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RV Meal Planning 101

This is our quick and simple guide to planning delicious RV meals.

Rather than relying on gas station snacks or whatever meals you can find on the road, we strongly encourage you to take a few minutes to make an RV camping meal plan (and do your shopping ahead of time!).

Alright, class…let’s jump right into RV meal planning 101.

The Basics of RV Meal Planning

RV camping at a campground in the woods.

Failing to plan is planning to fail…

And nowhere is this truer than with meal prep, whether you’re stationary or on the road.

But traveling in your RV makes meal planning a little more difficult.

If you don’t do your planning ahead of time and leave your eating up to chance, you’ll find yourself eating whatever is in sight, more often than not.

Luckily, there’s a better way.

And that way is to make a meal plan before you head out on your RV trip.

Because RV life is so unpredictable and plans can change in an instant, we recommend prepping for only a few days at a time.

The Best RV Meal Planning Tips

RV camper at sunset.

Here are a few of our family’s time-tested tips to keep in mind when planning meals for your RV camping trip.

Remember to Use Your RV Kitchen

One of the main perks to having an RV is that you have your home on wheels. And since the kitchen is the heart of the home, use it!

Most RVs these days, even older ones, have a moderately sized fridge, stove and oven, microwave, and ample counter space.

Perhaps the most obvious but most helpful tip we can give is to simply think of your RV kitchen as a miniature version of the one at home. And stock it accordingly.

Odds are, whatever your eating habits are at home, they can more or less be taken with you on the road with you.

Stock Your Shelves Before Your Trip

Before hitting the open road, stock up on any staples that you know your family eats often.

Plan for all three meals a day plus snacks.

Start with the pantry. Dry goods, canned foods, grains, beans, starches like bread, potatoes, and pasta all travel well and withstand a lack of refrigeration and the bumps and bruises of travel.

Bring your best loved foods you’d normally eat at home to make sure you actually want to eat the meals you’ve packed!

You never know what your grocery store options will be on the road, so, once again, we suggest stocking up before leaving on your adventure.

Keep Temperature in Mind

Most RV refrigerators nowadays are able to run off the battery while driving.

Although this method won’t last forever, it’s generally enough to last until your next destination where you can run propane or plug in to hookups.

That said, it’s often helpful to pack plenty of food that doesn’t always need refrigeration.

This way you’ll have plenty of snacks to eat while driving to a new location without opening the fridge and losing its cool.

If you’re unable to run your RV refrigerator while driving, we recommend getting a large refreezable ice pack to toss into the fridge each time you unplug.

Keep food cold in an RV gets even trickier if you’re planning on boondocking or dispersed camping somewhere without RV hookups.

A great solution that more and more RV campers are adopting is to use an RV solar panel with a portable power station to power RV appliances indefinitely without an electrical outlet.

Of course, another solution is to invest in a high-end cooler that will keep your food cold for days on end.

A Yeti cooler is a good option but a cheaper model might be more than good enough for your family.

Check out our Yeti vs Coleman comparison to learn if investing in a premium cooler is right for you.

And don’t forget to check out our favorite no-refrigeration camp meals as yet another alternative!

A Few of Our Favorite Easy RV Meals

RV parked with awning out

Now that you know a bit about the philosophy behind planning RV meals, here are a few of our favorite RV recipes to get you started.

Make-Ahead RV Meals

One of the best moves our family has made as RV campers is to use make-ahead meals as part of our camping meal plan.

Here are a few of our favorite make-ahead meal recipes for camping:

Beans and Rice

Beans and rice are a tried-and-true staple for a reason.

Pots of rice, or any grain you prefer such as millet or quinoa, can be made ahead of time, and eaten all week.

Pots of beans can also be pre-cooked. Orr you can always just pop open a can of them as needed.

Both store well even with minimal refrigeration and give you plenty of protein and healthy fiber.

You can add toppings of your choice like sliced avocado, hot sauce, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, garlic powder, or salsa.


By making big salads ahead of time and keeping them in the fridge or cooler, you’ll ensure you’re getting your veggie fix and will always have a healthy option to grab.

Again, opting for heartier produce options (not delicate spring or butter lettuce) is best. Save the dressing until you’re ready to eat.

Avocado Toast or Simple Tacos

One cheap and lightning-fast RV meal for on-the-go eating is taking either bread or corn tortillas, nuking them in the microwave until warm, and slathering with fresh avocado slices, Himalayan salt, and maybe a squeeze of lemon or dash of sriracha for some zest.

Not only easy to eat on the go if you’re driving or in the passenger seat, but way healthier than a sugary candy bar or bag of chips!

Lots of Snacks!

For snacks, you can’t beat fruit, trail mix, or a healthy smoothie or protein shake for convenience and portability.

Any can be eaten on the go and you can keep a small blender in your RV kitchen to whip up quick, filling smoothies and shakes.

Other Healthy RV Meal Ideas

As mentioned above, the fact that you have an RV kitchen means your meal possibilities are nearly endless.

Here are a few resources for some of our other favorite meals for RV camping:

Just because you have an RV kitchen, doesn’t mean you always have to cook in it. Our family loves to use our outdoor camping kitchen by cooking some meals on the campfire and others on our camping stove.

Planning RV Meals Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult

Traveling in your RV doesn’t need to spell the end of healthy eating.

While it might take some initial getting used to to, an RV kitchen is more than enough to whip up healthy meals that will travel well, keep for days, and ensure you’re feeling your very best.

Do you have any additional RV meal planning or cooking tips? Let us know in the comments below.


Saturday 30th of June 2018

Read the article on quality meals while RVing. Seems like some of the things suggested would require last minute prep as well as electricity before eating- like the tortilla & avocado idea. If you are ' in the passenger seat' seems to indicate you are actually On The Road, so how do you use a blender to whip up an avocado?? And what about all those campgrounds in National Parks, which are beautiful & frequently Destination Campsites for a week's stay, BUT HAVE NO HOOKUPS?? Out here in The West, lots of campgrounds also have a ban on fires of any sort during the summer due to the high risk of forest fires. Cooking is them limited to using a propane stove & even then there are restrictions. Additionally, camping is supposed to be a Special Time, especially if kids are involved. Surely there must be Some dishes that are more appealing than a can of beans or quinoa??