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Keeping yourself well stocked on food and water is key to living your best van life! But how do you keep your favorite foods fresh for longer? How do you properly store water reserves that are safe for drinking? It all depends on the kind of containers and storage units you choose! Some units are better for certain kinds of foods or fit better in your type of van. Let’s take a look at some of the better ways to keep your favorite foods with you along for the ride!

#1 – BPA Free Collapsible Water Container with Spigot, Camping Water Storage Carrier Jug


Water storage is probably one of the biggest questions when it comes to traveling and van living. How can you store water for when you need it, but also not have those storage containers take up so much space when not in use? The BPA Collapsible Water Container by WaterStorageCube may be your answer. It comes in three different sizes and they all fold up into flat shapes for storage when not filled with water! This container eliminates the need to search for places to store big clunky empty water jugs, while still giving you the ability to carry with you a large amount of water. It even comes with a spigot, so you don’t have to try and pour the water out when it’s full and heavy, you can simply open the spigot and get the amount you want out with ease. The plastic is made with high quality materials that won’t leave any after taste in your water and has no PVC odor. It’s good for leaving in your van or taking with you when you feel like going out and exploring. It’s leak proof, so you won’t have to worry about it ruining anything in your van. Overall, it’s a great product that is certain to save you some headaches and give you peace of mind that you have enough water safely stored and ready for use.

#2 – Gowithwind Collapsible Water Container Bag with Graduate, Food Grade Water Storage Jug

If you need a more portable option that takes up even less space than a jug, then the GoWithWind Collapsible Water Container is a good choice. It’s a water bag that has no plastic odor or taste and is compliant with USA food grade standards. It can be refrigerated or frozen with no damage to the bag. It can of course hold other liquids than just water and comes in two different sizes. Both of which can be folded up to conserve space in your van. It has a nice handle on it that is comfortable to hold and prevents the container from digging into your hand as you walk with it, making it great for on the go as well as general water storage. It also comes in two colors, a blue and a clear color. It’s important to note though that this may not be the easiest container to dry and may take some time, so if you decide to use anything but water in this container, just note that you may need to wait in between uses or rinse it out first. It’s small size and folding ability make it an excellent choice for on the go water storage when limited space is available!

#3 – YETI Tundra 65 Cooler

If you’re looking for a great cooler to keep your food and drinks cold for a good long while, then the YETI Tundra is a great choice for that. While it’s a bit bulky, it’s a great way to store your food without needing to use any energy or batteries! If you are able to use your food effectively, stock up often and keep the ice filled then this cooler can keep things cold for days on end! The design is simple looking but built tough, with thick walls integrated with 3 inches of permafrost insulation that keep everything inside colder for longer. This particular cooler is pretty heavy, weighing almost 30lbs and then more after you fill it with your food and liquids. Be sure you put it in place before filling it up, as moving it later can be a challenge due to the size and weight of the cooler. Not to mention that on top of being a bit bulky, it also is quite expensive. However, if you’re looking for a way to safely store your perishables for days without worrying about food going bad quickly, then it may be an item worth splurging a bit extra for. With all that being said, this is still one of the best options for battery free cooling, making it a great addition to your van life!

#4 – Coleman Rolling Cooler | 50 Quart Xtreme 5 Day Cooler with Wheels

If you’re looking for a nice cooler that is a little less expensive than the YETI, then you might want to look at the Coleman 50 Quart Rolling Cooler. While it has the ability to roll and be a mobile method of food storage, it can just as easily find a spot in your van to settle into. This is a smaller cooler, and weighs less, so it will be easier to find space for it and move it from place to place inside your van. It keeps ice for up to 5 days and can hold up to 250lbs on its lid. The handle that retracts is a great way to bring it with you on longer trips outside your van and the cup holders make it a great makeshift table when you decide to sit and rest. It’s also an easy to clean cooler, meaning you spend less time worrying about spills inside or out. It may not hold as much or be as sturdy as the YETI cooler, but it does the job very well and is much more affordable of an option. If you’re looking for a small secondary food storage device, then this cooler should do the trick nicely!

