How to Make Coffee in an RV Camper?

By Kyle & Olivia Brady | Founders of Drivin' & Vibin' | We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.

How to Make Coffee in an RV Camper?

For some people, coffee is life. And that is perfectly acceptable! 

But how will you make your precious java juice while traveling in an RV?

That, my friend, is exactly what we are here to teach you about today. There are several ways to make coffee in an RV camper, so let’s get to it!

There Are So Many Options for Making Coffee in An RV

Honestly, there are so many options for making coffee in an RV that even the pickiest coffee enthusiasts will love! This process can be as involved or simple as you want it to be, just take your pick. Make coffee in an RV with one of these methods: 

  • Instant Coffee
  • French Press
  • Pourover
  • Coffee Pot
  • Percolator
  • Jet Boil
  • Aeropress

Instant Coffee Or DIY Tea-Bag Coffee

You may cringe at the thought of instant coffee, but there are actually some delicious brands out there like this Alpine Start Instant Coffee

This is a quick and easy solution, requiring no equipment other than a way to heat water. 

Alternatively, you can make your own “instant coffee”. Using a coffee filter, sewing thread or flavorless and waxless dental floss, and coffee, you can have a DIY coffee/tea bag to steep in a cup of warm water. This will require some practice to get the strength to your liking, but is an easy way to make coffee in the mornings. 

French Press

A french press is a type of coffee maker that has a screened plunger to separate coffee grounds from the coffee that you’ll drink. 

You simply add your coffee and hot water, stir, and wait a couple minutes. When you’re ready, push down the plunger that pushes the coffee grounds to the bottom, and drink! 

French presses make delicious coffee, and are great to have and use in an RV. 

If you’re camping off-grid, with limited power, a french press is your best bet.

Jet Boil

Jet Boils are amazing devices. A Jet Boils main purpose is to boil water, and it does it very rapidly.

These devices come with their own stove and use a canister of butane/propane mix gas. You can get a Jet Boil coffee attachment which works as a french press and have hot coffee in minutes! 

Percolator

A percolator is a non-techy, old-school way of making piping hot coffee. This device looks like a tall kettle, and it sits right on your stove top. With a percolator you have to be careful to not let the water get too hot, or your coffee will taste off. This one takes some practice.

To make coffee in a percolator, you first add cold water. Then, assemble your percolator and add your coffee grounds. Put your percolator on the stove over low to medium heat… the trick is to prevent the water from boiling. Then, watch it! 

You should see the water bubbling in the top of the percolator when it’s actively “percolating” – but you don’t want it to be a full-on boil. Once it starts percolating, let it continue for about 10 minutes and then your coffee will be ready.

Cowboy Coffee

Cowboy coffee has a rich history steeped in the days of outlaws and the wild west, and is actually made all over the world. 

It isn’t for everyone, because it’s basically a french press without the filter. 

Cowboy coffee is made by adding hot water to coffee grounds and then drinking it, grounds and all. There are ways to separate the grounds and the coffee, like filtering through a cloth or pouring cold water on top to sink them to the bottom.

Pour-Over

A pour-over coffee maker makes drip coffee, similar to the standard electric coffee pot. Only this one is done by hand. This enables you to heat the water to the specific temperature of your liking and have total control over the whole process. 

There are different types of pour-overs, from the kind that sit on top of your coffee cup to all-in-one devices. You add your coffee filter and coffee grounds to the top, and slowly add your hot water. Add the hot water a little bit at a time and allow it to drip through the coffee and the filter. Once it’s done, just pour and drink!

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AeroPress

An AeroPress is a great way to make coffee while traveling or camping because of it’s portability. All you need besides the AeroPress is coffee, a cup, and hot water. 

To make coffee with an AeroPress, insert a filter into your AeroPress and get it wet. Then, add your coffee and hot water. Let it sit for a minute, then stir. Place the cap on the AeroPress, and quickly flip it over on top of your coffee cup. Start applying pressure to push the coffee through the filter and into your cup. And that’s it! 

Coffee Pot

If you’ll be spending time in campgrounds and hooked up to shore power or have a decent solar arsenal, it’s totally reasonable to have a coffee pot in your RV. However, if you’re boondocking, the traditional coffee pot will most likely require you to run a generator during operation.

And no one wants to crank a genny up first thing in the morning.

The only downside to having a coffee pot in your RV is the storage aspect, but if it’s a non-negotiable for you, you’ll figure it out! 

Making Coffee in an RV

Making coffee in an RV is similar to making coffee in a house – and the best choice for you will depend on your electric capacity, storage space, and your coffee taste preferences.

What way do you prefer to make coffee at home? If possible, start with that. And hopefully, this article will inspire you to try new ways of making a cup of java… maybe you’ll even find a new favorite!

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6 comments

  1. Motorhome with large generator, inverter and house battery capacity. While dry camping, in the morning, can use electric coffeemaker running on house batteries without starting generator.

    But…. found out the hard way the that some electric coffeemakers don’t like the electricity produced by the inverter running off the batteries. Something about the “sine wave.” I can’t explain it, but know (again by learning the hard way) that it kills the electronics in the coffeemaker.

  2. How about expresso from a 2 piece Italian, aluminum expresso maker with reusable filter? Excellent results, durable, and very efficient use of propane.

  3. I noticed a distinct lack of a 12 volt coffee maker absence in your “solutions” listed above. The Road Pro series of appliances are meant for long haul truckers, but works equally well in an RV! Here’s where I got mine: https://www.qvc.com/qvc.product.K401644.html?colorId=000&sizeId=000&ref=GBA&cm_mmc=GOOGLESHOPPINGFEED-_-GShopping|M|Generic|toys+crafts+leisure-_-Toys+Crafts+Leisure-_-dc_44906294347_pla-856790766401__K401644-000-000&cm_mmca1=c&cm_mmca2=44906294347&cm_mmca3=pla-856790766401&cm_mmca4=K401644-000-000&cm_mmca5=pla&cm_mmca6=817258691&cm_mmca7=Acquisition&cm_mmca8=Acq&cm_mmca9=Cj0KCQiAwMP9BRCzARIsAPWTJ_EqBjTUiLcQWEjB-xN5KFvmZcpsxHfu2VVwYVbiQbk4VnCe2X_mC8YaAmG9EALw_wcB&cm_mmca12=Generic&cm_mmca13=Toys+Crafts+Leisure&gclid=Cj0KCQiAwMP9BRCzARIsAPWTJ_EqBjTUiLcQWEjB-xN5KFvmZcpsxHfu2VVwYVbiQbk4VnCe2X_mC8YaAmG9EALw_wcB sorry about the large URL, but that’s not my idea, but QVC’s.

  4. I retired and boondocked the Sierras while I still could. Powdered milk works well if beaten to a froth over the burner and then add the coffee on top. Double the recommended amount of powder.

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