Looking for the best vacuum cleaner for your RV? RVing Know How has honest ratings and reviews on vacuum cleaners from the unbiased experts you can trust.
Because they’re so small, RVs get dirty fast. Oh yeah, and there’s also the fact that you usually have them parked in places where dirt is abundant! That’s half the point of having an RV anyway, but a dirty RV is more likely to make you sick of living in a small space.
If you have a dog like me, you only get more dirt and debris tracked into your RV every day.
While you could undergo a massive DIY project and replace all the carpet in your RV with laminate flooring, that’s going to require quite a bit of time, energy, and money.
The easier path is to research the best RV vacuum options on the market today.
If you want to keep your RV clean, keep yourself healthy, and reduce your reactions to seasonal allergies, you need a quality vacuum for your rv.
Unfortunately, some vacuum cleaners are way too bulky and hard to find a place to store in an RV.
But there are a few models that work well in tight spaces and, fortunately for you, we’ve put together eight of the best options right here.
We’ve also highlighted the most important criteria to help you select the right vacuum for your RV’s needs. So let’s take a closer look at your options.
The 8 Best RV Vacuum Reviews in 2021
There are many different types of vacuums that are good for RV use. Some use batteries, some plug into your RV’s electrical outlets, and others can be installed as a central vacuum system.
Let’s look at some of the best RV vacuum options and what each is best for! Here are our top 8 picks for the best RV vacuum on the market.
- Best Overall: BISSELL CrossWave Wet-Dry Vacuum For RV
- Lightweight Option: Shark WV201 WANDVAC Handheld RV Vacuum
- For Deep Cleaning: Shark Rocket Ultra-Light (HV292) Vacuum Cleaner
- Best Cordless: BLACK+DECKER Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
- Best Budget: Oreck Commercial BB900DGR Canister Vacuum For RV
- Best Central RV Vacuum: HP 9880 Dirt Devil Central Vacuum System
- Best Cordless Stick: Shark ION F80 Cordless Stick Vacuum For RV
1: BISSELL CrossWave Wet-Dry Vacuum for RV
If you’re in search of a wet/dry vacuum that plugs into a wall outlet in your RV, the BISSELL Crosswave Pet Pro is our pick for the best overall RV vacuum.
We chose the BISSELL because it’s specifically designed to handle hair and odors left behind by pets, which is one of the quickest ways to get an RV dirty.
But even if you only have another human companion in your RV, it’s highly likely that he or she still sheds.
So a vacuum with a multi-surface brush roll and a hair strainer is going to come in handy in many situations.
That strainer is imperative in an RV because it will reduce the risk of clogging the sink or shower drain if you happen to use them to clean out the vacuum.
One of the greatest things about this vacuum is that it works great on carpet, linoleum, laminate flooring, and any other surface you have in your RV.
It can actually vacuum and wash your floors at the same time with its wet/dry capability. So it can handle simple hair pick-ups and more complicated liquid messes with ease.
The Crosswave Pet Pro is a corded vacuum with a power cord length of 25 feet.
This is usually enough to reach most locations in your RV without having to find a new plug every few feet.
It also draws only 4.4 amps when running at full power, so it won’t overtax your RV’s electrical system.
Finally, this vacuum’s cleaning path is 12 inches wide so it doesn’t take forever to clean your RV.
The only downside of this vacuum is its weight and dimensions. it weighs just over 17 pounds and is a relatively tall RV vacuum, which means you might have to get a little creative when it comes to storing it out of the way when it’s not in use.
Best Lightweight Option
2: Shark WV201 WANDVAC Handheld RV vacuum
For a handheld vacuum that’s lightweight and easy to use, the Shark WV201 WANDVAC is an excellent choice.
It only weighs 1.4 pounds and has dimensions of 16.5” by 2.5” by 2.4”. These compact dimensions also make it super easy to find a place to store it in smaller RVs when it’s not in use.
This is a cordless vacuum that comes with its own charging dock. The charging dock relies on AC power and pulls up to 10.6 amps when the vacuum is charging.
