The Best RV Kitchen and Pantry Must-Haves For Your RV

Photo of our 23 ft. Jayco travel trailer kitchen

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Last Updated on August 21, 2020 by Lori

I don’t know about you, but one of our favorite things to do when we go camping is EAT! 

So, it’s very important that I not only carefully plan our meals for the number of days we will be away, but that I also pack the necessary RV pantry items so that I can make our meals tasty too!

While everyone’s “must-have” pantry items for their RV kitchen may be different (depending on your taste buds), remembering to pack them will make everyone in the family – Happy Campers!

Must-Haves For Your RV Kitchen and Pantry

I’m sure one of the first things you noticed when you began looking at RVs and travel trailers is that most RVs do not have a commercial-sized refrigerator! 

I am surprised, however, just how much I can fit into my fridge with a little careful maneuvering! 

One thing to remember is when you start your season:

All those condiments that could go in the cabinets on your way to the campground will have to fit into the refrigerator after you’ve opened and used them while camping!! 

 

These might include your ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce, salsa…etc.  And, don’t forget you have to get your leftovers in the fridge too!

That is unless you have a teenager like my 6’5 son who loves to eat! 

Then I know there won’t be any leftovers!  

 

Here's a list of the Best RV Kitchen and Pantry Must Haves for your RV! These are the top RV kitchen and pantry items we take every time we travel in our RV! #RVkitchen #RVorganizekitchen #rvstorage #rvmusthaves  

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How To Organize Your RV Pantry Kitchen Items

After we had been camping a few times in our Jayco travel trailer, I realized I needed to be much more organized in the kitchen.

I do realize how lucky I am that I have a lot of storage for a 23 ft. travel trailer – and I absolutely LOVE all the counter space I have!  

 

photo of our 23 ft. Jayco travel trailer kitchen  

 

I found these nifty white dish tubs that are very handy to organize my canned goods, my spices, and my breakfast items. 

I’ve used them for two seasons now and they work like a charm. 

    White Tubs for RV Pantry Items in travel trailer cabinet  

The bins fit right in the overhead cabinets so when we travel the tubs don’t move around at all.  

I also use one under the sink for my dish soap, sponges, Windex, and other cleaning supplies.

 

      photo showing white storage bin in overhead cabinets of Jayco travel trailer  

If you’re RVing for an extended period of time, you don’t want to have to pull out the tub every time to find what you need.

This type of spice rack which fits on your cabinet doors is perfect for your plastic jars of spices.

 

   

 

My mom uses these refrigerator bars in her 5th wheel trailer. 

The bars help things from moving around in the refrigerator as you travel.

 

 

 

RV HACK – Clean out your peanut butter jars to put dry ingredients like sugar and flour in while camping.  This will keep them closed tight from any little critters who may find their way in!

 

 

I found this plastic storage container to keep my silverware together in the large drawer under the refrigerator. 

This drawer is also great for the BBQ tongs, spatula, and large knives.  

 

I'm sure one of the first things you noticed when you began looking at RVs and travel trailers is that most RVs do not have a commercial-sized refrigerator!  I am surprised, however, just how much I can fit into my fridge with a little careful maneuvering!  One thing to remember is when you start your season, all those condiments that could go in the cabinets on your way to the campground will have to fit into the refrigerator after you've opened and used them while camping.  These might include your ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce, salsa...etc.  And, don't forget you have to get your leftovers in the fridge too! That is unless you have a teenager like my 6'5 son who loves to eat!  Then I know there won't be any leftovers!  

 

RV Kitchen and Pantry Must-Have List

Remember, my list of the Top Kitchen and Pantry items may be different than yours! 

But – I have found that I always seem to bring the same items each trip so this is a good starter list for you to build from!

 

Spices

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Montreal Steak
  • Mrs. Dash’s Lemon Pepper
  • Italian Seasonings
  • Parsley Flakes
  • Garlic Salt
  • Onion Salt
  • Red Pepper Flakes

  RV Kitchen Staples

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Sweet N Low (or other sugar substitutes you might use)
  • CoffeeMate (powder)  After living through 10+ days of no electricity from Hurricane Sandy – I never leave home without this!
  • Baking Soda (many uses other than cooking – such as bug bites, bee stings, upset stomach)
  • Peanut Butter/Jelly
  • Tea
  • Honey
  • Sandwich Bread
  • English Muffins
  • Hot Dog/Hamburger Buns
  • Canned Soup
  • Canned Tuna
  • Baked Beans
  • Canned Chicken 
  • Pasta (if we have a big crowd coming)
  • White Rice (mostly in case the dog gets a tummy ache)
  • Pancake Mix (we use the mix that you only have to add water)
  • Pancake Syrup
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Ziplock Bags – Assorted Sizes
  • Cling-Free Plastic wrap
  • Zip Lock Storage containers – Assorted Sizes (for leftovers)

 

 

Cooking Oils

  • Olive Oil (plastic container)
  • Wesson/Crisco oil

  Condiments

  • Butter/Margarine
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Pickles
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Mayo

 

RV Kitchen Dishes/Silverware/glasses/mugs

Some RVers like to eat their meals on these-type of dishes.  

