Packing an RV pantry feels overwhelming, especially when you’re preparing for a long road trip. Check out our helpful tips for packing your pantry with the right food items so you can focus on the fun and forget your stress.
3 tips for perfect RV pantry packing.
Meal planning can be tough no matter where you are, especially when you’re about to spend a week or more out in the boonies.
Luckily, here at Togo RV, we have a team of RV fanatics who’ve been around the block when it comes to stocking an RV kitchen, and we collected a few of our best tips to share with you in this post.
But first things first. Let’s tackle 3 RV kitchen tips that every RVer needs to know.
Tip 1: Tame your temperamental fridge
One of the most challenging aspects of cooking and storing food in an RV kitchen is dealing with the differences between an RV refrigerator and a normal home refrigerator. An RV fridge is usually a lot smaller and more temperamental than your fridge at home, and so it’s important to maintain it and pack it full of food in a specific way.
The first step to keeping your food fresh is to simply buy a couple of extra cooling fans for your fridge. These will help keep the cold air circulating so that the overall temperature remains stable. They’re especially important if you’re traveling during the summer.
Avoid cramping your fridge at all costs. You want to store your food items in a way that air can circulate. If things get too cramped, the food items in the middle of the fridge might spoil.
You can keep your food fresh by buying perishables at different points along your trip if you’ll be passing by grocery stores on your route. As tempting as it is to have every meal planned and packed down to the last ingredient before you leave, it’s better to stay flexible. Not only will it help you keep more space in your fridge, it’ll give you more opportunities to cook with fresh produce and meat.
Tip 2: Bring multi-purpose equipment
If your RV kitchen is especially small, don’t fret; there are a few items you can bring along that serve several purposes – helping you make the most of what space you have.
One of these magical items is a large cutting board. A lot of people place a cutting board over their RV sink so they can maximize their counter space for prepping and cooking. If you need to use the sink, you can store the cutting board vertically in dead space between the fridge and the wall or in a cupboard.
Another must-have kitchen item is a large set of collapsible mixing bowls. These bowls can be used for salad bowls, dishwashing basins, mixing bowls for food prep, and snack bowls for food like chips and pretzels. And because they collapse when you’re done using them, they take up virtually zero food storage space.
You’ll also want to bring a large baking pan. Of course, you will need to use a baking pan anytime you want to prepare something in the oven, but you can also use it as a tray for transporting food items to and from the picnic table or campfire, which any RV veteran knows ends up being quite a common occurrence. For this item, the larger the better, but of course, make sure it fits in your oven and in your pantry cupboard!
Tip 3: Protein refuses to perish
A general fear for many newbie RVers is that they won’t be able to create the hearty family meals they are used to when they’re on the road. And the fact of the matter is, cooking heavily with meat, fish, and cheese is difficult when you’re trying to keep your perishable items to a minimum.
Fortunately, there are lots of ways to get protein-packed meals without even using a refrigerator. Consider recipes that use ingredients like canned black beans, lentils, and canned tuna, and bring along some canned lentil and black bean soup that you can easily reheat.
For snacks, protein-packed staples like peanut butter, trail mix, beef jerky, and protein bars are absolute must-haves for your RV grocery shopping list. By filling up on these items, you’ll be less dependent on cold cuts and other perishables that can be difficult to store.
Want to know what else to add to your RV food list? Check out our complete RV Pantry Checklist here.
A perfectly packed pantry won’t cramp your style.
When it comes to stocking a camper to make the most of your RV kitchen, the key is to get creative and adapt your normal eating habits to work in a smaller, less efficient space. And remember, where others see a small kitchen and cramped cooking space, RVers see an opportunity to try out some new recipes in that big stove we call a campfire.
For a complete look at preparing for an RV camping trip, check out our How to Park Your RV guide. It’ll help you determine everything you do – and don’t – want to bring along on your trip. Plus, how to store it. Happy cooking!