By Chuck Woodbury
Originally published in March, 2010
The new big thing in RVs is an outdoor kitchen. That’s what the Edmonton Journal reported after visiting an RV show where several were displayed. “Just open a panel and there’s a sink, refrigerator, cooktop or grill, cabinets, and maybe a TV to keep you entertained while you make a meal in the great outdoors,” the newspaper wrote.
Now, let me tell you right off that I think that such a kitchen is right up there with the stupidest RV inventions of all time. And, in my opinion, if a cook needs a TV to avoid boredom in the great outdoors then he or she should bloody well just stay inside.
Dane Found, the president and CEO of Pacific Coachworks, which offers outdoor kitchens in ten RV models, told the newspaper that most RVers want to spend as much time as possible outside and are already cooking outdoors, and they don’t necessarily like to make countless trips in and out of the RV to get water, dishes and food.
This is what I believe is wrong with the outdoor kitchen concept: First, the extra kitchen adds a bunch of weight to an RV, which lowers gas mileage. Plus, two stoves, two refrigerators, two sets of cabinets . . . well that’s not only extra weight but extra dollars to the price tag of the RV.
With this setup, if you want to cook in both inside and outside kitchens then you better have a duplicate set of pots and pans, dishes and basic food items. Otherwise, you will constantly be running back and forth. So, plan to double up on your provisions — two bottles of ketchup, two heads of lettuce, two sets of salad dressings, duplicate seasonings, two butters, two containers of milk . . vegetable oil, bread, salt and pepper. . . the list goes on. So, when you are supermarket shopping, the new rule will be “buy two when (in the old days) one would do.”
And heaven forbid it should rain for a week when you would need to transfer perishables from the outside kitchen to the indoor kitchen. That would be a whole buncha fun in a rainstorm.
Someone pointed out to me that these kitchens are great for tailgaiting. Okay, yes that makes sense. But at the campground. . . well, I just don’t get it.