With so many pairs of feet coming in and out of your rig everyday, the interior gets dirty very quickly with dust, sand, pollen and tree branches, not to mention pet hair if you bring along your four-legged friends. An effortless way to always keep your living space clean, livable, healthy and comfortable is using a portable yet powerful camper vacuum to easily get rid of any particle that can’t just be swept out.
While finding the best RV vacuum for your needs and budget can be quite a quest considering the vast number of offerings, you’ve hit the information jackpot. Here, you can shortcut your way with our handpicked list of the very best RV vacuum cleaners on the market.
Each unit is well made and well-rounded, with an in-depth review so that you can compare between models. There’s something for every camper in this list, be it that your priority is functionality, power, mobility or affordability. You will also learn everything you need to know about RV vacuum cleaners to make an informed decision, including the different types, major brands, plus answers to frequently asked questions by fellow campers.
- Comparison Chart of Best RV Vacuums
- Best Corded RV Vacuum Cleaners
- Best Cordless RV Vacuum Cleaners
- RV Vacuum Basics
- How to Choose the Best RV Vacuum
- Most Reliable RV Vacuum Brands
- FAQs About Vacuum Cleaners For RV
- Need More Gear Advice?
Comparison Chart of Best RV Vacuums
|Product's name||Price||Key Features||More Info|
|ThisWorx Car Vacuum Cleaner - Small 12V High Power Handheld Portable Car...||$39.99||Handheld |
|See Latest Price|
|Shark Rocket Corded Ultra-Light Hand Vacuum with TruePet Mini Motorized...||$$$$||No bag|
Long power cord
|See Latest Price|
|VonHaus 2 in 1 Stick & Handheld Vacuum Cleaner - 600W Corded Upright Vac...||$39.99||Bagless|
|See Latest Price|
|Armor All, AA255 , 2.5 Gallon 2 Peak HP Wet/Dry Utility Shop Vacuum ,...||$59.18||Polypropylene tank|
Cord with cord wrap
|See Latest Price|
|Dirt Devil Scorpion Handheld Vacuum Cleaner, Corded, Small, Dry Hand Held...||$45.99||Removable filter|
Quick flip tool
|See Latest Price|
|Car Vacuum Cleaner High Power LIBERRWAY DC 12v Portable Handheld Wet Dry...||$$$$||Wet and dry use|
|See Latest Price|
|Eureka EasyClean Lightweight Handheld Vacuum Cleaner, Hand Vac Corded, 71B,...||$69.00||Integrated filter|
Easy to empty dust canister
|See Latest Price|
|BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Handheld Vacuum, Cordless, Grey (BDH2000PL)||$274.99||Lithium-Ion batteries |
Washable bowl and filter
|See Latest Price|
|Tineco A10 Hero Cordless Stick/Handheld Vacuum Cleaner, Super Lightweight...||$179.27||Detachable Lithium batteries|
|See Latest Price|
|Shark NV352 Navigator Lift Away Upright Vacuum with Wide Upholstery and...||$59.00||HEPA filter|
|See Latest Price|
|BLACK+DECKER dustbuster AdvancedClean Cordless Handheld Vacuum (CHV1410L)||$99.00||Lithium-Ion battery|
Smart Charge technology
|See Latest Price|
|BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* Flex Cordless Stick Vacuum with Floor Head and Pet...||$$$$||Cordless|
|See Latest Price|
|No products found.||$$$$||Combined vacuum/washer|
|See Latest Price|
Best Corded RV Vacuum Cleaners
If you prioritize good suction power for the utmost effective deep cleaning job due to your rig getting dirty easily, then corded models would be the best RV vacuum cleaners for your money, given that you are willing to sacrifice some mobility.
Below are the most well-rounded units that will offer you effortless cleaning, easy to use mechanism, the best handling and durability based on their specifications as well as testimonies by full-time and seasoned campers.
The Best Corded RV Vacuum Cleaners:
- ThisWorx TWC-01
- Shark Rocket HV292 Vacuum
- VonHaus 2 In 1 Vacuum Cleaner
- Armor All AA255 Vacuum
- Dirt Devil Scorpion Hand Vacuum
- Liberrway Vacuum Cleaner
- Eureka EasyClean Vacuum Cleaner
1. ThisWorx TWC-01 – Best Corded RV Vacuum
Why It’s The Best Corded RV Vacuum:
Tired of dealing with food crumbs, pet hairs, foreign particles and so on by yourself? If that happens to be the case, there is a good chance that you would come to like ThisWorx TWC-01.
Possessing a strong motor that provides excellent suction strength, this vacuum cleaner for cars would allow you to keep your ride clean with relative ease. In addition to that, it’s highly compact so finding a fitting spot for it in the interior of your car is child’s play.
Thanks to the rather long power cord, our testers have an easy time maneuvering TWC-01 to clean all the nooks and crannies of their cars. Noteworthily, upon purchase, this vacuum cleaner is accompanied by all-purpose nozzles so it could reach hard-to-access areas.
As a result, we believe that you can put it to good use as soon as it leaves the packaging. Last but not least, this vacuum cleaner packs a transparent container so it’s easy to determine whether you have to dump the collected materials.
The ThisWorx handheld vacuum cleaner reaches the market at a reasonable price so its purchase is going to have inconsequential impacts on your upcoming spendings. For post-purchase support, TWC-01 comes alongside a one-year warranty so you have something to count on when issues occur out of the blue.
Perfect for Auto and RV
I was a little skeptical about this little vacuum after reading the reviews, I figured it could go either way. Let me tell you, this little vacuum is amazing! My husband took my truck to the jobsite and tracked in mud and cement. The vacuum sucked it up so good, my floorboards came so clean I am amazed. I thought I would use it and go use a vacuum from car wash to finish up, nope didn’t need to. Cord was nice and long attachments got right into small crevices. I can’t say enough good about it. Did not overheat with as long as it took me to detail about 20 min. As a plus we are RVing and I was able to use this in my RV. We have one of those cig lighter things in our RV. Perfect and not too big for storing there either. I cannot say enough positive about it.Shared by Amazon Customer
2. Shark Rocket HV292 Vacuum – Editor’s Choice
Why It’s An Editor’s Choice
Despite the fact it’s a corded design, the mobility of Shark Rocket HV292 is commendable in common RV settings. As an ultralight vacuum cleaner, HV292 could be moved from place to place as you see fit without much difficulty.
