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7 Tips for Off-Grid RV Cooking to Save Water and Energy

RV boondocking cooking tips

Dry camping without hookups (also known as boondocking) comes with unique challenges.

Since both water and energy are scare while you’re away from the campground, you’ll have to choose recipes that will allow you to:

  • conserve water during the cooking process
  • reduce energy usage
  • minimize water loss during cleanup

The following seven tips for cooking while camping without hookups will help make your adventures in the outback enjoyable and worry-free.

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1. Cook with cast iron

Leave your fancy cookware at home. The best pots and pans for RV cooking are made with old-fashioned cast iron. This durable material is great for preparing dishes on the stove top, in the oven or on the camp fire.

Clean up is easy as well.

Use a few drops of water, scrub gently, and clean with a paper towel.  You can dry the pot on the stovetop over a low flame.

2. Stick with one pot recipes

Using fewer dishes means consuming less water during clean up. Whenever possible, choose easy camping dishes you can make in a casserole dish or large pot.

If a favorite recipe calls for using multiple pots, you can usually get away with putting everything in a single container.

Just make sure to cook ingredients according to the order in which they’re needed in the recipe.

For example, you can make breakfast in a single pan by first cooking your potatoes, then frying bacon and finally, scrambling the eggs.

3. Grill more often

Grilling is an easy way to enjoy the great outdoors while keeping your RV kitchen clean. Using your barbecue grill for everything from meats to vegetables and fruits will result in a longer-lasting water supply when camping.

Be sure to line the grill with aluminum foil for easy clean up.

4. Make more salads

Grazing on salads isn’t just healthy – it’s an easy way to avoid dirtying more dishes in the RV kitchen.

Hearty dinner salads made with pre-washed greens and topped with fish or meat are the easiest RVing meals to prepare.

Save even more water by using dinner forks to serve the salad onto paper plates, instead of dirtying a pair of salad tongs.

5. Arrange cowboy cookouts

rv cooking cowboy cookout

Cooking over an open fire is the ultimate way to keep your RV kitchen clean while conserving water and fuel.

With the right tools, any meal can be cooked over an open fire. Consider carrying a plated steel campfire cooking implement like this lumberjack grill for easy clean up.

6. Keep a stash of paper plates, napkins and towels

Using paper consumables when dry camping is the primary way to save water in your RV.

Paper towels are one of your biggest allies in the battle for water conservation.

Wipe dirty dishes before washing to save water during the clean-up process.

7. Use soap sparingly during clean up

Too much soap placed directly onto your kitchen sponge will require more water for rinsing. Consider using a spray bottle filled with water and a few drops of concentrated dish soap instead.

Wipe off the spray with a paper towel, and use another spray bottle filled with only water for a quick rinse.

TIP: Paper towels and wet wipes will allow you to save your water reserves for drinking and bathing.

2 thoughts on “7 Tips for Off-Grid RV Cooking to Save Water and Energy”

  1. Thanks for these tips. They are helpful and serve to remind me how much we love campfires and cooking outside. What’s especially good for me is that hubby usually does the cooking when it’s outside and I get a break! I call my RV kitchen my “doll-house” and love it that I can be so creative without a Wolf range and all the trappings….I write about our travels, part-time RV and part-time international, at I would love to have subscribers from the RV family. Best, CarolSue

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