Best Vacuum for RV: Versatile Options for Mobile Homes

Cleaning an RV poses a different set of challenges as opposed to cleaning homes.

Biggest challenge would be finding the right balance of power, size and versatility.

A bulky upright wouldn’t be the best option because of its sheer size and weight because storage would be an issue.

So the ideal vacuum for an RV would be something that’ll have just enough power on carpet (if your RV has such).

And have enough tools for cleaning floors but also areas above it.

In short, a good RV vacuum should be compact, versatile and have enough power.

We’ll be sifting through different options here and how to pick one. I’ve read some guides in forums and blogs but I feel those lack detail so I’ve come up with a more comprehensive guide.

Rank
1
2
3
4
5
Model
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Can be used on
Floor
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Upholstery
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Nooks & Crannies
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Crevices
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Hose
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Battery
Yes
No
Yes
No
2 x 20-volt lithium ion
Charge time
3.5 hours
No
4 hours
No
3 hours (each battery)
Run time
(minutes)
20 minutes (normal)

6 minutes (max)
No
15 minutes
No
50 minutes (combined)
Cord Length
No
30 feet
No
15 feet
No
Power
28 AW

100 AW (Max/boost)
600 watts
25 AW
400 watts
N/A
Dirt capacity
15.36 ounces
N/A
17 ounces
N/A
1.05 liters
Washable filter
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Bagless
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Motorized brush
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
No
Brush roll on/off
No
No
No
No
Yes
Attachments
Direct
drive cleaner head

Combination tool

Crevice tool

Mini soft dusting brush

Mini motorized tool
Dusting Brush

Duster Crevice

TruePet Mini Motorized Brush

Under Appliance Wand

Accessory Bag
2-in-1 nozzle /brush tool

Long crevice tool

Pet hair tool

Stick vac floor head
12" crevice tool

Dusting brush

TruePet Motorized Brush

Extended-reach stretch hose
Pivoting Dusting Tool

Extended Crevice Tool

Extension Wand

Extra foam filter
Cleaning path
(inchdes)
9.8"
9"
6.5"
4.9"
11"
Weight
9.2 pounds
9.9 pounds (with floor tool and wand)

3.5 pounds (hand vac only)
6.9 pounds
3.7 pounds
12.5 pounds
Warranty
2 years
5 years
2 years
1 year
5 years
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How to choose the best vacuum for your RV?

No two people are alike and that principle also apples to an RV vacuum. Joe’s needs are different Barry.

So I’m here to help you sort out and narrow down options and pick something that’ll fit your needs.

The truth is there is no single vacuum that’s perfect for an RV. An upright vacuum has power but it is very bulky and lacks versatility.

The best products will cost you some $$$

Shark however has broken the mold and their latest “Lift Away” series combines upright power and the versatility of canister. The latest Duo Clean technology also offers better agitation on hard floor and carpet. And you’ll be able to use this technology even in canister mode.

Cordless vacuums free you up from the cord but most brands lack power. One brand does boast power but it’s very expensive. Dyson probably is the best cordless cleaner available right now but you’d have to spend over $500 for their latest product.

Set a budget

The Shark I’m talking about above will cost roughly $380 but it’s an all-in-one product that will clean most areas in your RV. If this is something you can afford then congratulations, this tool will be useful in keeping the RV interior clean.

But if it’s not something that’s within your spending capability, move on to the next option. This is why setting a cap in the amount you’re willing to spend is important. It helps you weed out options out.

If you can’t afford a $500 top-of-the-line vacuum then you’ll have to go with the next tier that includes the Hoover Cruise, Air Cordless and the likes.

Size of RV

Another thing to consider is the size of your RV. This will determine if you need a cordless or a corded vacuum.

Folks who own a smaller RV could get away with a weaker tool that has less run time and power. But larger RVs would require longer run time and perhaps more power.

Does it have carpet?

Another factor to consider would be what’s on the floor. For RVs with carpet, you’ll need something with a motorized brush. Good examples of products with such are the Hoover Cruise or a Dyson V6 MotorHead.

If it does not have any carpet then something like a Dyson V6 Fluff would be a great option because won’t cost as much as a V8 but still provide you with comparable performance and versatility.

What if my RV has a central vacuum?

There are a lot of factors to consider.

How long is the hose?

Can it reach every nook and cranny?

Does it have a motorized brush to clean fabric upholstery or carpet?

If the central vacuum inside your RV has a hose that’s long enough to reach every nook and cranny then you’ve got yourself a gem. But unfortunately in the real world that’s not always the case.

You may need a separate handheld to reach areas like the bathroom or above the storage areas like cabinets.

A good option for this would be the Black & Decker BDH2020FL Max. It’s a handheld vacuum with a flexible hose that gives it the capability of extending reach. This would be the perfect tool for cleaning vents or venetian blinds.

