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Old 12-22-2015, 01:23 AM   #1
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2016 30' Flying Cloud
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Can I travel with canned food in 32 degree temp?

Hi everyone! We are in Mt. and will be leaving for Fl. the first week in Jan. Is it possible to stock canned goods before we leave or should we just shop when we're in warmer weather. Our Airstream is winterized and we will not be staying in it until later. Has anyone any experience with this type of situation? Thanks for your insight!

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Old 12-22-2015, 04:59 AM   #2
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We have always done this, and never had anything freeze.

I never stock those things til just before I leave, unless your interior is heated.

If you have a very cold night on your way south, open the cabinet doors when you go to bed at night to allow heat to circulate a bit.


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Old 12-22-2015, 05:29 AM   #3
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You can buy now and run the risk of freezing the cans enroute, or wait until you arrive and get the exact foods you want specifically for the actual weather on Florida. There will be a much better selection of FRESH (not canned) food in Florida, and the prices will probably be cheaper than Montana IMO. Why "ship" heavy canned goods all that distance, given the alternatives?

You also eliminate a major item of trip-preparation -- your shopping is now DONE! That was fast and easy . . .

Changing one's habits and patterns can be part of the adventure upon which you are about to depart!

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Old 12-22-2015, 06:38 AM   #4
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When we travel to a destination that (A) has shopping close by and (B) we plan to stay for more than a couple days, we never drag food with us except for what we might need for a day or 2 (so we don't immediately have to run to the supermarket). We will bring condiments, spices, etc because those aren't used up every trip and don't want to keep rebuying them, but otherwise we travel fairly light as far as food.

We actually do have supermarkets in Florida
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Old 12-22-2015, 06:40 AM   #5
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This is our first trip to FL or anywhere in freezing weather, but then this winter maybe not freezing. We are leaving about the same time as you are and our AS is also a 30' FC. What I plan on doing is if it's cold the night before we leave I am going to turn the furnace on and run it in the storage facility where we have to keep her. Then load up and keep it on over night. When we pull out turn the furnace off and get going. Hopefully we will get out of the freezing weather prior to anything freezing. We are packing not only canned goods but plastic bottles of tea and gatoraide as well.

Now, if the forecast is for freezing temps for the first eight or nine hours we will not pack any of the aforementioned items and buy them in FL.

Good Luck and Enjoy


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Old 12-22-2015, 06:47 AM   #6
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I would wait and shop when I got there. Just seems no point in carrying a lot of extra weight in the trailer if you do not have to. Plus the risk of freezing. Of course I have a hard time explaining that to my wife sometimes.
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Old 12-22-2015, 07:09 AM   #7
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I like to take what I already have with me, rather than leaving them home for several months, so always leave with some canned goods....even with temps sometimes in the teens.

There are also things I can get at home but not necessarily away...and vice versa.

No point in stocking up for weeks....but, if you have some things you want to bring with you, it is safe to do so if you take reasonable precautions.

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Old 12-22-2015, 07:24 AM   #8
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I'm the opposite. I stock up as much as I can before a trip because I enjoy having a period of time not going to the grocery store. I feel like I'm on a first name basis with the grocery checkers at home and they'd send the police out to my house if they hadn't seen me in awhile. I make and freeze soups, can my own chili, freeze bagels, stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables ( Debbie Meyers bags are great as long as your produce is dry going in). Not needing to go grocery shopping to me is a vacation.
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Old 12-22-2015, 07:29 AM   #9
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Springday, while I do stock up before we go, we sleep in the trailer at night using the heat - even if we're not dewinterizing till we reach our destination. So while items may be traveling in below 32 degree weather while we drive during the day, there's the residue heat from the night before and the heat when we stop for the night. Never had a problem doing it this way.
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Old 12-22-2015, 07:38 AM   #10
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The furnace works just fine while travelling. That way you have a warm trailer when you stop for a break.
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Old 12-22-2015, 08:54 AM   #11
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We travel south ever January and it is always, except this year, below freezing before we leave. One year it was 27 when we left and remained below 27, day and night, till the day after we got to Fl. The Fl. campground water system was frozen. Never had anything freeze and we do not sleep with the heat on.

While it may be freezing outside the thermal mass of a trailer hold heat for quite some time. That and the latent heat of freezing postpones freezing to a surprising degree
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Old 12-22-2015, 09:56 AM   #12
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What will you use for food if you are forced to stop from an overload of bad weather, and the roads are closed?
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:11 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Springday View Post
We are in Mt. and will be leaving for Fl. the first week in Jan. Is it possible to stock canned goods before we leave or should we just shop when we're in warmer weather.
People tend to forget that 32°F is only the freezing point of pure water. Most canned goods are not pure water, and so will not necessarily freeze at 32°F. I haven't researched the freezing point of various foods, but since the recommended temperature for a home freezer is 0°F, it's a safe bet that the freezing point of most foods— canned or otherwise— is somewhere between 32°F and 0°F.

Putting it another way, if your trailer is warm enough for you to sleep in, it's warm enough for your canned goods, even if your primary source of heat is only an electric blanket rather than a furnace.
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:32 AM   #14
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Love Kalispell, Somers and Lakeside, MT! Not the winters, though.

Traveling through cold, below 30 degree weather does need some common sense thought.
(1) Dry Goods... no problem
(2) Canned goods that have minimal water... no problem
(3) NO water in water lines or tanks.

The interior of your Airstream is a refrigerator. I am more likely to stop at restaurants on a long trip, than prepare food in the trailer. Leaving the furnace on while traveling is not necessary when stocking goods that have low freezing ranges. If you have to ADD WATER to prepare a soup... good. The list is long, but experience is short to discover mistakes in judgement.

If you are forced to stop because of bad ice and snowy weather...? You can melt snow and ice... for water if needed. Get stuck alongside the highway... your cab of the tow vehicle for short term is more comfortable.

Plan your route to avoid those Low Pressure waves coming in from the west coast. We prefer to find the shortest route to lower latitudes as fast as possible. Trailers in tow do not handle well ice or packed snow on the highways. You know that in NW Montana.

Be careful of advice being given about safe traveling during the winter from those who have not owned a snow shovel or used one.

When we travel from Colorado to Nevada on our seasonal home changes... there better be a series of clear sunny days to get south and beat the bad weather. We have multiple routes depending on the weather. Otherwise, needing a wrecker to pull your rolled over trailer and tow vehicle becomes a possibility. Even parked over night at Goodland, Kansas sitting, at a Walmart, is smarter than trying to bust drifts on the Interstate.

Towing a trailer is tough enough during the winter months unloaded. Have someone explain to you when your trailer begins to jackknife, how to slow down to regain control and using your "manual" Brake Controller lever to coax the trailer back tracking behind your tow vehicle.

It will be wonderful when you arrive at your destination... but be careful of the advice you may be getting... even mine... Often it is someone else who runs into you on slick roads. The first year of towing our 23 foot Airstream... I was given some foolish advice which common sense was much better to use.

Canned goods do not freeze at 32F. The salts and solids mixed within will drop the freezing temperatures into the 20's. The can expands, could break the seal and when it melts... creates a big mess. Enjoy your trip. Some things can wait...

Human Bean
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