RVing 101: A Guide to Essential Appliances

woman cooking on stovetop in RV
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The beauty of RVs is that most of them are self-contained living quarters that just happen to have four wheels and an engine. With any living arrangement, it’s important to have the tools and amenities to live out a normal life, like appliances.

 Appliances play a key role in how enjoyable your RV and traveling experiences are so it’s important to be scrupulous about their purpose, design and function. We live in a world of bigger is better, but that is not always true, especially in the world of RVing and even more so with appliances. 

How to Know What Appliances You Need for RV Travel

Of course the answer to this question will depend on a great number of things. Here are some follow-up questions that may help you determine which appliances will be useful and which ones will likely just gather dust.

  • What is the average length of time you will use the RV for? Weekends? Weeks? Full-time?
  • How many people will be in the RV?
  • Where do you plan on taking the RV? Is it hot? Cold?
  • How much do you need your creature comforts or do you prefer roughing it?
  • Will you be staying at RV parks with utility services or dry camping?

Answering those questions and more can help you better decide if an appliance is a need, want or you could do without it. If you find yourself RVing for weeks at a time, chances are you might need a large refrigerator compared to weekend getaways. If you plan on traveling in the summer, you’ll likely want an air conditioning unit.

If trying to calculate all the appliances you may need or want seems a bit daunting divide the RV into sections such appliances in the living room, appliances in the kitchen and so forth. Going area by area will give you better detail and a good feel on what type of appliances would best suit you.

Think About Which Appliances You Want for Your RV

A lot of RVing is about leaving the superfluous creature comforts behind and hitting the road but come on, we are humans and we like our stuff. There may be some appliances you want but don’t need such as a dishwasher or washer and dryer. The decision to get an RV with an appliance you want more than need is a personal decision. Use questions like the ones above to get a better idea what it is a need versus ​a want and what you would be better off without.

Choosing Types and Brands

Some people might swear by one type of microwave while others discount them as garbage. Like your appliance wants, appliance type and brands are a personal decision that depends on the person you are asking. In the case of brands and types, it's best to do your homework. Look up different brands and use customer testimonials to gauge the review and usefulness of the product. It is also helpful if you talk to other RVers.

If you aren’t around a lot of other RVers, hop on the forums and ask about different types and brands, people will usually weigh in with personal accounts and reviews. If you are too indecisive you don’t need to panic, most RVs come with appliance types and brands already chosen for you. In most cases, the appliances fit the RV they are included in.

The Bottom Line

To sum up, make a list of the RV appliances you need and want, then move forward from there. Go section by section in your RV if need be. Talk to other RVers and visit forums to get an idea of what appliance brands and types would be useful to you. With your RV appliances on board, you are ready to live the good RV life.