The campervan kitchen space conundrum
The two main enemies of a successful trip are lack of planning, and clutter. Many people are good at making thorough lists of things they must take, but it’s easy to let that list get out of control, and an overstocked kitchen creates unique problems.
Everything you pack must earn its place. This is especially true for the campervan kitchen. Finding the balance, discovering what to take and what to leave behind, comes with practice and experience.
However, our articles aim to provide new and experienced vanlifers with tips, guidelines and handy new ideas to make mealtimes as pleasant and enjoyable as the rest of the journey.
Successful campervan trips start long before you leave home, so be prepared, follow our tips and have some wonderful adventures!
Our campervan kitchen gear Top Picks at a glance
Click for more info & current pricing
|Stansport Family Cook Set|
|Large, Stainless steel French Press||Light My Fire 8-Piece Meal Kit|
|Coleman Classic Propane Stove||GSI 24 piece kitchen set||Costway 54 Quart Fridge Freezer|
Planning vanlife meals ahead
As part of preparing for your trip, make a rough list of meals, snacks and drinks. It helps avoid falling into the trap of unhealthy eating while on the road.
It also saves time as you shop less for supplies, put it all away and know you have everything you need.
Once you have a rough menu of meals you can be accurate in your packing. You will know exactly what pots, pans and utensils you will need and can leave the rest behind.
For longer trips, set aside an hour each Sunday morning over coffee to plan the menu for the week. From that, draft a shopping list of necessary items so you aren’t tempted to buy more than you need.
Vanlife is not a time for bulk-buying bargains. Buy the quantity you need and re-stock weekly.
Vanlife meal tips
Vanlife journeys should not be an excuse to eat junk food. Over time it will cause low energy and weight gain which you will associate with life on the road.
Instead, let the whole experience be positive and uplifting as you explore new places, enjoy the outdoors, and eat healthy.
What to eat on your journey
- Snacks high in protein and healthy fats are ideal for when hunger strikes between meals.
- Nuts, sliced cheese, dark, 70% + chocolate (lower in sugar), and fresh fruit are great on-the-go.
- Avoid drinking soda or high sugar drinks. Instead, carry water, iced tea and coffee. Insulated mugs are ideal for the road.
- Research some easy one-pot recipes that produce 3-4 meals.
- Cook a one pot before leaving home so you have the first few days covered.
- To break up the monotony, treat yourself to an occasional fresh main course item like salmon, chops or steak when you run across it in a market.
- Buy fresh when you can, but not at the expense of space, and only buy as much as you can eat in one or two meals.
Campervan kitchen storage
Utilizing the space you have to the max is a must. Make use of inside cupboard doors, ceiling space and even under the table where you can hang a kitchen roll on a tension rod for easy accessibility. Add hooks, suction cups or a wall-mounted magnet strip for storing smaller items.
Hanging pocket storage, such as a shoe organizer, can hold a host of items down the back of a seat, bed or cupboard. Tuck away flashlights, sunglasses, first aid items, cloths, bottles, tubes and cans that remain easy to find yet take up very little van space.
Consider one of the hanging pantries that suspend from the ceiling on hooks. They are ideal for storing larger items such as bread, rice, chips and pasta.
Collapsible bowls, colanders and containers, pack-away tea kettles, flat-pack buckets and washing-up bowls, nesting pots with clip on handles are all great space savers on board the van.
Having a place for everything makes it easy to keep your campervan clean and clutter-free.
Quality gear is King in the campervan kitchen
When it comes to choosing kitchen equipment, look for timeless, quality, space-saving products while avoiding gimmicks that won’t get used.
If a new kitchen widget looks like it might be a game changer in the van, test it on a short trip or in your home kitchen before letting it take up space in the van.
When choosing campervan kitchen equipment, quality is well worth the extra cost. In the end, cheap gear costs in terms of time, frustration, and eventually, replacement. This applies to everything:
• Knives: We suggest some great knives, here.
• Pots and pans: Find pots, pans, dutch ovens and much more, here.
• Washable dishes/flatware
• Compressor fridge, not ice
• Coffee/tea maker
• Power sources including power inverter, solar, batteries etc.
Thanks for reading! Please comment, below…
What is your favorite item of campervan kitchen gear? Please share your tips and tricks for storage. What’s your go-to vanlife meal?