Looking for the best campervan coffee maker? These are our top 7 coffee makers for van life!
Pretty much every day in van life offers something new. Sometimes you wake up in the mountains, other times in the desert or by the ocean. But one thing is constant – each day for most van dwellers begins with a delicious cup of hot coffee!
When we first got started living in a van we didn’t understand a whole lot about a whole lot. We knew to fill our living space with all the campervan essentials that every other van dweller would buy. Things like cups and cutlery, storage bins and magnetic spice racks were easy.
But when it came to figuring out the best way to brew coffee on the road, well it took a little more research.
We’re hoping we can line up the best campervan coffee maker options for you in this post to save you the hours of research we did searching for the best coffee machine for your setup.
There are numerous factors to consider, like the type of coffee maker, power usage, ease of use, required space, price tag, and, of course, how tasty the cup of joe ends up. The coffee machine market is quite diverse, with offerings in many different sizes and shapes.
But each product on our list meets our own personal expectations for what we would purchase if we weren’t already in love with the coffee maker we use today.
You’ll find that each option on this list has a power-consumption-first focus, meaning we understand that traditional coffee makers you may have had around the house draw a significant amount of power.
All but 3 options do not rely on 120-volt electricity. Those 3 made the list because they have power-saving functions that allow reasonable operation if you’ve invested in a decent battery bank and have a properly sized inverter.
Incidentally, the cup of coffee we brewed this morning, nearly 4 years after we first set out on the road, came from the same coffee maker we used on our first day on the road. It hasn’t let us down one time thousands and thousands of cups of coffee later!
On that note, let’s get into our favorite option and one we feel will serve coffee lovers of all kinds.
Best Product // Our Top Picks at a Glance
|Coffee Maker||Type||Cups||Power Source||Price Range|
|Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker||Pour Over||2-3||Kettle Water||$25 – $35|
|Keurig K-Slim Coffee Maker||Single Serve||1||110 V Electricity||$120 – $135|
|COLETTI Bozeman||Percolator||9||Open Fire||$50 – $65|
|Coleman Camping Coffee Maker||Drip||10||Propane||$40 – $55|
|Coleman QuickPot||Drip||10||Propane||$120 – $130|
|Chulux||Single Serve||1||110 V Electricity||$45- $60|
|Black + Decker SCM2000BD Spacemaker||Under Cabinet||8||110 V Electricity||$120 – $140|
Table of Contents
- The Best Campervan Coffee Makers
- What to Look for When Choosing a Campervan Coffee Maker
The Best Campervan Coffee Makers
Choosing the best camper van or RV coffee maker is never easy because there are a lot of options. We’ve listed only 7 recommendations because we don’t want to send you on a wild goose chase where you have to narrow down your decision from 15 or 20 options.
With the exception of single-serve drip coffee makers, of which we’ve provided 2 great options, you’ll find our best pick for each type of coffee maker you’ll come across. As a reminder, each has a power-first focus and all are perfect for the small space a camper van affords.
Our review will let you know about the pros and cons of the best products, and by the end, you will have the knowledge to buy the coffee maker that fits your criteria best.
BEST OVERALL: Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker
The Aeropress Coffee Maker is a perfect combination of a French press and a pour-over coffee maker. Essentially you pour hot water into a hard plastic cylinder with coffee grounds that rest on a paper filter.
Gravity pushes the water through the grounds leaving you a hot, delicious cup of coffee. Unlike French press coffee makers, it gets work done in minutes.
However, if you are impatient, you can use the plunger to press the hot water through the coffee grounds even faster.
Moreover, it eliminates the bitterness and acidity caused by the long-brewing process of the French press.
The Aeropress can make 1 to 3 cups per pressing, although we’ve stretched its limits a little further more than once! It can also brew espresso, which is great if you love to drink cappuccino or latte or just need a pick-me-up shot of caffeine. A lightweight and compact brewer that is perfect for small campervans.
It uses paper filters, and the eco-friendly product does not require any power, making it an ideal product for hikes and camping. You will need a kettle in which to boil water to pour over the coffee grounds. But almost all campers include a kettle in their kitchen gear anyway.
