Woman opening instant pot lid while cooking inside RV

Tips and Tricks for Using an Instant Pot in Your RV

If you enjoy using an Instant Pot at home, you’ll also love using it on the road. We sure did, and we wanted to share a few tips (and tricks) about using an Instant Pot in your RV. We’ll cover it all, let’s go…

Instant Pot on counter in RV with text 'tips for using instant pot in your rv'

My First Experience Using the Instant Pot in Our Travel Trailer


I’ll never forget the first time I used my Instant Pot in our travel trailer. I added all of my ingredients, put the lid on, set the timer and was feeling pretty good about myself. As a brand new RVer, getting meals on the table was quite an accomplishment.

Woman inside RV opening the lid to an instant pot
Credit: Julie Bonner

As the Instant Pot started steaming, cooking quickly came to a halt because I tripped the breaker and everything shut off. The air conditioner, the microwave and yes, the Instant Pot that was cooking our dinner.

Long story short, dinner was salvaged and I learned a lesson that night – when you’re using an Instant Pot in a travel trailer with a 30 amp electrical system, you have to unplug some things.

Through some experimenting, I learned that we could run our air conditioner and use the Instant Pot at the same time, as long as nothing else was plugged into the kitchen outlet.

My first time using the Instant Pot, I also had our toaster (which pulls a ton of power) and our coffee maker plugged in. Although they weren’t ‘on’ they were still pulling power. Obviously, I’m no electrician.

If we were somewhere we didn’t need to use the air conditioner, I could have a few other things plugged in and still use the Instant Pot.

For example, in the photo below, we were in Asheville during the fall when the temps were perfect. We didn’t need the air conditioner or heater, so I was able to plug the Instant Pot in, along with our electric kettle and coffee pot. Now, if someone tried using the microwave, it would have tripped the breaker.

Close up of woman stirring contents of instant pot while cooking inside RV
Credit: Julie Bonner

Can You Use An Instant Pot in Your RV?


So, to answer the question on whether or not you can use an Instant Pot in your RV…yes, yes you can. Just know the wattage of the Instant Pot you’re using and if your RV run is a 30 or 50 amp system. You might have to experiment a time or two to see what your RV’s electrical system can handle.

Speaking of wattage, most 8 quart Instant Pots average around 1200 watts and 6-quart Instant Pots (which is what I have) are around 1000 watts. The smaller 3-quart Instant Pot averages around 700 watts.

You can find the wattage information, as well as weight, dimensions, and voltage on this Instant Pot comparison chart.

How Many Amps Does an Instant Pot Draw?

As far as how many amps an Instant Pot draws and how to use your Instant Pot while boondocking, I found a discussion about this topic on Sports Mobile Forum.

The person asking the question on the forum thread was worried about frying their battery while using the Instant Pot. He received some good feedback. I’d recommend a quick read if you have similar concerns.

Instant Pot Mexican Rice and Beans recipe

What Size Instant Pot is Best for RVing?

As far as what size Instant Pot is best for RVing, I would summarize it as follows:

  • 3 Quart Instant Pot for a solo traveler or couple
  • 6 Quart Instant Pot or Duo 7-in-1 for family of up to 5

All that said, it depends on a few key factors:

  • Your RV’s electrical system
  • How many people you need to feed
  • How much storage space you have

We have the 6-quart 6-in-1 Instant Pot and it’s perfect for our family of five. However, it seems that model has been discontinued. The most similar model is the Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1, which includes a yogurt maker and sterilizer.

Leftovers for us are a pain because of the tiny fridge in the travel trailer, so the 6-quart is the perfect size to feed all of us once.

If it’s just two of you, the 3-quart size might be all you need. As Todd and I are nearing the empty nest stage in our life, I’d like to get the 3-quart size and start experimenting with recipes designed for two. Note that the downsizing to the 3-quart is really just about saving space as there is only about a $10 price difference from the 6-quart.

Where to Store an Instant Pot in Your RV

When we first started RVing full-time, my Instant Pot moved around quite a bit. It started out under our dinette, but that became a pain both getting it out and putting it away. Since one or two people were often sitting at the dinette, they need to move before I could get to the Pot or put it away.

Then I moved it into our storage ottoman, which I tell everyone was one of our best purchases for the RV.

RV organization tips
Credit: Julie Bonner

When our daughter was with us on her breaks from college, the ottoman was in her closet. When she wasn’t with us, we stored the Instant Pot in the ottoman bench, along with our son’s roadschooling materials, and a few random office supplies.

