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How Much Food Does An RV Refrigerator Really Hold?

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By Karen

If you’re like me, when it comes to shopping for groceries and cooking meals, you want to spend as little time as possible doing either one.

Being able to stock up so that I can shop less is important to me.

So, one of my biggest worries when I was getting ready to move into an RV and kiss my house goodbye (along with my huge residential refrigerator) was how I was going to cope with that teeny tiny refrigerator — because RV refrigerators aren’t known for holding a lot of stuff!


Small Is The New Big

Our first RV travel trailer had a 6 cubic foot refrigerator- freezer.

That translated into about 5 cubic feet of fridge, and less than 1 cubic foot of freezer.

It was the smallest refrigerator I had ever had.  Jim and I had to relearn how to shop, and how to store things, so that we could make the best use of the space we had.

Our new RV trailer has a larger fridge, but it still only has 6 cubic feet of refrigerator space and 1.5 cubic feet in the freezer.


I love that it has a large crisper drawer in the bottom, and a shelf in the freezer too. The door of the freezer also has more usable room than the other one did.

Although it is larger, it still won’t hold a frozen pizza or a large ham, but careful planning and preparation make all the difference in what you can put in there.

We worked last summer in Pennsylvania, a place where there was a farmers market down nearly every road. When we headed south for the winter, we had in our freezer a gallon of chopped sweet Italian peppers, 2 gallons of cooked turnip greens, 8 pints of green beans, 4 pints of cooked pumpkin, 4 pounds of apple sausage, and 10 pounds of chicken thighs. I jokingly told Jim we were taking half of Pennsylvania with us!


Food Shopping & Pre-Prep Are Important

The first thing I do when I come home from the grocery store now is to repackage things so they fit into the RV refrigerator.

All meats are taken out of the styrofoam trays they come in from the store. I package them in zip lock freezer bags in meal-sized portions. If we are expecting company, I just take out another bag of whatever I am going to cook.

When I buy a roast, I either cut it up into 2 or 3 pieces and freeze them individually, or I cook the whole roast, then freeze part of it. I know from experience just how much will fit.

I can store enough meats and frozen vegetables to last for 3 weeks in that small space. There is usually space for a half gallon of ice cream, too.

fresh-vegetables-rv-food.jpgI also cut  up vegetables that need refrigeration.

When I buy celery, first I cut off the leafy part on top and about 2 inches, chop it up, and put it in a freezer bag. When I get ready to make soups and stews, I just take out as much as I need from the freezer and throw it in the pot. The rest of the celery is cut in half, and stored in a Ziplock bag in the crisper drawer.

I chop bell peppers, peel and cut up carrots, slice mushrooms, and any other veggies. They are stored in Ziplock bags, too.

Making omelettes, fritattas, salads, and many other dishes is a breeze because things are already chopped up, waiting to be used.

I use various-sized plastic containers for storing leftovers. The containers stack nicely in the fridge. They can also be used for freezing soups, stews, and other foods, so that I can cook several meals at once.

So, don’t fret over that small RV refrigerator, darlings. It will work for you, too.

Oh, did I mention that crisper drawer is big enough to hold 2 bottles of wine?