rv kitchen accessories

45+ Must-Have RV Kitchen Accessories: The Ultimate Guide

Chris Coleman

There are certain comforts that you shouldn’t sacrifice when traveling in your RV, and at the top of the list is being able to cook fresh meals or preparing refreshments daily in your rig’s kitchen. Not only is it more healthy but will save money and time eating out as well. And even the most luxurious motorhomes wouldn’t likely have enough counter and storage space, so you need to be organized and selected when it comes to your RV kitchen accessories and appliances. 

rv kitchen accessories
Photo: Voyagerix / Shutterstock

This article is the ultimate guide to RV kitchen must haves, and will include everything  from handy RV kitchen accessories, appliances and tools that will perfect your camping experience to smart space-saving solutions for storing food and supplies. You will no longer need to spend sleepless nights thinking about how to stuff everything you need into your RV’s limited kitchen, or have to rummage through a cabinet full of random stuff to find that spaghetti can. 

The items will be categorized into RV cooking accessories for easy meal preparation, RV kitchen appliances, smart cabinet organizer and storage solutions, and other handy tools. These are great for the home as well, especially smaller apartments. 

Contents

Must-Have RV Kitchen Accessories For Meal Preparation 

rv kitchen must haves
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DIY Sink Covers/Chopping Board 

One of the most common problems with RV kitchens is small counter space. Even in the largest and most luxurious Class A or Class C motorhomes, you might have little space left after putting an array of RV kitchen gadgets on the counter. A simple hack widely applied and loved by campers as well as home chefs worldwide is to buy a stove cover or sink cover so you temporarily get more counter space for food prep. 

This way, the sink cover will double duty as a chopping board. This can be an easy and cheap DIY project too if you have an oddly-sized sink, but it’s more likely than not that you can find available sink covers or simply chopping boards that would work. Or you can customize by cutting a wooden chopping board. 

DIY Countertop Fold-Outs

If a sink cover is not enough, get or make a DIY countertop fold-out as well to add to your existing counter space. This is also a common DIY project by seasoned campers since it’s very easy and affordable. A fold-out extension will either slide out from an existing cabinet or hang down from the counter and is supported by legs or mounting brackets to stay secure when in use.

Japanese THERMOS Vacuum Warm Cooker

Quick meals surely are convenient, but there are great dishes out there that require a few hours of slow cooking time, like soup stock or braised beef. No one wants to put a pot on the gas or electric stove for that long since there’s fire hazard and the need to check it or add more water from time to time. 

Cooking such meals would no longer be a hassle, and we have the Japanese to be thankful for this. The now legendary THERMOS Vacuum Warm Cooker can save 80% of energy and cuts down prep time compared to stove top cooking or slow cooker, since it doesn’t require an external energy source. 

This handy thing comes with a pot that fits snugly inside a thermo pot with a thermo lid. The whole unit is ergonomic and lightweight, like every household appliance made in Japan! Just bring the pot to a boil on the stovetop, which should take only 10-20 minutes depending on the content, and put it in the thermal cooker and let it do its magic. 

Even with bone stock that would require at least 12 to 24 hours of slow cooking time, using this thermal cooker would only require up to 6-8 hours. Just take the pot out onto the stovetop and bring it back to a boil every 1-2 hours for the fastest cooking; how long it takes you depends on how often you bring the pot to a boil. In terms of effectiveness, this thermal cooker beats a slow cooker by a mile, and there are many who would swear that they even like this better than the infamous Instant Pot, a household appliance in the North America market.

Being a thermal cooker, there is no loss of liquid, and thus there’s no risk of burnt food. You don’t need to tend to the cooker constantly. In addition to cooking, this THERMOS cooker is also ideal for keeping food nice and hot even after six hours, so it’s a must-have in any RV kitchen, especially when you want to go on excursions away from your rig and bring along hot food for picnics. This makes it perfect for making yoghurt as well, so there’s no need to buy a separate yogurt maker.

There are two sizes: the 2.8-liter available at $125 and the 4.3-liter version at $153.

Stackable Cookware and Bakeware Set

Some chefs aspire to be minimal, with only one or two badass knives and two or three pots and pans. But most of us would need more than that, since different designs and materials are most ideal for certain purposes or cooking styles. And with the limited cabinet space in a typical rig, the only solution is to get a whole set of stackable cookware and bakeware that can be neatly stacked up to take less cabinet space. 

And they would make a great gift for your mom on Mother’s Day too, or your camper friends who travel often or full-time. It’s better to buy non-stick ones, and while you’re at it, grab some pots and pans protector on top to keep those fancy cookware from rattling against each other while driving on rough terrain and scratching each other’s non-stick coating. You have a wide price range to choose from, but a high quality set would be a good long-term investment which you can use also inside your home when the camping season ends.