Cleaning is easy. Unscrew the filter and dump the used coffee grounds. Then rinse it under the stream of water for a few seconds. We’ve found that we can use a half-sheet of paper dowel lightly dabbed in water to clean out any coffee grounds that stick to the cylinder.
We honestly don’t have many bad things to say about this awesome little coffee maker. If anything, sometimes it is a little tedious to go through the process every morning. Unless you are making one small cup of coffee, you do need to continue filling the cylinder with hot water until you have enough coffee.
Because there are two of us each drinking 16-20 ounces of coffee, the whole process takes around 10-15 minutes, including the time to boil the water.
Sometimes it would be nice to just hit a button and have a pot of coffee ready in minutes! But we wouldn’t trade this coffee maker for any other!
- Rapid brewing, Make coffee in 1 min
- Lightweight, compact and powerless operation.
- Ability to press espresso coffee
- Dishwasher safe
- Requires a source of hot water
- Makes one cup of coffee at a time
RUNNER-UP: Keurig K-Slim Coffee Maker
Keurig K-Slim is our runner-up only because we don’t like to have to rely on 120-volt AC power for anything when it comes to food and drink.
This is a single-serve drip machine pioneered by Keurig and the K cup one-cup design. The machine is incredibly easy to use. It delivers a high-quality cup of coffee in under one minute.
The pods have freshly ground high-quality coffee from the leading brands. Hot water saturates the ground coffee beans, and a gentle press extracts every ounce of flavor.
The cup size determines the strength because small cups hold less water while the amount of coffee is the same.
We like this option because it is compact and lightweight. At only 4″ x 12″ x 15″ it easily pulls out or packs away as needed when traveling.
And we like that Keurig kept power in mind with this coffee maker. It draws upwards of 1,500W initially and then drops down to less than 60W when dispensing coffee. If you brewed a second cup while the water was still warm it would only use 200-400W.
So an adequate battery bank with a 2000W inverter can handle this coffee maker. Plus the machine has an auto shut-off feature which is excellent for small campervans as it saves energy.
Cleaning the Keurig K-Slim is easy. The reservoir and drip tray are removable. It has a unique descaling feature that automatically cleans the calcium deposits that build up inside the coffee maker over time.
The only downsides to this coffee maker are its dependence on 120-volt electricity and the fact that you would want to buy a separate reusable pod filter where you can scoop fresh coffee grounds. Or else you’ll be at the mercy of finding (and packing away) K cups everywhere you travel.
Other than that, it is a great van life partner for making a cup of joe to get you going in the morning!
- Fast operation. Brew a good cup of coffee in under one minute.
- Easy to clean and maintain
- The descaling feature automatically removes calcium scales.
- Big water reservoir.
- Internal water temperature is not controllable.
- Requires 120V electricity up to 1500W
- Requires K cups or reusable pods
BEST PERCOLATOR: COLETTI Bozeman
The COLETTI Bozeman is an industry leader and best-seller when it comes to camping-style percolator coffee makers.
Built from stainless steel, this percolator is durable enough to be used on an inside cooking stove or outside over a fire, making it one of our top picks for best coffee makers.
Capable of brewing up to 9 cups of coffee, the COLETTI Bozeman is a steal of a deal when it comes to simplicity. Fill the pot with water and add fresh coffee grounds to the filter in the enclosed basket. Then set the percolator over a heat source and wait for the water to boil.
We like this percolator because of its solid construction that doesn’t include any plastic parts. The tempered glass top resists heat and allows you to visually see when the coffee is ready.
This is also a great size for anyone traveling as a couple. We’re not really sure where the average “cup” size came from for coffee – but it seems 1 cup is never enough. A 9-cup capacity goes a long way on a cool autumn morning!
On the downside, you might find the last cup a bit gritty as this coffee maker is notorious for having loose coffee grounds slip through. It also doesn’t call for a filter out of the box, but almost everyone who owns one opts for buying filters because the holes in the basket are quite large.
Otherwise, this is a great option for anyone who wants the versatility of being able to prepare coffee indoors or outside.
