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.
Often called “The O.G. of full-time RVing,” Rene Agredano and her husband Jim Nelson hit the road in a fifth wheel trailer in 2007, after their dog Jerry lost a leg to terminal cancer. Sixteen years later they are still traveling and sharing their nomadic adventures at LiveWorkDream. As a self-employed wordsmith, Rene shares her expertise for many RV industry videos, publications such as the Escapees RV Club Magazine, and has authored numerous books, including the Essential RVing Guide to National Parks, and Income Anywhere, a guide to earning money on the road. She has been featured in global media outlets including the PBS documentary “NATURE: Why We Love Cats and Dogs,” The Guardian Sunday Edition, and the Dan Pink book Free Agent Nation.