RV Easy Meal Planning for on the Road

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On the go RV meal planning tips from La Mesa RV Center

Whether this is your first trip or you are a seasoned RV enthusiast, every RV owner encounters the challenge of proper meal planning before they hit the open road. As your home away from home, an RV offers many of the same comforts and amenities, but there are also some unique challenges that should be considered when laying out plans for meal preparation while you’re away from your standard kitchen and grocery store.

RV Meal Prep:Tips and Tricks

A few tips and tricks can go a long way towards making your on-the-go meal preparation quick, streamlined, and enjoyable. For example, instead of bringing your entire spice rack, create spice mixes that you can bring along to save on space.

It’s also important to leave room for local fare. If you know you’ll be hitting farmers markets, orchards, and roadside stands, make sure that you leave room in your meal plans and your budget to pick up exciting new finds along the way.

Think one-pot preparation. Most RVs do not come with a standard dishwasher. This means that the fewer dishes you need in order to prepare your meal, the better. Planning staple dishes such as chili, soup, pasta, casserole, or stir fry recipes can help you create minimal mess while building a great meal. Leftovers are also a great way to get double the enjoyment in without the work.

RV Meal Supplies

One great way to go about preparing for your trip is to put together your list of supplies. When making your list, it can be helpful to break it out into its various counterparts:

  • Items you’ll bring from home (such as spice mixes, condiments, bulk supplies, and favorite cooking utensils)
  • Items in the RV that need restocking (disposable items, trash bags, and coffee filters)
  • Items that you can pick up during your travels (local foods, roadside snacks)
  • Items to purchase before you go

When collecting supplies for your trip, think light. Lightweight metal or plastic tableware and glasses are easy to store and clean, and you don’t risk breakage if they happen to fall out of the cupboards around a sharp turn, or accidentally get brushed off a counter because of tight quarters. When stocking your RV kitchen, most breakables should be avoided where possible.

Versatile bulk foods can be a great addition to your RV meal planning, and can save time and space. An easy batter mix can provide you with biscuits, pancakes, waffles, and a simple breading for chicken or onion rings. Rice, quinoa, couscous, and pasta are also great staples that can be used in many meals as an accompaniment, or a main ingredient. Bulk non-perishable foods can help you stay flexible during your travels, when strict schedules aren’t always a possibility.

RV Ready Types of Foods

When you’re on the go, food that is easily made and handy to eat is of great benefit. High protein trail mixes and energy bars can be kept without needing refrigeration, and can be brought along during excursions outside of the RV. Sandwiches are another great meal to lean on while traveling. Quick to prepare and easy to eat, sandwiches can help you stay satiated while remaining on schedule.

Pre-mixed foods are another easy target. You can pre-mix rice, beans, trail mix, and spice mixes well ahead of time for easy use along the road. If your meals require pantry items such as flour or cornmeal, pre-measure ahead of time and only bring what you need.

Shelf-stable foods are an important part of planning, especially if you are not sure exactly how long your travels will be. Try to reserve refrigerated items for those picked up along the way, and stock up on dried and canned goods that can outlast your trip.

Avoid perishables such as raw meat, eggs, and milk where possible, or bring small quantities that can be replaced regularly.

Here’s a list of great RV-ready food options:

  • Canned tuna
  • Pasta
  • Sardines
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Beef jerky
  • Oatmeal
  • Taco shells, tortillas crackers, and bread
  • Chips and salsa
  • Apples, oranges, bananas, and other self-contained fruit
  • Cocoa, coffee and tea
  • Canned beans, corn, soup, and pasta sauce
  • Trail mix, granola bars, and energy bars
  • Rice, couscous, and quinoa
  • Potatoes
  • Popcorn
  • Hummus and veggies

In addition, don’t forget your pots, pans, utensils, can openers, flatware, tin foil, plastic wrap and baggies, and storage containers.

Early planning is the key to ensuring your RV trip is well-stocked with great food and easy options while you’re on the road. Plan your daily meals and measure out items in advance where you can. Also, leave room to include items picked up along the way. After all, getting a chance to taste the local fare is one of the great benefits of traveling. Mixing local fruits and vegetables into your planned meals can help you experience the area without having to spend too much extra cash.

RV meal planning preparation doesn’t have to be a chore. Once you’re through your first trip, you’ll have a much better idea of what worked—and what didn’t. Be sure to write or print out your checklists, and make adjustments to them along the way so that for your next trip, you’ll know exactly what you need!

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