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In an ideal world, no RV would have carpet, and our hard floors could be kept clean by sweeping and mopping alone. Unfortunately, this just isn’t the case. A huge number of motorhomes and travel trailers still include some amount of carpet, and anyone with an older rig that hasn’t been upgraded almost certainly has carpet gracing their floors.
Why is this so unfortunate? Well, our tiny homes-on-wheels have a tendency to gather dirt. A lot of dirt. Sandy campgrounds and wooded areas full of dry leaves certainly don’t help matters, nor do kids who simply cannot remember to remove their shoes when walking through the door.
For these reasons, we all must keep an RV vacuum cleaner on hand.
While any vacuum cleaner will work in an RV, the combination of limited space, tiny nooks, and an occasional lack of power leads us RVers to look for certain things when searching for the best vacuums for motorhome or travel trailer life which will also work for your carpet cleaning.
What to Look For in an RV Vacuum Cleaner
First, let’s discuss which kinds of things we like to look for when shopping for the best RV vacuum. Finding something that meets all of these needs is sure to leave you happier with your purchase in the long run, so take the time to do some research before you buy.
Size and Storability
The most obvious thing to consider when purchasing a vacuum cleaner specifically for an RV is the size. Make sure you get something small and easy to store. Sometimes it’s even possible to find a vacuum that will fold or collapse down, making storage even easier.
Weight is another important factor to consider. It can be difficult to stay under your RV’s cargo carrying capacity limit when traveling full-time. You certainly don’t need a super heavy vacuum cleaner adding to your total weight.
A corded RV vacuum in fine, of course. However, most people are much happier with a cordless model.
A cordless camper vacuum allows you to vacuum your entire space without moving to another outlet or becoming tangled in your own cord as you get into the odd nooks and crannies. Additionally, a fully charged RV vacuum cleaner will allow you to clean your floors even when boondocking with no power hookups.
Obviously, the best vacuum for travel trailer or motorhome floors will need to have enough suction to clean up all the debris carried in from outdoors. Make sure you watch for complaints in reviews about the amount of power any given vacuum offers.
Because RVs are small, and because they have a lot of oddly shaped areas to clean, maneuverability is key. You want your camper vacuum cleaner to be easy to move in and out of small spaces.
Hopefully you clean your floors often enough that capacity won’t be a huge concern. That said, it is nice to be able to vacuum a few times before needing to empty the holding container and clean it. Therefore, capacity is still something to keep in mind.
Things tend to get bumped around quite a bit in an RV, especially if you move around a lot. For this reason, you will need a durable RV vacuum cleaner that can stand up to some knocking around. Additionally, you’ll want one that can pick up larger bits of debris without damage.
Any small appliance you bring into your tiny home should serve multiple purposes, and your camper vacuum is no exception. The best motorhome vacuum cleaner can clean hard floors and carpet alike, and comes with attachments to clean the ceiling, corners, and baseboards.
Most people are well aware that RV walls are pretty thin. It isn’t uncommon to hear your neighbor’s TV while sitting around the campfire. Since nobody wants to listen to the sound of a vacuum cleaner, you might want to keep an eye out for one that is relatively quiet. Your neighbors will appreciate it!
The Best RV Vacuum Cleaners
Don’t really want to go through the effort of sifting through the dozens of different vacuum cleaner options out there? We don’t blame you. This is a daunting task indeed, especially when you’re considering so many different attributes. Lucky for you, we’ve already done the work!
Below are the top two RV vacuum cleaners, both recommended by the full-time RV community themselves.
Dyson Cordless Stick Vac
Dyson is an excellent vacuum cleaner brand. Their products clean better than most, meaning you likely aren’t going to go wrong no matter which model you buy. We particularly love their cordless stick vacs, which are small, lightweight, easy to maneuver, and of course, cordless.
Trying to decide which of the Dyson cordless stick vac models to purchase for your RV? The Dyson V7 Motorhead is a popular one. Meanwhile, the Dyson V11 Torque Drive is an excellent step up, offering more suction, better battery life, and a number of other features.
The other top pick is the Shark Rocket. This is another powerful cordless vacuum cleaner that is small in size and light in weight, making it perfect for RV life.
It converts to a handheld vacuum cleaner—making it an incredibly versatile tool—and is super easy to swivel and maneuver. It also folds down, so you can store this RV vacuum in the smallest of sma
How to Store Your RV Vacuum Cleaner
Once you pick out your ideal camper vacuum and bring it home, you’ll have to find a place to store it. This can be tricky to do when living in such a tiny space, but it definitely isn’t impossible. Some great storage solutions are listed below.
Clear a Closet or Corner
Many RVers we talked to said they simply made room for their small vacuum cleaners in a closet or corner. If you have an open corner, or if you’re lucky enough to have a full-size closet, this might just be the simplest thing to do.
Make Room in the Basement
Another Fulltime Families member mentioned that she keeps her stick vacuum in the basement of her RV. While this does make it a little more difficult to get to the cleaner should you need it in a hurry, it certainly does ensure it’s out of the way—and if you have the extra basement storage, you might as well put it to work.
Use Command Strips
A super creative individual told us that she hangs her cordless stick vac on the RV wall using Scotch Command Strips. The strips actually hold the lightweight vacuum cleaner quite well, keeping it up and out of the way, but within reach when cleaning needs to happen quickly.
Create Your Own Storage Space
Finally, there is the option of creating your own storage space. If you have a vacuum that comes apart or folds down (such as the aforementioned Shark Rocket), even a small space would work.
We’ve seen people use hollow ottomans or under-the-couch storage solutions, but we especially loved the hollow stairs created specifically for vacuum storage by one Fulltime Families member.
As you can see, there is a lot to keep in mind when deciding which RV vacuum cleaner to buy and where to store it. That said, you should now have all the tools you need to ensure you get the perfect appliance and find the ideal place to put it away after cleaning the floors in your RV.
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