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We’ve been on the road in our RV for over 4 months now and have figured out all of the best RV kitchen hacks – perfect for RV, van, bus or tiny home living!
Our RV kitchen is pretty small – but it has all of the necessary components to make great meals (which is something we don’t do nearly enough of… go figure). We have a stove, an oven, a sink and a very small amount of storage for all of our cookware, dishes, food, and everything else that falls in the “kitchen” category.
Since we’re so tight on space – we’ve had to get creative. Here’s all of the best RV kitchen hacks that we’ve come up with!
RV Kitchen Hack #1: Collapsible 3QT Stock Pot
If I had to pick a RV kitchen MVP – it would definitely be our collapsible stock pot. It’s a durable silicone pot with a stainless steel bottom that collapses to about 2” thick, and comes with a glass lid. It works great for cooking (it boils water fast!), and when it’s not on the stove – we often use it as a large mixing bowl. We have the 3QT version and it easily cooks an entire pound of pasta.
If this collapsible pot didn’t exist, there’s no way we’d have the room to store a full sized stock pot in our tiny RV kitchen! I’d recommend this product 10x over if you have a limited space. (Or even if you don’t… who has room to store a stock pot?!)
RV Kitchen Hack #2: Collapsible Colander
A close second to the collapsible pot… is the collapsible colander! This is traditionally another bulky and awkwardly shaped item that we’d struggle to store if it weren’t for the collapsible version. Since we have refrigeration issues – we eat a lot of mac and cheese and pasta, so this comes in handy often and we basically couldn’t live without it. I would highly recommend a collapsible colander if you have a tiny RV kitchen (this one even comes with a matching collapsible bowl!)
RV Kitchen Hack #3: Collapsible Containers with Lids
Another RV kitchen hack are these collapsible food storage containers! I bought 2 packs of these (6 total), with intentions of using them to store leftovers – but since we left, we’ve found many uses beyond food storage. We often use the larger ones as bowls for food prep and serving, the tiny one as a portable water bowl for our dog Suzy. In the future, I’ll probably buy a few more sets and ditch our regular bowls to save more space!
RV Kitchen Hacks #4& 5: Lodge Cast Iron Pan & Cast Iron Care Kit
Cooking with a cast iron pan has been a huge RV kitchen hack for us. Since we have a miniature sink (horrible for washing dishes) and very limited water, scrubbing a traditional frying pan after each use would be almost impossible. When cleaning cast iron cookware, dish soap is a big no-no… so after-meal cleanup typically means boiling a little bit of water in the pan if there’s a lot of residue from the food left. If whatever was cooked left the pan clean, simply wiping it down with a paper towel will often suffice.
The cast iron pan that we have is made by Lodge, and came pre-seasoned (which means it’s ready to be cooked on!) We use it for absolutely everything – from pancakes to steak to sautéed veggies (and more!). Also, having only one pan means we have more space for other important stuff!
*One important tip about cooking with cast iron. As mentioned, they need to be cared for differently than regular pans. To keep ours in tip-top shape, we bought and use this Lodge Cast Iron Care Kit. It comes with a plastic scraper, a scrub brush and seasoning spray to keep your pan oiled to perfection. Just follow the directions on the packaging and your cast iron pan will last you a very long time!
RV Kitchen Hack #6: Stovetop Percolator
Since our RV kitchen is tiny, we don’t have room for extra appliances like a coffee maker. Instead, we use a stovetop percolator. It’s a basic setup that cooks your coffee on the stove and can also be used to boil water for tea or ramen (our road staples). It also requires no power, which is a huge plus for those of us who spend our time boondocking without hookups.
My big recommendation for using a stovetop percolator is to add a coffee filter to the coffee chamber. I cut a small hole in the center of my filter so it fits into the coffee chamber properly. This helps keep the coffee grounds out. *Our specific stovetop percolator has pretty big holes, so without this we’d be drinking out coffee with grounds every morning. This may not be the case with newer/different stovetop percolator models. You can skip this step if you want!*
RV Kitchen Hack & Tutorial: How to Make Coffee in a Stovetop Percolator
- Add desired amount of water (I usually brew 5-6 cups for the 2 of us).
- *Optional* Cut a hole in the center of a coffee filter and place inside top chamber (the top basket with holes).
- Add coffee in the top chamber and replace the chamber lid, then the pot lid.
- Put on stove on (med/high) and once the water is boiling – you’ll see it in the top window. When the boiling water has turned brown…you have coffee! It’s that simple!
The stovetop percolator that we use daily has actually been passed down from my grandparents, to my parents, and now to us! When I packed it, I had no idea it had such a history – I just knew it was old and had a vague recollection of using it during childhood camping trips. Since you can’t get the one we have, here’s a link to a brand new one! Enjoy!!
RV Kitchen Hack #7: Collapsible Measuring Cups
There’s one more collapsible item that saves us space in our tiny RV kitchen…. and that’s collapsible measuring cups! Since measuring cups are a pretty non-negotiable item in the kitchen, we knew we needed to find a solution to the awkward shape and size. The set that we have is silicone, just like the rest of our collapsible tiny kitchen items, and we save space by hanging them from command hooks!
RV Kitchen Hack #8: Command Hooks
Command hooks are not only an RV kitchen hack, but the overall RV living MVP! We hang everything from command hooks… including our curtain rods, oven mitts, hats, jewelry, Suzy’s leash, and much more. I can’t say enough good things about the utility of these little removable hooks. We also use velcro command strips to hang pictures on the walls, and tiny clear Command decorating clips to hang other decorations such as lights or small pieces of art.
RV kitchen Hack #9: Fruit Hammock
When you live in a house that moves frequently (such as an RV, Van or Bus) – it’s hard to store produce! At home, I typically just leave our fruit on the counter, and vegetables in the fridge… but obviously those aren’t great options while traveling (and our fridge is broken). We struggled for months to find a solution that would work well for us – but when we finally made it out to Oregon to meet up with friend, and fellow blogger Brittany, of The Rolling Pack (another infinitely useful travel blog) she gifted us a beautiful fruit hammock that we’re obsessed with!
It was a quite serendipitous gift, since the fruit hammock that I bought from Amazon at the start of of our trip broke immediately after loading fruit into it. Typically I like to provide helpful links to the products I love, but since the only fruit hammock I’ve personally bought was very low quality – I can’t, in good conscience, recommend that product, because I know it’s garbage (and I don’t want you to waste your hard earned money on garbage).
RV Kitchen Hacks – Did I Miss Anything?
Living tiny is definitely an adjustment, but I hope these RV kitchen hacks will help! If you know of any genius RV kitchen hacks (or van/bus/tiny house kitchen hacks) – drop a comment below! I’d love to hear feedback about what works for YOU while living on the road.