Just because you’re traveling in an RV doesn’t mean that you should avoid the accouterments of home. For me, one of the most vital items I need to bring along for the ride is a coffee maker. I’m not ready to face the day until I’ve had at least one cup of joe, and I don’t like to have to work hard for it, either.
Fortunately, there are many different coffee maker models out there that make it easy for people like me to keep their sanity without having to do anything overly complicated. Today I’m going to be discussing the most crucial elements to look for in these devices, as well as showcase some of the models that I like.
If you’re ready to upgrade your RVing experience with high-quality coffee, then you’ve come to the right place.
How to Choose an RV Coffee Maker
When you’re making coffee at home, it’s easy to keep it plugged in all the time. You just turn it on and watch it work. However, in an RV, power is a finite resource like everything else, so you have to plan accordingly.
When you go camping and traveling in your RV, do you usually have access to shore power, or is electricity in short supply? Depending on your circumstance, you will have to get a coffee maker that fits your lifestyle.
Personally, I prefer electric models because they are so convenient, but I also keep an old-school coffee pot for when I’m not close to an outlet (or I want to save gas in my generator).
If you decide to get an electric coffee maker, then be sure to pay attention to the volt and wattage requirements to ensure that you’re not going to blow a fuse. To be safe, I highly recommend using one device at a time (unless you’re plugged in). Also, choose a maker with as few watts as possible so that you aren’t limited to having high-quality coffee when you’re running on shore power.
No matter what you bring on your trip, size is always going to matter. Storage and counter space are still in short supply, so it’s imperative that you choose a coffee maker that won’t create any unnecessary burden.
When picking out the right size, pay attention to how well it stores when you’re traveling as well as how much room it takes up while you’re using it. For the most part, I like to put appliances away as soon as I’m done with them, but if you plan on keeping your coffee maker out for the duration of your stay, be sure that it won’t get in the way of anything else you may be doing on the counter. There’s nothing more annoying than having to move something all the time.
Since I put my appliances in storage all the time, I want to be able to clean it out as quickly as possible. Also, because water is another finite resource, you don’t want to have to use a lot of it to get your coffee maker back to pristine condition.
For the most part, I like units that use individual cups for brewing since they are much easier to maintain. However, if you prefer not to create as much waste, then you will likely be choosing a model that requires more cleaning.
To help save time, I suggest buying a coffee maker that’s compatible with your mugs or other drinking vessel. While brewing a pot can be helpful for when you have multiple people in your RV (or for when you need a couple of cups to get going), it’s just another dish to clean.
Pro Tip: to save water, I suggest bringing a few gallons with you so that you can pour them into your coffee maker instead of using the tap. This will ensure that you’re not using so much water for one appliance.
What kind of coffee do you like to drink most? When picking out a coffee maker, it’s easy to think that you have to buy the most stripped-down version because you’re living in an RV. However, don’t skimp on quality or convenience just because you think you have to. In many cases, high-end coffee makers are not going to drain your resources that much, so don’t make yourself suffer.
Overall, you want to pick a model that allows you to brew the kind of coffee you love most. If you’re traveling with other people, make sure that everyone can have their preferred version, whether it’s a cappuccino or coffee as black as night.
That all being said, keep in mind the peripheral materials you’ll have to bring along as well. For example, if you have to bring a milk frother or bags of coffee beans, that will only add to your storage. Other items like coffee filters, stirrers, creamer, and sugar should also be taken into account.
I suggest that you bundle everything together to see what kind of storage space you’ll need to accommodate it all, and then decide if every piece is worth packing.
Recommended RV Coffee Makers
For some people, the best way to make a pot of coffee is to use a French Press. There’s something so satisfying about manually separating your coffee that makes it an ideal choice for many connoisseurs.
What’s nice about having a French Press is that you don’t necessarily have to plug in anywhere. As long as you can boil water (on a gas stove or an open flame), you don’t need an outlet to get the perfect cup. That being said, you do have to bring another pot to boil the water, so it does mean more accessories to pack.
This French Press from SterlingPro is remarkable for a couple of reasons. First, it’s one of the largest models you can find. It comes in either a one or two-liter size, which allows you to make up to 16 cups at once. Thus, if you’re planning on making enough for the whole family (plus seconds), this is the pot to buy.
The other reason that this press is so unique is that it uses a double screen filter. This ensures that you get no coffee grounds in your cup (manufacturer guarantee). Having drunk plenty of French-pressed coffee that had bits of grounds in it, I can say that this is a huge plus.
Finally, the design and construction of this pot are incredible. It’s made of high-quality stainless steel, and it uses a double wall design to insulate its contents. Whether you’re making coffee or tea, this pot will keep it warm for hours, not minutes. This model is also dishwasher safe so that you can keep it clean in between your travels.
