Last Updated on 06/07/2024 by Glynn Willard

Best RV Kitchen Gadgets You’ll Actually Use

 
What gadgets and appliances do you really need for your RV’s kitchen?

Initially, when we were getting started, we thought we needed everything we employed in our home kitchen.

But after we lived the full-time RVer lifestyle for two years, we figured out that we needed very little to make our camper kitchen fully operational.

So before ordering everything under the sun for your RV’s kitchen, let’s narrow down what you need and don’t need.

Several variables will play a key role in what will and will not work for you in your RV’s kitchen.

Let’s discuss these important variables before you order everything imaginable and head out for your first camping trip.
 

Before Anything Else, This Is My Favorite RV Kitchen Gadget!

 

 
Some would say, I have a drinking (coffee) problem! I might just agree.

My French Press coffee pot is by far my favorite RV kitchen “gadget!”
 



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The Right RV Kitchen Accessories For Your Camping Style

 

 
Before you can even explore any handy products for your RV’s kitchen, you need to know your camping style.

What do I mean by this?

Do you plan to spend all of your time in RV parks plugged into 30 or 50 amps?

Or do you plan on boondocking (dry camping) the majority of the time?

Even a hybrid of the two styles combined factors into what appliances you can use in your RV.

This leads me to the next point.
 

Can Your RV’s Electrical System Handle Your Powered Kitchen Tools?

 
RV Portable Generator
 
Many of the RV appliances that are discussed amongst full-time families are very high-wattage.

I’m talking about things like instant pots, electric pressure cookers, slow cookers, coffee makers, etc.

But your intention is to stay plugged in at RV parks. Awesome!

What if your RV is 30 amps? The max you’ll be able to draw at any one time is 3600 watts.

Try running the microwave, air conditioner, and coffee maker at the same time.

You’ll likely trip the breaker. Whoops!

If your RV is 50 amps, you have ~6000 watts at your discretion. This is a little more realistic if several appliances are on simultaneously.

Now let’s flip this scenario on its head.

If you boondock most of the time and you have an inverter and batteries, you’re seriously limited.

Okay, so you have solar panels, batteries, and a 3000-watt inverter.

Conversions and electrical formulas are beyond the scope of this article, so more detail is unnecessary.

Even if you have a robust solar and battery system, running a high-wattage appliance will rip through your power reserves in a few hours.

If you have at least a 3000-watt generator, you can run one or two of these appliances until the fuel runs out.

When we boondocked (90% of the time) in our travel trailer, we had to run two, 2000-watt generators in parallel every time we wanted to run the microwave.

That gets old fast!

What I’m ultimately trying to convey is for you to find the least power-hungry solutions for your RV’s kitchen based on your setup and camping style.
 

Storage Space For RV Kitchen Appliances

 

RV storage is limited and has to serve multiple purposes.


 
The term “small space” is not to be taken lightly when discussing RVs.

Seasoned RV owners are well aware of the limitations associated with RV storage.

Your kitchen gadgets cannot saturate a lot of storage.

Especially if you have several family members and their stuff along for your adventures.

When you’re shopping for your RV’s kitchen gadgets or appliances, think small.

Collapsible is nice, but not always an option.

Even if you have a lot of counter space, appliances need easy storage on travel days.

Simply put, when you’re deciding what to buy, also think about where it will be stored in your RV and if it will take up a lot of space.
 

RV Full-Time And Your Kitchen Accessory Weight

 

The Camp Chef was great, but it weighed a lot!


 
Many RV kitchen appliances are bulky and heavy.

This is one of the circumstances where it’s best to leave your cast iron skillet at home if you only use it occasionally.

I get it. I love cooking on my iron skillets, but they usually stay home during our part-time traveling.

A great alternative to heavy cookware like stainless steel or copper is aluminum or ceramic cookware.

We found that the ceramic option is a great way to reduce weight in our current campervan.

My point is to get to know your RV’s cargo-carrying capacity and factor in the weight of all the kitchen tools when shopping.
 