The one thing I MUST have though is my stoneware Mug for coffee!

  Kitchen Cookware

I love my cast iron skillet.  Although you can’t wash it as you do other cookware, it is definitely worth cooking with it.I also use these cooking tins to use at the grill.

 

 

BBQ Spare Ribs in tin pans used for RV camping  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BBQ Chicken Legs made while RV camping

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related Reading: 6 Quick and Easy Meals To Make When You Are RV Camping

 

 

 

  

We don’t cook very often in our RV Kitchen, but there are those times when we don’t feel like cooking outside or when it’s raining outside we find ourselves cooking indoors.

For indoor cooking, I use this cookware in our travel trailer. 

The set I have comes with three (3) different sized skillets which are perfect for my indoor gas stove.  I also bring along one (1) larger pot to cook spaghetti.

If space is a real concern, you can consider these nesting pots made specifically with RVs in mind!    

 

RV Kitchen Accessories

Don’t forget:

  • Baking Pan
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Colander
  • Toaster – Our toaster can toast bagels too!

  Cooking Utensils:

  • BBQ Spatula/indoor spatulas
  • Tongs
  • Slotted Spoon
  • Stirring Spoon
  • Ladle
  • Wooden spoon
  • Whisk
  • Large cutting knife
  • Paring knife
  • Steak knives
  • Grater/peeler
  • Corkscrew
  • Can Opener
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Hot plates
  • Hot pads
  • Old Cookie Trays – To carry items from the trailer to the picnic table and BBQ Grill

  Refrigerator Staples

  • Milk
  • OJ
  • Cranberry Juice (or your favorite!)
  • Yogurt
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Bacon
  • Hashbrowns – Freezer (I buy the frozen hash browns which works great on the Blackstone Griddle)

 

 

Related Reading:  If you’ve been thinking about getting a new grill- Here’s my review of the Blackstone Griddle

 

  • Vegetables (I buy the pre-sliced zucchini, yellow squash, and peppers)
  • Deli Meat (for sandwiches on the road or when we arrive at the campground)
  • Water & Other drinks

  Must-Have Items For the Andrews Family

  • Chips
  • Salsa
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Coffee/Filters – This is how I set up the “Coffee Bar” in the morning so that we don’t have to keep going inside the trailer!

 

 

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I like this thermal coffee pot because I can just take the carafe outside and leave the coffee maker inside and the coffee stays nice and hot. 

If we have a lot of family with us, I just brew another pot outside!

BTW – We take our coffee milk – no sugar so that’s why you don’t see any sugar on the table!  

Coffee Set up outside Jayco Trailer

  • Cookies
  • Twizzlers (Road Trip Must-Have)
  • S’mores Fixings – Marshmallows, Graham Crackers, chocolate bars
  • Open Fire Popcorn Maker Kit – This is one of our favorite camping gifts we received from our daughter! 

  Hubby popping the pop corn over the fire  

  • This kit comes with the popcorn maker, popcorn, popcorn holders and flavored salt!  

 

You might like to read our 5 Favorite Must-Haves To Take RV Camping

 

RV Kitchen Must Haves

Paper Goods

  • Paper Plates (if you use them)
  • Paper Bowls
  • Plastic Utensils (good to have on hand)
  • Coffee Travel Mugs w/ lids
  • Napkins
  • Paper towels
  • Trash Bags
  • Grocery Plastic Bags

 

RV Kitchen Miscellaneous Items

  • Dish Towels
  • Drying rack – My Jayco came with one!
  • Sponge
  • Dish Soap
  • Cleaning supplies

 

I hope this gives you a great “RV Kitchen & Pantry Starter” list for your first RV trip! 

Let me know what are some of your RV Kitchen & Pantry Must-Haves that you can’t go camping without!  

I would love for you to join my email list!

   

 

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24 comments

  1. I’m a pescatarian (no warm-blooded animal meats for me) but do prepare my dog’s food. Thus, my Vitamix and Instant Pot are daily essentials. She & I will be departing soon on a “no planned” destination in our tiny Lance towable. I bought it specifically because of its light-weight and double-door refrig.
    Two Happy Campers!

    1. Hi Brenda! Sounds perfect for you & your furbaby. Would love to hear from you along the way! Please check back in!
      Happy Camping and Safe Travels!
      Lori

    1. Hi Melody! We have the 2018Jayco JayFeather 23RL and love it! I think this year they went to a 24RL and you have an additional ft. of space in the bedroom. This is our 3rd year camping and find the length is very manageable in New York traffic, it’s lightweight, and the package we chose came with a lot of extras such as a hookup in the bedroom and outside for tv, an outdoor shower and bike rack. The layout is perfect whether it is just us (me, my husband and Buddy our Golden Retriever) or when our young adult children camp with us because it can sleep 6. And…as you’ve probably read, one thing I absolutely LOVE is the countertop space (I’m spoiled!). But it’s not just the kitchen that is nice, there’s amazing space when the slide is out- other campers can’t believe how spacious it seems for a smaller trailer and we have found that they used all possible space wisely for storage.

