RV travel gives you the luxury to choose where and when you want to eat. Writer Carol White, author of "Live Your Road Trip Dream," says that finding an ideal place to eat is seldom difficult. "A city park, a rest stop . . . or a scenic overlook all make great stops with wonderful vistas." With a properly packed RV kitchen, you can rest easy knowing you have all of the ingredients for a memorable roadside meal.
Ask yourself how much cooking you will do during your trip and where you will be. Determine whether you will be camped in a remote area without any services. If so, you will need to pack for three meals per day, plus snacks, drinks and desserts. However, if your campground will be in a touristy area with nearby restaurants, you will probably take advantage of the local cuisine at least a few times.
Draft a menu of every meal you think you'll cook during your trip. Most RV kitchens are too small to allow storage for more than seven days worth of meals, especially in the refrigerator. Factor in everything that is needed to make those meals, then consider how many pots and pans, spices and condiments you will need for them. Stick to one-pot meals that can be cooked on the stove top, such as spaghetti, or casseroles that are baked in the oven. According to author White, barbecuing a piece of meat or baked potato, along with a salad, is one of the easiest meals to make while traveling.
Select and pack the utensils, cookware, dishes and glasses needed for your trip. To preserve space, only choose double-duty items, such as cast iron skillets that can be used on the stove top as well as in the oven or even over a campfire. Vegetable peelers that also core apples are another good choice. Avoid single-use tools such as a egg slicers, garlic presses and ice cream scoops, which will also save space. Use plastic dishware instead of glass or ceramic, since items will shift considerably during travel, making them prone to breakage.
Turn your refrigerator on at least eight hours before departure. This will ensure that the refrigerator is cold when you pack it with food. Remember that RV's must be parked on level surfaces for refrigerators to function properly and chill food. Check your refrigerator periodically to ensure that cool air is flowing.
Pack your grocery items carefully. Heaviest items, like jars and cans, should be kept as low as possible to the ground, to prevent them from falling out when cabinet doors are opened. Save space by reducing food packaging as much as possible, by filling reclosable plastic bags with food from boxed packages. Use clear reclosable bags to save space inside cabinets, but be sure to label each bag and keep all preparation instructions inside.
- Always know the gross vehicle weight ratio (GVWR) of your RV. Even groceries can create too much weight and cause hazardous situations during travel. To avoid accidents, take only what you need.
- Spring-loaded tension bars made for RV cabinets and refrigerators will prevent items from pushing open cabinet doors and falling onto the floor.
- "Live Your Road Trip Dream," Carol White, 2008.
- Travel image by CSlade from Fotolia.com