Moreover, the cord of the Shark Rocket product happens to be 15 feet long so you would be able to reach various spots in your rig. Due to the cord, the cleaner runs continuously until its see-through bin is filled. In use, regardless of how full the bin is, the suction power stays the same.
Have issues with pet hairs? Then HV292 with its TruePet motorized brush is going to be your best RV vacuum. Once you turn your vacuum cleaner with that brush on, it’s a breeze to get rid of pet hairs hiding deep under the upholstery.
Besides pet hairs, the TruePet motorized brush is capable of removing particles that provoke allergic reactions in humans as well. In case you need a bit more reach while vacuuming your RV interior, the model from Shark Rocket also come along a stretch hose.
For filtering, Shark Rocket HV292 uses washable filters which let RVers clean and reuse them. As a result, the maintenance cost of the cleaner is practically zero in most cases.
Hand-held Shark vacuum for the motorhome
I bought this little vacuum for my Motorhome which has carpet in the bedroom and under the table and slide-out, ceramic tile all other places. I received it today and had to give it a try. Let me tell you…I already love it! We do a lot of boondocking in the wilderness with several people and dogs and cats. Lots of hair! This little guy cleaned the bedroom carpet better than my home vac. It picked up all the hair, stickers and feathers off the carpet and the tile. It didn’t spit little dirt particles onto the tile from the carpet. It is super easy to use. I have arthritis in my shoulders but it wasn’t too heavy for me. The brush head is awesome! I am going to spray some “tuff stuff” and see if it will scrub out a few mud stains. Keeping my fingers crossed because scrubbing by hand really is hard on my shoulders. It is small enough to get into all the little crevasses of a motorhome and small enough to store under the bed, in a closet or in a cabinet. It’s also light-weight enough I don’t have to worry about packing too much weight in the MH. It’s also really easy to clean out! The dirt cup is small but that is good. You won’t be hauling around dirt that should be thrown out anyway. (Kinda forces me to clean it. lol) It’s big enough to clean the whole 36′ coach, though. Now, we shall see how long it lasts. Keeping my fingers crossed it lasts forever.Shared by Richard Hickson
3. VonHaus 2 In 1 Vacuum Cleaner
Why We Love It:
Features an extendable handle, VonHaus 2-In-1 possesses the ability to transform from a handheld vacuum cleaner to a full-length one within a few seconds. Because of that, with the VonHaus model around, you can vacuum your rig without wasting too much time and effort.
Though 2-In-1 is a corded cleaner, its 19.5 feet cord ensures that you don’t have to repeatedly unplug and plug it while vacuuming the interior. Additionally, thanks to the wheels, maneuvering VonHaus 2-In-1 inside constricted recreational vehicles is in essence a walk in the park.
Instead of a bag, 2-In-1 uses a solid tank to contain everything that it manages to suck in during vacuuming. Some RVers believe that the capacity of the tank is kind of modest but for usual cleanups, it should suffice.
Once the tank is full, you could remove and empty it in a blink of an eye which is nice. To keep the air fresh, the cleaner from VonHaus incorporates a HEPA filtration system that traps particles and prevents them from escaping back into the inside of your recreational vehicle.
On the market, VonHaus 2-In-1 comes in two color options (gray and orange) so pick one that suits your tastes. The cleaner is accompanied by various attachments that enhance its vacuuming performance in variable situations.
Makes Vacuuming Fun!
The VonHaus 600W 2-in-1 Upright Stick vacuum is the best domestic appliance in my home!! After always having hand-me-down vacuums that were heavy and clunky and didn’t work very well, this lightweight, compact and powerful vacuum makes cleaning enjoyable and easy. The attachments work great to do detailed cleaning. It also works very well on my jute and woven rugs. I love the option to turn it into a handheld vacuum for quick clean ups. It’s only slightly larger than a broom and can be tucked away anywhere for storage. I highly recommend this vacuum!Shared by Lauren
4. Armor All AA255 Vacuum
Why We Love It
Able to take care of solid as well as liquid substances, Armor All AA255 is the all-purpose solution for usual messes in recreational vehicles. Boasting a 2.5-gallon polypropylene tank, AA255 could finish most vacuuming jobs without much difficulty and still prove pretty light. A helpful auto-shutoff function is present too so no need to worry about tank overflowing. Using integrated noise diffusers, the Armor All product effectively and efficiently keep the vacuuming noise at acceptable levels in use.
An interesting feature of AA255 is that it contains dedicated accessory storage on its body for attachments such as hoses, nozzles and so on. Therefore, RVers have the option to move everything as a compact set from spot to spot as they see fit. Considering the fact that no assembly is required before use, the Armor All cleaner practically works right out of the box.
In terms of suction power, Armor All AA255 employs a top-rate motor that permits it to maintain constant suction. Aside from giving the cleaner ample suction, the motor of AA255 is able to produce topnotch blowing power as well. That is why the model from Armor All would be capable of serving as a vacuum cleaner and a blower. RVers should have no trouble changing between the functions to match current demands at will. If you want a vacuum cleaner and a blower in one body, AA255 is the best RV vacuum for you.
