RV kitchen interior


How to Stock Your RV Fridge for a Week: 7 Tips for Road Trip Success

Check out these tips from Gretchen Watson on how to keep your fridge stocked and your food secure when you're on the move!

You are planning on taking the RV out on a week-long trip and it’s time to get everything ready including stocking the fridge with a week's worth of groceries. The fridge in your RV is likely smaller than the one in your house so you’ll need to plan carefully to have everything you’ll need. 

After four years of RV trips with our family of seven, we have become experts in maximizing every cubic foot of refrigerator space when packing for a week away. Here are seven helpful tips to efficiently organize your RV refrigerator.

Plan Ahead: Start thinking about what you’ll need to have meals for the week ahead.  Meal planning really does come into play here and the more specific you are, the better. This not only helps you know what to buy, it also helps you not overload the fridge or waste food.  A thorough meal plan also helps you know what to pack in your RV from your pantry at home. One trick we use to save room with spices is pack them ahead of time in a condiment container.  While meal planning does take time, it also helps ensure you spend time enjoying the outdoors rather than worrying about what you’re having for dinner.

An example of what our meal plan might look like for a day:

Breakfast- pancakes, sausage, OJ or Milk
Lunch – Hotdogs, chips, water
Dinner – Chicken Fajitas with onions and peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, tortillas and tea
Snacks – yogurts, apple sauce, blueberries, and pudding cups

Prioritize Perishables: Produce often comes in bulky containers which take up a lot of space and can be difficult to store. To save space, it is a good idea to wash and prep the produce before putting them in smaller, flatter containers or zip top bags. Additionally, placing the produce in a crisper can help keep them cold and fresh during travel. For produce that does not need refrigeration, storing them in mesh bags can be a great space saver. As for meats such as chicken and ground beef, repackaging and laying them flat in the freezer can also increase storage space. 

Stack Wisely: Snacks such as fruit cups, apple sauce, yogurt cups, and even butter come in bulky packaging. By removing these items from their packaging and storing them in pantry organizers in the fridge will allow for easy reach and reduced space. Using an egg storage also eliminates the bulky egg cartons and can keep your eggs safe in case of shifting during travel. Having a  cooler in the under storage of your RV filled with drinks and snacks makes more space in the fridge.   We like to use an electric cooler that keeps our drinks, water, and even some snacks cool and handy outdoors for easy access.

Utilize Door Space: Utilizing door space is a great way to save larger space for items like pantry organizers and milk. Condiments can be stored here to save space along with your preferred canned or bottled drinks.

Rotate Stock: It’s so easy for things to get shoved to the back of the fridge. A good rule of thumb when stocking your RV fridge is to place older or more perishable items towards the front of the refrigerator.   This definitely helps with waste and allows everyone to use them first.

Keep it Cool: If your fridge doesn’t run on battery or propane during travel, a good tip is to set your fridge a bit colder before moving day. This will ensure things are cold enough to make it through your travel time without defrosting or spoiling. Keeping a thermometer in your fridge is also a great way to monitor that the temperature stays in a good range. The recommended temperature you want to aim for is 36- 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the fridge and 0 degrees Fahrenheit for your freezer.

Secure Travel: Since the refrigerator doors can often open during travel days, be sure to secure your fridge before pulling out of the drive or campground. Unfortunately, we learned that the hard way in our early RV years. On a short travel day, we forgot to secure our refrigerator door and a gallon of milk fell out, onto the floor. When we arrived at the campsite, we noticed a white substance leaking out of the slides. Yes, milk literally rolled from one end to the other end of our RV and what a mess it was! I highly recommend using locks for your fridge, so this doesn’t happen to you. We now use locks that securely fasten to both the door and cabinets surrounding the refrigerator. If you are in a pinch and need a quick solution, you can use tension bars or pillows. Some RVers choose to stuff small pillows into the RV fridge to keep things from shifting around during travel. You can also use small curtain tension rods and insert them in between shelves during travel to keep things from sliding to the front and falling on the floor when you open your doors after arriving at your campsite.

So, the next time you are planning a week-long trip in your RV, don’t stress over getting those groceries to fit, just follow these tips and enjoy your week away.