Expert Buyer’s Guide to RV Vacuums (2021 Edition)

Last Updated on July 24, 2021 by Chris and Lindsay

Do you really need an RV vacuum for your tiny home on the road? Probably not. With life on the road, there are always workarounds. But is it incredibly convenient and affordable to own one of the best RV vacuums? Absolutely.

In this post, we’ll walk you through some of the things you may want to consider when shopping for a great vacuum for your RV.

We’ll also give you our top recommendations and let you know how we came to the decision to make the purchase that we did to keep our camper clean.

Whether you have dogs, children or enjoy camping along the beach, desert or pretty much anywhere without pavement then you’re going to want to consider purchasing a vacuum.

How big and powerful and which other bells and whistles are going to depend on your personal preference.

But owning a vacuum for your RV is a great decision to help keep you clean and comfortable.

Affiliate Disclaimer: This post may contain links to products we think you’ll like. If you purchase any of the products through the links below we’ll receive a small commission. As full-time RVers, we know our RV products well and only recommend those that we either own or would consider owning ourselves.

OUR TOP Vacuum Cleaner RECOMMENDATIONS FOR RVS

Budget

Bissell Featherweight Stick Bagless Vacuum

Budget friendly price point

Versatile 3 in 1

Small and lightweight

Our Pick

Shark CH951 UltraCyclone Pet Pro Plus

Detachable self-cleaning Pet Power Brush

Hands free dirt disposal

Lightweight and portable

Weighs less than 3 pounds

Premium

Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum

Washable lifetime filter

Powerful suction

Lightweight and versatile

Our Honesty Disclaimer: In the course of living in our RV full time for over 3 years we have thoroughly researched all of these products before making the choice on our own. So we’ll give you honest information that allows you to make the best decision for which product is right for you.

The 9 Best RV Vacuums

The best RV vacuum is the one that meets your needs. Whether you want one that targets pet hair, is easy to store, easy to use and/or has different types of extras like HEPA filtration, motorized brush or a crevice tool for hard-to-reach places, we’ve got the best RV vacuum option for you on this list!

Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

Dyson is the household name when it comes to vacuum cleaners and their line of cordless stick vacuums are perfect for RVer’s.

Though I wouldn’t recommend a Dyson for smaller RVs like truck campers, the Dyson V8 Animal Cordless stick vac is great for a larger RV or those with pets and/or kids.

This stick vacuum features whole machine filtration that catches allergens and expels clean air, transforms into a hand vac, dirt ejector and up to 30 mins of battery life.

While this vacuum is the most expensive on our list, it’s worth it to know you have one of the most powerful and best vacuum cleaners on the market!

WHAT WE LIKEWHAT WE DON’T LIKE
* Washable lifetime filter
* Powerful suction
* Lightweight and versatile
* Pricey

Dirt Devil Central Vacuum

The Dirt Devil 9880 Central Vacuum cleaner is designed specifically for RV’s and perfect for those who want the convenience of having a built in vacuum system that won’t take up valuable storage space.

It comes with a 7’ to 35’ expandable hose and plenty of tools to help you clean your RV efficiently and with a large 1 gallon collection container you won’t have to empty the contents often.

You will however need to keep extra vacuum bags on hand.

WHAT WE LIKEWHAT WE DON’T LIKE
* Best space-saving option
* Expandable hose
* Have to change out bags
* Can only be used on shore power or generator
* Installation can be difficult

Shark Rocket Ultra-Light with TruePet HV292

Weighing in at less than 4lbs, the Shark Rocket is the ultimate portable and lightweight hand vacuum.

Even though it’s small this handheld vacuum cleaner has suction power capable of cleaning up messes your pets have left behind.

After you’re done deep cleaning your RV just conveniently stow the vacuum away in a small storage space or compartment.

The Shark Rocket comes with fantastic attachments like the 12” crevice tool, true pet motorized brush, dusting brush and an extended reach stretch hose and with a washable filter, you will never have to replace it for the life of the vacuum.

WHAT WE LIKEWHAT WE DON’T LIKE
* Small and lightweight
* Great motorized attachments
* Washable filter
* Cord doesn’t retract
* Some plastic pieces are fragile

Shark CH951 UltraCyclone Pet Pro Plus Cordless Handheld Vacuum

The Shark Ultra Cyclone Pet Pro Plus is a great handheld cordless vacuum that’s perfect for smaller campers.

It’s super lightweight and portable which makes it easy to carry and store out of the way when not using it.

It uses a reliable lithium ion battery which lasts between 10 to 20 minutes before needing to recharge.

What makes it great for pet owners is it comes with a motorized pet power brush that is self-cleaning, eliminating the chance of pet hair wrapping around the brush roll.

