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Old 06-05-2019, 06:28 PM   #1
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Default What food to keep in kitchen when not in use?

Hello all!

I'm trying not to jump the gun on getting an Rv until the end of the season, but man do I want that thing now! Anywho, I'm trying to do as much preparation/research beforehand so I can be prepared for RV life. I will be using it almost every weekend for short trips. To me, the best part of an RV over a hotel is the ability to just get up and go, without packing/unpacking everything. Iím planning on keeping everything in there and I even have designated ďvacation outfitsĒ so clothes and shoes will stay in there except when I need to wash them.

I really want to just stop at the grocery store and grab some steak, veggies and beer on my way out. I've already figured out that I can keep a lot of condiments like mayo, ketchup, mustard, etc. in those little packets that you get from fast food restaurants. They donít need to be refrigerated. And Iím going to switch to a lot of things with individual containers that donít need to be refrigerated until they are ready to be used (applesauce, fruit cups, pudding cups, etc.). I will be keeping spices, dry pastas, and canned tuna/chicken in the pantry at all times as well.

BUT, there are some staples that I use daily that I donít want to buy a new container of, or haul in and out every weekend. Things like eggs, butter, salad dressing, milk, etc. I thought about keeping a bin in my home refrigerator with these so I can just grab it all at once. What do you guys do? Are there any other staples in terms of food I should stock the pantry with?

Since I live in the deep South, it will be HOT in there when not in use. And this is off topic, but what about deodorant? I would think the stick deodorant would melt and the aerosol might explode. Should I be worried about leaving anything else in the heat (aerosol cooking oil, anything from first aid kit or beauty products)?

Last question: any portable propane griddle recommendations? I'm thinking a griddle would be easier to clean up on a campsite than a grill. Plus, I like my steaks greasy.

Thanks in advance for any tips!
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Old 06-05-2019, 06:48 PM   #2
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Can't speak to the grill since we don't have one. Nor to the deodorant. There are a few food items that we do keep in the camper when not in use but not many. Mostly dry goods like you have suggested. We live in AZ so the RV gets hot when stored.

One thing that we do for all of our trips incuding non-RV travel is to have an extensive list on the computer. It's divided into categories like clothes, food, etc. So in the section on RV mechanical prep it would list [a few examples] check battery, check oil, tire pressure, prime toilet black tank, start refridge, turn on power to house battery, etc.. I go through that checking off items as I complete them. Same with packing clothes, food, electronics. It gives us a lot of confidence that we haven't forgotten anything. Each time we get ready to go, we print a copy of the list.

Incidentally, there's also a section for the house: setup light timers, water plants, lawnwork, notify neighbors, etc.
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Old 06-05-2019, 08:23 PM   #3
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We don't leave any food items in our van when we are not using it. They are just rodent and ant food attractions.
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Old 06-05-2019, 10:15 PM   #4
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We also live in deep South. As per your concern, we do not leave anything in van between trips. No food, no aerosols, not even liquid soaps. Only towels, pot & pans, cups, plates, paper products, hoses, cords, window coverings, etc.

We use a few large plastic baskets to unload things and store them indoors until the next trip. As others have mentioned, we have a extensive check-list of items to take so that we don't forget them when it's time to depart.

And don't forget to take a well equiped toolbox. I have needed quite a few tools for little repairs on the coach. One tool that has come in particularly handy is channel-lock pliars. You need them sometimes to remove the large PVC caps on sewer hook ups at campsites and rv parks. They can be stubborn if the last user over-tightens them.
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:51 PM   #5
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I don't leave food in my rig between trip - the heat becomes an issue instead I have two smallish bins that I can quickly load and then take out at the end of the trip.

One has spices and packets as you've described, the other has staples. For me that includes olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sugar, rice, oatmeal, flour, grits and cornmeal. I also usually have a couple of packages of dried soup and coffee and tea.

For containers I use wide mouth plastic drink bottles like this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Q58HPDV
They come in a variety of sizes - I like the 12 oz size.


When it's time to travel, I load the bins and swing into the market for the fresh stuff.
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Old 06-06-2019, 11:31 AM   #6
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Nothing. Even dry goods have a shelf life. Bring ‘em in and use ‘em up.

Maybe it’s just me, but the whole “grab some clothes and hit the road in five minutes” bug-out has been a pipe dream. Best I’ve come up with is having all kitchenware and bedding in the camper ready to go. Cooling down the fridge takes hours anyway. Use the time to stock the trailer.
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Old 06-06-2019, 03:54 PM   #7
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That sounds great. Can you post your lists for us poor souls?
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Old 06-06-2019, 04:00 PM   #8
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Thanks for the advice GallenH! I make lists for everything, so a laminated list for this would be great. Just mark it off with a dry erase marker every time we go.
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Old 06-06-2019, 05:04 PM   #9
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Hi Jon in AZ,

I guess I should have clarified how much time we will be spending in the RV. We will be leaving Thurs. evening to drive to our destination and will be arriving back home on Sunday evenings. I can turn the fridge on several hours before we leave (thanks for that advice), but I will still be working that day. Since we are spending 40% of our time in the RV, I doubt the few dry goods I plan on storing will go to waste. The individually prepackaged items I'm taking are things I would only eat on vacation anyway. I LOVE to cook and make everything from scratch while at home. I even make my own boudin, sausage, etc. TIP: if any of you eat boudin, squeeze it out of the casing and make a patty, cook like a hamburger, top with a poached egg and hollandaise sauce. Your family will vote you brunch VIP.
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Old 06-06-2019, 05:18 PM   #10
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Given your application, one option is to put the food stuff that does not require a refer in a container that you live out of in the B and at home. Just move the container from one to the other or some variation of this.
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