J’adore – My Favorite RV Lifestyle Gear – Kitchen Edition

Last week I shared my favorite outdoor gear, clothes, shoes, etc. that I wore nearly every day on the road in the RV during Project Escape. As I have previously mentioned, when it comes to RVing space and weight are key concerns. Nowhere is that a bigger hindrance for foodies than the kitchen!

My Favorite RV Lifestyle Gear Kitchen Edition

In general, we prioritized food. We knew we were going to have problems sourcing certain ingredients we liked, so we brought a lot with us and stored them in our precious cargo area. I want to say as a side note, both inside the RV and in the cargo space below, we never would have gotten everything organized the way we wanted if it hadn't been for our Container Store storage bins.

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RV Cargo - Food Storage
Food storage in the cargo area.

Truth be told most of the storage containers we used inside the RV came from our old house in Berkeley. Here is a shot from one of our two closets.

Part of our bedroom closet at our old house in Berkeley.

If you could see a 360 of the closet you'd see two things, tons of storage boxes of all sizes all the way to the ceiling and our awesome Elfa storage system from the Container Store that we installed in both closets. When you only have two closets in your entire house, every inch counts.

That prepared us well for the RV!

Being the gourmet cook that Mr. Misadventures is, in our old kitchen he had pots and pans, gadgets, tools, and servings dishes for making everything under the sun, along with about 100 cookbooks. When it came time to pick what he was bringing into the RV kitchen, it was like choosing which children he could bring with him.

In the end, I should have selected what to bring because, in a strange twist of events, I became the primary cook. After 15 years of cooking, he basically took the year off!

Given the limited space that both the kitchen cabinets and kitchen counters provided, plus the fact that the counters had to be completely cleared off every time we hit the road, here is what we did end upbringing:

Pots & Pans

The vast majority of the time I used the two pots in the photo above. One is the Vollrath fry pan which I used for eggs, stir-fries, cooking meat and fish, and some dim sum items. We bought it specifically for the RV because it is lightweight. I had never heard of the brand before our trip, but I now highly recommend it, it was perfect for daily use in the RV.

I also used our All-Clad saucepan and steaming basket we brought from home. I did everything in this! Boiled eggs, cooked Japanese curry, soups, pasta sauce, etc. And with the steamer on top, we steamed vegetables and dim sum. Eighty percent of any cooking we did on the stove was done with these two items.

We quickly figured out that we needed another pot to boil water for pasta and to make bigger soups. I banned Mr. Misadventures from bringing his big soup pots from home with him for two reasons. One they would take up too much space and secondly, whatever size pot he is cooking with, he filled it, and I didn't have enough space for all the leftovers he would create. We picked a really light one at Ikea and it was perfect for our needs.

In addition to those three pots and pans, we also had our All-Clad saucier pan for bigger stir-fries, an OXO salad spinner (with the amount of salad my Frenchie husband eats, it was a necessity), and two bowls. One stainless steel (another Ikea purchase) and one cheap red plastic one for salads. Or holding tomatoes like this:


You can see how it all fit below the sink in the RV and how it allowed me space to clear things off the counter such as the large utensils and our toaster.

Below the sink in the RV.

Dishes & “Glassware”

I put quotes around glassware because, in my opinion, glass anything inside the RV is not a good thing. For one it weighs a lot, for two, I am a total klutz, and given the small space we have to deal with, I foresaw disaster. As it was we lost three soy sauce bottles to the tile floor during our trip.

Instead, we bought really thin stainless steel cups from Klean Kanteen. We used the 10-ounce size for orange or grapefruit juice wine, and whiskey. We used the pint-sized ones for water, iced tea, or lemonade. We also had 20-ounce insulated versions for coffee, miso, and hot tea. Personally, I preferred drinking my coffee in my blue titanium mug! It's definitely the most expensive coffee cup I've ever had, but OMG I love it!

RV breakfast
Eating breakfast with my Snow Peak titanium coffee mug and Corelle plates.

You'll notice a plastic glass in my breakfast photo above. We picked those up at Ikea as well, but I think we had them for a week. They got so scratched up from just normal wear and tear, that I hated them. After that, we just drank juice from our stainless steel cups. Also in the image above is our dishware. We researched and hunted for the best solution for plates and bowls. We didn't want anything heavy or breakable.

We also wanted something that could go in the microwave without killing us. We didn't have a microwave in our house in Berkeley or while living in France, so we didn't have any “microwave-proof” stuff.

We ended up with Corelle. You can buy them at Target and Walmart, but I didn't like any of their patterns, I wanted something really simple. I liked the City Block design, so we ended up ordering a set from Amazon that included (4) large plates, (4) small plates, and (4)small bowls. Then we added a set of 4 large bowls. They were absolutely perfect for everything! If I had to buy them again I wouldn't get the small plates, we just didn't use them.

I made it through the entire year without breaking a single piece, despite dropping items twice, but last week I finally broke one of the small bowls. I'm sad about that, but thrilled the dishes lasted through all our adventures!

Everything I just described fit on the bottom shelf of the cabinet above the sink.

Above the sink in the RV. The bottom shelf holds our set of Corelle dishes and Klean Kanteen cups. The top shelf holds all our outdoor eating gear.

On the (messy) top shelf is our outdoor eating gear. Spending so much time outside during the day meant that I usually prepared two meals. Either breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner depending on what we were doing. Although we did have two small Klean Kanteen food containers, I mainly relied on our Zojirushi Food Jar for any hot food.

