Simple Tricks to Make Any Dishes RV Safe
I don’t believe in drinking wine from plastic cups and I don’t eat off paper plates.
It’s not because I am a snob (ok, maybe a little), it’s because I believe it’s the little details that make everyday life special. Of course there’s always the environmental benefit of reusable vs. disposables too, which goes along with our eco-minded mantra.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past few years on the road its this: RV’ing isn’t exactly camping and life is too short not to treat every day like a special occasion.
In the most recent crowdsourced content poll, your votes were on “how to pick the right RV dishes”. While preparing for that video, it lead me to discover one of the best RV tricks yet and changed the way I looked at dishes for RV’ers. Before discovering these handy little tricks to make dishes RV safe, I always searched for dishes that nestled into each other so they weren’t likely to shift around while in motion. Now, I honestly think any dishes can be made RV safe! Check it out:
Now, I realize I may not be the first to think of using silicone to create non slip, non-rattling dishes but it was the first time I had thought of it or seen it, so I thought it was brilliant (yes, I am easily impressed). The crazy thing is I have been using silicone to create non-slip grips on the bottom of the soap dispensers, vases and nick knacks like my alarm clock since we began traveling…so why did it take me over four years to think of using it for my dishes?! My brain works in mysterious ways.
A word of caution!
There is one downside to using the silicone:
- Silicone is a great non-slip surface when dry but it can be slippery when wet. While washing dishes the silicone gets soapy, wet and extremely slippery. Don’t set dishes too close to the edge of the counter as they could slip off (especially if your counter is covered in soapy water and your RV isn’t level).
One tube of silicone was enough to secure 4 dinner plates, 4 salad plates, 4 coffee mugs, a serving tray and I still have some to spare (I’ll think of something to use it on)! Both tubes linked below are microwave and dishwasher safe.
- Food Grade Silicone – This tube is 100% food safe just like any of your silicone baking items or spatulas.
- All Purpose Sealant (like the one I use) – This one is safe to come in contact with food but not for long term food use such as using on the inside of a potable water container.
If you are on the market for some new plates, I think these Wild Dining ones are adorable (I have a thing for animals, especially ones with style like these guys).
You can find some of our favorite drink ware in our travel store, we typically drink the good stuff and drinking out of a quality vessel just seems appropriate. Riedel glasses typically come in a solid box, in fact we purchased our champagne glasses nearly 5 years ago, so they’ve logged a lot of miles!
And here’s a nifty tie organizer for storing drink ware, it’s not exactly the same as the one we have (probably better) but we’ve had ours since our sticks and bricks days.
May your tables be beautifully set, your glasses always half full and your meals divine.
I hope these simple tricks help make your favorite dishes RV safe. If you have any nifty tips on RV dishes or storage please share them in the comment box below!
Hi- just an FYI here. The idea for storing glasses is great, but the suggested Miu drawer organizer won’t work for any but tall narrow glasses or the teeny tiny juice glasses they use at nursing homes. Ours are similar to what you show in the video and the individual cubbies in the organizer were way too small.
Hey Nikki! I am very eager to try this on the dishes I picked up at VV for our trailer! My husband and I have been following your vlog for a couple of years now – just after we started heading south for a month each winter in a tent with our kids! We now have four kiddos and have just upgraded to a hybrid trailer. Now we have to figure out how to pack it… Thanks for sharing this tip!
As an Occupational Therapist I am going to there the silicon for non slip. It’s a problem for the disabled. There are special dishes, all plastic. Makes people feel different. There is a product dycem that is made to be nonslip. Holds everything. Keep away from the cats. Trick to wash or refresh is run hold under running water and hang dry.
Hi, We are new to RVing. I did purchase baskets to fit all storage cupboards. All our dishes, glasses, bathroom supplies etc stay nice, neat, and organized. I used inexpensive foam to wrap around the glasses.
Wow never thought I would hear of another woman who hates spiders but loves snakes, I’m with you on that one. Are you by chance Aquarius? Thanks for all the tips.
I am an Aquarius! Jan. 27th is my birthday.
Loving your blog and videos! We have been using pieces of shelf liner between our plates but…what a pain! So excited to try your trick 🙂
I love the site, but would like to point out that there is no such thing as a fish eating vegetarian. You either do eat food with a face, or you don’t. If you don’t, you are a vegetarian.
