RV camping may be different than camping in a tent, but the accessories needed are about the same. I’ve made a list of 16 accessories that I could not live without in my RV.
Each accessory has a very important use and purpose and makes for an easier time camping in an RV. What you decide is a necessity is up to how you like to use your kitchen. I personally like to cook, so there are a few things that I could not live without in my kitchen.
Depending on the size of your trailer or motorhome, the amount of kitchen gadgets you bring will differ. Three things that affect how much you bring are…
- Pantry size
- Counter Space
If you are limited on the above, then you’re going to have to cut down what you bring. If you look in the camping section in stores, there are a lot of compact items that are great for small spaces.
My Favorite RV Kitchen Accessories
1. Cast Iron Skillet
A cast iron skillet is the most common kitchen accessory you can have. A cast iron skillet is a bit heavier, with thick black material all around. It is very sturdy and will be extremely difficult to break.
Some uses of the Cast Iron Skillet are:
- Cooking over a fire- The cast iron skillet can be used over a campfire. Simply place a surface for your cast iron skillet with some opening for the heat and cook away.
- Placed over a stovetop- This can be used the same way as a regular kitchen pan.
- Cast iron skillet can be used to cook things separately or with a combined dish.
The cast iron skillet is a necessity to bring with you on your camping trip. They are fairly inexpensive and do the job right. Once they get hot, they stay hot for a long time. They are simple to clean with some hot water. Do not use soap!
The cast iron skillet will be extremely useful for you on your camping trip. They also have a delicious flavor that makes your food taste like you are cooking over a campfire without having to actually use a campfire.
Click the link to learn how to season a cast iron pan the right way!
2. Cooking spray
If you have never used cooking spray, it is possible that you may not have had a chance to cook. When cooking, the cooking spray will make it so your food doesn’t stick to the object you are baking with.
Rather than scraping off the food to clean, a simple rise through is good enough with cooking spray. Although butter is another alternative, cooking spray is cheaper and easier to bring on your camping trip.
Note: Along with making sure your food doesn’t stick, cooking spray is also used to cover your cast iron pan. You can’t leave it to dry, it must always be covered in oil grease.
Some uses for cooking spray are:
- On Your Cookie/ Baking Sheet- Any time you are using an oven or heating device, food is likely to stick. Use cooking spray before placing your food on the tray and you will be safe.
- On Your Cooking Pan- While you are in the process of cooking something up on the stove, the heat may grab hold of the food before you can. With cooking spray, your food is always able to be grabbed.
When going camping, I would not go without my cooking spray because there is not much that I could cook without it.
If I did not have it, it is likely I would give up on cooking and find a restaurant to go to because the dishes would be very difficult to clean. When you head out on your camping trip, don’t forget the cooking spray.
3. Charcoal and Matches
Charcoal and matches are both used in order to heat up and create fire. Charcoal is black carbon and ash residue. By heating charcoal, you can cook on top of the charcoal.
Matches are the things that you may have been scared of as a child but learned to find the usefulness. Matches can cause a tiny fire with the strike of the match. Then this tiny fire can create a larger one for many purposes.
- Light Up a Campfire- Charcoal and matches are commonly used for your campfire heating and cooking uses.
- Matches can be used as a Mini Flashlight- If there is complete darkness and you need some quick light, strike up a match! Just be careful of your fingers!
- To Keep a Fire Going- Sometimes, as the fire is diminishing, a simple match will do the trick to maintain that fire.
These items are essential for your camping experience. Often times, the most fun experience that is had while camping is being around the campfire.
Especially with cold weather, campfires will create much-welcomed heat. Charcoal and matches are simple but essential. If you forget these items, you will regret it.
4. RV Water Filter
There are several different types of water filter that can be used for camping. Most filters will strain water from whatever source you pull it from and purify it as it filters down.
Some are more high-tech and advanced, and may filter more than others, but overall, a water filter is there to help you get good quality tasting water fairly quickly. It’s a great alternative to bringing a ton of water bottles.