The convenience of this cordless set up is that you’ll be able to use it anywhere in your RV without having to worry about a power cord. This also makes it useful for spot cleaning in hard-to-reach places.
Despite having a relatively small dust cup capacity (0.08 quarts), this vacuum features one-touch emptying.
So you won’t have to get your hands dirty, even though you’ll need to empty this catchment container on this vacuum quite frequently.
The Shark WV201 does come with multiple accessories to help you reach tight or awkward spaces throughout your RV.
The Duster Crevice Tool is great for cleaning under furniture, along baseboard edges, and in other tight spaces.
The Multi-Surface Pet Tool that comes with this vacuum picks up pet hair from upholstery, floors, and other surfaces.
The only downside of this vacuum is its relatively small cleaning path. With a width of just 3.6 inches, it might take quite a while to vacuum your entire RV with this model.
This is especially true if you have a really large RV. But this is still a super lightweight option for smaller RVs, travel trailers, and even camper vans.
Best For Deep Cleaning
3: Shark Rocket Ultra-Light (HV292) vacuum cleaner
If you’re a full-time RVer, you’ll need a vacuum like the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light for those couple of times every year when you need to deep clean your living space.
This vacuum is also super handy for more routine pickups of pet hair and other debris, but it has the power to help you with a deep clean when needed.
The vacuum comes with a variety of accessories and attachments, but the True Pet Motorized Brush is what you’ll need when it’s time for a deep clean.
This brush is great for getting pet hair out of upholstery and carpet, but it also works for large and small debris on linoleum, tile, and wood surfaces.
When compared to Shark’s upright Rocket vacuum, the Rocket Ultra-Light is much more compact and lightweight.
It weighs less than four pounds and will be easy to store out of your way when it’s not in use.
But it does come with a 15-foot power cord, a flexible hose attachment, and a 12-inch crevice tool so you don’t always have to bend down or crawl on your hands and knees to reach tighter spaces.
This vacuum uses washable filters that you’ll never have to replace for the life of the vacuum.
You will, however, need to remove them and rinse them after each use if you want the vacuum to operate at its maximum efficiency.
But you’ll also be able to easily empty the dust container on this vacuum with the push of a button. Just make sure it’s over the trash before doing so!
When compared with the Shark WV201 above, this Shark model weighs more (~3.7 pounds) and relies on an AC power outlet rather than being cordless.
The major advantage of this is that you won’t ever be in the situation of wanting to vacuum but realizing you forgot to plug your cordless vacuum in after the last use.
4: BLACK+DECKER Cordless vacuum cleaner
For those set on getting a cordless RV vacuum, the Black + Decker 20V Lithium Pivot Vac is one of the best options on the market.
The pivoting nozzle on this vacuum helps you reach spaces that other cordless vacuums simply will not, which is super important in an RV.
The vacuum also comes with an on-board brush and crevice tool to further increase your reach and ability to clean all surfaces in your RV.
One drawback of many cordless vacuums is their tendency to clog or perform worse as you continue to clean.
This is why the manufacturer of this vacuum designed a three-stage filtration system.
This system utilizes a pleated filter design that works to prevent clogs and improve air exhaust.
To put it simply, this helps the vacuum to continue to work efficiently as it picks up more dust and debris.
Along these lines, it has a bagless dirt bowl that gives it 42% more dust capacity than the original model of this vacuum.
This bowl can easily be emptied using a side door function. It’s recommended to empty the bowl frequently to keep the vacuum performing optimally, especially if you’re vacuuming your entire RV in one go.
The benefit of the cordless nature of this vacuum is the ability to use it throughout your RV without being limited by where your power outlets are located.
It comes with a charging dock and requires a full four hours to achieve a full charge.
That being said, this vacuum should only be charged at temperatures between 50 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit, so it might not be the best option for extreme hot or cold climates.
5: Oreck Commercial BB900DGR Canister Vacuum For RV
The Oreck Commercial BB900DGR XL Pro 5 vacuum is a solid choice for RV owners on a tight budget.
This vacuum won’t cost too much and it will still give you plenty of performance and functionality.
In fact, it might be better on your back than some of the more expensive handheld options on our list.
