Once you have an RV, it’s time to give some thought to the RV appliances you’re going to use in it. But before going out and purchasing every shiny new appliance you think you might need, it’s worthwhile to sit down and consider a few things.
Questions To Consider Before Purchasing RV Appliances and Accessories
You can read lots of advice on the best RV appliances to purchase, but all of it may not necessarily apply to you. Think about how you’re mostly going to be using your RV before considering what to purchase. Some things to ask yourself:
- Who will I be traveling with? A family of four (or more!) is going to need very different things than an adventurous single person or a couple
- How long will I be traveling in my RV? If you’re living full-time, or for an entire season, in your RV, you may want things like a dishwasher or washing machine while weekend travelers may not need those
- What are my habits? If you’re out hiking or kayaking or sightseeing all day, you may want kitchen appliances for RV like a slow cooker or Instant Pot. If you enjoy relaxing closer to home and enjoy cooking and entertaining, you may not
- How much space do I have? Another consideration when you’re looking at an RV appliance is where you will put it. Kitchen appliances and washing machines may be convenient, but you don’t want to feel cramped in an already small living space
RV Appliances To Consider
Depending on your space and habits, here are some of the best RV appliances to think about for your rig.
- A refrigerator – a lot of people like to upgrade from the fridge that comes with their RV. Depending on the size of your vehicle, you may even want to investigate a full size unit. You’ll need to know the amount of space and the size you have available, and you’ll certainly want to read reviews of RV refrigerators before purchasing one. This is another time when you’ll want to consider your own RV use – if you’re just using it on weekends, you’ll need a much smaller fridge than if you live in it full-time. Some useful questions to ask yourself before upgrading your fridge:What is the weight and dimensions (and do you have the cabinet space)?Is this brand/style currently used in popular RV models? (Why or why not?)What does this unit run on, electric or propane? (Know what you are getting into.)
Do you have space for the additional battery power needed for a residential fridge?
- A dishwasher – they may not be traditional appliances for RVs, but a dishwasher can be a wonderful addition if you find yourself doing a lot of cooking and cleaning up afterward. Think about how much water a dishwasher will use, whether you have the gray tank capacity for the water waste, and whether you have the cabinet or counter space for one.Some useful questions to ask yourself before upgrading your dishwasher: What volume of water does the dishwasher use?Do you have the gray tank capacity for additional water waste?
Do you have the cabinet space, or will this be on the counter? (If so, where?)
- A washing machine – another excellent idea if you spend a lot of time in your RV and don’t want to hoard your quarters for laundromats and campground laundry rooms! For space considerations, many RVers prefer an all-in-one unit that washes and dries. Be sure to consult a professional first to make sure you have adequate water and electricity, and proper ways to dispose of all the waste water. Some important questions to answer before your purchase: What are the water requirements? What are the vent requirements?What are the power needs, and how will I provide them?Is this a 120-volt made for an RV unit? (This is super important!)
- An Instant Pot – since this appliance works as both a pressure and a slow cooker, it saves space. It’s also a great idea for busy people who want to spend all day out and about, then come back to a meal that was either cooking all day, or that can be made in just minutes.
- A mini-blender/food processor – another space-saving appliance that can take the place of several utensils
- A coffee pot – definitely essential for a lot of people! There are several space-saving options for portable coffee pots
- A tankless water heater – while these have long been used in European campers, they’re now gaining popularity here in the U.S. as well. Talk to a professional before purchasing one, and consider whether your RV runs on propane (most tankless heaters do), whether it comes with a shut-off valve, and how complicated it might be to install.Here are the questions you might want to ask before upgrading:Does my RV run on propane? (Most tankless heaters use propane.)Does this come with a shut-off valve, if I run out of available water?
How easy is this to install in my current rig?
- A dehumidifier – condensation in your RV is always a concern, and a dehumidifier is a good purchase to keep everything else running well.Here are three important questions to ask before buying a dehumidifier: How many liters does it remove in 24 hours?
Does it have an automatic fill shut off?
Is it quiet?
- A combination microwave/convection oven – another great space-saver! Convection ovens use circulated air to increase the speed of cooking and baking your food
- A vacuum – you can get a central vac that stays installed in your RV (this is considered a value-adding option), though they’re notoriously low on suction. You could also purchase a portable vac of your own to keep in your rig. Either way, you’ll likely want something to help you keep your living space clean and free from dirt and dust. Our favorite RV vacuum is the Dyson Cordless.
Here are a few things you need to ask before buying this Dyson or any other vacuum:
Do you need more than 6 minutes of vacuum time? (The Animal Dyson that is battery-operated will not provide more than 6 minutes at maximum speed.)
Do you have space to store a full size Dyson, if you need more time than the battery unit affords you?
Which connections will you use the most, and do they come with the unit you have chosen, or are they extra?
How Can I Save On RV Appliances?
That’s a pretty long list of appliances above, and some of them don’t come cheap. There are a few things you can do to try and save, however. Look for used RV appliances for sale. Used RV appliances should, of course, run cheaper than their newer counterparts. You can look for RV appliances for sale on places like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, or on various RV forums. Also, if you have an appliance, rather than replacing it, see if you can purchase RV appliance parts to repair it. Finally, look for sales on Amazon and elsewhere to see if you can bring the cost down.
While none of these RV appliances are essentials, they all work to make life on the road a little easier. You could use this list as a guideline, and upgrade your appliances as you have the time and money to do so.
Customizing your RV is as easy as surrounding yourself with things that you love. If something is important to you in a sticks-and-bricks house, you can assume it will be important to you, in your RV. But remember, space in a camper, trailer, or motorhome is limited. Consider your top priorities first, and then make small cutbacks, according to your personal taste. If you don’t mind washing dishes, forget the dishwasher. If you like simple coffee, use an Aero Press (and save space). Using a laundromat will allow you to get all your laundry done at once. So, do you really need a washer? Pick and choose the special RV appliances that are key to your personal lifestyle. Remember, you can always add something later, if you really want it.
The secret to picking great RV appliances is research and careful installation. Remember that every dollar you spend, needs to be accounted for. Choose items that give the most bang for your buck!
& if you need a little more check out this blog!
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