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weathertopmama

I May Have To Buy An Rv To Cope With This Condition

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(*longtime lurker, infrequent poster*)

We went to a big family weekend get-together, out of state. I spent a small fortune buying gluten-free "convenience foods" for myself and our 4 celiac sons. I packed a cooler, prepared food ahead of time, etc. for a 3 day event, thinking that I'd be ready for anything and we wouldn't need to eat anything questionable and we would NOT get sick.

All went well except for one meal, the supper on New Year's Eve. I needed to cook for my crew. We were staying with my brother and SIL, but poor SIL had been fussing and trying all day to keep the gluten in the air to a bare minimum. And I brought my own pots, pans, wooden spoons, colander, etc. We didn't microwave without a lid. It should have been Ok!

By dawn on New Years Day, we were all sick. All glutened. Everybody was exhibiting their particular 'glutened' symptoms, so I know it wasn't food poisoning or anything else. We had to cut the visit short and come home (fully loaded with immodium, just to make the drive, sorry TMI).

So I wore myself out preparing for the trip, SIL walked on eggshells all day trying to watch out for the gluten, and we got sick anyway. The boys recovered within a few days, thankfully, but here we are on the 10th and I am still unwell.

It has been a very scary and severe glutening for me. I told dh I don't ever want to share a kitchen, even for one meal, in a gluten establishment of any kind (also, I feel like a heel for inconveniencing SIL). We can't afford an RV but we have to do something.

I wish we could get a little pull-behind cart where I could cook for my family. It isn't just weekend events, it is the constant struggle to deal with 5 celiacs in one family. Anything we want to do that is more than an hour away is a huge, huge hassle and strain. On my own, it wouldn't be so difficult I think. 4 little boys on a gluten-free diet away from home is hard.

Just a little vending trailer, with half-sized sink, stove, refrigerator, countertop, cupboards. I looked at concession trailers online and found one that would work but it was $12000! A food trailer would cost the same as an RV. So I guess I'm back to looking at RV's. We are not wealthy people, here.

Thanks for listening! Sigh. Does anybody feel my pain?

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Look on rvtrader.com if you are going to look for a used trailer or RV. If you don't want an RV consider staying in a renting a place with a kitchen. When we go on vacation I search the internet for condo rentals, cabins and long term stay hotels (you don't have to stay long term).

Marriott has both the TownPlace suites and Residence Inn. TownPlace Suites are less expensive because they don't provide breakfast. The breakfast at the Residence Inn is NOT gluten free friendly and I would not recommend eating it.

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We have four in our family , two adults & two kids under ten. All on the gluten-free diet.I have done the rented hotels with kitchenettes, & rented homes but I still was scared so I washed everything before using it anyway. Not much time to vacation that way.

I would invest in a camper, fifth wheel or some affordable RV. Pop-ups are not bad if you are limited for cash. We started out in a back of a truck with a camp stove & thought we were in heaven.

The benefits & fun you will have with your family camping will be worth the money for the RV. esp. with boys.......That way you know that you can freely cook , sleep & go wherever & be safe & happy.

Camping brings families together. I know you want it to visit relatives but I'm sure it will come into play for weekend get aways.......

Hope to meet you camping somewhere............

mamaw

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I agree with mamaw the RV is the way to go if you go out a lot. We have never gotten an RV because we would only use it one week a year. You could also look at renting an RV.

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I have major issues with travelling also (multiple food allergies + celiac.) Sometimes it is hard to find a place with a kitchenette. I've recently bought a few appliances to take with me on the road which will turn a place with a microwave and bar fridge into a kitchenette (may have to hide electric appliances from hotel staff, though)! I bought a Sanyo computerized rice cooker which also steams veggies and can be used as a slow cooker for stews. I also bought a Breville grill---good for grilling meat and veggies. I haven't tried making flatbread on it, but I'll try that next.

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if you were using her pots/utensils, you might consider carrying one or two of your own - I generally am fine dealing with traveling to my MIL's, but it varies a lot on a number of things.

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I think an RV is a great idea. It would be way cheaper than getting sick all the time. Then you could visit relatives and friends safely. I really do feel your pain on this one. Kitchenettes are great too but they add up. An Rv would giev you freedome to visit...and maybe you could invite others to join your meals that you cook and eat in their house and people can throw in money. That way you know the food is safe, and the environment as long as everyone promises not to bake. The meal plan that I follow is really loved by my non gluten-free family and friends and so it appeals to everyone's needs. I like the RV idea.

Best wishes,

Robyn G

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(((I have to give you all a hug)))) :) it is nice to have this treated as a reasonable idea :)

We are tent campers, the boys really enjoy it. I was thinking in the summer I could take my camp kitchen stuff wherever I went but when I imagined doing that in the winter it didn't seem practical :lol: I could just see myself making a little fire, getting out the dutch oven, setting up the camp stove and tin oven, all in SIL's driveway there in her cul-de-sac :lol: having the little cousins out for a gluten-free wienie roast while the grownups are inside eating the sophisticated gluten food....

I'm going to do it. I'm shopping online for an RV right now. Probably will have to downsize the house, but that's ok. I can't imagine a lifetime of fretting about eating while traveling! This disease is hard enough.

mamaw, I'll paint a big gluten-free symbol on our rv so you'll recognize us if we cross paths

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I have celiac and food allergies, I'm very sensitive to gluten. I go out to eat often and I travel a lot for both work and play and I almost never have a problem. Just like you virtually the only place I ever get glutened is at other peoples homes!

Now for me even considering buying an RV to avoid glutening would be a crazy idea (totally hates anything that resembles camping) however if your family does it often and really enjoys it, maybe its the way to go!

I hope you can figure this out and make it work for you.

