Keeping Meat Frozen On a Long Drive

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Joelpat, Aug 5, 2019.

  1. Joelpat

    Joelpat Member

    Feb 27, 2018
    I’ll be driving from my house on the East Coast to my home in WA for elk season, assuming my wife doesn’t roadblock my purchase of a new truck. We have a deal, but it seems our deals are always open to renegotiation.

    Anyway, I’m going to bring some WV whitetail home to my parents, kill some geese on the way, and hopefully take some elk back east on the way home. I’m willing to spend as needed to ensure the meat stays in tip top shape, so I’m thinking of putting a small chest freezer in the back. Has anyone seen a good setup along these lines?
    -Supposedly the built in 120v outlets will put out 400w, which should be enough to run a small freezer, but probably not start it up.
    -I could install a 2000W inverter in the engine bay, or in the bed (under a canopy). Seems like engine bay mount with a 120v cord to the bed is the better way, rather than carrying 12v and heavy amp to the bed.
    -Maybe go with the second alternator option on the truck and dedicate that to a deep cycle battery? I’m ok with the freezer only getting power when the truck is running. I won’t be in and out of the freezer, so it shouldn't need to run often. I’d have to find a place to mount the battery.

    Anyone have any advice or thoughts?
    JeffG likes this.
  2. skeeterfogger

    skeeterfogger Member

    Jan 5, 2019
    It might be simpler to ship it to locations. Pretty sure most outfitters have recommendations of services for that. You can have the shipments timed for delivery to coincide with your travel time. Other than that it's pretty much having the equipment or dry ice and keeping up with it. Might be by the time you get all the stuff shipping would be less hassle. Plus if something went wrong the insurance on shipping usually is real cheap and you could at least replace it at butcher. If something went wrong on your own you would be SOL.
    LoonWulf likes this.
  3. George P

    George P Member

    Jan 10, 2018
    If you really freeze the items down to -40 or colder and then use a well-insulated cooler with dry ice, you should be good to go for a week or more; especially if you wrap it in a heavy moving-type blanket - what we did for hunting for a week in the middle of nowhere.
    <*(((><, Ks5shooter, bearleft and 3 others like this.
  4. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    May 26, 2007
    Pull a small utility trailer. Use a generator to power up the freezer in the trailer. In my experience the 110 outlets in trucks are good for charging cell phones or something very small. I've never been able to get enough power out of one to help me.
    Patocazador and JeffG like this.
  5. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    South Eastern Illinois
    .....and dont open it!
    Keep drain plug open.
    Ks5shooter and Bfh_auto like this.
  6. rdnktrkr

    rdnktrkr Member

    May 24, 2014
    Atlanta GA
    Get a good cooler that has slots for dividers and use one side for dry ice and elevate the meat off the bottom a little, you can also store things above the dry ice just be sure to not let them contact it, grocery stores carry dry ice. I like to wrap my coolers with foil bubble wrap. When I do these things I can keep things frozen for a week but it is not during 100 degree days, usually during the fall and winter.
  7. Highland Lofts

    Highland Lofts Member

    May 1, 2019
    I would get a single axle enclosed trailer, mount a generator on the tounge of the trailer. A new freezer big enough for all you plan on hauling and you would have space for gear you need to take.
    You end up with a trailer for other purposes and a freezer for home.
    Where in Washington are you planing to hunt elk?
    Over in the Northeast part of the state the wolves are realy tearing the elk to shreads.
    Check out the WOLVES thread on Hunting Washington Forum.

    I live about forty miles north of Seattle, there is a recorded wolf pach in the Sedro-Wolly area, about thirty-five miles north-east from where I live.
    On the Hunting Washington Forum some one posted picture of two wolves in their yard overbbn in Darringtonn thirty miles east of where I live.

    Deer are pretty much a thing of the past with all of these wolf packs, damn cougars, and the other predators.
    I will not hunt in this state, cost way to much, not much game left. The game department is run by the left wing communist party.
    I hunt mosty New York for whitetail, some years I hunt Pennsylvania.

    Washington State has more square miles the New York.
    Washington's average yearly deer kill is around 26,000.
    New York's average yearly deer kill is around 220,000 deer a year.
    Pennsylvania is smaller in size then New York and their average yearly deer kill is around 330,000 deer a year

    A non-resident hunting license in New York and Pennsylvania run $100 eachn small game and big game.
    It cost almost that much just to hund ducks here in Washington State for just a small game license, the federal duck stamp and the Washington State migratory bird stamp.
    Then try find a place to hunt waterfoul.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
    Patocazador, Sour Kraut and LRDGCO like this.
  8. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

    Jul 8, 2012
    Central Florida
    If you plan on using dry ice, remember that the box needs to be sealed air tight. Dry ice is just frozen CO2 and will evaporate quickly if there are leaks.

    This means it would be impractical to add ducks, etc. along the way. The above ideas about a generator and freezer make more sense.
  9. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    LRDGCO likes this.
  10. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    SE GA
    I use dry ice and a 65 qt Pelican cooler to transport meat and fish from MI to SE GA. I will usually make the trip over the course of a few days.