Some uses for a water filter are for:
- Drinking Water- boiling water is always an option, but sometimes you may not want to wait for that, or you might not have the time. Boiling is best if you’re ever uncertain, but if the water you’re using comes from a good, fresh source, then a filter is a good option to get clean and refreshing water than you can just drink straight away pretty quickly.
- Cooking Water- If you’re boiling pasta or using water to cook in some other way, using water purified through a filter can be a safe bet to help your food taste better and be cleaner. Running water through a filter and then using it to cook can almost guarantee it will be clean, so you don’t have to worry when you eat.
As someone who only ever drinks water, and not soda or many other options, I want my water to taste good. I use a filter at home with my tap. When going camping, where I may not always know the quality of my water, I want to make sure it’s clean and safe.
Note: here is a great water filter called the Berkey Water Filter. It is small and portable.
A water filter is a must-have for an RV and for camping because it helps keep your water safe and clean, not to mention delicious!
Related Reading: When Should I Replace my RV Water Filter?
Blenders come in all shapes and sizes, depending on what you may want it to do. But ultimately, they exist to help you create delicious and healthy food and drink options, quickly and efficiently.
Here are some uses for a good, standard Blender:
- Making Smoothies- Smoothies are a healthy and delicious drink option that can be quick and easy, which is perfect for camping. Sometimes smoothies can even be used as meal replacements. This is perfect for someone who is on the go and doesn’t want to spend a long time in the kitchen, or if you just want a yummy treat.
- Making Desserts- Milkshakes and other frozen treat options are great for long summer days spent camping and in an RV. A blender is a great tool to give you that frozen refreshment you might need during a hot day.
- Making Food- Some blenders can process certain foods easily, and that can be used to make sauces or garnishes or whatever else you may want to give your meal some extra oomph. A blender is a great tool to have on hand for this reason.
Blenders are great for camping, because you can make many things with it in a relatively quick and easy fashion. It’s a great kitchen accessory for summer days, and is something you won’t want to go without.
6. Ziplock bags or Storage Containers
Ziplock bags come in all sizes and they can be extremely useful for a camper’s kitchen.
Some uses for Ziplock bags are:
- Storing Raw and Uncooked Food- Meal prepping and having your food stored in ziploc bags ready to go can give you more time to experience nature and the places you are going to. Having food ready in ziploc bags is a great way to making cooking easier, and oftentimes, healthier.
- Storing Leftovers- If you have food left over after cooking it and don’t want to take up a lot of space with bulky tupperware, then ziploc bags of various sizes are a great option in storing it. They don’t take up as much space, and are easily disposable.
- Non-kitchen Uses- Sometimes there may be something you need to store real fast and so using a ziploc bag can be helpful and easy. These are simply great tools to use with storing small part of anything, and often these can be waterproof, in case there’s something you don’t want to get ruined.
Ziplock bags are a kitchen essential, because they are great for storing food and all sorts of things, and can be wonderful in an emergency. You won’t be sorry you have a few on hand next time you decide to take out your RV and hit the road!
7. Dish Towels
Dish towels are something that is useful but can often be overlooked. They don’t have to be big or excessive to help you out in your kitchen.
A couple good uses for Dish Towels are:
- Wiping up Messes- This seems fairly obvious, but with kitchen messes, dish towels can be very effective, and are less wasteful than paper towels. They’re great to have on hand, no matter how clean you may or may not be in the kitchen!
- Hot Pads- If you don’t want to buy a bunch of hot pads for your pots and pans, sometimes good quality dish towels wrapped up a few times can serve just as well. Always be careful with hot utensils, but towels are good because they won’t take up extra space and are more flexible.
- Keeping Food Warm- Putting a dish towel over a casserole may not be as effective as aluminum foil, but it can help in a pinch. If you’re carrying your food outside to eat and want to keep it warm and away form bugs, then putting a dish towel on top is a good way to keep it safe and warm.
