Everything You Need to Know When Buying an RV Coffee Maker

Last Updated on July 24, 2021 by Chris and Lindsay

Having an awesome RV coffee maker is a non-negotiable for almost any RVer. We like to joke that coffee is the most important part of any day. So adding a coffee maker into all of the other items you pack into your RV will likely take top priority. 

But living in an RV is different than living in a brick and mortar home. Whether you are just out camping for the weekend or live full time in your RV, having the right coffee maker is a huge deal. 

Depending on the size of your battery bank and inverter, whether you are hooked up to electricity at a campground or are boondocking out in the woods somewhere, you need to have a coffee maker that fits your camping style and situation. 

In this post, we’ll take you through the best RV coffee makers, the criteria you should consider when deciding on which is right for you and give you our personal opinion on the portable coffee maker we chose and love as full-time RVers. 

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Our Pick:AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker
Best Single Serve:Hamilton Beach Scoop Single Serve Coffee Maker
Best Multi-Cup:Cuisinart 4-Cup Coffeemaker with Stainless Steel Carafe
Best Pour Over:Kalita Wave 185 Drippers Pour Over
Best French Press:OXO BREW Venture Travel French Press
Best Percolator:GSI Outdoors 8 Cup Enamelware Percolator Coffee Pot

The Best RV Coffee Makers

Here are our top recommendations to help you find the coffee maker for your RV that will do the most important job of the day.

1. Cuisinart 4-Cup Coffeemaker with Stainless Steel Carafe

This is a perfect coffee pot for those that need to save space but are traveling with more than one coffee drinker (Or someone who’s a coffeeholic and needs more than one cup)! Lightweight and compact, this coffee maker features a stainless steel carafe that won’t shatter like normal glass pots and with a dripless pour spout so you’re guaranteed not to make a mess when pouring your perfect cup of joe.

PROS

  • 30-minute automatic shutoff
  • Compact design ideal for small RV kitchens
  • Lightweight at less than 5 pounds
  • Brew-pause feature if you need a cup before the pot is done brewing
  • Energy efficient 
  • BPA free construction

CONS

  • Can be quirky with carafe and coffee filter alignment
  • Some customers have had a leaking issue
  • The carafe can be hard to open and clean
  • Need to be plugged into shore power to use or have at least a 600 watt inverter or generator if off-grid camping

2. BLACK+DECKER 12-Cup Thermal Coffeemaker

The Black+Decker 12-cup thermal coffee maker was designed to keep your coffee hot for hours without creating that burned coffee taste a normal hot place coffee pot causes. The stainless steel thermal carafe has a four-layer vacuum seal that keeps coffee fresh and hot while staying cool to the touch. The vortex even stream showerhead technology evenly distributes water over the coffee grounds that maximizes flavor and wastes less. It’s also chock full of features like an LCD display with quick-touch programming and brew-strength selector, sneak a cup shut off that allows you to pour a cup before the pot is done brewing, and 24 hr programmable auto brew so you can wake up to a full pot of fresh coffee. Don’t need a full 12 cup pot? No worries, you can choose to brew just 1-4 cups with all the flavor a normal full pot of coffee has.

PROS

  • Stainless Steel Carafe
  • Programmable with digital display
  • Customizable brew to satisfy your tastes
  • Option for small batch brewing
  • Large opening on carafe makes it easy to clean
  • Thermal carafe keeps coffee hot for up to 2 hours
  • Freshness Indicator
  • Dripless pour spout

CONS

  • Bulky
  • Draws a lot of power so best for use when plugged in at a campground
  • Some customers reported hard water build up on the heater. May need to be cleaned with vinegar often

3. Hamilton Beach Scoop Single Serve Coffee Maker

The Hamilton Beach Scoop Single Serve Coffee Maker is a great space-saving and energy-efficient option for those that only need one cup of coffee in the morning. It fits most travel mug sizes and brews 8 oz of coffee in as little as 90 seconds or 14 oz in just under 2.5 minutes. It also saves energy by shutting off after brewing your last cup. Other great features are a stainless steel reusable mesh scoop filter, spill-resistant drip tray, and an option to adjust the level of boldness to your taste. And with it being a single-serve coffee maker you can easily brew different types of coffee grounds, perfect for those picky coffee drinkers! It’s stainless steel construction also looks nice when sitting out on the counter!