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Best Gadgets For Your RV’s Kitchen

 
I’m breaking this into two sections. Our favorite kitchen gadgets that are great for all circumstances and those that are only usable when plugged into shore power.

My goal is to equip your RV kitchen with the necessary cookware to work with your situation and rig.

And help you avoid buying what will not work for your situation.
 

Kitchen Gadgets Usable For All Situations Including Boondocking

 
The following are our favorite kitchen tools that are applicable for all scenarios that we’ve put to full use in one of our RVs.
 

  • Storage Containers
  •  
    The right storage container for your RV is lightweight and can be tightly stored with other containers.

    In our house, we use glass, but not in our RV. Reusable containers that are BPA-free plastic are your best solutions for any RV.

    Buy only as many as you need. Better yet, grab the spare ones in your house and save your funds.
     

     

  • Lightweight Dishes
  •  
    Regular dishes weigh a lot. Fortunately, there are a lot of lightweight dishes on the market for use in RVs.

    These dishes have stood the test of time through both of our RVs.
     

     

  • Lightweight Kitchen Utensils
  •  
    We chose to compromise with normal utensils in both our RVs.

    But we only bring enough to accommodate one meal for the family, which is fine since the dishes get washed immediately.

    Rather than buying a second set, gather up your spare and unused utensils to leave in the RV.

    There’s no need to spend additional on a set of “camping silverware.”
     

  • Utensil Caddy
  •  
    If you don’t have a lot of drawer space, a utensil caddy is a great solution.

    Ours sat on the counter of the travel trailer and rode in the sink on moving days.
     

     

  • Coffee Press
  •  
    Boiling water in an RV is easy and works great with a coffee press.

    It might just be the first thing I take back into our campervan when we travel.

    No doubt, you understand! The one below was a gift to me and used daily.
     

     

  • Unbreakable Glasses
  •  
    You’re better off stocking your RV with glasses that will not break (to state the obvious).

    We prefer lightweight stainless steel. For some weird reason, they just seem appropriate for the RV.

    We have several of this exact set and they’re our favorite cups in and out of the RV.
     

     

  • Stemless Wine Glasses
  •  
    For those of you who enjoy wine on occasion, stemless glasses are a great addition to your RV’s cupboards.
     

     

  • Lightweight Frying Pans
  •  
    A large and medium ceramic frying pan will manage most of your cooking needs without taking up too much space or weight.

    Avoid skimping on frying pans, since you’ll likely use them to prepare most of your food when camping.

    We bought the one below for our campervan’s induction cook top and have been happy with its performance.
     

     

    Lightweight Saucepan

     
    One medium to large ceramic saucepan is enough to handle most of your cooking needs in your RV.

    If you have multiple burners and cook a lot, perhaps two will be more suitable.

    We’ve never needed more than one and a good frying pan to prepare our meals for the four of us when camping.

    We also have the one below. It’s lightweight and performs as it should when we’re traveling in the campervan.
     

     

  • Lightweight Baking Dish For RV Oven
  •  
    Not all RVs have an oven. Our travel trailer did (we never used it) and our campervan does not.

    If you bake anything in your house, you’ll know the appropriate bake ware to keep in your RV.
     

  • Manual Can Opener
  •  
    Sure, you can use the can opener on your Swiss Army Knife, but that’s not realistic.

    A quality manual can opener will do you well in an RV.
     

     

  • Kitchen Thermometer
  •  
    Seriously, if you cook meat regularly, keep a compact kitchen thermometer in one of the drawers.

    Avoid any potential food-borne illnesses at all costs while cooped up in an RV.

    We know first hand how difficult it is when everyone in the rig is sick at the same time. Not fun!
     

     

  • Quality Chef Knife
  •  
    I might be a chef knife snob, but keeping your spare knife in the RV while traveling is a great idea.

    You’ll need it and there’s no reason to skimp on quality cooking gear for your RV.

    There are other cooking knife variations, but a chef knife will accomplish all of your “slicing and dicing” needs.
     

     

  • A Cutting Board That Fits In Your Sink
  •  
    This is such an easy item to forget when traveling in your RV.

