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Yes, Chef! RV Camping Meal Ideas Beyond the Basics

| Updated Jun 3, 2023

Do you love camping and cooking? Here are camping meal ideas beyond the basic hamburgers and hot dogs…

A member of our RV Lifestyle Facebook group recently called out to any chefs and passionate home cooks for RV camping meal ideas for her first RV trip.

Shannon wrote, “For the chefs in the group…what would be an amazing meal to make to christen the new RV this Friday? I am very much a creative cook but at a loss for what to make to be a special first meal!”

Her fellow RVers responded in over 250 comments with suggestions and their favorite gourmet camping meal ideas. There were a few common threads throughout the comments, which we will share with you today. 

And don’t forget! We just launched our sister site, Camping Food Recipes, which provides all sorts of camping meal ideas!

If you buy something through our links, we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps keep our lights on so we can continue to provide helpful resources for RVers. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

What to Make on Your FIRST RV Camping Trip

Camping Meal Ideas

Shannon’s question had two main points. One, she wanted suggestions for her FIRST RV camping trip. And two, she wanted creative suggestions to celebrate her RV maiden voyage. 

We will get to actual food suggestions in just a second, but we want to share some valuable insight regarding your first RV trip. (This insight is valuable whether it’s your first RV trip ever or for the season.)

RVers suggested the following regarding her first RV trip

Make Your Favorite Meal From Home

Many RVers suggested making her favorite meal from home. They highlighted two main reasons for this:

  1. It’ll make your RV feel more like home
  2. It’s easiest to go with something you know on your first trip

As experienced RVers know, things don’t always go according to plan, especially on your first trip. That’s true whether it’s your first-ever camping trip, or your first RV trip for the season. 

That’s why many RVers suggested going with a tried-and-true recipe from home that Shannon could also make in her RV. 

Use that Grill!

Camping Meal Ideas

RVers have a huge advantage over other campers since they have a full kitchen to cook in. So, you can make almost anything in your RV that you can make at home.

However, that doesn’t mean you should limit yourself to the tight RV kitchen. Many responses basically said, “Anything you can cook on a grill!”

Many campgrounds provide grills at campsites, but you can bring one of the best portable grills for camping with you. We recommend the Coleman Roadtrip because it has an integrated stand.

So, don’t forget the grill when planning what to make on your camping trips.

(By the way, we have a healthy grilled turkey burger recipe and simple burger recipe that are worth checking out.)

Mike and Jennifer's Summer T-Shirts for your next adventure

Yes, Chef! RV Camping Meal Ideas Beyond the Basics 1
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Camping Meal Ideas Beyond the Basics

Alright, let’s jump into the main meals people suggested! There was one clear winner throughout the comments, but some other popular suggestions as well.

Let’s start with the clear winner…

Surf & Turf!

The majority of comments suggested surf and turf for not only Shannon’s first RV trip, but every RV trip. It’s a clear favorite among RVers.

Most simply suggested grilling a quality steak with some shrimp, served with baked potatoes and her favorite veggie. For the shrimp, they mainly suggest shrimp kabobs or shrimp foil packets. 

All Hail Foil Packets!

Camping Meal Ideas

Foil packets are a favorite among RVers because they hold all the juice and flavor while their contents cook. You can cook diced potatoes and meat, campfire nachos, veggies, and lots more in foil packets.

And speaking about surf & turf, these super easy shrimp & asparagus foil packets are the perfect surf for your turf.

Charcuterie & Wine

It’s no surprise that wine was mentioned many times in the comments, often paired with a charcuterie board. RVers pointed out that relaxing with a glass of wine and nibbling on charcuterie is one of the small joys of owning an RV.

You can enjoy your charcuterie and wine while sitting outside your RV or pack it in a wine picnic backpack to take it out on the trail. 

Or, if you want to jump on a big camping trend, you can make a SNACKLE BOX! This is a tackle box that campers repurpose as a charcuterie container. Of course, we don’t recommend repurposing a used tackle box from your fishing boat. 

But you can purchase a new food-safe tackle box or craft supply storage box to serve as a portable charcuterie board. A.K.A. a snackle box!


Camping Meal Ideas

Since this is her first RV trip, several RVers mentioned s’mores as a must. After all, they’re basically a right-of-passage for every new camper. 

Shannon’s husband caught some flack since he doesn’t like s’mores, but we wonder if he’d like not-your-everday-s’mores. 

We have an article on campfire treats that include s’mores variations. At Camping Food Recipes, we also have a fun, patriotic twist for All-American s’mores that kids love making.

Elevate Camping Food Favorites

Just like s’mores, you can elevate other camping food favorites. Here are some ways to elevate basic camping food…

Remember, you can make almost anything you make at home with a grill and RV kitchen. So, don't limit yourself to boring basics!

Submit Your Favorite Camping Food Recipe!

Many RVers shared their favorite camping recipes in the Facebook comments, and we’d love it if you shared yours, too! At Camping Food Recipes, you can Submit a Recipe so other campers can enjoy your favorites as much as you.

Submit a recipe to…

The BEST Road Food from our RV Trips!

Like what you see in these videos? We'd appreciate it if you would Subscribe to our YouTube Channel (easy to do right here) and consider “ringing the bell icon” to be notified of any new video from us. 🙂 Thanks!

It's time to eat! Sometimes the best way to get to know a new area is through the local food. We share our favorite food and meals we have had while road-tripping in our RV. From Michigan all the way to Florida and more! Make sure to have a snack ready, this might make you hungry!

If you want links and a bit more of the story behind each of these road food stops, check out the accompanying article.

Mike and Jennifer Wendland's Yellowstone Travel Guide

3 Beautiful Boondocking Sites Outside Yellowstone

At the top of every RVers bucket list, it is a place so majestic, so wild, and so big that it calls us to return, to explore, to get to know the diversity of its land and animals over and over again.

Everywhere you look are waterfalls, fast-moving rivers, geysers, sheer rock faces, towering lodgepole pines, all framed by mountains under the bright blue cloudless sky.

It’s spectacular for those who love the wilderness and getting up close and personal with it. Enjoy Yellowstone for RV travel.

Mike Wendland

Published on 2023-06-02

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

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