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Ah, that first cup of coffee in the morning – a charming, relaxing, positive way to start the day, as millions of us worldwide do. But depending on how you travel and how power is supplied to your home-on-wheels, your manner of making your morning cup of joe may be different than it is at home. But while the RV coffee maker may take on a different form when you’re traveling (or not!), it still remains an important element in your day…(unless you’re a tea drinker).
Today we’re sharing with you all the ways to make a great cup of coffee in your RV… and 10 great coffee makers to get the job done.
How Do You Make Coffee in an RV?
There are several ways to make great coffee in your RV, at your campsite, in a hotel room, or just about anywhere. You may be interested in one or more of the following methods, depending on where or how you’re traveling.
The pour-over method is our favorite way to make coffee in our RV. As many of you know, we live and work full-time in our rig and we’re well equipped with a vast solar array and plenty of room to have a coffee maker on our kitchen counter. But the pour-over method makes a rich, flavorful cup of coffee that we really enjoy, so this is the method we choose to use most frequently.
The pour-over method is just as it sounds – you put your coffee in a filter that sits over a pour-over cup or carafe, and you heat your water (super hot – which is part of the secret to such great coffee), and slowly pour it over the coffee grounds. What a cuppa joe!
Many coffee drinkers swear by the French press – it’s an incredibly popular method of coffee making enjoyed by RVers and house-dwellers alike, every day.
Using a French press to make coffee involves heating your water, immersing your coffee grounds in the hot water, and then pressing down the filter to extract the coffee from the grounds.
One drawback of the French press for RVers who are trying to conserve water is that a fair amount of water can be needed to thoroughly clean the French press after use.
French presses come in various sizes to accommodate any number of cups of coffee, including a tiny single travel french press that is pocket-sized for a single cup.
Using a percolator is a common method of coffee making, particularly in North America. A percolator boils water and sends it up through a tube to a basket where it pours down over the coffee grounds and back into the boiling water. This occurs over and over again throughout the percolation period. Many people enjoy this method of making a strong cup of coffee.
For campers who love percolated coffee, there are percolators that can sit and brew coffee right on an open fire at the campsite.
A drip coffee maker heats water that automatically drips over coffee grounds in a filter, sending the coffee into a carafe below. Many drip coffee makers are programmable, allowing you to set the appliance to brew your coffee at a certain time so that it’s ready when you get out of bed.
The secret to a really good cup of drip coffee, though, is very hot water. Many drip coffee makers fall short in this area (which is another reason why we often enjoy brewing our own pour-over coffee).
Single-serve Coffee Makers
Single-serve coffee makers have become popular in the last 10 years or so. Most of these use a single-use cup (like a K-cup, named for the Keurig company that brought single-serve coffee to the market). Single-use cups have come under fire for being environmentally unfriendly… however, Keurig and other companies have countered this well-deserved criticism with single-use filters that can be used indefinitely and are simply refilled by the user.
Cold-brew is really for fans of iced coffee, but cold brew coffee can be heated up to make a hot cup of coffee, too. Cold brew is sold in most grocery stores and simply involves pouring some cold brew coffee from a bottle into a cup and creating your signature coffee from there.
Cold brew is an expensive alternative to a morning cup of coffee, but it’s very convenient and makes for easy traveling, especially for tent campers and short-term travelers.
What Do I Need to Consider When Shopping for an RV Coffee Maker?
Perhaps the first thing to consider when shopping for an RV coffee maker is power. If you’re always connected to shore power, this isn’t a consideration for you. But as always, RVers who boondock frequently (as we do) tend to maintain an awareness of how much power they use on a daily basis.
Some coffee makers are huge power consumers (any appliance that creates heat consumes a lot of electricity) and require being connected to shore power (or running the generator) just to make the coffee. Those are coffee makers to stay away from when shopping for an RV coffee maker unless you’re always tethered to the grid.
Not to worry, though – there are several ways to make fantastic coffee that uses little or no power at all.
As every RVer knows, space is always an issue for folks living in an RV (even temporarily), and the size of a countertop appliance has to be a consideration when shopping for a coffee maker to be carried and used in an RV.
Next, with water temperature being one key to a good cup of coffee, a method that heats water well is something to consider when shopping for an RV coffee maker. Regardless of whether you have ample power to brew coffee in your RV, you can make a fantastic cup of coffee with any one of several methods that use water heated on your propane stove or even over a campfire.