    There is usually over half the dry ice I buy remaining when I get home.

    I cut a piece of plywood that fits into the bottom a few inches high. I drilled a bunch of 1” holes in it. Put the dry ice in. Put the plywood in. Ideally your meat will already be frozen and put that in. I put a blanket over that and there is usually room for snacks and drinks at the top for my drive. I’m usually in a small sedan and the cooler is in the back seat within easy reach.

    Nothing at the top usually freezes because of the blanket and being right next to the air seal where most of the outside air will enter from.

    I went fishing in the Keys earlier this year and loaded the Pelican up with beverages and ice and there was still ice in the thing 5 days later sitting in the sun every day. Got it empty and loaded it with fish to take back home.

    Premium coolers are awesome for this type of thing. I usually deride the yuppies that have them for the occasional pool party or yard get together but for real outdoorsman they are the best. Makes sense since that is why they became popular.
    George P and LRDGCO like this.
  11. H&R Glock

    H&R Glock Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Remember dry ice turns to CO2 gas and will force it's way out of the best sealed cooler. Co2 gas sinks to the bottom of a closed container like the inside of a car! Your car can fill up with gas that will asphyxiate you. Ventilate your car every so often if you are using your car. Pick up trucks are no sweat! :)
    Patocazador likes this.
  12. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

    Feb 23, 2016
    I occasionally haul near from Michigan to Oklahoma. I use a good cooler, fill it 3/4 full of meat and keep putting more ice on it. All blood is out of the meat by the time I get there. I process all my meat at home.
    I don't like to start with it frozen, because if it thaws, is not supposed to be refrozen.
    George P 's idea is great if it's processed before you leave.
  13. wild willy

    wild willy Member

    Aug 19, 2008
    You can built a meat box with layers of two inch foam that will keep meat frozen longer than a cooler or freezer that's not running.It will be heavy and awkard to handle but it will work better.
    earlthegoat2 likes this.
  14. edwardware

    edwardware Member

    Feb 23, 2010
    I'd buy a couple pounds of dry ice, every day or two. That should keep a large cooler really cold, and it's simpler and cheaper than a freezer.
    armedwalleye, LRDGCO and illinoisburt like this.
  15. illinoisburt

    illinoisburt Member

    Jan 30, 2014
    Central Alabama -- recently relocated from Chicago
    Go with coolers and dry ice. It's inexpensive and works well. I suggest a adding a roll of duck tape to seal the lid. Easy to remove when you need to open, helps keep it colder. It's really not that big a deal so long as you are starting with cold meat. Also, you really want ice above and below the meat as heat rises and you.want everything to stay consistently cold. If you cannot find dry ice wherever you are, get a 20 pound bag of ice and add a pound of table salt with a cup or two of water, then put your meat or other items in sealed freezer bags into the slury (obviously needs to be water tight). It will bring the temp down to upper teens and freeze whatever is in it, so don't leave a soda or beer buried in it unless you want an exploded mess. Whatever you decide, suggest you have cold below and above the items since you don't want the meat nearest the lid to thaw while lower items stay cold.
  16. foxmeadow

    foxmeadow Member

    Dec 11, 2006
    West of Eugene, Orygun
    Over the years I have always applied for antelope tags, as I love the meat and the area we'd hunt. I got it the first try, then had to wait seven years for the next one, both times successfully harvesting nice bucks. My next interval was fourteen years. My buddy and I brought along the best coolers we could find, with dry ice, bubble wrap and moving blankets, etc., as ice was about seventy miles away. When we finally got to the campground, we found that every camp had a small freezer (available for under $200) and a small generator, usually a Honda 2000i.
    Apparently, we were not keeping up with the times. I'm 70 and my buddy is 80....
    Patocazador likes this.
  17. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    at the center of my own little universe
    I've hauled elk meat and antelope across the country in hot weather in both a 60qt and a 128qt cooler. I built plywood and 2" pink foam board cooler surrounds to fit them for extra insulation all sides and double on the bottom. I put frozen meat in then added dry ice, then filled any remaining space with layers of newspaper and taped the lids shut with duct tape before putting them in the "cooler boxes". Cover them in the back of the truck to keep direct sun off. Never had a problem arriving home with still frozen meat.
    earlthegoat2 likes this.
  18. tactikel

    tactikel Member

    Apr 28, 2009
    Northeastern Illinois
    Dry ice in a quality insulated cooler. Very effective and reasonable $.
  19. rdnktrkr

    rdnktrkr Member

    May 24, 2014
    Atlanta GA
    When we used dryice we got 3 days sometimes 4, we always went to town after 3 days camping ( ran out of beer :)) to replenish dryice and regular ice.
    When we shot a deer we would put them on ice and salt in a cooler with the drain open for 5 days before taking them to the processor.
  20. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Member

    Jul 2, 2007
    I brought a cooler full of frozen shrimp and venison when I moved from Georgia to Wyoming. Make sure everything is frozen as cold as your freezer will go, then pack the top with dry ice and newspaper. I think I re-upped the dry Ice one time during the drive and everything was still hard frozen when we arrived 3+ days later.
    Bottom Gun likes this.
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