Nesting Bowls and Nesting Strainers

It’s only natural to follow stackable cookware set with nesting bowls and strainers for food prep. While the ones made from stainless steel are more durable and pleasing to the eyes than those made from food-grade plastic, there are even collapsible silicone nesting bowls these days to save even more cabinet space. 

3-Sided Splatter Guard + Splatter Screen with Handle

Like the THERMOS thermal cooker, this is a kitchen item that almost every person in Japan owns, whether they have a fancy kitchen or not, and one might argue that this simple yet essential invention comes from there. It’s made for cooking delicious breakfast dishes like fried bacon, or fried anything that tends to splatter all over the kitchen wall and stove top and countertop and your poor hands, 360 degrees. You might not cook these dishes often, but it’s sure frustrating having to spend 15 minutes later trying to clean up the oily mess. 

The perfect solution is a folding three-way splatter guard to keep grease off your RV kitchen walls as well as the back wall plus stove top and counter. There are even four-way guards for wider coverage. One unit typically costs $10 or less for something made from durable carbon steel with a non-stick finish for easy hand-washing. They fold up flat and can be stacked away anywhere in your crowded cabinet.   

Berkey Water Filter

You can’t trust the water source at every RV park or campground. If you’re serious about the water you drink, the Berkey Water Filtration System is a must-have addition to your camping rig. 

While buying bottled water at the supermarket would cost you a fortune in the long-run (plus all those plastic bottles and cans are not friendly to the environment), using this gem of a water filter system will save you money. If you travel full-time, the initial investment can be divided over the course of its lifespan to amount to something around $0.06 per gallon of water. 

Sometimes if you’re lucky, you can get your hands on items with some minor dent & scratch offered at a discount. It’s a steal!

In addition to the Travel Berkey model that sits on the kitchen island, the brand also makes Berkey Water Bottles to carry with you on your excursions in the wild.

Portable Water Storage For Emergency Supplies

While we’re on the topic of water quality, let’s talk about water storage and conservation, a huge topic especially if you love boondocking. Parked away from RV parks, you might need to prepare extra water storage for emergency supplies. While food-grade plastic containers are bulky and take up valuable space, now there’s the wonderful option of a collapsible water storage bladder with a typical maximum capacity of some 60 gallons. 

These are like the gigantic version of camping water bags. They are also made of feather light and thin but durable food-grade material, and fold up completely flat so you can stack them away or roll them up for easy storage. 

Collapsible Dish Tub

Now this might be a surprising item that you didn’t think of. Any boondocker would love a collapsible dish tub, since this handy RV kitchen accessories saves on gray water when you camp your rig away from the campground and have no access to a sewer hook-up. 

In addition to its space-saving grace, what’s even greater is that a collapsible dish tub is that it can conveniently double-duty as a bathtub for when you want to give your toddlers an outdoor bath while camping. Don’t worry about how unhygienic that sounds, as there are plenty of affordable 2-pack sets with different coloured tubs, so you can use each one for different purposes. 

A favourite by campers is the 2-Pack Magesh Collapsible Sink, one gray and one orange, and each is 11-liter. The tubs are made of a BPA-free premium polycarbonate and flexible thermoplastic rubber construction. This construction is more resistant to wear, heat and physical impact compared to plastic. They are even dishwasher safe.


Must-Have RV Kitchen Appliances

Of course, no list of must-have RV kitchen accessories would be complete without the coolest and most useful RV kitchen appliances. There are various multi-functional items down below, since we understand that with the limited amount of space inside a rig, a versatile gadget that can do more than one thing would be an invaluable addition to your RV kitchen. 

motorhome kitchen accessories
Photo: Voyagerix / Shutterstock

Multi-Functional Cooker 

Not only does it double- or triple-duty, but a multi-functional cooker can function as many as seven or eight kitchen appliances all in one: rice cooker, pressure cooker, slow cooker, warmer, steamer, sauté and even yogurt maker. Since space in an RV is as precious as gold, this magical cooker is a handy addition that will make it a breeze to make an array of delicious meals for your family.  

The Instant Pot Duo Mini 7-in-1 Electric Cooker is by far the most popular product in this category in the North America market. It receives an overall rating of 4.5 stars from almost 50,000 reviews on Amazon, and is the absolute best seller at many other retailers, online and offline alike. This perfectly convenient, user-friendly, durable and reliable gadget costs only $60. Yes, you read it right.   

Stove Top Oven

Munching fresh homemade pizza around a campfire anyone? Not every rig comes with an oven, but even then you can still wow your gang with great oven-cooked dishes. A household favourite model is the Omnia stove top oven offered at $67. You can also grab other stove top oven-cooking tools and appliances from the same brand for more versatile cooking possibilities.

