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.


  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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