My favorite RV-Friendly appliances and products
I often get asked, “What are your favorite appliances you use in your RV?” or “What items should I buy for our trailer if we plan to go full-time?” . . .
For a long time I didn’t do a post on this because I didn’t feel much like an expert on the topic. But after traveling full-time for eight months in our Airstream trailer I feel like I have figured a few things out – so I’m sharing my favorite RV-friendly appliances and products.
When you have limited living space you want to make certain that the things you buy or store in your RV are providing some benefit. You might want to consider these things when selecting appliances and products for our RV ::
Cost savings – Does it save us money? It wasn’t long after hitting the road that we discovered that we almost always have some type of electrical hook-up, so choosing appliances that use electricity (instead of propane gas) saved us money.
Storage – How much space is required to store the appliance and does the benefit warrant the space needs?
Convenience – Does it save us time and effort?
Quality of life – Does it provide a benefit that improves our quality of life on the road? Sometimes we might sacrifice cost savings, storage needs and convenience because something improves our quality of life and it’s important to us.
Instant Pot – I had so many kitchen appliances in our house that this was a tough department for me to downsize. The Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker, 6Qt/1000W rocks my RV world. It wears many chef hats – it’s a rice cooker, a slow cooker, a pressure cooker and so much more. I’ve cooked a spiral ham in under 2 hours, 8 pounds of pulled pork in 75 minutes, frozen chicken in under 30 minutes and so much more. . .if you only have room for one RV appliance – I recommend this one! This is our biggest appliance in terms of storage needs but it fits in the wardrobe/closet in our kitchen just fine. I will often cook outside with this – running an extension cord directly from our RV site hook-ups to the picnic table or we also have a folding tray table that works great for this.
Electric Skillet – This is one appliance I wish we would have started our journey with, but only recently purchased. The Rival CKRVSK11 11-Inch Square Electric Skillet, Black is a small electric skillet that allows us to cook using electricity without using propane. It also comes in handy when we need more cooking space – as our 3-burner stove top is small when it comes to multiple pots/pans. This skillet is great for stir fries, eggs (non-stick), pancakes and more.
Dehumidifier – We just got this small dehumidifier, Eva-dry Edv-1100 Electric Petite Dehumidifier, White, a couple months ago. I wish we would have purchased sooner. It’s small but packs a serious punch when it comes to pulling the moisture out of the trailer. Moisture is NOT your friend when it comes to RV life and especially in the winter months when you’re sleeping with windows closed – moisture and condensation on the windows is expected. Since getting this dehumidifier we’ve seen a big improvement in overnight window condensation and our towels dry faster in our bathroom! We use this daily so it usually lives in the bathroom or the kitchen – but is stored in the closet when we travel.
Space heater – I dragged my feet on this one for a long time, but we finally picked up a small space heater, like this one, Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater with Adjustable Thermostat – in January. When you have only 180 square feet a small heater like this warms your space up in no time. This helps offset the need to run the propane furnace and takes advantage of electrical hook-ups which are often included in the cost of your RV hook-ups. HOWEVER, I’m very particular about how we use our space heater – we NEVER use it at night while we are sleeping (we use the furnace, if needed) and we ALWAYS have it on our cleared kitchen counter. So it’s never near combustable items and never used when we are out or sleeping. Space heaters can be dangerous (read: fire hazard) if not used according to the instructions – so be aware and intentional about how you use it. We store this in the closet when not in use and this summer it will likely be stored in the back of the truck.
Electric water kettle – For the first six months on the road we used a tea kettle and our propane stove to make hot water (for our much needed morning COFFEE). But in January we got this Proctor Silex K2070YA Electric Kettle, 1-Liter and I like it for a couple reasons – we can avoid using our propane and take advantage of our electrical hook-ups and it’s faster than the stove (anything that helps me get coffee faster in the morning is my friend). I also think it releases less moisture in the air because the water comes to a boil so quickly.
Ceramic coffee filter – For the first few months on the road we used a french press set-up for our coffee – but we didn’t like it because it was a pain to clean – especially when we were trying to conserve water. The coffee grounds seemed to get everywhere and frankly our coffee was always a little sludgy at the bottom of the cup. We picked up a ceramic coffee filter like this one at World Market back in December and our coffee world has improved dramatically. We generally only have 1 cup each a day and can use the same coffee/filter using a pour over method with our electric kettle. I like the easy clean-up with the disposable coffee filters.
Laundry drying rack – With very little towel hanging space and only a small fan for ventilation in the bathroom (see our Airstream bathroom tour here), we use this awesome collapsible laundry drying rack for days when we have towels and swimsuits that need a drying. When not in use it folds flat and is stores in the back of the truck. It’s sturdy and doesn’t blow over easily with wind.
Other things we recommend having in your RV ::
Turkish bath towels – I raved about these Turkish bath towels during our bathroom tour – they are fantastic, thin, big towels that dry fast. We’ve had these since we hit the road and they are still going strong – worth the price in my opinion.
simplehuman Wall Mount Pumps, Triple 15 fl. oz. Shampoo & Soap Dispenser, Stainless Steel – Also mentioned in our bathroom tour – we love having this in the shower (and we also have one for hand soap). Great for saving on counter space and reducing the amount of set-up/take-down between spots!
American Red Cross FRX3 Hand Crank NOAA AM/FM Weather Alert Radio with Smartphone Charger– Mentioned in our post about Severe Weather RV Safety Tips, it’s wise to have a NOAA radio so that you can track weather alerts and be prepared during severe weather.
Watch your electrical usage – One last note about the electrical appliances, although we use these appliances in our Airstream, we don’t have them all plugged in at once. 🙂 Some of these items – especially the space heater, electric kettle and Instant Pot – can draw a lot of electricity and depending on your trailer or hook-ups could easily trip a breaker. On the big energy hogs, we will have ONE of these item plugged in at a time. And as I mentioned about the Instant Pot – I’ll plug that directly into our hook-up instead of through the trailer, I’m cautious that way. You should know your trailer’s capacity, your hook-up levels and plan accordingly about which appliances will work best for your set-up.
Most of these items we were slow to acquire after spending six months on the road analyzing our needs – but we are so glad we have them now. Many of these were recommended by fellow RV friends as tried and true ways to make life easier and more affordable on the road.
These items deal mostly with life INSIDE our trailer. I plan to do a detailed posts on our favorite products that we use OUTSIDE – like chocks, levelers, chairs, grill, etc. . .
If you live or vacation in an RV, what are your favorite RV-friendly appliances or products?