It also comes with handy tools to help you clean hard-to-reach and smaller spaces, which is great for those tight corners found in RVs!

WHAT WE LIKEWHAT WE DON’T LIKE
* Detachable self-cleaning Pet Power Brush
* Hands free dirt disposal
* Lightweight and portable
* Weighs less than 3 pounds
* Does not come with a charging dock
* Better for smaller tasks and spaces

Shark WANDVAC Handheld Vacuum

Shark is known for making great RV vacuums at an affordable point and they did not disappoint when designing the Wandvac handheld vacuum.

It is one of the smallest vacuums on the market and at just 1.4 pounds is extremely portable and lightweight, perfect for small campers!

This RV vacuum has a strong brushless motor that sucks up the dirtiest of messes and has a tapered nozzle for easy cleanup.

It also comes with two great tools; the duster crevice tool to clean up messes in hard-to-reach places and the multi-surface pet tool to clean carpet and suck up pet hair.

When you’re done cleaning just set the vacuum in its convenient charging dock and it’ll be ready to tackle any future messes in no time!

WHAT WE LIKEWHAT WE DON’T LIKE
* Weighs less than 2 pounds
* Ultra-compact and portable
* Low recharge time
* Great suction for its size
* Short battery life
* Small dirt cup

Bissell Featherweight Stick Lightweight Bagless Vacuum

For those looking for a great little vacuum on a budget then look no further for the Bissell Featherweight Stick Vacuum.

This versatile vacuum is three in one, going from a standard stick vac to a stair and handheld vacuum.

It’s also bagless for easy emptying and incredibly lightweight at just 3 pounds!

Even though it’s small and very budget-friendly it still packs an incredibly large punch when it comes to cleaning up stubborn messes and because it is small it’s great for smaller campers.

WHAT WE LIKEWHAT WE DON’T LIKE
* Budget friendly price point
* Versatile 3 in 1 
* Small and lightweight
* Quiet
* Cord is short
* Small dirt cup

Tineco A10 Hero Cordless Stick/Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

Are you looking for a vacuum similar to a Dyson without the high price tag?

The Tineco A10 Hero Cordless Stick Vacuum is a great choice for those that are!

While still a little pricey, it’s priced under what an expensive Dyson will cost you and works just as well as one. This vacuum has a very strong 350 watt motor with an up to 25 minute run time.

It’s lightweight, maneuverable and versatile and easily converts to a handheld vacuum with fantastic attachments to clean tight spaces, corners, ceilings and stairs.

When you’re finished cleaning just set the Tineco A10 in its convenient docking station to charge. The station also organizes the accessories that come with the vacuum.

WHAT WE LIKEWHAT WE DON’T LIKE
* Organized storage dock
* Converts to a hand vac
* Two levels of strong suction
* Short battery life in max mode
* Buttons feel flimsy

Black + decker 20V Max Handheld Vacuum

The Black + Decker 20V Max Handheld Vacuum is specifically designed to handle small spaces and with its innovative pivoting nozzle it helps you reach and clean places that other handheld vacuums can’t reach.

The vacuum allows you to adjust the head during cleaning providing continuous suction. This is a practical and great feature to have for cleaning an RV!

And thanks to a three-stage filtration system this vacuum very rarely gets clogs. It comes with two tools and a convenient charging dock that efficiently charges the vacuum for your next use.

This is about as much suction as you can get in a compact-sized vacuum.

WHAT WE LIKEWHAT WE DON’T LIKE
* Folds into a compact shape
* Pivoting nozzle helps to clean tight spaces
* Quick recharging
* Black & Decker doesn’t sell a replacement battery
* Some plastic pieces break easily

Shark NV352 Navigator Lift Away Upright Vacuum

The Shark NV352 Navigator is a powerful upright vacuum in a convenient package that makes it one of the best RV vacuums, especially for those with larger campers.

This vacuum is easily maneuverable with its swivel steering and versatile with its lift-away detachable pod so you can quickly clean furniture and higher areas in your RV.

It also has a fantastic HEPA filtration system with anti-allergen complete seal technology that captures 99.9% of dust, so if you have allergies then this vacuum is a must-have!

WHAT WE LIKEWHAT WE DON’T LIKE
* Powerful suction
* Great Filtration
* Easily maneuverable
* Larger vacuum not best for smaller RVs
* Heavy

What to consider when shopping for a Product

Shopping for anything these days can be difficult. But finding the best RV vacuum should be relatively simple if you know what features you want. Without spending too much time describing the obvious benefits of owning a vacuum system for your RV, let’s get into the things you’ll want to consider when it comes to different features of a vacuum.

After all, not all of our RV living needs are the same so there’s a vacuum for every RV situation!

