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RV Appliances Buyer's Guide

RV Appliances: A Buyer’s Guide

When it comes to buying RV appliances, there are many factors that people forget to consider.

After getting an RV, many of us are eager to get on the road and start enjoying the RV lifestyle. And if you're one of the 10 million households with an RV, you know this means that many necessities get overlooked!

The appliances in your RV are essential to successful and comfortable vacations, whether you're taking a quick weekend trip or a month-long journey. When you leave without being properly equipped with the best RV appliances, you'll soon run into some difficulties on the road.

Our RV appliances buyer's guide is designed to keep you from having that experience! We'll go over the types of appliances you need to have in your RV, as well as the features and qualities you need to look for in each one.

RV Kitchen Appliances

One of the best parts about having an RV is the ability to prepare meals, drinks and snacks without leaving the vehicle. Of course, this means you'll need a variety of appliances to both safely store and prepare food on your journey.

rv kitchen appliances

Food Safety & Storage

Let's start with the obvious: a refrigerator. If you're making any long-distance drives, you'll need a refrigerator to keep food and beverages cold. A cooler simply won't cut it for days of travel. You'll be limited on space and your food will barely stay cold for a few hours.

Your RV refrigerator is a cornerstone appliance. You should start here before you start shopping for appliances that aren't quite as necessary. With the right fridge, you'll be able to safely store days of food and beverages without worrying about them going bad or getting too warm.

As one of the most important RV kitchen appliances, you'll want to make sure that the refrigerator you choose is the best one for your RV and your needs. To help you narrow down your options, we've created a review on the best fridge for RVs. We break down sizes, features and more for your convenience.

Food Preparation

Once you've got a refrigerator to safely store food, you'll need some other appliances to get cooking!


A microwave will give you tons of options when it comes to food preparation. You'll be able to reheat leftovers and make tons of snacks, including popcorn, instant noodles and hot beverages.

But, contrary to popular belief, you don't need a microwave with all the bells and whistles for your RV. Most RV owners find that a standard microwave does everything they need it to do. This is great because it makes shopping for an RV microwave much more affordable.

Need help finding your perfect microwave? Check out our review on the best microwave for RVs.

Toaster Oven

If you don't have a microwave or you're looking to expand your options, a toaster oven is your best bet.

Toaster ovens are incredibly versatile, compact and energy efficient. You can use them to cook breakfast, lunch or dinner, as well as a variety of snacks in between.

We understand the complex needs that you have for a toaster oven in an RV setting. We took all of these needs into account for our review on the best toaster oven for RVs. We've picked out your best options so you don't have to take a chance on the wrong one!


You can't go RV camping without a grill! While many campsites offer public grills, you can never be too prepared. Keeping a portable grill handy will ensure that you're always just minutes away from fresh-grilled hamburgers, hot dogs and other delicious options.

Propane grills are the preferred option for home grilling, but we all know that space can be limited in your RV. Keeping a grill and propane tanks around can quickly eat up your storage space. For this reason, charcoal grills are our recommendation for RV grilling. I also think charcoal-grilled foods taste way better – and I'm sure I'm not alone!

Lucky for you, we've got a review on the best portable charcoal grill for RVs. I can already smell the fresh-grilled burgers!

RV Appliances for Cleaning and Comfort

Once you've gotten your food needs taken care of, you'll have to think about what else you'll need to keep your RV clean and comfortable. Whether you're traveling with pets, children or just your spouse, you're weekend trip can feel much longer when your RV gets smelly, dirty or uncomfortable!

clean clothes rv

Air Conditioner

We don't need to stress the importance of an air conditioner. It's an absolute must if you want to stay cool during your travels in the summer months.

Even if your RV's built-in air conditioner is fully functional, a portable air conditioner can make a huge difference when you need that extra cooling boost. On particularly hot days, it's common to use both air conditioners at once.

Plus, a portable air conditioner can be moved to different parts of the interior depending on where it's needed. If you tend to get warm at night, you can move it into the sleeping area. If you have several people in the common area, you can move it in there to keep everyone comfortable.

Washer & Dryer

It doesn't take many trips to discover the impact that dirty clothes can have on the smell of your RV – especially if you're traveling with kids or doing a lot of outdoor activities.

With a washer and dryer, you can keep dirty, smelly clothes to a minimum. And, you'll be able to pack less as a result! If you're traveling for weeks at a time, having a washer and dryer handy can give you a lot of freedom.

We know what you're thinking: my washer and dryer at home is massive. How am I going to fit something like that in my RV?

There are tons of options for portable washer and dryers that are actually designed for RV use. This means you can enjoy clean clothes without compromising space in your vehicle.

To check out your options, read our review on the best washer and dryer for RVs.

