RV Kitchen Challenges Quickly Became A Nightmare

image of soup makings


It didn’t take long after moving into our RV full-time for me to realize I would be facing some kitchen challenges (how the heck did cowboy camp cooks ever do it??) Such limited counter space….yes, there is a fair amount of cupboard space but many (most!!) of those I am unable to reach without busting out the step stool.

We have met some fellow RV’ers in our travels who have never used their RV oven or stove top. Yup, they’re just like new. These people use the microwave for rewarming coffee and leftovers, use their crockpot occasionally and use their coffeepot. Their primary food source, however, is  frequenting the local restaurants. They absolutely NEVER cook at home in their RV. That’s not me. I would get tired of restaurant food after about the first two weeks and be ready for some home cooking!!

I Do Use My Oven

Because I do use our oven and stovetop, I’ve learned a couple things. The oven is TINY!! Many of my pots, pans and casserole dishes became unusable and had to be replaced with smaller models.  Everything takes longer to cook on the stovetop than it did on my stove in my stick built house. Smaller burners, smaller cooking space, longer cook times!! Don’t plan on coming to my house for Thanksgiving turkey. Not only would the turkey not fit in my oven but you would get pretty hungry waiting for those side dishes to cook.

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Counter space is almost non-existent especially once you remove the covers from the stovetop to use it for cooking. With stovetop covers and sink covers removed to make them both useable, over 1/2 of the work surface is gone. Add to that the counter space lost to things like the coffeepot and our Berkey water filter and now the work space for actual cooking is down to what feels like 2 square inches. I realize that’s an exaggeration but, suffice it to say, it becomes an exercise in frustration attempting actual “cooking” in the amount of space that’s left.

I Miss Sharing Kitchen And Cooking Time

Sharing kitchen time with family and friends was always something I enjoyed before moving into our RV. Prep and clean up in RV kitchens are largely a one person show due to the space limitations. There simply isn’t room for more than one person to be working in the kitchen at a time. So cooking projects with grandkids now has to be done at their homes instead of mine.

We make our meal prep work by implementing a variety of compromises. We do eat out more often than we did when I had a larger kitchen in which to work. Barbecuing often lessens the dishes that must be cooked in the small kitchen area.  Eating our meals outdoors whenever weather permits is more fun and gets us out of our tiny kitchen.  We also drink Isagenix meal replacement shakes  for at least one meal each day both for our health and convenience.  Last but not least, I am always on the look out for healthy recipes that don’t require much prep and cooking space.




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    • Jennifer Vantrease
    • August 20, 2017

    I made Thanksgiving dinner in the RV (mostly). We have a camping chef portable outdoor oven, which gave me two ovens (of equally small size). I cooked a paleo dinner complete turkey breasts stuffed with cream cheese, parsnips au gratin, parmesan quinoa, candied butternut squash with homemade marshmallow topping, green beans with homemade cream of mushroom sauce, and tapioca dinner rolls. All in my tiny kitchen. It is possible, but it’s a challenge, for sure!

      • NoniKay
      • August 21, 2017

      I also had an portable outdoor oven which, like you said, gave me two tiny ovens LOL! I’m amazed and impressed at the complete dinner you made. Fortunately for me we were having Thanksgiving dinner with friends so I was only responsible for pies, not the entire dinner. Thanks for sharing your experience. Will you be cooking an entire dinner again this Thanksgiving??

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