We had already brought our Zojirushi rice cooker and thermos, but as the weather grew cold, we quickly added the food jars to our kitchen gear. We used them almost daily. Soups, ramen, oatmeal, rice, and veggies.

Not a day went by that these babies were holding some kind of meal for us. In the thermos, we carried miso or hot tea. They kept our food and drinks hot and packed away easily, I could also easily carry them in my backpack.

Favorite RV Gear - Food Containers
Our containers in action!

We brought our silverware from our old house plus a few utensils (tongs, spatula, ladle, etc.) and spices and that pretty much made our kitchen. We had a cabinet of food storage boxes (also from the Container Store) that we used for leftovers and picnics, but otherwise, we made do with this carefully chosen and lovingly used kitchen gear.


Favorite RV Gear Appliances
Our kitchen appliances: coffee maker, toaster, rice cooker, and kettle.

We brought minimal appliances with us, but there was no way we could live without our espresso maker, toaster, rice cooker, and kettle – that was the bare minimum and these items were used every day. The rice cooker got tucked into a cabinet under the dining table, the espresso maker and kettle were put into the left-hand sink and the toaster went into the cabinet under the sink. We really didn't have space for much else.

Whenever the weather was good and we had adequate space where we parked, we barbecued. We used a Weber propane-powered grill, in red of course! I think it is the official grill for RVers, we saw them everywhere, although usually in green. The only other color we saw was our friends we met in Moab and spent a week with on the Oregon coast, theirs is purple.

Favorite RV Gear Weber Grill
Our Weber grill in action.

Using this grill was truly the best part of RVing. We cooked everything on this guy. Meat, fish, vegetables, potatoes, fruit, whatever we could throw on. As soon as it stops raining in Portland, we are pulling that baby out!

How about you? What’s your favorite kitchen gear? What’s your go-to appliance or gadget? Do tell! I’d love to hear.

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My Favorite RV Lifestyle Gear Kitchen Edition

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  1. Looks like your RV is well-stocked and also, well organized! My husband has mentioned he wanted to rent an RV and just go across town. Great products that you have featured!

  2. We don’t have an RV, although I wish we did! My daughter’s best friend is renting one for the summer and I keep asking if I can go too! Yours is so well-stocked. I will have to send this to my friend to see!

  3. Jay Jackson says:

    This was a very useful post, I learned a few tricks for my nest RV adventure, thanks.

  4. Do you set a budget in buying all the pots and pans that you need in your kitchen? We are just about to build a family after getting married and I have no idea yet about what products to invest in for our kitchen essentials. Hope you can recommend! 🙂

    1. @Roch, most of the items we had. My husband is French and insists on certain French brands like Staub (like a Creuset). What I will say to you as someone who started over twice. Buy the absolute best you can afford, even if you can only buy a few pieces at a time. I swear in 10 years, those are the pieces you will still have.

  5. Thanks for sharing this information! I never really thought about how you need special equipment for an RV kitchen.

    1. @Zoey, it is not necessarily that you need special things, just a lot fewer because of weight restrictions.

  6. Donna Ward says:

    Loved your organization ideas! Such a pretty RV and great ideas of products and how to use them when RV’ing. My parents have a huge RV and love it – Very nice post! Thank you for sharing

    1. @Donna, thanks so much for the compliment, I am glad you enjoyed the post!

  7. Great organization tips. I am going to be renting an RV for a trip to Burning Man and will definitely be taking your advice when preparing. As for favorite kitchen gear, I love my veggie steamer and magic bullet.

  8. Heather @ Country Life, City Wife says:

    AH this is so timely. We’re about to get an RV! I am trying to be organized about what we select to keep in it. As for my favorite kitchen gadget, it has to be any of my USA Bakeware. I am obsessed!

  9. This reminds me so much of my aunt and uncle. Every year they would take off in their RV for an entire month (if not longer) and drive around the country visiting family. I was forever amazed that they truly lived out of their RV. It was cozy and inviting, and everything had its place.

  10. RV sounds like fun! While we love an outdoor grill, we also love using an indoor one for rainy days!

  11. Such a helpful article. I hope to one day be travelling w/ my husband and will remember your tips. I love your red appliances btw.

  12. I love seeing this! I would have SUCH a hard time narrowing down what kitchen stuff to take. I love (and use) almost all of mine… it’s my biggest problem area when it comes to hoarding. I keep wanting to buy a Zojirushi rice cooker per your recommendation and the many stellar reviews, but I’m hung up on what size. I don’t want something huge, but I don’t want to get stuck being mad at a tiny one. I might need to see them in person somewhere before I finally bite the bullet.

    1. @Katie, I think that is why Mr. Misadventures gave up kitchen duties, without all his children, he just bereft and just not into it! We have a 5-cupper, but I usually make 2 cups at a time which lasts for two meals. You can keep the rice in there for a week, it continuously warms. My first husband was Thai and is mom had a 20-cup one and had rice going all the time!

  13. Tricia Hope says:

    What a great set up.My brother and SIL retire in October and plan on RVing for 5 months.I will share your expertise with them!

  14. Calvin F. says:

    Looks just like home with all this.

  15. Linda Manns Linneman says:

    It sounds like you did a great job with this small space. I love your ideas and suggestions. I love reading all your travel articles. So awesome. God Bless

  16. Tricia Hope says:

    I don’t know the exact same meal tastes SO MUCH BETTER outdoors!

  17. Airy Kitchens says:

    You should seriously blog daily. This is awesome. Hell, blog twice a day. I love reading this kind of content.