AWESOME! I bought this little guy to vacuum my car which is FULL of PET HAIR. My dog travels in the car every day to/from work with me, so there is so much dirt and fur everywhere (even though I use a hammock seat cover). Using all the tools/attachments and a decent amount of elbow grease, I was able to remove about 85-90% of the pet hair from the cloth seats. I could still vacuum some more to keep removing, but my arm got sore from scrubbing. The small attachment brush for the radio and console area works great without scratching anything. I’m very pleased with this purchase and would recommend! I have not used it for wet suction yet, but I would trust it won’t let me down!Shared by Jamie
5. Dirt Devil Scorpion Hand Vacuum
Why We Love It
From sand to pebbles, Dirt Devil Scorpion could tackle all messes at great precision which makes it the best small vacuum cleaner for RV nowadays. At the weight of 4 pounds, Scorpion lets you swing it through every nook and cranny of your rig without trouble. In addition to that, the cored Dirt Devil cleaner is connected to the power source with a 16 feet long cord. Therefore, you don’t have to bother changing the outlet now and then while vacuuming the interior of your RV.
Featuring a strong motor, Scorpion possesses commendable suction compared to most of its market competitors. Even pet hairs that hide under layers of fabrics would be captured by the nozzle of the Dirt Devil cleaner. To improve the usefulness of the cleaner in particular tasks, the manufacturer provides RVers with attachments such as crevice tool, attachable hose and so on. Hence, it’s generally breeze for you to adapt Scorpion to match current vacuuming demands by swapping out its attachments.
As for capacity, Dirt Devil Scorpion uses a 0.45L dust bin, adequate for usual jobs. The bin indeed gets full rather fast but you would be able to empty it in just a few moments. Regarding filtration, Scorpion utilized a detachable long-lasting filter that permits you to rinse and reuse it which eases maintenance.
Great Design – Super Powerful and Convenient
Products rarely impress me as much as this one has. I bought it many months ago and have used it dozens of times. It is EXTREMELY powerful for such a small unit. The flip-up yellow crevice cleaning attachment is a stroke of genius – it’s onboard so you can never misplace it. No messy bags. The filter is very quick and easy to clean. Love the long cord. I can’t find a single negative thing to say about this vacuum cleaner. For years I used the rechargeable kind of hand-held vacs; they pale in comparison. I’ll never go back to those. Having the cord buys you so much more power and functionality. Brilliant design and engineering. The people who designed this obviously really thought out every detail. I don’t know how they could make it any better. (And of course it is pretty loud – it is extremely powerful, with amazing suction. The noise doesn’t bother me at all, though.) An awesome product at an amazing price.Shared by Lucky Guy
6. Liberrway Vacuum Cleaner
Why We Love It
At 2/3 the size of the average handled vacuum cleaners on the market, Liberrway Vacuum Cleaner is well-suited for RVers that worry about storage space. As it’s engineered with the center of gravity toward the grip, the Liberrway product is known to be forgiving to handle in extended cleanups. Combined that with the lightweight body and a long power cord, RVers would be able to use the cleaner to tackle all sorts of messes at a moment’s notice.
Boasting a double stage filtration system, the model from Liberrway is fairly adept at capturing tiny particles which keeps the atmosphere in your rig fresh. Accompanied by 3 accessories (extension hose, crevice and pet brush), the cleaner could handle whatever vacuuming tasks you have in mind. In addition to that, the cleaner is rated for wet/dry use so it should be able to handle solid as well as liquid stuff. After buying Liberrway Vacuum Cleaner, you would receive a storage bag for the cleaner and its accessories so it’s a breeze to carry everything.
As a proof of confidence, Liberrway offers hassle-free refund/replacement in the case you find the clean falling short of your expectations in use.
7. Eureka EasyClean Vacuum Cleaner
Why We Love It
With a motor to run the brush and a motor for suction, Eureka EasyClean is indeed a great model for quick pickups on multiple surfaces. From hard floors to countertops, it takes EasyClean several passes to take care of messes which save time and effort. Thanks to the attached crevice tool, it should be an easy task for you to vacuum tight spaces like under the seats, between furniture cushions,… If you want concentrated suction for vertical vacuuming, the Riser Visor system of the Eureka cleaner would come in handy.
Though it’s made as a corded vacuum cleaner, EasyClean still possesses outstanding mobility due to its lightweight construction as well as the long power cord. Generally speaking, RVers could vacuum the entire interior of their vehicle without feeling tired, frustrated,… In case you require technical assistance for certain issues, the manufacturer offers email address, service line and live chat. Therefore, people tend to consider the post-purchase support of Eureka to be top-notch.
Since strong motors usually lead to loud noises, it’s natural that the dual-motor layout of Eureka EasyClean raises some concerns about the noise level. That being said, its superb vacuuming performance means that you don’t have to leave EasyClean on for too long.
Best Cordless RV Vacuum Cleaners
If your camping environment is quite forgiving when it comes to dirt, hair and debris buildups, you might not need a big and extra powerful corded vacuum.
Instead, a cordless RV vacuum might be a more convenient option. They are not plugged into a power outlet, are more lightweight and more maneuverable than the corded counterparts, so you’d have an easier time cleaning the tighter corners of your RV.
That said, despite not offering the same suction level as the corded type, the models below pack some decent power so you can easily keep your interior living space clean and livable.
The Best Cordless RV Vacuum Cleaners:
- Black & Decker BDH2000PL
- Tineco A10 Vacuum
- Shark Navigator NV352 Vacuum
- Black & Decker CHV1410L Vacuum
- Black & Decker BDH2020FL Vacuum
- Bissell Crosswave Pet Pro Vacuum
8. Black & Decker BDH2000PL – Best Of The Best
Why This Is The Best
Possessing an innovative nozzle that retains consistent suction while rotating, Black & Decker BDH2000PL prove useful in odd jobs that conventional cleaners fail to handle. Since you don’t have to reposition the nozzle while vacuuming your rig, you just need to point it at the mess and keep going.
Thanks to the incorporation of three-stage filters, the Black & Decker cleaner rarely experiences clogging in use which earns it lots of praises from RVers. Due to the transparent cup, you could easily tell if you need to empty it.
Being a cordless model, BDH2000PL runs on Lithium-Ion rechargeable batteries that keep it running continuously for more than 15 minutes at a time. That is more than enough for you to address the average messes in your rig.
Once depleted, the battery of the Black & Decker vacuum only needs to be recharged for around 5 minutes before resuming operation. After you are done vacuuming, it’s possible to fold the cleaner into a compact shape to save storage space.
