Equipping Your RV Kitchen: Tips For Storage & Organization Aboard An RV

rv-travel-trailer-kitchen.jpgWhen you look at different RVs, you soon find out that the kitchens all have something in common. No matter if the kitchen is the front, the middle, or the rear of the unit, it is SMALL.

Even the largest of motorhomes usually have a much smaller refrigerator than ones you will find in a regular house, and the ovens are all just about the same.

My first uh-oh moment came not long after we moved in to our RV.

I wanted to cook a baked ham and the dang thing wouldn’t fit in my oven! After 8 years of living fulltime in an RV though, I have learned how to shop for food, how to prepare it for storing, and how to cook it in the confines of my small kitchen.


Some Things To Think About…

When you start thinking about what you really need in your RV kitchen, the key is to think about how you eat now. Do you eat out for every meal? Do you cook most meals at home? Is it an equal combination of the two?

Whatever you do now is what you will probably be doing when you live in an RV. So, in order to equip your kitchen, think about what utensils, pots, pans, and dishes you need in your sticks and bricks house. But, you will also have to consider your storage space.

When I had the house, I had several sets of pots and pans; baking pans; dinnerware service for 12; cabinets full of bowls, specialty utensils and gadgets; and Tupperware coming out my ears! Now, I have a much more conservative list.


My Cookware Includes:

  • a Dutch oven with a lid
  • a 10-inch frying pan with a lid
  • a 2-quart pot with a lid
  • a 4-quart pot with a lid
  • a 4-quart stainless steel pot with a lid
  • a 6-inch cast iron skillet

My cookware set happens to be from Cook’s Essentials. All of the lids and a metal colander fit in and on the Dutch oven, and all the other cookware pieces nest together — taking up very little space in the cabinet.

Oh, and make sure you get a good set of pots and pans. If you try to get lightweight ones, it will make you mad when you try cook with them. If you need to conserve on weight, throw out your extra shoes!

I have a 16-quart stockpot that I use for making soups and gumbo, and for steaming crabs. It also serves as my soap-making cauldron when needed.

For storage, a 3-cup food processor, a mini blender, a handheld electric mixer, and a metal steamer all fit into that large pot. I also have a 6-quart crock pot and a 5-quart Nesco roaster.

rv-kitchen-pots-pans-cabinets.jpgAll of these things fit in the cabinet under my RV sink. There is still room for 3 cases of soft drinks, 10 pounds of potatoes and 4 pounds of onions, along with a stack of disposable aluminum baking pans of various sizes.

Since I cook most of our meals at home, and because I have to make all of my bread myself, I need all of these in my kitchen.


What’s In The Cabinets?

In the upper cabinet, we have two sets of 4 plates each: one is Corelle, the other is plastic. There are 8″x8″, 9″x13″, and 2-quart glass casserole dishes, 2 large serving bowls that double as mixing bowls, and 2 small platters. If anyone tries to tell you that you can’t have glass in your RV kitchen, don’t believe them. I have been traveling for 8 years with mine.

When we travel, I wrap the glass bowls and plates with clean bath and kitchen towels. The only thing that has been broken is a plastic colander that jumped out of the cabinet on an especially bumpy road in Texas.

The second shelf of that cabinet is designated for my plastic containers. The Glad type of disposable ones, in various sizes are used for storing food in the freezer, and for leftovers. I bought a 1-drawer plastic storage unit to put all the lids in.


Your RV Countertop

On the RV’s kitchen counter, there is a set of 3 pottery canisters, brought with us from our house. Another pottery piece, made by my mother- and father-in-law, holds cooking utensils. A large bowl (that was the first gift my son gave me when he got his first job) holds fresh fruit and snacks.

I purchased a 3-tier spice rack online because there was not a spice rack in my new RV trailer. All of these fit in the cabinet under the sink when pack up for moving.


rv-countertop-kitchen.jpg rv-kitchen-spice-rack.jpg


Pack & Ride

Yes, I have to pack carefully every time we travel in the RV. I have a system for getting it all done, and we are usually ready to roll in about 2 hours.

I have downsized my kitchen items quite a bit, but even with this small amount of equipment, I can make just about anything I want to cook. Except for that ham! I still have to have the butcher cut it in 2 pieces for me.



My hubby and I have been living in a travel trailer and working at campgrounds and resorts for the past several years. We decide where we want to go, and look for a job there.

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  • Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing the kitchen information. I also like to cook at home and want to take equipment to bake bread and cook proper meals when we start traveling.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing the kitchen information. I also like to cook at home and want to take equipment to bake bread and cook proper meals when we start traveling.

  • Donna7858

    family dollar, for 1.00

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LZ67ZBAJFO3PS5TIY3JKRYHOPA Nora

    This was super helpful! My family is in the very beginning stage of full-timing (my husband and two children who we will be “unschooling”). Thank you for your detailed info and happy travels.