When I couldn’t store the Instant Pot in the ottoman, I stored it under our stove.

Where you store your Instant Pot all depends on how often you use it and the amount of storage space you have. Most likely you’ll end up moving it around until you find just the perfect spot. Which sums up RV living pretty perfectly. 😉

Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1
$99.95

Functionality includes pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, saute, yogurt maker, and sterilizer, among other settings. Multiple sizes available (3QT, 6QT, 8QT).

Pros:
  • Programmable settings allow you to set and forget
  • Quick and easy clean up for RV cooking
  • Built-in safety features to prevent overheating
Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/20/2024 09:46 am GMT

Short List of Instant Pot Recipes for RV Travel


I could talk about Instant Pot recipes all day. In fact, I have quite a few here on TREKKN:

I’m still working on posting some of my favorite Instant Pot soup recipes, which is my favorite thing to make.

One tip I like to share with fellow RVers when it comes to broths for soup is instead of lugging around the heavy cans and cartons, keep Better Than Bouillon on hand. In addition to the roast beef and roast chicken flavor, it’s also available in a sofrito base and vegetarian. They even offer an organic seasoned beef base. I never had an issue finding this product at Walmarts across the country.

Not only is this option smaller and lighter, it’s stored in the fridge and offers a richer flavor than canned or boxed broths.

Accessories for RV Instant Pot Cooking


Last but not least, let’s chat Instant Pot accessories that are helpful for RV cooking.

Instant Pot Steam Diverters are Perfect for RV Cooking

One accessory I recently found out about, is an Instant Pot steam diverter. It wraps around the steam release valve on top of the Pot and directs the steam to the side instead of up toward the cabinets or ceiling.

Not only is this great for everyday use in your bricks and sticks home, but it’s also extremely helpful to use one in your RV. Because the less your RV is exposed to moisture, the better!

Extra Instant Pot Sealing Rings

Another good Instant Pot accessory to have on hand while RVing, is extra sealing rings. You might notice after using your Instant Pot a few times that the ring starts to smell like whatever you’re cooking. Mine started smelling like garlic.

If you cook something with garlic one night and then do a dessert the next night, your dessert could taste like garlic. I mean, I love garlic but I don’t really want my apple crisp tasting like it.

Rings can also get damaged and it’s better to have an extra one on hand than to be in the middle of nowhere without one.

You can find replacement sealing rings in the Instant Pot store on Amazon. Be sure to choose the right size based on the Instant Pot you chose (i.e., 3-quart, 6-quarter, etc.)!

Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1
$99.95

Functionality includes pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, saute, yogurt maker, and sterilizer, among other settings. Multiple sizes available (3QT, 6QT, 8QT).

Pros:
  • Programmable settings allow you to set and forget
  • Quick and easy clean up for RV cooking
  • Built-in safety features to prevent overheating
Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/20/2024 09:46 am GMT

Are You Ready to Use Your Instant Pot in Your RV?


I hope these tips and tricks for using an Instant Pot in your RV help you in your RV cooking endeavors. If you have any favorite recipes to share with us, please do in the comment section below!

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5 Comments

  1. We get our new camper on Saturday!! Thank you for all of your tips! I love my Instant Pot at home, and I was curious to know if I would be able to use it in the camper. Happy to know I will be able to!

    1. Congrats on the new camper! That’s so exciting! I still remember the day we got ours. And enjoy using that Instant Pot. It was a lifesaver on the road. 🙂

  2. I see your multiplug on the wall. I have a 50 amp 5th wheel. The electrical part is very confusing to me. I have wondered if I can use one or 2 in the RV or would it burn something up. I am new to the lifestyle and will soon be a full timer. Can’t wait to hear. Thanks

    1. Hi Pamela,
      Trust me, you are not alone when it comes to the “electrical baffle”. It took us several weeks at least to really start understanding how things worked, do’s and dont’s, etc.
      The multiplug power strips are helpful to use, but you will obviously have to pay attention to the type of appliances you plug in there. We primarily used it because of short cords on appliances and the need to simply “relocate” the outlet for accessibility.
      For multiplugs, there is not a fear of burning something up per se; the worst you should experience is just what we did…tripping the breaker and having to reset it if you overload the electrical system.
      Having said that, I am not an electrician and can only speak from our experience in our travel trailer. So seek some professional advice if you feel uncertain about how to proceed with your 5th wheel.

      If you have any other questions, let us know. Happy travels to you…enjoy your full-time adventure! I know we did. Peace.

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