9 RV Meal Planning Tips for a Stress-Free Trip

Angela Devaney

Follow these simple RV meal planning tips and you’ll have delicious, nutritious meals all week long. No more eating out at expensive restaurants or fast food joints – with our help, you can stay well fed all trip long.

Do you love to travel? Do you enjoy taking your RV out and exploring the country? Some people may think that traveling means eating at restaurants or fast-food chains.

But one of the benefits of RV travel is having the ability to cook your own meals.

And if you are a true road warrior, then you know just how important it is to have a plan when it comes to meal planning on the go.

You want to make sure that you have all of the necessary ingredients and tools on hand so that you can conjure up a delicious meal while on the road.

It’s also important to have various recipes in your arsenal so that you won’t get bored with your food options. Planning will make your life a lot easier and help you enjoy your time on the road.

Here are a few of our top tips to help you get started.

RV Meal Planning Tips

1. Plan Ahead

RV meal planning plan ahead

There are a few reasons why it’s important to plan ahead for RV meal planning. One of the biggest benefits is saving money by cooking your meals. You’ll also know exactly what you’re eating, and you’ll have control over the ingredients.

But most importantly, planning ahead will help make your RV camping trip a lot less stressful. You’ll know what you need to bring with you, and you’ll be able to map out your meals for the week.

This way, you won’t have to worry about scrambling to find a place to eat last minute.

2. Batch Prep For The Week Ahead

batch preparing food for RV trip

One of the best ways to ensure that you have a stress-free trip is to batch prep for the week ahead. This means that you’ll prepare some or all of the ingredients needed for the week in one go.

Perhaps several of your recipes need chopped garlic. If so, chop all of the garlic you’ll need for the week in one go.

Or maybe your travel plans mean you’ll be out sightseeing all day, and you’ll have no time (or inclination) to prepare dinner.

In this case, consider batch prepping a few freezer-friendly meals that you can just reheat when you’re ready to eat.

3. Food Storage Tips

RV food storage containers

If you’re a seasoned RV traveler, you know that space is at a premium. And when it comes to food storage, every inch of space counts.

But don’t worry – there are plenty of ways to keep food in an RV without taking up too much space. In fact, with a little bit of creativity and planning, you can easily find a place for everything.

  • Make a list of all the food you’ll need and stick to it as much as possible. This will help you avoid bringing along unnecessary items and save you some space.
  • Invest in some good-quality storage containers. This will help keep your food fresh and prevent it from spoiling. 
  • Zip lock bags make great storage too, using less space than containers.
  • Utilize all the available space in your RV. This includes cabinets, shelves, drawers, and the fridge and freezer.
  • Get creative with your food storage. For example, you can use over-the-door shoe organizers to stash snacks or spices.

You can easily create enough space for all your food storage needs by following these simple tips.

And with a bit of organization, you’ll be able to find everything you need without having to search through every nook and cranny of your RV.

4. Keep it Simple

Keep it Simple

When it comes to RV meal planning, simplicity is key. When you’re on the road, you don’t have the luxury of a spacious kitchen like you do at home.

Even the largest Class As don’t have enormous kitchens. So it’s important to choose simple and easy recipes to prepare.

This doesn’t mean that you have to stick to boring or mundane meals. There are plenty of delicious and easy recipes that will fit the bill.

Also, try to avoid recipes that require a lot of ingredients and lots of fiddly steps. These can be time-consuming and cumbersome in a small kitchen. 

5. Use Ingredients In More Than One Meal  & Plan For Leftovers

Include leftovers in your RB meal plan

When it comes to RV meal planning, using ingredients in more than one meal is a must. When you’re on the road, space is limited, and every inch of storage counts.

But this doesn’t mean that you have to eat the same thing every day. There are plenty of ways to use the same ingredients in different meals.

For example, if you’re cooking chicken for dinner one night, you can use the leftovers in a salad or sandwich the next day. Or, if you have some leftover rice, you can turn it into a quick and easy stir-fry.

By using ingredients in more than one meal, you’ll not only save space, but you’ll also save time. And who doesn’t love that?

One of the benefits of RV meal planning is that you can easily plan for leftovers. When you’re cooking for a small group, it’s easy to make a little extra, so there will be some leftovers for later.

And leftovers are a great thing to have when you’re on the road. They’re a quick and easy meal that doesn’t require any preparation. Plus, they help reduce food waste, which is always a good thing.

So try to plan for leftovers whenever you can.

6. Stock Up Before Your RV Trip

Stock Up Before Your RV Trip

One of the most important tips is to stock up on groceries. This will ensure that you have everything you need to create a delicious meal without running to the store every time you’re hungry.

And it’s not just about having enough food – it’s also important to have the right food. So take some time to figure out what you’ll need for each meal, and then make a list of all the ingredients you’ll need to buy.

Try to do your grocery shopping a few days before your trip. This will give you time to stock up on everything you need without worrying about it at the last minute.

And if you’re organized, you can even pack some of your groceries ahead of time. This will save you even more time and hassle when you’re finally on the road.

7. Familiarize Yourself With Your RV’s Kitchen

Familiarize Yourself With Your RV’s Kitchen

Have you just bought an RV and are about to set out on your first RV adventure? Or maybe you’re renting a camper for your trip. Either way, you probably won’t be familiar with the kitchen. 

It’s a good idea to take some time to check out the layout and see what appliances and cooking utensils you have at your disposal.

This is especially important if you’re renting an RV, as you may not get to check it out beforehand.

Take a look around and see what you have to work with. Familiarize yourself with the stove, oven, and fridge. And if you’re not sure how something works, don’t be afraid to ask.

