Best Car & RV Vacuums Reviewed (Handheld & Wireless) 2021

Why I Bought A Portable Handheld Vacuum Cleaner For My Car & RV

When you travel the country with a truck and camper, it’s a lot of getting in and out of both. There’s no way to stop dust and dirt from entering with you, so if you want both spaces to stay somewhat clean, it’s a weekly chore.

A big vacuum cleaner in a house that has its own storage space is great, but it becomes very impractical when you live on the road with limited room for large cleaning accessories.

To See Larger RV Vacuum Options Check Out: What Is The Best Vacuum Cleaner For RVs & Campers

My wife and I decided to buy a portable handheld vacuum cleaner so we could quickly go through the truck and camper when needed. Since getting the small vacuum things have gotten much less dusty since we can now quickly go over the problem areas after travel.

In this review, I would like to share the best portable handheld vacuum cleaners for both car and RV use. In my experience having a small wireless vacuum has helped a lot and has made daily cleaning less of a chore.

Preview
Dirt Devil Scorpion Handheld Vacuum Cleaner, Corded, Small, Dry Hand Held Vac With Cord, SD20005RED, Red (Design Might Vary)
Best For Pet Owners
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum, Corded, 33A1
Best Overall Cordless
BLACK+DECKER dustbuster Handheld Vacuum, Cordless, 16V (CHV1410L)
Best Overall With Cord
Shark Rocket Ultra-Light with TruePet Mini Motorized Brush and 15-foot Power Cord Hand Vacuum (HV292), Maroon
Dyson V7 Trigger Cord-Free Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
VacLife Handheld Vacuum, Hand Vacuum Cordless Rechargeable, Small and Portable with High Power and Quick Charge for Home and Car Cleaning - Black & Orange(VL189)
Cordless
Dirt Cup Capacity
.45 L
0.78 L
0.6 L
0.46 L
.56 L
.5 L
Power Cord Length
15 ft
16 ft
N/A
15 ft
N/A
N/A
Size
13.7 x 6.4 x 8.5 in
10 x 5 x 8 in
17.2 x 5.5 x 7.8 in
9.7 x 4.9 x 13.6 in
8.1 x 12.4 x 5.1 in
14.76 x 5.15 x 4.56 inches
Weight
3 lbs
5 lbs
2.6 lbs
3.7 lbs
3.7 lbs
2.2 lbs

Preview
Dirt Devil Scorpion Handheld Vacuum Cleaner, Corded, Small, Dry Hand Held Vac With Cord, SD20005RED, Red (Design Might Vary)
Product (Link)
Cordless
Dirt Cup Capacity
.45 L
Power Cord Length
15 ft
Size
13.7 x 6.4 x 8.5 in
Weight
3 lbs

Best For Pet Owners

Preview
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum, Corded, 33A1
Cordless
Dirt Cup Capacity
0.78 L
Power Cord Length
16 ft
Size
10 x 5 x 8 in
Weight
5 lbs

Best Overall Cordless

Preview
BLACK+DECKER dustbuster Handheld Vacuum, Cordless, 16V (CHV1410L)
Product (Link)
Cordless
Dirt Cup Capacity
0.6 L
Power Cord Length
N/A
Size
17.2 x 5.5 x 7.8 in
Weight
2.6 lbs

Best Overall With Cord

Preview
Shark Rocket Ultra-Light with TruePet Mini Motorized Brush and 15-foot Power Cord Hand Vacuum (HV292), Maroon
Product (Link)
Cordless
Dirt Cup Capacity
0.46 L
Power Cord Length
15 ft
Size
9.7 x 4.9 x 13.6 in
Weight
3.7 lbs
Preview
Dyson V7 Trigger Cord-Free Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
Product (Link)
Cordless
Dirt Cup Capacity
.56 L
Power Cord Length
N/A
Size
8.1 x 12.4 x 5.1 in
Weight
3.7 lbs
Preview
VacLife Handheld Vacuum, Hand Vacuum Cordless Rechargeable, Small and Portable with High Power and Quick Charge for Home and Car Cleaning - Black & Orange(VL189)
Cordless
Dirt Cup Capacity
.5 L
Power Cord Length
N/A
Size
14.76 x 5.15 x 4.56 inches
Weight
2.2 lbs

Note: Scroll left/right on tablets and phones

Best Handheld Car & RV Vacuums Reviews & Info


1. Dirt Devil Scorpion Handheld Vacuum

Dirt Devil Scorpion Handheld Vacuum Cleaner, Corded, Small, Dry Hand Held Vac With Cord, SD20005RED, Red (Design Might Vary)

Check Price at Amazon

The Scorpion from Dirt Devil is a neat little handheld vacuum cleaner. Although corded, it’s portable with its 15 ft cord.

