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RV Accessories for the Kitchen

RV accessories are just as important as the RV itself. After almost 4 years of living and traveling full-time in our RV, we will share the items that worked, and some that just really did not, and why they didn’t. Everyone has different needs, but this will give you some great ideas if you’re starting out, a seasoned RVer looking for some ideas, or if you’re looking for gifts for your favorite RVer.

Whether you’re living full time in your RV, or you are a weekend and vacation camper, you’ll find some great ideas here. This blog will focus primarily on the items and accessories we use and find helpful in the kitchen. We will be putting together blogs for each section of the RV.

Cookware

  • Even with all the pots above, we still needed a griddle for pancakes and grilled cheese sandwiches. In our sticks and bricks house, we had a really big griddle. When downsizing into the RV we didn’t make room for it.
  • Nesting Baking Pans – These are really great and they stack together for small storage. This has every basic pan you would need, and they are of great quality.
  • Small baking dishes for the air fryer – We have a bigger air fryer than the typical basket kind, and I actually bake in mine sometimes.
  • About a year ago we ended up also purchasing this large 5-quart pan. We have used it more than I thought we would, and it stores perfectly in our storage area, even though it’s on the big side. We have been really happy with the quality. It’s a ceramic pan, and we’ve never cooked on such an easy surface. Yes, it’s a bit on the pricy side, but we use it constantly. Justin loves to make cabbage and noodles and peanut chicken, and it’s great for fried chicken and stir fry meals.
  • Popcorn Maker – We use our Whirly Pop so often. We used to have an air popper, but we like this one much more. I’m not a fan of microwave popcorn, so this works great for us.
  • Nesting Corningware casserole dishes. These may be on the small side for some. I love these round ones. They are perfect for what we use them for. One fits inside the other with the lid on, and then the bigger lid fits over both.

Food Prep

  • Let’s talk mixing bowls. I bought this set, which was recommended by another RVer, and to be completely honest, I hated it. If you look, there are actually only 2 bowls. A very large one, and a very small one. I was really disappointed that I didn’t do a little more research. So this was one thing that didn’t work for me. I found that the whole set was rather cheaply made and not worth the price I paid. These ones are my favorite, and here’s why. They have a pour spout and they are perfect sizes for what we need. I do my fair share of baking in my RV, and these fit my needs.
  • Measuring Cups – if you’re tired of bending over to get eye level with your measuring cups, these are perfect! I’ve had my set for many years, and love them.
  • Cutting Mats – This wasn’t our first set, but after being disappointed with a couple of other purchases, this is the set that we love the best!
  • Dry Measuring Cups – I love these! Don’t buy the collapsible measuring cups. They don’t save that much room, and they aren’t accurate.
  • Measuring Spoons – Whoever thought to make this design is a genius! They fit down in your spice containers, plus it comes with a leveler. Absolutely genius!
  • Steak Knives – Everyone should have a good set of steak knives. I didn’t choose really expensive ones, but these work great for us.
  • Pastry (pizza dough) mat – We make a lot of homemade pizza, and this was definitely a must for us to have. I roll it up and store it with my baking pans.
  • Silicone Muffin Cups (please note, these are the jumbo ones!) I use these so often. They do come in small muffin sizes.

RV Kitchen Appliances

Here’s the thing about appliances in a small space. We happen to have quite a bit of storage in our RV. Both a very large food pantry and also a lot of large overhead cabinets. So we have more than your typical RV’er because we tend to do a lot of cooking at home, and a lot of our cooking is from scratch. So yes, we actually have these items in our RV.

