Top 5 Must Have Kitchen Essentials for RVs, Campers and Boats

Living in an RV with a very small kitchen, I’ve learned quickly what kitchen essentials are most important to cook our meals. Since we are so limited now in size, weight and storage, we’ve learned to adapt to our galley space constraints. These 5 cooking tools are my most recommended for any motorhome, trailer or van camper.

Top 5 Must Have RV Kitchen Essentials

Always On Liberty - 5 Must Have Kitchen Essentials

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Instead of our big honkin’ food processor, we’ve opted to a small mini food chopper.  Instead of our beloved gorgeous KitchenAid, we bought a small compact hand mixer and well, though we miss our big toaster oven, we’ve resorted to a small 2-slice toaster.  The list goes on and we work with what we can have.

While we’ve had to forgo having some of our big league kitchen favorites, we still can have our favorite kitchen essentials in each of our three RVs.

Magma Nesting Cookware

Must Have RV Kitchen Essentials - Magma Nesting Cookware 10 pc

Since space is so limited to just one drawer for our cookware, we’ve opted for my Magma Induction Safe Nesting Cookware.  we found it on Amazon for a little over $150; induction-safe cookware seemingly is a bit more pricy than the regular.  But we love it!

The set we selected has three graduated size sauce pans that shares a lid, a large soup/stock pot and large fry pan that shares a lid and two removable handles for easy compact storage.  Stacked all inside each other takes less than 20″ cubed.Magma Nesting CookwareCheck out our review for the MAGMA Nesting Cookware for RVs and Boats

NUWAVE Induction Cooktop

Must Have RV Kitchen Essentials -Nuwave Induction Cooktop

We learned about the NUWAVE induction cooktops immediately after moving into our first toy hauler. And since we had a propane stove in our fifth wheel, I needed another cooking heat source.  So what’s a girl to do? Buy TWO induction cooktops and carrying cases for each for portability.

NuWave Precision Induction CooktopNuWave Precision Induction Cooktop

These cooktops are wonderful because they’re safe to use in lieu of using your propane while hooked up to electricity. Now that we have our Heartland Landmark, we still kept our induction cooktops for cooking messy and greasy foods outside. 

Collapsible Kitchen Bowls

Must Have RV Kitchen Essentials - Collapsible Salad Spinner

That whole new space prohibitive mantra kept drilling my mind shortly after moving my kitchen essentials into our RV.  No longer having an array of stainless steel colanders, big stoneware bowls, cute measuring cups and spoons, etc. I’ve grown to love our silicon collapsible bowls and kitchen gadgets.

There are several companies who manufacture these; Progressive collapsible products and Squish being our favorites. I admit, I’m a touchy-feely shopper, so if we would see something at a camping store that would be useful, I would then search on Amazon getting it for much less.

Included in our collapsible kitchen collection are a salad spinner, a very large salad bowl (with lid), a mixing bowl, sink strainer, produce washer/keeper, and even my measuring cups.  Collapsed, they take very little space and stack nicely or slide in on their sides.  Oh, did we mention that we also have two collapsible dish pans, dish drying rack and yes, even our laundry basket collapses to store!

Click on each of the collapsible kitchen essentials for more information:

Large Collapsible BowlCollapsible Dish PanCollapsible Colander

Check out our other recommended Collapsible Kitchen Bowls & Gadgets


Magnetic Spice Tin Storage

Kitchen Essentials - Spice Storage Tins

We use herbs and spices like an artist uses multiple hues of paint on their palette. We found these awesome stainless, magnetic spice tins that are perfect for RV kitchens! We’ve had other spice tins but never found them large enough to hold my dried herbs and spices. These are perfect measuring at 3.75″ in diameter and 1.5″ tall.Ikea Magnetic Spice Tin Containers

We also found a metal magnetic board in the office supply section at Walmart for them to stick on for much less than the stainless steel boards.

Fifth Wheel Landmark - RV Kitchen

We adhered Command Strip Velcro to the back of the magnetic board to our tile backsplash, filled our tins with our favorites and stuck ’em on the board! VOILA!  Quite the conversation starter for guests who come into our RV!
We chose the 12-16 lb adhesive strength because the tins collectively will be heavy. We cleaned the back surface with straight white vinegar and wiped dry. We adhered about 6 strips on the back of the metal board, married the velcro pieces and then stuck it onto the tile surface; holding in place with pressure for about 1 minutes. After installation of the board, we then allowed a few hours of ‘set time’ before mounting all of the tins on the metal board.

UPDATE: A year after installation, I noticed that my spice tins were becoming difficult to open because of the location behind the stove cooktop. Steam and moisture affected the tins AND the potency of the spices and herbs. So, we relocated them to the front of the refrigerator. They faired much better on the refrigerator.

Read More: Spice Rack and Spice Storage Ideas for RVs, Campers and Boats

Instant Pot

Saving the best for last, it is probably our most favorite.  If ever we were stranded on an island with one electrical outlet, this thing is sailing in a dingy with us to the beach!  Our Instant Pot has replaced my rice cooker, crock pot, roasting pan, big stock pot!  No kidding!!

This push-button appliance is so simple to operate.   When we make our stews and sauces, we simply brown the meat, onions, etc. in the the same pot!  No extra messy fry pans to clean!  Our 6 quart Instant Pot does so much; pressure cooks, soups/stews, roasts, makes yogurt, cooks rice, etc.

We also purchased a tempered glass lid to use instead of the pressure cooking lid for our slow cooking soups, stews and roasts in which we want a little less moisture pressure buildup.

Instant PotInstant Pot Glass LidInstant Pot Accessories

And now that we live even smaller in our Winnebago View motorhome, we downsized to the 3 quart Instant Pot, tempered glass lid and accessory kit.

Wrapping up our top top 5 must have cooking essentials for the RV Kitchen

Must Have RV Kitchen Essentials - Instant Pot

We’ve learned to cook differently but we still eat healthy and still about 90% of our meals are cooked ‘in RV’ (we guess we can’t say ‘in house’?).  You just have to be selective and space and weight conscious.

We’ve also learned is if a recipe or meal calls for an array of other kitchen gadgets or appliances that we don’t have in our galley, it’s just not getting cooked OR we make friends with our RV neighbors by seeing if they have one; makes for good conversation and we make them a deal; lend us your mixer and we’ll bring some goodies back when we return it.

More Kitchen Essentials that are perfect for RVs

12 Space-Saving Kitchen Tools Every RVer and VanLifer Needs

10 Colorful Ways to Brighten Up Your RV Kitchen

6 Innovative Small Kitchen Storage Ideas

Absolute Best Small Kitchen Appliances for RVs

RV Kitchen Space Saving Storage Solutions

Check out our kitchen product reviews:

Magma Nesting Stainless Cookware

NuWave Induction Portable Cooktop

InstaPot Multi-Function Cooker

Always On Liberty - 5 Must Have Kitchen Essentials-2

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3 Replies to “Top 5 Must Have Kitchen Essentials for RVs, Campers and Boats”

  1. We have all of those, except the herb and spice storage you designed. That's an excellent idea. We just don't have any wall space that would work for that. Our spices/herbs take up our entire half-height, narrow slide out pantry next to the refrigerator. We've been full-timers since 2005.

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