The Definitive List of RV Must-Haves for 2024 (From a Full-Time RVer)

Table of Contents

Cindy Scott
(Last Updated On: December 1, 2023)

This article is a nine-page comprehensive RV essentials guide.
If you have arrived in the middle of the guide but want to start at the beginning, click here.

RV Kitchen Accessories

A great way to save money while traveling in an RV is by having a well-equipped RV kitchen.

Nesting Pots and Pans

Due to having limited storage options for pots and pans in an RV, owning cookware that nests together into a compact space is a great way to have all the pots and pans you desire for cooking while saving room.

Look for a set with all the items you’d generally cook with at home.

This 10-piece set from Magma comes with three saucepans, a frying pan, a stock pot, two lids, and two detachable handles that efficiently connect to whichever item you’re using and a bungee to hold it all together In less than a 1/2 cubic foot.

I recommend adding the nesting colander for steaming veggies. It can be stored snuggly in the middle of the set.

And here is a similar set from Camco.

Camco 10 Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Nesting Pots and Pans Set w/Lids, Detachable Handles & Storage Strap

Camco Nesting Cookware Set | Made from Stainless Steel | Dishwasher Safe | Saves Valuable Space | 10-Piece Set (43921)
  • Ideal for RVs and Boats: Nesting cookware is specifically designed for use in RVs, boats and other compact spaces; Saves Valuable Space: Stores in less than a ½ cubic foot area

Collapsible Dish Drying Rack

A drying rack that can collapse and conveniently store away in a small space is helpful in an RV.

We loved this one that could sit in our sink so we could still have the rest of our kitchen island for meal prep.

Collapsible Dish Drying Rack

Collapsible Dish Drying Rack Portable Dinnerware Drainer Organizer for Kitchen RV Campers Travel Trailer Space Saving Kitchen Storage Tray
  • 【Food Grade Material】Made from eco-friendly PP+TPR material that is BPA Free and Food-Grade. The flexible material allows the dish strainers for kitchen counter to collapse flat for easy space-saving and storage, making the most of your kitchen countertop.

Collapsible Food Storage Containers

You’re about to see a pattern here.

But really, any item that can collapse wins in an RV.

Storage containers like these make travel day meals and storing leftovers a breeze. Then, they can be easily tucked away when not being used.

8 Pieces Collapsible Silicone Food Storage Containers with Lids – Microwave Freezer and Dishwasher Safe

8 Pieces Collapsible Food Storage Containers Foldable Silicone Lunch Containers with Lids, 4 Pcs Rectangle and 4 Pcs Round Food Bowls, Microwave Freezer and Dishwasher Safe
  • Nice Combination Set: you will receive 8 pieces of collapsible food containers with lids in round and rectangle shape, the combination and quantity support your use and replacement needs, work well as kitchen, indoor and outdoor activities storage and organization accessories

Collapsible Measuring Cups and Spoons

Investing in collapsible, stackable measuring spoons and cups is another way to earn more cupboard space.

Here are three fantastic options that will save you some room but still have the tools you need in the kitchen:

Collapsible Silicone Measuring Cups

Collapsible Silicone Measuring Cups and Spoons Set 8-Piece Adjustable Measuring Cup Camper Kitchen Accessories Measure Cups and Spoons Set…
  • Convenient Folding Design: Our silicone measuring cup is designed with a unique folding feature, allowing you to save space in your kitchen drawer. Each spoon snaps into place securely, making it easy to unfold and use when you need it.

10 Piece Stackable Measuring Cup

Recogwood 10 Pieces Measuring Cups and Spoons set, Stackable Measuring Cup with Lid, Kitchen Cooking Baking Measuring Spoons Set for Liquid and Dry, BPA Free, Dishwasher Safe
  • 【Complete 10-Piece Set】Includes 1 lid, 1L measuring cup, 1 scraper, 1 funnel, and 6 measuring spoons (1 cup, 1/2 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/4 cup, 1 tbsp, 1/2 tbsp). The set features clear measurement markings in cups and milliliters for accurate measuring every time.

Under the Cabinet Paper Towel Holder

Counter space is limited in an RV.

Using an under the cabinet paper towel holder like this one helps keep the paper towel roll off your counter but is still easily accessible at all times in your kitchen!

We use a self-adhesive option like this one in our RV to avoid drilling holes into our cabinets.

