This page was last edited 12/08/02
The kitchen is one of the most important spots to keep everyone happy! Along with the kitchen I'll include the rest of the interior of the RV since all is one pretty much when you have a limited space such as an RV. A separate page I've done will cover personal items. Entertainment items are covered separately. Items more related to the operation of the RV are covered on the rig page.
Cooking in the RV is much the same as cooking at home. You need the same utensils, accessories, condiments, etc. that you would use in your kitchen at home. The thing to remember here is that you are mobile. Everything in the RV must be able to withstand the movement, shaking and bouncing that the RV will experience in normal travel.
This is probably one of the most important areas... since a full camper is a happy camper!
There are many things that the cook needs to make the job easier. I'll attempt to list some of them here.
Stove... that stove hood over your burners has a fan in it. There is a vent opening outside that has a cover on it and the cover must be unlatched so that the heat and smoke can properly vent. There are two little clips on the hood to hold it in place. If you fail to unlatch it then you'll experience the joys of having a bent vent. Inside, up under the hood and to the rear on the right, is an inside latch which looks like a flat piece of metal. When the metal is pulled away from the center box the vent is open and to close the vent from the inside you push in the metal strip. This will cut down the amount of air that goes out if you are traveling. Usually the vent outside is too high for you to reach so this is a good alternative. To reach that vent I found that a hot dog fork is just the right length to reach up and force each little latch in place or to open them.
Travelcenters of America today apparently is carrying a Road-Pro (made in China), 700 Watt cooking power, 12 Volt, microwave oven for $219.99.
Eating what you cook may not be as simple as it initially appears... and on the other hand you're out and about so let's enjoy it! If you are a member of a camping group/club you may well experience what we have. You don't often have to cook a whole meal since pot-luck is the word of the day.
When everyone meets at the 'central' location to eat you need to be prepared. The 'central' location could be anything from a community room to the grass next to the campfire, or more commonly a couple of picnic tables pushed together. Rather than a flimsy paper plate, or your best china, you might want to try a good ol' cafeteria tray... like the one you used in school. They run less than $5 apiece and a half dozen of these in your camper will make life easier for you and the kids. They have a place for everything and are solid enough so that eating on the grass or trying to hold it while sitting in a chair is not a real problem. Tupperware has a set of four that are a little more expensive at about $25 a set. I do not like them as well since they only have three areas for food rather then the five these trays have. Camping World has a tray for around $2 each. If you're a member of the Camping World President's Club they are only $1.77 each.
This example is made of fiberglass...
And this one is plastic...
Like the one from Camping World...
Silverware is available in the stores these days that is quite heavy, even for plastic. I suggest using that when you're not eating in your own place. Loosing a piece of heavy plastic throwaway silverware is a lot easier to stomach than you or the kids loosing a piece of a complete set of silver for use in your RV. Another alternative is to buy some picnic quality silver that has a big handle on it so that it is identifiable and easily found. Again... the silver can get lost real easily out in the tall grass at a campsite.
Be ready with some pot-luck offerings. Eating the good food you prepared should be an enjoyment for all. Condiments may well be an issue at this time also.
Items chosen for RVing should be selected based on several levels. Weight is obviously a consideration since you have to carry this equipment around the country in your RV. I would not, for instance, select a complete pot and pan setup that was cast iron. You may want to throw in that favorite cast iron frying pan for those special dinners. Nesting cooking gear is a good idea. By nesting it takes up a lot less space in an economical fashion. Tupperware is one of my favorites here as they have many such products that are also light weight and economical.
Under storage and trying to make the best use of it I had noted that the pantry in the RV had three shelves. It could easily have five shelves and accommodate what we put in it much more effectively. The shelving had adjustable tabs so I simply bought some more of the tabs and a couple of pieces of lumber like the existing shelves and we now have five where there were three. They are fully adjustable and I have room for tall stuff and short stuff along with the normal can goods size.