Coffee Maker

Sipping a hot fresh cup of coffee in the morning while gazing out at the vast green landscape is like the best way to start your day. And don’t give that perk up when you’re camping. The first item in this list is a no-brainer. You need a good coffee maker in your kitchen, whether it’s a home kitchen or a home-on-wheels kitchen. This is one of the most compact, affordable and practical RV kitchen accessories that you would use daily, so why not?

You have a lot to choose from, like a basic 6-cup capacity stove-top coffee maker typically offered at less than $25. If you’re a hardcore caffeine lover and want to get the best coffee maker possible, you can still be economical at the same time. For only under $50, you can easily get a fancy programmable stainless steel/cast aluminum coffee maker that comes with a few handy features like fast brewing. At this price range, you would typically get three replacement gaskets plus one replacement filter, and there are literally hundreds of sleek-looking, functional options. 

Milk Frother 

Perfect your morning routine without breaking the bank with a milk frother, perfect for making delightful cups of foamy and smooth cappuccinos or coffee/matcha lattes. These days there are ample affordable and compact milk frothers for home or camping use. 

You have a wide range to choose from, in terms of both working mechanism, convenience and price range, from the most basic and cheapest handheld ones that basically whisk air into the milk to create fine foam, to the steam wands that can be attached to coffee machines, or the automatic frothers that froth and heat milk at the same time at a push of a button.

Some of the best selling models on major retail platforms like Amazon include Nespresso Aeroccino 4 Milk Frother, Nespresso Barista Recipe Maker, PowerLix Milk Pro Frother, Breville the Milk CafeBodum Latteo Manual Milk Frother, Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Maker, and Aerolatte Milk Frother.

Portable frothers work by spinning a coiled whisk or using hot steam to create tiny bubbles. They can be used with both cow milk and non-dairy alternatives to create a foamy, creamy mouthfeel (but in general, those with higher fat contents typically froth better than others). There are three major types of milk frothers:

Handheld frothers are simply battery-operated whisks that spin, so they are the tiniest and cheapest type. You stick it directly into your milk frothing jug and manually move it up and down to assist the spinning whisk so that plenty of air gets whipped into the milk. 

They are light to hold and thus are handy to use for other light whisking jobs like dressings, soups and eggs. They have simple parts so it’s easy to clean. As for downsides, they are not the most effective at giving the milk a creamy texture, since they create quite large bubbles that pop more quickly than the other types of frothers. And since there is no lid, milk can spatter, so you’d need to froth your milk in a deep frothing jug or pitcher instead of in a shallow cup.

Automatic frothers are electric-powered jugs with an induction whisk that spins and heats or cools the milk at the same time with a push of a button. This mechanism allows for consistently creamy, and smoother frothed milk. They are more effective and mess-free than the handheld type, plus you can get both warm and cool frothed milk. As for the downside, they are inevitably bigger and more difficult to wash (though a few models are dishwasher safe). And unlike handheld frothers and steam wands, automatic frothers usually can handle up to 8 ounces only. 

Steam wands are by far the most effective and expensive option. That’s why coffee shops commonly use espresso machines with built-in steam wands to create warm frothy milk with a luscious, thick and velvety foamy texture. Instead of using a whisk to create big air bubbles, hot steam is pushed into the milk to create very fine microfoam. In addition to their price, the only downside is they require a proper technique that is not easy to master.

Immersion Blender

If you love having fresh smoothies and juices during the summer, but find a regular blender way too big and heavy for an RV kitchen, there’s a great space-saving solution called immersion blenders or handheld stick blenders. They are more affordable, lighter, take much less space and much easier to clean and store away. 

This compact plug-in stick design is very handy for quickly whipping up baby food, salsa, purees, sauces and even whipped cream too, in addition to fruity refreshments. The blending blade part of a good unit typically features semi-wrapped stainless steel blade guard to prevent splashing and keep food from getting stuck.

You can either buy the stick blender alone or if you want more versatility, pay a bit more for models that come with a beaker with lids for zero splashing, plus multiple blades for different purposes (the most common blade sets include a food grinder,  a milk frother, an egg whisk, and a manual masher). The stick blender alone costs around under $30 to $80 for very high quality ones, while a multi-blade unit with a lidded beaker costs between $40 to $90.

Mini Waffle Maker

A mini waffle maker only costs between $10 to $20, hardly takes up any space but allows you to quickly make delicious desserts that pair perfectly with the fresh smoothies you made with your handheld immersion blender or a cup of frothy cappuccino that you whipped up with your milk frother.

Liquid Propane Grill (Plus Grilling Utensils)

RV-ing wouldn’t be the same without spending the nights gathering around a cozy, toasty campfire and having a BBQ party with your loved ones. A liquid propane grill would allow you this unique camping perk. Also, taking meal prep outdoors as much as possible is a smart solution if your rig has a small countertop, a tiny sink and a limited-space dinette that makes cooking and eating meals inside a nuisance. 

