RV SHOPPING – FINDING THE RIGHT RV
KITCHEN SIZE AND FUNCTIONALITY
While a functional kitchen is a given if you enjoy meal preparation, some things may not jump out at you at first. Everyone will have their own preferences about the type of cooktop they want. Do you want a propane cooktop and if so how many burners do you prefer? Most units have two or three. Some propane cooktops will have a flush mounted cover (similar to most sinks) thereby increasing your workspace for food prep prior to cooking. Some models don’t have that and the limited counter space can make the cooktop seem to be in the way at times.
Do you want an induction cooktop to reduce the heat released in your RV? If you like induction cooking, do you want yours to be portable? Some new models have a portable induction cooktop so you can cook outside. You just unplug the unit and take it out to your patio and the party is on from there.
I have noticed that some travel trailers, Class C as well as a few high dollar Class A RVs seem to have the sofa right next to the cooking surface. The cooking surface is located at the very end of the counter and the sofa actually touched the end of the counter. This seems like a serious fire hazard. When I see this, I turn around and leave the rv. That’s a deal breaker for sure. I have seen quite a few sinks with the sofa placed where it would be splashed with water every time the dishes are washed. Even if you are careful, it will still happen.
Some promotional pictures show all sorts of items on the kitchen counter to make it look like home. I have never once seen a drain board next to the sink. Many units don’t seem to have a place for one. I am the type of cook who wants to wash as many pots and pans as I can during the cooking process so there isn’t such a massive cleanup needed when I am finished preparing the meal. Some RV kitchens are not conducive for this and you have to look at them from a real life functional standpoint when you’re shopping for your RV. Don’t just look at how new and shiny they are. Think of how your lifestyle and needs will fit.
If you look at a lot of YouTube videos with interior and exterior tours of RVs (I recommend this), it’s likely you have observed things you liked and didn’t like about some models. One thing I noticed in looking at some nice Class A models is that the kitchen didn’t seem to have many electrical receptacles. On a recent road trip to Orlando to visit some theme parks (that will be another post), I couldn’t resist a side trip to see a Newmar dealer in Winter Garden Florida. There is only one Newmar dealer in my home state of Georgia. That day, I looked at several Ventana and Dutch Star models (Those are quite nice).
When I walked into the Kitchen, I looked underneath the upper cabinets and that is where all the electrical outlets are tucked away. There is plenty of capacity to plug in all your kitchen gadgets. If you are a kitchen gadget person, make sure to count the number of outlets you require and have this information handy when shopping for your rig of choice.
You should take notice of the sink area to see if it meets your needs. Do you prefer a large single sink or do you prefer a double sink? Some double sinks are smaller on one side. I don’t know why. It certainly doesn’t appeal to me. I like a nice double sink, but both sinks need to be a good size.
You should consider your style of camping when making your sink choice. If you are boondocking, conserving water and your gray tank capacity may affect home much water you can afford to put into your sink.
I like outdoor kitchens. The refrigerator and sink are really nice. To me, there is no point to an outdoor kitchen unless you have a sink. Without it, I would have to go in and out of the RV constantly. A grill or propane stovetop does not constitute a kitchen.
Your needs may vary. That’s okay. The important thing is to make note of what’s important to you and write it down. It is so easy to get excited when you go RV shopping when you see all those nice shining new rigs. It’s easy to overlook something that may really be a sticking point for you. Compile and update your list of important items so you can check off the things you want to be sure to check in any unit you are serious about. If you don’t do this, the next day you will be kicking yourself and you will have to go back for a second look.