If you run a “Best RV Cooking Recipes” search on your favorite internet browser, you’ll find that the days of surviving on sandwiches, burgers, and hot dogs are long gone. Cooking in an RV kitchen can be as enjoyable as the vacation itself. As you chop, dice, filet, and follow the many other steps of the gourmet RV camping recipes, it’s easy to imagine standing next to your favorite celebrity chef.
As we explore the best RV kitchens in every RV category, we’ll show you how today’s rock star chefs could use these motorhome and travel trailer kitchens to prepare their famous dishes. You’ll also see how these RV kitchen floorplans have advantages over their counterparts. Before we continue, let’s look at the common elements in the kitchens of the 2021-2022 RV model years.
What to Expect in RV Kitchen Setups
Regardless of category, you’ll find the following appliances and features within the motorhome or travel trailer category you’re thinking of buying. Due to space limitations, technology, and customer feedback, you may find some variations.
- Sink – Kitchen sinks are either single or double basins. Campervans and teardrops may have a folding faucet that hinges down into the sink to maximize counter space. Manufacturers mainly use stainless steel and install them under the one-piece countertop. Generally, basins are big enough to fit a dinner plate.
- Stove – Depending on the kitchen counter size, you’ll see 1-4 burners that use propane, electric elements, or induction. A handful of RV manufacturers like Winnebago use portable electric stoves in their campervans for inside and outdoor use.
- Oven – Teardrops, some pop-ups, independent small travel trailer brands, Class B campervans, B Plus motorhomes, and both fuel versions of Class A motorhomes don’t come standard with ovens. The campers come with standard microwaves, with the possibility to add a convection unit. Other categories that do have a range use propane as the heating source.
- Microwave/Convection Microwave – The larger RVs will have residential microwaves installed with convection capabilities. If you’re looking to make a Thanksgiving dinner, the convection microwave can do great things with the side dishes. Still, you’ll need a bumper-mounted cooking device that uses propane or another significant heating source to cook the bird thoroughly.
- Storage – In the RV world, storage is worth more than gold. Kitchen-focused floorplans usually have a designated pantry space that ranges from a cabinet to a whole closet space. To maximize the space you have on shelves, use RV organization products to turn your 10 karat golden storage to 24 karat.
- Counter Space – If storage is gold, then surface space is silver. RV sink and stove covers give you the additional meal prep space. Older coaches don’t come with covers, but they’re easy to find online or in your favorite camping store. Instead of buying a simple essential accessory version, many artisans on Etsy make personalized RV sink and stove cutting board covers that add utility and decor to your RV. Also, look into adding an RV flip-up counter extension to make that surface space sterling silver.
- RV Outdoor Kitchen – You can read more about the advantages of an outdoor kitchen in our feature article. Having a kitchenette in your outdoor living space gives you or your sous chef a second kitchen station to work. It also allows you to meal prep while socializing with your friends and family, rather than being stuck inside alone.
- Other Appliances and Extras – Do you want a dishwasher, crockpot, cappuccino maker, instant pot, indoor electric grill, or counter-mounted blender? Yes, they have them for RVs. Today’s RV kitchens have plenty of 110v and USB outlets for cooking devices.
The counter-mounted blenders were a big fad in the first half of the Classic Era (1971-1989), but you can still find those motorhomes and travel trailers on the road.
The Best Kitchen in the Camper Category
Shortly after we celebrated the 2020 New Year, Gordon Ramsay, Gino D’Acampo, and Fred Sirieix continued their American Road Trip series on the FOX network. The British Network ITV aired the first season in 2018, where they traveled around Europe, exploring the many cultures and cuisines of the continent. This time, they used an EarthRoamer XV-LTS Expedition Vehicle to explore Mexico.