- Seamless stainless steel design
- The glass top shows when the coffee is ready
- Brews up to 9 cups of coffee
- Can be used inside or outside over an open fire
- Glass nob may break if handled roughly
- Requires separate filters
BEST CAMPING: Coleman Camping Coffee Maker
The Coleman Camping Coffee Maker is another high-quality product from a company that has made its name for producing quality outdoor gear.
While at first glance it appears to be a standard electric drip coffee maker, in reality, it is a stovetop percolator-style camping coffee maker that fits over most camping stoves.
It is effortless to use. You fill the water reservoir as you would for a standard drip coffee maker, add coffee into the filter and then set the coffee maker over the stovetop.
We like this option for a lot of reasons. First, it simulates a lot of the characteristics of your traditional electric drip coffee maker without the need for 120-volt power. It also sits on any stovetop – whether a portable camping stove or otherwise.
And a 10-cup capacity is great compared to some of the single-serve options on our list. You can start the coffee like a traditional coffee maker and go about your morning routine while it brews.
We also like that it has an excellent feature for impatient caffeine drinkers called “Pause n Serve” which allows you to pour a cup before the brewing process ends. And cleaning and maintenance are a breeze. It has a removable filter and an easy-pour glass carafe.
On the downside is the carafe. First, the carafe is made of glass – which never plays well with moving campervans. Second, the glass does not retain the heat of the coffee long so you’ll want to pour and drink quickly.
And as with any glass coffee pot, you can’t keep the coffee maker over the stove longer than needed to brew the coffee or you risk cracking the glass.
Otherwise, this coffee maker is ideal for living in a campervan as it stows away easily and doesn’t require massive amounts of energy to brew a great cup of coffee!
- Big 10 cups brewing capacity.
- Handy “Pause n Serve” option for impatient campers.
- No 120V electricity required
- Fits over any stove
- Easy to use and clean.
- The glass carafe is fragile
- Glass pots can’t keep the coffee hot for an extended period.
BEST DRIP: Coleman QuickPot
The Coleman QuickPot is a close second to its cousin the Coleman Camping Coffee Maker as it shares a lot of similar characteristics.
It is capable of brewing up to 10 cups of coffee in a similar fashion. Add grounds to the filter and pour as much water into the reservoir as you would like.
But where this model excels is in how you fuel and start it. Using a portable 1lb propane bottle (or adapt your propane tank to fit the input), you can simply press a button ignitor to begin the process of boiling the water.
Hot water then rises to the top of the machine and drips through the grounds into the glass coffee pot. The whole process takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish and you can plan to do your morning routine while the coffee is brewing like a traditional coffee maker.
We really like the fact that it is a stand-alone coffee maker that you can take virtually anywhere. Whether you want to brew coffee inside or outside, everything you need to make the coffee is in one place. You’re not boiling water in one place and pouring it in another.
This coffee maker has a “perfect flow” mechanism that helps the machine adjust to changes in elevation and temperature, ensuring that the coffee percolates at the same hot temperature the entire time.
Plus it is small enough to pack away when not in use and it’s easy to clean. The Coleman QuickPot also has the “Pause ‘n’ Serve” feature which allows you to pour one cup of coffee while the rest continues to brew.
On the downside, it does require an external source of propane. 1lb canisters can be costly over time and are often difficult to find. Plumbing into another propane source is possible but may require professional assistance to be safe.
It also has a glass pot, which loses heat quickly and is prone to breaking. We advise you to stay away from glass as often as possible when living in a campervan.
But because you can run this separately from your stove you can prepare breakfast on your stovetop while brewing great coffee!
- Runs on propane
- Doesn’t take up additional burner space
- Even heating for hot coffee
- Pause ‘n’ Serve feature to have one cup while the pot is filling
- Requires external propane fuel source
- The glass pot loses heat unless the coffee maker is on
- Glass pot is prone to breaking
BEST SINGLE SERVE: Chulux
Chulux is another high-quality single-serve machine chasing closely on the heels of the Keurig K-Cup.
The compact and portable coffee maker checks all the boxes for a perfect RV coffee maker and is available in a bunch of different colors at a rather affordable price.
Most of the body is made of plastic, while the needle and water tank are made of stainless steel. The filter and drip tray are removable for optimal cleaning.
