How do you organize a tiny Class B kitchen to live in fulltime?
They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home.
I find that to be especially true in an RV. It’s the space where we sample new foods. Some we all like and some we do not. It’s where we cook old favorites and eat them together. It’s where my daughter discovered her love of baking and my son developed his cooking skills.
It’s where we talk about the adventures of the day. What we learned or what surprised us. It’s where we plan our upcoming travels.
A place for conversation. A place for food that nurtures the body and the soul.
When we downsized into the van, I wanted the kitchen to represent our new rig’s heart.
The first thing we did was organize the space.
When we moved out ot the 5th wheel I purged many of my dishes.
Bowls Over Plates
I got rid of all of my plates and replaced them with shallow Corelle pasta bowls. I also kept a few of my Corelle cereal bowls. I could not make room for my large Tupperware mixing bowl, but kept a glass mixing bowl. These all nestle together in an upper cabinet along with our coffee mugs and storage containers.
Pots and Pans
I also got rid of a few pans. I kept 2 saucepans and 1 fry pan. We found that the pans are best stored divided. The 2 saucepans share the bottom cupboard with the water pump. The fry pan sits on its side in another cupboard alongside a small cutting board, collapsible colander and collapsible dish pan.
A standard silverware tray fits in a drawer to hold our everyday utensils. The other drawer holds my cooking utensils. Mike mounted a magnetic bar alongside the stove for my knives, kitchen shears, and propane lighter.
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We kept our Blendtec blender
- once I found a place to store it. I’m hoping to use it more this next month as we change up our eating habits (but that will have to wait until another blog post).
Update - we got rid of the blender. We weren’t using it and only kept it because we had paid so much for it. We realized the amount of fruits and veggies it takes to make a smoothie are tough to store in the van - and then there’s the cleanup mess.
Pantry, drawers and cupboards below.
Mike flipped the doors on these upper cupboards so they act as shelves when open.
The right cupboard holds blender, crockpot and coffee supplies. The left holds drygoods like crackers, tortillas, cereal and chips etc.
Our dorm-sized fridge with tiny freezer.
We have a few places to store food.
Sally has a 3-way fridge, but it’s small. I try to keep things organized inside for ease of finding items and for maximum capacity. The condiments are in a plastic container on the middle shelf. Cheeses have their own container on the bottom shelf. The egg carton sits at the back of the top shelf and I can line up small yogurts in front of it.
Fresh fruit and veggies are stored in hanging mesh bags. Mike talked about the details in another organizational post.
There is a small slide out pantry. It’s shaped to store canned goods. I’ve been able to fit a few things other than canned goods in it. But, it can’t hold a box of pasta or jar of natural peanut butter. So we’ve chosen another cupboard to be food storage.
I cook with a lot of spices. The differently sized containers filled up a large drawer that I wanted to use for other items.
Mike to the rescue. As is his nature, he researched for a solution. He found square magnetic spice containers that fit closer together than the round tins I’ve seen before. Mike mounted 4 magnetic bars, transfered the spices, labeled the containers, and lined them up on the bars.
Alphabetically, of course.
Once organized, I looked at my cooking options.
The van came with a 2 burner propane stove and a microwave. I started out cooking meals on the cooktop or making salads. I tested a few new recipes and repeat those that we like. I make simpler meals. And I’ve prepared a few freeze-dried meals (I talk about them here).
I realized that I missed having a crockpot. Chili, Santa Fe Chicken, “Bob”... Meals that my family always enjoyed, especially after a full day of adventuring or working. I found a 2 qt crockpot that fit in my cupboard and holds a decent amount of food.
I also missed having a grill. The Weber grill we had in our 5th wheel went to my in-laws because we had no room for it in the van. Mike did some research and bought a small Coleman grill and carry case.
We’ve been experimenting with foil packet meals lately, as the cleanup is easy.
Less Than 20 Square Feet
I’ll admit. It’s been a challenge to downsize my kitchen into less than 20 square feet. I’m not sure the original designers ever foresaw people living in this thing fulltime. But one of the reasons we chose this Pleasure-Way over the other Class B motorhomes we looked at is that it had more (and higher-quality) cabinetry inside.
I’m sure we’ll continue to make adjustments to how we use the space and what we cook while using it.
But in the meantime?
A pizza delivery is just a phone call away.
More Class B Organization
Here’s how we organized other areas of the Class B: