Cooking in a recreational vehicle is like cooking in the galley of a sailboat. Usually there's a sink with running water, a three- or four-burner gas stove with an oven and a refrigerator-freezer. But all are small, so it requires more ingenuity than skill to eat well.
*On our trip along the southeast coast another limitation was the 90-degree weather. I tried to avoid cooking inside the RV as much as possible to keep the living area cool.
We took along a supply of staples and some favorite cooking items, including milk, wine, two kinds of brown bread, capers, Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, sea salt, peppercorns, dried basil and tarragon, two kinds of flavored vinegar, corn oil, canned tuna, brown rice and a box of Raisin Bran.
Basically, however, we lived off the land, stopping frequently at local fish markets and produce stands. We ate a lot of shrimp, tomatoes, peaches and cucumbers. We boiled the shrimp in beer and basil, then chilled it in our tiny refrigerator. The tomatoes and cucumbers we sliced and ate either plain or in a vinagrette sauce. We ate The peaches raw, often sliced on bowls of cold brown rice for breakfast.
*The first culinary challenge was supper the night we arrived in Hilton Head. It was 11 o'clock by the time we got our vehicle moored beside an artificial lake. It was pouring rain, forcing us to stay inside, and it was still hot, so instead of cooking we improvised: Dinner consisted of a can of tuna fish, tossed with capers, plus a salad of tomatoes and tiny pickling cucumbers (acquired from a roadside stand in North Carolina) and a glass of red wine. It tasted remarkably good.
*Other memorable meals included swordfish broiled over mesquite chips (on a $2.98 portable grill we carried with us), brown rice and a slaw made out of shredded cabbage and daikon (white radish) flavored lightly with umeboshi plum vinegar; and chilled shrimp, a salad of cold rice and capers, and sliced tomatoes.
*Grilling fish was just one way to avoid overheating the RV. I also boiled a big pot of brown rice twice during the week-long trip. We ate some of it hot, then refrigerated the rest to use for breakfast and salads. Whenever I cooked rice or shrimp, I turned on the vent fan directly above the stove to draw the heat out of the vehicle.
*I also noticed other RV travelers who had devised a sensible way of cooking outdoors: They had taken along an electric skillet, which they plugged into an exterior outlet available on most RVs.
*We both found the heat debilitating. As a result, we kept the refrigerator full of cold liquids: orange juice, cranapple juice, milk and beer.