5. Also, not a lot of stuff in them. And the meat, usually chicken, appears fried. I build my own salads, and build them big. But who cares, because it's salad food, right? I keep the dried ingredients stored in my cabinets. I haven't tried adding quinoa; that's a good idea. I do use raisins, though not craisins, because they add a nice sweetness to the salad. The tuna is a good source of protein. You should mix it up and also get the tofurky and/or Field Roast veggie sausages; one link equals a can of tuna, and they're not that much more expensive. So yeah, it can be done. Hope this helps.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Brett M.'s Comment
member avatar

The "iceless cooler" seems exactly what I was wanting without knowing it. I'm grateful for the recomendation, very helpful. 40 quart seems to be a perfect size and I see walmart does have that coleman one for $108 calling my name. And I actually usually mix craisins and raisins together to cut the costs cause craisins alone are kinda expensive and raisins are good too. And the quinoa seriously makes your stomach tell your brain that "I'm satisfied (full)" more than anything else I've added to salads. It's one of those things I buy up when it's on sale cause the shelf life is probably as good as rice. And I'm definitely going to have to try the veggie/tofurkey sausages, it sounds like a winner. Also gonna add yogurt to my list of truck friendly things. Thanks!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

JakeBreak's Comment
member avatar

+1 on the Coleman route. One thing I will mention is ive never had them last longer than a year, but the amount of money you save vs eating at the truckstop for a year pays for itself. If you plan on doing any kind of cooking make sure you check out the lunchbox cookers too. They are great for heating up sausages and hot dogs and stuff.

Brett M.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks, I looked that hot lunchbox up and think I got a decent one. It claims to heat up to 300 degrees which I'd imagine can really be useful. If it bakes a potato I'll be grinning from ear to ear. But for under 200$ for the cooler and hot lunchbox I feel like I'm gonna be styling. These recommendations will seriously improve my quality of life and help with saving money, thanks!

Greg M.'s Comment
member avatar

One warning about the iceless coolers is that they only take the temperature down about 35-40 degrees from room temperature. So if you leave it in a turned off truck in the sun and the inside temp gets to 100 your food will be at 60 degrees or more.

I used to strap mine in the front seat with an AC vent directed at it. Also helps to put in some frozen water bottles when ever you get the chance.

Mr. Curmudgeon's Comment
member avatar

One warning about the iceless coolers is that they only take the temperature down about 35-40 degrees from room temperature. So if you leave it in a turned off truck in the sun and the inside temp gets to 100 your food will be at 60 degrees or more.

If you run your AC high, to keep the cab cool, that 35-40 degrees can result in temps in the 25-30 degree range. I've ruined more food by freezing it than I have by letting it get too warm. Just keep an eye on it in the winter, and summer as well. I have had an Igloo for 7 years, with a solid five years of use on it. It's is time to replace it, doesn't seem to be cooling as well as it used to, but I'm gonna tear it apart first to see if it's got goop on the Peltier fins. I buy the Aldi brand bagged salads - cut it open along the long side of the bag, drop in a can of chicken or tuna package for protein, and then eat right from the bag. Easy clean up.

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