25 Essential Kitchen Accessories for Full-Time RV Living in an Airstream Basecamp

One of the reasons I purchased the Airstream Basecamp was for the kitchen. I absolutely love cooking, and wanted to make sure I had enough counter space to keep trying out new meals. Since I use half the kitchen cupboards for my clothes, this greatly limits my overall storage capacity.  Therefore, it is critical to have kitchen accessories that are multi-use, light, and/or compact. Also, for the amount of use and abuse from continually being bounced around in the RV, they need to be high quality to last.

Airstream Basecamp Cutlery Drawer
Cutler Drawer

Below are the 25 kitchen accessories that I carry with me.  This is everything I need to cook each meal, from my morning coffee, to fried rice, to scallops and salmon, to macaroni & cheese!  With a few storage bins from Home Goods and some non-slip mats, many of these items fit in the large cupboard on the driver side of the kitchen.  The few larger items that don’t fit, such as cutting boards, blender and skillet remain on the counters.

Here is an itemized list, but keep scrolling below for further details on each item.

  1. Lodge 10.25″ Deep Skillet
  2. Revere Ware Copper Bottom Pot
  3. Metal Spatulas – 2 Sizes
  4. Plastic Tongs
  5. Primula Brew Buddy
  6. Yeti 20oz Tumbler
  7. Camelbak 32oz Chute Water Bottle
  8. Enamelware Mugs
  9. Ninja Blender
    Airstream Basecamp Driver Side Kitchen Cupboard
    Driver Side Kitchen Cupboard
  10. Large Enamelware bowls
  11. GSI Enamelware Plates & Bowls
  12. Cutlery Set
  13. Kitchen Knives
  14. Extra Paring Knives
  15. Rada Knife Sharpener
  16. 1.5 Quart Plastic Colander
  17. Vegetable Crisper Bag
  18. Cutting Boards
  19. Measuring Cups
  20. Drink Shaker
  21. Wooden spoon
  22. Potato/Vegetable Peeler
  23. Can Opener
  24. Wine opener
  25. Bag Sealing Clips

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Lodge 10.25″ Deep Skillet

I use this cast iron skillet every day.  From cooking eggs for breakfast, quesadillas for lunch or making a variety of dinners, this skillet has been amazing.  The deep sides allow me to make a larger volume of fried rice or stir fries, and not worry about overfilling the pan.

Since it is heavy, during travel I do place it on the floor carpet to keep from damaging everything. Also, I don’t have any storage for this to sit, so it stays on the stovetop with my pot whenever I am parked.

When it comes to cleaning up, a simple wipe with a paper towel, and the skillet is clean – no water necessary!

Revere Ware Copper Bottom Pot

Being from Central New York, Revere Ware is common in many kitchens.  These copper bottom pots and pans were produce in Rome, NY back in the early 1900s.  If you go to local CNY flea markets or garage sales, you may luck out and be able to pick up a set.

This pot came from a small flea market somewhere near Oneida, NY.  I had wanted to bring a Revere pot with me on the road as it felt like a little piece of home.  I’m not even sure how many quarts this is as it has no labels.

Nostalgia aside, this is the only metal pot that I carry with me.  It’s large enough to cook a box of macaroni & cheese, or soup for two.  It’s also small enough that using it to boil water in the mornings for coffee doesn’t take that long.  I would recommend finding a pot that fits most of your needs and give it a try carrying just the one.  You’ll be surprised at how versatile one pot can be.

Metal Spatulas – 2 Sizes

I received this set of Due Buoi spatulas from my brother for Christmas one year.  Cooking in a cast iron skillet is easiest when using metal spatulas and he wanted to provide me with a high quality pair. 

Let me tell you I love these things.  These are full-tang construction and have done great over the years.  The edges on them are still sharp to scrape food off the bottom of the cast iron.

They come in two sizes – one nice and large to flip steaks, and the smaller one is more agile and I use it to flip most items such as eggs or grilled cheese.  If you only wanted to purchase one, I would say you can accomplish most anything with the smaller spatula.

 

Plastic Tongs

If I’m not using the spatula in my cast iron skillet, then I’m using these tongs.  They are great for flipping bacon, or flipping a small chicken breast.  

I’ve had these Farberware tongs for many years.  They are so old I can’t find them anywhere online anymore.  What I really like about them is that they are small and pointed at the end, so precision is easy. Sometimes those pieces of bacon are fighters!

I’ve never had any issue with these and the heat of the cast iron or gas stove, and the plastic is holding up just fine.