You have a wide range of portable propane grills to choose from for anywhere between $60 and $250. At the low price spectrum, you can get a 6,500 BTU-per hour burner for only $60 to $90, one that comes with porcelain-enameled cooking grate, and preferably with plated steel legs and pivot to keep the lid in place plus handles for easy carrying. 

There are also the more heavy-duty portable liquid propane grills, which run on disposable liquid propane cylinders available at anywhere between $140 and $250. At this price range, you get some 12,000 BTU-per-hour burners and well-appointed features like a 280 square-inch cooking area and easy-start electronic ignition.

Don’t forget to put some grilling utensils to go into your shopping basket. They are essential for cooking on the grill or over a campfire (think toasted marshmallow!). If you travel full-time, best invest in a durable set which includes every imaginable thing for grilling and toasting. 

A good set should be made from stainless steel with heat-safe handles that are rust-free and easy to clean. Most of them are dishwasher safe. Another thing to look for is a heavy-duty aluminum case to easily carry on picnics and keep your tools neatly organized. A popular offering on Amazon with a 4.6 stars average rating from over 4,000 reviews is the Home-Complete HC-1000 BBQ Accessories that costs $43. 

The set comes with 16 essential pieces like skewers, tongs, basting brush, swiss knife, spatula, corn holders, bottle opener and cleaning brush so you can effortlessly season steaks, grill meat and veggies on skewers or flip hot dogs and burgers with the spatula or tongs. 


Must-Have RV Kitchen Accessories: Food And Supplies Storage

rv cooking equipment
Photo: Voyagerix / Shutterstock

Japanese Rice Bin

Sure, a big-ass plastic canister would do, but nothing is more perfect for storing about 10kg (22 lbs) of rice than this Inomata Plastic Kome Bitsu Raw Rice Storage Container. It costs $28, only a bit more than plastic containers of equal size, but is a well-designed air tight bin with 2 small wheels at the rear bottom to be easily pulled out from under the sink or a cabinet, and include a measuring cup plus a small hanging container inside for leftover rice. It’s only a rice bin, but it’s a domestic Japanese product made with the user’s comfort in mind.

Magnetic Spice Jars or Fold Out Spice Rack

No counter space left for your two dozens of spice jars? There are various smart solutions for this, and one of the best ways to organize them without them rattling or banging into each other when you drive is using special spice jars with ultra-strong neodymium magnets that are securely enclosed under each lid. 

Simply pop these magnetic jars on the side of the fridge or backsplash, and they will stay there. Also, this way of display makes it easier to reach for the ones you need instead of having to rummage through a packed drawer.

Another neat option is a spice rack that can be screwed on under a cabinet to make the most out of unexpected vertical space and free up the counter.

Fruit Hammock

Wood or rattan fruit bowls are lovely displays, but when you’re constantly on the road, the vibrations and impacts can send those carefully-arranged apples and bananas flying through the air. In less serious cases, if you forget to stow them away when you’re ready to pick up camp and move on, they will get crushed or bruised easily. And don’t forget that fruit bowls and trays take up valuable kitchen counter space too.

A genius solution to this potentially-sticky problem is a fruit hammock, which you can make one or two yourself using macrame cotton threads or natural fiber threads for a rustic look. Hanging fruits frees up counter space, and also helps your fruit last longer by preventing bruising as well as providing gentle ventilation.

Stackable Wood Bins/Milk Crates for Storing Produce

You won’t have space in your RV fridge to store all those potatoes and carrots and cabbage and other produce. For those that can stay fresh for a long time at room temperature, it’s better to store them in stackable wood bins with an open-front design. This design makes it easy and neat to stow them away or combine and move bins around whenever you need to reconfigure your kitchen storage system. It’s also easy to see and access what’s inside. 

Another simple yet versatile and cheap (also DIY-possible) solution to store produce and supplies is stacking milk crates on their sides to create an easily adjustable shelf (put them either on the length or on the width to accommodate items of different heights). Get those made out of natural-finish wood for a rustic look that will easily coordinate with any RV interior decor style and color palette. 

Stackable/Collapsible Food Containers/Jars + Reusable Silicone Zip Bags

The general theme for cabinet storage comes with words like “stackable”, “collapsible” and “nesting”. For storing leftover food and supplies, stackable plastic or glass containers and jars that can be stacked up or neatly stored away like Legos are the most space-saving. And you’ll be able to pack much more with square and rectangular shaped ones than if you’re using round or otherwise irregularly-shaped containers which are not in a set.

