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  1. #1
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    Long-Term Food Storage for Motorhome

    As our motorhome (new to us but old to everyone else) gets closer to being remodeled and all systems verified, I'm thinking about getting some smaller containers of freeze-dried food for a just-in-case scenario. We've been running the generator to see how much gas and propane is needed for the A/C, furnace, fridge, stove/oven, and water heater, plus general electrical power, and it's surprisingly not much. We have an 85-gallon fuel tank and a 100 lb. propane tank. The fresh water tank is huge. We installed a new converter that keeps the chassis batteries at full power. I look at this rig as an emergency residence as much as a pleasure vehicle. We get good OTA TV reception and great streaming when within wifi range. I have a fair supply of canned goods and dry goods (mostly snacks and dry mixes) already, but not enough variety to sustain us if we find ourselves in a long-term "campout". Off-gen we're plugged into a 30A (workshop) external outlet and keep the A/C around 80F when not working inside. The warmest it's gotten inside is about 90F, and the coldest about 60F (it's Florida, after all). I may bring some seeds along for growing fresh herbs etc. in small containers.

    My question is this: What kind of freeze-dried shelf-life could I expect considering the internal temps during non-use vary with the outside temps? Which foods would withstand the variable temps the best? (I'd like to keep it to proteins and vegetables as much as possible due to dietary restrictions.)

  2. #2
    i'm impressed!
    you've spent a lot of money even if the remodel was DIY.

    some folks join camping clubs to camp with others on a regular basis... i don't remember if you are doing this... it will give you/others an opportunity to test your systems, abilities, etc...
    we came close to inviting a group of friends to a park where i volunteer for a boondocking weekend to test camping without the power cord... and FHU. a few folks knew we were considering as i had inquired about interest...
    immediately before doing the invite, the character of one couple became very clear, and alerts went up.
    it was just a reminder of learning who we can and can not trust.
    i still think the idea is a good one.

    to your question of which foods to carry with you. i think the answer is "the same foods that you store at home" we keep a few cans of basics with us in the basement (not heated or a/c ) ours are dehydrated. freeze dried that you mentioned would be better and easier to process.. your temperature range sounds o.k. maybe you lose some long term time. i've seen some charts that show storage at various temperatures... we have some experts on here that will know those numbers off the top of their head... i think you'll lose 50% but with a little rotating i see no problem.. great plan.

  3. #3
    It sounds like pouches would store easily- but field mice get into everything in the south- and pouches aren't nearly as durable as cans.

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  4. #4
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    The money we've spent on a 23-year-old motorhome is obscene and ridiculous, but we wanted to make it as nice as possible in case we need to use it for a long-term solution.

    I only buy food (short- and long-term) that we'll actually eat, so I'll half the shelf-life for the long-term and rotate that and the pantry food as needed. I have a lot of long-term storage food but it's mostly in #10 cans, which aren't a good fit for the existing storage space in the MH. As for regular pantry food, I could empty out half of my house pantries for the MH and still be jam-packed

  5. #5
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    Pouches would be ideal. I have some old ammo cans (husband bought me new ones for Christmas last year so I have a few extra) that I could use for pouches and maybe store them in the basement compartments instead of inside the MH cupboards.

  6. #6
    Ammo cans might seem extreme, but I have had mice get into a small bag of sugar, in a plastic bag, that was in a plastic storage container. I never found how they were getting in to the trailer. Heater exhaust vent, water heater exhaust, fridge vent? They will find a way.

  7. #7
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    I used to live in the woods on a mountain, and if it was worth having, it was stored in glass or metal containers. Metal would be more suitable for a sometimes-moving vehicle. Mice need a hole about the size of a dime or so, and they're in. A chink in the armor (or foundation) is a good excavation site for them

  8. #8
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    Before we go anywhere, we're going to boondock in our back yard. It's more to find out what else I need to add in or take out. We got the fridge running on LP after my husband banged on the valve a few times. Now all of the propane systems are working (heater, water heater, stove, fridge) and the gen will run the rest without shore power. Still need to finish installing the new flooring but the biggest part of it's done. He had carpal tunnel surgery last week, so he's off mechanic/electrician/remodeler duty for a while unless he can do whatever it is with one hand. Again today we talked about the possibility of living in the MH in case of emergency. It would be possible but after while it would be close quarters Maybe I should buy a screen room addition...

    I need to revisit the food stores again with an eye toward meals and also toward cleaning more food out of the house pantry. I need to add a can of whole egg powder because one can only eat pancakes and waffles so long. I know I have some long-term storage food in smaller containers but not enough to call it sufficient. I'll have to bite the bullet and spend some $$ to get stocked up.

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