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RV Food Storage Basics: Store Your Foods Smart and Eat Well!

Don and his wife love to cook. They enjoy new and different recipes and experimenting with interesting combinations of ingredients.

a planned RV Fridge

Plan your perishable food purchases so that your Fridge has enough room for them and leftovers on a daily basis.

Plan your perishable food purchases so that your Fridge has enough room for them and leftovers on a daily basis.

Storing your Basic Foods in your Camper.

One problem for RV owners when they are traveling or camping is just how to plan their food purchases so that they can be stored efficiently.

If this is not done properly it can quickly becomes a nuisance for an RV owner who will need to be constantly running to the closest supermarket to purchase those food items that they did not plan for.

Even a small pop-up has a certain amount of storage space, albeit small that can invariably be filled with foods and spices of some kind.

It didn’t take my wife and I long before we realized that there had to be a smarter way. plan for efficient food storage. And on the other hand, another problem is that there is nothing more tiresome than to drive all day to get home and then have to unload food you didn't eat from your pantry and your Fridge before cleaning it.

Well, the food in the fridge as well as the other packaged foods that can go bad quickly, (such as unopened Chips or Nuts, etc.) and these foods should always be boxed and taken from your Rv and back into your home for consumption.

On the other hand, there are certain packaged foods that can safely be left in your RV for your next trip with little or no chance of it going bad or being damaged by moderate weather conditions.

Box it and Move it every time is a bad alternative

As I mentioned, some foods must be moved in and out of your RV when they are not in use.

Perishable foods in your fridge absolutely must be kept cold and you obviously must move all of it out of your RV and into your home fridge, when it's time to shut down your RV.

Those Eggs, Meats, Cheeses, Dips, Sauces, opened condiments and of course, leftovers still in the fridge must be moved out.

And, in your pantry, common sense will tell you that all of the opened dry-good items such as Chips, Nuts, Sandwich breads, Hot Dog or Hamburger buns, Crackers, etc. must also be removed.

The exception is when; if I am planning another trip within a few weeks, I will put such things as; Nuts, Crackers, and often Chips into quality sealable containers, for use on my next camper outing.

Some canned Foods can be left in your Pantry

If you're not putting your RV into seasonal storage, or leaving it stored in extreme temperatures for a long period of time (1-2 weeks maximum, in my opinion), there are certain foods that can be put in your RV and left there for your whole traveling and camping season.

Here is a list of the basic foods and Condiments that I try to keep in my RV Pantry for my seasonal travels and I have never had a problem with damage or spoilage;

Black Beans, 2-cans

Red Beans, 2-cans

Corn, 2-cans

Soup, 2-cans Chicken Noodle, 2-cans Tomato

Tuna, white Albacore, 2-cans

Chicken, 2-cans

Tomatoes, whole peeled 2-medium cans

Tomato Sauce, 2-small cans

Tomato Paste, 2-small cans

Mushrooms, 2-small cans

Olives, Whole, 1-small glass jar

Olives, sliced black, 2-cans

Dill Pickles, 1-small jar

Jalapeno Peppers, sliced, 1-small glass jar

Minced Garlic in Olive Oil, 1-small glass jar

Pickled Pimentos, 1-small glass jar

Honey, 1-small glass jar

Spicy Mustard, 1-small glass jar

Balsamic Vinegar, 1-small glass jar

Apple Cider Vinegar, 1-small glass jar

Ketchup, 1-small glass jar

Vinaigrette, dressing, 1-small glass jar

Ranch dressing, 1-small glass jar

Spice Rack for RV Camper

Dry Condiments you can store safely

Then there are certain dry Condiments that we also leave in our RV for our traveling season.

What I have here, are our favorite condiments we use most often when we are cooking.

And, because they are all dried goods, they will normally keep, unopened for over a year, and if they have been opened but are kept sealed properly, they will still maintain their unique flavors easily for 3-6 months.

Use Glass containers whenever possible.

We try to only purchase our most used condiments from the manufacturers who use glass containers.

The glass containers typically seal better than their plastic counterparts, and the errant mouse that might slip into your RV cannot eat through glass like they can with some plastic containers.