Chef Ramsay and his friends didn’t do a lot of cooking, but if you turn your TV to channels like the Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel, Discovery, and other networks, you’ll find shows where foodies and chefs exploring with RVs. Some cook for the people at the location they end up at, while others learn about the local flavors. When the chefs cook, they have RV kitchens for their daily means on the road and use the RV or food truck kitchen to prepare meals on camera.
Let’s imagine for a moment what our favorite chefs would do with the best kitchens in every RV category. What would they create? How would they use them? If they were preparing a meal in your RV kitchen, how many pots, pans, and other cookware accessories would you have them autograph (remember you’d have to replace those pieces…or would that be your sinister excuse for new cookware)?
Hatch Teardrop: Droplet Trailer XL
- Length: 15 ft.
- Dry Weight: 1,100 lbs.
- GAWR: 1,400 lbs.
- Sleep: 2
- Refrigerator: 4.76 gallons/ 18 liters
Imagine coming back from the campground’s bathhouse ready to start your day, and you find world-famous Chef Robert Irvine standing next to your Droplet Trailer XL holding a box. Hopefully, your toiletry case is easy to clean off since you’d probably drop your towel and case.
As you snap out of it, he explains that he’s performing a demonstration for his Camping Cookware line and wondered if he could use your just released Droplet Trailer XL. After the demonstration, you get to keep the cookware and eat the food. You and your camping companion look at each other and manage to say “yes” with whatever dignity you could conjure at the moment.
Robert sets up two folding tables on the passenger side of your Droplet teardrop trailer, making an L-Shape. After asking permission, he opens the lower center drawer where the larger chest-style fridge is and sees what you have. Since you didn’t fill it up, Robert adds other items. He then sets up the teardrop’s portable two-burner propane stove on the closer table and connects a 1 pound propane bottle. He then pulls out the 500Wh battery pack, sets it on the table, and links other electric cooking devices. The Dometic CF 18 fridge loses power, but it’ll keep everything cold for many hours.
During the demonstration, you and your camping partner get to be in the shot. Robert explains everything as he dices, stirs, flips, and works his culinary magic. He asks you questions while he’s cooking and have a fun experience.
After filming is over, the three of you and the camera guy enjoy the best sausage and pepper omelet you’ve ever had with loaded hashbrowns. When all’s said and done, Robert thanks you and leaves for his next appointment. You look at your camping partner with that look that says it all: “Camping was a bad idea, why?”
Softshell Pop-Up: Rockwood Tent HW277
- Open Length: 25.9 ft.
- Closed Length: 19.6 ft.
- Dry Weight: 3,334 lbs.
- GVWR: 3,880 lbs.
- Sleep: 4-6
- Refrigerator: 3 cu. ft.
Chef Bryan and Chef Michael Voltaggio are twin brothers who have earned a Michelin Star at their restaurants. When you tune in to the various cooking shows and see them cook together, it’s a sight to see. Have you ever wondered how they would handle cooking in a pop-up camper?
The Rockwood Tent HW277 is the perfect softshell pop-up camper for these extraordinary chefs since it is the only model that comes with an RV outdoor kitchen. The interior kitchen has a 3-burner stove and oven that runs off the onboard propane and plenty of counter space to slice and dice.
The outdoor kitchen has a sink with hot and cold water, two gas burners, a gas-powered griddle, and an optional counter that attaches to the sidewall. Would Bryan call older sibling privilege and take the inside station, or did Michael get it on a coin toss?
The camper comes with a griddle, but it’s easy to substitute a sidewall-mounted grill. Either way, each kitchen station has something the other doesn’t; the inside has an oven and the outdoor station has a griddle or grill. Whether Bryan and Michael are cooking for some type of chef competition or a family RV vacation, their result would be amazing. Besides being twins, they’ve worked together so much. They know each other’s cooking style and technique so that they can sync together.
Shortbed Truck Camper: Lance 825
- Length: 16.3 ft.
- Dry Weight: 1,837 lbs.
- Wet Weight: 2,155 lbs.
