Life in an RV can be the most amazing summer or shorter vacation a person might experience. Some people wind up loving it so much, it becomes their primary home, and their biggest annual expense is buying a new set of tires instead of a new dining room set.
It won’t take long to learn the basics of RV living. Every dealership that sells new or used RVs can provide a list of basic dos and don’ts that can help you make even that first night a successful and memorable one. That includes everything from folding out and making the bed to using your new RV kitchen to cook a tasty meal for one, two, or more travelers.
The new appliances for RV kitchens are amazing, especially the types of combination convection/microwave ovens. With them, a traveler can prepare everything from a bag of popcorn to a soufflé. Before using one of these marvels, make certain to read through the owner’s manual. However, since so few of us ever do that, here a few things to remember whether you are in your driveway, on the road, or parked in your favorite campground.
1) Don’t use it only as a microwave. Since this is a multi-use appliance, make the most of it. Even a less expensive RV oven comes with many options. Besides basic cooking, travelers can also roast everything from a tiny squab to a full-size turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner if there is room for it.
Before buying that bird though, make certain that it will fit. You should always make certain that the item you cook has at least an inch between it and the top of the oven. As far as actual cooking goes, go online to be amazed at some of the incredible meals you can prepare in your RV. OK, the really fun videos on YouTube are going to be the epic failures, but you can learn a lot from those as well.
2) When using it as a convection oven, don’t treat it like a microwave. That means using the rack provided to raise the dish off the bottom of the oven. Why is that important? A convection oven generates a flow of warm air that circulates over and under the item being cooked. Without that flow of air, anything you try to prepare is not going to cook evenly. Before you think ‘I’ll leave it in a little longer,’ remember that part of the dish is already fully cooked. That part of the lasagna or cake now starts to brown and dry out, so the rest cooks enough to eat safely.
3) That also means you don’t have to restrict yourself when it comes to cookware. A few newbie travelers make the mistake of thinking they can’t put metal items in the oven. Yes, that is the case when activating the microwave option, but it does not keep you from using metal pans and baking sheets otherwise. You pretty much have some options as with a full-size oven, so once again, read that owner’s manual!
4) Don’t use the oven for any purpose other than cooking. It is really easy and attractive to use this box with a secure door to store items when the RV is in motion to keep them from falling to the floor or just when you are not cooking so they are out of the way. You probably won’t scratch the inside of the oven, but you certainly run the risk of accidentally pulling out the turntable and dropping it on the floor.
5) Do not let it remain dirty or greasy. Even in a large home, smells from an oven or microwave eventually spread throughout until someone breaks down and cleans them. In a smaller space like an RV or a one-bedroom apartment, those odors spread quicker. Worse, in a necessarily enclosed environment like an RV, chairs, pillows, and other furniture absorb the odors even faster than in a traditional home.
Wiping down your convection/microwave oven after each use helps keep your entire environment cleaner. It also reduces the risk of needing to replace furniture (this includes curtains) or pay a professional service to come and clean your RV of any lingering odors.
As a final note, if you have the opportunity to design the interior of your RV as part of the purchase, take full advantage of it. At Camping Moz, and other sites dedicated to RV living and how to do it in style, you can find an incredible number of stories to help you create the perfect home-on-wheels.
These sites can also help you avoid some rookie mistakes. They include cooking with your RV microwave of course, but also issues like securing cabinets on rough roads, keeping toilets in working order, and finding storage in places where you thought you couldn’t hide a can of Vienna sausages.
Live well and travel well; just make certain you do it in an RV!