  • Bread Maker – We make lots of things in this. Mostly homemade dough for pizza, bread, garlic knots, and more. But I also make full-on homemade bread all the way through the process. You can also make cakes, desserts and so much more in them. Again, this is a big item to store, but we gave us some other things to have our bread maker with us, and we use it so often.
  • Coffee Pot – We are coffee snobs I think! There’s more to this section than just a coffee pot. Do you boondock? We do too! Currently, we have enough solar and batteries to run our normal drip coffee pot, but before we did, we have a hand bean grinder and a french press coffee maker. Which we still have and love!
  • Coffee Bean Grinder – Wow! According to Amazon, we bought this grinder in 2009. And no regrets! We are very happy with it! Funny, the design hasn’t changed one bit. I guess when you have perfection you leave it alone.
  • Ice Cream Maker – Don’t laugh! Ok, you can! Maybe you’re even rolling your eyes at us. But we love ice cream, and we love it when we know what’s in it. Yes, this one came from our sticks and bricks home (it’s a 4qt size), but if you want to have homemade ice cream in a smaller version (2qt), this one has great reviews, and we have friends who love this one! My only complaint about the smaller one is that the big inside bowl has to be stored in the freezer. I don’t have a residential refrigerator in my RV, so my freezer space is too precious to use for this. But it’s still doable if you can plan ahead and just store it for a few hours prior to making your ice cream.
  • By the way, I use these for storing my ice cream
  • Instant Pot – We have the 6qt but there is a smaller 3qt size.
  • Air Fryer – We actually resisted buying one of these. Well, until I spent 2 months at my daughter’s home while she was having a baby, and fell in love with her air fryer. So, now we have one too! We love homemade French fries and all the other more healthy cooking you can do in an air fryer.
  • Small food processor – We have used this only a handful of times, but have really been glad we had it then. This is a super small food processor but comes in handy for small things.
  • Electric Orange Juicer – We don’t care for store-bought orange juice, so this is one of our most used items. It’s only a little over 6 inches tall and we love how fresh our orange juice is. Growing up in CA with an orange tree in my back yard, the first time I tasted store-bought orange juice was a little shocking.
  • Blender – Yes, we brought our full-size blender with us. Because we have the room and make smoothies quite often (or margaritas!)

Must-Have Utensils

I’m not going to list a bunch of spatulas and spoons, but here are a few of my very favorite kitchen utensils.

  • Hamburger Chopper – Best $5 I have ever spent!
  • Meat Thermometer – This was our 3rd one. This has everything we need now.
  • Water Leakage Detection Alarm – This might not be a utensil exactly, but this is definitely something you really need to have! WELL worth the $20! We have one on the floor under the sink in the bar of the kitchen, bathroom, and also under our RV in the “basement” near our water heater tank. Highly recommend these! Battery operated.
  • Onion / Vegetable Chopper – I’m not kidding when I tell you every time we use this, we say how much we love it. We’ve had this for over 5 years, and it’s still one of our favorite kitchen accessories.
  • Refrigerator/freezer thermometer – Ok, so this might not be a utensil, but it is one of the most helpful things we bought. The magnetic monitor stays on the outside to let us know what the temps are inside our refrigerator and freezer. Very helpful! I can tell you for sure that our freezer stays between -5 and 0 and our refrigerator is around 35-37. It will also let you set alarms should they get higher or lower than you want. TIP: when you receive your thermometer, the display will be auto-set to read the freezer temp on the bottom. We switched the display so it reads the freezer on the top since our freezer is on the top it was just easier.
  • Colander/strainer – Skip the collapsible kind. This is small and fits on every pot or pan I have.

Storage and Organization

My favorite section. You might call me the opposite of a hoarder. I like everything organized, and easy to find. But in 39 feet, that can be challenging. Here are some great things we found after some trial and error.

