Have more fun on the road with these RV meal planning tips.
We've all been there. You're three days into a family road trip, between destinations, and everyone is hungry. The only place you can get a quick bite to eat is at one of those interstate stops that has gas, coffee, candy bars, and four types of fast food. Only your whole family could really use something a little more nutritious and enjoyable.
RV meal planning may not keep every cranky moment at bay, but it can save you money and fill your meals with delicious and appetizing food options. The best part is that it doesn't take too much extra preparation to pack your family meals into an RV right along with your swimsuit, bedding, and that magnetic chess set.
Because an RV is your home away from home, you can plan most of your meals and get your groceries together before you hit the road. The key, of course, is packing light and planning for meals that utilize similar ingredients. It's also important to consider the amount of space (or rather, the lack of space) you have.
Here are a few items that are indispensable for creating great meals in your RV kitchen:
- Sharp chef's knife
- Paring knife
- Bread knife
- Small pot
- Good skillet
- Cutting board
If you have room, feel free to bring additional pots, pans, skillets, or knives, but you'll find that it only takes a few tools to do everything you need to do in the kitchen.
As for food, think carefully about what kind of food you bring. If you unplug your RV and your refrigerator is without power for six or eight hours, that beautiful fish you planned on for dinner may be a food safety hazard. If you do bring meats and dairy items, try to stock your refrigerator with ice any time it's going to be unplugged and check the temperature before you plug it back in. Food safety guidelines require food to be stored at 40º F or below.
8 Tips for Making the Best Meals in Your RV
1. Plan for quick meals
Because an RV kitchen is a small, enclosed space, you don't want to spend a lot of time cooking. You'll heat up your RV, plus the longer your oven is on, the more resources you're using.
2. Dry goods are your friends
Dry goods have a few things going for them. First of all, you don't have to worry about them going bad if they get too hot. They're also fairly easy to store in your RV's cabinets and won't roll around too much on those twisty roads.
3. Include the kids
Not only do your kids have to eat what you pack, but you have to listen to them if you didn't plan for any meals they like! Since dry goods are one of the key components of your road kitchen, let them pick out their favorite cereal or that bag of chips they only get on special occasions.
4. Save room for snacks
Nutritious snacks like trail mix, fruits, and celery and carrot sticks go a long way in keeping you satisfied. They also help cut down on all the extra purchases from the previously mentioned convenience stops. As a bonus, you can hit road-side farm stands to stretch your legs and load up on fresh fruits.
5. Choose hearty foods
When it comes to fresh foods, some go bad quickly, and others don't. Opt for foods such as apples, potatoes, watermelon, cabbage, broccoli, and similar foods.
6. Prepare ahead of time
As long as you can keep your refrigerator cold or you have a cooler, you can prepare a number of foods before you hit the road. Beans, rice, salads, and hamburgers all store nicely. You'll just need to take the finishing steps and you'll eat in no time.
7. Don't forget the spices
A little salt and pepper go a long way in making a meal delicious. To save space and add flavor to dinners, bring a small selection of catch-all spices like chili powder or taco seasoning.
8. Stop for ice cream
Your hamburger may be ok at 35º for a day or two, but your ice cream won't. What better way to enjoy the road than to stop for ice cream? After all, an RV trip is about the journey, not the destination.
One last tip before you hit the road: make sure your RV is insured. Call your Pekin Insurance agent to find out if you need additional coverage.