If you decide to purchase Black & Decker BDH2000PL, you would receive a variety of accessories such as filters, crevice tool, charging base and more. In conclusion, the model is the best RV vacuum for RVers that want solid performance.
This is one of those purchases that I wished I had done earlier. I have owned it for a few months now and it makes cleaning up messes simple. I leave it plugged in and charging and pull it out for a quick vacuum. It is easy to take a part to clean.Shared by Trevor
The absolute best part is that it is pretty good at cleaning up pet hair. That was important to me as I have a dog and hate when I have hair everywhere. I use this to spot clean, and then my normal vacuum on the weekends.
9. Tineco A10 Vacuum
Why We Love It
Engineered to dislodge well-embedded particles, Tineco A10 is considered by many RVers around the globe to be the best RV vacuum for deep vacuuming. Featuring a robust motor, A10 could produce up to 4 times more suction power than the average cleaners on the market. Despite its strength, the Tineco cleaner is rather quiet in use, a major plus if you happen to have babies and pets in your rig. Besides the cleaner itself, you would receive many accessories after you purchase Tineco A10 which facilitates floor-to-ceiling vacuuming.
A10 is a cordless model that runs on a battery pack: in standard mode, it’s able to vacuum for 25 minutes. On max mode, the runtime of the cleaner drop to 10 minutes but in exchange, you have increased suction power. The use of an internal battery back instead of a trailing cord for power means that the Tineco possesses outstanding adaptability in most RV setups. For instant cleaning in your recreational vehicle, the trigger mode of Tineco A10 is the ideal choice and for extensive vacuuming, your best bet would be the continuous power mode.
With the incorporation of the 4-stage full-sealed filtration system, Tineco A10 excels at capturing particles while expelling fresh air. Therefore, RVers that use A10 rarely run into allergic reactions. Once the tank is completely full, all you have to do to empty it is to click a single button.
This cleaner works much better than other brands I bought before. It’s cordless, so I don’t have to switch to different outlets while I’m cleaning in different rooms. There is light on the head of the cleaner, which I found very helpful because it can show me clearly where the dirt is. And it can solve the “hair problem” in my bedroom. The hair will be vacuumed and curled onto the pipe at the end of the handle, which then can be easily taken off. Really worth the money!Shared by Doreen
Why We Love It
Being a powerful upright vacuum cleaner, Shark Navigator NV352 performs admirably in large scale cleanups. Boasting tremendous suction power, the product from Shark Navigator could collect stubborn deeply-seated particles in a couple of passes. While the suction power sometimes causes the cleaner to suck in big fabrics, the suction release collar would allow you to resume vacuuming almost instantly. Coupled with the ergonomic handle, NV352 should address all messes in the interior of your recreational vehicle without much difficulty.
With the combination of anti-allergen technology and HEPA filter, the Shark Navigator cleaner is capable of getting rid of allergens found in RV settings. That means if you have allergy issues, it’s a good idea for you to invest your money in NV352. For a corded vacuum cleaner, Shark Navigator NV352 is quite light and portable at 15.5 pounds. The cord of the Shark Navigator model reaches up to 25 feet in length so feel free to move it around as you like while vacuuming. Using swivel steering, the maneuverability of the cleaner is superb.
About maintenance, Shark Navigator NV352 must be cleaned from time to time to maintain performance. If left dirty for extended periods of time, the cleaner might suffer losses of suction.
We had one of the little Shark Navigators (Dark Blue). It was a fantastic vacuum! Had we been able to replace the worn out brush roller, we would still be using it. This machine is, like the Navigator, a fantastic vacuum and is only about $30 more than a new Navigator. I find absolutely no fault in its performance or handling and a replacement brush roller is available when this one wears out. Like our other Shark, this roller bites deeply into carpet and really cleans! The tilting head makes “walking” the vacuum in tight places very easy. Canister removal is easy as is the “dumping” feature of it. The filters are easy to get at and wash as is the canister itself–I squirt a little Dawn in it, fill it with hot water, block the vacuum hole with my hand and swish. I wash the canister and hang it to dry when I wash the filters. I would like to have 6 more feet of power cord and onboard storage for the long crevice tool and large upholstery brush, but these are only suggestions–not complaints.Shared by Tate
11. Black & Decker CHV1410L Vacuum
Why We Love It
Packing first-class long-lasting Lithium-Ion batteries, Black & Decker CHV1410L often stands out from other cordless cleaners nowadays once it comes to runtime. Moreover, the Black & Decker model could hold a charge for 18 months, an excellent trait for RVers that travel rather infrequently. Once the battery runs out, the fast charging base that accompanies the cleaner should allow you to get it back to full charge within hours. To optimize the lifespan of the battery, CHV1410L automatically shut down while being charged.
In use, the nozzle of the cleaner from Black & Decker is capable of rotating around to match variable vacuuming applications. That is why CHV1410L prove to be highly adaptable in most of the cases. Employing cyclonic action, the cleaner prevent particles from building up in the fitter so suction power remains consistent over time. Since the dirt bowl of the Black & Decker product happens to be translucent, you should be able to determine if you need to empty its content with just a glance.
In order to ensure that RVers know to operate Black & Decker CHV1410L, the manufacturer includes a comprehensive instruction manual. Regarding post-purchase support, upon purchasing the cleaner, you would receive a 2-year limited warranty.
12. Black & Decker BDH2020FL Vacuum
Why We Love It
Produced to deliver strong suction and fade-free power, Black & Decker BDH2020FL is called the best vacuum for RV because of its consistency. Using a high-performance motor, the Black & Decker cleaner is able to address all everyday messes on the inside of recreational vehicles without much difficulty. Since it’s cordless, BDH2020FL excel at maneuvering in confined space which matches the setting of most recreational vehicles. Coupled with the use of lightweight materials, Black & Decker BDH2020FL features fairly impressive mobility.
