It’s clear to see that folks who love the RV lifestyle love being outside. So for many, it is important to have a kitchen that allows them to leave the confines of the RV and cook in the fresh open air. Luckily, outdoor kitchens and camp kitchens allow rugged chefs to bring meal prep out into mother nature. But is there really any difference between a camp kitchen and an outdoor kitchen? The answer is yes, and they each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Read on to learn more about these two options and see who wins the battle of the camp kitchen vs. outdoor kitchen.
Camp kitchens are essentially manufactured chuck boxes, used for keeping all your camping kitchen essentials in one compact and convenient location. With lots of different models and styles available on the market today, camp kitchens can vary greatly.
Popular Options Available -
Camp Champ: The Camp Champ is the ultimate camp kitchen, boasting a four-burner gas stove, a knife block, and utensils for six people. This model comes fully-loaded with everything from a set of pots and pans to a spice rack and coffee percolator. The top-of-the-line products can be compacted down into a convenient and stylish cube for supreme portability. But along with a smart design and upscale features, this well-crafted unit also comes with a $6,000 price tag.
My Camp Kitchen: My Camp Kitchen costs around $500 and while it is significantly cheaper than the Camp Champ, it includes significantly less. The unit comes with dual drawers, countertop extenders, a paper towel holder, and three storage compartments. My Camp Kitchen packs up into a compact box.
Grub Hub: The Grub Hub camp kitchen sells for $379.00 and includes a utensil rack, paper towel holder, and air dry bags. The model also includes a folding kitchen sink, however it should be noted that the “sink” is merely a fabric bag without a drain hole. The whole unit packs up into a rollable suitcase and claims to take just 3 minutes to assemble and disassemble.
Kanz Outdoors Field Kitchen: With the Kanz Outdoors Field Kitchen, you have the option of buying the unit furnished or unfurnished. Unfurnished, the unit costs $750 and includes a serving tray, counter space, storage compartments, and a place for a 2-burner stove. The fully furnished model sells for $1,515 and adds a fuel stove, cookware set, and side shelves. The unit compacts into a small trunk with removable legs.
DIY Model: A camp kitchen can easily be created with a few products you might already own. Simply bring along a folding table, stovetop or grill, and storage containers for dinnerware, and you have your own homemade camp kitchen! Although it might not be as compact or portable, it could save you some money if you already have the materials on hand.
The main advantage of a camp kitchen is its portability. Unlike outdoor kitchens, a camp kitchen can be set up anywhere on the campsite. Camp kitchens can also be brought along on trips where you want to leave your RV behind. Self-containment is another big advantage of these kitchens. They provide you with one compact location to keep all your kitchen essentials.
The downside of camp kitchens is that they often take shape as little more than convertible storage units for cooking utensils. You have to shell out a substantial amount to get a camp kitchen that comes fully furnished, like the $6,000 Camp Champ model. Among other disadvantages, you have to have storage space to haul them along when not in use. This can be an even greater disadvantage with some of the bulkier models. Lastly, camp kitchens take longer than outdoor kitchens to set up and take down.
Outdoor kitchens are housed in the exteriors of RVs, and most often include a refrigerator, sink, and some type of stovetop. Some units even include an entertainment center in their outdoor kitchen design. Other RVs include a small exterior slide out, sometimes referred to as a camp kitchen, which includes just a compact sink and stovetop surface. Outdoor kitchens allow you to conveniently extend your RV’s cooking space with little set up.
Popular Options Available -
Jayco Eagle 324BHTS Travel Trailer - This RV features an outdoor kitchen sheltered below its sprawling 20’ awning. The kitchen includes a dorm-style refrigerator, slide out two burner stovetop, and countertop space for meal prep.
Cruiser Fun Finder Signature 301KIBH Travel Trailer - This RV features an outdoor kitchen towards the rear of the unit. The kitchen includes a dorm-style refrigerator, two-burner stovetop, and sink. A slide out on the rear bumper is able to accommodate a grill.
Forest River Sabre 360QB Fifth Wheel - This RV features a slide out rear outdoor kitchen. The kitchen includes a dorm-style refrigerator, sink, and overhead cabinets to stow away all your outdoor dinnerware.
Advantages - The main advantage of outdoor kitchens is that they offer the functionality and convenience of a real kitchen in ways that no camp kitchen can. Refrigeration capabilities are a major benefit, eliminating the need to enter the RV each time you want to grab a quick snack or another cold beer. Outdoor kitchens also take virtually no time to set up or disassemble. The inclusion of a stovetop is also an added benefit. Lastly, because outdoor kitchens are built into the exteriors of RVs, they are easily transported with you wherever you take your trailer.
Disadvantages - The main disadvantage of an outdoor kitchen is that it is in a fixed location, eliminating your ability to dictate their position on your campsite. For example, if you want your kitchen closer to the campfire, you’d have to move your entire RV. Additionally, some models might have limited countertop space in their outdoor kitchens making meal preparation challenging.
In the battle of the camp kitchen vs. outdoor kitchen, the outdoor kitchen reigns supreme as the victor. Though it really is dependent on your camping style, outdoor kitchens just offer so much more in terms of functionality. While camp kitchens might offer increased portability and table top space, unless you purchase one that is fully furnished, these units are little more than versatile tables with shelving. The refrigeration capabilities, simple assembly, and added features of outdoor kitchens make them ultimately more ideal for preparing meals in the fresh open air.