- Center of Gravity: Front: 32-inches/ Rear: 46-inches
- Sleep: 2-5
- Refrigerator: 3 cu. ft.
Many of us remember those days of living off instant ramen noodles in college or at some other point in life. Chef Roy Choi has taken fresh and instant ramen to a whole new level. You can prepare so many of his recipes in something as small as the Lance 825 short bed truck camper. Wouldn’t it be great to see him walk into your camper and put together a ramen dish that’s incomprehensibly better than that add-hot-water-and-eat version you remember?
If you add a bumper-mounted grill on your 150/1500 series truck, he could grill up any type of protein. Truck campers aren’t known for their kitchen counter space, but the 825 provides plenty of surface space between the sink and 2-burner LP stove. As Chef Choi pulls fresh vegetables out of the 3 cubic foot refrigerator, you’ll learn how you’ve underestimated the storage capacity of the appliance.
The best part of Chef Choi’s ramen recipes is how easy they are to do yourself. While it would be great for him to show up at your campsite, you can find many of his ramen noodle recipes online on various websites and YouTube.
The Best RV Kitchens in Small to Mid-Size Towables
Small Travel Trailer: Coachmen Freedom Express Ultra Lite 238BHS
- Length: 25.9 ft.
- Dry Weight: 5,314 lbs.
- GVWR: 7,600 lbs.
- Sleep: 4-8
- Refrigerator: 8 cu. ft. (10 cu. ft. optional)
For a chef like Amanda Freitag, renting a mid-size bunkhouse travel trailer with a full kitchen like the Coachmen Freedom Express Ultra Lite 238BHS would suit all of her family’s needs perfectly.
The L-shaped kitchen provides ample counter space, but the flip-up counter extension would give this Iron Chef contender plenty of room to work. In addition, the combination 3-burner propane stove and oven have the heating power she’d need to make her restaurant-level recipes. Keeping with her cooking style, they are fun to make in houses and tiny apartments. So trying them in RV kitchen setups wouldn’t be an issue.
Mid-size Travel Trailer: Forest River EVO T2700
- Length: 32 ft
- Dry Weight: 6,664 lbs.
- GVWR: 9,999 lbs.
- Sleep: 4-12
- Refrigerator: 6 cu. ft.
Wouldn’t it be great if you were related to Gina Neely? As you prepare everything for your family reunion, her down-home cooking skills would come in handy right now. From her BBQ sauce, lemon pasta salad, to her peach cobbler, you could finally get Great Aunt Mary’s approval (if that was ever possible).
At least you brought the best RV for the occasion. The EVO T2700 has a large full kitchen and a unique storage garage for the additional catering-style equipment you need to feed all the cousins and kin. The full-size triple bunks have a lift system that raises to the ceiling. Instead of windows, there’s a utility door to access the garage space the raised bunks create.
The travel trailer even has a secondary entrance that opens directly into the rear bathroom, saving you and those special family members you’ve told from having to use the porta-johns, unlike last year. This year, it’s your turn to prepare the family’s secret recipe dish handed down for many generations.
Since you can’t have Chef Gina with you, you can take comfort knowing that you can have the EVO broken down, packed up, and on the road in less than 15 minutes if no one likes the family specialty (good thing you, your spouse, and the kids practiced).
Mid-Profile Fifth Wheel: Grand Design Reflection 337RLS
- Length: 35.6 ft.
- Dry Weight: 10,697 lbs.
- GVWR: 13,995 lbs.
- Sleep: 2-4
- Refrigerator: 12 cu. Ft.
When we looked at Grand Design’s Reflection 337RLS, we thought of Iron Chef Jeffrey Zakarian. The hutch and overhead windowed cabinetry is an ideal space for making and storing adult libations. Chef Zakarian likes to pair alcoholic drinks with his cuisine to enhance the flavors.