Other than quality construction, easy cleaning, and low price, the best feature of this machine is the one-touch operation. A person with almost zero knowledge can use this machine.
We really like that it will automatically shut off at the end of the brew cycle, preventing it from using extra electricity and overheating. And at 10″ x 4″ x 7″ in size, it doesn’t take up much counter space and stows away easily.
On the downside, Chulux is one of our power-centered exceptions that does require 120v electricity. However, it boasts an 800W maximum power draw so a decent battery bank and inverter should be able to handle the load.
It is also a single-serve coffee maker so if you enjoy multiple cups of coffee to get you going in the morning you’ll have to count on several trips back to the coffee maker. And, as with its Keurig competitor, you will become dependent upon either finding and storing k cups wherever you travel or investing in a reusable coffee filter.
But it does a remarkable job of making coffee one delicious cup at a time considering the price is a portion of what a Keurig costs.
- Easy one-button operation.
- Removable drip tray and stainless-steel water tank.
- Small, portable, and does not take up a lot of cabinet space.
- Requires 120V AC electricity
- Dependence on k cups
- Only 12 oz at a time
BEST UNDER CABINET: Black + Decker SCM2000BD Spacemaker
Although we’re not huge fans of under-cabinet RV coffee makers, making coffee with this Black + Decker SCM2000BD Spacemaker is a simple task.
It features a great under-the-cabinet design that saves valuable counter space. The 8-cup coffee maker has a solid stainless steel and plastic body. The machine is easy to mount if you follow the manual carefully.
It has a 24-hour programmable digital screen that lets you wake up to the pleasing aroma of brewing coffee. And the heating feature keeps the coffee warm and prevents it from over-cooking.
We like the fact that of all of the coffee makers on our list, this is the only one where the coffee pot has double thermal walls that keep the coffee warm for hours. So you can brew your coffee and plan on sipping it throughout the day with this insulating coffee pot.
Another great feature is “sneak a cup” it stops the process and lets you have a fresh cup of coffee. It also features an auto shut-off and freshness indicator and the 8-cup reservoir slides in and out for easy pouring and cleaning.
On the downside, this is a big power-hungry RV coffee maker more suited for larger rigs than most campervans. You need 120V power to make coffee. Drawbacks also include its weak water reservoir and extra installation that is required.
- The double-wall thermal carafe keeps the coffee warm for a long time.
- Automatic shut-off with sneak-a-cup feature.
- Practical under the cabinet design.
- A removable water reservoir is fragile
- Large in size
- Requires installation
- Not typical in most vans
What to Look for When Choosing a Campervan Coffee Maker
When buying a coffee maker, you should be aware of certain factors that will inform you about the machine and help in making a better purchasing decision.
So if you haven’t already decided on which RV coffee makers might work best for you, this section will cover everything you need to know before you can get started brewing coffee in the most beautiful places!
Types of Coffee Makers
As we’ve laid out in our picks above, there are several different types of camping coffee makers and each one has its pros and cons. Before you pick one particular model, be sure you know how each works.
Single serves, or one-cup coffee makers, are easy-to-use, small and lightweight coffee makers. Most of them have a simple one-button operation. It is best if you are buying your first coffee or espresso machine and have access to 120V power.
These coffee makers mostly use pods of ground coffee which are slightly more expensive than regular coffee grounds. But you can use the reusable filter or basket to lower the cost.
These machines are slightly expensive, and pods can cost a lot more in the long run.
Multi-serve coffee makers are ideal if you are not traveling in your camper van alone. These machines are efficient and can brew coffee of different strengths and temperatures.
Each of these machines requires some extra effort such as measuring the coffee and setting the temperature and strength. But the result is exceptional.
Drip, percolator, and pour-over coffee makers are the types of multi-serve.
Percolators are time-tested devices. They are inexpensive and durable and most of them have copper or stainless-steel construction.
In percolators, the boiling water is raised to a basket containing the coffee grounds. The hot water then drips through the coffee filter producing delicious brewed coffee.
Traditional ones are stovetops, but modern machines can be electric as well. These are great camping coffee makers because you can use any source of heat beneath the percolator. As they are usually made of rugged and durable materials such as stainless steel or copper, they last a long time.