Give me a break! If you want to get technical we are pesca-ovo-lacto vegetarians but that is a mouthful to say and try to explain. There are all different levels of vegetarianism and different reasons for being so. This wasn’t a piece on vegetarianism. There are also pescatarians: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pescetarianism
Hi Beth, Although I am vegan and don’t eat anything with a face, there is such a thing as a vegetarian who eats fish–pescatarian: a person who does not eat meat, but does eat fish. They have long been considered in the broad vegetarian group.
Where did you find the tie organizers in which you store glasses?
There’s an Amazon link in the post that will take you there. You can also see it in our store.
Nikki, those fox mugs! Gotta get some! I didn’t see them on your travel store or Amazon – do you know where I can find them? Thanks!
As a new RVer, I found your tips helpful. I used a sock organizer from Container Store for my glassware, which seems to be working in a similar vein as the tie organizer. And I’ll be applying silicone to my dishes straight away.
I purchased my fox mugs a good while back and the company doesn’t make them anymore. The best I found was some octopus and seahorse versions and one of them is in the store. Such a bummer because I do love my little fox mugs! The silicone thing works like a champ! Thanks for watching!
Like your idea about the silicone on the dishes. I didn’t see an answer to the question of can you put the dishes in the microwave then?
I love your blog and the tips. We can’t use heavy things in our camper in Europe because of weight problems. The camper is alreadey 3,2T empty and max allowed weight is 3,5T all in. So we use melamine dishes and plastic ustensils.
I’ve been trying like the dickens to find that “tie organizer” box. Where did you get that?
We have a similar one listed at the bottom of the post. There is a hyper link that will take you to the product.
Ha ha, here they are: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/rv-organizing
Thanks for the tips! Just wondering about microwaving dishes with silicone on them?
Thanks Nikki – great idea! Just wondering if you’ve been able to remove the silicone from the dishes? I’ve got some great vintage dishes I’d like to use, but want to rotate them back into “stock” every once in awhile. If the silicone’s a forever thing, this wouldn’t work for me. – Scott
on the tube of silicone it talks about how to remove it, I can’t remember exactly but I do know it’s possible.
Haven’t been able to find the tie holder for my wine glasses. Where did you get yours?
There is a link above to the one in our store.
I couldn’t see the pictures of the plates you were describing above. And those fox cups are right up our “alley” since our RV is a Vixen. Thank you for providing the photos above. Love you videos and blog.
Hey Carol, I made a few adjustments so you should be able to view everything now. Sometimes ad blocker will block some of our images if they are from amazon.
We are back into glamping after being out for 15years. Things have changed. I really enjoy your videos. Lots of helpful hints. Thank you!!
Well Thanks and welcome back to glamping! 🙂 We love sharing what we learn!
We bought square plates. They fit in the cupboards better than round plates.
We chose “Corelle” dishware. It’s made by Corning and is composed of many layers of tempered glass. Corelle says that the wear is “durable, chip and break-resistant, microwave-safe, oven safe, dishwasher-safe and impervious to scratches and stains.” It’s also lightweight and thinner than typical ceramic plates—when stacked, Corelle takes up less space in cabinets than conventional ceramic plates.” We’ve found all of these things to be true. In addition, when our trailer turned over in an accident, the plates flew out of the cupboards but did not break. Older (1970’s) Corelle ware was not microwave safe.
We are about to be full time RVr’s within the next year and I have struggled with not wanting to give up my Fiesta Ware. Thank you sooooo much for this video that we just came across! I am okay with adjusting to the change but I just couldn’t believe there wasn’t a way to make my Fiesta Ware work. This video gave me a “high five” kinda feeling to move on to the next task on our list!
Fantastic! This is exactly why we share!
Thank you, Nikki! Great idea.Thank you for sharing!
Thanks for sharing! I love the Silicone idea and plan to snag that idea for use on pretty much everything that sits on top of counters. I’m also snagging your idea on the tie organizer. That was brilliant for moving glasses in and out of the RV!
We use Corelle ( I know, I know – so limited but with kiddos you have to plan on ROI or we’d be buying dishes every year! ) and they don’t break! We found a decent pattern and have zushed it up by mixing in a different color. Since they are so slippery I use Duck Easy Liner squares in between each plate so there’s no moving around.
So now that you’ve been using the silicone for a while any downsides? Does it come off or age after a certain period?
So far so good. It has held up well and making lunch while driving is now a snap!
In three years of living full time in our RV and traveling over 5,000 miles, the only time we’ve had broken dishes or stemware is when I drop them from the counter. Our 5th wheel and our current motorhome has a center kitchen. Perhaps that is a clue to our unbroken dishes when traveling. I will never have a rear kitchen because that is where the most bounce occurs.
