Friday, June 2, 2023


Best boondocking RV coffee makers—no hookups required

Here’s your ultimate guide to boondocking RV coffee makers and hookup-free gourmet coffee-making accessories.

Boondocking can provide you with some out-of-this-world scenery that those in RV parks will sadly never experience. One of the times it is most apparent is when you first open your RV door in the morning.

Why not pair those breathtaking views with equally impressive morning coffee? You can!

That’s right, you can become an RV barista and enjoy quality gourmet coffee anytime, anywhere.

Read on for the best RV coffee makers and coffee-making accessories. And the best part? Absolutely no hookups required!

How to make gourmet coffee in your RV while boondocking

Just because you are without hookups does not mean you should not enjoy coffeehouse quality java. And you should NOT need to turn on your generator in order to get it, or take up valuable RV real estate with a big, bulky coffee maker.

Believe it or not, some of the best RV coffee makers and coffee-making accessories require no hookups. They work so well, I even use them at home.

Amazing low-tech RV coffee makers

Depending on how you like your coffee, consider one of these inexpensive, no-hookups-required coffee makers:

French press

best rv coffee makers for bondocking, French Press

If your coffee taste runs more towards the American style (Café Americano in coffeehouse terms), a French Press is your new boondocking best friend. (Yes, I know. American-style coffee from a French Press.)

Of course, you can control how strong or weak the coffee is by how much ground coffee you use.

Put coffee grounds in the pot, pour in boiling water and let steep for a few minutes. When you’re ready to drink, push the plunger down and pour.  Easy and delicious!

Pour-over coffee brewer

best rv coffee makers for boondocking - pour over coffee makerA pour-over coffee brewer like this one is a great solution for the solo coffee drinker. The reusable stainless steel funnel fits on most coffee mugs and even thermal bottles. That’s right. You brew the coffee right into the vessel you will drink it from, one fresh cup of Joe at a time. How easy and neat is that?!

Moka pots

Best Boondocking RV Coffee Makers - Moka Pots

My favorite RV coffee maker of all is the Italian moka pot. That’s because it produces deep, dark, rich espresso, without the need for an expensive espresso machine or the electrical hookups necessary to run it.

If you like espresso, cappuccino, or any other espresso-based coffeehouse drinks, the Moka Pot has got you covered.

Moka pots are available in all sizes. You can even get a teeny tiny Baby Moka Pot that brews a mere 1.5 ounces of espresso at a time. That may work for some folks. Personally, I’d inhale an ounce and a half in seconds. Luckily, they also make large Moka pots and every size in between.

To make espresso in a Moka Pot just put water in the bottom pot. Ground coffee goes in the metal basket. Screw on the top to percolate on a stovetop burner.

Spilling the beans on the best RV coffee

Of course, good coffee is only as good as the beans that make it. Why settle for popular corporate “gourmet” coffee when you can instead simultaneously support small mom-and-pop businesses while searching out regional coffee treasures wherever you travel?

To my mind, collecting small-batch gourmet coffees to be enjoyed while traveling beats collecting refrigerator magnets any day. But you could always do both…

Across the nation, small coffee shops and artisanal roasters are producing amazing coffee. Do an internet search for coffee roasters in whatever region you are traveling. You’ll be amazed at some of the great coffees you find.

Often local roasters are even sold in local independent grocery stores. That’s how I found my most recent favorite, Humboldt Bay Coffee—although this artisanal roaster also has a visitor’s center in Eureka, CA.

Hookup-free RV coffee grinders

For the best quality coffee, you should always buy whole bean coffee and grind it just before brewing. Without hookups, you have two options:

Manual coffee grinders

manual coffee grinder for RV coffeeIt takes a little elbow grease, but small manual coffee grinders like the one pictured do a great job. You can even adjust the coarseness of the grind to best suit your coffee-making methods.

USB rechargeable coffee grinders

USB rechargeable coffee grinderFor lazier coffee hounds, you can find a variety of USB rechargeable coffee grinders. Plug into your car while driving or whenever you do have hookups or are running a generator to recharge.

Accouterments for making gourmet RV coffee

Beyond the basic needs of procuring and grinding beans and brewing coffee, you can elevate your RV coffee experiences with these accessories.

Milk frother

Two AA batteries run the tiny milk frother pictured with the Moka Pot above. Pair these two tools together and add a sprinkling of cinnamon and you can make a coffeehouse-worthy cappuccino in your RV anytime, anywhere.

Flavorings and garnishes

A little squirt of chocolate syrup can turn your gourmet coffee into a Café Mocha. Also, you can pick up small bottles of syrups like those made by Torani in both regular and sugar-free versions, in a HUGE variety of flavors.

A can of aerosol whipped cream can add style, flavor, and fun to any coffee drink.

To quickly and easily make real whipped cream in your RV without added sugar or other unwanted ingredients, pick up one of these rechargeable whipped cream dispensers, which are also great for dessert time.

RV java junkies unite!

Use these gadgets and tips next time you serve coffee during your next RV boondocking campout. And be prepared for everyone to be amazed at how you pulled it off!


Cheri Sicard
Cheri Sicard
Cheri Sicard is the author 8 published books on topics as diverse as US Citizenship to Cannabis Cooking. Cheri grew up in a circus family and has been RVing on and off her entire life.