Though trained classically, he’s broadened his culinary arsenal immensely, so if you had an opportunity to enjoy his cooking in an RV residential-level kitchen like the one in the 337RLS, it would be phenomenal. Jeffrey would have all the counter space he’d need on the kitchen island, on either side of the 4-burner stove, and could use the hutch if he didn’t set up bar service.
You could expect a gourmet meal since Chef Zakarian would have an entire closet pantry, 12 cubic-foot refrigerator, 30-inch microwave, and house-level oven to use. Make sure you don’t fill up on the appetizer or salad course because you wouldn’t want to miss anything.
The Best RV Kitchens In Specialized RVs
RV Style Fish House Travel Trailer: Ice Castle Fish Houses Eagle EXT
- Length: 28 ft.
- Dry Weight: 9,080 lbs.
- GVWR: 12,000 lbs.
- Sleep: 5-7
- Refrigerator: 7 cu. ft.
Most RVers have their coaches winterized and stored for the winter off-season. Yet you’ll find ice fishing shanty communities scattered throughout many lakes in the northern states of the U.S. You’ll see tiny skid houses, large RV-style dual axle fish houses, and everything in between. Each one will have some type of luck totem hanging from it per the rules of tradition.
What if you saw Chef Guy Fieri and his family pull in one year to your ice fishing community with his Ice Castle Fish House 28-foot Eagle EXT? Although he’s best known for hosting Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, Chef Fieri has an extensive international cuisine and hospitality management resume. He even partnered with Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar in a restaurant venture (for those who missed the awesomeness of Van Halen, Google the Rock Legend Eddie Van Halen and pay homage).
The Eagle EXT RV-style Fish House has nine fishing holes with removable caps. Each hole has LED lights that allow you to see into the water. There’s even prewiring if you want to hook up a fish camera. The kitchen counter takes up about a third of the door-side wall. The large refrigerator lets you pack in a long weekend’s worth of food. The 4-burner LP range fits large-quart pots and pans so that Guy could whip up some of his favorite dishes from his restaurants.
While it would be great to hang out with Guy and his family for food and fun, the noise would scare all the fish away if he invited everyone over. Have a great time with Guy Fieri or have a chance to catch the biggest fish in the lake? Which would you choose? Let us know in the comment section below.
Class B Campervan: Winnebago Era 70B
- Length: 24.3 ft.
- Chassis: Mercedes-Benz 3500
- Engine: 3.0L V6 Turbo Diesel
- HP @ Torque: 188 hp @ 325 lb./ft.
- Sleep: 3
- Refrigerator: 6 cu. Ft.
World-class chef, philanthropist, culinary judge, guest speaker, most importantly, a mother, Chef Maneet Chauhan continues to influence the cooking world. A day in her life may start with a cooking demonstration on ABC’s The View, judging for one of The Food Network’s culinary competitions, picking her daughter up from soccer practice, and concluding the evening by catering a charity event for a worthy cause.
How could one woman do all of this in a day? We would recommend using a mobile green room like the Winnebago Era Class B Campervan. The 6 cubic foot refrigerator has plenty of room for the various ingredients and dishes she needs for the demonstration as well as food for the day. The 3-burner range, microwave, and countertops give her everything she needs for making healthy meals on the go.
When Maneet finds those spare moments, she can set up the pedestal table, turn the front seat around, and instantly have an RV workspace to manage the business side of her Nashville, TN. restaurant or other tasks.
Since it’s her turn to pick up her daughter and friends from soccer practice, the rear bench has three seatbelts. She can safely sit two more in the second-row chair and co-pilot seat. Those on the bench can enjoy watching the LED TV while the girls upfront can plug in their USB mobile device chargers in the outlets.
When Maneet arrives at the event location, she can use the campervan to change into a chef’s uniform and use the well-lit wet bath mirror to touch up her makeup before her presentation for the evening. Worst case scenario, after the event, if she’s too tired to drive, the rear bench is powered, so a simple push of a button creates a bed.
