10 Favorite Collapsible Products for RV Living
Kitchen items for camping and RV life have come a long way since I was a kid and we clunked around with heavy, metal folding pots and pans, silverware and cups in our backpacks and in the cramped camper kitchen. No longer do you risk cutting your finger on the edge of the ratty old aluminum pan or have to worry that your fork will fold in the middle of your food – food-grade, BPA-safe silicone has revolutionized camp cooking!
There has been an explosion in products specifically designed to take up less space that are not only easy to clean, but some can also be freezer-safe, microwave safe, or even campfire safe. I’ve been shopping around and looking for items for my wish list so that I can get rid of some larger, heavier kitchen and household items. These are my personal top ten choices for expandable and collapsible items for RV living. Do you have others? I’d love to hear what you’ve found!
Collapsible Dish Drainer
When collapsed, this Southern Homewares countertop collapsible dish drainer takes up less than 2″ in height and fits handily in half of our RV sink when we need to stow it for road travel – it’s only 14.5″ x 12/4″. With a detachable silverware divider, and a separate drainpan that attaches to the bottom, this dish drainer works well for our family of four right next to the sink on the counter, but could also easily be used inside the sink if space were an issue. We cook often and eat at home every day of the week, so it gets a workout and so far, so good!
Expandable Mixing Bowl
This 5 quart mixing bowl from Squish is BPA free and has a grippy handle a non-slip base so that you can easily and safely mix up your Saturday morning pancake batter, even in less than ideal locations. The pour spout makes it easy to dish up your delights and it’s even dishwasher safe! Just don’t throw this into the microwave or use it stovetop or in the oven. Obviously. When compressed this beauty takes up only 1″ of vertical space. It also comes in a 1.5 quart size and a 3 quart size for all your mixing needs.
Space-saving Collapsible Laundry Basket
This pop-up laundry basket by Vanderbilt takes up 70% less space when it’s collapsed than a traditional laundry basket, storing in only 3″ x 24″ x 17.5″. Comfy rubberized handles should make it easy to carry and it holds over 2 cubic feet of clothing. If you choose not to collapse it for storage, the upper part of the basket is ventilated, but I’m not sure how the large rubber panel will treat damp clothes. I haven’t actually used this basket, but I fondled it in Wal-Mart. 🙂
BPA Free Food Storage Containers
Although there are a lot of varieties, shapes and sizes of collapsing food storage containers available, these are the neatest ones I’ve found. Although you can buy each type, and others, separately, this 17-piece combo set by Cool Gear features an expandable Bento box, a salad kit and a steamer with a tray and a bit of savings overall. Each set nests into a gel-filled freezer tray which keeps your food chilled, and snap tight lids to keep everything fresh. If you’ve used these, I’d love to hear from you!
We have had this particular collapsible colander made by Jed Mart since before even moving on board our RV, where it’s especially important to make sure that nothing escapes down your drain and into your grey tanks. It’s such an easy way to save space, and we have the full utility of a traditional drainer or strainer, plus the silicone makes it heat proof and easy to handle when you’ve just poured a pot of boiling noodles through. Simple to clean by hand, we use this product on an almost daily basis and I would recommend it heartily!
Collapsible Silicone and Stainless Tea Kettle
This Better Housewares collapsible tea kettle is on my personal wish list. We have had an electric kettle in the past, but since our propane stovetop boils water so quickly, I think this will be a perfect solution that won’t test our electrical system when we are on 30amp service. This specific kettle holds up to 5-cups or 40-ounces and uses food safe stainless and silicone which is resistant to high heat so that it can be safely used on your stovetop or your camp stove. I love the lime green and the upward tilting handle that would seem to prevent overheating your grip position over a burner.
Typical measuring cups, even ones that nest, can take up a ton of space can be difficult to keep track of if not attached. This set of collapsible, BPA-free, FDA approved silicone measuring cups by the Scandinavian company, Fika, collapse and fold away to save you as much storage as possible. These standard sized measuring cups (1 cup, 1/2 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/4 cup) can be used for dry measure or liquids, and the silicone material is easy to wash and store, plus it doesn’t rust or stain like old-fashioned metal cups!
This collapsing silicone bucket by Simply Genius is perfect for everything from beach adventures to sitting by the campfire as an ice bucket. Although it holds up to 10 liters or just over 2 1/2 gallons, it folds down to only 2″ high when collapsed and is 13″ wide at the top of the bucket. It has both a pouring spout and of course, a handle for ease in carrying and dumping.
Collapsible Drinking Cups
One in each of four colors (1 Green, 1 Yellow, 1 Blue, 1 Pink) comes in the base set of these four food-grade silicone collapsible drinking cups by Gouda, but you can get sets of 8 and 16 as well. These foldup cups can go from -100* F to up to 480* – well above any kind of drinkable temperature for humans! Each cup holds 5.8oz or 170ml and comes with a cap so that you can transport liquids easily. These are safe for the dishwasher, non-stick and fold down to only 3/4″ in size.
Collapsing Salad Spinner
One of the things I most regretted getting rid of when we left our sticks and bricks home was our salad spinner. It was bulky and took up a lot of space, but it was so useful that we had it out at least three or four nights a week. I didn’t think I’d be able to afford the space in our RV Kitchen, but I was wrong! Progressive to the rescue again! Prepworks offers this collapsible salad spinner that, along with a non-skid bottom has a retracting pull-cord and a push button stop making it easy to operate. In addition, the outer bowl can be used to serve salad, and with the lid, even store it in the fridge. This is definitely on my wish list!
Bonus: Folding Baby Bath
If you’ve got a little one, the typical RV shower situation isn’t going to be conducive to bathing. In comes this folding baby bath by Luxx Baby that can be easily stowed for travel or just daily storage due to it’s quick drying rubber and folding design. The bathtub comes in either pink or yellow and includes a non-slip bath mat.