This is one of the most versatile and frequently-used RV kitchen accessories, so don’t settle for the cheapest option available but look for a big set of food grade BPA-free plastic, high quality, durable containers for storing dry goods and supplies. There are even collapsible silicone food storage containers for maximum space-saving. As for leftover food, the healthiest option is the ones made from glass. 

The latest invention in the market for food storage is silicone zipped bags. They are perfect for a packed fridge and for bringing sandwiches or other snacks on a picnic. They are much thicker, more durable, will not tear and break and more environmentally friendly than the thin single-use plastic zipped bags. One silicone zip bag can replace over 5,000 disposable bags. Make the switch for good!

Look for those made from pure non-toxic platinum silicone that is free of BPA, lead, PVC, latex and phthalates, plus those that are safe for dishwashers, freezer and microwave. The well designed ones should be made from a single-piece construction with no glue or plastic sliders for more durability and the zippers do not overlap in the corners like normal disposable bags, making it super easy to clean and reuse. The best silicone zip bags should be able to stand up and the top should stay open, making it easier for you to reach for snacks and to hand them out to dry.


Must-Have RV Kitchen Accessories: Organization and Cabinet Storage 

rv kitchen gadgets
Photo: Voyagerix / Shutterstock

Dish Drying Rack or Mat

This is one of the essentials RV kitchen accessories that no home chef can live without. You might skip any other item in this list, but you MUST get a good dish drying rack and the 7-in-1 Instant Pot cooker! Every home has a dish drying rack of some kind, and you need one for your home on wheels too. 

We said “a dish drying rack of some kind”, because there are surprisingly many interesting, convenient and well-designed choices available for varying budgets and to handle different loads. From mats to baskets to racks with different capacity, from microfibre to silicone to plastic or metals and bamboo, you get your pick. 

Countertop Mats

The cheapest, simplest type with the smallest capacity of all is dish drying mats. They might be ideal if you travel alone or as a couple and do not have to wash and dry a lot of dishes at a time. If you’re okay with that, then they are slim, lightweight and can be rolled up to store away. You have two choices in terms of materials. 

Thick microfiber mats work by absorbing water from dishes, so you need to squeeze water out and/or hand them out to dry frequently to prevent mold. They usually cost from $10 to $13. Another type is made from silicone with a raised frame to avoid overflow and raised patterns to allow water to run away from your dishes and allow air to get under for better drying. 

Over-sink Mats

Also a silicone mat, but the over-sink type is a roll that consists of stainless steel rods coated with non-slip silicone. Over-sink mats are the latest invention in the dish drying accessories market. They made an instant hit for their utterly simple yet creative and functional approach, as well as for being space-saving, easy to clean and multi-functional. 

These mats typically cost a bit more than countertop mats, around $20 to $25. The rods will rest across your sink without slipping and water drips right into the sink. Some products have a hole section for smaller items like spoons and forks. These mats can double-duty as trivets for resting hot pots and pans. They can also act as a strainer/colander for washing fruits and veggies as well, and you can fold them in half if you don’t need to wash a lot to have more space to work in the sink. When you’re done, just give them a rinse, let them out to dry and roll up tight for easy storage. 

Expandable Over-sink Baskets

This design also double-duties as a strainer/colander for washing fruits and vegetables or straining spaghetti. It is basically a rectangular strainer basket with extendable non-slip handles to securely fit across almost any kitchen sink. The water drips right down the sink like with over-sink mats. 

Dish Racks

If you have a lot of dishes to wash, you should get a dish rack, preferably a two-tier or three-tier one. Having the smallest capacity is a single-tier wire basket that sits on a draining tray which simply collects water and requires you to get rid of the water from time to time, or either drains directly into the sink. There are also the two-tier and three-tier versions to hold more dishes. There are also racks without any mechanism for collecting or draining water, so they are the cheapest, and their flaw can easily be fixed by buying a separate silicone or microfiber dish drying mat.

While the collecting tray is made of plastic, the basket or rack can be made from plastic, carbon steel, stainless steel or bamboo and sometimes wood (these natural materials look classier but are typically for those who dry their dishes with a cloth before putting them on a rack to dry). 

Over-sink Dish Rack

Racks also evolved to the modern over-sink racks, which is like a hybrid between an over-sink mat and a conventional multi-tier rack. These racks offer the largest capacity while not taking up counter space, since they have legs to sit higher than the faucet and extend over the whole length of the sink. The water drips right into the sink, thus eliminating the need for a water-collecting tray. 

This type of rack usually costs more than $90, and usually features handy additions like hooks for hanging utensils and cleaning tools, a rack dedicated for knives and slots for one or two chopping boards. 