Class C: Thor Motor Coach Four Winds Sprinter 24BL
- Length: 24.10 ft.
- Chassis: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3500
- Engine: 3.0L V6 Turbo Diesel
- HP @ Torque: 188 hp @ 325 lb./ft.
- Sleep: 2-4
- Refrigerator: 8 cu. ft.
Chef Anne Burrell is easily recognizable for her trademark spiky blond hair and enthusiastic personality. She made a name for herself as a TV celebrity as Iron Chef Mario Batali’s sous chef but used her Italian cooking training and passion for cooking to branch out on her own.
If Anne wanted some time to herself, we could imagine her slipping out the back door of the studio, leaving the hair care products in her dressing room, and making her escape in a small chassis Class C motorhome. The Thor Motor Coach Four Winds Sprinter 24BL would be our suggestion for her get-away vehicle since it’s easy to drive, has the best chance of surviving New York City traffic, and offers the best RV kitchen in its sub-class.
Generally, Class C motorhomes are stingy with counter space, but the flip-up counter extension, sink, and stove covers add much-needed surface space. The drawer-style convection microwave where an oven usually sits offers a big space to bake, broil, or roast food. The propane 3-burner range cooks food quickly and efficiently.
What sets this small chassis Class C apart from others is the massive amount of storage space. Anne won’t have any problems storing her cookware, pantry items, or cold food items in the large refrigerator. Who knows, if she needs to stop at a grocery store to resupply, a hat and her PPE mask, she might get in and out without being recognized.
Residential Level Gourmet Kitchens in RVs
Full-size Travel Trailer: Keystone Arcadia 370RL
- Length: 36.10 ft.
- Dry Weight: 9,340 lbs.
- GVWR: 11,000lbs.
- Sleep: 2-4
- Refrigerator: 8 cu. Ft.
Although she’s not formally trained, Rachel Ray has made a name for herself with her “30 Minute Meals,” her Nutrish dog food line, and her television shows. Wouldn’t it be great to see Rachel take her show on the road? Imagine it, she travels across the country in the new Keystone Arcadia 370RL travel trailer with her family and joins the over 63% of all RVers that bring their pet by bringing her “Pibble” (a.k.a. pitbull) puppy Bella Boo Blue.
The Arcadia 370RL has a residential-level kitchen any professional would enjoy using. Rachel can use the counter space next to the 3-burner range, the full-size hutch, or the massive island with a flip-up counter workstation. In addition, the 8 cubic foot refrigerator and large closet pantry can hold everything she’ll need for cooking demonstrations and have space for her Bella Boo Blue’s food.
The master bedroom’s full-width closet in the front cap can hold her filming wardrobe and off-camera clothes for the trip. In addition, Bella Boo Blue will enjoy the all wood laminate flooring and the 5,000 BTU heater that comes from the faux fireplace on cooler evenings.
Full-Profile Toy Hauler Fifth Wheel: Jayco Seismic Alpha 4113
- Length: 45.7 ft.
- Dry Weight: 15,995 lbs.
- GVWR: 20,695 lbs.
- Sleep: 3-6
- Refrigerator: 18 cu. ft. (optional 21 cu. ft.)
What if you found Chef Bobby Flay sitting on the door side patio of your Jayco Seismic Alpha 4113 Toy Hauler after a day of ATV fun? When you pull up, you find out that he’s taping a new show called “Cooking Full-Time With Bobby Flay,” sponsored by the Food Network and Thor, and they chose you from an entry form you filled out months ago.
The show would focus on favorite recipes and how they’re prepared by those living the full-time RV lifestyle. You’d show Bobby how you make the dish, and he’d help out when needed. The C-shaped kitchen in the 4113 lets you plug in all the portable cooking devices you want and still have plenty of meal prep space.
