The 7 Best Dishes For RV & Camping Adventures

March 20, 2024
Some of the best RV dishes

When searching for the best RV dishes, it’s all about picking the right features and characteristics for you. After all, everyone needs something a bit different to fit their camping lifestyle! And when it comes to dishes, there are so many options that your search can get a bit overwhelming.

To make things easier, we’re going to discuss some of the materials that work best for RV dishes and some suggestions for best dishes to choose from!

Ideal Materials For RV Dishes

Dishes are made from a number of different materials, but only a few are ideally suited for RV use. Here are the main ones to look out for.

Wheat Straw

Wheat straw has become a popular bio-plastic, meaning it has a similar feel and function to plastic but does so without the waste of traditional plastic. Wheat straw itself is actually a waste product of wheat grain, making it a sustainable, repurposed material. It is biodegradable and compostable unlike traditional plastic products.

We like that wheat straw is a sustainable material that is affordable yet durable and much more environmentally friendly than plastic. It’s FDA-approved to be food safe and BPA free. And even better, most are able to go in the dishwasher or can be heated up in a microwave.

It is a great material for RV dishes because it is lightweight yet quite strong. It’s also odor-resistant which we love. Wheat straw dishes can be used and abused when camping for a number of years without having to worry about cracks or breaking.

Enamel

Enamel is a material that has been used by humans for over 3,000 years. It’s created by fusing powdered glass (through the application of extreme heat) to an underlying substrate, such as metal. While it was quite popular in ancient jewelry making, the process of enameling kitchenware began in earnest in the late 1800s. It has since become a camping staple.

Enamelware is a really great option for RV dishes because it’s exceptionally lightweight. Enamelware products are usually quite thin so they stack tightly together. While not microwave safe (because there is metal under the melted glass that is visible) it can withstand high heats in any oven, stove, or even bonfire.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel dishes are popular for camping and can last forever if you treat them well. They are non-toxic and don’t stain or absorb smells. It is also a lighter weight material than most traditional dishes (and definitely more durable).

Melamine

Melamine is a type of plastic that’s nitrogen based. It has a wide range of uses, including dishware. It has the durability and lightness that all plastics have, however is not approved for use in the microwave.

Bamboo

Bamboo, like wheat straw, is becoming a popular renewable resource that is replacing traditional plastic. It grows extremely fast (up to 1 meter per day) and requires minimal human intervention.

Because bamboo is such a strong material, dishes made from bamboo derivatives mirror this durability. It’s a great material for life on the road.

Plastic

While almost all other materials are more eco-friendly, plastic dishes still remain a very affordable and long-lasting option when it comes to RV dishes. Like many others on the list, they are lightweight and can stack together easily.

The Best Dishes For Camping & RVs

To help you pick the best set of dishes for RV camping, we’ve rounded up a handful of our favorites. This list covers a wide variety of materials, styles, and price ranges. Ultimately it all comes down to personal preference, so this list will give you plenty of options to choose from.

1. Grow Forward 16-Piece Wheat Straw Dinnerware Set

The Grow Forward 16 piece set of RV dishes

Grow Forward is a small business brand that sells online. We like that their products are made of wheat straw, which is an eco-friendly material that is incredibly lightweight yet very durable. Grow Forward dishes are great for RVs because they have a minimalistic, modern look which we love and come in a variety of color sets and combinations.

These dishes are microwave, dishwasher, fridge, and freezer safe. They are super easy to clean and don’t hold on to odors, unlike traditional plastic. This company does state that repeated use of sharp knives of the material can cause scratches, however the dishes are made to be chip and splinter resistant. They also note that microwaving these dishes with red or other richly colored sauces can cause staining, so that’s something to be aware of if you think that would bother you.

This specific set is good for a family of two to four, depending on how much you prefer to wash your dishes. The 16-piece set comes with 4 large dinner plates (10.5” diameter), 4 smaller plates (7.5” diameter), 4 large dinner bowls (30 oz capacity), and 4 slightly smaller bowls (27 oz capacity). We also love that this set won’t add a lot of extra weight to your camper.

2. Homienly 20-Piece Wheat Straw Dinnerware Set

Some RV dishes

This is another brand that uses wheat straw fiber to make their dishes, cups, and utensils. Homienly dishes are durable and microwave and dishwasher safe. They also are very heat resistant, which means that under normal conditions they won’t melt or warp.

This set of RV dishes comes in 13 different color options. It includes four complete dinner sets consisting of a plate, bowl, cup, and a fork and spoon. We like that everything is stackable (even the cups since they don’t have handles) so won’t take up much space.