Primula Brew Buddy

COFFEE!  Need I say more?  I’ve carried this little brew buddy with me for over 3 years.  When I lived in AirBnBs, all I would need is hot water to make my cup of coffee in the morning.  Most AirBnBs have a Keurig or small stove that I could heat water up on.  When camping, I carried a small backpacking stove to boil the water.  Now in the Basecamp, I just heat water up on my stove.

Once I have the boiling water, I fill my Yeti tumbler up majority of the way.  The Brew Buddy then sits right on top.  I try to have the water just touching the bottom of the mesh.  Then I place the coffee grounds into the Brew Buddy, and pour some hot water over the top. 

It acts almost like a tea bag/pour over.  I’m no coffee connoisseur; however, after having drank my coffee out of here I find most other methods don’t make it as strong.  You can leave the coffee grounds in there to steep for a few minutes, or for darker and bolder cups, leave it in for 15-20 minutes.  Then I just place the Brew Buddy in the sink to let the water drip out and dump the grounds in the garbage.

Yeti 20oz Tumbler

Which brings me to another one of my favorite kitchen accessories.  When I lived in Austin, TX I walked a dog during my lunch hour to earn extra money.  On my birthday, the owners gave me this mug as a gift.  Before that I didn’t want to spend the money on a Yeti and used any other mugs I could find.

Now, I use this thing on a daily basis and definitely recommend the Yeti brand.  From my morning coffee to evening margaritas, it does an amazing job at keeping things warm or cold.  If I want to be able to drink my coffee at a reasonable time, I actually have to leave the lid off otherwise it stays too hot.

It’s also extremely durable.  I can be quite clumsy and drop things a lot.  This mug has fallen a time or two, and still is in great condition.

 

Camelbak 32oz Chute Water Bottle

I’m slightly addicted to drinking water, so always carry this 32oz Camelbak water bottle.  I only use it for water which means I only need to wash it every week or so (saving more dish water!).

I’ve had a few of these bottles and do find that overtime the lids usually break.  The newer models have a re-designed lid that seems to be much sturdier. 

However, you have to remember to screw down the lid in order to make it waterproof.  This is what I usually forget.  So far I have: 

      • Filled my boyfriend’s glove compartment with 32oz of water
      • Spilled half a bottle all over my bed
      • Had wet clothing more times than I can count from dropping it in my lap

Don’t forget to properly close the lid!

Enamelware Mugs

The final drinking items that I carry are two enamelware mugs that hang on the small hooks by the kitchen. You can purchase some cute ones off of Etsy, or buy from a known brand such as GSI. 

I prefer to pick these up as souvenirs along the road. The mug on the left is from a trip to Iceland a couple of years ago, and the one on the right was a gift from my parents.

I use these mugs for when visitors come over, or for pouring myself a smaller drink.  Sometimes I’ll use it for tea, other times it holds my red wine.  If you do use it for red wine, just rinse it quickly afterwards. The enamelware, especially in white, tends to be stained by the wine.

Ninja Blender

I used to carry a NutriBullet, but it was much larger and heavier.  Recently I switched over to this small Ninja blender

It fits perfectly in the corner of the kitchen and is very lightweight to move around.  It does a good job of blending up my smoothies and is easy to rinse out and clean.

It does come with two cups, lids, and a few other accessories.  In order to conserve space, I just carry the one cup and the blade, which remain stored on top of the blender as you see here.  I find that I just drink right out of the blender cup, and don’t have any use for a lid on it.  Carrying fewer accessories really saves on space.

 

Large Enamelware bowls

This large GSI enamelware mixing bowl fits perfectly in the Basecamp sink.  I keep the bowl in there to collect gray water that I can dump outside, such as from washing my vegetables to dish water.  This is a great way to help conserve some space in the black/gray tank.  (Note: if you are going to dump any water outside, make sure there are no local restrictions and that the water won’t cause any extra erosion – such as in the desert).

I also have a second one of these that I store in the cupboard.  I’ve used it to mix up cake mix (and then carry it over to a friend’s RV to use their oven) and also to serve sides such as a vegetable salad.  I find having a larger bowl along is extremely useful.

 

 

GSI Enamelware Plates & Bowls

When first shopping for the Basecamp, I wasn’t sure what types of plates and bowls to purchase.  In the end I went with a GSI enamelware set.  I ended up with 4 plates and 2 bowls.

What I’ve learned is how versatile enamelware really is.  I can set these plates and bowls directly on the stove top gas burners to re-warm food.  Whenever I have leftovers, I toss them into one of the bowls, warm it on low over the burner (continually stirring so it won’t burn), and voila! Re-warmed leftovers without a microwave.

For the bowls, there are cereal bowls and a few other small ones that GSI sells. I found those were all too small.  I ended up with the 7.75″ mixing bowls directly from their website.  These are large enough to put a regular amount of food in, as well as to be able to stir food when re-warming.