For RVers that experience issues with pet hairs on a daily basis, the model from Black & Decker proves to be a useful tool to have. Come with a pet brush designed to get rid of pet hair hidden under the fabric, BDH2020FL is a must-have for people that bring along pets while traveling. Aside from the pet brush, the manufacturer shall give you an extension hose as well so you could vacuum from floor to ceiling without restriction. After the dust bowl is full to the brim, it’s going to take a few moments to empty it.
In terms of filtration, Black & Decker BDH2020FL employs a 3-stage design that is unexceptional but it keeps the air in the interior fresh nonetheless.
13. Bissell Crosswave Pet Pro Vacuum
Why We Love It
These kinds of days, the market offers RVers with pets plenty of vacuum cleaners designed to dislodge embedded pet hair. But for people that want thorough cleanups of pet hairs and associated odors, Bissell Crosswave Pet Pro would be the best vacuum cleaner for RV. The multi-surface brush of the Bissell product not only sucks but also distributes purpose design cleaning formulas around. Because of that, pet owners would be able to keep their recreational vehicle clean and fresh by using Crosswave Pet Pro.
Packing two independent tanks that separate clean from dirty water, the cleaner from Bissell guarantees that you clean the inside of your rig with fresh mixes of water and formulas. The presence of a hair strainer shall keep large objects as well as strands of hair from clogging the cleaner. Because of that, it’s possible for you to finish vacuuming/washing every nook and cranny of your recreational vehicle in just a single sweep. Additionally, maintenance is less than an issue as Crosswave Pet Pro requires no special aftercare.
Naturally, the solid performance of Bissell Crosswave Pet Pro means that it comes at a hefty price for RV vacuums. Still, if you tend to bring pets with you on the road then the Bissell cleaner would make a great addition to your travel inventory.
RV Vacuum Basics
How does an RV Vacuum work?
An RV vacuum cleaner is just like a vacuum you would use at home to clean up dirt and debris on the floor and other surfaces. That said, there are many types of vacuum cleaners used for homes as well as for cleaning tighter spaces like your vehicle. So you can expect to also find a wide variety of vacuums for use in recreational vehicles, since an RV is a hybrid between a home and a vehicle.
That said, the best RV vacuum cleaners as voted by campers are often less bulky and more lightweight for better maneuvering within the confined space of an RV and for easy storage. As for other important characteristics such as power, each type offers unique advantages and disadvantages, so you need to consider your budget and need to determine which type and which model best suits your circumstances.
Regarding their operating mechanism, it’s perhaps best to describe how they can suck up dirt and debris with a reference to the way you take a sip of drink through a straw. This action creates a negative air pressure inside the straw that is lower than that of the ambient air.
Similarly, a vacuum cleaner also creates a negative pressure by employing an electric motor that spins a fan to suck in air, together with dirt or any small particles caught up in it. The air and the contaminants are pushed out the other side and forced into a canister or bag, which requires emptying from time to time.
Such a canister or bag is a confined space, so there’s only a fixed amount of air that can be sucked into it. Therefore, to allow the motor to work continuously, a vacuum features an exhaust port that vents the air out the other side.
The bag or canister can only trap some of this dust, hair and debris, so in order to trap as much trash and contaminants as possible, the unit passes the air through at least one fine filter and often one HEPA filter (High Efficiency Particulate Arresting). This allows clean and safe air to be vented out the other side, or else dust will be released back into your rig again and the one doing the vacuuming will be breathing in dusty air.
Benefits of having an RV vacuum cleaner
Keeping your living space clean and livable: The joy of camping lies in spending time outdoors and indulging in nature, and part of that fun involves getting dirty. That said, when it comes to your home on wheels, it’s the same as your home. The interior of your rig needs to be kept clean for comfortable living.
Keeping yourself healthy and minimizing seasonal allergies: Frequently vacuuming dust, hair and other particles that can make their way into your rig, like pollen, also ensures that you and your companions breathe in better quality air. This keeps you healthy as well as minimizing reactions to seasonal allergies.
Versatile: Particularly if you get a more compact and lightweight vacuum cleaner that’s easily maneuverable, you will get a lot of use out of it. You can use it in your home once the camping season is over. If you get a super compact handheld vacuum, it would be convenient for quickly cleaning the inside of your car, the tight spaces or the high-traffic areas in your homes that get dusty easily.
Corded vs Cordless RV Vacuums
There are many ways to categorize RV vacuum cleaners. Models can either be corded or cordless. They can also be categorized as central vacuums, handheld vacuums, upright/canister vacuums and wet and dry vacuums, depending on their specific characteristics and applications, but first we’ll discuss the pros and cons of corded and cordless models.
Whether a corded or cordless vacuum is the best RV vacuum for you really depends on your rig and your camping situations. If you own a smaller RV with less carpet, and/or if you don’t travel with any four-legged friends or children, then you wouldn’t need to vacuum that much and can sacrifice some suction power for more mobility and flexibility. Thus a cordless vacuum might be the ideal option. Meanwhile, if you own a big rig with lots of carpet, and if you travel with kids or pets, then you need a powerful unit. A corded vacuum is often the preferred choice in this case.
Mobility: Corded vacuums need to be plugged in a power outlet, thus the name. This means that you’ll have to plug into different outlets as you go over the entire rig and need to keep the cable out of the way. They are bulkier and heavier than the cordless type, so in use, you’ll have less mobility when maneuvering in the confined space of an RV. This means that this type is not practical for quickly cleaning up, say, bread crumbs in the kitchen or before guests arrive, since pulling the unit out of its storage place can be a hassle.
Power: The fact that corded vacuums are plugged into the outlet means that they generally have stronger suction power than cordless models. They clean more effectively, particularly on carpets, and thus are ideal for large spaces that get dirty easily, like bigger RVs and homes with carpet, plus pets and kids around.
Battery life: With a corded vacuum, you can vacuum for as long as you like and won’t have to worry about running out of battery before you’ve finished vacuuming, so they are ideal for big spaces that take some time to clean up.
Dust collecting capacity: Corded vacuums hold much more dust than cordless vacuums and don’t have to be emptied as often, so allergy sufferers are less frequently exposed to dust during emptying. They typically hold about 2 liter to 3 liter in their canister.