Thanks for sharing Jerry. Do you use real dishes? If so are you putting something inbetween the dishes to keep them from breaking in transit? One difference between a trailer or 5th Wheel and an motorhome is: We have to listen to every rattle as we cruise down the road, so a little cushion between plates is important for our sanity 🙂
Love your silicone idea. Googled “silicone sealant microwave” and I ended up at the Dap site. It states that it is both dishwasher and microwave safe Yeah! No dishwasher (well, my hubby) but we do nuke food on our plates. I especially liked that the silicone keeps the plates on the table when moving. Always place mats or a table cloth and cloth napkins. I agree with ‘real dishes’ unless we are doing lots of boondocking and our water is at a premium. I use a fabric drawer organizer for socks, similar to yours, for our drinking glasses; stemless wine glasses stay in their box. I observed this in some of your other videos. Now I need to work on mugs – not happy with what we are currently using. Thank you for all your helpful ideas – keep them coming!
Kathryn and John Hester
Great ideas. We have some great non-breakable dishes that I originally purchased at TJ Maxx for our boat. But I also brought some china, crystal glassware, cloth napkins, candlesticks, etc., with us that we use on occasion. These are great tips for keeping them safe!
Interesting thoughts. For now we just have reusable plastic dishes and they work great for our needs. Our RV has such small cabinets that we needed something that we could sit on its side and not worry about things getting jarred around while driving, thus the plastic.
very understandable! cabinet sizes and space definitely make decisions for us sometimes as to what we can carry. We only have one drawer that is big enough to hold plates… but at least there is one. 🙂
Love your blog and videos. You sold me on composting toilet. Good ideas for dishes and I agree about the extra touches help make the meal. I use enamel dishes, enamel cups and heavy duty plastic wine glasses from a marine store. I tried carrying glass wine glasses, but it just didn’t work out.
Some other nice touches are: I do take flowers or a plant along when we travel. I met someone who has a small box of herbs. We use a tablecloth and cloth napkins,too.
Interesting solution. We use plates from Ikea because they’re inexpensive, easy-to-clean, and easy to replace and they come nested with a circular piece of foam in between them. We simply keep the foam in between each plate while traveling.
To further protect all plates, bowls, glasses and mugs, we bought a 2-inch deep x 2-feet x 4 feet rectangle of foam like you’d use in a seat cushion (from Joann’s fabric) and cut circular holes in it (traced from each glass/mug/plate/bowl), then placed it in the cupboard. All of our glasses and ceramic mugs fit perfectly and snug in each hole, and they don’t move at all during travel. We haven’t broken one yet!
Um…so not related to the topic (which is genius)…where did you get your shirt?! I love it!
This should address any concerns about the use of Silicone..
Safety and Recyclability of Silicone
In her article Spotlight on Silicone, Mindful Momma explains that silicone has a good track record of safety. As for recyclability, she says “Silicone does not decompose but it is recyclable – although probably not through your city-wide recycling program. You’ll probably have to drive to a specialty recycling facility – but then again, silicone is very durable so you won’t have to worry about disposal for a long time.”
One of our favorite consumer advocates, Debra Lynn Dadd, explains that silicone is not toxic to aquatic or soil organisms, it is not hazardous waste. So while it is not biodegradable, it can be recycled after a lifetime of use.
Silicone Safety in Dishes and Cookware
We do feel very comfortable recommending silicone dishes as a safe option that won’t leach harmful chemicals into foods. Silicone dishes (like these) are a great alternative to plastics containing known carcinogens or endocrine disruptors. Its use in baby bottle nipples stretches back over 30 years, standing head and shoulders above nitrosamine-tainted synthetic latex nipples that break down quickly under repeated exposure to heat, moisture and detergents.
Thanks for the great idea. Silicone bakeware is microwave safe so i think this should be. I would test it.
Have you tried the microwave on these siliconed base dishes?
thats the second best use of silicone i have seen so far … 😉
uhhhh…..should I even dare to ask what the first is? 🙂
thanks for all your handy tips. We are making preparations to hit the road full time in about 2 years, if we last that long! Your insight makes my thought process much shorter!
Well, I hope your preparations go so well, we see you out here sooner!
Nikki, iIt IS genius! Thanks so much for the silicone idea. I have been thinking about taking the good china on the road and this is a perfect idea. By the way, when I linked to the Dap Silicone on Amazon and it said “Dap clear silicone sealant with a 24 hr cure time. Minimum to maximum operating temperatures are -40 F to +400 F. Superior quality, multi-purpose sealant. Offers long-lasting flexibility and excellent adhesion. Provide a weatherproof, watertight seal. Resists cracking, crumbling and chalking. Interior/exterior use. 50 Year Durability Guarantee. Meets Federal Specification TT-S-001543A, Class A.”