Cutlery Set

This set is leftover from when I owned a home.  They are an Oneida Limited set that I had purchased back in Central New York (another local brand!).

Any old cutlery set will do.  I went for metal as it would last longer, and it was one of those small items that reminded me of home.  Although it adds a good deal of weight, I find the cutlery drawer has done fine holding it and I enjoy the solid feeling of metal cutlery.

I carry with me 6 of each item (fork, spoon, knife).  When cooking for one or two, I’ve never run out of cutlery or needed anymore.

 

 

Kitchen Knives

A good knife set is definitely a necessity for every kitchen.  I carry a Chef knife, paring knife, bread knife and filet knife.  The Chef and paring knives are used most often.  I really only use the filet knife when cutting up raw meat, and the bread knife if I have purchased a fresh loaf of bread from somewhere.

These specific knives are left over form a cooking class I took in college.  We had to buy this set as part of our “text books” for the class.  The price of it was outrageous!  I still joke it was the most expensive “text book” I ever bought.  However, they have kept up with daily use for over 10 years.  I do recommend them, but am unsure of where to buy the same set.  The company is Canada Cutlery.

However, you can find good knives just about anywhere. From Amazon to Home Goods, you can pick up a small set for a decent price.

Extra Paring Knives

I do carry a small set of extra paring knives as well.  From cutting up cheese or other small items, I find that these are much easier to access in the cutlery drawer, and are also smaller and faster to clean.

I’ve had this small set of Jo!e paring knives from several apartments ago. Although not the sharpest knives out there (you can sharpen them up), they do well at small tasks and are light weight.

Sometimes I do wish I had a set of steak knives along, but tend to just use these instead.  They do well enough cutting through a good steak, and then it’s less that I have to carry in the RV.

 

Rada Knife Sharpener

For a small, light weight knife sharpener, this little Rada is the best.  No power or electricity is needed.  Simply slide the knife gently through the sharpener (don’t press down, let the weight of the knife sharpen itself).  And voila!  Sharp knives.

This is small enough to fit in the back section of the cutlery drawer in the Basecamp.  Sometimes I forget it is back there, but once the knives go dull it’s easy to grab it out of the drawer and sharpen them up.  It doesn’t take long, but makes quite the difference.

 

1.5 Quart Plastic Colander

This small KitchenAid colander sits on a command hook right inside the storage compartment. 

It’s very light, but built out of solid plastic.  It fits perfectly into the small Basecamp sink, and I use it to wash my fruit and vegetables (sometimes).  Most of the time, I just hold the vegetables and wash quickly in my hands.

For the few times that I cook pasta, I use the lid of the pot to drain the water out.  By using the lid of an already dirty pot and not this colander, it saves me one more dirty dish.  Out of all the items on the list, this may be the least used item.

 

 

Vegetable Crisper Bag

Speaking of vegetables, the small fridge in the Basecamp doesn’t come with any type of produce drawers.  I continually fought with fresh vegetables, from them drying out or going soggy in the fridge.  I tried plastic containers and several other items, but to no avail.

I stumbled across these online and purchased the 11″ x 12″ standard size. It does a very good job at keeping green vegetables fresh for much longer. Also being a bag, it is much easier to compress down and squeeze into the fridge, instead of trying to maneuver a plastic container.

The only thing this doesn’t prevent is freezing.  In cooler weather, the Dometic 3-way fridge is great at cooling everything just a bit too much and freezing all the vegetables.  I find if I squish this bag into the door shelves, it helps prevent freezing from occurring.

Cutting Boards

I carry two cutting boards with me.  The first is a small plastic board that I use when cutting raw meat.  It’s not very thick, so I use it only on top of my solid wood cutting board to prevent damage to the counter.  But it is a lot easier to clean in the sink, and keeps the bacteria from items like raw chicken out of the wood cutting board.

The second cutting board is a large Walnut wood that is always sitting on my counter.  My boyfriend made this for me, but any solid wood cutting board will work great.  I leave the cutting board out all the time to not only protect the counters but also to add some color to the kitchen. 

The wood cutting board can also double as a serving platter.  It works  great if you are entertaining guests, and want to carry out a “platter” of cheese, meats, etc.

Measuring Cups

Although there isn’t an oven in the Airstream Basecamp, I do carry a set of measuring cups with me. 

I rarely use them, but sometimes I’ll find a new recipe I want to try, or a new marinade and it will call for specific measurements of items. I’ve narrowed down the cups to just the basics, but it is nice to have them along.

Drink Shaker

Remember those margaritas I mentioned previously?  Well you need a good way to shake them up!  I carry a simple drink shaker along.  The nice part is the smaller cup fits into the larger cup, and then the top remains open.  This enables further storage capacity, as I then put small cans of food into the shaker when it is in the cupboard.

