You're one of the 8 million RV owners in the U.S., and you're planning on upgrading to a new recreational vehicle. Maybe you are one of the growing number of families who are making RVing a full-time lifestyle. Whether you'll be spending a lot or a little time in your next RV, you've probably considered features like how many slideouts you want, how much cargo or storage space will work best for your needs, and how many people it can accommodate overnight. But you may not have given as much consideration to the kitchen.
RV kitchens have come a long way since the days of a single burner and tiny refrigerator -- there are many luxurious touches that can make even a gourmet chef enjoy cooking in your home away from home. And if you'll be spending a lot of time on the road, a nice kitchen will be crucial. Here are three things to look for in your next RV.
1. Counter space
If you won't be doing a lot of cooking in your RV, counter space may not be that important -- but for most people, life on the road includes being able to make at least simple meals "at home." And to enjoy doing that, you'll need a bit of room to work.
You'll want to consider:
- How many people will be preparing meals. Will it just be one person, or do multiple family members like to be involved?
- Appliances you can't live without. A coffee maker and a small blender alone can take up a significant amount of space.
- Canisters, spice jars, utensil holders and other kitchen items. You may have a place to store them, but when you're making dinner, it will probably be most convenient to have them out.
Some larger RVs have fold-down counters or islands that can give you more space to prepare meals.
2. Larger appliances
Not everyone will need a bigger oven or full-sized refrigerator in your RV, but if you do plan to make more involved dishes or feed more than just one couple, you may want to pay for larger appliances. You don't want to be the person who finishes prepping a chicken to roast only to realize that the oven simply won't accommodate your baking pan.
Some larger RV ovens are convection and run on electricity instead of propane, which is more common. This may help you cook more quickly and evenly if you have had trouble with propane-powered stoves in the past.
Does the RV you're looking at have enough storage for all your pantry staples, dishes and appliances? While you won't be able to take your entire physical kitchen, you'll have to think about what needs you'll have -- especially if you plan to cook and eat in almost every night.
Organizational tips for utilizing your space abound, and you'll want to be smart about how you use space, but don't get too little thinking you can play games to get everything put away. You'll end up taking more time and energy than it may be worth.
Of course, the larger a kitchen you seek, the larger the vehicle must be. Talk to your local RV dealer to see what options are available for taking a nice kitchen on the road.
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