Full-time RVing: Shop, but make sure the galley will “work”

Full-time RVing: Shop, but make sure the galley will “work”

By Russ and Tiña De Maris

Not everyone already has an RV when they begin their “full-time career.” Well, I guess we did — it was a large truck camper, but it didn’t take long to figure out that full-timing in a slide-in camper just wasn’t going to cut it. So we started shopping for a “new” home. Maybe you’re in the same position. There are many areas of concern when evaluating an RV for full-time-ability, and we’ll touch on them now and then. To get started, let’s talk about the galley:

Weekend RV users don’t need to worry much about their galley — after all, it is just a weekend, or an occasional week or two. But when full-timing, you can’t always rely on hitting Burger Doodle, when the cook has had enough of cramped cooking spaces. One of the first things to examine is counter space. If there isn’t enough of it, your cook will soon go batty. Where will you put those little appliances? Toaster, coffee maker, (for us, bread maker), et al.? And once they’re in place, will there be enough space left over to work in the kitchen? Since most full-timers go without a dishwasher, where will you put the dishes to dry?

Sure, RV builders are clever: “See this neat sink cover? Need more room, just toss the cover on!” Fine, as long as you don’t need the other half of the sink. We don’t find the need of a “residential”-size kitchen sink in our galley  — we’d rather have those extra inches of space in counter tops. And speaking of that, what material is best for an RV counter top? Granite and Corian looks great! But my, oh my, consider the weight — it all adds up, and you’ve got to drag that weight around. Consider those two little big words: fuel economy. We eventually added a “dog leg” counter top extension that folds down beside a kitchen cabinet when not in use. It helped a lot.

When evaluating rigs, end kitchens usually have more counter space by virtue of the design. Some rigs with slideout kitchens have tacked on “islands” in the kitchen. Whenever you evaluate, make sure she (or he) who does the cooking spends a few minutes really looking the place over. Is there sufficient (and handy) cabinet space for what you keep in your kitchen? Getting down on your “prayer bones” to get supplies out gets old in a hurry.

While you’re on those bones, consider the galley floor covering. Our “new” old rig came with carpet throughout, living room, bathroom and kitchen. It didn’t take long for us to give most of that carpet the heave-ho, and replace it with something we could really live with: Laminate flooring, lightweight, durable, and good looking. Ever broken an egg on carpet?

Finally, consider the galley appliances: Some cooks really want four-burner stoves — and they’re hard to find. Some motorhome builders apparently figure you don’t need an oven — they give you a microwave oven and a 3-burner stove top (if you’re fortunate). Again, is that really going to satisfy the real roving cook? And carefully consider the RV refrigerator — make sure it’s big enough and configured to meet your needs.

##RVT782

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4 thoughts on “Full-time RVing: Shop, but make sure the galley will “work”

  1. Ellen

    Great suggestions! We’ve been full-timing for over eight years and have used two rigs. The one thing to remember is that the overhead space is often lower between the top of the stove and the stove vent/hood. And the sinks in our rigs are smaller than residential sinks. All this is to say — keep these things in mind when you’re shopping for new pots and pans. Nothing worse than finding out you can’t lift the lid when the pot is on the stove or that big frying pan won’t fit in the sink for cleaning 🙂

  2. Diane Mc

    We don’t full time, but do have 170, 000 miles on our MH. We did opt for 3 large drawers in lieu of oven and chose a combo micro/convection oven. It has worked perfectly. You could bake a small turkey or a whole chicken in ours. And the drawer space is perfect. A side note. We looked at new coaches & just don’t like the layouts & having to go to 40fter to get options we like. We put a new engine in last year and it is currently at the factory getting interior upgrades & new paint. Far less expensive that a new coach.

  3. Lynn Nusskern

    We have a little dog. In looking at all the floor plans I noticed some have counter tops next to the couch. It would just make one more thing to have to train puppy not to make that easy jump up to the kitchen counter.

  4. Mike

    Great food for thought R & T. May I add “Check how close the couch etc. is to the stove.” Seems peculiar to me that anyone would fry bacon or burgers in such close proximity of a leather couch, wall mounted TV or other high-end accessory.

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