RV campground

Then and now: cooking in an RV

This post was written by Deb Rankine, a.k.a. The Fridge Whisperer.

For camping enthusiasts, there are lots of options of where to lay one’s head at the end of a day filled with adventurous hikes, exploratory canoeing, and refreshing swims. Your choice comes down to creature comfort must-haves.

Today’s recreational vehicles do not disappoint! With Ontario Parks celebrating its 125th anniversary, we thought it would be fun to look back on how camping (and cooking) in a travel trailer has changed over the years.

Trailer park from the 60s

Vintage trailers from the ’50s and ’60s were small, compact, and offered little more than a pull-out bed, two-burner propane stove, icebox, and a tiny steel sink with a manually-pumped cold water tap for washing up.

Lighting was oftentimes a single ceiling fixture, operated by DC battery or a campsite electrical hook-up. These usually ran at a rate of 25 cents per day.

These trailers were built with a family of four in mind, though most times the living quarters were so confined that dinner was prepped at the picnic table and cooked outdoors.

Recent RV picture

Fast forward almost seven decades, and today’s recreational vehicles are built for the masses with en-suite bathrooms, surround-sound stereo systems, radiant heated flooring, and dream kitchens with full-size appliances, convection oven, food prep island, and double sinks.

And, speaking of the good life, here is a delectable dinner idea doable in a RV kitchen, outdoor cook stove, or over an open fire.

Pork medallions in dijon cream (serves 6)

Pork Medallions in a pan


  • 2 pork tenderloins (about one pound each), trimmed of silver skin and fat
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • ½ cup heavy (35%) cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Cut each tenderloin crosswise into 2-inch-thick rounds, place between plastic wrap and pound into ½-inch-thick medallions using a meat mallet or rolling pin.

In a small rimmed plate, stir together flour, salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, add oil and butter and swirl to coat.

Working in batches, dust pork medallions in seasoned flour, shake off excess and cook in a single layer until golden brown, about five minutes per side. Transfer to a rimmed plate and keep medallions warm in a low oven.

To skillet, add wine. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any brown bits that may be stuck to the bottom of the pan.

Reduce heat to medium, whisk in chicken stock, cream, and mustard, and cook until sauce has reduced by half, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Spoon sauce over medallions and serve immediately, sided by baked potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

Want more Ontario Parks history? Check out the other posts in our OP125 “Then and now” series.