PROS

  • Stainless steel construction
  • Reusable mesh scoop filter with easy to read measuring lines
  • Versatile and option to choose boldness levels
  • Compact
  • Energy efficient
  • Great for smaller RVs

CONS

  • Not good for those with more than two coffee drinkers
  • Some buyers claimed their coffee tasted like plastic and the machine needed to be cleaned well before use

4. Kalita Wave 185 Drippers Pour Over

The Kalita Wave 185 Dripper receives rave reviews. It’s made of stainless steel, therefore not easily breakable, and it’s compact and sleek. Its flat bottom, wave filter and three-hole design make for easy brewing. It’s also versatile in that you can brew straight into your favorite coffee mug or into a carafe and can brew as much or as little as you’d like. You can add as many coffee grounds to fit your taste and can brew up to 28 oz of coffee at a time.

PROS

  • Small and compact and easily stores away
  • Paper filters make for easier clean up
  • Can brew coffee off the grid
  • Better taste

CONS

  • Must have a stove top or electric kettle or microwave to heat water for brewing
  • Paper filters create waste and cost more over time

5. OXO BREW Venture Travel French Press

For those who love the taste of french press coffee this little coffee maker is perfect for you! The OXO Brew Venture Travel French Press was made with the traveler and camper in mind. The tritan carafe and durable and shatter resistant, not made from normal glass like most french presses. It’s encased in a cradle with large handle and window to view coffee levels. The plunger has a silicon gasket and filters that keep grinds from getting past and easily comes apart for cleaning. It makes up to 32 oz of delicious coffee (that’s 8 cups of coffee at 4 oz each!), great for larger camping parties. And weighing in at just under a pound, this french press might have every other coffee maker beat in terms of how easy and traveler friendly it is!

PROS

  • No filter means no waste!
  • Brews 8 cups of coffee at a time
  • Lightweight 
  • Shatter resistant carafe

CONS

  • Need a way to heat water to brew coffee
  • Grounds can sometimes get past the plunger

6. AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker

This is our personal favorite coffee maker. It brews coffee faster than a french press and is super easy to clean. It’s unique in that it’s a coffee press that uses a rapid total immersion brewing process to make full flavorful delicious coffee that’s not bitter. And for those that need low acidic coffee, the Aeropress is your machine! Because of its patented design, the Aeropress creates low acidic coffee, unlike the french press which because of its long steeping process, creates coffee that’s high in acidity. It’s the perfect coffee maker for those in small RVs or hikers because it’s lightweight, compact and portable.

PROS

  • Small and lightweight
  • Easy to clean!
  • Brews fast
  • Microfilter eliminates grit
  • Delicious coffee that’s low in acidity
  • Versatile in that you can brew regular, espresso or cold brew coffee
  • Brews right into your favorite mug

CONS

  • Can only make 1-3 cups of coffee at a time
  • Need a way to heat water to brew coffee
  • Needs a special coffee filter

7. Stanley Adventure All-in-One Boil + Brew French Press

The Stanley Adventure All-in-one Boil + Brew is an innovative french press style coffee maker that packs a big punch in a tiny size. Not only does it brew a mean cup of joe, it can also heat up or cook soups. And when you’re camping or living in a tiny space, a product that does more than one thing is a huge deal. It is literally an all in one machine in that it heats up your water, brews your coffee with a french press style plunger and then becomes your coffee mug.

