General questions on cooking/cost savings


Junior Member
Good morning all! Once again, our family is considering a cross-country (MN to VA, SC and many stops in between) trip. There are 5 of us and the kids aren't real little (3 age 15-23). Food allergies are more and more of an issue, and last trip, we took our minivan and direct wired a crockpot to the car battery, allowing us to literally "cook" down the road. It was just so much easier than trying to figure out what everyone could eat. It was healthier and cheaper, and I even learned to "layer" pre-cooked meals (lunch on top, dinner on the bottom). I'm just wondering about the possibility of renting either a motorhome or a tow behind, and whether there would be any cost-savings. Obviously, fuel economy on a motor home is going to be less than a minivan, but there would be no hotel costs, only campground cost. With a pull behind, I know it would drag down our economy, and I know there would be a weight limit. We do have a full size extended cab pickup, but it only gets 12 mpg with no load, not to mention 3 tall teens in the back seat is not real comfortable (ha). My questions are mostly related to cooking. Is it possible to just "pull over" to prepare a meal when you're not hooked up in a park? What about running that crockpot still, is that an option? What about a "pop-up"? Obviously not practical to set-up mid-day, guessing I could still crockpot in the van. With a pop-up are there any indoor cooking options? Is it possible to get AC in a popup? Lots of crazy questions, give me Grace please as I know absolutely nothing about this option, and am just looking to soak up all the info I can.

C Nash

Senior Member
Welcome to the forum tchomemom. A MH would be the way to go IMO. Renting one is expensive and buying one is also. Would you plan on keeping it? Gas burner you can expect around 8 mpg. Diesel around 12 all depending on size of both. Yes you have all the conveninces of home in a MH. Gen will provide 120 volts and battery will provide 12 volt. Only you can decide what is best for your needs. RVing I would not approach as a money saving way to go. It's just something you have to enjoy and plan on doing a lot. Great life. Yes you can get AC in a pop up and most have cooking options.


Senior Member
Tchomemom - I agree with Chelse(no a) that a motorhome would be the best way to go, especially with 3 large teenagers. They could semi-lounge in the back, watch videos or whatever while Mom and Dad drove. Pluses - you have your own food, you have your own bed and you don't have to stop for potty breaks. About the only negative would be being stuck in a motorhome with 3 large teenagers if the weather turned bad. If you really want to cook on the go, I would recommend having a 120 volt inverter connected to the engine generator. That way you could cook in your slow cooker - just make sure to either put it in the sink or bungee it down to the stove so it doesn't fall off the counter. I would not recommend running the generator or using the propane stove while driving.

While you can get AC in a pop-up, most do not have their own generator, so you would have to park somewhere with 120 volt electrical. They all come with small kitchens, but the refrigerator is small because it has to be less than counter height, and the restroom facilities always seem pretty small, to me. Plus you have to crank it up at night and down in the morning - and with my luck, it's always raining when I have to be outside doing this.

Post back if you have more questions. We have more answers - some right - some wrong.


Good day. Like everyone here, I love to cook. I want to share my experience.
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