Since it weighs only 3 lbs, it’s one that would be easy to use in all kinds of places like the car and smaller places inside the RV. A quick flip crevice tool will let you get into the tightest spots.

You can easily tell when the vacuum is full and with the touch of a button the dirt cup comes off so you can easily dump it in the trash. The filter in the dirt cup is easily cleaned with some warm water, and it’s recommended to do this every time you empty the dirt cup. Keeping the filter clean makes sure the suction power will stay as powerful as possible.

See Also: Best Portable Power Station/Solar Generator For Camping

The Dirt Devil Scorpion is a great vacuum cleaner if you usually have an outlet nearby. The dirt cup is big enough to clean out the truck and trailer in one load. It would’ve been sweet with a 12v connection on this for easier use in the truck but unfortunately, the plug is a 120v.

In my opinion, it’s a pro that it’s corded, as you won’t have to worry about the battery running out and the vacuum losing suction due to low battery life. The suction power is also very important when you want to get rid of pet hair. A vacuum cleaner of this size is great for even smaller pet cages like guinea pigs.

In addition to the onboard crevice tool, an attachable hose is also included.

Dirt Devil does make a wireless option if you prefer that style. The Dirt Devil Plus (click to view on Amazon) uses a powerful 16 volt battery with a fast change time. It perfect for quickly cleaning up your car and it even comes with an upholstery tool you can use on the couch in your RV.

PROS

  • Long Power Cord
  • Easy Cleaning
  • On-Board Crevice Tool
  • Lightweight
  • Wireless Version Available

CONS

  • Uses 120V Power (Wall Outlet)

2. Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum, Corded, 33A1

Check Price at Amazon

The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser might make it sound like it’s only good for pet hair, but you can also use this to clean up dust and dirt.

The reason it’s called the Pet Hair Eraser is due to how the nozzle is designed. It’s a rubber nozzle with spikes, designed to attract hair. It also comes with a regular suction nozzle.

With 0.78 L dirt cup capacity, it has the biggest dirt storage in today’s comparison, so you can fill it up with a lot of hair and dirt before it needs to be emptied. When the time comes, it’s as easy as removing the dirt cup and emptying it into the trash. The screen inside the cleaner is easy to rinse off with some warm water.

See Also: Best Portable Quiet Inverter Generators For RV Camping

Bissell’s vacuum comes with a 16 ft power cord so it’s a great option for the car. Since there is no extendable nozzle, it might not be the best option for the RV to clean the floor and areas you can’t reach.

At 5 lbs, it’s somewhat heavy compared to other car vacuum cleaners in this review, so take that into consideration. The body is really compact and small though which means it will be easier to store than some of the longer RV vacuums.

I recommend the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser for cleaning up pet hair in the truck or trailer, but not as an all-around vacuum cleaner.

You could always have a duster or a brush to sweep up the dirt and then use this vacuum to clean it up, so I’m not saying you should disregard this as a vacuum cleaner for the RV. But I believe there are better options when you need to clean bigger areas.

Bissell also makes a wireless car and RV vacuum (click to view on Amazon). The body is slightly longer than its corded counterpart but that’s only to accommodate the lithium-ion battery inside. It’s a powerful portable vacuum that uses a 14 volt battery and the dirt cup has a 0.7 liter capacity.

If you camp or travel with a pet and you want a small portable vacuum to pick up all the hair the Bissell pet hair eraser vacuums are a fantastic choice.

PROS

  • Special Nozzle For Pet Hair
  • Long Power Cord
  • Easy Cleaning
  • Big Dirt Cup
  • Wireless Version Available

CONS

  • Uses 120V Power (Wall Outlet)
  • Heavy
  • Not Good For Large Areas

3. BLACK+DECKER CHV1410L Wireless Vacuum

BLACK+DECKER dustbuster Handheld Vacuum, Cordless, 16V (CHV1410L)

Check Price at Amazon

Next up is the portable handheld RV vacuum that I currently own, the Black+Decker CHV1410L. This is a cordless vacuum which means that it runs on a battery and limits the amount of time you have to clean.