Dish towels are essential for an RV kitchen because they have many uses, and you never know just when one may come in handy. I like to have a matching set or two because they also help an RV feel a little bit more welcoming and like a home.
8. Instant Pot
An instant pot is probably the most trending buy of the 2017 and 2018 Christmas presents. The instant pot is similar to a crockpot, however, it is much faster.
Whereas a slow cooker commonly cooks for four or more hours, and instant pot can take as much as one hour. This pressurized cooker is capable of creating many meals. If you are looking for an easy dinner, this is how to do it.
“I’m out of the honeymoon phase. [about the Instant Pot] Now we’re settling into a relationship. And I’ve accepted its limitations, like the fact that there’s no reason to ever make oatmeal or rice in it. But between the lamb stew and the butternut squash soup, I know we will be together forever.”-New York Times
Instant Pots can be used for many purposes, such as:
- A Rice Cooker- Instant pots can be used to cook your rice to perfection.
- A Meat Cooker- Often, meat is difficult to cook and takes a long time. Rather than standing by your grill, you can use your instant pot to fully cook your meat.
- Any Meal Imaginable- There are many recipes that can be used for an instant pot. Simply put the ingredients in, press on, and enjoy your food when the time is up.
The instant pot is perfect to bring with you camping because like it says in the name, it is instant. Your food will be cooked in a very fast amount of time. With the variety of foods that can be made with this item, you will never be bored of your camping food.
9. Aluminum Foil
Aluminum foil is the very thin metallic material that comes in a long rectangular container. This foil is made from metal leaves and can come in standard, or heavy duty. Aluminum foil is a perfect camping tool because of the many uses.
You can use Aluminum Foil to:
- Package Things- When you are camping, you likely do not want to bring your whole kitchen with you, like Tupperware. Aluminum foil can wrap around your foods as packaging to have for leftovers the next day.
- Cook- Sometimes referred to as a hobo pack or tin foil dinner, aluminum foil is used on many campfires. You simply place all your food items and spices into the aluminum foil and put them on the fire. They will cook through and create a delicious meal for you.
- Protect Dishware- When cooking in an oven, placing aluminum foil on the cookie sheet or casserole dish allows for a simple cleaning up process.
Aluminum foil is an essential to bring with you on your camping trip because it is convenient for your kitchen needs. It is easy to use, with the built in cutting tool on the packaging. Using aluminum foil is extremely simple and will save you time in your cooking and cleaning.
10. Fire Extinguisher
Fire extinguishers are placed in any building you are in. For safety regulation, fire extinguishers should be in any building or area.
Fire extinguishers are often placed on a wall. When a fire occurs, you grab the fire extinguisher and aim the hose at the fire, take out the safety pin, and spray.
The main use of a fire extinguisher is to:
- Put out a fire! When fires occur, the fire extinguisher will help get rid of the flames and hopefully save the area from permanent burning.
Especially with cooking in such a small, compact space, a fire extinguisher will come in handy. In case of a fire, always be prepared with a fire extinguisher. I hope that you will never need this, but do not go on a camping trip without it.
11. Dish Detergent
Dish detergent also comes in many forms. Some RV’s may be nice and have built-in dishwashers, but many may just have sinks, and so a liquid detergent is a good option.
There’s really one main use for dish detergent:
- To Clean Your Dishes- It seems pretty obvious, but it’s included, however, because it can be forgotten, and is just as important as other kitchen items. Liquid detergent can be used to wash dishes by hand, which helps you really see just how clean you’re actually getting them.
Without clean dishes, you won’t be able to cook as many amazing meals, and so having a good amount of detergent on hand is vital. Make sure you don’t leave on your trip without some!
Coolers are great because they help keep food, well, cool, when you go out of the RV for an extended period of time. Just make sure the lid stays shut when not in use, and you can have hours of cool food and beverages for your day trips or evenings around a campfire or picnic table.
