Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Full-timing doesn’t mean major eating change

By Russ and Tiña De Maris

place setDespite the fact that a lot of “high-end” motorhome builders have eliminated the “old-fashioned” oven, it seems many full-timers still eat as much as they did before they went on the road.

In a question posted on a full-timer’s forum, a huge majority of respondents said they pretty well stuck with the way they cooked “back home.” How’s that? Here’s a sampling of some of the “menu items” full-timers eat:

“I cook pretty much everything from scratch, so nobody can convince me that can’t be done in RV living. Lots of homemade soups, stews, chicken casseroles. Breakfast possibly cereal, or just toast & yogurt, and often eggs in many different ways. I bake jalapeno corn bread which is always a winner ….hmm, biscuits, bread. Don’t do desserts much either … so, even RVing equals good cookin’.”

“Breakfast is fruit OR muffins OR cold cereal w/banana. Lunch is sandwich or leftovers. Supper is normally done in the microwave or convection. We do grill out often, with the favorite being pork steak. Veggies are either canned or frozen ‘steam fresh’ type. In cooler weather we do lots of soups or crock pot meals. We eat out maybe 2 to 3 times a month unless visiting friends or family in their stick houses, then eating out happens more.”

“We seldom eat out. [Hubby] would be willing to go out a lot more often, but most times we enjoy having dinner on trays in front of the TV. RV living has never seemed to impact our way of cooking. In fact I enjoy it more now than I did when I was raising a family, maybe because back then I had to do it; now I choose to.”

“My wife is a great cook and does 90% of the cooking. I am a terrible cook so she doesn’t mind. I do dishes and cleanup. She cooks from scratch 2 to 4 times per week and makes larger batches that become leftover/microwave meals, especially on travel days. We have two crockpots, a small one for one or two meals, and a large one for several meals. It works great on days we are in, or on days when we are out for the afternoon. Nothing like coming back from a long hike or afternoon of sightseeing and being greeted with wonderful smells and the meal mostly ready. We see no reason that full timing should negatively impact eating habits. In fact, we think we eat better and more healthy.”

Full-timers also commented that in some ways, traveling has made their eating habits better than when living in a “stick-built” home. “I was going to say ‘We eat the same as we did before we went on the road,’ but that’s not true. When our house was anchored we didn’t have access to fresh vegetables in the winter or good seafood on a regular basis. I’m gonna say we eat considerably better and for less money than we used to. Sometimes we have to change the menu a bit based on what is available, but so far that has all been for the better.”

Our own full-time lifestyle has revealed that in the small confines of a trailer without slideouts, creative cooking tends to suffer. We generally eat simple meals, nothing elaborate, except when time and inclination hit and we do something really special. But then cleaning up afterwards without a dishwasher generally puts an end to special meals for a few weeks.


Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña went from childhood tent camping to RVing in the 1980s when the ground got too hard. They've been tutored in the ways of RVing (and RV repair) by a series of rigs, from truck campers, to a fifth-wheel, and several travel trailers. In addition to writing scores of articles on RVing topics, they've also taught college classes for folks new to RVing. They authored the book, RV Boondocking Basics.



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