Knife Drying Rack with Cutting Board Holder

If you get a fancy multi-functional over-sink dish rack above, you can skip this item. But if you opt for a dish drying mat or a regular basket, you will need a two-in-one drying rack for knives and cutting boards. While there are knife blocks, these are only for storage and protection and don’t let your knives dry after washing. Knife drying racks usually have an open wire, block-shaped construction that allows plenty of ventilation. The additional slots for cutting boards are convenient too, since knives and chopping boards go hand in hand and should be stored at the same spot. 

Or: Magnetic Knife Strips 

If you’re an avid chef, you know how important it is to have the best knife made for a specific purpose, like to debone a chicken or to cut thin slices of carrots. And the best way to not only keep your blades securely in place while driving on rough terrains but also let them dry quickly and display them in a way that you can grab the one you need in an instant is magnetic knife strips. Yes, another recurring theme in space-saving RV kitchen accessories is “magnetic”.

You can easily attach these strong strips and sheets to your RV kitchen walls to free up counter and cabinet space, while keeping the kitchen tools you need for meals front and center. Just double check before you take off for a new campsite to make sure they’re well-adhered — you definitely don’t want those guys flying around inside your rig.

Bamboo In-Drawer Knife Block Organizer 

When you’ve got several knives on hand and especially if you have kids around, you would want a safe way to hide your precious blades away out of their sight and well organized. For typically around $20 only, a bamboo in-drawer knife block organizer fits snugly in all standard kitchen drawers and keeps your knives as organized and as sharp as possible, since they won’t be clanging around with other tools and silverware in your drawer. 

These in-drawer blocks often feature thin slots to hold from 10 to 15 knives and keep knife’s blades organized without pointing up. There are plastic and silicone units, but bamboo is a natural material that can last a lifetime. Just wipe them with a microfiber cloth and lightly rub them with food-grade oil to keep them polished and more long-lasting.

Fridge storage

Before we get to a long list of innovative and exciting storage solutions for your RV kitchen cabinet, let’s first get yourself some fridge organizers to maximize space, keep produce and food fresh for longer as well as to prevent things banging into each other on rough terrains. Fridge storage solutions include see-through plastic baskets, plastic containers with lids, stackable containers with lids and handles, and clip-on shelves.

Pantry Organizers

To stuff as much as you can in your cabinets, you need to find ways to get the most out of available vertical space and organize everything in a way that makes it as easy as possible to search for and take out items. You need an easy to maintain storage system, or else every time you rummage through a drawer or cabinet, you would leave behind a bigger mess each time. A messy pantry wouldn’t hold a lot of stuff. 

For this purpose, there is a whole universe of smart storage solutions for all frequently used tools, including stacking/slide-out shelves, expandable under-sink shelves, multi-tier slide-out drawer organizer, over the cabinet towel/paper towel bar, over the cabinet storage caddy (for frequently used bakeware, cutting board, cling wrap), lid organizer, cutting board and bakeware organizer, and pot and pan racks. 

While many designs are adjustable to store more than one type of kitchen tools, each category is often tailored for a specific kitchen tool. For example, lids organizers typically feature loop dividers to securely hold pan lids of all sizes and styles. Meanwhile, bakeware and cutting board organizers typically have tall dividers to keep everything separated and easy to access. And racks for pots and pans are often the most heavy-duty and easy to customize.

Expandable and Adjustable Pot and Pan Racks

Having stackable pots and pans is also great, but it’s a pain to get anything that’s not the top one. Allowing you to organize your many cookware items for the easiest access possible, an expandable pot and pan organizer rack would be a life saver. 

These racks can be mounted vertically or horizontally, and can come as one single unit or two units that can be either used separately or connected to form a longer unit. The smart design also features strong heavy-duty adjustable dividers to snugly fit pots and pans of any size as well as large plates.

Or: Use Towel Rods to Hold Pot Lids

Pot lids are awkward and never sit right. But worry not. In addition to an organizer rack made just for kids, a good alternative is to screw on curtain/towel rods on the back of a cupboard to hand them in place.

No-Screw Under-The-Cabinet Mug & Utensils Rack

No drilling required and damage free, you only need to slide these simple but handy racks over the thickness of a cabinet or shelf. These racks come with hooks for a versatile solution to hand mugs and utensils.

To avoid the rack being stretched down due to the weight, there will typically be either an adhesive or a screw to secure it on the cabinet. For light cooking utensils, those that are secured with adhesive would do, but if you want to hold a lot of heavy ceramic mugs without the rack bending, it’s better to grab one that screws on the bottom of the cabinet. 

Or: Hanging cookware and utensils on peg boards

You must have seen those holed peg boards commonly used in supermarkets and department stores. A peg board attached to the wall is not only a versatile and aesthetically pleasing solution for vertical storage in the home office, but it is perfect for the kitchen too. If your cookware and utensils take up too much space in the cabinet and drawers,  a pegboard would allow you to make a system of easily customizable hooks, caddies and shelves. 