  • Spice cabinet organization – Oh, this was a challenge, and something we changed 3 times. We tried these very popular spice gripper clips. I’m sure they may work for some people, but it was a big waste of money for us. They never stuck really well and we tried everything. Even using industrial strength velcro. After some measuring and research, we found M-Design bins. We use these for so many things! Again, they are a little on the pricy side for a “plastic bin” and there are definitely cheaper ways to go, but after receiving our first shipment, we were sold on the quality and we are really happy with the spice cabinet re-hab. Here’s a video with some more information.
  • We also use the M-Design bins in our refrigerator. Measure twice, buy once. The 10x10x8 size works really well for us. We can get 4 across one shelf in our refrigerator. We tried several different things including tension rods in our refrigerator. They worked ok, but these were so much better. Nothing falls over anymore.
  • Sink Caddy – Because of our sink covers, I needed a suction cup one of these, and I opted for a very simple, inexpensive one. I still have the same one I bought over 4 years ago, and love it.
  • Can goods organizer – Love this! I wasn’t sure when I bought it, but after 4 years, we still love it and use it.
  • Spice package storage / small items in the pantry – I use these to store a lot of things (both in the kitchen and bathroom). They are cheap, and great little plastic baskets for those small pantry items. Sure you can buy specific sized storage for those little packets, but these work so well for me.
  • Under the sink storage – I tried a few of the fancy under the sink storage items and ended up going back to these. They hold the dish soap, and all my kitchen cleaners and sponges great!
  • Every good story starts with “so this one time we got mice in our RV”. Yes, it happens to the best of us. They had quite the feast before we realized, and we lost a lot of food. I decided to re-vamp my panty and make sure everything was stored in plastic, airtight bins. Yes, the initial setup was a little bit on the pricy side, but the fact that we no longer have to throw away food is a total bonus. I tried a few different bins, but these have ended up being my favorite.
  • Flour/Sugar storage – According to Amazon, I bought these in 2014. I still use them. And love them! They fit perfectly under my metal shelves (below)
  • Paper towel holder – How many of you have something mounted under your cabinet? Even in my sticks and bricks house, this didn’t work for me. Since we have a center island bar in our RV, I need something that sits next to my sink. Here’s the important part! We leave it there during travel days, so it MUST have a suction base to it. Not just a weighted one. I can tell you, it’s hard to find one with a suction base. This one is very similar to ours.
  • We kept our kitchen glasses and coffee mugs. So far they have weathered all the traveling. I do love these shelf liners and they seem to keep everything in place.
  • Storage Containers – Great for leftovers
  • Wine/Alcohol storage – Awesome wine storage! Keeps our bottles safe during travel.
  • Pop-Up Mesh Screens – This was such a lifesaver to us. Seems simple, but I swear every time we eat outside, we end up with flies/bugs on our food before we even sit down. I love these things, and they fold up super small.
  • Adjustable Shelf – These have been a lifesaver for me. There is so much wasted space above your food. I have 2 of these and they work great!

Pick up some bungie cords! You’ll use them a lot!

  • These tension shelves are another favorite purchase. I have these in 4 cabinets and I have had them up since 2018 and not once have we had them shift or fall. Maybe they aren’t the prettiest things, but they work great in those tall cabinets with wasted space. Measure twice! They come in all different sizes.

Collapsible Items Worth Getting

Just because you’re in an RV, and need everything small, don’t buy everything that collapses. I bought so many collapsible items, and have gotten rid of so many of them. Here are the items I still use and absolutely love!

  • Collapsible dish drainer – absolutely essential. I tried the dish mat but didn’t like it. This is the one that has worked for me. There are so many great options.
  • Collapsible Salad Spinner – My favorite collapsible! Not only is this a great salad spinner, but a fantastic bowl too!
  • Step Stool – Don’t forget your step stool! I’ve never claimed to be tall, but even at 5’5″ I still have a really hard time reaching some top cabinets. This one folds up really nice!

Let’s Talk About Water!

One important thing to us no matter where I live is good, clean water. I do not want to buy and carry around water bottles, plus they fill up our landfills, and to be honest, I’ve never drank out of a water bottle where the water doesn’t taste like plastic to me. Our drinking water is filtered 4 times before we drink it, and it’s so good. Our shower and dishwater is filtered 3 times. Here’s a picture of our filters the last time we changed them (our drinking water filter is a ceramic filter that doesn’t require changing very often, but instead, only a cleaning). Below are two pictures. Brand new filters, and ours after just 90 days in RV parks. You can definitely see that the 2nd filter did such a great job that you can hardly see the 3rd one even needed to be changed (but we did). But gross, right?

If you do nothing else in your RV, take care of your water filtration. Not only will it make it so your water never smells, but it will also ensure you’re drinking healthy water. Can you imagine having all that iron in your system? No thank you! After lots and lots of research, we decided to go with the Essentials kit from the RV Water Filter Store. Check it out here!

We do not have a water softening system in our RV, and because the water is so clean when we shower, I find that it’s almost better than having a water softener system installed.

We do hope you found some value in some of our RV kitchen accessories. I know there is a lot of large cooking appliances, but I can assure you we still have half-full cabinets. The key (for us) is to live simply, but also just live. We brought along much more in the beginning and after a year or two realized we had never used those items and donated them. If the item is really important to you, and you use it often, but your space is small, look for the same item in a smaller capacity. Just remember if you’re setting up your RV to travel and live full time, it will be very different than setting up your RV to head out for a weekend or vacation. What works for some, will be different for others. I do know when I was searching for items I needed back in 2016, I had a very hard time finding a fair and honest review. I found people who posted 100 great items, but they were stuff they didn’t actually use.

Here are a few more blogs we’re sure you’ll love!

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