Good luck!

Susan

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We actually bought an RV after going gluten free. Its so nice to feel 100% comfortable eating when you're on the road. We don't use it to vacation (we generally only vacation at Disney) but we do use it for road trips. Its so nice to be able to enjoy a hot meal on the run. We just bought an older RV (1994) and cleaned it up really well. It had low miles and was still relatively nice inside. It does us well. It also didn't cost an arm and a leg which was a huge plus. Ebay has some great deals on RV's, especially this time of year. Our RV payment is actually less than our car payments.

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I'll be lookin for your gluten-free sign!!!!!!!!

Helena:

you have a great concept but we got caught once doing just what you suggest.... The food smelled down the hallways & someone called front office & said they smelled something good cookin>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>needless to say this method is against firecodes almost everywhere & every hotel/motel. We new that before hand but did it anyway. Thank goodness something didn't short out & catch fire . We would hav ebeen front news headlines & also be responsible for causing a castrophe & to boot been held liable.

I would not suggest this method.....

We do not get to use our fifth wheel as much as we would like because of work & being a caregiver but it is still very worth it. The kids love to go for even a day hiking, fishing & cooking outside.

If you are a city person & never experienced the great outdoors with all of the beauty of this planet , away from the hustle of big city life then you are truly missing the big picture.Kids learn so much from being in the great outdoors learning about nature. It is relaxation like no other........

Angie:

Boy, is that baby gettin big! She sure is a doll baby........ Headin your way this summer in the fifth wheel..........

mamaw

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Ugh. I'm sorry you wound up getting glutened after all that work.

You can rent an RV. It's somewhat expensive, but probably on par with a hotel room for a half dozen people. And usually dealers who rent RV's have several options from small van conversions and pop ups to giant RV's with slide outs.

You might also google tailgating. I know there are some very inventive tailgaters out there who literally bring the kitchen sink with them to games, and some of them do it out of the back of a truck or SUV. It might give you some ideas on setting up a makeshift kitchen. You could also look into vacation home rentals. Some areas, particularly if they're vacation destinations, have rental agencies that just rent out private vacation homes on a daily or weekly basis.

Violet

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Mamaw, thanks for the warning. I certainly don't want to cause a fire. . . .the indoor grill probably isn't such a good idea. The cord is really thick . . . it uses a lot of power. The only other option I would have is to cook meat in the microwave . . .which I suppose could be done (I've just never done it before.) (I don't eat canned meat or luncheon meat or any kind of processed meat . . and I can't have legumes, beans, nuts, seeds.)

I would guess that he rice cooker would be safe if I moved the microwave for the time being and plugged it in there?

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Helena

Your welcome. I thought it was an ok idea until that happened. I believe if a kitchnette is available then you can cook in those rooms. But again who knows how clean the utensils are so I see it as defeating the purpose of being gluten-free.

I never use a micro except to reheat something so I can't help you out on cooking in one. I don't care for micro meats....

take care

mamaw

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Helena,

another option for making meals with meat is to premake the meals at home. Meal suggestions are spegetti sauce with meat, chili with meat or beef stew. I freeze them is the serving sizes I expect to need an put them in the ice chest.

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I got sick over Thanksgiving while I was visiting my parents, and I didn't eat any of their food, and brought all my own. But there were crumbs everywhere. ugh...

We have a camper and I absolutely love it. You can load it up and it's super convenient.

The camper is nice because you can pull up just about anywhere and park it, but you need a good truck. And if you like camping you can camp in the nice sites that this big rigs can't.

Don't listen to any dealers on their opinions of an appropriate truck, they will tell you anything.

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another option for making meals with meat is to premake the meals at home. Meal suggestions are spegetti sauce with meat, chili with meat or beef stew. I freeze them is the serving sizes I expect to need an put them in the ice chest.

Your suggestion reminded me of these portable refrigerator/freezer units they make for travel. I saw them at one of those large truck stops - the ones that have EVERYTHING for the trucker. These little units are a little larger than a breadbox. They're plugged into the power outlet in the vehicle (I think our little PT-Cruiser has one so perhaps newer cars have these in addition to the cigarette lighter.)

I'm thinking that for a trip longer than just a day or two, one could make up several entrees and freeze - and keep them frozen in the car - and then defrost one at a time and heat them up in the motel microwave.

As I'm writing this, I realize that perhaps this wouldn't be practical for a family of 6, but for one or two it might work well. I think I'll look into it for myself for our vacation.

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Great ideas in this thread! I have in the past cooked in advance . . . would work for trips that aren't too long. I had never heard of mini freezers . . . that is a great idea. I will file that one away for when I have a car with an outlet!

One more suggestion for the OP---you've probably thought of this, but when I go visit relatives and have to use their kitchens, I always bring my own washcloth and tea towel (or use freshly laundered ones). And I always clean off the counter before venturing to use anything. Even after doing that, I try not to lay anything on the counter . . . and I put my utensils on my plate rather than on the table. I even tend to bring my own utensils . . because utensil drawers can be crummy. I basically view all kitchen surfaces as potentially contaminated. I will use glasses and plates that have gone through the dishwasher, but I bring practically everything else. I don't even store my stuff in the kitchen . . which is probably safer, but all the precautions sure make cooking a difficult and time-consuming process! (I really need to be in there when no one else is cooking too.)

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Kareng, I am a bit concerned by your statement here.  I no longer have "out of control" DH, but smaller, more scattered, and more readily resolving (for the most part) flareups.  And it may be that I am just having what would be "normal" for a person in my situation, being 'only' 13 months into the gluten-free diet.  I will readily admit, and perhaps should stress, that the situation is very much better than it was before I went gluten-free, including the fact that my former GI symptoms have tot
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