Mobility: Without having to be plugged into an outlet, you can vacuum your rig without getting tangled in the cord or having to disconnect and connect to another outlet when changing rooms.
In addition, a cordless vacuum is typically lightweight, with the average weight being only around 3kg, so you can easily vacuum the tightest nooks and crannies of your motorhome as well as your car. The smallest cordless vacuum is basically a handheld vacuum, thus is ideal for quick spot cleaning like crumbs in the kitchen or pet hair on the sofa.
The best RV vacuums of the type would be extra compact, have telescopic handles and a wall-mounted charging station to save floor space.
Power: Cordless models generally offer less suction power, and most models will start to lose suction power over time, sometimes after only a year or two. They are known to have shorter lifespan than corded models.
Dust collecting capacity: Cordless vacuums only have a capacity of about 0.6 liter for holding dust, so they need to be emptied more often. Also, the filters need to be cleaned more often, or else once it gets clogged, its cleaning performance will be reduced and the unit might make more noises than usual.
Battery life: Cordless vacuums are battery powered. This means that you can still vacuum your rig when boondocking if your cordless unit is fully charged.
The batteries are removable for charging. The best cordless units should come with two removable batteries so that you can still use your vacuum while the extra battery is charging.
The battery life of cordless vacuums is limited and can range anywhere from 7 to 40 minutes. They need to be recharged for at least 2 up to 16 hours with some models to reach full charge.
The best RV vacuums of the cordless type generally charge faster. Stick vacuums use lower voltage batteries, while a high voltage lithium ion battery gives you a longer run time so you can vacuum for longer without having to stop midway to charge the battery. There’s a turbo mode for extra suction for cleaning carpets, but this naturally eats up battery power faster.
Types of RV vacuum cleaners
RV vacuums can be categorized into central vacuums, handheld vacuums, upright/canister vacuums and wet and dry vacuums.
Central vacuums: Central vacuum systems can be a convenient alternative to heavy and bulky models. They are built into your RV and have one outlet to connect the vacuum hose and enough hose to reach the entire length of a space like RVs, residential homes and sail boats. There are systems specifically designed for recreational vehicles, and there are indeed many RV models that come standard with a central vacuum system.
They use bags to collect dust. Due to the limited capacity, you need to replace them frequently to make sure your central vacuum doesn’t lose suction power, although the use of bags means compactness.
Do note that if you have a very long rig, you might need an extension to stretch the entire length of your unit. And although a central vacuum system might be neat, they can come with a number of bulky accessories and attachments. You will need extra space in your rig to store them, or simply only bring along those that you really need.
Handheld vacuums: Thanks to their superb compactness and mobility, handheld vacuums are super common for use in the confined spaces of RVs. They are super lightweight, easy to maneuver around tight corners and those hard-to-reach places; plus they are also easily stored away in smaller motorhomes. It’s also a breeze to take them out for an instant quick clean, without having to worry about dragging a power cord around.
However, as with every small-sized equipements, these handheld vacuums cannot offer the same level of suction power as the larger conventional vacuums. Furthermore, while they can suck up bigger particles, dirt clumps and clods of pet fur, they generally are not effective on fine dust and hair.
Realistically, handheld vacuums cannot be used to clean a whole room, let alone an entire rig. Everyone who owns one of these already has a primary high-powered vacuum for serious cleaning jobs, and would buy a handheld unit only as an extra “maintenance vacuum” for quick cleaning of high-traffic areas like the countertop or workstation and hard-to-get places. This is partly because you can’t use a handheld vacuum to clean the floor, as you’ll have to bend or kneel down.
These vacuums don’t use bags to collect dust. To make it easy to empty the dust container, they’re typically designed with a door on the side or bottom of the unit. This reduces waste by eliminating the need for a bag.
Robotic vacuums: Like handheld vacuums, robotic vacuums like the famous Roomba are also primarily for maintenance cleaning, and if you want to buy one of these, you’d need another powerful unit for deep cleaning. These are tiny and convenient, as they can be programmed to automatically do the job without you having to lift a finger.
Upright/canister vacuums are more commonly found in residential homes due to their large size and high-powered suction. Their bigger size also mean that they a wider cleaning path than, say, handheld vacuums, therefore you get more done faster and more efficiently.
They are larger than a handheld unit or even a central vacuum, and simply too big and heavy to haul around the tight spaces of an RV. Therefore they are less commonly used in RV, unless you travel with kids and pets in a luxury Class A motorhome or a fifth wheel with ample floor space and thus need something extra effective. To store an upright/canister vacuum, you’ll need to dedicate a full-length closet in your rig if you want to store them out of sight.
That said, in addition to unmatched suction power, this type of vacuum allows you to do your cleaning while standing upright, thus the name. This means you won’t have to bend or kneel to clean the floors like with a handheld unit.
Wet and dry vacuums: This type usually comes with an upright design, so that you don’t have to bend down or kneel to vacuum the floor. They are highly versatile since they can pick up dry hair, dirt, and debris as well as cleaning liquid spills or your pet’s wet messes. Steam vacuums: There’s also steam vacuums, but they are most often used to deep clean carpet using hot steam and soap to remove major stains instead of simply removing dust and hair like the other types.
How to Choose the Best RV Vacuum
Like everything else, which model is the best RV vacuum would depend on the size of your rig, whether you have carpets, if you travel with kids and pets, and any other factor that would affect how quickly your home on wheels gets dirty.
That being said, you’d have a better chance at securing a unit that offers good value for money if you keep in mind the following criteria.
Overall, the practical value of a particular vacuum is largely determined by its suction power. You want something that is capable of dislodging build-ups of particles in your recreational vehicle without requiring multiple passes. In most cases, you would be able to get a general idea about the suction power of a certain vacuum by checking its motor rating. Generally speaking, the higher the rating, the stronger the suction.
