Do you want a vacuum cleaner that's good at sucking, or do you want one that SUCKS?
With so many options to choose from, and so many poor performing RV and 12 volt vacuum cleaners on the market. Sorting the wheat from the chaff is no easy task.
That's why we've put these suckers to the test, and created this list of the best vacuum cleaners for RV use. Our complete buyers guide will help you choose the right vacuum for your budget and needs.
Our Picks: Best Vacuum Cleaners for RVs
Dirt Devil RV Central Vacuum System *Best Overall*
Shark Rocket Corded Hand Vac (HV292) *Best Budget*
Scroll down to read individual reviews of each product...
What Kind of Vacuum Should I Use?
There are several different types of vacuums to choose from and, depending on how you will use it and how intense your cleaning needs are, each type of vacuum will work better in different situations. Remember that more high-powered vacuums will require more energy, so make sure you have a suitable power source for the vacuum you choose.
RV Central Vacuum Systems
This type of vacuum is commercial grade and sucks up the dirt and debris while removing it to a remotely stored dirt canister. This is a great space-saving style that is installed in closets, under seats, or in a storage compartment. This type of unit will also need to be connected to a power source.
Wet and Dry Vacuums
This is a great style if you know that you will need to clean up wet areas, especially around baths and sinks. Using two separate buckets for each type of waste, a wet and dry vacuum is usually used for commercial areas since it is equipped with a blower system to quickly dry out spaces. This style is really only necessary for those that know you will have wet waste or spills in your RV.
Handheld RV Vacuums
Easy to store and compact, a handheld vacuum is ideal for hard to reach areas like corners, cushions, shelves, and under furniture. These units tend to high-powered vacuums that are food for quick clean-up, but they do tend to be heavier since they come equipped with a battery. Some units have rechargeable batteries making them convenient to use and highly portable.
A steam vacuum is great for deodorizing and disinfecting which can be great if you have pets, mold, and mildew, or need to unclog a drain. If you expect a lot of pet odors and stains on your carpets and upholstery in your RV, a steam vacuum can be handy.
Upright or Canister
Depending on the amount of flooring and carpeting you have in your RV, an upright or canister vacuum can be handy to keep your living and sleeping area clean and safe. Many of these machines also come with handy attachments that will help you extend your vacuum’s reach and get into hard to reach areas.
Considerations When Buying a Vacuum Cleaner for your RV
A machine that runs on DC power will draw power directly from your battery may be a better choice depending on the availability of 12v electric outlets in your RV. If you choose an AC powered vacuum for your RV you will need to make sure you have sufficient inverter to run the machine.
The type of carpet fibers you have is just as important a consideration as the type of dirt and traffic that your RV will experience since this will tell you what type of vacuum cleaner you should choose. The carpets that are sold today are mostly made of polyester, nylon, and elofin which are durable fibers that can handle a vacuum cleaner that is pretty aggressive. If you have a carpet with natural fibers, it will need a vacuum that is gentler.
The most common type of carpet fiber used in wall-to-wall carpet is wool which is pretty durable and also explains its popularity. Despite its durability, you still need to be careful when you vacuum it as you need gentle and flexible bristles on the revolving brush in your machine. Remember that is shouldn’t have the same density as the brush roll so you can stop yarns from becoming fuzzy and wearing out your carpet quickly.
Make sure to look over your RV’s surfaces to see what you are dealing with before purchasing a vacuum. Depending on the carpets you see or the smooth floors, there is a specific type of vacuum you should use. You will also know if you need additional attachments if you see lots of light fixtures, ceiling fans, high ceiling or special flooring.
- Microscopic particles dust mite droppings and pollen can get trapped in high-level fibers which can cause asthmas and allergies. A HEPA mark filter is the best type to use on high-level fibers.
- Also not ideal for those suffering from asthmas is bag-free cleaning. But, if you are not suffering from asthma or allergies, bag free cleaning will still give you the suction you need but save you the time and hassle from cleaning out dirt, plus save you money from buying more bags for your machine.
- All good vacuums should have a pet hair feature which will give you an effective way to get pet hair off of furniture and surfaces in your RV. You will see vacuums that come with specific rotating brushes that work as an attachment on your vacuum hose to get rid of fur from interiors.
RV Vacuum Cleaner Reviews
Convenient and powerful, the Dirt Devil All-In-One Central Vacuum System will help you keep your RV cleaner than other types of vacuums. With a small space and hard to reach corners, RV’s need a versatile and powerful solution that won’t clutter up storage areas. This is a commercial grade unit that is quiet capturing dirt and debris and removing it to a remote dirt canister.
Created to give you more room, this is a unit that can be installed in closets, under seats, or in a storage compartment. The included cleaning tools are versatile and take up less than a half cubic foot of storage area. This is the ideal unit for any RV where space-saving designs are needed to give you as much living space as possible.