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Neal Davis
13 days ago

Thank you, Cheri! I don’t put much effort into coffee. I drink it if it’s easy to make and forego it if it isn’t. However, I love you including the RV Travel mug in so many pictures. Sadly mine cracked and now merely holds writing implements, but I still proudly display it. 🙂 😎

15 days ago

I absolutely LOVE my morning coffee from my old fashioned, decades old, stainless steel percolator. Nothing better.

Bob Weinfurt
14 days ago
Reply to  Greg

Mine is a decades old aluminum stove-top percolator. Always good to the last drop.

15 days ago

My wife roasts and grinds her own beans. She says the roasted beans aren’t good enough after 3 or 4 days. She grinds just before brewing. When we are boondocking, she suffers because we haven’t figured out a small, packable roasting method.

We improved the grinding solution for use in the RV this year.

Before, I was doing the grinding manually. Now we have this rechargeable/manual conical burr coffee grinder. If I forget to recharge it, she still gets her fresh grind with a little effort on my part. When charged, she lets it do the grinding while she heats the water (because, so I’m told, seconds count when getting to that first cup of coffee in the morning).

Hope that helps some other coffee snob, er, fanatic, um, appreciator of good coffee.

Jim Johnson
15 days ago

And then there is always ‘cowboy coffee’. Any sauce pan works, but a pot designed for pouring is best. Dump (coarse is best) ground coffee into cold water, bring to a boil, add a little cold water to settle the grounds and pour slowly through a sieve into the cup. You can use any source of heat to bring to a boil.

Wayne Caldwell
15 days ago

When boondocking, we simply use a stove-top percolator with a paper filter in the coffee grounds basket (use the stem to poke a hole in the filter). Almost no mess and good, hot coffee.

John Macatee
15 days ago
Reply to  Wayne Caldwell

Yep! Me too

15 days ago

I use a Filtron Jr to make cold extract liquid instant. Just add hot water for perfect clear coffee. I can usually make a batch (2 soakings of 1 lb. coffee) that last me for 2-3 weeks kept in the refrigerator.

1 month ago

Hands down the Aeropress (invented by the same aerospace engineer who invented flying disks) is the simplest and cleanest way to make coffee, whether on the road or at home. After brewing, the grounds are simply ejected from the brew cylinder like a small hockey puck into your trash bag, and then the brewer is easily rinsed or wiped off with a paper towel. And it makes a good tasting cup o’ Joe!

Last edited 1 month ago by Cal20Sailor
Steven N
15 days ago
Reply to  Cal20Sailor

Having been introduced to the AeroPress, I just can’t bring myself to deal with the mess of the ol’ french press! It’s found it’s way to the back of the kitchen cabinet to collect dust at the house. Like you said so clean and simple.

1 month ago

Yes indeed. Use it at home, on the road, and on the boat. I don’t leave home without it!

1 month ago

I have an Aeropress Coffee Maker that my son gave me. I liked it so much, I bought one for my camper, and it goes with me everywhere. It is similar to a french press, but there is a small paper filter that is used to keep the grounds out of your cup. I have used the french press and the pour over coffee makers before, but I am hooked on my Aeropress.

Sally Harnish
1 month ago

We have used a Melitta for years, so simple.

Steve H
15 days ago
Reply to  Sally Harnish

We have had a Melita for as long as we have been RVing. It’s just a Mr. Coffee that you pour the hot water over the coffee (in a paper filter) manually instead of having an electric pump pouring the water over the ground coffee in a filter. And just as easy to clean as a Mr. Coffee, unlike a French press, which we also tried and rejected for the RV.

Jenn S.
1 month ago

We used to use a French Press but moved on to the AeroPress. It produces better coffee, and it’s much easier to clean.

Tom Horn
1 year ago

I can drink any kind of coffee as long as it has Carolans Irish cream in it.

1 year ago

We have made Toddy coffee for years. Brew a pound of coffee, keep the concentrate in the fridge.

Gary Stone
1 year ago

Aeropress for off-grid. A cross between a French press and a pour-over without any of the messy grounds to clean up.

1 year ago

I am far from a coffee snob, but I do like good coffee. When plugged in I use a Cuisinart Drip machine with fresh ground beans. When off grid I use a Melitta filter holder to make pour over (used to be called drip) from the same beans.

1 year ago
Reply to  Paul

I use an electric grinder – I have enough battery to do that.

1 year ago

I use a collapsible silicone pour over brewer and paper liners: inexpensive, lightweight, unbreakable, easily cleaned and stored. I should get a manual grinder…

1 year ago

Stainless steel insulated french press. Non breakable, keeps it hot, strength to suit, easy clean up, different sizes. Ours is 6 cup size. Hot water from anything that will heat water. Just like home on the road.

1 year ago

We have a Coleman drip coffee maker that we use on a Coleman stove. Love drip coffee.

Bill Richardson
1 year ago

We like our MyJoe for its simplicity.

NAna glamper
1 year ago

YOU didn’t mention good old fashioned percolators. They make good coffee, too and are simple and need no electricity.

1 year ago
Reply to  NAna glamper

Exactly. Other gadgets not necessary unless you want a gadget that does the same thing as your perc.

1 year ago
Reply to  NAna glamper

have used a percolator for over 20 years and love it!!!!!

1 year ago
Reply to  maggie

Count us in on percolators too. I’ve a small one for one and a large one for the group.
When I’m the only one and it’s too hot for the stove I grab my trusty old 12 volt percolator and brew up a couple of cups.

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