The 30-foot power cord that comes with this vacuum means you’ll have enough range to clean most of your RV while attached to a single outlet.
While some longer RVs might require you to change outlets at least once to really do a thorough cleaning, you won’t have to unplug and plug back in every few feet like is the case with other corded vacuums with shorter cords.
In addition to that, this vacuum has a five-foot flexible slinky hose with a telescoping extension wand for added reach.
I’ve struggled with other vacuums that forced me to basically get on my hands and knees to reach under furniture, behind chairs, and the like.
But you’ll have ample reach with this vacuum so that you don’t have to overstress your body when cleaning your RV.
It also comes with additional accessories to facilitate easier cleaning on a variety of surfaces.
This includes a dusting brush, crevice tool, upholstery tool, and a floor tool designed for hardwood or laminate floor surfaces.
With all of this included, you might think that the vacuum unit itself would be bulky. But it only weighs five pounds and has dimensions of 13.5” by 5.25” x 8”.
So it’s also lightweight to easily move around your rig and small enough to easily be tucked away when you’re done using it.
Best Central Vacuum System
6: HP 9880 Dirt Devil Central Vacuum System
If you want the convenience of a central vacuum system in your RV, the HP Products 9880 Dirt Devil central vacuum system brings you everything you love about having a central vac in your house.
Trust me, I know RVers that have installed a central vacuum in their rig and they love it!
After a one-time installation process, you can enjoy permanent convenience with this central vacuum system.
The hose length on this vacuum extends from seven feet up to 35 feet. So it’s best for RVs 35 feet and under, unless you’re going to get creative about reaching the last few feets via extra wands and extension attachments.
One thing that is a little different about central vacuums is that they require a little more effort to empty the collection container.
And this is why this model has a one-gallon collection capacity so that you don’t have to go through emptying it every time you vacuum up a small mess or pile of pet hair.
The vacuum also comes with many of the same attachments you’d find with a whole-home central vacuum system.
This includes a one-piece adjustable wand, a selectable floor/rug tool, a dusting brush, an upholstery tool, and a mesh tool bag to keep everything neat and organized when it’s not in use.
The best part about this vacuum is that the collection container uses removable bags.
So once the entire unit is installed in your preferred location, you won’t have to move it every time you need to empty the container.
You will, however, need to make sure you’re keeping replacement bags well stocked!
Best Cordless Stick
7: Shark ION F80 Cordless Stick Vacuum For RV
The Shark ION Lightweight MultiFLEX vacuum is a great lightweight option for anyone that needs the added reach of a stand-up vacuum combined with the convenience of a cordless handheld model.
This vacuum is a great middle-ground between the Bissell and Black + Decker vacuums I highlighted above.
It provides the convenience of a stand-up vacuum with the portability of a handheld.
It also comes with two removable lithium-ion batteries so that you can always keep one battery plugged into the included charging dock while you’re using the other to clean. Each battery boasts a total run time of 80 minutes.
The problem with many traditional vacuums is that they just can’t reach certain areas.
But Shark has been a pioneer in adding their MultiFLEX technology to many of their vacuum models for years now.
That technology allows you to run the vacuum at different angles and get better reach under furniture for more complete cleaning.
When in use, this vacuum pulls 11.9 amps. It is a little on the larger side with its dimensions totaling 45.98” tall, 10.24” wide, and 13.4” long. This means you’ll need a little more space to store it when it’s not in use.
That being said, it’s capable of picking up pet hair, dust, and debris from a variety of floor surfaces and it comes with multiple attachments to help you reach tighter areas throughout your rig.
Central Vacuum System Runner Up
8: Dometic DI-CS8E RVac Ultra Compact vacuum
To give you another central vacuum system option, I’ve included the Dometic DI-CS8E RVac as a close runner up to the Dirt Devil system we detailed earlier.
I guess you could say I’m just a huge fan of having a central vacuum in an RV, so I decided to include a second option on this front.
This is actually a more compact central vacuum system than the Dirt Devil. It can be installed anywhere that offers a six-inch depth and it comes with the accessories you need for multiple mounting setups.