It should be noted that the power of a unit is determined not just by its motor rating, that is the power of its motor, but also the size of the intake port. This is where dust and particles get sucked up, and a smaller intake port would create more suction power. The rule is that if the same amount of air is sucked in through a narrower pathway, it must move faster. This is why between two vacuum cleaners with comparable motor rating, the unit with the smaller intake ports seem to have a much more powerful suction.
To be on the safe side, you should also take a look at customer reviews to check whether a particular model does deliver as promised, if it loses suction over time and whether it’s more suitable for a smaller or a larger rig.
Keep in mind that if you’re using a corded vacuum, you’ll need power access to utilize it. This brings us to another factor that you must consider, typically when you boondock, that is power draw. A typical corded vacuum uses approximately 1.44 kWh.
If you typically stay overnight at RV parks and campgrounds with hookups to shore power, then power usage is less relevant. However, for boondockers, remember that a vacuum cleaner is among the most power-hungry appliances you have in your RV, after the air conditioning unit.
Size and Mobility
Space in recreational vehicles is as valuable as gold, which is why to get the best RV vacuum for your needs and your rig, you need to get a model that offers the right balance between size and power plus other factors. Furthermore, you would most likely thoroughly clean your rig once a week at most, so you’ll need a convenient but out-of-the-way place to store your RV until you need it. It’s simply pointless for you to get what you believe to be the best RV vacuum if your RV is unable to accommodate it.
While handheld and robotic vacuums are the most compact and can be neatly tucked away anywhere, upright/canister vacuums and wet and dry units are much more bulky and will require a cabinet or closet. For central vacuum systems, you will need to dedicate a space for permanent installation, but remember that there are also the accessories and attachments that come with it, so you’ll need an extra space to store them too.
Another reason why the size of a unit is important is it determines the cleaning path, which is measured by the width where it touches the floor. This determines how many times you’ll need to go back and forth in order to clean the entire floor in your camper.
Dust Collection Capacity
RV vacuums use bags or internal compartments to contain dust and whatever debris they suck in, so for every type of vacuum, you’ll need to empty the dust containers every now and then. The collection capacity of an RV vacuum determines how often you need to empty it. This might not be a bother to you, but some might prefer being able to vacuum for a while before having to empty the unt. A vacuum’s collection capacity is usually measured in quarts, ounces, or gallons.
In general, RV central vacuums have the largest collection capacity since they use bags, and you won’t need to empty the collection container on your vacuum every time you use it. Meanwhile, handheld vacuums and their “cousin” robotic vacuums have by far the smallest. That said, they allow for very easy emptying, often with the touch of a button or some twisting of parts or opening some doors, so you might not find that an issue.
Keep in mind that collection capacity goes hand in hand with size and thus mobility, so you’ll have to trade off. Bulky models with high capacity containers allow you to vacuum an entire big motorhome uninterrupted, but at the same time they have restricted mobility and are not ideal for maneuvering tight spaces.
Every RV vacuum cleaner on the market makes noise in use but some of them prove quieter than the rest. As an RVers, you already have to face many headaches on the road so you don’t need a deafening vacuum that adds additional stress. Models with strong motors tend to be louder than ones that use weak motors but several noise-reduction materials could keep the noise level down. All in all, while searching around for the best RV vacuum, it’s strongly recommended that you treat noise as one of the top criteria.
Ease of Use
An RV vacuum is something you’d use a lot, so do yourself a favour and get a model that’s easy to use. This is determined by many factors, including size, weight, operating mechanism, and versatility, that is whether a model comes with different accessories for cleaning different surfaces or tight corners.
Most vacuums designed for RV usually don’t require special knowledge and expertise to operate. Nonetheless, it’s a good idea to pay attention to this when you’re browsing the reviews for a particular model. It’s worth noting that vacuums nowadays often come along with various accessories you’ll need to thoroughly clean every nook and cranny of your RV.
Generally speaking, cordless handheld vacuums tend to be the easiest to use since they are compact, lightweight and you won’t have to worry about switching outlets or tripping over the power cord. That said, you’ll need to bend or kneel down if you want to vacuum the floor.
In contrast, upright/canister vacuums tend to be the biggest and heaviest, but you’ll be able to stand upright comfortably when vacuuming the floor. If you have a big RV with a really open floor plan that allows you to maneuver such a bulky vacuum, then an upright/canister vacuum would actually be the best choice.
Next is versatility. Due to the limited space of an RV, anything that is multipurpose would be a valuable addition to bring along. The best RV vacuum cleaners often can double duty or triple duty to clean hard surfaces and carpet alike, and should come with different attachments to most effectively clean tight corners, high-above places, the ceiling and baseboards.
Another factor is durability. A durable RV vacuum cleaner that can stand up to some knocking around when you’re traveling on rougher terrains would be ideal. Additionally, the most powerful and convenient units can even suck up larger particles without damage.
Most Reliable RV Vacuum Brands
Shark is an American manufacturer of vacuums and mops. They’re owned by SharkNinja, a famous brand of home appliances, the most popular of which are blenders and coffee makers. Shark is your one-stop shop when it comes to vacuums, with a large product portfolio of different vacuum types and a wide range of models and designs, including corded or cordless and bagged or bagless.
Also, Shark RV vacuums are available at different price points, so any camper can find a vacuum that fits their budget. Many models conveniently come with a smart self-cleaning brushroll, which helps detangle hair that can get stuck as you clean. However, note that their vacuums often don’t feel very well built and expensive, but plasticky.
BISSELL is a major American brand that makes budget-friendly residential vacuums. Their products are sold at all the large supermarkets and department stores in the country. Their Sanitaire line also offers vacuums for commercial use.
BISSELL offers a wide variety of vacuum types, sizes, and features, so there’s something for every budget camper. Do note that since the brand specializes in economical vacuums, their products often power adjustment features. Also, they tend to come with plasticky and sometimes flimsy build quality. That said, the upside is this helps keep their vacuum lightweight, maneuverable and portable. Another area where they cut costs is that their models usually don’t come with a HEPA filter to help trap contaminants and allergens.