PROS

  • Coffee brewer and mug all in one
  • Makes 32 oz of coffee
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Compact

CONS

  • Handle gets hot while heating water
  • Can be hard to clean up
  • Some buyers claim it’s difficult to use

8. GSI Outdoors 8 Cup Enamelware Percolator Coffee Pot

For those that prefer an old fashioned cup of java a percolator may be the way to go! The GSI Outdoors Enamelware Percolator Coffee Pot is the perfect companion for those in an RV or campsite. Made with heavy gauge steel, it’s designed to withstand being bumped around and dropped yet maintain it’s brilliant speckled finish and still look good on your stove top. The unbreakable resin cap lets you see when your coffee is done percolating so you know when you can pour your first cup. Holds 45 oz of water.

PROS

  • Durable
  • Brews up to 8 cups of coffee
  • Can be used on stove top or over fire

CONS

  • Can be hard to clean
  • Handle gets hot

9. Coleman Camping Coffee Maker

Quickly brew up to 10 cups of coffee on your camp stove or RV stove up. When you don’t have electricity or don’t want to wake up your neighbors with your loud generator but you need a quick and traditional cup of coffee then the Coleman Camping coffee maker is perfect for you! The steel base design fits on most standard 2 or 3 burner camp stoves. Has a pause and serve feature so you can quickly grab a cup before it’s done brewing. Removable swing out basket style filter can fit 8 or 12 cup size filters.

PROS

  • Ideal for dry camping
  • Makes enough coffee for large parties

CONS

  • Glass carafe
  • Bulky

10. Black & Decker SpaceMaker 8-Cup Coffeemaker

The Black+Decker Spacemaker Coffeemaker is the ultimate space saver for those looking for a standard coffee pot yet not sacrifice countertop space. This coffee maker mounts underneath a cabinet, freeing up valuable counter space in your RV. It brews up to 8 cups of coffee and has an insulated carafe to keep your coffee hot for hours. With its many features like a removable water reservoir and filter basket for easy clean up, programmable clock and delay brew, brew pause function and freshness indicator this may be just the coffee pot you’ve been searching for!

PROS

  • Saves counter space
  • Thermal non-breakable carafe
  • Save a plug outlet

CONS

  • A little heavy at 11 pounds
  • Doesn’t make more than 8 cups

Factors to consider when shopping for RV Coffee Maker

There are many factors to consider when shopping for the best RV coffee maker. Most of these center around your particular RV capabilities and your personal preferences.

If you are in a larger Class A motorhome with a huge battery bank and inverter you may prefer the convenience of setting a timer and having your coffee brew automatically while you wake up. But if you’re in a smaller van or truck camper you may not have that option or you may prefer the art of coffee-making using a french press or percolator.

Regardless of your situation, here are the things you should consider when shopping for the best RV coffee maker.

Space. How Big Is The Coffee Maker?

How much space is this going to take up in your RV? If you have a lot of counter or cabinet storage space then you may not think twice about bringing your favorite coffee maker from home. But if you are like us and your space is limited you are going to want to consider the smallest possible coffee maker that makes the most delicious coffee.

That is a big reason (pun intended!) why we love our Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker. It breaks down into 3 parts that we can store in a small cabinet over our stove. It actually takes up less space than our small coffee container!

Quantity. How Much Coffee Does it Make?

Do you want one pot of coffee or one cup at a time? If you don’t enjoy the art of coffee making as much as the joy of coffee drinking then you are probably going to want to select and RV coffee maker that brews more than one or two cups. And if you are traveling with a few coffee drinkers this will also apply.

But if all you are looking for is one or two cups of coffee at a time then you have lots of options.

We love our coffee in the morning (and sometimes in the afternoon!). But we aren’t usually interested in more than one 20 oz (big!) cup of coffee for each of us. Our Aeropress makes just enough for us with only 2 scoops of coffee and a kettle of water.

Convenience? How Easy is it to Use?

Is this easy to setup to brew coffee? Do you have to heat water in a kettle or just press a button? Is the coffee maker easy to clean once you’re done? The convenience of an RV coffee maker is a huge factor to consider. We haven’t met anyone who prefers to spend more time making coffee and cleaning their coffee maker than sitting in a chair to enjoy it.