It can either be flush-mounted or surface mounted depending on your preferred location and setup.
I love whenever I see an RV product manufacturer that has even minimally thought about reducing its environmental impact in the creation of its products.
So I couldn’t help but mention that this vacuum uses Dometic’s Y10 GREEN vacuum bags to provide a more eco-friendly disposal solution than other vacuums that use plastic bags.
This is also an excellent central vacuum for rigs up to 40 feet in length. The vacuum comes with 40 feet of hose and a variety of additional accessories and attachments that allow you to further extend your reach.
It comes with another 40-inch slinky hose with a pistol grip on the end for reaching under and around furniture or obstacles.
This central vacuum system also comes with an aluminum adjustable wand, an upholstery tool with a removable brush, a combo floor and rug tool, an elongated dust brush, a 24-inch crevice tool, a five-foot power cord, all needed mounting brackets, two microfiber bags, and a mesh storage bag that makes it easier to keep all of these attachments organized when they aren’t in use.
How to Pick the Perfect Vacuum for Yo
Those are the best RV vacuums we could find. But how do you decide which one to buy?
We each have our different priorities when it comes to buying anything, so I think it’s important for us to dive deeper into the various specifications and features of RV vacuums in this section.
That way, you’ll be able to prioritize what means the most to you and select an awesome new vacuum for your RV.
Types of RV Vacuums
RV vacuums can be classified into five different categories. There are central vacuums, handhelds, wet and dry vacuums, steam vacs, and upright/canister vacuums.
We’ve included at least one of each type in our reviews above, except steam vacuums because they are most often used to deep clean carpet to remove major stains. They’re also bulkier so they’re less convenient to store in an RV.
Many houses are equipped with a central vacuum. In a large house, there are then multiple “outlets” scattered throughout where you can plug in the vacuum hose.
Any dust, hair, or debris that’s collected goes into a central location that only needs to be emptied every few months.
The concept is basically the same for RV central vacuums, with there usually only being one outlet to connect the vacuum hose and enough hose to reach the entire length of your RV.
Handheld vacuums are also super common for use in RVs because they’re the most compact vacuums you can find.
They are easy to store in smaller RVs and they also give you the flexibility to clean up messes throughout your rig without having to worry about dragging a power cord around.
The only downside of a handheld vacuum is that you’ll often have to bend or kneel down to use them on the floor.
Wet and dry vacuums usually come with an upright design. They are arguably the most versatile vacuum because they can tackle wet messes as well as pick up dry hair, dirt, and debris.
This can be really useful if you have a pet in your RV who’s not always so good about keeping his or her water IN the bowl.
Upright/canister vacuums are less commonly used in RVs because they require a bit more storage space than a handheld or even a central vacuum.
However, this type of vacuum can save your body lots of stress because you won’t have to bend or kneel to clean the floors in your RV.
This type of vacuum also tends to have a wider cleaning path than handhelds, which means you can clean more quickly and efficiently.
The collection capacity of an RV vacuum determines how often you need to empty it.
In general, central vacuums are going to have the largest collection capacity while handheld vacuums tend to have the smallest.
That being said, handheld vacuums intentionally make it easy to empty their collection container, often with the touch of a button.
If you don’t mind emptying your vacuums multiple times in order to clean your entire rig, then the smaller collection capacity of a handheld vacuum probably won’t bother you.
However, if you want to avoid emptying the collection container on your vacuum every time you use it, you’ll want to go for a central vacuum system with a larger capacity.
A vacuum’s collection capacity is usually measured in quarts, ounces, or gallons.
Be sure to compare the collection capacities of the vacuums you’re considering to get a better idea of how often they’ll need to be emptied.
Ease of Use
There are many factors that determine how easy (or difficult) a vacuum is to use.
Generally speaking, cordless handheld vacuums tend to be the easiest to use because they are the lightest and you don’t have to worry about tripping over, or being limited by, a power cord.
On the other side of things, upright/canister vacuums tend to be the heaviest and bulkiest vacuums to use.
However, you’ll be able to stand upright when using this vacuum on the open floor spaces in your RV.
