Tips and tricks for packing your RV kitchen without sacrificing too much space
Whether you consider cooking a hobby or a chore, it’s one of those essential activities that’s much easier if you’re well-prepared. Owning an RV already puts you a step ahead of regular campers; you have storage, electricity, access to running water, and heat to cook with, with no concern for the local weather report.
It’s how you stock that kitchen that’s going to define your experience; if you have everything you need and more, you may be shuffling through a cluttered mess. If you go full minimalist, you may find yourself going out to dinner instead. Learn how to pack the perfect RV kitchen and enjoy meal time for miles to come.
The most important factor to consider is space. Forget trying to recreate your kitchen at home – you’re going to have to sacrifice some conveniences. Get realistic about what you really need by making a list of everything you actually use at home for one week, and then evaluate that list with a critical eye.
Also, be sure to search your cabinets and drawers for duplicates before making your final shopping trip.
Finally, get creative about alternative uses. A wine bottle can pull double duty as a rolling pin, and mason jars can serve as both drinking glasses and food storage containers, in some cases. You’re also going to have to get savvy about space-saving:
- Keep an eye out for collapsible colanders and bowls, or measuring cups that nest inside one another.
- Mount a bottle opener to the outside edge of a cabinet if you’re a fan of bottled beverages.
- Consider a magnet spice rack to keep bottles from rolling around. A magnetic strip for knives and scissors may also save valuable drawer space.
- Buy pop up sponges and one bottle of versatile cleaning spray.
- A wastebasket that hangs on the inside of the cabinet door makes for convenient access without taking up too much room.
Once you’ve packed your kitchen, get in the habit of constantly purging. If you bring a new item in, take an existing object out. Don’t allow clutter to become a habit. The extra weight reduces fuel efficiency and makes everyday tasks more difficult to manage if you’re constantly moving stuff around to find what you need.
Sometimes it takes a few practice runs before you recognize what you can’t live without, and sometimes you only learn the hard way. Save yourself some time and trouble by considering the following prior to departure:
Coffee pot or French press: If you enjoy your morning cup of coffee, you definitely don’t want to go without it on the road. Make sure you have filters, sweetener, cream and whatever else you need. Don’t sacrifice life’s little luxuries.
Disposable plates and cutlery: There are going to be nights you just don’t want to clean up, so enjoy the convenience of disposable dinnerware. Disposable aluminum cooking pans also come in handy for particularly messy dishes.
Crock-Pot: You may think this is a duplicate item in terms of purpose since you have options for cooking, but think of the days that you’ll be out exploring all day. Coming home to a meal that’s been cooking in your absence is what vacation is all about.
Fire extinguisher: Don’t forget about safety. Always have a fire extinguisher within easy reach of the kitchen. It’s far preferable to sacrifice the space it inhabits instead of the entire vehicle.
Condiments: There’s nothing like getting all set up for your first cookout on the road only to realize you don’t have any ketchup or mustard for your freshly grilled hamburgers. This is one of the items you shouldn’t go overboard on, but make sure you have the essentials. Condiment packets that come with fast food are a great option for some of the sauces you use less frequently.
Make your own checklist of must-have kitchen items and pack from that.
Your RV should feel like your home away from home, but you’re going to have to approach packing and storage with a different – and smaller – mindset. Get realistic, be creative, and make sacrifices that you won’t suffer for in order to enjoy your traveling kitchen.