Self-Adhesive Under Cabinet Paper Towel Holders for Kitchen

Paper Towel Holders for Kitchen,Paper Towels Bulk- Self-Adhesive Under Cabinet,Both Available in Adhesive and Screws,Stainless Steel
  • [Characteristic]: Paper towel holder under cabinet mount:Paper towel holder constructed of SUS 304 Stainless Steel,Strong and not easily deformed,Waterproof and Rustproof.It has good load-bearing and stickiness, and it is not easy to fall off

Instant Pot

Pressure cookers are the ultimate travel meal hack for preparing everything from rice to steamed vegetables to slow-cooked meats with one device.

The pressure results in a shorter cooking time and less energy used. Operating an instant pot is incredibly simple, too, with dozens of pre-programmed cycles that perfectly cook your morning eggs or a bowl of oatmeal.

They come in various sizes, but most RV travelers choose one of the smaller models for easier storage.

Consider what you’ll want to cook and how many people you’ll feed when choosing an Instant Pot.

Espresso Maker

A guilty pleasure we developed on the road was coffee shop lattes. Checking out a new coffee shop in every new state is fun!

However, we eventually found out, spoiler alert, they’re all pretty similar. 😆

They’re also all pretty costly…

While I understand that coffee shop ambiance and WiFi are sometimes necessary on the road, what about all the other instances when you merely want to grab a quick drink before heading out on your next adventure?

There are also only sometimes coffee shops located in popular RV spots. Why not just have the ability to make lattes at home, wherever you are?

If you love morning lattes, the small and affordable Moka Cafe Stovetop Espresso Maker is a no-brainer to add to your RV kitchen cabinet.

As long as you have propane running to a stovetop, this tiny little device will provide you with the caffeine hit you need, no matter where you are, at a fraction of the cost!

It should be noted that no power is needed to use this little guy. Add water, then espresso, and heat it until it stops gurgling. Voila! Espresso!

This is an excellent option for those who prefer to be off-grid more often.

Moka Cafe Stovetop Espresso Maker

Bialetti - Moka Express: Iconic Stovetop Espresso Maker, Makes Real Italian Coffee, Moka Pot 3 Cups (4.3 Oz - 130 Ml), Aluminium, Silver
  • The original moka coffee pot: Moka Express is the original stovetop espresso maker, it provides the experience of the real Italian way of preparing a tasteful coffee, its unique shape and the inimitable gentleman with moustache date back to 1933, when Alfonso Bialetti invented it.

You’ll also want to add this Hand Pump Milk Frother for the full latte effect!

To use it, you warm up whatever type of milk you desire, add it to the device, and froth. Then combine the two and have the perfect morning beverage right at home!

Hand Pump Milk Frother

Bellemain Milk Frother Handheld, Thick, Creamy Milk Foam Maker, Warm & Cold Milk Foamer | Stainless Steel Hand Held Frother for Coffee, Latte, Cappuccino, Frappe, Matcha, Hot Chocolate, 14 oz.
  • CLASSIC FROTHER MEETS MODERN ADVANTAGES: Imagine perfect froth on demand for your coffee. This hand held milk frother brings morning cappuccinos to your kitchen, campsite or hotel room, and is an essential addition to your coffee bar accessories.

If you’re more inclined to press a button and be done, check out the Nespresso VertuoPlus Coffee and Espresso Machine by Breville.

This little guy is only 5.6 inches wide and 12.8 inches tall, so it won’t take up too much counterspace.

It can make an espresso from a pod in minutes, and then once you’re done with it, it can be easily tucked away on a countertop or in a cabinet.

Just remember you’ll need a power outlet for this machine!

Nespresso VertuoPlus Coffee and Espresso Machine by Breville

Nespresso VertuoPlus Coffee and Espresso Machine by Breville,60 fluid ounces, Ink Black
  • Note: 1)Too coarse a grind, too little coffee, or insufficiently tamping the grounds before brewing can all lead to inadequate pressure for a proper brew. 2)It is important to note that the amount of espresso extracted will vary depending on the grind size and amount and reprogramming may be needed when the size and amount are adjusted.Please refer to user guide or user manual or user guide (provided below in PDF) before first use

Coffee Maker

Not everyone wants a fancy coffee drink, though. Some of us like just a regular cup of joe!

In that case, a French Press will work nicely for you and, again, be usable off-grid as long as you have access to hot water.

I recommend a stainless steel option, such as the one below, over a glass option because, in my experience, glass eventually breaks in RVs.

Stainless Steel Insulated Coffee French Press

Secura French Press Coffee Maker, 304 Grade Stainless Steel Insulated Coffee Press with 2 Extra Screens, 34oz (1 Litre), Silver
  • Secura stainless steel French Press coffee maker is made from top quality 18/10 stainless steel, both the interior and exterior. It is made to outlast other coffee makers.

However, if you plan on having power and are perfectly fine with Keurig K-cup coffee, then check out this small, single-serve coffee maker.

