Internal or external kitchen?


I have been planning my build as a external kitchen like the typical teardrop, but I just stumbled across VMI. Those models have me contemplating a pop up with a internal kitchen setup.

What are everyones thoughts about doing a kitchen inside? I am worried about the cooking smells being trapped inside, and the complexity of the popup roof. It would be nice to have room to sit at a table inside, but is the extra complexity, and potential smell worth it?


I agree. Love the idea of it being accessible, but hate the idea of the smell in such a confined space.


External, but under cover! I think having an easy to access galley that has coverage from the elements is the best. The most social aspect of camping and being in the outdoors is cooking and drinking beer. I think going inside to do those things is against the spirit of the excursion.

Here is a TD design I drew up that has a rear hatch that opens to be horizontal, and a nice awning that would make cooking under cover quick and easy.

td galley.jpg


Expedition Vehicle Engineer Guy
Our situation is a little different since we can chose to live beside or live inside as conditions dictate - but from someone who has both options available, I can tell you that cooking outside is preferable at least 95% of the time.

We grill outside at home to about the same ratio.

My vote - external but under cover, and if it your sole way to cook make sure you have baffles and wind shields you can deploy if needed around the stove.


Outside for me for sure. Being in bear country makes that a must as well, but for me it is the smell/mess and the potential to attract rodents and critters particularly during storage. The only thing that I do inside is boil water.


I thing that bothers me about cooking inside whether its camper, trailer or motorhome, is you miss the conversation of the camp for the time you are inside cooking. This cooking time in the evening is when the day was discussed with a cool beverage and when the next day is being planned.

You miss interacting with your traveling companions.


We have a pop-up truck camper with stove, sink, & fridge. Most of our cooking is still done outside. It's nice to have the stove for morning coffee and to boil water for pasta, mac & cheese, rice, etc., stuff that doesn't smell. We will cook inside if the weather is really bad but that hasn't happened too often.


Outside, covered but condensed and out of the box ready... pack & unpack sucks! lol.... if you are building or fabbing up something does a pass-thru or port hole work to access whatever you may want at night or for the morning joe on rainy days?


Rendezvous Conspirator
Making a spot of tea inside is cool .Sleeping in grease may be slick but not for me
This is it for us. I have a butane burner I can use inside, should things be really dire outside. I have used it on occasion to make morning coffee, but cooking actual food inside would only happen if it was positively biblical outside. Food smells, chance of fire, etc. are just too off-putting.


Adventurer, eh?
I agree with outside but a cover. There's several awning options you could look at to find one to suite your needs, and could even get one with sides and even a floor if you want to give yourself a good shelter, especially when the weather is really bad, an awing isn't enough if it's raining sideways. You do want to make it as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. My awning should be in within a month or two, and when that happens i'll have the measurements to know to build your kitchen, but I'd also suggest a kitchen that setups up quick. If part of the point of the internal kitchen to have it easier to setup/presetup, there are many ways to make a quick-deploy external kithen. The easier things are to setup, the happier you'll be.


outside is nice the majority of the time. Its way more social is you are outside cooking with everyone else as opposed to inside your tiny RV. the major bummer is crappy weather especially high winds. Those days dinner ends up being some chips out of a bag.


Wiffleball Batter
Our T@B is the Clamshell model with the outside kitchen for the reasons many state here. We like to be sociable when we camp and being outside is where we want to be. As for the "brew a hot drink while you sit inside" neither one of us has much interest in that. I don't mind going outside to fire up the stove even on a cold day (last year our coldest camping trip was at Great Sand Dunes National Park in April, nightly lows were in the mid 20's and daytime highs never got above 45.)
Another factor: Cooking outside gives us the ability to expand our counter space by putting a folding table alongside the galley, which is something you can't do with an inside kitchen. In fact, we normally don't even cook in the galley, we cook on a portable camp stove on a table next to the galley. More room to spread out and the burners on the camp stove are far enough apart that we can cook two pans at the same time - something we can't do with our built-in stove as the burners are too close together.
We always have a popup, about an 8 x 8, with us and that goes over the galley for weather protection.
Here's a good shot of our galley setup. This was at Sunglow Campground near Capitol Reef last October:

You can see the camp stove that sits on the table and that's where we do our cooking. Keeps the smells/grease/mess out of the trailer and gives us more elbow room to work. On the far left is the cast iron cooking table that lets us cook with cast iron without having to stoop down to ground level.
Looks kind of complicated but the wife and I can have this whole arrangement set up typically in 20 to 30 minutes.


Good advice here!

I am going to continue with the rear mounted exterior kitchen, and add a awning to the side and rear. Then use a tarp for the corner between the two.