But you always have to keep an eye on the percolator because overcooking will burn the coffee.
Drip Coffee Makers
Drip coffee machines are another excellent option. They are easy to use and can brew multiple cups at once. Think of your standard plug-in coffee maker at home or in the office.
The ground coffee is added to a coffee filter basket, and a hot stream of water is showered over the grounds. The water passes through the filter and drips into the cup or
These are great but do mostly rely on 120V electricity, which can be hard to come by on the road, especially if you like boondocking.
One of the simplest coffee brewing methods is the pour-over. Boiling water is poured over the coffee grounds, which will slowly brew coffee through a filter. Many people agree that these types make the best coffee.
A French press coffee machine and funnel are some examples of the pour-over coffee maker. French presses are popular because they are smaller and make concentrated cups of coffee. But there are some complaints that French presses produce coffee that is more bitter than other methods.
Under-cabinet camping coffee makers are great small RV coffee makers. The optimal design saves a lot of counter space – assuming you have the cabinet space. This type of machine is not popular anymore, but the design is convenient for those campers who put their coffee first and are willing to dedicate a permanent space in their kitchen to this style of coffee maker.
Power is source is an important factor, as heating hot water uses a lot of power. So, it is crucial to make the right decision about how you want to heat the water that goes into your coffee.
As we put our power system near the center of all of our decisions on which appliances to buy, we think you should strongly consider it for yours as well. A large battery bank and a properly sized inverter can handle the loads that most electric camping coffee makers will put on it.
But straining your batteries for your morning coffee may not be in your best interest in the long term of your camping trip.
We have provided 4 of our top 7 recommended camping coffee makers that run on propane either directly or indirectly, opening up all sorts of options for you to avoid being tied down to staying in campgrounds or constantly running your inverter on high loads.
Coffee makers are notorious for their energy consumption. So you will want to consider how you want to generate the hot water that is required to brew that delicious pot of coffee.
If you have a large enough battery bank and inverter, you may be able to power an electric coffee maker such as many single and multi-serve, drip and under-cabinet models.
But having a camping stove or efficient stove in your camper van or RV will allow you to boil a pot of hot water to pour over your coffee grounds for that perfect cup of coffee.
Ease to Use
Having the ability to brew a perfect coffee is nice. But with all of the processes involved in simple tasks throughout the day in van life, we’re always on the lookout for simpler and easier options.
Machines like single-serve, percolator and drip are easy to use. They will usually prepare more than enough coffee with one press of a button and automatically turn it off when not in use.
While pour-over coffee makers require some skills and patience, you may not mind the additional steps and attention to detail along the way.
Campervans have limited space, so it’s vital to evaluate the machine’s size. Multi-serve machines are comparatively bigger and take up some vital counter space, while pour-over and single-serve machines are small and take up very little space.
If coffee is a priority for you then you may make the decision to go with a larger machine. But for most of us, smaller is almost always better when it comes to van life.
The quality of the machine makes a huge difference. A remarkable brew is a combination of quality coffee beans and an excellent coffee maker.
Moreover, high-quality machines are efficient, easy to use and work for a very long time.
Coffee makers can be rather expensive, depending on the type you are looking to buy. However, expensive models tend to have more features and make an excellent coffee cup.
So, you must emphasize quality over price because a good investment will last for a long time. Try to find a balance between reasonable prices and even better product quality.
Although we’ve laid out 7 great camping coffee maker options, we’re definitely preferential to our Aeropress. We’ve just grown too accustomed to the simple routine of starting the water kettle first thing in the morning and preparing the Aeropress while waiting for the kettle to whistle.
Then Aeropress coffee maker is our top-rated choice for a lot of reasons. First, it is great for a minimalistic van lifestyle. It is small, packs away easily, and can even go with you on multi-day adventures away from the van.
It is affordable, doubles as an espresso maker, and has indestructible components and cheap coffee filters. A mix between a pour-over and a French press coffee maker, the Aeropress makes a delicious, strong cup of coffee every time.
And did we mention, we’ve made over 3,000 cups of coffee with our original Aeropress?!
But if you’re not sold on the Aeropress, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the best camping coffee makers for van life!
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