It is less than 5 inches wide and brews a cup of coffee in a few minutes.

Keurig K-Mini Single Serve Coffee Maker

Keurig K-Mini Single Serve Coffee Maker, Black
  • FITS ANYWHERE: Less than 5 inches wide, perfect for small spaces.Filter type:Reusable.Temperature Control : No. Froths Milk : No..Display Screen : No, Digital Clock : No.


Was all that coffee talk not your thing?

If you tend to be more of a tea and cocoa drinker or simply wish for the ability to warm up water quickly, you’ll want to pick up a kettle for the RV.

Consider whether you’d rather have a stovetop option that will be easier to use off-grid or an electric option.

Also, much like the French Press, look into one that isn’t glass. We’ve had one explode on the road. 😬


While you could outfit your RV with a few old dishes from your home cupboard, specialized tableware is usually necessary for travelers.

Aesthetics take a back seat to portability and durability when purchasing dishware for an RV.

Many travelers choose tableware made from melamine because it won’t chip, takes up less space, weighs less, and is dishwasher-safe. However, it is not microwave-safe, which is a reasonably big con on the road.

12 Piece Double Bowl Melamine Plastic Dinnerware Set

Gibson Home Rockabye 12 Piece Double Bowl Melamine Plastic Dinnerware Set - Matte Teal
  • WHAT’S IN THE BOX: Service for 4 that includes 4 of each of the following: 10.7” Dinner Plates, 8.5” Dinner Bowl, 6.1” Cereal Bowl

Dishes made from wheat straw are also popular due to their environmentally non-toxic materials, relatively high-temperature resistance, and ability to go in the freezer, microwave, and dishwasher.

We actually have had great success with Corelle triple-layer dishes on the road.

They are glass but highly chip-resistant since they are made with durable triple-layer glass. They are also lightweight, stack tightly together, take up very little room, and microwave and dishwasher-safe.

Corelle Vitrelle 18-Piece Service for 6 Dinnerware Set, Triple Layer Glass and Chip Resistant, Lightweight Round Plates and Bowls Set, Winter Frost White

Corelle Vitrelle 18-Piece Service for 6 Dinnerware Set, Triple Layer Glass and Chip Resistant, Lightweight Round Plates and Bowls Set, Winter Frost White
8,660 Reviews
Corelle Vitrelle 18-Piece Service for 6 Dinnerware Set, Triple Layer Glass and Chip Resistant, Lightweight Round Plates and Bowls Set, Winter Frost White
  • 18-PIECE SET: Includes (6) 10-1/4-inch dinner plates, (6) 6-3/4-inch appetizer plates and (6) 18-oz soup/cereal bowls. This set has everything you need for a full table service of 6, and it comes with the classic Corelle style.

Countertop Dishwasher

Washing dishes in an RV is no one’s favorite task with limited sink and counter space. Some full-time RV users upgrade to a countertop dishwasher to avoid this unpleasant chore. While it will hold fewer plates and bowls than your home dishwasher, there’s enough capacity to clean a day’s worth of dishes.

Contrary to popular belief, dishwashers are more efficient than scrubbing by hand, using less water and less energy to heat said water.

Most new models use only two gallons per cycle, while handwashing uses the same amount in less than a minute of running the tap.

The downside to these appliances is that they are expensive, take up some of your already limited RV space, and require 120-volt power, so shore power or a generator to operate.

Portable Countertop Dishwasher

ecozy Portable Dishwasher Countertop, Mini Dishwasher with a Built-in 5L Water Tank, No Hookup Needed, 6 Washing Programs, Extra Air Drying Function for Apartments, Camping and RV
  • Get the Clean You Need: 5 selectable cleaning programs make it easy to customize your dishwashing according to how dirty your dishes are, saving you time and minimizing power usage. You can use Heavy Mode (131°F~167°F / 55°C ~75°C) to handle really dirty dishes or baby bottles.

Continue Reading:

PAGE ONE: Top Ten RV Must-Haves
PAGE TWO: RV Water & Sewer Supplies
PAGE THREE: Road Trip Planning Tools
PAGE FOUR: Fundamentals for RV Emergencies, Safety, & Maintenance
PAGE FIVE: RV Kitchen Essentials
PAGE SIX: RV Bedroom, Closet, Laundry, Bathroom, & Living Room Essentials
PAGE SEVEN: RV Internet & Boondocking Essentials
PAGE EIGHT: Fun Outdoor Camping Items, Traveling with Bikes, & Traveling with Pets
PAGE NINE: Stationary RV Living, Winter RV Living, RV Storage, & FAQs