Dyson is a well-known British manufacturer of home appliances like fans and hair dryers as well as vacuums. What sets Dyson vacuums apart from other brands is their colorful and stylish designs, and most importantly the use of a patented root or digital cyclone motor design, which relies on centrifugal force for extra powerful suction.
Dyson specializes in cordless stick/handheld models, and also make upright/canister models. Their vacuums often are made entirely of plastic, have a bagless design and come with lots of attachments and accessories for added versatility. This allows their models to be lightweight but sometimes they might feel a bit flimsy.
Miele is a German manufacturer of a variety of home appliances, including coffee machines, ovens, dishwashers, and vacuums. Their vacuums are known for their durable construction and premium look and feel, as well as being easy to maintain.
They specialize in upright/canister vacuums with both bag and bagless designs, but also make handheld vacuums and even a robot vacuum. Their products usually offer different variants designed for different cleaning jobs, like a certain surface type or kind of debris. They offer models that use a dirtbag as well as bagless vacuums.
iRobot was founded in 1990 for developing robots for scientific and medical use only at first. They released their first robot vacuum, the Roomba, in 2002, and instantly made news all over the world. Nowadays, the company specializes in robotic vacuums as well as robotic mops. Most iRobot vacuums work with the iRobot HOME app.
Although robotic vacuums might sound expensive, they are not, and the brand offers a variety of models at different price points, so you can find one that suits your budget. iRobot vacuum cleaners are known to have high quality construction, excellent battery performance and quick charging, plus they are often equipped with an allergen-trapping HEPA filter. One thing to note though is that like most robotic vacuums, iRobot vacuums are high-maintenance and high recurring costs, since many parts need to be replaced over time.
Roborock is a Chinese maker of robotic vacuums that entered that market quite recently, less than a decade ago. They only produce robotic vacuums and mops. Their products have been receiving raving reviews on their effectiveness. While most offer exceptional performance in picking up dry debris on bare floors, many models can also even handle wet messes like liquid spills. Roborock vacuums are also loved for their high quality construction.
FAQs About Vacuum Cleaners For RV
1. How long does an RV vacuum last?
Vacuum cleaners can last anywhere from two to five years, with some campers reporting that the very best vacuum for RV can last up to eight years with utmost care and maintenance. But the lifespan varies wildly by not only brand but your own personal use.
While a handheld vacuum may last from two to three years, you’ll enjoy three to five years of good service from a cordless vacuum before you need to replace an expensive part like the battery or cleaning head.
For upright vacuums, five years would be the maximum lifespan, and for canister vacuum, the mark is seven years. If a vacuum has hit this mark and is starting to malfunction, it’s generally not worth repairing it, unless the repair doesn’t cost more than half the purchase price of a comparable new model.
2. Why is my RV vacuum cleaner becoming louder?
When you notice that your RV vacuum starts to run louder than usual, it’s most likely because the filters have become excessively dirty. This happens to all kinds of vacuum. When the filters start getting clogged, the unit has to work harder to create suction. All you have to do is replace the filters once they are dry to restore your vacuum to normal sound level.
3. Should I use corded or cordless RV vacuum cleaners?
In general, if you own a bigger motorhome with carpets that gets dirty very quickly, a corded vacuum is probably the best RV vacuum cleaner for you. Otherwise, you might find that a cordless model would be more convenient to use and store away in a smaller rig in a cleaner camping environment.
Corded and cordless models offer distinct benefits, so many campers as well as home owners actually chose to buy both — a corded unit for serious deep cleaning sessions that takes place once every week or two, and a lightweight, more compact cordless unit for quickly cleaning up small surfaces and tight corners on a more regular basis, in between the deep cleanings.
In comparison, corded vacuums are plugged into the power outlet and are heavier, so they are less mobile, but generally are more powerful and especially effective on carpets. They don’t require batteries (although a few models do), so you won’t have to worry about battery life. They also hold much more dust and need less frequent emptying.
Meanwhile, cordless models are more lightweight and work on batteries, so they are more maneuverable, although this also means most models would begin to lose suction as the battery starts to deplete. They have a limited battery life and need to be recharged often, and typically come with very small dust collecting bins.
4. How to install and use an RV central vacuum system?
Central vacuum systems have many merits, it’s just that you’ll need to take care of the installation. If you decide to install it yourself without professional help, it’s recommended that you browse through RV central vacuum reviews to judge whether a particular system is straightforward to install or not.
For installations, central vacuum systems require specifically engineered wiring called insulated low voltage wires, and you should use at least 24-volt 20-gauge stranded pair wires. Follow the instructions of your manual closely and search for installation videos for your particular model, if any, but in general, the installation procedure should look like this:
Location: Determine the location for securing your central vacuum system. Usually in an RV, you would need to dedicate a whole closet or cabinet, or other storage compartment for it. It can be mounted either vertically or horizontally. Furthermore, the spot must be within reach of a power outlet, and make sure there is enough clearance so when you need to change the bag, you can easily remove the front panel.
Also, for ease of use, make sure that you place your inlet valve in a central location, that is somewhere midship. The inlet valve is where you insert your central vacuum hose, and when the hose is inserted into the outlets, the vacuum will turn on. That’s why it needs to be located centrally, so that the attaching hose can stretch to both ends of the vacuum when cleaning.
Connect inlet valve: Next you need to connect the inlet valve to the main component. For this, you’ll need to cut a hole to the specified size. Refer to the manual instructions.
Inlet valve wiring: Stringing the coil of the inlet valve through the hole you just cut to wire your inlet valve, and connecting it using the appropriate hardware (typically included in a central vacuum kit).
Securing the unit: Use the brackets included in the kit to secure your vacuum to your rig, and connect it to the inlet valve with the hose.
Tada! Plug in the power cord, and test to see if the unit works properly. Some units will start once the hose is plugged into the inlet valve, while some do once the inlet valve is opened. Consult the manual for the detailed guidelines on installation and usage.
When you notice that your vacuum is losing suction power, this usually indicates that you need to replace the filter bag.
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