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How to be weight- and space-efficient in your RV kitchen

By Adrienne Kristine
No matter how large your rig is or how much storage space you think you have to fill, the weight of what you store can be a problem. Cans and bottles are heavy. Boxes of cereal are bulky and contain air. (“This package is sold by weight, not volume. Contents may have settled during shipment”.) If you remove the cereal and put it in a gallon-sized plastic zipping freezer bag, you have removed the air and can stack the cereal anywhere.

By shopping at brick-and-mortar or online stores that offer bulk food, I can purchase soup mixes, textured vegetable protein, dehydrated vegetables and fruit, cereals, granola, flour, sugar, grains, spices, etc. I order soy-based meat products online from a company in Tennessee (I’m vegetarian). I’ve served soups and stews made from ground or chunk “chicken” and “beef” to my fellow RVers without anyone realizing the dishes contained no animal-based products. A company in California provides organic dehydrated veggies and fruit; you can order online.

Another company in Idaho has ready-to-eat organic food in single serving pouches. You add boiling water, fold the top over, wait, stir and eat. Since the pouches have no aluminum foil lining, they can be burned in your campfire. The food is light enough to please backpackers, requires little preparation and is delicious. There are no dishes to wash and no waste.

Bulk food is great for boondocking

If you boondock occasionally, and most of us do, bulk food only requires hot water to reconstitute and limited fuel to prepare. A dehydrator is a great way to dry fresh fruit and vegetables in season if you’re near a farmers market and store them in inexpensive square or rectangular plastic containers.

By doing a little renovation inside my small motorhome, I’ve created quite a bit of storage. Based on an idea from Bill and Jan Moeller in The Complete Guide to Full-Time RVing, my couch was removed and replaced by a six-foot counter top over two kitchen cabinets with four drawers each. This created storage, a desk and a great food preparation area. All my bulk food is stored on cabinet shelves or in drawers. The food includes that large box of cereal, cookies and pasta. I’ve never had a problem with critters. My rig has a two-month supply of food that weighs less than 25 pounds.

Related:

5 tips to increase RV kitchen storage space

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Mitzi Agnew Giles and Ed Giles
2 months ago

I found Mother Earth Product dehydrated foods on Amazon. The Vegetable Soup Mix makes great stew when you add a can of Clover Valley beef from Dollar General, in my crockpot. Dehydrated Black beans make great black beans and rice, served w/flour tortillas. I add that and its water to the converted/parboiled rice when I put it in the rice cooker. Sausage makes a great addition if you have some. I haven’t had a chance to test the tomato flakes yet, (for spaghetti, or as I call it, uninspired casserole when I use the precooked elbow noodles) I don’t use tomato in my chili. My stepdad was a cowpuncher as a teen and their chili was whatever was packable in the saddlebags. No tomatoes, onion, peppers-too fragile- just dried pinto beans and chili powder.

Rhonda
2 months ago

Links please so we can also try these products.

ChiefW78
2 months ago
Reply to  Rhonda

Just google the name of the product, ie; Mother Earth food products, etc.. usually works for me.

Sandy Webb
2 months ago

Please provide links to the companies you mention in your article!!!

Marc Stauffer
2 months ago

Adrienne, great ideas! One thing though. You should always let folks know the ingredients in what you are serving. For me, I am very allergic to soy products and consuming them would mean a trip to the hospital or morgue.

Mitzi Agnew Giles and Ed Giles
2 months ago
Reply to  Marc Stauffer

Yes! I got a horrible migraine in a German restaurant- that’s when I found out very dark German bread incorporates chocolate in the recipe. Fortunately only wound up incapacitated for 48 hours, but I’ve also had chocolate caused migraines that lasted almost a week. One was caused by people making chocolate flavored coffee and leaving it in the coffee pot at work for others to enjoy- WITHOUT any warning note on the machine! Guess what is part of most migraine treatments- caffeine! I’d get a migraine after morning coffee break, get a cup of coffee from the pot at lunch and wind up with an even worse migraine- until I entered the break room as the culprit was fixing a fresh pot! We had a little discussion about liability issues and the consideration of others to leave warning notes- like I did when I made espresso some mornings!

Diane M.
2 months ago
Reply to  Marc Stauffer

Agreed! I have many food allergies and usually refuse most dinner invites anyway, but it’s important to disclose ingredients. As I rarely eat beans, soy gives me terrible gas! No one wants to have, or be around that.

Christine K Guzorek
2 months ago

Please supply links for these companies. Thanks

Dan
2 months ago

The article reminds me of MRE’s. Meals, Ready To Eat. Just add water and the pouch heats itself. We made fun of them, but in retrospect they really weren’t that bad, plus they had a shelf life of forever. We don’t spend a lot of time in the RV in one spot, but if we did I would consider that type of food.

Member
Nanci Dixon (@nanci-dixon)
2 months ago

Never thought about the weight of all the canned food I have tucked away in the RV. Thank you!

Danny
2 months ago

Trying to follow a plant based also. Can you tell the name of the Idaho company?

Robert
2 months ago

This vegetarian would like to know the name of the company you order from in Tennessee.