When we bought our travel trailer, we decided that in order to get the most use out of it we would implement what we call “minimal trip prep”. Minimal trip prep for us meant outfitting the trailer with everything we needed so we wouldn’t have to pack or unpack every time we went camping. Now, with the RV completely outfitted, all we have to do is throw a few clothes in the closet, round up our food, and hit the road. Hopefully, by seeing how we roll, you will be able to do the same!
Here is a list of the basics that we keep in our RV kitchen:
Dishes – 4 place settings (Corelle – dinner plates, salad plates, and bowls kept in racks, like the Panacea Grayline rack shown here and purchased from Amazon, with squares of non-slip shelf liner between each plate/bowl)
Coffee mugs – 4 (we use this holder, by Grayline and purchased from Amazon, for our mugs and we’ve never had a broken one)
Silverware – 4 place settings
Serving bowls – 2 medium-size Corelle
Cookie sheet – 1
13 x 9 pan – 1
Dish towels – 4
Assorted kitchen knives
Paper plates, paper bowls, plasticware, napkins, salt and pepper kept in a picnic caddy for easy indoor or outdoor use. Ours is wicker, but this one by WeRdeals from Amazon looks great.
Skillets – 1 large, 1 small
Sauce pans – 2 qt and 1 qt with lids
Medium-size cutting board
Cabinet and refrigerator bars
Gallon, quart, and sandwich size zip top baggies
Aluminum foil and plastic wrap
Coffee maker – 4 cup
Collapsible colander – medium-size
Collapsible mixing bowls – 3 quart and 1.5 quart (we like the Squish brand bowls that we purchased from Amazon)
Collapsible food storage containers for leftovers and for heating in the microwave
Collapsible measuring cup set
Folding silicone trivet
Fruit bowl for the countertop
Ice cube trays with lids – 4
Plastic container for ice – 1 medium-size lidded food storage container
Refrigerator and freezer thermometers- 1 for each compartment
Long lighters – 2 – to light stove, oven, and outdoor grill
Dish drying mat (we tried using a plastic dish drainer, but we found this to be much easier and it definitely takes up less space)
Rotating utensil holder that holds all of our cooking utensils, such as spatulas, slotted spoon, large spoon, tongs, ladle, peeler, etc., as well as our manual can opener, bottle opener, and kitchen shears
Standing paper towel dispenser for the counter top
Acrylic lazy susan like the one below for our cooking oils, cooking spray, balsamic vinegar, large seasonings, etc.
Dish washing detergent and scrubber
Small trash can and trash bags
Kitchen cleaning supplies
- Our counter top kitchen items (coffee maker, toaster, lazy Susan with oils, etc., utensils and rotating holder, picnic caddy, paper towel dispenser) are stored in two large car trunk organizers which can be placed next to each side of our bed for travel. The organizers we use are the Trunkcratepro multi-compartment trunk organizers purchased from Amazon.
- Clean out your home kitchen before buying anything for your RV. Those extra knives, coffee mugs, or dishtowels that have been hiding in the back of cabinets and drawers might just save some you money. If you want brand new items, Amazon, Walmart, and dollar stores are the go-to’s for everything you need.
- Ask friends and family if they have any extras that you might be able to use, or go to estate sales and garage sales to pick up a few items.
- Don’t spend a lot of money for things that are unnecessary or that you won’t use. We promise that you do not need a stand mixer (or any mixer, for that matter) or gourmet cookware unless you are a full-timer or just want those things.
- When buying plastic items that will be used for food, make sure they are BPA free, and always buy USA made products if possible.
- The things that we could live without are the dishes, plastic tea/water glasses, serving bowls, and silverware. Paper plates and bowls, and plasticware work fine for us, especially if we’re just camping for a weekend. Seriously, who wants to do dishes?
- If towing weight is an issue, be conscious of heavy items such as cast iron skillets, ironstone dinnerware, and heavy appliances. Of course that Instant Pot is great, but you probably won’t need it on a shorter camping trip. Build a campfire or fire up the grill and roast some hot dogs instead! Invest in a set of telescoping roasting forks for cooking hot dogs and marshmallows over the campfire.
- Don’t take more than you need. Storage space is precious in an RV, so don’t fill it up with things you won’t use.
- WARNING: shopping for RV accessories (especially online) can be addictive and expensive, but it is SO MUCH FUN!
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Happy camping, y’all!
Mike and Kellye
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