I bought several Rubbermaid containers and have identified them as being for desert items, staples, and breadstuff. The things in the breadstuff container are things that have to be moved from the house to the RV when we travel due to dating problems. The other containers are not date relevant. As part of the organization I never put foodstuffs in the same drawer that has utensils in it. I am trying to keep items that are staples together and expiring items together for reasons above.
In an upper cabinet I have put two "Pop-A-Plate" units. These are $6 apiece and mount directly to the upper cabinet or a shelf bottom as may be appropriate for your rig. One holds 9" paper plates and one holes 6" paper plates. There is also a unit for napkins that I didn't buy yet. Gets the paper plates up off of the regular dinnerware and makes them easily available.
Cooking 'outside' the RV can take on several forms. Back to basics and you'll be trying to start the ol' campfire before breakfast! We'll cover some of those cooking fire accessories. Another solution is the gas grill.
I have purchased a Ducane Firelight II grill. The advantages of this grill are that it folds neatly into a compact storage area. It also has a case that it stores in for additional cleanliness. If you'll note... the grill folds out and has one side with a two burner stove and the other side is a grill. The grill has no 'briquettes' to deal with and thus is a lot easier to deal with when transporting. The gas source is designed to be a propane bottle such as the small portable one pictured. A larger propane container can be used with the proper adapters.
Firelight II grills and cooks like a regular campstove all at the same time. Compact, portable Grill/Campstove features two individually controlled, variable temperature aluminized steel burners. Smoker plate eliminates lava rock for more uniform heat and cleaner operation. Everything operates from a single propane tank (sold separately). Durable cast aluminum casing with heat-resistant Green paint. Grill produces 13,000 BTU/hr, stove 16,000 BTU/hr. (8,000 BTU/hr per burner). Tabletop heat baffle and drip tray for easy clean-up. Ship Wt. 16.00 lbs.
The top and bottom unit separate easily for multiple
configurations and ease of use. For storing they slip right back together.
Ducane furnishes the grill, hose and regulator assembly. All you need to buy is the
LP gas source, and the case listed below if you like.
This is the optional carrying case for the Firelight II. It is just another reason that this was a good choice for us. The firelight stores cleanly and neatly as you can see. The case is why Ducane is a top line grill. You might note also that Ducane grills are available for your home use and are widely known as a top line grill. It is also notable that the same grill from the Ducane dealer was 'list' price where I could purchase it from my local RV dealer for nearly $50.00 less.
I have installed an Extend-A-Flow to my motorhome. This is essentially a 'T' in the propane feed line which allows the main tank of the motorhome to be used for an external grill, camp light, etc. Coincidentally the 12 foot line that comes with the Extend-A-Flow has the proper fitting on it for the connection to the Firelight II grill. The logic here of course is to minimize the dangers associated with carrying individual bottles of propane, trying to keep them filled, and keeping them in a safe manner. Using the motorhome LP tank eliminates all of these problems at a very cost effective level. This Extend-A-Flow costs less than $40 and pays for itself almost immediately.
|Hook your portable gas grill directly to your LP supply with Extend-A-Flow Gas Line Tap Kit. Connect small, portable high pressure LP gas appliances directly to your existing LP supply without interrupting the flow of regulated fuel to the system. No need for disposable cylinders. For outdoor use only. Hose is 12'L. Adapter hose gives you greater flexibility and distance between LP tank and appliance. USA. Ship Wt. 2.00 lbs.|
Camp Forks - For cooking over the open fire we've reverted back to the good ol' camp fork. There's nothing like a hot dog cooked over the open fire! The camp forks that I bought were 36" in length and have wooden handles. Four of them @ $2.79 apiece from Wal-Mart were good for our family. I also like to cook marshmallows over the open fire and it's popular to make Some-Mores <sp> with graham crackers and Hershey milk chocolate bars.