The 4-burner stove, drawer-style convection microwave, full-length pantry, and an 18 cubic foot refrigerator (optional 21 cu. ft. upgrade) allow you to make meals to feed more people than this toy hauler can sleep. Once the meal is complete, you can invite Bobby and the camera crew to join you and your family to the garage so that you can enjoy your meal al fresco.
Full-Profile Fifth Wheel: Heartland Landmark Newport
- Length: 43.75 ft.
- Dry Weight: 14,843 ft.
- GVWR: 18,000 lbs.
- Sleep: 2-4
- Refrigerator: 20.8 cu. Ft.
Empty-nesters looking for a luxury fifth wheel with a gourmet kitchen must look at the Landmark Newport. The stacked double oven, over 20 cubic feet refrigerator, great counter space, closet pantry, and huge kitchen island should satisfy your needs.
If Julia Childs were alive today, she’d enjoy the Landmark Newport. Standing 6.2 feet tall, she wouldn’t have to kneel or crouch in the lower living room/kitchen or the upper master suite. The standard king-size bed would be comfortable for Julia and ambassador Paul Child.
You may live on the road now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring your Julia Child’s cooking style with you. If you want to make Julia’s boeuf bourguignon while parked in Ohio, the Newport’s ovens can do it. For a real challenge, you’ll have everything you need to make Chef Julia’s île flottante (floating island dessert).
Just remember what Julia Childs said: “With enough butter, anything is good!”
Class A Diesel Motorhome: Fleetwood Discovery LXE 36HQ
- Length: 36.9 ft.
- Chassis: Freightliner XCM
- Engine: Cummins ISL9
- HP @ Torque: 450 hp @ 1,250 lb./ft.
- Sleep: 2-4
- Refrigerator: Full residential size
Class A motorhomes no longer come with ovens. Higher-end motorcoaches like the Fleetwood Discovery LXE use the space for a factory-installed dishwasher. Residential convection microwaves fit well in Class A RVs and keep up with the cooking needs of most RVers.
We could imagine Chef Carla Hall adapting to the Discovery LXE 36HQ’s kitchen. The off-door front slideout has an induction cooktop with the convection microwave above and plenty of surface space on either side. Fleetwood placed the single-basin sink to one side of the kitchen island, maximizing the counter space there. The cabinetry on the slideout and extra-large residential refrigerator would give her plenty of storage for her cookware and food items.
The door-side slideout’s adapt-table dinette could come in handy as a breakfast bar for her and her husband or converted as a 4-seater for guests. As a former model, her eye for clothing design wouldn’t be an issue space-wise since the rear cap has a full-width closet.
How Would You Use Your RV Kitchen?
We’ve shown you many examples of RV kitchens imagining how celebrity chefs would use them or how they would use the RV itself. In the previous eras, the kitchen was primarily practical. Simple meals could be prepared to keep you alive and your energy up as you enjoyed your vacation. Now that people live in RVs full-time and/or expect more from the RV manufacturers, the healthy and delicious meals produced in your motorhome or travel trailer have become part of the vacation experience.
If you’re trying to find the restaurants owned by the celebrity chefs we mentioned, use the best trip planner on the market, RV Trip Wizard. Not only will the app help you find an RV-friendly route to take once you hit the start button, but the GPS navigation will also lead you to the front door.
Of course, you may want to use Campground Reviews to find a campground close by to drop off your RV first. The valet drivers may not appreciate having to park your tow vehicle and 35-foot travel trailer.
So, from our family to yours, safe travels, and we’ll see you down the road.
About the Author
Brian grew up with RVing and was a legacy RVer. After the first 50 miles in a rented Class A motorhome, his wife Marianne caught the RV Bug too. A few years later, the Newmans joined the full-time RV lifestyle in 2017. Together with their two working-class fur-babies, they explore the RV World together. Like John Madden, Brian hasn’t “worked” in years because he gets to write about his passion. Marianne enjoys working alongside her husband occasionally but focuses on other ventures in social media.