I know that every mom has her own philosophies and ideas about what works packing food for a family road trip or for camping in a motorhome, trailer or other RV. I don’t have the corner on good meal ideas for the RV, but I do have a little experience.
One thing I love about traveling in a motorhome is that I never worry about where we are going to find a place to eat. We have eaten pancakes or sandwiches at many-a small town park as we traveled through remote parts of the country and avoided the high priced, high calorie stops for fast food. I’ve boiled pasta in pullouts in the middle of no where and felt warm and cozy as I filled the tummies of my children. Don’t get me wrong, I love to eat out, but it just isn’t that fun with five busy, noisy children. We’ve come up with some good standard meal ideas for the RV trips we go on.
I’ll also give you a few packing tricks I’ve found for the kitchen. If you want more packing ideas you can check my most on Packing the RV. When I’m road tripping I only buy a 3-4 days of perishable foods. We are always stopping for gas so getting bread, milk, fresh fruit and vegetables is easy to do along the way, and they taste so much better fresh so go light on the perishables when you initially pack.
I keep breakfast really simple. I just pack the following and we rotate through depending on the needs of the day:
- Milk (There is only really room for one gallon, but you can make two fit if you don’t bring any fruit juice or a lot of salad mixes.)
- Mandarin Oranges
- Seasonal Fruit (We keep this in a bowl or tote in the sink to snack on as we drive.)
- Premix pancakes (Premix dry ingredients, eggs, buttermilk, oil)
- French Toast (French bread, Egg, Milk, Cinnamon, vanilla)
I don’t want to spend my whole trip cooking so we usually have a cold lunch. I pull out the same sandwich foods most days. My husband likes hot meals so he heats up dinner leftovers for lunch.
- Bread (I like to get special bread or rolls that I normally wouldn’t buy to make it more exciting.)
- Peanut Butter and Jam (In our family these get used more for breakfast than for lunch.)
- Sandwich meat
- Mayo or sandwich spread
- String Cheese
- Carrot Sticks and other vegetables
- Top Roman
- Mac and Cheese (butter, milk)
- Canned Chili
Most of our dinner meals are my “easy” meals from home. The month before we go on a trip I make double size batches and freeze enough for a meal on the road trip in stackable containers. Then when we are traveling all I have to do is pull out the defrosted meal and warm it.
My very favorite dinner (and lunch) item is easy mix salads from Costco. They 4-5 green salad mixes that have all the fun mix in’s that all you have to do is toss them all together with the dressing. We sometimes just have these awesome salad’s alone for dinner, but they work fantastic for a healthyish side as well.
Following are some of my favorite hot dinner/meal ideas for the RV:
- Hamburgers (Salt and pepper, pickles)
- Hot dogs (catsup)
- Premix Green Salad
- Steak (steak seasoning, olive oil, knives)
- Premix green salad
- Pasta sauce (premade and frozen)
- Green beans
- Parmesan Cheese
- Tacos (Hamburger, Seasoning, Refried beans premade and frozen Tortillas, Cheese, Lettuce)
- Balsamic Chicken (Chicken, Olive Oil, Italian seasoning, tomatoes, balsamic, parmesan)
- French Bread
- Curry Chicken (Premade and frozen)
- Premix salad
- Fajitas (peppers, onions, seasoning, chicken, tortillas, cheese)
- Pulled Pork Tortilla’s or Sandwiches (Premade pork and frozen)
- Green Beans
I do keep just a few standard seasonings in our RV.
- Nature’s Seasoning
- Grill Mattes Stake Seasoning
I’d recommend having every size of Ziploc bags to store leftovers. It makes them easier to fit in the fridge and leftovers can make a great lunch for those who don’t want sandwiches.
I don’t pack a lot of snacks, but what is a road trip without junk food. There are healthy snacks planned in with the meals and we pull them out as first snack options, but I do throw in some junk. Some regulars on our junk/snack food list are:
- Granola Bars
- Capri Suns
- Peanut M&M’s
- Mini Candy Bars (These are used as incentives to help throughout the day and given when I notice extra nice behavior.)
- Popsicles (My kids think these are THE BEST. We don’t normally have them at home so they are a special treat. They don’t get to eat them in the motorhome because they drip, but when we stop or after a meal they sure enjoy them.)
These snack foods work great for dessert too. The only extra dessert food I pack is stuff for S’mores and maybe some cookies.
Good luck!! Please comment and let us know your best meal ideas for the RV. It’s not so hard when you brake it down!