When Alan & I started out in our first RV, we had quite a learning curve with limited space and small cooking areas, not to mention we had a lot less cooking utensils and pots and pans! We were very excited to come to a beautiful campground and be able to cook for ourselves and use our RV kitchen and BBQ. It’s a lot healthier and less expensive and it gives us more time to enjoy our amazing camp spots.
Some people may feel that cooking your own meals can be stressful, however, we would like to change that! It’s all about being organised. Meal planning for RV travel includes gathering recipes that lend themselves well to RV and campout cooking. Choosing recipes that use many of the same ingredients is especially convenient.
We usually try to stick with easy, low cost meals that require less clean up so that we can enjoy our surroundings more. We really love grilling outdoors which is quick and easy with minimal clean up.For successful, hassle-free cooking, choose simple meals that don’t require numerous ingredients or steps.
And don’t forget the campfire! Unless you’re parking the RV in an area that prohibits open fires or charcoal fires, take advantage of having access to a fire or hot coals to grill meats and vegetables and enjoy fun cookout treats such as roasted marshmallows and s’mores.
Keep in mind what kitchen utensils and equipment you have on hand. For each meal, determine what you’ll need in terms of cooking vessels, utensils, spices, and ingredients. This is very important when meal planning as you may start to cook your meal at the campground miles from town and then discover you need a BBQ utensil or cast iron pan (or instance) and do not have one.
We usually plan our meals around what is on sale and we have found that where you shop can make a huge difference in the costs.
Grocery stores vary throughout the United States so you may need to check around to find the best stores. Our favorite is Grocery Outlet! One drawback is that they have a lot of items that may not be brands you are familiar with and you may not find all of the ingredients for the dish you are making at Grocery Outlet. So we usually shop there first and may need to go to a larger chain store to top up items we could not find there. But, if you strongly prefer a particular brand of sauce or coffee, you are probably better off stocking them before you go.
Also keep in mind the room you have in your refrigerator when purchasing cold or frozen foods. We found it wise to purchase freezer packs and use a cooler for drinks if space is limited. Do not overcrowd your fridge. If you fill it up, the air won’t flow through the unit and some contents may not stay chilled. This could lead to food spoilage or food poisoning. For best results, your appliance should be well stocked without being too full.
If you are considering boondocking, or camping without hookups, you may want to invest in a cooler that will keep things cold for 4-7 days. We have listed a few options at the bottom of this post.
Don’t let the stress or fear of meal planning stop you from getting out there and adventuring. Using our tips outlined above, you’ll have a far better food experience and may discover that you enjoy this aspect of RVing as much as the travel itself. If you have a tip of your own, please let us know and add to this post.