A few good reasons to use a cooler are:
- Going on Day/Night Trips- As said earlier, many campers like to take a day and/or night trip outside of their RV. Having a cooler is great so that you can take your lunch or dinner with you on these trips. They are also good for picnic get-togethers with friends, or for storing drinks that you want to keep nice and chilly.
- In Case You Don’t have Electricity- Some campsites require electricity to be turned off at night, and so in these cases, you could use a cooler to store your food. You may have to change out the ice a few times, but it’s still a good option, and it will be nice if the power ever goes out in an emergency.
Coolers are a camping must-have. I have many fond memories of get-togethers with family or friends out by the campfire, and grabbing all the waters I want from the coolers.
It’s a staple in my mind for any successful camping trip. And if you don’t want or need it to store food or drinks, it’s still a good container to have for other storage needs as well.
13. Can Opener
There are high-tech automatic can openers, and simple handheld ones, but they all have the same purpose- to open cans. It’s pretty straightforward, but can openers are still a must-have for anyone going on an RV trip.
Canned foods last a long time, don’t need to be refrigerated, and are fairly easy to store. Having a lot of canned food on hand is good if you don’t want to be buying stuff all the time.
If you need something to fill you up quick while you’re on the go having a can opener for your canned foods will come in handy. No can opener means no open cans, and you don’t want that!
14. Cooking Utensils
Cooking utensils are all those items that are commonly kept in a drawer or container to aid your cooking. Nobody wants to bake an egg with a fork. Cooking utensils include, spatulas, wooden spoons, tongs, whisks, and many more kitchen essentials.
Cooking utensils have many uses such as:
- Stirring– anything in a pot or a mixing bowl can be stirred with a large spoon.
- Grabbing food items– from the fire, your pan, your baking dish, or anywhere with a hot surface.
- Cooking aid- to chop and toss around food items while in the process of cooking.
Cooking utensils are a commonly forget item when camping. However, you should remember these items in order to cook in the most effective way. These tools are specifically designed to help you cook, so use them and bring them on your next camping trip.
15. Food Strainer and Dish Strainer
Food strainers are good because they keep your food while getting rid of excess liquid. It’s a pretty standard kitchen accessory for anyone, but sometimes things like that can get missed when thinking about RV kitchens. Food strainers are perfect for things like pasta and veggies, and so it’s an important accessory to have when doing anything in the kitchen.
Dish strainers are tools to help when cleaning out dishes such as silverware and smaller items, and they are useful because they help keep things clean without the need to use a lot of water or make a big mess.
Anything that can help make my life a little easier is always a plus, and so having something that helps with the task of doing the dishes is always going to be a must-have in my book.
16. Cutting Board
A cutting board is an important kitchen item for your trip. The cutting board is an easy separation between your knife and your countertops.
I’m sure you do not want to buy an RV with all of its countertops and then end up ruining them. Your cutting board will give you a surface to cut any of your food items with.
You can use your cutting board to:
- Chop up your food items- such as meat, onions, garlic, and anything you need to cut. If you’re using a knife, your cutting board will be of use.
- Serve your food-To stay away from accumulating dishes throughout your trip, you can use your cutting board to serve your food.
- Be a photo backdrop-If you are interested in artsy food photography, a cutting board will be beneficial. Many cutting board have intriguing designs and can add a nice flare to your photos.
A cutting board is an essential item to bring while you are camping in your RV. The cutting board does not take up much space in your kitchen and has many uses. A cutting board is a need for your camping trip because of its many uses.
Many RV’s actually come with a cutting board that serves as a cover to their sink.
Visit our RV Camping Gear Page for More Great Content!
What kinds of RV’s have dishwashers? It really depends on what you, the purchaser, is wanting. There are different kinds of dishwashers for RV’s and most RV’s options have a wide variety of styles to choose from. If you want to save money on electricity and water than doing it by hand is a good choice.
What are some other essentials I should have in my RV? Here are a few other things that you should always have in your RV:
- First Aid Kit
- Extra sheets for the beds
- A handheld vacuum
- Extra gas can