What Food Should I Pack for an RV Trip? Here are 7 Recommendations

Don’t literally consume your budget by continually eating out. Save money by packing the right foods for an RV trip. And choose the right foods to be able to keep your sanity while trying to cook in the smaller kitchen of an RV while juggling limited water, power and gas supplies.

At the same time, you don’t want to live off ramen noodle and peanut butter sandwiches the whole trip. What food should I pack for an RV trip? Here are our top 7 recommendations.

Recommendation 1: One pot pasta dishes

One pot pasta dishes are those you can prepare in a single pot and have an entire meal ready to serve. Ramen noodle isn’t a full meal by itself, but you can supplement it with canned tuna, canned chicken or canned vegetables like corn and green beans.

These canned items allow you to add more volume to the pasta without having to juggle a second pot on a small RV stove.

Another one pot pasta dish is macaroni and cheese. You can supplement it with leftover meat or tomato sauce. And you could make spaghetti. That can be complemented by any leftover bread you have.

You can pack some canned pasta as a fallback in case you can’t cook, but limit canned goods to save on weight and space.

Recommendation 2: Shelf Stable Sandwiches

The best foods for an RV trip are shelf-stable. You don’t know when the refrigerator will run out of propane or electricity, and you don’t want to eat lunch meat that has hit room temperature.

Yet you want convenience, and the ideal solution in an RV is to not have to cook at all. This is why we’d recommend shelf-stable sandwiches.

The first thing you need is a loaf of bread. Then you add the filler of your choice. This could be tuna and pickle relish, peanut butter and jelly or canned ham.

Hummus may or may not need to be refrigerated. If it is sold in the unrefrigerated section, it won’t need to be refrigerated until you open it.

Recommendation 3: Fruit

Choose fruits that won’t be ruined by a ride in a bumpy RV, don’t need refrigeration and won’t make a mess. This means stocking up on apples, pears, peaches and berries but leaving watermelon behind. Bananas could be kept in an RV if hanging on a hook instead of allowed to bounce around in a basket.

Recommendation 4: Canned Beans

Do not pick up dried beans. While they’re cheap, they need to soak in water for several hours to break up complex sugars that make them hard to digest. And you want to eliminate the risk of people in the RV developing bad gas.

Canned beans are essentially precooked. They’re a great source of protein. They could be eaten right out of the can or added to a cold salad. You can use them in tacos and burritos in place of beef or alongside the meat. And they can be added to rice dishes.

Recommendation 5: Trail Mix

Trail mix is a must-have for an RV trip. The nuts and dried fruit are a nutritious, calorically dense food. You could eat it as a snack or add it to cereal to create a delicious breakfast. It is shelf-stable, and it takes up relatively little space.

Recommendation 6: Instant Coffee/Tea/Juice

Coffee packs are a good way to get your caffeine fix without having to bring a coffee maker. Just add it to hot water. The same is true of tea bags. Don’t forget to include powdered drink mixes like Tang.
It may taste like orange juice or actually consist of dried orange crystals, but it gives you something better to drink than water without taking up as much space as a bottle of orange juice.

Pack a variety of flavors like lemonade and fruit punch. Throw in some powdered hot chocolate and nonfat dry milk. Then you can have hot cocoa on a chilly night or water it down to make chocolate milk for breakfast.

Or set aside a box of no-cook pudding to mix with the milk to create dessert one night.

Recommendation 7: Fast Cooking Starches

This category includes instant potatoes, instant oatmeal and pancake mix. All you have to do is add hot water and heat it up to make a main course. Instant potatoes can be served with beans or whatever meat and vegetables you have on hand. Or layer the potatoes on top of soup boiling in the pot to make shepherd’s pie.

Instant oatmeal can be eaten plain, or you can dice up fruit like apples or toss in raisins. Pancakes mix can be turned into pancakes, but depending on the mix, you may also be able to make biscuits out of it.

All of these recipes require less time to cook than boiling potatoes or baking bread. There are many people online who’re working to share “how to live full time in an RV/Motorhome like RVSide. Hope a better RV life then others if you check their blogs.


When traveling in an RV, it is important to pack the right foods and plan your menu around them. This protects you from food spoilage while saving you time and money.