It also makes a difference in suction power. It starts out pretty strong, but as it loses battery it loses suction power and when 15 minutes have gone by, the suction power is pretty much gone.

When the battery has run out, it needs 4 hours on the charger to be ready again. The lithium-ion battery makes sure you get the most suction power and the longest cleaning time possible.

The dirt cup holds up to 0.6 L of dirt and is really easy to empty when the cup is full. Remove the nozzle and pour out the dirt. If the filter is dirty, you can take apart the whole dirt cup base and rinse all non-electrical items under warm water. I do this every time I empty the dirt cup, making sure that I get the filter as clean as possible for the best possible suction power.

See Also: Best Remote Start Generators – Portable & Inverter

What I really like about the CHV1410L are the several built-in features. It has a crevice tool that lets you extend the reach and get into tight spaces, a flip-up brush for certain areas, and a nozzle that rotates 180 degrees.

So why did I buy the BLACK+DECKER CHV1410L for my truck and travel trailer and what’s good about it? I really like the built-in nozzles, how easy it is to clean, the suction power before 15 minutes have gone by, and how portable it is.

Note that it’s the lightest vacuum cleaner in today’s comparison, at 2.6 lbs.

As always, longer battery life would’ve made it even better, but for now, this is where battery technology is at. If all you need this for is the car though, it’ll do a pretty good job. It’s not fantastic for large carpeted areas though.

If you want suction that is strong enough to clean carpet and large areas, I recommend going with a corded vacuum or a more heavy-duty cordless model like the Dyson below.

PROS

  • Built-In Features (Slim Nozzle, Brush)
  • Fast Charge
  • Lightweight
  • Wireless
  • Easy To Pick Up And Start Vacuuming
  • Great For Camping Without Power

CONS

  • Looses Suction Power As Battery Gets Low
  • Only 15 Minutes Of Good Clean Time
  • Not Great For Thick Carpets Or Large Areas

4. Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Vacuum

Shark Rocket Ultra-Light with TruePet Mini Motorized Brush and 15-foot Power Cord Hand Vacuum (HV292), Maroon

Check Price at Amazon

SharkNinja is a well known vacuum cleaner brand that makes the Shark Rocket mini vacuum. It’s a portable and lightweight corded car and RV vacuum cleaner with a 15 ft power cord. Although it’s relatively big in size, it only weighs 3.7 lbs.

Where SharkNinja has done an extremely good job with this vacuum is the included accessories. You’ll get a dusting brush, a 12” crevice tool, a motorized brush made for pet hair, and a stretch hose that you can connect the crevice tool to so you can reach tight spots.

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The dust cup is easy to empty and clean, although somewhat small at 0.46 L capacity. The filters are washable and reusable which is great so you don’t have to go buy new filters every other month.

So who is the Shark Rocket Mini Vacuum for?

It’s a very capable portable vacuum cleaner for cleaning both vehicles and campers. With several attachments to choose from, you can cover a lot of areas and different kinds of furniture.

Being corded instead of cordless, you don’t have to worry about suction power disappearing as long as you have access to electricity. The motorized brush for pet hair will clean your carpet and furniture with ease. It’s a great all-around vacuum cleaner for campers and travelers with limited storage space.

SharkNinja also makes a small handheld wireless car vacuum that is both powerful and lightweight. The Shark UltraCyclone (click to view on Amazon) is perfect for cleaning your vehicle or using in your camper when you don’t have a wall outlet to power a vacuum with. As far as wireless handheld vacuums go the UltraCyclone is a fantastic option as well.

PROS

  • Special Nozzle For Pet Hair
  • Lots Of Attachements For Specilized Cleaning
  • Long Power Cord
  • Powerfull Suction
  • Wireless Version Available

CONS

  • Uses 120V Power (Wall Outlet)
  • Small Dirt Cup

5. Dyson V7 Trigger Cord-Free Vacuum

Dyson V7 Trigger Cord-Free Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

Check Price at Amazon

Dyson is a very popular vacuum cleaner brand that is really pushing what a car vacuum cleaner is capable of. They have several products that are cordless and handheld with impressive battery life and suction power. The V7 Trigger is no exception.