3. GSI Outdoor Pioneer Enamelware Set

GSI Enamelware

Enamelware is a camping classic. This style of dinnerware just embodies the feeling of sitting around a campfire under the stars. It feels rustic yet is sturdy enough to handle a lot of hard use over many years.

However, don’t think that because it has a metal base that this set is heavy. It’s still surprisingly light and is one of the reasons why we chose to include this in our list of RV dinnerware sets. This specific set weighs just over 5 lbs!

The Pioneer Table Set consists of a 4 person set of plates (10.5” diameter), bowls (5.75” diameter), and mugs (12 oz capacity). The plates and bowls can be easily stacked but the mugs cannot since they have handles. Depending on the size of your camper, this may or may not be an issue.

Please note that this set is not safe to use in the microwave and should be hand washed.

4. Full Windsor Magware 8-Piece Set

Full Windsor Magware 8-Piece Set

Made from stainless steel, Full Windsor developed this line of dinnerware with functionality in mind. While not cheap, we think it’s a pretty great design; the plates and bowls have magnetic connections that keep the pieces together when stacked together. This helps keep everything tidy when you’re driving along bumpy, curvy roads!

This dinner set’s magnetic capability is also neat because it pairs with their Magware cutlery, allowing you to magnetically attach your utensils to your bowls and plates. This keeps them securely off any dirty surfaces.

Because Magware is made of stainless steel, the metal itself does get hot and transfers heat from your food to your hands. To make sure you don’t burn your hands, Full Windsore made these dishes with silicone side tabs for holding.

So what do you get with this set of RV dishes? You will get four bowls (2 large and 2 small) and four plates (again, 2 large and 2 small). If you want to add utensils, those need to be bought separately.

5. Coleman 24-Piece Enamel Dinnerware Set

Coleman RV dishes

This complete enamel set of RV dishes (yes, a FULL set with utensils are included!!) is another classic favorite. The typical enamel is a speckled red and includes 4 plates, 4 bowls, and 4 mugs with 4 sets of flatware. 

While still not able to be microwaved, this enamel set is dishwasher safe (if you are lucky to have a big ole RV with one). Unlike the GSI enamel set, the Coleman pieces have no exposed metal so are less likely to rust. We just suggest drying each piece really well whether you use a dishwasher or have to hand wash.

If you cook a lot outdoors, we think these are some of the best camping dishes!

6. Ekobo

Ekobo dishes for camping

Made with bamboo fiber and food safe melamine, Ekobo makes nice eco-safe dishes that look chic and modern. If you are looking for an alternative to plastic, this is another good choice. This 12-piece set is definitely more on the pricey side, but if you use your RV frequently, it may be worth the investment.

7. Corelle 18-Piece Dinnerware Set

Corelle RV dinnerware set

If you like the feel of traditional dinnerware consider buying this set for your RV or camper. Corelle makes their plates and bowls from Vitrelle glass, which is a triple-layered glass that’s very durable. Like anything else that is made of glass, these can obviously break and shatter, but they’re considered extremely strong and are highly resistant to chipping.

Despite being strong, Corelle dishes are still thin and lightweight. They also stack tightly together allowing you to have more space for other things in your camper. Unless specifically stated otherwise, all dishes are microwave safe.

We think this set in particular is a really good deal if you’re looking for a large set of RV dishes.

How To Pick The Right RV Dishes For You

There are definitely a lot of factors to consider when picking the right camping dishes for your RV. Most RVers place a heavy focus on weight, size, and durability. However shape, color, and aesthetic may be important too! Obviously the cost is a big one too.

We suggest making your decision based on the type of cooking and camping that you do. For example, if you tend to be more of a rustic, backcountry camper, a Corelle dishware set probably isn’t the safest choice. Or maybe you have a large kitchen area so smaller dishes that can nest together don’t matter to you.

Since you will likely be using these for years to come, make sure you’re happy with every aspect.

All this being said, plenty of campers just use regular dishes and are fine, so don’t feel the need to rush out and buy new ones if you don’t want to or if you need to keep your budget low.

Conclusion

There is really no wrong answer for what dishes are best for an RV. It’s just a process of figuring out what is important to you and how well the dishes will function on your camping adventures. If you like to cook out on the bonfire a lot, metal or enamelware may be the best option. But if you like dining indoors or on picnic tables, another material may work better.

Do a little research, pick one that works for you, and go have some fun!

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