Three Food Mistakes to Avoid on an RV Vacation

One of the best things about owning an RV is the ability to cook your own food wherever you go. If you stay in a tent while camping, you will be limited to whatever you can create over an outdoor cook stove or the open fire. In a hotel, you probably won’t have any cooking equipment at all and will be limited to simply eating out for every meal. With an RV, however, a full kitchen is likely at your disposal from the first day of the trip to the last.

Cooking in Your RV Can Be Great Fun - When Done Right
Cooking in Your RV Can Be Great Fun – When Done Right

While that is great news, there is plenty of room to make mistakes at the same time. If you make poor decisions related to food, you may wind up making the trip much more difficult than it needed to be. With that in mind, please review the following three food mistakes that you should aim to avoid during your next RV trip.

#1 – Being Too Ambitious

One of the common mistakes that beginner RV owners make is thinking that since they have a great kitchen, they should make a variety of fancy, complicated dishes during their vacation. While this is a well-meaning mistake, it is one that could lead to a frustrating trip. There are a couple of problems with trying to make complex dishes during your vacation. First, you will have to bring a long list of ingredients and kitchen utensils to make your high-end food. As the packing list gets longer for food needs, you will slowly run out of room in the RV for other essentials. Also, cooking nice food takes time, and that is time that will be taken out of other parts of your vacation. Save the complicated recipes for home and stick with simple food that is easy to prepare.

#2 – Ignoring Shelf Life

Imagine for a moment that you are going on a week-long RV vacation to a location that doesn’t have a grocery store nearby. Therefore, you are going to have to pack all of your food for a full week in the RV when you head out onto the road. Packing food for a week isn’t normally a huge challenge, until you start to think about the shelf life of certain products – specifically meat and dairy items. If you forget to think about shelf life, even items that are kept in the refrigerator may be bad by the time you are ready to use them. Plan your menu so that you are sure you will have plenty of good food left when the end of the week rolls around.

#3 – Counting on Fish

This is a mistake that nearly every fisherman has made at least once through the years. Instead of packing enough food for the whole trip, the thinking here is that it will be easy enough to catch fresh fish for at least one or two of the meals. Of course, it doesn’t always work out that way. Is it possible to enjoy a meal of fresh fish if you are camped by a lake or a river? Sure, possibly. But it is also possible that you will catch nothing at all. Bring enough food for the whole trip on the assumption that you won’t add any fresh catch to your fridge. That way, even if the fish aren’t biting, at least you will have a nice meal at the end of the day.

  • After two decades of camping, from tenting to now a 5th Wheel, you figure out the do’s and don’ts of cooking. One thing we have learned over the years is buy a nice crock-pot. They are awesome at cooking so many of your favorite foods. You throw everything in and go do what you want for the day and when you get back you have an awesome meal waiting for you.

  • Slow cookers are a great idea! I also like to prepare foods ahead of time and freeze them in tin containers (3 for $1 at Dollar Tree). When it’s time to eat, I just pop them in the oven. Right now we are traveling and I prepared different breakfast burritos and froze them. I cooked a pot roast at home and separated it into three tins. Also made enchiladas, chili, chicken with artichokes and sun dried tomatoes that I froze for the trip. I pre-made two different kinds of soups but those are in Rubbermaid containers.

  • Yes, preparing casseroles, pasta dishes ahead of time and freezing them is how I prep for camping. I prepare as much ahead as possible, then we eat good and I don’t have to do much to get a nice meal ready. For me, it’s the only way to go!! Also taking meats ready to barbecue.

  • One pot dinner! Frogmore stew. Boil red potatoes and kielbasa in water with old bay seasoning. Cook until potatoes are soft. And corn on the cob and easy peel shrimp until shrimp is done. Dump out the water and feast away!

  • Did anyone notice #2 didnt exist… went from 1-3. I say take what ever you want, prepare what ever you want. After all you are eating it. Your RV is your home away from home so feel free to be at home in it. If your tenting its a different story. Dont let anyone tell you that being ambitious in the kitchen of your rv is wrong.

  • I agree with another commenter about cooking whatever you want. I cook gourmet on the road with a main base of ingredients. Almost everyone takes syrup for pancakes. That can be a wonderful glaze for salmon on the grill. You just have to be aware of your own limits, if any.

  • Great kitchen? Maybe, if you have a good-sized fridge and a decent oven. Just knowing what essentials you need, and planning ahead to get the perishables is key for us. Neither of us cares for the uniform textures of slow cooker-meals, we grill or sauté,and eat very well.

  • I personally want to love camping and enjoy it when we go . But we go with a group that wants big breakfast snack lunch big dinner . I feel I cook and clean up my whole weekend and not enjoy myself . I’ve tried to say easy stuff and I get no where . My husband doesn’t understand I said it’s a get away from the kitchen but it’s not

    • Tell those with you until you get help the kitchen is closed. They can’t have cereal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch and salad for dinner. You can only be taken advantage of if you allow it.

  • A good instant pot is the best device. Slow cooking, sauteing, low and high pressure too. So versatile, fast, and one pot cleaning.

  • Whether im tenting or rv. My foods are great wheather cooking over a open fire steaks hamburger chicken, with a great potato salad..
    Who cares Gourmet food there isnt a chef in this world that cant beat camp fire cooked food steaks potatos corn on the cob husk on chicken bbq sauce with honey a pinch of brown sugar mix and glazed over the chicken.
    Steal fry pan mushrooms onions garlic butter.
    Best part of caming is experiencing the flavoring of campfire cooking..

  • Made ahead & frozen is a great way to have satisfying meals while still enjoying vacation. Unless meal making is part of what you love about camping, keep it simple.

  • I pre cook my proteins then food saver them and pop them in the freezer, using containers takes up to much room in the freezer. I also write what they are on the freezer bag so there is no confusion about what they are. I just microwave them or take them out and let them thaw. If the protein is ready then it takes very little time to put the meal together. It saves me so much time this way!