How to Realistically Cook Every Meal in Your RV for a Week

Published on May 29th, 2020

If you’re planning a week long RV trip, you might be wondering how on earth you’re going to feed your family for the entire time. Can you actually cook an entire week’s worth of food in your RV? Yes, and with the right planning it’s actually easy! Here’s how to realistically cook every meal in your RV for a week while on vacation. 

How do you cook every meal in your RV for a whole week?

Meal Plan

The easiest way to cook every meal in your RV for a week is to meal plan. Without a plan it’s very easy to find yourself stocking up ingredients you won’t use or wondering why you only have hotdogs to eat for the third day in a row. 

Everyone’s ideal RV trip is different, so first start thinking about the type of trip you’re taking. If you plan to spend every day adventuring and only return to the RV to eat and sleep, consider more Instant Pot meals, or recipes that can easily be thrown together without a ton of work. 

If your dream is to do nothing but relax around a campsite for the week, you can easily plan a few meals to be cooked over the fire and spend more time prepping and making recipes. 

Once you know the type of trip and what kind of recipes you’ll need, you can start planning your meals. Be sure to check out our articles on Meal Prepping Tips for a Long Trip or Vacation and How to Meal Prep in an RV for more information on prepping meals in an RV. 

How to store food

With the small refrigerators and lack of pantry space that typically come in RVs, you may have to get creative with how you store your food. Store dry goods such as pasta, rice, beans, and cereal in pantries and cabinets. Having a separate cooler for drinks can free up space in the fridge. Always move leftovers from the cooking pots to tupperware before putting it in the fridge or freezer to save space. You can also prepare some freezer meals at home before your trip and pull them out to thaw and use throughout the week. 

Buying Groceries 

Once you have your meal plan set up, you’ll know exactly what to buy at the grocery store. Make a list of all the ingredients you’ll need for your week’s meal plan before you go. After all, who wants to take time away from sitting around the campfire to run to the store for the fifth time because you forgot one ingredient? As a starting point, here are some great grocery basics you can buy for each meal. 

What to buy for breakfast:

Keep breakfast simple, especially if you have plans for the day. Groceries like a container of oatmeal, a box or two of your favorite cereal, a carton of eggs, containers of yogurt, fresh fruit, and granola are all great and easy breakfast options. 

If you want to make a few fancy breakfast meals over the campfire, a package of refrigerated cinnamon rolls can be easily cooked over the coals in a Dutch oven or cast iron pan. Breakfast scrambles of bacon, eggs, and potatoes can also be easily made over a fire or camp stove.

Breakfast campfire scramble recipe:

An easy campfire breakfast scramble can be made by frying bacon in a cast iron skillet over the coals of a campfire until crispy. Remove the bacon and set aside, then crumble it once cool. Add diced potatoes to the skillet. Cover and cook in the bacon fat for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are soft. Add the crumbled bacon back to the pan and crack in a few eggs. Cook another 3-4 minutes until the eggs are cooked through, then remove from the coals and serve. 

What to buy for lunch:

You’ll want to keep lunch pretty easy as well to maximize your vacation time. Lunch is also a great opportunity to use up any leftovers from the previous night’s dinner. If you’re planning on grilling for dinner, throw on a few extra chicken breasts or veggies and you can easily use them for lunch the next day. 

Other great options for lunch are sandwiches such as the classic pb&j or picking up some deli meat and condiments to create a build your own sandwich station. A precooked rotisserie chicken is also a very useful item and is sold in many grocery stores. This can be shredded and used in salads, soups, or in chicken sandwiches without you having to cook anything. 

You’ll also want to make sure to buy some snacks for drive days. Items such as cheese & crackers, granola bars, raw veggies and hummus, etc. are great for having around during the day, or when you need to take a break from driving and want an easy snack that you don’t need to prepare. 

Lunch Recipes

Rotisserie Chicken Ranch Wraps

In a bowl mix shredded rotisserie chicken with ranch dressing and shredded cheese, and spread onto 8” tortillas. Add your favorite veggie toppings such as chopped tomatoes or raw spinach, and roll up the tortillas. You can eat them cold or heat them up on the stove or over the campfire for a warm wrap. These can also be prepared the night before and stored in the fridge in an airtight container for grab and go wraps as lunch the next day. 

Watermelon Salad

Mix 3 cups of cubed watermelon with a chopped and peeled cucumber and ½ cup of crumbled feta cheese. In a separate bowl, make the dressing by whisking ¼ cup olive oil, 2 TBSP red wine vinegar, and 1 tsp of minced shallot. Pour the dressing over the salad and gently mix. Top with 2 TBSP of chopped fresh mint leaves a sprinkle of salt. 

What to buy for dinner: 

Here’s where you can get creative and break out some of your favorite camping recipes. But the real secret of how RVers easily cook dinner for an entire week is the Instant Pot. Seriously, there’s a good reason why RVers are obsessed with this small appliance. The Instant Pot lets you cook all sorts of meals without heating up your RV, and usually involves cleaning just a single pot. And depending on how many people are in your group, there’s often enough leftovers for lunch the next day. 

If you don’t have access to an Instant Pot, you can also prepare dinner on your RV’s stovetop, a grill, or over the campfire. Menus like tacos, spaghetti, and stir frys are great easy recipes that cook quickly and won’t heat up the RV too much. 

If you plan on doing a lot of grilling or over the campfire cooking, be sure to buy any meat, seafood, and veggies that you’ll need. Anything cooked in a tinfoil packet is fun for both adults and kids to assemble and means easy clean up. 

Dinner Recipes

Sausage and Veggie Campfire Packets

Lay out sheets of heavy-duty tinfoil (about 12 inches wide). Slice sausages into rounds and add to a bowl with chopped zucchini, mushrooms, and onions. Toss with 1 TBPS olive oil and 1 TBSP of your preferred seasoning salt like Lawry’s or Montreal Steak Seasoning. Divide the mixture among the tinfoil sheets and fold into packets. Cook on the grill or over the coals of a campfire for about 20 minutes or until the veggies are soft and the sausage is completely cooked. Be careful when opening, as the hot steam escaping can burn!  

Instant Pot Baked Potatoes 

Wash 4 medium-large russet potatoes and prick them with a fork a few times to help steam escape while cooking. Pour 1 cup of cold water into the Instant Pot and add the metal trivet to the bottom to hold the potatoes. Add the potatoes and close the lid, making sure the steam release valve is set to sealed. Cook on manual high pressure for 20 minutes. Once cooking is complete, let the steam naturally release for 10 minutes then quick release any remaining steam. Remove potatoes and smother with your favorite toppings. 

Easy Taco Night

On the RV stove or outside on a camp stove, brown your choice of 1 pound of ground beef, pork, chicken, or tofu. Once browned, add a packet of taco seasoning and the required amount of water (follow instructions on the packet). Chop up your favorite taco toppings such as onions, avocado, tomatoes, jalapenos, etc. Scoop some of the taco meat into tortillas and top with your preferred toppings. You can even buy a taco grilling rack to add some extra flavor by grilling for tacos for a few minutes after assembly. 

Overall, the biggest trick to easily cooking an entire week’s worth of meals in an RV is planning and sticking to easy meals that won’t stress you out. And remember to have fun and enjoy the process! 

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