Buying a RV Dishwasher : Is it a Good Idea?
Whether you are a full-timer, or an occasional RV user, you know that living in an RV can be fun but also needs some careful planning. To make life even more enjoyable you might decide to buy an RV dishwasher. However, it is worth thinking through the various options that are available to you so that you can make the right choices. This article will describe what is out there and highlight the unique issues that are relevant to using a dishwasher in an RV. If you read through this to the end then you will be able to answer the main question - is it a good idea to get a dishwasher for my RV?
What are my Options ?
Obviously, in your RV there will typically be a smaller kitchen than you are used to. This can limit the selection of models that you can chose from. However, there are still choices to be made.
It is possible to have a built-in dishwasher in your RV. If your RV kitchen space allows for it then there are several smaller types of dishwasher that you can accomodate. A Slimline Dishwasher gives you the capacity to handle a pretty large load of dishes but only take up a space 18 inches wide under a counter. A variation on this model is the Portable Dishwasher which is usually slim as well. However, you get the added benefit of being ale to move it in and out of a small closet. This could be the perfect solution depending upon the design of your RV.
Probably the most convenient type for an RV is the Countertop Dishwasher. This style sits on a kitchen worksurface and takes up as much room as a microwave oven. Yet, it can handle a surprisingly large load of dishes and have as many features as the standard dishwashers found in modern kitchens. For example, built-in food grinder, sanitizing wash program, delayed start, and many more. These are solid pieces of kitchen equipment that you will use every day - these are not toys.
We have already dealt with the issue of space. This will determine the type of dishwasher that you choose for your RV. However, space is also related to capacity. How many place settings do you need your dishwasher to be able to handle? This is particularly an issue if you have chosen a Countertop model. However, even some of these models can cope with 11 inch plates and 4 place settings.
Being small has advantages too. A countertop dishwasher can be stored away into a closet when not in use. It can be taken out of the RV completely and used in your home while the RV is in storage.
No matter how small your dishwasher is, it still weighs something. Even when it is empty and there is no water in it. You will still be carrying this around in your RV, using up gas. Even the smallest models weigh between 40 - 60 lbs.
A dishwasher uses power and water - these are considerations that you must cater for in RV life. A countertop model will use approximately 3 - 4 gallons and a slimline model will use closer to 9 - 12 gallons. There must be enough water in your source water tank and you need to have this much space in your 'gray' tank to allow the dish water to drain adequately. Either model of dishwasher will use about 1250 watts from a standard 120 volt supply. Both shore power or your RV generator should be able to handle this load.
Noise is another potential issue. The dishwasher will be in a fairly small enclosed space. Living in close proximity with a noisy appliance can be irritating. So make sure to buy the quiestest dishwasher that you can afford.
Finally, remember to winterize your dishwasher if you are leaving it inside the RV during winter storage.
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