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Why Do RV Owners Love Potlucks? | Stats, Etiquette & Recipe Ideas

Why Do RV Owners Love Potlucks? | Stats, Etiquette & Recipe Ideas

There’s no doubt about it, RV owners love potlucks. From campgrounds to rallies, these food-based gatherings are popping up all over the RV community.

Today we’re diving deep into the world of RV potlucks.

We surveyed more than 500 RVers to discover why this trend is so popular.

Despite the majority of RVers approving of potlucks, a small (yet, vocal) percentage absolutely despise them.

Let’s dive in!

What is an RV Potluck?

An RV potluck is like any other potluck, except it usually takes place outdoors.

Depending on the size of the potluck, there can be upwards of 10 long tables of food. In these cases each table can be labeled (i.e. vegan, dessert, dips, etc.).

Otherwise, a single table potluck under a campground pavilion is pretty standard.

Like traditional potlucks, attendees are encouraged to bring a dish of food. In the RV community it’s understood – store bought or smaller homemade dishes are acceptable.

RV kitchens are notoriously small.

rv potlucks

How popular are potlucks among RV owners?

As the article title hints, potlucks are widely beloved by RV owners. In fact, only 10% of RVers disapprove of potlucks.

It’s also important to note that 60% of RV owners that we surveyed have attended a potluck event.

Here’s the whole picture:


What Concerns & Challenges Do RVers Have With Potlucks?

It comes as no surprise – RV potlucks can be quite challenging. From simple logistics to health concerns, here are the main concerns.

  • Small Kitchen: It’s hard to cook a big meal in an RV kitchen. The counter space is small, the storage space is small and the pots & pans are usually small.
  • Small Fridge: Like everything else in an RV, most fridges lack space.
  • Proper Temp Control: It’s much harder to control the temp of your dish. If the potluck is outdoors, you may need to bring ice to keep your dish chilled.
  • Allergies: Most potluck dishes don’t include in depth ingredients.
  • Sanitation: It’s easy to see how germs can spread in this situation.
  • Social Anxiety: Introverts may struggle with large potlucks in a new RV community.

Potluck Concerns

What Dish Do Most RVers Bring to a Potluck?

Once you decide to attend a potluck, you need to figure out what dish you’ll bring. The trends among RV potluck dishes are almost evenly split, but there is a clear winner.

43% of RV owners bring an appetizer to the party.

32% bring an entree.

Finally, and to my personal dismay, only 1 in 4 RV owners bring a dessert to a potluck.

RV Potluck Dishes

Tips for your next RV Potluck

We asked 500+ RV’s surveyed for their number one potluck tip. They sure did deliver! Below we’re sharing an abundance of valuable tips:

  1. Keep it Simple:  This was the most popular tip we received. Don’t overthink it (or overstretch your RV kitchen)!
  2. Label Everything: Share the name of your dish and the ingredients.
  3. Bring What You Like to Eat: This way you won’t go hungry.
  4. Eat Before You Go: Use the potluck as an opportunity to meet fellow RVers.
  5. Finger Foods are the Best: The less you need utensils, the better!
  6. Keep Fixings on Hand: It’s a great idea to keep potluck ingredients on hand. You never know when one may pop up!
  7. Don’t Bring Your Dog: While dogs are welcomed camping companions in most cases, bringing them to a potluck is a bad idea.
  8. The Instant Pot is a Godsend: Buy an Instant Pot, it’s the best RV kitchen gadget around!
  9. Have Tums on Hand: Most potlucks are far from healthy. Come prepared.
  10. Have Fun: This was the 2nd most popular tip. Have a good time and meet your fellow RVers.

Popular RV Potluck Recipe Ideas

RV potluck recipes are different from standard potlucks. Many of the dishes are made in an instant pot and many times the dishes are store bought.

Here are popular dishes among the RVers we surveyed:

  1. Dips, all kinds on dips!
    1. Nacho dip
    2. Hummus
    3. Spinach Dip
  2. Potatoes, any kind
    1. Homemade Fries
    2. Au Gratin
    3. Mashed with Bacon
  3. Baked Beans are wildly popular
    1. Instant Pot Whisky Baked Beans
    2. Greek Flair Baked Beans
    3. Coffee Baked Beans
  4. Sliced Fruit (you can’t go wrong)
  5. Cookies
    1. Peppermint Sandwich Cookies
    2. Vegan & Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies
    3. Movie Cookies


What The Haters are Saying?

It’s true, not everyone loves an RV potluck. The haters, and even the neutral RVers, have a few huge concerns.

Food sanitation is the most popular reason RVers hate potlucks.

Many of the people we surveyed said they would only attend a potluck with their friends, not strangers.

Additionally, with many potlucks happening in peak RV season (winter in the desert), the potential for spreading the flu is high.

Have You Attended an RV Potluck?

Let us know in the comment section if you’ve attended an RV potluck. Do you love or hate them?

If you’re looking for an RV potluck, search no further than the Escapees RV Club. Almost every event they host, large or small, involves an RV potluck.

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  1. Bob says:

    Hate is too strong, let’s just say I don’t like potlucks. Three reasons. First, I’m an introvert and would rather be reading a book then meeting people I may never see again. Second, you always seem to be invited the day before so unless I want to leave the boonies and dri to e to the nearest town I have to use precious supplies to provide something for multiple people. Which means I can’t stay out in the boonies as long. Third, I’m very hard of hearing. My generation didn’t know that loud noise would make you deaf. Hearing aids don’t work in so many situations, amplifying everything so you still can’t hear the conversation. A warning to the young people on this site, Including Olivia and Kyle, to protect your hearing. The volume that so many have their music cranked to assures they will be as deaf as me eventually, and they don’t have the excuse of no ot knowing.

  2. I am one of the people that will bring dessert, because I always want something sweet!!! ROFL!!! A lot of times I will bring a side dish/appetizer as well.

  3. Sherry says:

    I bring my husband 😁 He’s a musician🎼

  4. Mush Sheridan says:

    I’m in the middle. They sound like fun until I have to actually leave my home- introvert. If I actually make it to one, I do enjoy them. (BTW there’s one happening right now and I’m having a hard time convincing myself to go)

    BTW your PB cookie link doesn’t work 😢