Actually, you can use many peg boards of appropriate sizes for any intended spaces: the kitchen, your work station, the wardrobe, the entryway. The possibilities for arranging hooks and shelves are endless, so your imagination is the only limit.  

No-Screw Under-Shelf Storage Basket

Perfect to store your kitchen linens, plates, can food, pasta, snacks, food wrappers and bags all in an easy to access and convenient location. Simply slide it onto a shelf in your cabinet, pantry room and bathroom, not any hardware is needed. $13-$17 for 2 packs, each hold up to 10 lbs in weight.

Magnetic Fridge or Wash/Dryer Spice Shelf

The side of your fridge is an often overlooked source of vertical space. To take advantage of this, get a magnetic shelf that you can attach to the side or front of the refrigerator to store spice jars, oil and vinegar bottles, or attached to your washer/dryer unit to store laundry detergents and even one or two pairs of shoes. Magnetic fridge shelves for the kitchen might feature up to three tiers, and the three-tier ones typically come with a paper towel bar. This keeps everything you need for seasoning food at close range and makes meal prep as fuss-free as possible.

Tension Rods

Here’s a super cheap and versatile way to prevent your kitchen goodies from crashing against each other or come flying from an unlocked cupboard. Instead of buying a wire cabinet organizer, try a pack of tension rods, which typically runs you about $15 for a pack of six on Amazon. 

It’s loved by home chefs and campers alike for being functional, easy to install, remove and reinstall and fully customizable. You can install one rod horizontally to keep heavy cans and jars from falling down, or install them vertically to organize and get easy access to flat tools like cutting boards, serving boards and baking sheets. 

Non-Slip Shelf Liner

In addition to using tension rods, another helpful way to better keep your dishes and tools from sliding around in drawers and cupboards is by adding non-slip shelf liner sheets. One sheet of around 20 inch x 24 feet costs only $10, which you can cut up and customize to fit any drawer.

Adjustable Drawer Dividers

An easy way to manage your utensil drawer is to add adjustable drawer dividers. This is an upgraded version of the conventional utensil tray, since each divider is expandable and can be adjusted to fit drawers of any size. They can be placed horizontally to organize utensils and tools, stacked up in deep drawers or secured vertically like tension rods. 

To set up, simply pull back the spring-loaded end of each divider, position it in a drawer and let go. Drawer dividers these days are typically made from the eco-friendly and strong bamboo. They last and stay beautiful for a long time. Just wipe them clean with a cloth and rub them lightly with food-grade oil to retain their shine and act as a protective coating. A set of four made from bamboo would run you about $30.

Hide your garbage: Over-cabinet-door baskets

Garbage is a smelly problem, especially so if you’re staying in the tight quarters of your motorhome. They might get knocked over when you’re driving on rough roads too, and no one wants to clean up that mess. And most of the conventional garbage bins are not that pleasant to look at, even the prettiest of them all. 

Now you can keep your garbage out of sight, out of mind and out from underfoot with these convenient over-cabinet-door garbage baskets. Of course, they can be used to store almost anything, from cling wraps and parchment paper rolls to cleaning supplies to trash bin liners. And they’re pretty cheap, regardless of the material, so you can totally buy one or two for the kitchen and one for the bathroom as well.

The only downside is they’re small, but you should take out your garbage pretty frequently anyway since in a small rig, any odor will be instantly noticeable. 

Or: Rev-A-Shelf Trash Bin With Extension Slides

If you like the idea of hiding your unsightly and smelly garbage inside a cabinet but want something big, consider the Rev-A-Shelf’s RV unit. These come with high quality slides that attach to the cabinet walls and durable wire construction. They are ideal for holding heavier loads and where rear access is not really important. Installation is simple, and you will be happy to say goodbye to your freestanding trash bin.

Collapsible (Recycling) Bin

A collapsible bin with zipper lid for storing recyclables is a versatile and space-saving solution for your RV kitchen. from Camco, which I keep just outside the door of my RV until it’s full and can be taken to a recycling center.

There are many other potential uses, from storing toilet rolls to acting as a temporary trash bin during outdoor picnics.  A popular and affordable product is the one by Camco.

Cutlery Protectors

Whether or not the cabinets in your RV kitchen has secured doors and drawers, investing in some cutlery protectors would be great extra insurance for your cutlery. They will keep your plates in place and prevent annoying rattling while traveling on the open road. 

A best selling unit on Amazon is the Camco Stack-A-Plate, which costs only $10 for a pack of two of different sizes. It features non-slip backing and is even dishwasher safe.

Or: Dish Cradles

Plastic dish cradles stack dishes vertically to maximize space and, more importantly, makes it easier to access without having to take off the top items to get something underneath. 