If you have an RV with a really open floor plan, an upright/canister vacuum might be easier to use than a cordless handheld.
The major benefits of a central vacuum system include less frequent emptying, extended reach, and a wider variety of accessories.
While this isn’t true with all central vacuum models, most come with everything you’ll need to thoroughly clean every nook and cranny of your RV.
One reason why the size of the vacuum you choose is important relates to where you’re going to store it when it’s not being used.
If you’re anything like me, you probably only thoroughly clean your RV once or twice every month. So you’ll need a convenient but out-of-the-way place to store your RV until you need it.
Upright/canister vacuums and wet and dry vacuums tend to require the most storage space. Handhelds obviously require the least.
And while a central vacuum system will require space for a permanent installation, the accessories and attachments it comes with won’t take up much extra space once the central unit is installed.
Another reason why size is important is the cleaning path. A vacuum’s cleaning path is usually measured by the width where it touches the floor.
This is usually measured in inches and it determines how many times you’ll need to go back and forth in order to clean all of the surfaces in your RV.
So, Which Is Best For You?
From all the research I’ve done to create this article, I think it’s really hard to beat the value of a central vacuum.
In that case, the HP Products 9880 Dirt Devil Central Vacuum System would be my choice for a permanent vacuum installation in your RV.
However, if you don’t want to go through the trouble of installing a central vacuum system, I’d opt for the Bissell Crosswave Pet Pro.
This is especially true if you have a pet in your RV and it’s useful even if you don’t deal with a ton of pet hair because it’s one of the few vacuums on our list that has true wet/dry cleaning capability.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still have questions? That’s natural. It’s hard to explain everything about RV vacuums in less than ten minutes (which is how long I’m assuming it has taken to read everything up to this point).
So let’s briefly address the most frequently asked questions about RV vacuums.
Why is it useful to have a removable battery with a vacuum?
Some cordless vacuums are battery powered. These batteries need to be removed and charged in order to keep the vacuum working.
The best models come with two removable batteries so that one can be charging while you’re using the other to power your vacuum.
What are the benefits of a bagless vacuum?
Some vacuums don’t need bags in their dust collection containers. They’re designed for the container to easily be emptied by opening a door on the side or bottom of the vacuum.
This is more common with handheld vacuums, but it makes emptying the vacuum easier and also reduces waste by eliminating the need for a bag.
Do I really need an RV vacuum?
The short answer is yes! But how much you use it will depend on the surfaces in your RV.
If your floors are mostly tile, linoleum, or laminate hardwood, you will probably get away with sweeping and mopping more often than vacuuming.
However, unless you have absolutely zero carpet, rugs, and upholstery in your RV, you’re going to need a vacuum eventually.
If you’re anything like me, cleaning your RV is a process that happens once or twice a month.
As a full-time RVer, it’s really tough to keep up with how much gets tracked in on a daily basis, but the good news is that RVs really aren’t that tough to clean because they don’t have that much square footage.
A quality RV vacuum is a must, however, to remove dirt, debris, pet hair, and anything else that can’t just be swept out.
And trust me, over time that stuff is going to accumulate. So I hope you’ve learned a little something from this post and I wish you the best of luck choosing the best RV vacuum for your needs!
Tucker Ballister is the proud owner of a 36-foot 1997 Fleetwood Bounder. This is the second RV that Tucker has owned. The first was a beat-up 1983 Ford Tioga that he and his brother renovated before road-tripping from California to Texas to explore the music scene in Austin. Tucker grew up taking multiple RV trips throughout the western United States every summer. He also had the privilege of being the primary RV driver for a five-month road trip across the country in support of a Run Across America event, which raised money for the Guardian for Heroes Foundation. Tucker began his copywriting career as a graduate student in 2013. He has worked as a full-time freelancer and part-time outdoor guide ever since, while also starting his own website thebackpackguide.com dedicated to hiking, backpacking, and outdoor gear reviews. Tucker currently resides in the gorgeous mountains to the north of Lake Tahoe (the second deepest lake in the United States!). His current tally of RV road trips across America stands at five and counting.