Check out this video to see a central vacuum in action…

Location of outlets

For those considering a corded vacuum, they’ll need to look at their RV and take notes of where the outlets are. More outlets are better for obvious reasons. Also look at the placement of these outlets if they’ll allow full coverage.

One big advantage of a corded would be the ability to run much longer plus it has more power.

You can run this for as long as you want without worrying about the battery running out of juice.

Consider a wet/dry vacuum

A wet/dry vacuum is a great option for cleaning up wet spills on carpet or upholstery.

It has two functions – cleaning up dry and wet messes. The latter is a great to have feature for RV owners with young children. It will quickly suck up any liquid messes on rugs or fabric upholstery.

Dewalt has a bunch of wet/dry cordless vacuums that will serve this purpose well.

What are the best vacuums for RVs?

After reading through the how to section, I’m pretty sure you have an idea what type of vacuum you’d want and how much you’re willing to spend. If you have not read it, do yourself a favor and read through it.

Our Pick: Dyson V6 MotorHead

When it comes to versatility and portability, it is hard to beat a Dyson cordless and the V6 MotorHead provides in my opinion the best value for money.

In terms of price it’s around $200 cheaper than the V8 absolute. But it’ll provide you with the same amount of flexibility minus the soft roller cleaner head. It won’t run as long as the V8 but inside an RV that should not be an issue because you won’t be cleaning that big of an area anyway.

It comes with enough tools to clean other above the floor areas like upholstery with the crevice and combination tool that should be able to cover 95% of your cleaning needs.

Now the V6 has several issues that have dogged it for years. This includes the bin that’s messy to empty and the max feature that can be difficult to engage.

If you’re not willing to spend $500 for the V8 then the next best option would be the V7 that combines the features of the V6 and V8. The V7 has the body of the V8 and the motor of the V6 only with a longer run time (30 vs 20 mins).

Another thing I like about the V7 is that it comes with a mini-motorized tool capable of cleaning pet hair off fabric upholstery.

Dyson also has 9 other V6 variants that come with different sets of tools for different types of consumers. You can also check out my other articles about the differences of the V6 and V8 plus an in-depth guide to the V7. Make sure to check those out.

Bottom line: Dyson is one of the most versatile and powerful cordless vacuums available now. And thanks to the emergence of the V7 and V8, it won’t cost a king’s ransom to purchase one. It’ll cost as much as a Shark DuoClean LiftAway but it’s much lighter and does not have a cord. This in my opinion is one of the best cordless options and a big reason why it’s number one in this list.

A Corded Dyson: Shark DuoClean Rocket

While Dyson is the best option available for RVs when it terms of cleaning performance and versatility, it isn’t cheap at over $300.

The next product provides you with more power, agitation and with more versatility. And here’s the kicker, it’s almost $100 cheaper.

Let’s have a look at the Shark DuoClean Rocket – the latest in the Shark Rocket series. It has the same design principle as a Dyson but with a cord. Portability won’t be as good.

This is a great option inside RVs that are bigger and with enough outlets to cover the whole area.

What I like about this product is the DuoClean head that combines the soft roller and bristled brush.

I’ve never seen this combo before in my 3+ years doing reviews. And this this tool really picks up dirt on hard surfaces and carpet.

Got lots of large debris like cereal to clean up? No problem with the DuoClean because it will literally pull dirt toward the suction chamber.

It won’t have as much power as a full sized upright but the agitation part makes up for it.

The vacuum with the wand and main floor tool will weigh just below 10 pounds and it comes with a 30 foot power cord.

What it lacks is a flexible hose that would allow it to reach tight spots but that can be purchased separately.

Bottom line: If a Dyson V6 or V7 is too expensive then this is the next best option. It isn’t cordless so you’ll have to deal with cords and such. But the DuoClean head works so well that you can overlook this.

Handheld with a Hose: Black & Decker BDH2020FLFH

The first couple of products I shared are versatile options that don’t have a hose included out of the box.

This next vacuum I’m about to show you is another versatile option that has a flexible 4 foot out integrated. It allows it access to areas between upholstery and appliances a product without a hose can’t.

The Black & Decker BDH2020FLFH is a handheld vacuum with this capability and then some.

It’s a product of their “Platinum” product line that utilizes Black & Decker’s 20 volt lithium ion batteries that run longer and have less fade than previous generation cordless that have a NiCad battery.

This particular variant is an upgraded version of the BDH2000FL. The major upgrade is the inclusion of a stick floor head that allows you to use this on bare floor without bending.

Don’t sleep on this product because it has more power than a Dyson V6 in normal mode (25 vs 22 air watts). And you don’t need to spend $300 for it, this product will cost around $110 in Amazon.

The 20 volt lithium ion battery will run for about 15 minutes and will need 4 hours to fully charge.

