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Save RV Counter Space

Save RV Counter Space –


What is the most valuable space in an RV?

RV counter space!

One of the hardest parts of leaving your house, to become a full-time RVer, is getting used to the lack of space.  We have to say good-bye to the line-up of appliances on our home kitchen counter.

Besides using counter space, all those appliances use a lot of water for cleaning, too.  And besides counter space, RV water usage is often a big deal–especially when you’re camping out in the wild.

Our RV now has two appliances that sit on the little triangle counter behind the sink–our Instant Pot and a toaster.  We put them in the shower or on the bead when we travel, with other bulky things.

We never even had an Instant Pot before we moved into our RV.  But it is now our most frequently used RV kitchen appliance.  Walmart now has a good variety of Instant Pots, reasonably priced.

We use our Instant Pot to pressure cook, steam, saute, reheat, slow-cook sauces, make fluffy rice, perfectly cooked dried beans, bone broth, soups, pasta, double decker meals, eggs–you name it.

So even though it’s our largest appliance, it’s well worth the counter space.

Just be careful to watch your electric usage when you are using 30 amp shore power in some older campgrounds.  The Instant Pot draws a lot of power, and if you have a dicey electric box, you may need to choose between the Instant Pot and your air conditioner during your cooking time.

I’ll be sharing a lot of Instant Pot recipes in the future.

Now I’ll discuss the three things we use to save RV counter space, shown in the photo below.


Our Old-fashioned Stovetop Coffee Percolator


Photo by Melissa Genson

The first appliance isn’t even an appliance–it’s an old-fashioned appliance replacement!

Like most people, I always had drip coffee makers on my home counter.  I forgot how wonderful my mother’s old-fashioned percolated coffee had tasted.

There are five main problems with having a drip coffeemaker in an RV –

(1) It takes up a lot of counter space.

(2) The carafe is usually really breakable.

(3) The parts can be hard to clean, especially when you’re conserving water.

(4) Campground water can be hard on the inner workings of a coffee maker.

(5) They need electricity.

We found an old-fashioned stainless-steel stovetop coffee percolator (that’s a mouthful!) on Amazon.  They have several varieties.  We found that many regular stores just don’t sell them anymore.

Click here to see the one that we bought.  It’s lightweight but sturdy.

We keep our coffee pot on our three-burner stovetop, along with our whistling tea kettle and a small stack of pots and pans.  We leave it either on the stovetop, or pushed to the back of the counter when we travel.


Cowboy Coffee


We loved the flavor of perked coffee.   But there are a lot of inside pieces that need washing, which is especially hard when you’re trying to conserve water.  Plus I’m not a huge fan of hand washing dishes.  I still miss my dishwasher (sigh).

So we discovered how to make cowboy coffee!  It’s all we drink now.  I still use the percolator coffee pot, but without the inside pieces.

The best part about cowboy coffee is that you can make it in anything that can boil water – even a regular stovetop or campfire pot.  (Just don’t use a cast iron pot.  Cast iron doesn’t like boiling water.)

Click here for my article about making cowboy coffee!  It’s so easy and so good–and you don’t use a lot of water washing up afterwards.


Handheld Mixer with Storage Case


Another appliance that takes up a lot of counter space is a stand mixer.  They’re also usually really heavy.

We bought a lightweight handheld mixer with attachments that all tuck into a clear storage case underneath.  We keep it on top the toaster when we’re in a campsite, so it doesn’t take any counter space.  We tuck it in a cupboard or storage cubby when we travel.

Click here to see the Cuisinart handheld mixer we bought.  It’s more expensive then others, like the Hamilton Beach one, which is $19.99 on Amazon.  We have always had good luck with Cuisinart appliances, and it was Amazon’s Choice, so I bought that one.  I do recommend getting one with a snap-on storage case for the attachments.

When I use my handheld mixer, I put the mixing bowl in the sink, to help control splatter.  The first thing you learn about cooking in an RV is controlling splatter and spills.


Immersion Stick Blender


Another heavy, bulky home appliance is a countertop blender.  There’s just no room for things like that on a tiny RV counter–and glass blender carafes are breakable.  Trust me.

We bought an immersion stick blender for our RV.  We use it for everything from blending food to making homemade soap.  Ours comes apart into two pieces, and it also came with a whisk attachment.

We took our stick blender out of its box and put the three pieces and the instructions in a gallon ziplock, where they all fit nicely.  We keep it in my storage cubby.

I think I bought our stick blender at Walmart.  You can get them at either Walmart or Amazon, starting at about $10 and going up to $100.


Every inch counts


Every inch of RV counter space matters!

You want to leave as much space as possible for food prep, and that pesky little dish drain during dishwashing time.

Hint – I use roll-up racks over the sinks when I need extra counter space, especially when I’m dishing up dinner.  Click here to see one on Amazon.  They are called dish drying racks, but I mostly use them for turning the sink space into countertop.

(Note – We don’t get anything for showing you products on Amazon.  We just want you to know how to find helpful things for your RV.)

After RVing for a while, you start to realize that you never really needed all those home countertop appliances, anyway.

Each one was just something else to clean until you broke it.

Once you get used to living simply in an RV, it’s hard to imagine going back to your old life.

Enjoy the journey!

Image by Skitterphoto.


Feature image by Klaus Nielsen.

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