      If we were full-timers, I would probably want something larger – or if we had younger kids, choose the one with the bunkhouse – but for long weekends and week-long trips we take – it is perfect right now.

      Good luck! Take your time choosing to make sure it has everything you want. Let me know what you choose!

  2. Love the ideas! We are newbies…getting ready to buy a 2019 Chateau 30D to haul our 2 whippett racers around racing. I am sure we will forget things but you info will help loads!!

    1. Hi Darlene! Congrats on your new RV! You’re going to love it! We travel with our Golden Retriever, Buddy so I can tell you it might take you a few times to get into a routine traveling with the dogs – but I’m sure they will settle in nicely!

      There’s nothing like traveling with the comforts of home – beats hotels by a mile!

      Thanks for stopping by! Happy Camping & Safe Travels!

  3. Lori, we just purchased our first camping trailer (26 ft). Your lists of must haves helped me to sit down and make a plan before setting out on our adventures. Thank you for helping us enjoy our travels without so much ” oops we dont have this” moments.

    1. Hi Debbra! Thanks so much! I’m glad the checklists helped! Congratulations on your new trailer – you’re going to love it! Let me know how your trips go…would love to hear where you traveled to! Safe travels & Happy Camping!

  4. Thanks for all the tips and suggestions. We are in the process of purchasing our first trailer, Jayco 23MRB and we are super excited but nervous at the same time. We think this Jayco will be perfect for the two of us plus our 3 fur babies.
    Keep the suggestions coming and wish us luck. 🙂

    1. Hi Michelle! We considered the Jayco w/Murphy Bed too! Lots of luck with your new tt! You’ll love it! Let us know where your first travel adventure will be and how you make out!

      Thanks for stopping by and Safe Travels!
      Happy Camping to all!

  5. Love your lists!!! We are new campers and just recently purchased a used Class C and thinking of a list for the staples was intimidating to me, so your lists are a God-send! You had mentioned a plastic bottle for the olive oil. Do you find that glass items break a lot or are just for avoiding a mess if they do break? I was thinking of putting sugar and flour in mason jars – of which I have Many.

    1. Hi Connie! Sorry for the delay in replying…we just got back from a camping trip to Maine! Thank you for letting me know you find the lists helpful. I usually take a smaller bottle of olive oil so I just I grab the plastic bottle of olive oil. I keep all my spices and oils in a plastic tub which works great for keeping them from sliding around. You could put your mason jars in a similar tub and it will be easy to find what you’re looking for!

      Lots of Luck with your Class C and Happy Camping!

  6. Thank you for the great information! I love how much counter space you have! My husband and I just purchased our 1st rv, and your list was very helpful. I signed up for your newsletter and can’t wait to read more!

    1. Hi Pam! Congratulations on your new RV! There is nothing like traveling to see the country and camping with your RV. We love it! Thanks for stopping by and I’m glad the lists will be helpful! Safe Travels & Happy Camping!

  7. Thank you for all the great information. One thing I haven’t seen anywhere is how do you store the drinking glasses and plates while in motion. I don’t want them to come crashing out when I open the cupboard, or break from banging into each other. Not a big fan of plastic or paper all of the time. See you on the road!

    1. Hi Becky! We had a screw to of our kitchen overhead cabinets fall off and the cabinet when we got to the campground, it was hanging on one hinge! Our Jayco has the cabinets that open upward not from left to right so we were lucky nothing fell out! We love to have our coffee in mugs and we bring wine glasses and some high ball glasses. I wrap those and put them in one of the steralite containers I show in the blog post and store them in the cabinet under the sink. Those plastic bins are great for a lot of things! Happy Camping! And Safe Travels! Thanks for stopping by!

    2. Hi Becky,

      I just wanted to mention to you: I found shoe box size plastic bins at the dollar store to put our cups and glasses in. Measure the inside of your cabinet to make sure you get the right size. Like you, I hated having to clean up the cabinet every time we stopped for the night. I also found bins to use for cereal boxes, chips, and bread to keep them corralled as well. Hope this helps 🙂

      1. Hi Cheri’! Thanks for the tips. You can find all sorts of “treasures” at the Dollar Store. Bins are great for all sorts of things and come in so many sizes. Thanks for writing in! Happy Camping!

  8. Hi Lori,
    Family of 5 plus 2 fur babies. We just bought our first camper on Tuesday and went camping for our first time on Saturday. Thank you so much for your info and lists. They have been very helpful and made the trip so much less intimidating. Here’s to making camping memories ❤️

    1. Hi Cassandra!
      I hope you love camping as much as we do! You will be making many family memories for years to come! Thanks for stopping by! Happy Camping and Safe Travels!

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