A mini fridge is commonly used by people who are camping, gone for vacation, and truck drivers. The focus of this article will be on truck drivers because they need a mini fridge most.
Long hours on the road with poor food choices while traveling are just a couple of the reasons an over the road (OTR) driver may use or invest in getting a mini fridge.
Using a mini fridge allows truck drivers to bring with them healthy foods and snacks while their out on the road for extended runs.
Some mini fridges come with a 12 volt adapter making it possible to plug into just about any kind of vehicle and can keep all your favorite healthy drinks cool and fresh while you are on the road. As a truck driver who spends almost a year on the road, the fridge can help you store your food, drinks and even certain medical items when needed.
However, you will need to choose the best fridge so that you don’t have to buy another soon. Some of the best mini fridges for truckers should have at least the following features;
- Weatherproof control panel
- The fridge must have strong ASA protective corner pieces on the lid and on the body
- Evaporator height should be increased to surround both the primary and the secondary compartments
- It should have a protected locking system.
- Shelving and places to put stuff
Another thing that truck drivers must know is that their mini fridge should not just carry any food they want but healthy food less they get sick while on duty. Below are some of the top healthy meals that truck drivers need to have to avoid gaining a lot of wait.
If you plan on traveling or working out on the road for an extended period, try and take food with you that’s healthy. The bottom line is if you can prepare your own food, chances are it’ll be both healthy and less expensive than what truck stops put out there.
Food Ideas For Your Mini Fridge
Most truck drivers will prefer to carry with them meat but it is important to understand that not all meat is healthy. For example, fried meat has a high content of fat as well as more calories that is not good for your body. Lean meat however, is the real deal because it doesn’t contain a lot of fats. For example, when getting hamburther at the store, look for ground beef that’s at least 80% lean.
Fresh fruit strengthens your immune system and increases your energy levels throughout the day. Fruits such as lemons and oranges provide your body with vitamin C keeping you healthy.The natural sugar and a lot of water in these fruits keep you strong. A red delicious apple is cheaper these days than a Snickers.
Foods rich in fiber
Fiber rich foods such as beans, raw nuts, vegetables and brown rice can be good for your health. Moreover, these foods will keep you feeling full for many hours preventing you from overeating.
Other healthy snacks to include in your fridge
- Apples and peanut butter
- Trail mix
- Tuna pouch
Can You Keep Food In A Mini Fridge
Having a mini fridge is an important piece of equipment when your working over the road. Having a compact refrigerator in your sleeper area makes things feel more like home and allows you to have control over what you eat and you spend your money.
Here’s just a few suggestions for items you can stock in your mini fridge.
- Sandwich meat
- Milk and Dairy
A mini-fridge is not like a regular fridge, and just opening it allows a lot of colds to escape. Adding warm food and drinks in it can even raise the temperatures.
With this in mind, you will have to store meat and any seafood with you in the freezer if your mini fridge is equipped with one.
If you bought canned beef with you, this would not go to the refrigerator but beware of extreme heat in the cab or sleeper when your parked.
Sometimes you buy the meat heavily packed, which can take a lot of space if stored with the packaging. The driver will then remove the plastic packing container and store the meat to save space.
Butter and margarine are some of the dairies such drivers would want to have on their trips and need to be kept cold as well. Milk is used while on the way, and most of the time, milk can be boxed. Such milk doesn’t need to be stored in the fridge unless it is opened already.
If you follow this, you will find that your fridge can always have enough space for other items because you will be storing one quart at a time and not the whole carton of milk. If you have powdered milk with you, this won’t take a lot of space in the fridge.
Produce consists of fresh items like vegetables and fruits. This takes up a lot of space in the fridge, and you may want to limit how much they carry. Of course some fruits like bananas can do well stored outside of the refrigerator.
Most people are used to having big fridges at home and would stuff all kinds of things like jam, jelly, ketchup, mustard and many more. However, the case is different for a driver who can go for long periods without coming back home.
Depending on the condiments you may not need to store them in a fridge.
Ketchup and mustard can do well out side of the fridge, but mayonnaise will need to be refrigerated.
Another space saver is grabbing extra condiment packs at the truck stop or occasional fast food visit.
Drinks can also take a lot of space in the fridge. The good thing about drinks is that they really don’t go bad when left out of the fridge. Because of this, you may want to bulk bulk and just put a few drinks in the fridge just like you would at home. Just remember to replace what you take out so you always have a cold drink!
Of course most sleepers have plenty of places for you to store your drinks. Usually people just keep them in their packaging and store them on the floor.
Leftovers and Takeout Food
If you eat out a lot and bring it back with you, take out boxes will take over your mini fridge quickly if you let it. Try to limit both how much you eat out and how much of it you plan on storing.
When you do store these food items, designate one spot in your fridge for leftovers which will help keep your fridge organized. If your disciplined, you can then decide when you’ll eat out again based on how many leftovers your keeping. In other words, don’t eat out again until all the leftovers have been eaten!
Do Mini Fridges Keep Food Cold Enough?
If you’re using a mini fridge that utilizes a compressor just like a full size you shouldn’t have any issues.
Where you can run into problems keeping things like meat at a safe temperature, is using a mini fridge or cooler that works off of thermoelectric type of cooling you’ll need to be more careful.
This is because this type of fridge or cooler starts with the ambient air temperature and cools from there. This cooler won’t be able to drop the interior temp much more than 30 degrees below whatever the ambient air temperature.
For drivers that stay out on the road for as long as 300 days a year, having a mini fridge can be one of the best pieces of equipment you have.
As we discussed in our article ‘How to Know if your mini fridge is working’, mini fridges come in three different kinds and you’ll need to decide on which type works best for the way you travel, work and the layout of your truck. Some are thermoelectric, compressors, and others absorption.
Truck drivers can face real difficulties when it comes to getting a decent meal. How many times can you eat at a Flying J or Pilot anyway? This underscores why a mini fridge can be one of a truckers (or rv’er) best investments.
The Wrap Up…
To sum up, life on the road can be as comfortable as you want it to be. You can eat healthily and maintain fitness only if you choose to be smart.
A mini-fridge is one among other things you could carry along in your journeys that could make your life comfortably. You cannot live without a mini-fridge given your long rides.
Nevertheless, you need to be smart and be able to organize your fridge well to make sure your foodstuffs are stored well and can take you for as long as you will be away.