Durable stainless steel construction
Large capacity design
Multiple sizes available
Dishwasher safe (for when you return home)
Double wall design
Sleek and elegant appearance
Double screen system for better filtration
No power required
Can be bulky
Requires a pot for boiling water
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Keurig coffee makers. On the one hand, I like the convenience offered by the coffee pods, but on the other hand, they are bulky and wasteful (those pods don’t decompose). If you prefer comfort over everything else, however, then the K475 is an excellent choice for your RV.
Before talking about the various features, I should mention that you need to use the K-cup 2.0 version. If you have a stockpile of the original pods, you won’t be able to use them. Also, you should only use this appliance when plugged in or using the generator to ensure that you don’t blow a fuse. As long as you meet those requirements, you’re ready to go.
Overall, the K475 is built for sharing. With a massive 70-ounce water tank, you can make up to eight full-size cups. Thus, if you’re planning on going solo in your RV or it’s just you and one other person, this will probably be too much for you.
What I like about this model is that it’s both fast and high-tech. It uses a digital display screen to control the size and strength of your coffee. You can also use the machine to boil water if you want to use it for other purposes besides drinking.
Another excellent aspect of the K475 is that it is energy efficient. While you can program it to stay hot for brewing multiple cups in sequence, it will automatically turn off to save power. Since you don’t want to overload your RV’s circuits, this feature is helpful. For the most part, you can brew a single serving in under a minute, making it one of the faster models out there.
Cleaning is a breeze because the coffee doesn’t mix with the grounds. Simply toss the K-cup and empty the tank. However, if you do spill anything into the drip tray, it is removable for convenience. Also, taking it out allows you to use larger travel mug sizes.
Three awesome color designs
Works with all K-cup coffee pods
Six pods included
Two filters provided for convenience
Large 70-ounce water reservoir
Works with carafe pods as well
Clock built in
Turns off automatically to save power
Can dispense hot water only if necessary
Removable drip tray for easy cleaning
Fits standard and travel-size mugs
Brews in less than a minute
Saves your favorites
Not compatible with older version K-cups
If you love espresso, then you’re probably familiar with the Nespresso brand. Like Keurig, it uses disposable coffee pods to deliver high-quality cups in less time than it takes to boil an egg. In fact, this unit is faster than the K475 above. Instead of taking up to a minute to heat the coffee, it’s ready in less than 30 seconds.
One of the reasons that the Inissia is so fast is that it has a smaller water reservoir. 24 ounces is perfect for a single coffee drinker (or two), and you can make either espresso or lungo (larger) sizes. Simply press the corresponding button, and you’re ready to go.
What makes the Inissia ideal for RVing is its compact design. It has a slim profile and weighs just over five pounds, ensuring that storage and counter space are not a problem. Also, it comes with a milk frother as well so that you can get the perfect espresso every time.
Another reason this unit is great for the RV life is that it shuts off automatically after a few minutes. That being said, it does use a lot of power to heat the water, so you should only operate the machine when you’re plugged in.
The one thing that I don’t like about Nespresso coffee makers is that they are so narrowly focused. While you can choose different blends, they are all espresso. So, if you prefer other kinds of coffee, you’re out of luck. However, if you only drink espresso, then you have nothing to worry about.
Cleaning the Inissia is also easy thanks to the removable water tank and drip tray. Also, it stores used coffee pods so that you can toss a bunch at once instead of individually. This system also allows you to brew multiple cups in sequence without delay. To help you get started, this coffee maker comes with 16 pods.
Four color options available
Adjustable cup sizes
Makes espresso and lungo coffees
Automatic shutoff to save energy
Milk frother provided
Compatible with Nespresso coffee pods
Super fast process heats water in 30 seconds
Slim profile takes up less counter space
Comes with 16 capsules to get started
Stores used capsules for easy cleanup
Removable drip tray
24-ounce water reservoir
Uses a lot of power (1260 watts)
Only designed for espresso coffee
While the Inissia Coffee Maker from Nespresso is designed specifically for espressos, the Lattissima is built for lattes as well. As such, I personally prefer this system because it offers more variety in your coffee experience.
As far as convenience goes, the Lattissima has all of the standard features you would expect. It uses a high-pressure mechanism to extract more flavor out of your coffee, which also ensures that you get your cup super fast (less than a minute). It has a one-touch operation, and the digital display gives you all the information you need.
The size of this machine is a bit bulky, although it’s nothing compared to the K475. It has a 30-ounce water reservoir to make even more coffee, so it’s perfect for single drinkers or pairs.
One unique feature of the Lattissima is the integrated milk frother. What I like about this is that it automatically adds foam to your coffee so that you don’t have to worry about doing it yourself. You can get an expertly layered beverage in seconds with no effort. Also, the frother is removable for both cleaning purposes and to save space.