I also carry a small stainless steel Jigger along to properly measure out the different spirits and mixers.  I’ve had this little jigger for a long time, but you can find many through Amazon for cheap. The other nice thing is that you can double the jigger as a measuring cup in case you ever need to measure anything in ounces.

 

 

Wooden spoons

I used to carry a very large wooden spoon, until I made curry and stained it bright yellow.  Since then, I replaced it with a smaller set of olive wood salad servers.  I honestly just liked the look of the olive wood better than a regular wooden spoon, but these were also a smaller size and more compact to store. 

I don’t actually use the wooden spoon very often, as I usually am cooking things that I can stir with my cutlery spoons.  However, if I’m warming up a soap or curry, these do come in handy.

If you go with olive wood, just remember to season them with a bit of oil after washing, as the wood dries out.

Potato/Vegetable Peeler

This peeler comes in handy quite often.  Whether I’m making up hashbrowns for breakfast, sweet potato fries for dinner, or trying to peel my vegetables, I use this all the time.

I found the swivel and fancy peelers never worked well for me, so I stick with a very simple and classic peeler.  It also fits well into the cutlery drawer.

 

 

 

 

Can Opener

How else am I going to open cans of tuna and get Napoleon to come running?  Actually, I used to feed him wet food everyday, but once I learned that made his litter smell extra nice, I stopped giving it to him.

Now I use this can opener mostly for my own cans of food, from beans to tuna, to hatch green chiles.

This specific can opener is also left over from my prior apartments. Once it dulls out I will try to shop around and see if I can find a smaller one. Although this still fits in one of the rear sections of the cutlery drawer.

Wine opener

Another left over from my house/apartment days.  Living on the road full-time, I usually carry two bottles of wine with me.

A bottle of red which is what I enjoy drinking.

And a bottle of white as it is great for cooking.  One of my favorite meals is a chicken or scallop picatta.  Some white wine, capers and lemon juice later – oh so delicious!

 

Bag Sealing Clips

These small bag clips are great for keeping anything in an open bag fresh, from chips to pasta to chocolate chips.  The Ikea set that I purchased has 30 clips in it, in all sorts of sizes.

I only carry a few of the smallest size with me.  I find this is plenty to seal up the few bagged items that I carry.  The rest of these clips I gave to my mom, as I didn’t want to take up room in the cutlery drawer to store all of them.

 

 

Conclusion

Do you have other kitchen accessories that you find necessary for traveling in a RV?  I would love to hear from you, comment below!

10 Comments

  1. Donald van Straaten

    What a great list, well done. I always have my 50+ year old Comet 8 cup coffee percolator with me. Hunting, camping, RVing, and at home for the best coffee…. indispensable. Love your posts.

    Like

    1. Thank you very much! Glad you enjoyed it. Love when there are those certain items that last us a really long time. Hope you were able to enjoy your Labor Day!

      Like

      1. Wanda Bivens

        Beautiful ,u have it all, do you have 🐕 too

        Like

      2. Hi! Yes, I travel with a dog and a cat.

        Like

  2. Hey Wunderlust, excellent blog post. I recently3-months ago went with a Little Guy Max tear-drop aka-Maxy, and three-weeks later, Airstream announced the Basecamp-20.
    My knees buckled when I watched the video with the large front desk area for writing and the permanent set up for the bed.
    For the time I have been in the Maxy, I have become spoiled with the easy access to the niceties of RV-living. Of course, I’m waiting with bated-breath to inspect the Basecamp-20.
    I know you completed several modifications to your 4-Runner. I sold mine, White-Blaze trading for a Sequoia, which pulls Maxy without any problems.
    Have you had the opportunity to check the new Basecamp?

    Stay safe and COVID-free.

    Like

    1. Hope you are enjoying Maxy! I looked at the T@B CS-S when I was originally shopping and loved the build of their trailers. I haven’t had a chance to see a 20 in person yet, but keep checkin the dealers to see if any come in nearby. Stay healthy & safe as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Karen bennett

    I know my dad keeps a pizza stone from pampered chef in his oven. I know you don’t have one but it lets food cook more evenly in a camper stove.

    Like

    1. That is a very good tip! A pizza stone is an amazing tool for RV ovens. Unfortunately the Basecamp does not have an oven, otherwise I would absolutely have one!

      Like

  4. What a great list. I carry a citrus juicer that is perfect for squeezing that lime for a campsite gin and tonic, or a fresh camp lemonade! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SSYVGR4/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_fab_qzuyFbGZAPK22

    Like

    1. That’s a great accessory to carry along as well. Thank you for sharing!

      Like

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