Kitchen space in a motorhome is important, when you buy the vehicle it is always empty but exploiting it effectively is a real art that we must do.
What do we actually need? Which tools are really necessary and how to position them in relation to the available space? Of course the choice is partly subjective, however, some considerations are always valid, especially for beginners and those less experienced. S0 let's start from some basic rules.
The first rule is that, on board the camper van, everything that is not necessary is heavy, clutters and therefore annoys. We must realize that many small weights alone are insignificant, but summed up are a consistent weight. Therefore we must avoid excessive stock and supply of water and drinks. In motorhomes and caravans, where, for convenience, much of the galley is "fixed", it is possible to use different compartments.
Lower compartments of campers:
in the lower compartments it is important to stow all the heavier materials, so foods and objects contained in tin, glass, plastic and metal containers. This does not apply, however, to food contained in paper boxes, cardboard, and bags such as pasta, biscuits, sugar etc.: the lower compartments are those most in contact with wires and pipes for charging and discharging that even if minimally fissured allow the passage of insects and pests from the outside. We will avoid the risk of easily attracting them to food.
Camper wall cabinets:
here it is possible to store food in cardboard boxes, plastic bags, light packaging and food most frequently used. When putting them back, they should be blocked together avoiding gaps and empty spaces so that while on the move they can not beat, pour and damage the package and the compartment.
Storage on board the camper:
we can store foods in convenient, stackable and closable plastic boxes to optimize the space, even when they are empty. With this system we can "transfer" our household organization on board. To prevent noise or damage, even here it is advisable to avoid leaving empty spaces in the compartment. Bottles and glass jars must be stowed in the lower compartments, closed and oriented towards the direction of travel, because in case of abrupt braking they will not roll back.
Pots and utensils in a camper kitchen
Although the number of cutlery and pots pieces is dictated by the number of crew members, we can identify a basic equipment to keep on board and that should include:
• a medium sized pot and a smaller one (for sauces, for example) with related lids;
• a pressure cooker, perfect for saving time, effort and gas. For a family of 4, a 5-litre one that weighs approximately 1.8 kg is suitable;
• a little pot, to warm milk, tea, etc.;
• a pair of pans;
• a flame spreader.
The stackable pots with detachable handles are preferred. Those in aluminium, non-stick inside, are more practical and much lighter than steel but are also delicate, so when stacking, to avoid scratching them, we can apply a sheet of soft paper between one and the other.
We should not forget a plastic colander, a plastic bowl, a pair of wooden or plastic spoons/scoops and a ladle. In addition, a long and serrated blade knife for bread and a smooth blade knife for cured meats complete the equipment.
As for cutlery, an extra light set for 4 people weighs approximately 350 g, while one in stainless steel weighs 700 g or more.
Utensils for the camper kitchen
To move or place hot pots and pans, it is prudent to use a pair of pot-holders and a cutting board, especially if in wood, so one piece will be used for different purposes. Then we will need kitchen towels, a bottle opener and a corkscrew; better, if we can perform all these functions with a single utensil that includes them both. The gas lighter is comfortable but a box of kitchen matches is a must on board. And then, of course, you will need the gas for cooking: a 10 kg cylinder is normal but in winter it may not be enough. The add the wrench (no. 25) to disconnect the pressure regulator when changing the cylinder, and as a precaution also some spare seal. Still on the subject of fire, remember that a good fire extinguisher is not only useful but indispensable. However, it must be maintained efficiently. Among the most effective ones we remember aerosol models which are lightweight, space saving, and virtually require no maintenance. Of course it is important to arrange the extinguisher in an area easily accessible and within reach, and not to fit in some locker, because if necessary, it must be used quickly.