So as you consider which coffee maker you prefer, be sure to think about whether you want to simply dump and change the filter or have to put a little elbow grease into cleaning.

In our case, we can set up our Aeropress to have a few cups of coffee ready in the amount of time it takes to boil water on the stove. And we have perfected the cleaning of our coffee maker to include the use of only one-half piece of a paper towel and a few drops of water.

Power. How Much Power Does it Draw?

How much power do you need to use it? Do you have enough battery bank power and inverter? Do you need propane to boil water? These are all questions you need to ask before you purchase a coffee maker for your RV.

If you purchase a drip coffee maker that relies on electricity it will likely require a significant amount of power as it heats the water. If you are plugged into shore power this will not be an issue. But if you are dry camping then the size of your battery bank and inverter are hugely important.

But if all you need to do is to boil a kettle of water to pour over your coffee grinds then you don’t require much energy at all so you don’t need to worry much.

For this reason we love our Aeropress. As we spend most of our time dry camping we simply heat up a kettle of water using our propane stove and within a few minutes we are ready to pour the hot water into the coffee maker.

We never worry about whether we have a 110v power source or the size of our battery bank and inverter. We can make coffee literally anywhere!

Read more about how to understand your RV power consumption in this great post.

Time. How Long Does it Take to Make Coffee?

Do you want to set a timer and wake up to a fresh pot of coffee or are you willing to let it take time to drip into your cup? This isn’t the most important factor unless you are a very cranky person until you’ve had your first cup of coffee!

But if you are impatient or have other things to do with your morning you may want an electric drip coffee maker for your RV.

We have perfected the art of using our Aeropress coffee maker such that we pour hot water over it and go about some business while the first cup drips and then return to make the next cup.

Type. Style of Brewing

Do you want French press, percolator, standard drip or a pour over? If you’re not a coffee snob it may not matter to you how your coffee is brewed. But for us, for instance, we do like the fact that the coffee we drink is less acidic and easier on the stomach with our Aeropress.

You may prefer the art of a French press or percolator or no art at all in simply pressing the “brew” button.

If you have a preference for style, clearly make sure you shop for RV coffee makers you like. We’ve included at least one of every kind of coffee maker to give you an idea of what the best options are!

Do RV Coffee Makers use a lot of Power?

It depends. Coffee pots that require 110v from either your battery bank and inverter or “shore power” tend to consume a lot of energy when they are heating up the water. Some of these may use upwards of 1,200 watts.

1,200 watts on 12v power system through an inverter pulls 10 amps of current if you were dry camping. So you would want to be careful to know the watt rating of your inverter as well as how many amps you can draw. Of course be aware of any other devices that may be pulling energy through the inverter as well.

What is the Best Kind of RV Coffee Maker?

That depends on your personal preferences and the type of RV that you have (and battery bank). We have 200 Ah of AGM batteries with a 1000W inverter. But we would never consider having an electric coffee maker because this is not enough power to make us feel comfortable about not damaging our batteries when making coffee.

So we prefer our Aeropress Coffee Maker because all we need is a little propane to heat our kettle on our stovetop burner. We can make coffee anywhere and at any time!

What is the Best Coffee Maker for Boondocking or Dry Camping?

Hands down we think the Aeropress Coffee Maker is the best option if you plan to spend a lot of time dry camping or boondocking.

It only requires you to have heated water, which you can either boil on a stove or campfire. Then you simply pour the water into the Aeropress and let the coffee drip into your cup.

Further, you can clean the Aeropress with just a dab of water and a half sheet of a paper towel!

Wrapping It Up

Overall, the best RV coffee maker is the one that delivers a piping hot, full cup of coffee each morning. Whether you enjoy the art of making coffee or simply the joy of drinking it, there is the perfect coffee maker for you out there!

We hope this buying guide has helped you pick out the best coffee maker for your RV!