Space Heater

Although not quite as necessary as an air conditioner, a space heater can be crucial for keeping you and your passengers comfortable. If you're traveling during the winter months, you'll definitely want to have one of these around.

A large benefit to having a space heater is that you can move it to where it's needed the most. Get cold at night? Move it towards the sleeping area. Spending some time outside on a chilly evening? Set up your space heater outdoors to stay toasty!

We've tried tons of space heaters, and we've narrowed down our favorite ones in our review of the best space heater for RVs. Check it out if you're looking for the best way to stay warm!

RV Appliances for Entertainment & Quality-of-Life

Now, you're in a good spot. Your RV is stocked with food and kitchen appliances. You've even got some appliances to help you stay clean and comfortable. But, what do you do for fun?

Yes, much of the draw of the RV lifestyle is spending time outdoors while traveling. But, there's still a lot of downtime, including the time that passengers spend hanging out while you're en route.

smart tv for rv


A portable generator services two purposes for an RV owner. First of all, they can be helpful if you're going to power televisions, game consoles, kitchen appliances or other devices that consume a lot of power. Second of all, they can provide a source of back-up energy if anything should happen with your primary power source or if your campsite doesn't provide electricity.

Fortunately, you don't need a massive generator designed to power a house or meet other large demands. This means there are plenty of compact options that can be easily stored in your RV.


Watching movies or TV is one of the best ways to pass the time while you're on the road or spending a relaxing night in. And there's never been a better time to get a tv for your RV. They're more affordable, more compact and more advanced than ever!

We recommend looking at smart TVs. In addition to hooking up to DVD players and game consoles, smart TVs come prepared with applications that allow you to access various streaming services. They are hands-down the best option when it comes to buying televisions.

Like all other appliances, your smart TV must have certain qualities to make it a good fit for your RV. We've considered all of these qualities in our review of the best smart TV for RVs.

Backup Camera

Backup cameras might not be a fun addition to your motorhome, but they are certainly helpful!

Unless you've had years of experience driving your RV, you'll appreciate having a backup camera when parking your RV or navigating tight spaces. Even if you're comfortable driving it, the backup camera can enhance your visibility and reduce the chance of mistakes!

The size and length of RVs means that you'll need a specialty backup camera – not one designed for standard-sized vehicles. You can check out your best options in our review of the best backup camera for RVs.

Qualities & Features to Look For in RV Appliances

You can't just buy any appliance and expect it to work perfectly for your RV and your lifestyle. RVs place some limitations on the types of appliances you can use, depending on a number of factors. Don't forget to consider these qualities when you're shopping for RV appliances.

rv appliances electricity


One of the most obvious restraints on your appliance selection is their size. Space is precious in your RV, so you've got to select your appliances accordingly.

It's easy to get distracted and look for the cheapest or nicest appliance you can get – but many shoppers are then stuck with an appliance that doesn't fit in their RV space. This is particularly common with RV kitchen appliances, as kitchen space can vary significantly between RVs.

Our advice: measure the dimensions of your RV and the areas you plan on storing appliances. Reference these measurements when you are shopping for appliances. This way, you can confidently purchase RV appliances knowing that they'll fit snugly into the area you had in mind.

Energy Consumption & Voltage

Electricity is a valuable resource in your RV!

With your primary source of energy being your battery, you need to consider the impact of powering appliances with it.

For one, can the appliance run off of your vehicle's battery? If it can be plugged into a 12V socket, the answer is yes.

How much of your energy will these devices consume? If powering a television will deplete your battery in a few minutes, you should look for an alternate source of power (perhaps solar power) or a more efficient appliance!

In any case, the energy efficiency and usage of an appliance should always be a primary consideration when it comes to buying appliances for your RV.

How Long Can an RV Battery Provide Energy For?

You can determine the amount and duration of your battery's energy with a simple formula. First, you must know how many watt-hours your RV's battery holds. This is calculated by multiplying your battery's voltage by its capacity in amp hours.

Let's say your battery has a capacity of 2400 watt-hours. You divide this number by the wattage of an appliance to determine how long you can power it. For example, at 2400 watt-hours, you could power a 200 watt television for 12 hours.

Instead of manually calculating your energy usage for each device, you can just use a battery monitor system. These will keep track of your power usage and the specific usage of each of your devices. If you want to get started, you can check out our review of the best battery monitor for RVs.


You rely on your RV's appliances for eating, cleaning and more. You need them to be at least as durable and dependable as your home appliances.

This can be a tough quality to determine, even if you're able to test out appliances in-person before purchasing them.

At Appliance Accreditor, we make it easy to find your perfect appliance because we assess this and all other qualities before giving you an appliance recommendation. You can feel confident purchasing RV appliances thanks to our honest and thorough reviews.

Want to see our latest appliance reviews? Head over to our blog!

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