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Car cooking -thoughts on equipment and meals?


Soup
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It happens every few years...I have day dreams of packing up the minivan and driving where ever me and the wife would go. Minivan, can carry more than a car and certainly more manuverable than a small RV (less expensive as well).

The thing I been thinking about what tools and equipment exists to help me cook out of a minivan. I have the standard camping stove but I'm think a microwave or a toaster oven or even a hot water heater than can be plugged into a 12V outlet in a minivan (especially while driving). Been thinking what it would take to put a slow cooker or even a rice cooker to a minivan outlet.

Also been looking for blogs on google but there doesn't seem to be much. Any info on equipment and/or experience with this type of thing would be appreciated.

Soup

PS my appologies, if I posted to the wrong forum but I thought this one matched best.

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There is an old book, "Cooking on Wheels" that is available through Amazon.

When I traveled a lot in my motorhome that was my bible.

Here is one link.

look for similar topics.

There is a long-haul trucker that lives down the road from me. He cooks a lot of stuff in a crockpot and has a mini microwave.

Back in the even earlier days when we used to go camping in the High Sierras, I did a lot of roasting in aluminum foil packages on the car engine!

Reynolds aluminum originally published a booklet explaining how. However these people have written an update Manifold Destiny.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Look into getting an inverter for cars that converts 12v dc to 110-120 ac. That way you can run standard appliances as long as they don't draw too much power. No toasters, for instance. And be sure to keep the van battery charged, as well as being careful not to discharge it too much as it shortens the life of the battery. Of course, the same goes if you're using just 12v.

Here's a link to a Google search for car inverters.

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I have the standard camping stove but I'm think a microwave or a toaster oven or even a hot water heater than can be plugged into a 12V outlet in a minivan (especially while driving). Been thinking what it would take to put a slow cooker or even a rice cooker to a minivan outlet.

I hadn't read your post carefully before I made mine above. None of what you list, not even a rice cooker, would work powered by a standard car battery - whether 12v or 120v through an inverter. Too much current draw.

dcarch is right. Stick to propane for anything needing heat.

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I have a 2008 Dodge grand caravan. I had an auxiliary battery installed so that when it is parked, my fridge and a couple of other 12-volt appliances can be plugged into the two "hot" plugs that supply electricity when the motor is off. I also have an inverter and I can run a hair dryer and a coffee maker.

I had the work done at an RV/Van conversion place and it cost me 670.00 including all the parts and labor and they put the aux battery in a well they built into the place where the "spare" tire usually sits.

Because of the fold-into-the floor seats, a standard tire won't fit in the spare well and I won't drive long distances without a regular sized spare tire - I have a swing-away carrier for that that mounts in the trailer hitch.

They also installed a more robust alternator or whatever the heck the thing is that charges the batteries - from one of the big Dodge trucks, I think. I have a little toggle switch under the dash which I push when I am going to be parked for awhile - it keeps the main battery from being drained.

The fridge I have can also operate as a freezer. It isn't cheap but it is certainly worth every penny. I sometimes have to drive long distances to specialty stores and having it for the dairy and expensive cheeses especially, makes it a bargain for me.

It's thisEdgestar.

It has a digital thermostat so you can set it at the exact temp you want and it will maintain it (as long as it isn't being constantly opened), even in very hot weather.

If you have only frozen food you can set it to zero.

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Don't forget a blender. :laugh: Here's a LINK TO ONE

The Original Tailgator - portable gas-powered blender Features & SpecificationsThe Original Tailgator - portable gas-powered blender (without case) Yes - a fully portable blender with a gas-powered engine!The TailGator gas-powered blender is one of the most versatile, high-powered blenders available.

Larry Lofthouse

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Crazy! gas engine blender! I suppose it kind of works. Electric motor operates at over 20,000 RPM, gas engine runs a around 5,000 RPM.

You can run a refrigerator with an inverter off a car battery. A refrigerator once gets going actually uses very little power.

You can also get a refrigerator which can run on propane, 12VDC and 110VAC.

A small power generator can run many things, a 2,000 watt generator can run a toaster oven, hair dryer, microwave, etc.

dcarch

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When my girlfriend was teaching snowboard over the winter seasons in the Nagano mountains, I'd fold down the seats, lay out some futons and tool up there in the minivan. We spent lots of happy snowsport weekends coming back to 'base' for lunch & dinner prepped over a single-burner, portable butane stove or 'konro' as they're called here. Cook the rice in one pot, warm up the curry / stew / whatever in the other with the rice sat over it to keep warm. You get those gas canisters in convenience stores all over the country, here.

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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Crazy! gas engine blender! I suppose it kind of works. Electric motor operates at over 20,000 RPM, gas engine runs a around 5,000 RPM.

You can run a refrigerator with an inverter off a car battery. A refrigerator once gets going actually uses very little power.

You can also get a refrigerator which can run on propane, 12VDC and 110VAC.

A small power generator can run many things, a 2,000 watt generator can run a toaster oven, hair dryer, microwave, etc.

dcarch

That blender is crazy! But, looks like it revs to 12,000.

2 kW generator is a good idea. One of the Honda 2000's, like at this link would do the trick. These little Honda's are really quiet. I have the 1000 (1 kW) and can hardly hear it when I'm using it outside the woodshed during power outages. And it even handles a 1500 watt starting load on the new fridge! :shock:

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Those are extremely quiet generators.

If you have a 1,000 watt generator, you can get a few old 12v car batteries hooked up in parallel. Old car batteries have a lot of power left in them. (free)

Get a 2,000 watt inverter (4,000watts peak) about $150.00

Have the generator charge the batteries.

You may have enough power to handle 3,000 watts for a while.

dcarch

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  • 7 years later...

You would need a pretty hefty power inverter for a microwave or a toaster oven, but I expect that would be cheaper (and more versatile) than scouring online vendors for a device designed to run on 12V power. I'm new to the whole van-camping thing myself, and haven't done a lot of it, but apparently some campers also keep a second car battery somewhere in the van and charge it during the day, while they're driving, from one of the 12V accessory outlets. That makes sense to me, if you're going to use it a lot...you don't want to overlook something when you're going to bed, and kill your van's battery.

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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This is one old thread, and I don't know anything about the power issues, but I once did all my cooking for a year (dorm) in an electric skillet.  You can bake brownies in an electric skillet.  Works as a passable oven with the cover on, not removed, ever.

 

 

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I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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