Damage Free Command Wire Hooks

Command Hooks by 3M has made quite a hit worldwide. It’s sworn to be one of the most brilliant inventions for small space, especially where drilling is to be avoided. These hooks hold strongly on a variety of indoor surfaces including painted walls, smooth ceilings, finished wood, glass, tile, metal, and other smooth surfaces without leaving behind unsightly holes, marks or sticky residue.

A common RV kitchen hack is using them on the back of a cabinet door to hang measuring spoons, utensils or cleaning tools where you can easily access without drilling holes into the door. Another place for them is inside closets.

The installation and removal mechanism is simple. It sticks on surfaces by a thick adhesive, and a part of the adhesive will stick out from the hook. To remove, simply pull that extra end of the adhesive downward slowly. The adhesive is very stretchy, so when pulled vertically, it would stretch to the point where it cannot hold on the surface anymore and comes off cleanly.

These command hooks come in a variety of sizes and hold up to seven and a half pounds, a surprising amount of weight. To rehang them, just buy and apply refill adhesive strips, so you can reuse them. For $10 you typically get 16 small hooks and 24 strips, each hook holding ½ lbs or for the same price, you get 7 large hooks and 12 strips, each hook can handle up to 5 lbs. 


Must-Have RV Kitchen Accessories: Handy Tools

rv cooking accessories
Photo: JGA / Shutterstock

Kitchen Vent Cover

This vent cover allows you to run the kitchen vent even while it’s raining, thus sending cooking steam and smells outside to keep your interior living space as liveable as possible. A popular model is the Fan-Tastic Ultra Breeze vent cover at $70 that comes with a three year limited warranty on parts and labor. 

Hand-Held Vacuum

It’s hard keeping an RV clean when honestly, there are countless times you and your companions spend time outdoors and go inside without making sure your feet are clean. So keep a powerful and lightweight hand-held vacuum within reach to easily pick up dust and pet hair and human hair in the tightest corners, where a broom or a full-size vacuum would not be very helpful. 

You would be more ready to clean up when there’s a compact, lightweight and easy to use hand-held vacuum nearby. Get one for the kitchen and another one in the main living area too, since a durable, compact, lightweight yet adequately powerful model would only cost you from $30 (like the ThisWorx For TWC-01) to around $50-$70 for one with extra strong suction.

Or: Hand Brush and Dustpan Set

Another alternative that costs only $10 is a brush and dustpan set, like the OXO Good Grips Dustpan and Brush Set which has a 4.7 stars average rating from more than 15,000 reviews on Amazon. It features a soft, flexible lip that covers the entire dustpan width and conforms to surfaces for maximum efficiency. Both the brush and dustpan have a non-slip grip and sturdy construction. The brush snaps into the dustpan for storage.

Folding Step Stool

You might not have seen this coming, but it’s truly a handy tool to have in the kitchen for reaching the overhead cabinet above the RV kitchen sink. For this purpose, a one-step stool is more than enough. When the camping season ends, it will get a lot of usage inside your home as well. 

If you need your step stool readily displayed in easy-to-reach places, don’t worry about spoiling the decor of your kitchen, as there are an array of beautiful wooden models, or modern, sleek and minimal designs in black or white. For instance, check out the designed-and-made-in-Japan Lucano Lightweight Japanese Step Ladder by Hasegawa Ladder. The one-step version is available for around $50-$60 in black or white and features a minimalist design. It comes with non-slip feet and can even stand on its own when folded, so you can literally just tuck it away anywhere.

Magnetic Dry Erase White Board Sheet For Fridge

A magnetic white board sheet is thin, lightweight, cheap and easy to use to write up grocery shopping lists or memos for the day. A kit typically includes a magnetic board plus a few colorful fine tip dry erase markers and an eraser, both are also magnetic so you won’t lose them. Despite being thin, the magnetic pad is strong enough to stick to any flat or curved magnetic surface without slipping or falling. 

Dehumidifier + Air purifier 

If you cook a lot, excess steam can make your living space uncomfortable. A dehumidifier would make living in a rig more enjoyable and also prevent long term damages like mold due to excessive moisture. The unit can be used in the bathroom to dry wet towels as well.

A great addition to pair with a dehumidifier is an air purifier. It can get rid of cooking odor, keep your kitchen smelling fresh and clean, and is downright necessary if you or anyone have asthma or allergies and thus need high air quality. 

While there are also the options of odor absorber gel or bamboo charcoal bags, a compact air freshener and purifier is much more effective and can be had at $25 to $50. 

An excellent choice is the FULOXTECH Portable Air Purifier at $25 and the PeakPlus Air Freshener, Ionizer and Purifier also at $25. Their air purification technology works by sending out millions of negative oxygen ions in the air to get rid of cooking or pet odor, mold, bacteria, dust, smoke, and gas particles.  

Last Updated on April 27, 2021

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