With 30 minutes of fade-free cordless suction, it’s one of the best portable cordless vacuum cleaners on the market. The long battery life is possible due to the use of lithium-ion batteries that are lightweight and capable of fast discharging and charging.

Dyson has also created one of the best dust cups that is extremely easy to empty. Pull a handle on the top of the vacuum and the bottom will open up and dirt will fall out on its own. No need to take the vacuum apart and risk getting dirt all over the place.

The dirt cup has a capacity of 0.56 L and the vacuum weighs 3.7 lbs, just like the Shark Rocket.

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The included mini motorized tool does a great job on pet hair and ground-in dirt, so it’s great for cars and RVs. The included crevice tool will let you get to tighter spots and between couch cushions with ease.

So is the Dyson V7 Trigger the best portable wireless vacuum cleaner for everybody? Well, it depends on what you need. Are 30 minutes of cleaning enough for you? Do you have access to electricity most of the time? Would it be your main RV vacuum? If you have access to electricity most of the time, I would go with a corded vacuum.

Although the Dyson has the best suction power when looking at cordless vacuums, corded vacuums have better suction power in general. You’ll have to decide if it’s worth the extra money for a cordless instead of a corded, depending on your situation.

I also want you to have realistic expectations when it comes to cordless vacuums. To have the same suction power even for a couple of minutes you could have to pay possibly twice as much compared to a corded one.

Dyson also makes a version of the V7 (click to view on Amazon) that is wireless but it can be charged using a 12V outlet like the ones found in most cars.

This is a unique feature you don’t find with many other vacuums. A good 12V vacuum is really hard to find. It still has all of the features of the regular V7 but the 12V charging options makes it a better choice for motorhome, van, boat, and car use.

PROS

  • Cordless
  • 30 Minutes Fade-Free Suction
  • Motorized Tool For Pet Hair
  • Lightweight
  • 12V Option Available
  • Good For RVers Who Camp Without Electricity

CONS

  • Charges Slowly
  • Not As Much Suction Power As Corded Options

6. VacLife Cordless Handheld Vacuum

VacLife Handheld Vacuum, Hand Vacuum Cordless Rechargeable, Small and Portable with High Power and Quick Charge for Home and Car Cleaning - Black & Orange(VL189)

Check Price at Amazon

The VacLife is a fantastic little cordless handheld vacuum that is perfect for small cleaning jobs often found in cars and motorhomes.

It’s very basic but it still has everything you need to keep your vehicle and camper dust free.

The body is small and it only weighs 2.2 lbs. It isn’t specified how large the removable dust cup is but judging by the style it’s going to be around 0.5 liters. Much like the handheld Dirt Devil vacuum reviewed above.

The inner filters are washable and there is a dust brush tool and a crevice nozzle included with purchase. The dust brush tool is an excellent attachment for both car and camper cleaning since dust tends to get everywhere when traveling and camping.

The battery offers an advertized 30 minutes of run time but there is no low suction shut off which means realistically you will get around 15 minutes of great suction power and then as the battery drains the suction will become less and less.

See Also: Best RV Awning Cleaners That Actually Work Reviewed

The VacLife does have a great fast charge feature. It uses a wall outlet charger and can fully charge n 2-3.5 hours.

As an extra little bonus, there is an LED light near the handle by the on/off button. This makes cleaning under car seats and furniture a little easier and it makes this portable car vacuum a little bit nicer.

The VacLife Cordless Handheld Vacuum is one of the more basic options but there is enough wireless run time and extra features added to make it a great car or RV vacuum. It’s especially good for getting into small spaces and for RV use it could be a great product to use for daily dusting.

PROS

  • Dusting & Crevice Attachments
  • Fast Charging
  • 30 Minute Run Time
  • Small Size
  • LED Light
  • Wireless For Camping Without Electricity

CONS

  • No Low Suction Shut Off
  • Not Good For Large Areas

What To Look For In A Car & RV Vacuum

Corded Vs. Cordless – The first thing you should decide is, does your RV vacuum need to be cordless, or is a corded one fine? There are limitations to both.

