Thanksgiving in Your RV? It Just Might Work

Have an RV Thanksgiving...

For most people, Thanksgiving is a time to gather at home with family and friends in order to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season. However, there are no rules to how you have to celebrate Thanksgiving, and the holiday could just as easily be spent out on the road traveling in your RV. Given good weather and a few days off of work, you may prefer to enjoy your Thanksgiving in your RV with just a few of the people who are closest to you in life.

Spending Thanksgiving in your RV could create new memories.
Spending Thanksgiving in your RV could create new memories.

There is one major hurdle to be considered with this plan – what to do about Thanksgiving dinner? The classic Thanksgiving dinner of roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, etc., could be pretty tough to pull off in an RV kitchen. The kitchen inside of most RV’s is sufficient for preparing basic meals during your trips, but it isn’t exactly as spacious as your typical home kitchen. If you would like to travel in your RV over the Thanksgiving holiday and still be able to enjoy a feast, you will need to get a little creative.

Modify the Turkey

Instead of roasting a whole turkey, which can take hours (and might not even fit in your RV oven), consider simply roasting some turkey breast instead. Many grocery stores carry turkey breast packages which have been cleaned and prepared just as you would purchase chicken breast. With this option, you can cut your cooking time down dramatically, and reduce the size of the vessel needed to do the cooking. You still get to enjoy the classic turkey taste that you are used to at Thanksgiving, but without nearly the time or prep demands of doing the full bird.

Instant Sides

Opting for ‘instant’ side dishes certainly won’t be quite as tasty as making everything from scratch, but you have to make some sacrifices in order to prepare this kind of a meal in your RV kitchen. Items such as stuffing and mashed potatoes are available in instant form, meaning you can prepare them in just a few minutes, usually with the help of some hot water. It may not be a gourmet way to make Thanksgiving dinner, but it certainly can work.

Prep at Home

Before leaving on your trip, think ahead to your Thanksgiving dinner and prepare as much of the food ahead of time as possible. If you are able to do some of the prep work and freeze those items until Thursday rolls around, you will have less that needs to be done inside of your small RV kitchen. The whole meal won’t be able to be prepped at home, but even getting a few basic tasks out of the way can be a big time saver later on.

Thanksgiving is a great holiday to enjoy with your family and friends – but that doesn’t mean you have to celebrate it like everyone else. If you would like to take the time to go on an RV trip instead of staying at home, consider using the tips above to enjoy a traditional turkey dinner wherever you have decided to park the rig.


  1. We have spent the last several thanksgivings with a group of friends at pismo beach ca. We do a potluck and nothing instant has ever been necessary , we take our smoker and generator and a whole traditional turkey. My husband has also built a portable r.v. Oven/ cooktop for me so we have more options. We set a traditional table inside our cargo trailer and even bring an electric fireplace for ambiance , life is what you make it, make it good !.

  2. Didn’t need the hints. We have a huge feast, we all bring something at our Camp Location but I really like the left overs. Turkey breast, traditional stuffing cooked with the bird and all the sides you can muster…

  3. we had a thanksgiving feast…pretty easy just warming up a whole rotisserie chicken from walmart, then prepared mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, green bean casserole, rolls and the tiny pies from walmart for dessert didnt take any longer than cookin at was perfect during our glamping trip

  4. A small- medium size turkey or ham cooks just fine in an electric roaster. They cost $20.00-30.00. Mine has a removable inner pan ,which is easier to clean than the one piece units. I have used it inside, if counter space is premium it can be cooked out side, setting the roaster on the picnic table, (as long as it is not extremely cold out).