Do I want a Dishwasher in my RV?
Ed Boyle asked  if he could share his knowledge about 'dishwashers' for RVers. The following article written by Ed was so informative I decided to add it to the RV Living  line-up.  Enjoy the read.  P&J

Dish Washer - Dirty Dishes2.jpg (60297 bytes)

This scenario is NO longer necessary

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About the Author

Ed Boyle is the owner of www.DishwasherGuru.com His website offers mega information about all types of dishwashers. He will advise on how to choose the best dishwasher for each situation. This specialty 'Guru' teaches prospective owners the 'ins and outs' about dishwasher features - what is necessary and what is nice to have. This way they will feel confident walking into a store to buy one (without being sidetracked by sales pitches).


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Like most decisions in the RV lifestyle, this is a simple question but you need to think through the details before you can make up your mind. This article will explain which dishwashers are available to you and what features they have that you must understand before choosing one. It also points out a few dishwasher concerns that are unique to RV owners. Freedom is one of the main reasons that people enjoy life in their RV, so why chain yourself to the sink if you don't need to?

Dish Washer - Dirty Dishes.jpg (49988 bytes)

If this drives you nuts, ONE solution may be answered below

There are many brands of dishwashers that are practical for use in your RV. These are not toys and even the smallest can handle up to 4 place settings in a single load. Even plates up to 11 inches wide can be loaded into some models. These are solid appliances, well constructed and built to last. Modern dishwashers actually wash dishes better than any hand washing can. The water temperature can be far hotter than anything you'd like to plunge your hands into (over 150 F). The detergents used are more powerful, too.

So what kind of dishwasher is the best type for your RV? You have two basic options: compact or countertop.

A Compact Dishwasher is often called a 'slimline', an 18 inch, or a portable. All of these versions are similar to the built-in dishwasher you would find in a home, except that they are not so wide. For a little less width you still get a fairly large appliance that can cope with pretty hefty loads for a big family on the road. These models can accommodate up to 8 or 9 place settings at once.


A Countertop Dishwasher is far different. About the size of a typical microwave oven, these are intended to sit on a counter surface next to the sink. They are attached to the hot water faucet via a hose and they drain into the sink.

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 Obviously much smaller than the other dishwashers, these still pack a punch and can handle place settings for 4 people in one load. Attaching the hoses is quick - less than a minute. Being so small, gives you the option to store it away when not in use. However, you can choose to build it into your cabinets very easily, too.

Whichever type of dishwasher you choose, the list of available features that they can have is truly astounding. Even the countertop dishwashers have advanced options such as multiple wash programs for different types of dishes or a sanitize cycle to remove bacteria. Dishwashers have come a long way in the past 10 years and the new features have made it into these smaller models too. How about delaying the washing cycle until after you go to sleep? How about pausing the wash midway so you can add in one more dish? The choices are endless and if you can find a useful option on a standard dishwasher then you can usually find it on any RV version.

Go to Compact and Countertop Dishwashers to find out even more about the features that are available in modern dishwashers.

There are some things you need to consider that are unique to living in an RV. The obvious one is lack of space. This is why the countertop variety can be a perfect solution. Being small enough to carry around is also useful when storing your RV for a period of time.

Even the smallest dishwasher still weighs something. An empty countertop will still weigh around 40 - 60 lbs. So, keep that in mind if you plan to hide it away between dishwashing sessions. Even if you don't move it around inside your RV, you will still be hauling those extra pounds on the road.

Using a dishwasher means using water and power. A typical countertop dishwasher will use about 3 - 4 gallons for a full load, a compact model is more likely to use closer to 9 - 12 gallons. You must ensure that there is enough clean water in your source tank as well as enough space left in your 'gray' drainage tank. The power needs of even the small model are about 1250 watts and use a standard 120 volt source. This will be more important if you tend to use your RV generator instead of shore power.

You are going to be living in close proximity with this appliance. This will mean that noise could be an issue. A good store will demonstrate any model you are interested in and you can decide for yourself. Most dishwashers have their noise ratings posted somewhere in their product details or user manual. 

Something else that may be a problem is the clouds of steam and hot air that may be produced when you use it. Simply remembering to turn on your ceiling exhaust fan before you hit 'start' can solve this.

Finally, the dishwasher in your RV is basically a metal box that holds hot water and pumps it through various hoses. Therefore you need to consider winterizing it just as you would your other RV appliances. Instructions on this are best followed from the user manual for your chosen model. A countertop dishwasher also has the option to be removed from the RV during winter and used indoors.

So enjoy your RV lifestyle, let 'someone' else do the dishes.

Ed Boyle

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RV WebLinks  Updated May 2014: Meet Your Hosts;   Getting Started;  Articles;  

Destinations-(Canada, Mexico, USA);   Forum NOW SPAM_FREE   Many Recent Updates - Advice and How To;

 Book Nook;  (As of Oct 10) RV Shows;   Travel to Canada:  Travel to USA; (Oct 10);  

 Q&A;   Contact UsSite ContentsGallery: Picasa Web Albums