Also, the seal is usually so good that wandering Ants cannot smell the potential food that is inside a glass container and be drawn into your camper pantry.

Dry Herbs and Spices store well

Dry Herbs and Spices

Here is a short list of our basic favorite Dry Herbs and Spices that we keep in our RV;

Basil,

Bay Leaves,

Cayenne Pepper,

Celery Seeds

Chili Powder,

Cilantro,

Cinnamon,

Cloves,

Dill,

Garlic Powder,

Mustard (Dry powder),

Pepper (Black),

Pepper, (Red crushed),

Rosemary,

Sage,

Salt, and

Thyme.

Then there are several seasoning mixtures that we use regularly and try to keep on hand when we go camping, with our favorites being;

Mrs.Dash (all-purpose seasoning),

Montreal Steak Seasoning (or Canadian),

Cajun Spice Seasoning, and

Old Bay (Seafood Seasoning).

Plastic versus Glass storage containers

The question of whether you should use plastic or glass containers is arguable but when it comes to an RV that is in itself a very open machine that many different pests can often find their way into, my wife and I opt for using glass containers whenever possible.

One year, we left our fifth-wheeler in our campsite Virginia with plans to return for another stay in six to eight weeks. Well, it turned out that we both had some unexpected medical problems that kept us away for almost five months.

And, of course, I had left a sliding door between one storage area and another of the RV, by accident.

Well, when we finally got back to our RV, we did a quick inventory of our pantry and guess what.

We had uninvited guests. Mice!

Oh, I got a couple of traps and after less than two days, we had captured the two culprits and discarded them.

The problem was that they had been in our RV long enough that they had eaten certain of out stored foods. Here are what they had gotten in to and eaten;

Coffee Creamers- We both like Vanilla flavor in our coffee so we had purchased a box of 24 creamers. I can now attest to you that Mice can eat through a cardboard box, and multiple plastic creamer packages.

Chips in a tube- Again, a cardboard storage tube, like a box is no defense from a hungry mouse.

Pasta in a box- They got through the box easily, but didn’t seem to like Pasta. Who knew?

Cheese Crackers and Breakfast Cereals- This one, again doesn’t need explanation.

So, what did we do? That is after we cleaned up the mess and sterilized our pantry?

Well, we went to the discount store and purchased a number of different sized glass storage containers; two tall skinny ones for pastas, Two square ones for cereals, six in various sizes for other items that usually have packaging that a mouse might be able to attack successfully.

We have not had any more Mice get into our RV, but if they do get in, the available edible foods will be well protected.

Used Grocery Bag dispenser for RV Camper

In Summary, be smart

In summary, you can safely leave certain packaged foods in your RV and avoid having to repeatedly take them back and forth whenever you do go on trip.

And, if you really like to cook, like my wife and I do, having your favorite spices with you all of the time is a wonderful thing.

We have often stopped at a rest area, and put together some really great and simple lunch and dinner dishes, thus avoiding the proverbial bologna or ham sandwich that our fellow RV travelers often eat.

And, when we pull into our campground, we are not the ones who have to find a supermarket to stock up for dinner.

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2014 Don Bobbitt

Comments

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on August 11, 2014:

FP- Having lived in a house on wheels, you know that space is always at a premium and you just have to plan, plan, plan about what you take with you when you travel.

That said, with proper planning, you can prepare and eat gourmet meals in a motorhome.

Thanks for the read and the comment.

DON

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on August 10, 2014:

mary615- Thanks again for the kind words and I hope your daughter can use the information.

DON

The Frog Prince from Arlington, TX on August 10, 2014:

Useful advice here having actually lived in one of those homes on wheels on and off.

TFP

Prashant from Mumbai, India on August 10, 2014:

Wonderful article on Food storage, usually overlooked by quite many of us, at times... great insight... Thanks for sharing...!

Mary Hyatt from Florida on August 10, 2014:

Another great Hub full of good advice forRV owners! As I mentioned to you before on another Hub, my daughter and her hubby recently purchased an RV. I will share this Hub with her also, and on FaceBook for my friends.

Voted UP, and shared.