Updated: Mar 15, 2022
What is the best outdoor RV kitchen setup? Should you build an outdoor RV kitchen yourself or buy a built-in? Learn all about cooking outdoors.
One of the perks of traveling in an RV is that you get to cook your own meals however and whenever you like. Most class A and C motorhomes come with built-in kitchens that range from basic stove-top setups to fully-furnished kitchens with built-in appliances. But there is another type of kitchen setup that has been gaining popularity in the RV community; the outdoor RV kitchen.
An outdoor RV kitchen setup allows smaller camper vans and trailers to have a cooking setup without taking up precious space inside the RV. It is also a sought-after feature for RVers who like to cook and grill in the great outdoors. But can you add an outdoor kitchen to an RV? and what is the best RV with a built-in outdoor kitchen? Read on to learn more.
Types of Outdoor RV Kitchens
Outdoor RV kitchens come in all shapes and sizes. Here are the most common outdoor RV kitchen setups you will find in the market.
Basic Fold-Out Outdoor RV Kitchen
In most RVs, you would find a basic fold-out outdoor RV kitchen set-up that has a slideout gas cooktop and a mini-fridge beside it. You can also find a small shelf/cubby storage area installed either underneath the slide-out or beside the mini-fridge. This basic setup is great for cooking breakfast, whipping up some snacks, and lighter meals. The set-up does not include a grill or sink.
Upscale Outdoor RV Kitchen
An upscale outdoor RV kitchen setup includes all the bells and whistles you will find in a luxury motorhome kitchen including a grill, counter-mounted microwave, serving countertop, and a sink with access to running water. There is also added storage space. A lot of these kitchens come with a fold-up door that when opened can act as an RV outdoor kitchen awning.
Outdoor RV Entertainment Center
Why stop at just a kitchen when you can have a full-blown outdoor entertainment center. Some luxury motorhomes have outdoor RV entertainment centers that feature a tailgate bar setup, a TV nestled into built-in cabinetry, a countertop with a sink and running water, and under-the-counter built-in cabinets and a bar fridge. Some models also have connected half-baths and TVs on slides that can be rotated to be viewed from inside the motorhome as well.
Pull-Behind Outdoor RV Kitchen
With outdoor RV kitchens, you can get as fancy as you like. You can build a custom outdoor kitchen in a used pop-up camper and tow it behind your motorhome. The setup will look like an old-time refreshment stand but you can fit all the kitchen appliances you like and get tons of storage space. Perfect for long-term camping.
5 RVs with Built-In Outdoor Kitchens
A lot of motorhomes and campers come with built-in outdoor kitchens. Here is a list of 5 that we like.
The Wildwood Series by Forest River features trailers that have outdoor kitchens. You can find trailers with a basic outdoor kitchen layout featuring a mini-fridge and griddle. The series also features trailers with a bigger outdoor kitchen that has a fridge, sink, and more counter space for prepping meals.
Timberleaf's Classic teardrop trailer features all the basic amenities of a teardrop plus some more. The outdoor kitchen is located in the rear galley and features a built-in sink, 2-burner stove, electrical outlets, and space for installing refrigerators/coolers. You also get tons of storage space which is rare in a teardrop trailer.
Talk about amazing outdoor RV kitchens! The Jayco Jayflight has an outdoor RV kitchen to die for. Featuring a large fridge, a two-burner stove, a countertop, plenty of cabinet storage, and a sink, this outdoor RV kitchen has it all.
When it comes to the utilization of space, the Winnebago Minnie does it best. The outdoor kitchen on this teardrop trailer features a slide-out rear cooktop with a dual burner stove, a full sink, a dorm-style mini-fridge, and storage netting for cooking supplies.
The Coachmen Apex line of trailers offers many different kinds of floor plans featuring outdoor kitchens. The kitchens range from basic camp kitchens that only include a stove to bigger setups with refrigerators, stoves, storage cabinetry, sinks, and more.
How to Build an RV Outdoor Kitchen? 8 Must-Have RV Outdoor Kitchen Accessories
You can easily build an outdoor RV kitchen by simply getting a portable grill, some camping gear like tables, chairs, and a rug, a carton full of cooking utensils, flatware, and serveware, and cooking ingredients. In fact, a lot of RVers already carry all of this stuff when they go out for boondocking or long-term camping. Here are some essentials you should carry for your outdoor kitchen.
RV Outdoor Kitchen Pros and Cons
There are many RV outdoor kitchen mods out there that you can choose from but are outdoor kitchens even worth it?
Perks of Having an Outdoor RV Kitchen
Increased Cooking Options: Outdoor kitchens allow you to cook the kinds of food you may not be able to cook inside your RV for example, barbeque or dishes with a strong smell.
More Cooking Space: Indoor RV kitchens can get cramped especially in smaller campers. An outdoor RV kitchen gives you extra space for both cooking and storing food.
Less Hassle: RV camping is all about the outdoors. You don't want to spend time inside the RV cooking and eating food. Not to mention frequent trips inside to grab a beer. An outdoor kitchen helps you truly enjoy the outdoors.
Downsides of Having an Outdoor RV Kitchen
Less Outdoor Storage: Most built-in outdoor RV kitchens are installed on the side or behind a motorhome in a space that would otherwise have been left for extra storage space. This means you have less storage space outside your RV for toys, camping gear, and more.
Extra Weight: Larger motorhomes like Class C RV with outdoor kitchens tend to be heavier than other motorhomes. This can be a concern if you're towing a trailer like a 5th-wheel RV with an outdoor kitchen.
More Carry-Ons: If you have a small camper with an outdoor kitchen or plan on building an outdoor kitchen for your RV then you will need to carry extra cooking and serving equipment with you on the road. Since space is always an issue in RVs, that can be a hassle.
Do What Works for You
Outdoor cooking can be a lot of fun. You get to enjoy the nature around you and cook an awesome meal. But don't feel like you have to splurge for the biggest built-in outdoor RV kitchen. Start small and build to what's best for your camping situation and family. Happy cooking!