    It might be best to buy one that stays in your RV and is specifically sized to fit in the RV’s sink.

    Grabbing one from your house that’s too big for your RV’s sink will be difficult to clean.
     

     

  • Mixing Bowl
  •  
    A large lightweight stainless steel mixing bowl that fits somewhere in your kitchen storage is necessary.

    Ours doubled as a mixing bowl and my salad bowl.

    “I’ll have the big salad.” Those of you who get it, are aging yourself too.
     

  • Tongs
  •  
    If you’ve spent any time in a commercial kitchen, you know the value of a good set of tongs.

    Buy a set to leave in your RV, so you don’t forget them when traveling in your RV.
     

     

  • Collapsible Marshmallow Roasting Sticks
  •  
    At some point during your RV camping adventure, you’ll want to roast marshmallows.

    We’ve found ours to be way more useful than we thought.

    Our “food break day” is Saturday and if campfires are allowed, they usually get used.

    We bought this exact set three years ago and still use them to this day.
     

     

  • Foldable Table
  •  
    We got a lot of use out of our aluminum foldable table while living on the road.

    Not every campground has a picnic table and of course, when you’re boondocking, there are no tables.

    This one served us really well. It sadly does not fit in our campervan, but it still works fine.
     

     

  • Portable Grill
  •  
    Some type of portable camp stove is a good idea if you have the space and a fuel source.

    In our larger travel trailer, we took a Camp Chef and barely used it.

    We don’t have a portable grill for our campervan and wish we did, but can’t because of limited space.

    If we had enough space, this is what we’d buy since or campervan lacks a propane burner/grill surface.
     

     

Gadgets/Appliances For Your RV Kitchen If You’re Plugged In

 
Carefully consider whether anything on this list is necessary for your RV adventures in the great outdoors.
 

  • Instant Pot
  •  
    If you use one at home frequently as a pressure cooker and plan to connect to shore power most of the time, bring it.

    But if you don’t currently use one at home, don’t buy one just because “they’re popular in the RV blogs.”
     

  • Coffee Maker
  •  
    Don’t mess with an individual’s coffee preference. I think that’s common knowledge.

    If you will be plugged in all the time, go for it, but I suggest a lightweight metal pot instead of glass for obvious reasons.

    But if a lot of boondocking is in your plans, leave the coffee maker at home and consider a coffee press instead.
     

     

  • Slow Cooker (Crock Pot)
  •  
    If you use one at home frequently, and plan to connect to shore power most of the time, bring it.

    But if you don’t currently use one at home, don’t bring one “just in case.”
     

  • Rice Cooker
  •  
    If rice is a staple in your diet, and plan to connect to shore power most of the time, bring it.

    But if you don’t currently use one at home and instead use the old-school method of boiling water for rice, stick to “old school.”
     

  • Air Fryer
  •  
    We use our air fryer in our house A LOT! But it’s too big and uses too much power for our current (and past) RV.

    If you have the space, a 50 amp rig, and will be plugged in all the time, I wouldn’t blame you for including one in your RV.
     

  • Electric Kettle
  •  
    We’re big tea drinkers and love a good quality electric kettle.

    But when we’re on the road, we just heat water on the stovetop in a saucepan.

    For some of you, this may not be your preference, so consider your power system and storage space before moving forward.
     

 

Wrapping Up The Best RV Kitchen Accessories (For You)

 

Sometimes food storage containers contain surprises!


 
Many of the gadgets on the lists are essential items for your RV’s kitchen.

Even if you only cook some of the time.

Anyone who spends any time in the kitchen will realize this is not a complete list.

Regardless, the whole point of this article is to remind you of the importance of:
 

  • The size of your kitchen items.
  •  

  • Weight of each kitchen gadget.
  •  

  • Your camping style (dry camping or plugged into shore power).
  •  

  • The power consumption of your RV’s kitchen appliances.
  •  

 
For those of you who cook a lot, you know the value of the right tools in the kitchen!

What are your favorite RV kitchen gadgets?
 
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