It comes with a 2-in-1 nozzle/brush tool, crevice tool, pet hair tool and stick floor head. The diversity of tools makes this an ideal handheld inside small RV where space is a premium.

Bottom line: If you need something compact and without sacrificing performance, the Black & Decker BDH2020FHFL is an ideal option for small RVs with little or no carpet. It’s got more power than a Dyson V6 in normal mode and a lot cheaper.

Budget Option: Shark Rocket HV292

The Shark Rocket HV292 is proof that you don’t need to spend a hundreds for a decent RV vacuum.

This compact handheld has the right combination of tools that are functional inside a tight space like an RV. And yet not compromise on suction.

It does not have the DuoClean head found in the HV382. But it has stretchable hose that’s a little bit longer than the Black & Decker’s.

This hose is central to this vacuums ability to reach in tight areas – something that you’ll encounter a lot in an RV.

Other tools that come include the 12″ crevice tool, TruePet mini motorized tool and a mini dusting brush.

You can use these tools on the vacuum or hose – this gives you more options.

This gives it more versatility than the Dyson V6 that does not come with the hose.

Power is sufficient but don’t expect a whole lot. Lastly this handheld has a 15 foot cord which is half the length of the DuoClean Rocket.

Bottom line: This compact handheld is a great option if you’re looking for a vacuum that will clean every nook and cranny inside the RV. I like the TruePet attachment because it really picks up pet hair on any fabric upholstery such as a sofa or mattress.

Cordless Upright: Hoover Air Cordless Lift

Hoover was probably the first to coin the term “cordless upright” thanks to their Air Cordless product line.

They are the first to utilize an upright design without the cord. This allows them to put in a larger bin that will hold more dirt. The more dirt it holds, you’ll need to empty it less often.

This second generation Air Cordless isn’t like other uprights that are big and clunky. It is versatile enough to use at just about anywhere and power won’t be an issue.

And this translates well inside an RV where you need that flexibility.

It has two cleaning modes – an upright and canister mode. In upright mode, you use it like an upright – to clean floors, rugs or carpet.

Here’s where the magic comes in. With a push of a lever this machine morphs from an upright into a canister. Hoover calls this the “Lift” and this same feature is also found in the Shark DuoClean Rotator.

What this feature does is separate the canister (or body) from the main frame. This frees up the excess weight and allows folks to use this machine like a canister.

Combine that with the cordless feature, you have a machine capable of cleaning most (if not all) parts of your RV. It comes with combination crevice/brush tool and pivoting dusting tool to clean tops of cabinets or shelves.

The two lithium ion batteries combine for a 50 minute run time – more than enough inside a mobile home.

Bottom line: Don’t sleep on the Hoover Air Cordless Lift because it offers the same versatility as a Dyson but at a more affordable price. It also has a longer 5 year warranty. The upright configuration means it’ll hold more dirt on a bin that’s easy to empty.

To Wrap It Up

There you have it 5 different vacuums that’ll suite any price range. You’ll notice that all of the products I shared can do multiple things because this is a necessity in a cleaning a cramped area like an RV.

If you don’t mind paying $300++ for a cordless, you can’t go wrong with the Dyson V6 or V7 Motorhead. Both these products provide power, versatility and top notched finish only found in a Dyson.

For RVs without any carpet then opt for the V6 Fluffy because it has the soft roller cleaner head that works great on bare floor.

The Shark DuoClean Rotator is another good option that offers the same features as a Dyson. But this has better agitation thanks to the DuoClean head.

This combines the soft roller and bristled brush that will literally pull dirt – both large and small. Even though it has a cord, it’s much cheaper and will yield a similar result.

Black & Decker offers the most compact option here with the BDH2020FLFH. It’s a handheld with a stick attachment that allows you to use it on floors without bending.

One feature that separates this from the other two is the 4 foot flexible hose that allows it to reach in tight crevices.

The Shark Rocket is another compact option with a hose but the biggest difference would be it has a cord – a relatively short one at just 15 feet. Feature-wise, it has the same functionality as the Black & Decker but it’ll be less mobile because of the cord.

However it’s the cheapest of the 5 here at just under $90.

Last on the list is the Hoover Air Cordless Lift. This product combines two products in one – an upright and canister. Hoover was able to pull this off thanks to the “Lift” feature that separates the body from the frame. The upright frame allows it to store more dry dirt than a Dyson or Shark Rocket.

It isn’t cheap though but you’ll get a 5 year warranty

If you think I missed any brand just let me know in the comments section below and I’ll do my best addressing it.

Garrick Dee
 

Garrick is the founder of the Cordless Vacuum Guide that originally focused on cordless vacuums but he has now expanded to reviewing corded vacuums and carpet cleaners to be able to provide a more complete guide in terms of choosing the right cleaner.

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