Tips for a Successful Thanksgiving in Your RV

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Close up of a thanksgiving meal in an RV

If you’ve ever had to plan and execute a Thanksgiving dinner, you know it can be stressful. Pulling off a successful RV Thanksgiving meal requires excellent skills and some luck. However, being in an RV for Thanksgiving doesn’t mean settling for frozen pizzas or takeout.

Today, we’re sharing tips to help you have a successful RV Thanksgiving. Let’s put on those eating pants, grab a napkin, and dive in!

How Do You Do Thanksgiving in an RV?

Having an RV Thanksgiving isn’t easy, but it’s possible. You’ll likely need to make some adjustments as you’ll have limited space for storing, preparing, and serving food.

However, don’t let these hurdles stand in the way of having an incredible RV Thanksgiving with your loved ones.

When planning your RV Thanksgiving, evaluate the essential aspects of the meal. Thanksgiving doesn’t require turkey, ham, or a specific type of meat.

For your family, Thanksgiving may be more about desserts or mashed potatoes. Regardless, you want to ensure that it feels as much like Thanksgiving as possible. If that includes turkey, ham, or a table full of desserts, that’s up to you and your loved ones.

Challenges of an RV Thanksgiving

Pulling off an RV Thanksgiving can be challenging for a few reasons. Let’s look at a few things that may stand in the way of celebrating as you would in a sticks and bricks house. 

Minimal Amounts of Space

Even the roomiest RVs are only a few hundred square feet. Many people learn when they’re young that you never step into the kitchen when people are preparing a Thanksgiving meal.

However, that becomes quite a problem when your kitchen, living room, and dining room are all in the same space.

RVs typically don’t have a reputation for having ample counter or refrigerator space. These are two things you can never have enough of when trying to put together a delicious meal. The smaller the RV, the harder it will be to pull off an RV Thanksgiving.

Power Management

Power management is one of the most challenging aspects of preparing for an RV Thanksgiving. You’ll use numerous appliances when preparing your meal.

Blenders, microwaves, pressure cookers, and air fryers use vast power. The temperature in your RV will likely climb as you prepare food, and you could need to run your RV’s air conditioner. 

You’ll constantly be tripping the breaker at your power pedestal if you’re not careful, especially if you’re on 30-amp service.

You will likely have to consider what appliances you’ll use and when. It can be a battle to correctly manage your power and ensure that you do everything at the right time.

Requires Extra Planning

You’ll want to start planning your RV Thanksgiving as early as possible. You’ll most likely need to adjust what Thanksgiving will be like in your RV compared to a sticks and bricks house. Flexibility can go a long way toward creating a memorable Thanksgiving memory for your family.

Extra planning could mean preparing certain foods or items so you’re not wasting space or energy on Thanksgiving Day. By planning early, you could find a campsite or campground that makes it easier for you to celebrate the holiday with more space or power.

Close up of a  thanksgiving meal in an RV

Tips for a Successful Thanksgiving in Your RV

We’ve always loved Thanksgiving, but celebrating it in an RV has allowed us to reflect more easily on what we’re truly thankful for in life.

Here are some tips we think will help you have a successful and incredible RV Thanksgiving.

Prepare Your Fridge

Most RV fridges aren’t spacious, and storage will likely be lacking. Do yourself a favor and clean out your fridge.

You want to ensure you have plenty of room for storing food and other items while preparing your meal. Make sure you have plenty of room for any leftovers you’ll enjoy over the next few days.

Keep in Mind: Cook like a pro with the Best Campfire Grill Grates for Outdoor Cooking!

Keep It Small

If RVing teaches RVers anything, it’s that less is more. Focus on the essential things in the meal and eliminate the unnecessary extras. Quality is better than quantity at an RV Thanksgiving.

No matter the size of your RV, you will need to keep it small. So don’t go overboard thinking you have to create every single dish you usually would when you have four times the space as your RV.

Cook Ahead of Time

Do yourself a huge favor and prepare any food or items ahead of time. This will help free up power and space on Thanksgiving day. Every item you can do ahead of time is one less thing you’ll have to worry about on the day of your feast.

Since you’ll be cooking ahead of time, take the time to pull others in your family into the process.

This is an excellent opportunity to teach them how to make some of your secret recipes, either passed down from generations or the one you saw on Pinterest last week. Either way, it’s a chance to bond with your family during your RV Thanksgiving.

Buy Desserts

Work smarter, not harder. Please don’t underestimate the value of buying desserts instead of wasting your energy and resources to make them.

If you can find a local bakery, you may score an incredible dessert for your feast that you don’t have to prepare. This is an excellent way to support a local small business and delegate the responsibility to a professional.

Close up of a pumpkin pie for thanksgiving in an RV

Embrace Prepping/Cooking Outside

If the weather cooperates and you have the space, embrace the great outdoors for prepping and cooking your RV Thanksgiving meal. This not only maximizes your space for cooking but also can help keep some of the heat out of your RV.

If you’re looking for a way to keep people out of the RV while you’re inside, moving as much of the meal outside as possible is a subtle way to make that happen.

Keep in Mind: These 13 Drool-Worthy Campfire Desserts are perfect for your thanksgiving dinner!

Deep Fry Turkey to Save Oven Space

RV ovens are incredibly tiny and can be challenging to use when baking or cooking anything. This could be a chance to embrace deep frying your turkey.

This allows you to cook your turkey outside, saving oven space and still creating a delicious-tasting bird for you to serve your loved ones.

Your Instant Pot Will Be Your Best Friend

The Instant Pot is the best friend of anyone preparing a meal in an RV. An Instant Pot is practically an essential appliance for any RVer.

You’ll love changing the settings to ensure the food stays warm or is ready to go when it’s time for everyone to dive in. These are easy to move outdoors, freeing up counter space inside your RV while preparing your meal.

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Eat Outside

What better way to appreciate the great outdoors than to enjoy your RV Thanksgiving meal outside? It can be a way for everyone to dive into their plates and have plenty of elbow room during the meal.

Those feasting will appreciate the extra space, even more when their bellies are full and they’re moving toward a post-meal nap. You may even combine with your neighbors to enjoy meals and get to know one another.

A woman setting up her thanksgiving dinner outside her RV

Find an RV Park or Campground for Your RV Thanksgiving

If you are spending your RV Thanksgiving in an RV park or campground, check their event schedule. You may find that they’re organizing a campground-wide meal you can join, which will take a tremendous amount of responsibility off your plate.

We’ve heard of campgrounds organizing meals, providing meat, and asking that guests provide the fixings. With everyone pitching in, the result can be a massive feast of delicious foods to enjoy.

You can sit across from someone you’ve never met before and get to know them. Hear the stories of their adventures and where they’ve been during their travels. It’s these types of events that make the RV community an exceptional place.


Turn Your RV Thanksgiving Into a Feast

It can take a little bit more effort, but Thanksgiving in an RV is worth it. Having an RV Thanksgiving will be a memory your family treasures for years.

You may even find that you prefer celebrating Thanksgiving in your RV more than in your sticks and bricks house. Where do you plan to spend your Thanksgiving?

Last update on 2022-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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