RV Food Storage Basics: Store Your Foods Smart and Eat Well!
Store your Basic Foods in your Camper.
One of the things that quickly becomes a nuisance for an RV owner is the need to be constantly loading and unloading such things as clothes and food when they go or return from camping.
Even a pop-up has a certain amount of storage space, albeit small that will invariably be filled with foods and spices of some kind. And a motorhome is designed to hold a significant amount of food and spices in its pantry or cabinets.
It didn’t take me long before I realized that there had to be better way. There is nothing more tiresome than to drive all day to get home and then have to unload food from your pantry and your Fridge.
Well, the food in the fridge and the other packaged foods that can go bad quickly, such as unopened Chips or Nuts, etc. and they should always be boxed and taken into your home for consumption.
But, 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.
a Full Fridge
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 is to be shut down.
Those Eggs, Meats, Cheeses, Dips, Sauces, opened condiments and leftovers in the fridge must be moved.
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 be removed.
Well, actually, 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
Now, if you're not putting your RV in seasonal storage, or leaving it stored in extreme temperatures for a long period of time (1-2 weeks, in my opinion), there are certain foods that can be put in your RV and left there for your whole traveling 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
Soup, 2-cans Chicken Noodle, 2-cans Tomato
Tuna, white Albacore, 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
We were always rooting around in our RV for our spices when we cooked so I purchased this great little rack and mounted on the wall, in our kitchen area.
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;
Mustard (Dry powder),
Pepper, (Red crushed),
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
We reuse our plastic grocery bags, and we have this holder mounted on the wall in our kitchen area. You just ball the bag up and stuff it into the top of the holder.
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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© 2014 Don Bobbitt