#5 – TOURIT Leak-Proof Soft Sided Cooler Backpack Waterproof Insulated Backpack Cooler Bag

If you’re just looking for a small food storage container to be a backup to your primary one, then a backpack cooler may be more suited for you. The TOURIT Leak Proof Cooler Backpack is a great way to take your food perishables with you on the go. It’s a soft but durable cooler that is about 5lbs but gets a little heavy when filled with food and drinks. Its insulated material can keep foods hot or cold for up to 3 days! As the name suggests, it’s also leak proof, but also waterproof as well, meaning you can have it in the rain and your food will remain dry and protected. It’s pretty spacious, especially for a backpack cooler! You can leave it in your van as a secondary method of storing food as well. So, whether you’re looking for a way to take food with you on the go or for a way to store small food and drinks in a separate container at home, this is a great product. However, it will cost a bit more than many standard coolers to get this level of quality!

#6 – Wagan EL6206 – 6 Quart 12V Portable Electric Cooler/Warmer for Car



If you need to keep something cool and a regular cooler just won’t cut it, or maybe you ran out of ice and are in need of keeping your perishables from going bad quickly, then an electric cooler is what you’ll need. The Portable Electric Cooler/Warmer by Wagan is a great choice for a small electric cooler that will fit your van life! It’s powered by a 12V cord which plugs right into your van’s cigarette lighter. It’s very small and compact, meaning it won’t take up much space in your van at all! It’s good for storing and cooling the kinds of foods that won’t last long in the heat, such as the meat or fish that you plan on cooking for dinner or lunch that day. This isn’t just a powered cooler; it also works to keep your food hot as well! It can cool to about 36 Fahrenheit and heats to 140 Fahrenheit! It comes with a strap that allows for it to be easily moved or carried around with you and doesn’t emit any harmful gas, so it’s safe to leave on in your van! Of course, the down side to this particular cooler is that it can take a decent amount of power from your vans engine or battery packs to work and is pretty small. It’s best used to quickly heat or cool items or to store important items that can go bad quickly. This should not be your primary cooling device, but rather a secondary or even emergency cooling device to have with you just in case.

#7 – Set of 4 Collapsible Silicone Food Storage Container, Leftover Meal box For Kitchen, Bento Lunch Boxes

Coolers are great for handling your food, but what do you store them in to keep them organized inside the coolers? A good way to organize and separate foods is with the use of tupperware. But we all know the struggle of finding space to store empty tupperware when not in use, so it’s good to find some that can be folded away when empty. SuperDee Corp’s Collapsible Silicone Food Storage Containers are great for this task, as they are not only great at storing food, but fold up into very easy to manage pieces! They’re microwave, freezer and dishwasher safe, meaning you don’t have to worry about them being ruined easily. They come in 4 different sizes too, so you don’t have to waste using a big size for small leftovers or vice versa. These containers are also made out of materials that are food safe, non-toxic, odorless and tasteless. You won’t have to worry about your food’s taste or quality being affected by storing them in these containers. These are great units for cooler storage and will help you maximize the amount of space in your van at all times, even when not in use!

#8 – Reusable Silicone Food Storage Bags (Set of 9)-3xLarge 50oz, 6xMedium 30oz

If you need more options for food storage inside your coolers or are just looking for more ways to be organized, then it’s not a bad idea to pick up some reusable silicone storage bags. These Sungwoo Airtight Food Preservation Silicone Bags are great for food storage in and out of your cooler! Because these bags are reusable, you’ll waste less plastic, which makes these a more eco friendly option to regular plastic Ziplock bags. They are also food grade safe and hold no microplastics that can get into your food. Not to mention that these bags are microwave, dishwasher and freezer safe, making them durable and reliable. On top of all that, they also can be sealed tight enough so that they’re leak-proof, making them good for storing liquids as well as solids. Cleaning them is easy, as they can be turned inside out and rinsed off with soapy water, then left to dry.

Wrapping things up…

There are many different options for food and drink storage, regardless of what it is you want to take along with you. Just because you’re on the go, doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy all the same meals you would normally! With that being said, it’s important to be safe and take the same precautions you normally would. Check the dates on your food and make sure to check if it’s still fresh before cooking and eating it. Try to avoid buying too many foods that require refrigeration and visit the food store often to replenish your perishables. Try to plan your meals accordingly and save yourself the unpleasant task of throwing away food that’s gone bad. But don’t forget, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you’re unsure of whether a food is still good or not, don’t risk it! You’re always better off not disposing of questionable food rather than eating it anyway.

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