As with other high-end coffee makers, this unit does use a lot of power, so keep that in mind. However, cleaning is still a breeze thanks to the removable drip tray and water tank, as well as the used pod storage. Overall, if you love espresso and lattes, I highly recommend this machine.
Four color options available
Single touch system
Integrated milk frother for convenience
Illuminated control panel
Three milk and two coffee settings
30-ounce water reservoir
Removable tank and drip tray
Stores used capsules
Can make lattes and espressos
Milk frother is removable
High-pressure system extracts more flavor
Doesn’t get as hot as other machines
Uses a lot of power
If you like the idea of using K-Cups, but you don’t want to pay extra for a brand-name Keurig, then something like this Coffee Maker from Mixpresso is a much better option. Interestingly enough, this machine is even more compatible with K-cups than most Keurigs. It accepts both original and 2.0 versions, as well as refillable pods and Mixpresso brand cups as well. Overall, if you like the convenience of being able to bring whatever you want, then this is the coffee maker for you.
Although this machine is a little bulky, it’s a decent size for two or three coffee drinkers. It can brew your cup in under a minute, and it offers three cup size options for convenience. With 45 ounces of water available, you can make quite a few servings.
Cleaning this machine is also easy because of the pods and the removable drip tray. I like that it shuts off automatically to save power, but it’s one of the most electric-hungry models (1400 watts), so you can’t use it without plugging in or turning on your generator. Still, when it comes to single-serving coffee, this is a versatile and reliable appliance.
Compatible with all K-cups (old and new)
Three brewing sizes for convenience
Automatic shutoff saves power
Fast and efficient operation
Large capacity for multiple drinkers
Works with traditional and travel mugs
45-ounce water reservoir
Makes coffee in a minute or less
Tall, bulky design
Uses 1400 watts
So far, I’ve been showing you coffee makers that are designed for multiple drinkers. However, what if you’re the only one having a cup? In that case, you may prefer something more compact and lightweight like this unit from Chulux.
Depending on how much coffee you drink, the 12-ounce reservoir may be a good or bad thing. If that sounds like enough for you, then this is a highly capable coffee maker that will take up little space in storage or on the counter. However, if you prefer to have more than one cup, you may think that this system is a bit counterintuitive.
Some unique features that come with this machine include a cleaning setting that runs hot water through the system. Not only can you use it to boil water, but it’s much easier to maintain with this setting. The drip tray is also removable to wash it more thoroughly when necessary.
As far as coffee goes, this model is compatible with disposable K-cups (both 1.0 and 2.0 versions). Chulux doesn’t seem to make its own coffee pods, so you are somewhat limited in that regard. Also, this machine can take up to five minutes to heat, so that’s something you will want to keep in mind.
Five color options available
Compatible with all disposable K-cups
Slim profile takes up less space
Removable drip tray
Automatic shutoff saves energy
Delivers hot water if necessary
Ideal for single drinkers
Takes up to five minutes to brew
Only makes one cup at a time
Although single-serve coffee makers are convenient, they can be quite limiting in the types of coffee you can drink. If you prefer an old-school model that allows you to use a variety of coffee brands, then you will want something like this Hamilton Beach Scoop Coffee Maker.
On the one hand, using this machine does mean that you have to bring coffee grounds with you, along with filters. However, this model does come with its own scoop, so that’s something. Also, the scoop is labeled with measurements so that you don’t overfill the top and cause a leak.
Like the Chulux, this machine is designed for a single drinker as it comes with a 14-ounce water tank. This means that it’s compact and lightweight, but it also means that you can’t make more than one cup at a time.
Overall, I like the simplicity and classic function of this coffee maker, and the stainless steel design is both durable and long-lasting. If you want more control over your cup, then this is an excellent option for your RV.
Stainless steel construction
Adjustable size options
Works with all ground coffees
Filtered scoop included
Coffee strength settings
Built-in scoop measurements
Automatically shuts off after brewing
Compact and lightweight design
14-ounce water reservoir
May leak if coffee grounds are overfilled
Limited serving sizes available
Because coffee can be such a personal thing, it’s tough to say which coffee maker is “best.” For example, if you’re a hardcore espresso drinker, then I would say you have to get the Lattissima from Nespresso. However, if you want more control over the kind of coffee you can use, then the Hamilton Beach appliance is a better choice.
Overall, though, I have to say that I really like everything that the Lattissima has to offer. If you aren’t into lattes or espresso, then I would suggest the Mixpresso maker as an alternative. I like the Mixpresso machine because it’s not as bulky and it’s more compatible with K-cups than the Keurig model.
As far as the Lattissima goes, it has the comfort, convenience, and high performance that creates some really amazing coffee. If you care about what you drink, then you will love this machine.