Room with a view (kitchen with tiny fridge)

  • Eggs stay safe in a plastic camping case.

By Tom Nichols

When Judy and I began shopping for a Class B RV, we quickly decided that openness in our “house” was more important than the capacity of our refrigerator.

We chose the Roadtrek RS Adventurous, with nearly 360-degree windows. There was another model, the CS Adventurous, that had a much larger refrigerator that stood all the way to the roof, but it eliminated some windows. We opted for light.

Six months of full-time living in The Epic Van, and our choice has been validated.

We’re in love with the treehouse-like views. Only the bathroom, about four feet long, and a small wardrobe, separate us from wall-to-wall glass in our bright perch.

We pay, however, by limiting ourselves to four cubic feet of food-cooling space.

Still, with a bit more planning and less impulse shopping, it’s possible to store enough food and drink in a dorm-sized refrigerator and make 18-19 bountiful meals every week.

Really. We know it’s hard to believe. We should be giving classes to college students across the country.

We stock the fridge twice a week. (Bread, cereal, rice, and other dry goods are stored in a small overhead cabinet, and we stash the non-refrigerated fruits and veggies in the microwave.)

Here’s what fits:

Beer – Our top priority takes nearly one-third of our space. Judy gets six bottles of gluten-free beer (Omission Pale Ale) and I get six local brews (Glacier Ale while in Montana). (What I said about college students above.)

Breakfast – Half gallon of soy milk, a pint of blueberries, 6 ounces of smoked salmon, four small containers of yogurt.

Lunch – One pound of deli turkey, two pounds of cheese, 12 ounces of hummus, one quart bag of carrots, one pound of Bing cherries.

Dinner – One main course, cooked and stored in a one-gallon baggie (brown rice, black beans and bell peppers, or lentil stew, or vegetable lasagna) enough for three servings each, a quart bag of steamed broccoli and one pound of chicken breasts.

Dessert – Six ice cream sandwiches, a pound of dark chocolate candy and a pint of frozen raspberries.

Cooking basics and condiments – A dozen eggs, 1 pound of butter, 1 cup of stock concentrate, peanut butter, jelly, mustard, ketchup, soy sauce, maple syrup, olives and preserved lemons.

Tips to maximize refrigerator space: Strip away excess paper, boxes or foam packaging; use plastic bags (burped) instead of rigid containers for all storage, except eggs; purchase smaller condiment and cooking basics that don’t bulge out of the plastic rail on your refrigerator door. Keep the eggs in a plastic camping case.

One last tip: Don’t buy jumbo eggs. They won’t fit. Trust us. We tried it, and it wasn’t pretty.

2 Comments

  1. Reply
    Hans Laetz July 9, 2015

    Dehydrated beer not an option?

  2. Reply
    Kirstin July 31, 2015

    Great info. The wheels are turning in my head!

    I heart Omission Pale Ale. Have you found it pretty easily along your route?

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