Food related illnesses are increasing. Approximately 2 million Australians suffer by food related illnesses each year. When travelling in hot weather our caravan refrigerators are more susceptible to exposure of higher temperatures than at home. We need to know that the temperature of our refrigerator stores food at a safe level. It is necessary to have the caravan refrigerator working properly while travelling.
The connecting wires from the car to the van need to be heavy duty so that there is a minimum loss of voltage and current across the wires and the full 12 volts is applied to the elements of the refrigerator when it is running on direct-current (DC). In addition, to limit any problem occurring in the interconnecting plug-socket between the car and the van, it is recommended that a separate heavy duty connector be used for the refrigerator DC power circuit (that is, do not use the light-weight wiring in the existing 7-pin connectors). An auto electrician can give further advice. As a minimum, the heavy-duty and large pins numbered 8 to 12 on the 12-pin plug and socket system may be used; otherwise use a completely separate plug and socket system for the 12 volt supply to the caravan 'fridge.
While travelling, with the refrigerator running on DC, its contents will not get any colder than they were at the start of the days travel. Therefore it is important to get the refrigerator contents below 5ºC before starting the trip. By keeping the refrigerator running effectively on DC while traveling, the contents have more chance of being kept cooler and at a safe temperature.
Some types of bacteria can cause food related illnesses. Bacteria multiply on most foods if their conditions are right; that is, the temperature of the food is between 5ºC and 60ºC. Therefore we need to keep our food very cold, 4ºC or less in the refrigerator. Foods that bacteria particularly like are foods containing lots of protein and nutrients, such as: chicken, seafood, eggs, red meats, dairy products, and even cooked rice. The risk of food poisoning is more likely eliminated if food is properly handled, stored correctly, and cooked sufficiently and eaten immediately.
Also consider safe food handling practices. A refrigerator thermometer will provide an indication as to the temperature of the contents of the refrigerator.
NB: Every time the door is opened in the hot weather the more chance of the refrigerator temperature rising.
Safe Travelling! ............. June and Cliff Hicks (2605)