The last thing you want is to be stuck in the middle of nowhere without being able to make a simple meal.

8. Pack The RV Kitchen Equipment & Tools Needed

Pack The RV Kitchen Equipment & Tools Needed

Another essential tip is to ensure that you pack the kitchen equipment and tools you’ll need. This will ensure that you have everything you need to cook up a delicious meal without running to the store or adapting your recipe on the fly.

But what exactly should you pack? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Crockpot: A slow cooker is a great option for cooking meals while you’re on the road. It’s easy to use and doesn’t require much attention so that you can focus on other things.
  • Instant pot: An Instant Pot is another great option for cooking while on the road. It’s quick and easy to use and can be used for various dishes.
  • Cast Iron Skillet: A must-have for campfire meals
  • Stovetop pots and pans: You’ll need a variety of pots and pans to cook meals. Bring at least one big pot for pasta or soup and one or two smaller pots for frying or scrambling eggs.
  • Cooking utensils: spatulas, spoons, tongs, etc.
  • Knives: You’ll need a few different knives for preparation. A chef’s knife is a good all-purpose option, but you may also want to bring a paring knife and a serrated knife.
  • Cutting board: You’ll need a cutting board for chopping and dicing.
  • Bowls and plates: You’ll need bowls to serve and plates to eat it. Make sure to bring a variety of different sizes to have enough options.
  • Mugs and glasses: Bring a few mugs or glasses for drinking your coffee, tea, or water.

These are just a few things you’ll need to pack in your RV kitchen. Take an inventory of what you have before hitting the road and stock up on anything you might need.

9. Meal Planning For Group Camping Tips

Meal Planning For Group Camping Tips

If you’re an RV traveler, you know that meal planning is a must. It can be difficult to cook in a small space, and it’s even harder to cook for a large group. Here are a few tips that will make your next large group trip easier than ever!

  • Find a great location where you can find fresh produce to cook with what’s available
  • Bring enough water for everyone. Cooking and cleaning up can take up a lot of your supply.
  • Plan at least three days of meals ahead of time if possible, if not more,
  • Be sure that each meal will feed the whole group. You don’t want to cook multiple meals at once
  • Utilize your campfire! Roasting marshmallows, cooking hot dogs, and making s’mores are classic camping activities that the whole group will love.
  • Prepack snacks and drinks for the group. This will help minimize the amount of time you spend cooking and cleaning up.
  • Have fun! RVing is a great time to bond with friends and family, so make the most of it!

What RV Camping Foods To Pack

When you go on a road trip, there are a few things you have to take with you – your clothes, your toiletries, and of course, your food. But when it comes to RV foods, what should you bring?

Here are a few quick ideas to add to your grocery list:

  • Breakfast foods: oatmeal, pancakes mix, French toast, eggs, bacon, sausage
  • Lunch foods: sandwiches, wraps, chips, fruit, vegetables, peanut butter and jelly
  • Dinner foods: hamburger meat, hot dogs, steak, chicken breasts, pasta, rice
  • Snacks: granola bars, trail mix, candy bars, pop tarts, chips, fruit snacks, pretzels
  • Drinks: water, Gatorade, soda, coffee, tea, juice
  • Dessert: s’mores fixings, cookies, brownies, ice cream

If your RV isn’t equipped with a cooler or refrigerator, you should plan to visit the grocery store a little more often. Perishable goods, fish, chicken meat, and dairy products won’t last long without refrigeration.

Of course, this is just a quick list of ideas. Be sure to tailor it to your personal needs and preferences. 

What RV Camping Foods Not To Pack

If your RV is equipped with a cooler or refrigerator, you only need to consider the space available. But without a way of keeping your food fresh, you should plan to buy groceries a little more often.

There are also a few foods that you’ll want to avoid packing when you go camping without a cooler. Here are a few of the most common ones:

  • Raw meat & chicken: if you don’t have a refrigerator or a reliable source of power to run it, meat can spoil quickly in hot weather
  • Dairy products: they can spoil quickly too without refrigeration, and they’re not always easy to store in a small space
  • Canned goods: if you’re short on space, canned foods can be heavy and take up a lot of space. They can be ultra-convenient, though, so you may need to make a trade-off.

These are just a few foods that you’ll want to avoid if you don’t have a cooler or refrigerator. 

Download Your Free 2 Week RV Meal Planner

Click the image below to download and print our free 2 Week RV Meal Planner and use it to fill in your meal plan.

Free RV Meal Planner

In Conclusion

Planning ahead is essential for RV camping meals. Not only will this help you stay organized, but it’ll also help you save money and time while you’re on vacation.

Prepping your ingredients in batches and sticking to simple recipes will make cooking on the road a breeze. And don’t forget – s’mores are always a good idea!

You’ll be able to enjoy delicious, home-cooked meals even while on the go with these easy-to-follow RV meal planning tips.

No more eating out at expensive restaurants or fast food joints – with our help, you can stay well fed all trip long.

Do you have any favorite RV camping foods or recipes? Share them with us in the comments below! 

Angela Devaney

Angela Devaney, a former IT project management professional, embarked on an adventurous journey of full-time travel, which included touring West Africa in a converted overland truck and converting an ex-military 4×4 Sprinter van into a camper for a five-year South American expedition. She now utilizes her hands-on experience to create practical RV living and van life advice as a full-time digital media producer, reaching over a million users annually through her YouTube channel, blog, and newsletter. Angela also lends her expertise as the editor-in-chief of the Campervan Electrics Handbook.

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