Learning how to organize your RV refrigerator is an art that develops with practice. The more miles you put on your rig, the easier it is to carry all of your favorite foods wherever you roam. There are many cool tips for your fridge, but these three quick tips will help you get started.
How to save space and avoid waste:
Every day in the U.S. more than 40% of food goes to waste, according to the Department of Agriculture.
This means heaps of rotten food gets added to landfills, which in turn creates more greenhouse gas emissions and hastens climate change. So, if you don’t want to be a part of the problem, start making a trip menu and thinking about food storage solutions for your RV refrigerator.
Planning meals and practicing smart RV cooking on the road requires the same common sense as menu planning for a sticks-and-bricks home. Knowing what items to buy and packing ahead of time will prevent food spoilage and save money too.
When planning your RVing meals remember:
- One pot meals like soups and casseroles are easiest to make.
- Choose meals with versatile ingredients like eggs, sausage, and potatoes. These items can be used for breakfast and dinner.
- Consider longer-lasting ingredients. Cabbage lasts longer than fragile lettuce, so make slaws in place of salads when possible.
2. Don’t overpack
Overpacking a RV refrigerator is easy to do and has devastating results. Cram too many groceries into a RV refrigerator and you’ll block the air circulation that keeps food cold. Food spoilage in RV refrigerators is easily avoided when you:
- Minimize what you put in the refrigerator as much as possible. Buy non-refrigerated substitutes for certain basic ingredients. Pasteurized milk packaged in single-serve “aseptic” containers is a good example.
- Remove items like produce from their bulky packaging. Eliminating unnecessary containers helps keep cold air circulating.
- Pack smaller items on the top shelf closest to the cooling fans. This enables cool air to freely travel to the lower shelves.
- Buy a set of RV refrigerator tension bars as this gadget prevents food from unexpectedly falling out of your refrigerator.
3. Stack by weight
Even the best RV refrigerators aren’t as tough as residential models. As a result, their lightweight nature means you’ll need to consider where things get stacked on shelves and inside door compartments. Too much weight in the wrong places can eventually cause your RV refrigerator door to swing open when in motion.
- Place items packaged in heavy glass containers on the lowest shelves. If you drink beer, opt for space-saving, stackable canned versions of your favorite brews.
- Stow smaller, lightweight vegetables and snacks on middle shelves, away from ultra-cold cooling coils.
- Additionally, opt for smaller, more lightweight versions of items that traditionally go in door compartments. Mayonnaise, pickles, and ketchup are some examples.
The last thing to do when you organize your RV refrigerator is to pay attention to weather. For example, hot temperatures force RV refrigerators to work harder at chilling. Therefore, if warmer days are ahead, keep just a little less food in the refrigerator to help avoid rotten results. It’s also a great excuse to eat out and enjoy more of America’s fine cuisine.
FRANK GRASHA says
I solved my beer and other drink problem with a regular size ice chest that sits right in frt of the fridge I have 6 freezer packs (8×8) i start by freezing all 6 at home, before trip i place 5th and 6th in the cooler the day before packing, I put my 12 cans of already cooled beer ,an other drinks in the cooler with two completely frozen ice packs. The other 2 i place in the bottom of the R/V freezer. The 2 pre coolers go in the household Freezer for next time , Each morning i change the two freezer packs in the cooler with the two from the R/V freezer placeing the two partially defrosted ones in the R/V freezer for the next day never have a non cold beer ! Wile traveling i bungee the cooler to the table leg to keep it in place ! Frank
That is ingenious! Cold beer is essential. No warm beer for me!
FRANK GRASHA says
Thank you , It also save space in the fridge, for other items . I also keep all my chocolate candy in a bag in the ice chest keeps it from melting .
Rj Bickford says
My wife has several methods she uses either for a week end at the beach or a cross country trip.
My wife take the large containers and pours the contents into small reusable containers.
She takes and freezes meat at home and sets up meals for the week.
Any and all cold drinks go into coolers with either ice packs or bag ice. We have a special made super large carry all that goes on the back of my truck slide in. It holds a 3000 watt gen and can also hold a 4′ igloo cooler.
With cold and frozen drinks and meat along with 2 small ice bags it can stay cold for approx 4 to 5 days. If needed we just add more bags of ice. This has worked great for our yearly 30 day SC to North west trips.
James Jenkins says
Take Gatorade and loosen the tops and freeze them. Then put them in the refrigerator with the food. The Gatorade will keep the food colder and as it melts you can drink ice cold Gatorade (or other preferred beverage like Hawaiian punch or V8 Splash. This will work for foods you want to keep cold in a cooler as well. I have used 2 liter bottles of water to chill items in a cooler. It is better than breaking up a block of ice to keep food cold. Then you can drink the water, cook with the water or use the water for any purpose necessary after the ice melts.
Like others, we pack a cooler with the cold drinks. I pre freeze a gallon jug of water to use as an ice block inside the cooler. On the road it is replaced with an ice block which lasts longer than the bags of ice. In the fridge, I chill everything first, so when I load in, everything is at fridge temp. We use alot of eggs with the kids, so I scramble 18 eggs and store them in a 32oz coffee creamer bottle that fits in the door and saves space, Meats are vacuum sealed & frozen ahead of time. Menus are made so that we pack what we really need. If ingredients are in larger quantity at home, I download the portion that I need into smaller jars & containers to save space. When making the menus, I try to sub out shelf stable ingredients as much as possible. We can go on a 9 day trip with 7 of us & not have to buy anything except for ice, and there is always plenty to eat. Happy Camping!
Brad Downs says
Your RV refrigerator door will not fly open if you use the latch it came with before you start driving..
My RV fridge door flew open while driving on a twisty road, dumping all the contents onto the floor, including a container of dip which cracked and made a big mess. My fridge does not have a latch or lock of any kind, so I’ll be using some of these tips.
Erinn Mayer says
Two comments –
One photo above, shows A1 Steak Sauce in the fridge – A1 does NOT need to be refrigerated! Secondly, I don’t think folks are worried ablout their fridge doors flying open, but more about when first opening their fridge, stuff falling out – I FORGET to open it carefully, & usually have something fall out! Just purchased Camco fridge bars, pretty cheap.
AC holt says
I purchased a Dometic 12 volt refrigerator freezer , and keep the temp. at 34 degrees, ice cold beer and drinks of your choice . You can actually put heavy items it and save tons of space in your refrigerator. I run mine off the generator or shore power
Angie Russell says
I’m new and having cooling problems. Good to realize to keep heat off the outside of my RiVa. Also, I have found that if you take a $ store noodle and slice in half you can use it inside fridge to keep stuff off the door and from falling out.
FRANK GRASHA says
I use spring loaded curtain rods to hold things in pace on the shelf,s wile traveling , You can still access everything at a dinner stop Never had a problem with door items !