Exploring the great outdoors in a motorhome or campervan is a thrilling experience that allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. But when starting your day with a fresh cup of coffee, the lack of a reliable coffee machine can be a major inconvenience.
In this article, I will provide useful tips to help you choose the best coffee machine for your motorhome or campervan. We’ll explore various types of portable coffee machines, travel coffee machines, car coffee machines, and even USB coffee machines and highlight the differences between them.
So, whether you’re a seasoned camper or new to the motorhome lifestyle, keep reading to discover the best way to prepare your coffee on the road.
What voltage is required for a coffee machine in a motorhome or campervan?
The required voltage depends on whether you have an inverter to convert DC current from the batteries into AC current. Power inverters allow you to use regular voltage coffee makers such as 120V in the USA or 240V in the UK.
However, if you don’t have an inverter, check your vehicle’s battery voltage before connecting a coffee machine since some motorhomes operate on 12V and others on 24V.
Coffee machines running on 12V or 24V are designed specifically for vehicles and are less likely to have electrical faults. 120V or 240V coffee machines powered through an inverter may have issues due to the quality of the AC power supplied.
12V coffee machines:
➡️ Alternatively, manual coffee makers like pour-over drip, French press, Aeropress, or manual espresso machines that don’t require electricity are also an option, but you’ll need to preheat the water.
What is the best choice of coffee machine for a motorhome or caravan?
Since the possibilities of coffee machines for motorhomes are very wide, I will highlight the general characteristics of each type based on the extraction method rather than focus on specific models.
I believe it would be more beneficial for readers to provide a list of recommendations and tips categorised by “machine type” along with supporting explanations. This approach will give readers a wider range of options and ideas for their motorhome.
A cheap coffee pod machine (120V or 240V)
Starting with the best option for those with access to AC power in their motorhome, a low-cost coffee pod machine (120V or 240V) is an excellent choice. These machines are compact, easy to use, and ideal for small spaces and movement.
One of the main advantages is their small size, while the biggest disadvantage is the environmental impact of the capsules. However, you can opt for compostable capsules to reduce this issue.
When buying, consider smaller and more affordable models as motorhome coffee machines are exposed to movement and stress, for example:
A pour-over coffee maker
Manual pour-over coffee makers are a budget-friendly, space-saving alternative that doesn’t require electricity and can be stored anywhere, making them ideal for campervans.
Although they function as coffee filters, they allow you to control all the coffee-making variables to customize your brew fully. The only downside is that you’ll need a kettle to heat water separately.
A French press coffee maker
A French press coffee maker can also be a good option, offering similar advantages as pour-over coffee makers. However, they are bulkier and more fragile, which may not be ideal for a campervan. If you opt for a French press, we suggest choosing one made of stainless steel instead of glass.
Before purchasing a portable coffee maker for your campervan or motorhome, it’s important to consider durability and robustness.
An Electric travel coffee maker (12V or 24V)
An electric travel coffee maker can be the perfect solution for those who crave a steaming cup of coffee on the road or during outdoor adventures. This coffee machine, also known as a car coffee maker, can be connected to the vehicle’s cigarette lighter socket and is available in 12 V and 24 V options.
Although this coffee maker offers the convenience of being able to heat water while on the road, it does come with some limitations, the main drawback is its limited power, which may restrict the types of brewed coffee. However, it is still a great option for those who value convenience and portability.
12V coffee machines:
The Aeropress by Aerobie is a top-notch, user-friendly, and affordable coffee maker. It’s an excellent option for making a great espresso wherever you are, making it one of the best camping coffee machines in terms of quality and affordability. However, it has two downsides that need to be considered:
- First, it’s not well-known.
- Second, it doesn’t generate heat, so you must heat the water beforehand.
But success is almost guaranteed if you get the hang of it. It’s also a practical addition to your campervan or taking extended trips or hikes.
A traditional Moka pot
Why make things difficult? If you frequently go camping or hiking and have a gas stove in your camper or van, use a traditional Moka pot for a delicious cup of freshly brewed coffee. This cost-effective method comes in various sizes to suit your needs, depending on the number of travellers.
The benefits of using a Moka pot are numerous, including affordability and versatility. My guide to Moka pots by size can help you choose the perfect one for your camping needs.
- Bialetti Moka Express Aluminium Stovetop Coffee Maker 130 ml(3 Cup)
- VonShef Stovetop Coffee Maker – 6 Cup (300ml) Aluminium Moka Pot
Other original ideas for making coffee in your campervan
Vietnamese coffee makers are a unique way of brewing coffee that can offer a different taste experience. They typically consist of a metal filter on a cup or mug. Ground coffee is added to the filter, and hot water is poured over it. The coffee slowly drips through the filter, creating a strong and flavorful cup.
Another option for coffee on the go is USB coffee makers. These small devices can be powered by plugging into a USB port, which is available in most vehicles. This makes them a convenient option for camping or road trips where you don’t want to carry bulky equipment. They come in various shapes and sizes; some even have built-in filters to make coffee directly in the mug.
While these alternative coffee-making methods may not be as well-known as traditional options, they offer a fun and unique way to enjoy coffee while on the go.