So this seems an excellent choice that will likely stand the microwave and a dishwasher.
Thanks for reading the fine print Elizabeth! I will have to add a little update note for those who are curious.
Brilliant, Nikki! Silicone is a great idea!
Is this silicone food grade safe??? When you stack the dishes, the silicone is on the plate underneath. I would feel like I had to wash the dish before I put food on it. LOL We all have our quirks! I use the mesh shelf liners and museum putty for other things in out motorhome. We aren’t full timers though.
I updated the links with food/dishwasher/microwave safe silicone!
We only use the squares of the spongy meshy shelf liner on the day of the move. Otherwise, we just put it aside till we move again.
For glasses and wine and liquor bottles we use children’s crew socks. Again just on moving day. We have 4 wine glasses, and a 8 place setting stoneware set of dishes. Nearly 2 years no losses yet.
Heads up on the Corelle: when it does break, it explodes into shards. It has happened to us numerous times. With that being said, we still travel with it, as it really has to be dropped hard on it’s edge to break it.
I like your suggestion bout the silicone, but I’ll need to check the microwave issue. By the way, although we like to say we ‘nuke’ something–it’s funny–it has the downside of making people think they are hurting their food. What will damage your food (destroy the nutrients) is overheating it. This is can be done on the stovetop or in the oven as easily, or perhaps more easily, than in the microwave.
I cut up squares non-skid for plates and bowls, and cookware. Some types work better than others. I do like the necktie storage box suggestion. Thanks!
Silicone is often used as non-stick reusable mats on baking sheets, as well as a host of other cooking related items. I wouldn’t worry about using it in a microwave.
Do you have any issues with the silicone coming off in the dishwasher? I use silicone pads on the corners of my iPad and certainly have trouble keeping the pads attached. Does the silicone remain on the bottom edges of plates and stacking coffee cups?
We don’t have a dishwasher so I can’t say but it sticks really well and much better than the little pads with the sticky stuff.
Have you tried Corelle dishware? We just purchased a set and so far so good as far as their “no break, no chip” claim, but the silicone idea is brilliant! What I enjoy about Corelle is, like you said, it’s pretty and not plastic. Plus I’m obsessed with square dishware (fits in cabinets, boxes, organizers better) and they have a good variety.
Anyhow, thanks for the silicone idea, now I can start to silicone everything!
I have had corelle bake ware and really liked it. I haven’t tried the dishes but have heard lots of great stuff about it (I have had the same dishes for 8 years).
You can make your plates rattle and slip proof using pieces of rubbery shelf liner. Buy it at a Dollar store (less expensive than the big stores), and cut into squares a little smaller than your plates. If your RV isn’t level the same squares can be placed on the counter
That’s what I had and didn’t like having to deal with it. That’s why I like the silicone so much, once its done you don’t have to think about it!
Hi Nikki and Jason,
Thanks for the silicone tricks! This is a great way to have nice dishes in our lovely moho. I’m thrilled when I come up with a great idea like this one, I’ll bet you were too!
We are on day 245 of our wait till retirement countdown. We bought a beautiful motorhome and are busy getting her ready.
I hope we “Run into you” out there. 😉
Always great info! We use Corelle dinnerware but I would love to use something prettier!
Rather than the inherently uneven way in which squirting silicone through a tube will affect your dishware, why not just apply silicone bumpers as needed?
You’ll notice in the video I smooth it out to a nice thin layer that doesn’t affect the way the plates sit. Silicone bumpers don’t stick very well (especially through washing and such) and are not small enough to fit on the tiny rim of the plate.
As long as you do not stack your dishes that is fine. The body can not break down silicone and it is toxic to you body. That is the toxic material that used years ago in breat implants that people were in such an uproar about once they found out about isn’t.
The whole point is to stack the dishes? Once the silicone is dry it doesn’t come off and isn’t on the side you eat off of so you are not consuming it.
Silicone is inert, so ingesting small amounts of it wont hurt you.
Eating something is a long way from injecting it under your skin.
Thanks for sharing you sock, drawers, and bra collection. But, seriously now, I really want to know is how RVers deal with a week’s worth of smelly, dirty laundry in a small space short if hiding it in a basement storage bay.
You can learn more about laundry on the road here: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/easy-rv-laundry