A corded vacuum requires electricity, but when you have it, you can vacuum for as long as you need. A corded vacuum will also have better suction compared to a cordless vacuum if you spent the same amount on both.

A cordless vacuum will have the portability some people want, but you’ll lose suction and be limited in terms of battery life.

I have read reviews by people that expect way too much out of a cordless vacuum and end up disappointed. A cordless vacuum will have limited battery life and suction power and take several hours to charge.

Weight – How are you going to be using your vacuum? Are you going to carry it around, or is it just to clean the car so you can rest it on the seats and the floor a majority of the time?

One pound weight difference doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you’re carrying it around for 20 minutes you’ll start to notice the difference.

Nozzles – Do you have a pet and struggle with pet hair all over your camper’s furniture and carpet? Strong suction with a good nozzle will be important. A corded vacuum will have better suction and a great nozzle will make sure there’s no hair left behind.

If you need a vacuum to clean tight spots, a slim nozzle is preferred. Some vacuums include one, while some don’t.

Stick – The vacuums we’ve looked at today are not stick vacuums and are meant for handheld use most of the time. If you’re looking for a vacuum to clean floors with and occasionally clean your truck and tight spots, I recommend taking a look at my article about the best vacuums for RVs here (click to view).


stick vacuum on a blue carpet
Regular stick vacuums are large and can be hard to travel with. Small handheld car & RV vacuums are much easier to store and use.

Conclusion & My Recommendations For Best Car & RV Vacuum

Here’s the thing when it comes to finding a good car or RV vacuum cleaner, you need to consider what you need and where.

The most important thing to consider is whether you want a corded or cordless one and then decided on smaller things like included accessories and dust bin size next.

Here are my recommendations for the best car and RV vacuums.

Best Corded Handheld Vacuum Overall – Shark Rocket

The Shark Rocket has left a great impression on me with its features and included accessories. It’s a great all-around hand vacuum cleaner that is capable of cleaning cars and RVs. Its versatility makes it my favorite corded handheld vacuum cleaner.

Best Overall Cordless Vacuum – BLACK+DECKER CHV1410L Cordless Vacuum

You may be surprised to see that I’ve chosen the more basic Black+Decker cordless vacuum over the fancy Dyson one reviewed above.

In my opinion when it comes to battery powered vacuums performance is never going to be as good as a cored wall outlet one and getting a good basic version with lots of accessories is the way to go.

I use this Black+Decker vacuum in my own RV in combination with a broom. It’s perfect for cleaning up the small hard to get to spots that the broom misses and for getting dust out of window seals.

I use it in the truck regularly for a quick cleaning after long travel days and so far it’s been great. The battery life hasn’t seemed to diminish over the years and I like the base charging station.

For RV campers and people who want a decent wireless vacuum to keep their vehicles nice and tidy the Black+Decker is a fantastic option.

Best For Pet Owners – Bissell Pet Hair Eraser

Pets are amazing to bring along in the car or camper for adventures but hair is of course the hardest thing to clean up afterward.

Even in an all wood floor RV a broom just isn’t enough to get up all off the hair that can collect on the furniture, chairs, and beds.

The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser is a powerful but portable corded vacuum that has a pet hair specific nozzle. It’s great for cleaning up problem areas where hair tends to collect in both campers and cars.

There is even a high quality wireless version of the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser available you can find a link to in the review section above.


Frequently Asked Questions About Car & RV Vacuums

Is a cordless vacuum going to have enough suction to clean carpet?

Here’s the thing, if you want to get a cordless vacuum that will do clean carpet as good as a corded one, be ready to pay double.

There are cordless vacuums that do a great job on carpet, but the equivalent corded option will be cheaper and longer lasting.

How can a vacuum cleaner be bagless?

Even though a vacuum cleaner is bagless, your dust and dirt have a place to go. Bagless vacuums have bins that are easy to empty and clean.

The biggest advantage they have compared to regular vacuums with bags is that you don’t have to go buy new bags just because you want to empty your vacuum. Open the bin, empty the dirt directly into your trash can, and you’re done.

Have any more questions about car and RV vacuums? Leave a comment below.

by Jesse
Jesse has always had an interest in camping, technology, and the outdoors. Who knew that growing up in a small town in Sweden with endless forests and lakes would do that to you?

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