In one of the facebook groups I’m in, someone was asking for recommendations for RV 12 Volt appliances; in particular he was looking for a 12v coffee machine that uses pods/k-cups/keurig (I think that’s what they’re called) so that he could brew his consistent cup of espresso every day. The poor guy that asked the question got A LOT of answers but pretty much none of them answered his actual question.
So I went on a quest to answer these myself.
And now I know why there was so much difficulty in answering his question! There are a lot of gimmicky gadgets that run on 12v, but, to be honest, not a whole of good quality 12 volt appliances for your small RV kitchen.
Of course, if you’re in an RV with 12v batteries, there is always the option of hooking up an inverter to run your normal small kitchen appliances on 110 or 240v power. And for many of these appliances, this will be your only option!
But I wanted to specifically look at what is available in the 12v range. But since it is sooooo limited, I’ve decided to include manual (no power at all) or battery (AA or lithium) powered options as well.
Of course, when you’re in an RV, you don’t exactly want to overstuff your limited kitchen storage with gadgets just for the sake of it. But here are some of the kitchen appliances you might want to consider.
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Okay, so now I understand why this guys wasn’t able to get a straight answer about a 12v expresso maker. Basically, there isn’t one; well, not one that I could find anyway.
Except for this one, but it’s only got three reviews on Amazon, two of which are one star. So maybe give this one a miss?
However, there are a couple of other options where you just need to heat up the water, and use these manual or battery powered espresso makers.
I’ll start with the most popular and highest rated expresso coffee maker, the Aeropress. This is getting rave reviews on Amazon and it seems to appeal to A LOT of true coffee
Or there is the somewhat more fiddly (apparently) type where you add the hot water and then manually pump the water through the coffee:
Or you can get a similar battery powered one, but no pumping, just press the button and the coffee comes through.
If you’re not after an espresso, then you can have a good ole filter coffee that is powered by 12v:
The options here are limited to mini blenders (to mix up drinks like a nutri-bullet) or a hand-powered blender! Nothing in the 12v range… except for one… which is out of stock!
You will, however, find plenty of these types of mini-blenders; powered by a lithium battery that you can recharge with USB. If you don’t fancy the one below, I would search Amazon for ‘car mini blender’ to get the widest selection.
And if you’re up for the physical challenge, you can go hand-powered all the way!
Okay, so I did find some 12V blenders on Alibaba, but I honestly don’t know enough about them to say it would be worth having it shipped to you from China. And they didn’t seem any different from the USB/car/portable mini blenders on Amazon.
Still in the blending kinda gadgets, let’s look at:
This is probably my all-time favourite gadget in the kitchen.
And I can’t find ANY 12V versions. Gap in the market, methinks?
There are some cordless variety’s that have a 12V litium-ion battery, but you still need to plug the recharging base into your regular power supply to recharge.
And again, nothing. It must be that the 12V just doesn’t put out enough power for chopping/blending?
Jug / Kettle
Plenty of 12V kettles out there. Here are a couple of nice looking ones:
Sandwich press or grill
Or… this could be the time to collect some firewood, polish off your fire-lighting skills and crank out the cast iron sandwich press or panini press.
May as well toast some marshmallows while you’re at it…
I suppose with gas being an efficient (?) medium to cook on, the market just isn’t there for 12v cooking?
There are a few cooking gadgets though:
And bringing up the rear of this list is the vacuum sealer. I’ve never used one of these before, but I have seen lots and lots of fellow Aussie travellers talking about how awesome it is to have one. It seems that they use it mainly for bulk buying meat and storing it in the fridge and freezer. With many parts of Australia being so remote it can be really tough getting good quality meat at reasonable prices. The vacuum sealer allows you to store your food for longer periods. Worth a look, huh.
I’ve gotta say, I’m really surprised at the lack of 12 volt appliances that are available in the market. I’m sure it’s got everything to do with power output (or lack of), but I’m still surprised.
And as I said at the beginning, an inverter solves most of your converting-AC-to-DC-problems anyway.
Do you have any RV 12V appliances that you’d recommend?
If you’d like to just see normal appliances (i.e. normal power, NOT 12v) then head over to the Best Small Kitchen Appliances for the RV.