BPA-free equipment is also a consideration when shopping for a coffee maker, as we bear in mind that we’ll be running very hot water through the appliance and many of us will be consuming the coffee on a daily basis.
And last, but never least, budget is always a consideration. There are some great coffee makers out there that may be out of reach in terms of budget, but you can make just as great a cup of coffee with a 15-dollar pour-over carafe or french press.
Let’s dive into the details and take a look at 10 great RV coffee makers.
10 Great RV Coffee Makers
Cuisinart DCC-3200 “PerfecTemp” 14-cup Coffee Maker
This classic, programmable drip-style coffee maker from Cuisinart is our other coffee-making option (after pour over). Regularly seen on the kitchen countertops of sticks-and-bricks homes, this coffee maker requires 120V(AC) power and so is best reserved for folks with adequate AC power who like to brew multiple cups of coffee at once.
This coffee maker has a replaceable charcoal filter, a glass carafe, 24-hour programmability, settings for one- to four-cup brewing and/or bold flavor, a brew-pause feature, and the ability to self-clean. We also like the option to control the temperature of the carafe heater… three settings let you control how hot the coffee stays between cups. And it comes in various colors (black stainless steel is shown here) to match your kitchen decor.
- State-of-the-art technology to ensure hotter Coffee without sacrificing flavor or quality
- Brew strength control allows you to select regular or bold Coffee flavor
Keurig K-Express Coffee Maker
Keurig is a big name in the coffee maker industry with its single-serve coffee having been a huge hit with coffee drinkers everywhere in the past 10 years or so.
This Keurig single-serve coffee maker is small, weighs four pounds, and reportedly makes a good cup of coffee. Reviewers overwhelmingly loved this little coffee maker for convenience, a decent brew, and the fact that it’s relatively obscure, taking up very little space on the kitchen counter.
- STRONG BREW: Increases the strength and bold taste of your coffee’s flavor.
- 3 CUP SIZES: Brew an 8, 10, or 12 oz. cup at the push of a button.
Cuisinart DCC-450BK 4-Cup Coffeemaker with Stainless-Steel Carafe
The name “Cuisinart” comes up quickly in any search for high-quality countertop appliances and this 4-cup coffee maker is no exception. This coffee maker gets some terrific reviews from a lot of people, but while the stainless steel carafe is terrific from the perspective of any RVer who isn’t interested in a glass carafe bouncing around over hill and dale, some reviewers did complain of a somewhat metallic taste when using this carafe. Your mileage may vary. LOL!
- 4-Cup Stainless-steel carafe with dripless pour spout and knuckle guard
- Brew-pause feature lets you enjoy a cup of coffee before brewing has finished
Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker, Single-Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Brewer, With Iced Coffee Capability
This Keurig single-serve pod coffee brewer is a larger appliance,(roughly 13x10x13 and 8 pounds), that makes a cup of coffee or tea, or dispenses hot water for things like oatmeal or a “cup-o-soup”.
And apparently, it brews iced coffee – who knew?!
- WHAT'S IN THE BOX: 1 water filter handle, and 1 filter to help ensure your beverages taste their absolute best
- BREWS MULTIPLE CUP SIZES: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12oz, enjoy the most popular cup sizes
Coleman Camping Coffee Maker
This Coleman Camping coffee maker brews up to 10 cups of coffee on a camp stove. The stainless steel base fits most 2- and 3-burner camp stoves. The camping coffee maker has a pause-to-serve function and includes a 10-cup glass carafe.
- Camping coffee maker quickly brews up to 10 cups of coffee on a camp stove
- Steel base fits on most traditional 2- and 3-burner camp stoves
Secura French Press Stainless Steel Insulated Coffee Maker
The Secura French Press is a stainless steel insulated coffee maker requiring no electricity to make great coffee. Water can be heated on a propane stove or campfire.
This french press comes in 12oz, 17oz, 34oz, and 50oz versions in several different colors. All versions are lightweight and compactly stored, and all components are made of stainless steel.
- Secura stainless steel French Press coffee maker is made from top quality 18/10 stainless steel, both the interior and exterior. It is made to outlast...
- 3-LAYERED STAINLESS STEEL FILTER STRUCTURE traps the smallest coffee grounds to produce an exceptional full-bodied flavor.
AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker
This very popular little French press was made famous by thru-hikers and tent campers who heat their water on a campfire or tiny camp stove, and then use this little, ultra-lightweight, pocket-sized French press to make their coffee.
This beloved little kit includes the AeroPress French press, a funnel, scoop, stirrer, 350 microfilters, a filter holder, and a zippered nylon bag to carry it all tossed into a backpack.
In your RV, this little coffee maker can be tossed into a drawer.
- Popular with coffee enthusiasts worldwide, the patented AeroPress is a new kind of coffee press that uses a rapid, total immersion brewing process to...
- Good-bye French Press! The rapid brewing AeroPress avoids the bitterness and high acidity created by the long steep time required by the French press....
Farberware Classic Yosemite Stainless Steel Coffee Percolator
The Farberware Classic Yosemite is a stainless steel 8-cup percolator that makes coffee on your stovetop.
Like the French press, there are many parts to a percolator, and all need to be rinsed after each use. This is something to bear in mind if your RV lifestyle involves boondocking and water conservation.
- Classic coffee maker: Make delicious coffee morning or evening with The Original 8-Cup Farberware Stovetop Percolator
- Durable and convenient: Heavy-duty stainless steel coffee maker is polished to a mirror finish. The sturdy, clear glass knob lets you know when...
WACACO Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker
This one’s for you espresso lovers. The WACACO Nanopresso is billed as a mini travel coffee machine. Designed for portability, the Nanopresso is small and lightweight and can use ground coffee or encapsulated coffee pods to brew espresso.
Reviews are very good for this little coffee making phenomenon, but note that while it comes with the nifty protective case shown, other accessories are sold separately.
- [BE YOUR OWN BARISTA] Achieving the perfect espresso shot is far from easy. The Nanopresso works best with finely ground coffee that is tamped hard....
- [GET THE BEST FROM IT] No battery/electricity need. Manual operation only! Experience the pleasure of drinking high quality espresso, from the first...
Hario V60 Pour Over Starter Set with Dripper, Glass Server, Scoop, and Filters
And finally, we’ve arrived at our favorite way to brew off-grid coffee in our RV: the pour-over method. This particular pour-over coffee set includes the dripper, a glass carafe, a scoop, and a few filters to get you started.
We don’t want to gush too much, but as simple as this looks, it really does make great coffee. If you’ve never tried the pour-over method, we highly recommend it. It saves electricity and water while making some of the best coffee we’ve ever brewed.
- Hario Starter Kit: Everything you need for a professional pour over cup of coffee at home or work—Just add coffee and water! The perfect starter...
- Pour Control: The V60 features a single large hole, improving pour flow and providing users the ultimate freedom-- Pour water quickly for a light...
GSI Outdoors Java Drip Collapsible Pour Over Coffee Maker
This is another pour-over coffee maker that offers the coffee dripper only, but in a collapsible version. This is another great coffee maker not only for your RV – compact and lightweight – but this is another coffee maker that you can toss into a backpack for a thru-hike. It collapses to about half an inch, and sits in the included case.
About the size of a DVD, it has one of the smallest footprints of any coffee maker, and we’ve been told it makes fabulous coffee. We don’t own one ourselves, but a friend who bought one to travel in a Class B Roadtrek told us that the coffee it makes is so good that she had to bring it into her house to continue using it there.
- STAY CAFFEINATED: Coffee? Always! The Java Drip makes your caffeine needs attainable during car camping, gourmet backpacking, or any pursuit where...
- ESPRESSOS FOR EVERYONE: The Java Drip brews one to twelve steaming cups of fresh coffee for everyone on your journey!
Which RV Coffee Maker is Best for You?
Well, there you have it – ten great methods for making coffee in – or out of – your RV. Which coffee maker is best for you depends on a number of factors. If you’re making coffee for several people every morning, you might not want a style of coffee maker that makes a cup or two at a time. If you’re wanting for counter space in your rig, you won’t want something that takes up a lot of space. If you don’t have access to shore power, you may not want a coffee maker that uses 120V (AC) power. And if you spend a lot of time off the grid as we do, you may want to opt for a power-saving, water-saving method like the pour-over.
Any way you slice it, you’ve got lots of options for RV coffee makers to make you a great cup of joe to kickstart your day.
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Even though we're handy RVers, we're not professional technicians. So although we're happy with the techniques and products we use, you should be sure to confirm that all methods and materials are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.