Types of RV Vacuums

The first thing you’re going to want to consider is what type of RV vacuum cleaner do you want. To figure this out, there are really just 4 options (with variations).

Central Vacuum System

A central vacuum system is one in which the vacuum unit is installed within the walls of the RV as a semi-permanent structure. There is a ducting system of hoses that transports dirt and dust to a central collection container.

Depending on the complexity of the central vacuum system, you may have hoses and accessories that will allow you to reach difficult places.

This is a more expensive vacuum cleaner option. But it gives you the flexibility of being able to clean your RV room by room without carrying or stowing away parts.

Upright/Canister Vacuums

An upright or canister vacuum is the traditional vacuum that you may already own and use around your home. These are bulkier than handheld vacuums, but they also tend to have more suction power and are typically easy to empty.

But they will require a 120V power source and a fair amount of space for storage.

Sweeper or Stick Vacuum

A sweeper or stick vacuum is as it sounds. These are modified upright vacuums that take up much less space but also offer reduced suction power.

Benefits of these include taking up less storage space. Plus you have the option of finding either a cordless vacuum or one with a power cord.

An added benefit is that you do not have to bend over to reach most floor spaces and there are a variety of accessories that will help you with pet hair, upholstery and crevices.

Handheld Vacuums

Handheld vacuums are perhaps the best option for RV owners because they take up little space, are battery powered and typically contain accessories that allow you to reach virtually any space in your RV.

As the name suggests, these are compact and lightweight vacuums that stow away easily. Some drawbacks to handheld vacuums is that they do not have as much suction power as other vacuums, tend to have short battery life and you often have to sweep an area first because it is difficult to vacuum an entire floor with one.

But these are by far our favorite and most recommended vacuums for RV owners.

Size/Portability

As we’ve referenced already, different vacuums take up different amounts of space in your RV. Regardless of what type of RV you own and how much space you think you have, you know that storage space is a premium.

If vacuuming is that important to you then you can afford a larger more powerful model. But if you value a compact vacuum that is easy to stow and grab then keep portability in mind.

Collection capacity

Depending on how frequently you use your vacuum you may or may not be concerned about it’s collection capacity. Clearly the smaller the vacuum the less collection capacity you will find.

But you don’t necessarily have to invest in a larger canister vacuum either. We’d recommend you find the vacuum that fits your other needs first and focus on remembering to empty the canister after every use.

Ease of use

Ease of use is important when you’re juggling so many other aspects of RV life. And while most RV vacuum options are relatively simple and easy to use, some do come with bells and whistles.

Filters need to be cleaned and replaced. Adapter accessories and hoses need to be installed and later stored. Batteries need to be maintained.

There are lots of different factors that can impact your purchase decision when it comes to ease of use. For us, when it comes to selecting an RV vacuum cleaner the simpler the better.

We prefer a cordless hand vacuum nearly every day of the week.

Power consumption/Power Source

When you live in an RV power source and consumption must constantly be on your mind. This is particularly important for RV vacuums, as they can draw a lot of power.

If you decide to purchase an RV vacuum with a power cord you will need to remember that you must either be plugged into 120v shore power or you must have a battery bank and inverter large enough to support the high power needs of the vacuum.

This is perfectly fine if you spend most of your time in formal campgrounds. But if you tend to camp off-grid and are mindful of your power consumption, you’re likely going to want to look for an RV vacuum that is battery-powered so that you can charge it when you have a reliable 120v power source or an inverter.

Noise level

This isn’t a huge factor as vacuum cleaners are known for not being quiet (Rumba aside!). But if noise levels are a concern you’re going to want to look into how loud or quiet the vacuum is.

Personally we do not generally notice the difference in noise levels between different vacuums. But you may.

Cordless / Corded (Battery Life) 

Our most important factor in our personal purchase preference was in having a cordless handheld vacuum with as much battery life as was reasonable. If you do not opt for a battery-powered RV vacuum then this factor will not apply.

However, if you do go cordless (stick or handheld) then battery life is important.

One of the worst things that can happen when it comes to cleaning your RV is to be in the middle of cleaning up a big mess only to have the battery die on you! We tend to charge our vacuum battery at every opportunity after using it.

That way we know it is alway charged. We also try to clean up a little bit every few days so that our vacuum is not needed for big jobs all of the time.

Suction

Like noise level, suction power is a factor that may or may not be important to you as most vacuums these days offer relatively the same suction, within reasonable variance.

Unless you have lots of carpet in your RV, or you lean toward owning a wet and dry vacuum, suction is likely not going to vary that much between RV vacuum cleaner options.

1 thought on “Expert Buyer’s Guide to RV Vacuums (2021 Edition)”

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.