This central vacuum system is our #1 choice vacuum for RVs, click here to check prices.
Equipped with the powerful Dyson digital motor, the Dyson Slim MK2 is a cordless vacuum cleaner that won’t lose suction. Easy handling and maneuvering are due to the location of the center of gravity in the center of the machine toward the handle. It also includes a motorized tool that removes dust and pet hair from hard to reach spaces.
Ideal for any type of floor surface including vinyl, ceramic, carpet, and wood, the Dyson Slim MK2 has an improved run time over other Dyson models providing consistently high suction for twenty minutes. Plus, when you are in boost mode, you get eight minutes of a higher level suction for those harder tasks. You also get a convenient docking station that will store and recharge your machine when you aren’t using it.
With two brush types, this vacuum cleaner can remove fine dust from hard floors with the anti-static carbon fiber filament brush and the stiff nylon brush will take out ground-in dirt from carpets. You also get improved power in the motor to drive the brush bar compared to other Dyson models giving you a deeper clean from the increased power. This is also a great machine for vehicles with the included long-reach wand that is also detachable and made of lightweight aluminum.
If you are tired of hauling around your canister vacuum, the Black & Decker Mini Canister Vac allows you to clean your RV, car, or home with a hose that is extendable and three versatile accessories. The Mini Canister Vac gives you the reach you need to clean shelves, drapes, and blinds with the added accessories that let you clean stairs, cushions, and your vehicles. This cordless vac lets you quickly and easily get through your chores with its innovative design and high-performance motor.
The Black & Decker Mini Canister Vac comes equipped with awesome suction that is long lasting and portable. With a 3-stage filtration technology feature, the vac is able to clean exhaust in the air, but also includes a canister that is easy to empty for less mess and a filter that can be washed in your dishwasher. This easy to use vac comes with a storage caddy that lets you put your accessories and vacuum away neatly after use.
Included with the Black & Decker Mini Canister Vac are several attachments that let you tackle a wide range of surfaces including loosening pet hair and getting up that ground-in dirt for a deep down clean. This lightweight and portable machine has a motor that is small and compact giving you the experience of a full-size machine in a lightweight canister vac.
4. Shark Rocket Corded Hand Vac - Best Budget Option
For a truly powerful handheld vacuum, the Shark Rocket Corded Hand Vac will never lose power or suction. This great vacuum will clean stairs, interiors of vehicles, and floor surface with a fifteen-foot cord so you never have to worry about batteries or running out of a charge and several helpful accessories. You also get a TruePet Motorized Brush for deep cleaning, a crevice tool for hard to reach places, and a stretch hose when you need a little extra length.
This intelligent and adaptive hand vac is designed to clean up small messes that a regular sized machine won’t handle. With the legendary Shark technology, the Shark Rocket won’t lose suction and will give you powerful and consistent dirt-trapping force. It can also be used in high traffic areas as well as on furniture that gives you power in areas where traditional vacuums will lose suction.
Only weighing four pounds, the Shark Rocket Hand Vac is very lightweight and portable for cleaning, plus it comes with an extra-long power cord and a washable filter. It also comes with an easy to empty dust cup so you don’t have to worry about a vacuum bag allowing you to make it easy to keep up with regular carpet cleaning to help remove trapped allergens to keep your family healthier. You also get great control with the included accessories allowing you to deep clean surfaces in your vehicle, home, or workshop.
Capturing more dirt than any other Dyson Cyclone, the Dyson DC40 is designed with Radial Root Cyclone technology that uses airflow to increase suction power. The DC$) also uses Dyson’s patented Ball technology so it can turn on the spot allowing better maneuverability in awkward spaces and around objects. All the important parts of the motor and the machine are found inside the ball creating a lower center of gravity which makes it easier to handle.
With the remodeled airflow, the DC40 is able to get rid of more dirt, plus a self-adjusting cleaner head allows it to stay in contact with any type of flooring so you don’t have to make adjustments to lower or raise it. Weighing only 14.6 pounds, this is an easy to move machine constructed out of material that is used in crash helmets. This is the least expensive Dyson upright model with all the technology you expect from Dyson in a sleek looking machine.
The winner of the best vacuum cleaner for RV is the Dirt Devil Central Vacuum. It may be a little extra work to install, but installation isn't difficult and once set up it's so great to use you might even look forward to it. Providing consistently high suction, quiet operation and great convenience, the Dirt Devil Central Vacuum System stands out as superior to all other options.
However not everyone will want this kind of built in solution. If something handheld and portable is more suitable to your needs, you could go with the Shark Rocket or one of the top selling options below.
- 9+ Cool Vintage Bus Conversions - April 2, 2021
- Are RVs Safe for Babies? Here’s What You Need to Know - February 17, 2021
- Are Motorhomes Safe in Lightning? How to Protect Yourself? - February 16, 2021