An alternative to buying a full-length camp fork is to buy something like Cowboy Hank's Hot Dog Holder. Essentially this is a stainless steel spring. It is wound so that you can screw it around the end of a stick... any ol' stick... and it has a couple of sharp prongs sticking out so you can put your dog, marshmallow, veggie, etc. right on the device and cook it over the fire. Advertised price is $5.95 for a 3 pack. It's a lightweight alternative to a full length camping fork. But you better bring your own stick. In most campgrounds cutting trees is a no-no, but a lot of times there is a stick laying around you can use.
The old fashioned way of cutting a twig and carving it up so you can cook with it is, as noted above, not acceptable in most campgrounds. They want you to leave their foliage in place.
Wiener Roller - The Wiener Roller is a steel pole that has a 9" basket welded onto the end of it. The basket can handle a half dozen hot dogs at one time. This is a little more secure than putting the hot dogs on a 'fork'. It allows them to cook quickly. Cost is about $14.95 per unit.
Keener Wiener - Another interesting variation on the wiener cooking device (as we shall call it) is the Keener Wiener Rotisserie cooking fork. You'll find information at the http://www.thewienerman.com . It is a hotdog fork that has a reversed pointed end and a sliding handle. Priced at $19.95/unit so the manufacturer can make a little money for his efforts. Check out videos of the 'The Keener Wiener Rotisserie Stick'.
Camp Grill - For cooking over the open fire it is always nice to have grill to cook on. A really handy grill is the Graber Grill (6995 N 900 W, Shipshewana, IN 46565 219-768-4488). This is a grill that consists of a 1/2" diameter steel rod 36" long that you drive into the ground near the cooking fire. The grill is a nickel-chrome finish. Mesh grating is approximately 15" x 22" with a wooden handle. The handle area has a 1/2" hole in it that slides down over the steel rod. The weight of the grill cants the grill slightly and 'locks' in onto the steel rod at the level you set it. This gives you a full 360 degrees rotation. Really neat and inexpensive. This grill costs $30-$35. An excellent investment if you're a campfire chef. See your local dealer.
PICTURE TO FOLLOW
Unique has a grill system similar to the above grill but more detailed. It has a grill, storage case, 6 qt. pot, 10 qt. pot, cutting board and griddle available.
Camp Fork - In the 'back to basics' you're going to need a camp fork for those hot dogs, marshmallows and other goodies you might want to cook over the open fire. Remembering safety first, it is sure a lot of fun to sit around the warm fire on a cool evening and help the kids with their cooking. A good quality camp fork should be long enough to safely stay away from the fire and it should have a handle to protect you from the hot metal of the fork. There are many available and some are really long to begin with and some are extendable. Get forks that are heavy enough to withstand the weight of the food you'll be cooking. Something on the level of a coat hanger wire might make it for a marshmallow but won't do for anything any heavier. Good camp forks are around $3.00 apiece. Get enough for you and the friends that may stop by for a fireside chat.
|This type of oven makes a nice addition to outdoor cooking.
Fox Hill Corporation makes an oven for
your outdoor needs.
For fresh baked foods on the road, at camp, or anywhere in between,
try our camping ovens now available in two models: single oven and double
Simply light the camp stove burner, center the oven over it, adjust the flame
to reach the baking temperature, and you are ready.
|Something new... a Kebabacue was designed to act like a rotisserie for kabobs. See more at the Kababacue home page.|
Little Griddle is a flat griddle that covers two burners of your BBQ grill and makes a griddle out of it. Something for someone that cooks on the griddle a lot and has the storage space to take it along. It looks like it might just store right on top of the grill.
Plumbing - Sewer
hookup, water hookup
Electrical - Getting power to the right places in the right quantities
Rig - Basic additions to the unit itself you may want or need
Outside the RV - What you'll need to enjoy the great out of doors while RVing
Entertainment - Electronic or old fashioned...
© 1998-2002 Roy Timberman
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