Spring is here and it beckons adventurers from all over the country to get out and explore new places. There are so many sights to see, and no wrong way to go about seeing them. You can rough the backcountry trails on a long backpacking trek or opt for a relaxing RV trip instead. Embrace your style of travel, and embrace the niceties you like to bring along with you, whether it be silk pajamas in a tent or a small stovetop coffee percolator for your RV.
Ok, so a coffee pot for your RV isn’t quite as indulgent as silk pajamas on a camping trip. Still, when you’re planning a camping trip of any kind you might wonder whether extra pleasures like coffee are worth the effort it will take to bring it along. It’s good to think minimally on camping trips, but coffee is one thing you don’t have to sacrifice.
Brewing coffee doesn’t require a lot. In fact, the perfect coffee pot for camping does exist—one that’s minimal, versatile, and capable of making a really good cup of coffee.
Tent Camping Versus RV Camping
RV camping and tent camping are both good ways to explore the country. Both have their pluses and minuses, and they have a few things in common. For instance, both forms of camping are completely compatible with delicious coffee, given the right tools and knowledge!
When you’re tent camping, if you’re not backpacking you’re usually traveling by car to different National Parks or other locations of your choice. With no big RV in tow, it’s easier to maneuver into tight spaces. And since the pop-up tent is your home, you can use all of the car’s space for storage, bringing along a fine selection of food, kitchen utensils, outdoor gear, and extra clothes.
Tent camping is, of course, more primitive as well. You can set up at camp grounds that offer amenities like showers, but without the help of a generous campground, you’ll be skipping the shower and cooking all of your meals in the outdoors. For many, preparing meals—and coffee—on an open fire is one big appeal to tent camping.
That’s not to say you don’t also have this option when you’re RV camping. In a way, camping with an RV gives you the best of both worlds. You have the choice of hanging out, cooking, or even sleeping outside. But if the weather gets rough or you’re just not feeling the outdoors, you can take shelter inside. A rainstorm will never prevent you from cooking dinner since you can rely on the kitchen inside of the RV.
Sometimes, you might find you and your RV land in a place with no hookups of any kind. This is called dry camping, and if you’re prepared for it it’s an adventurous way to explore more primitive territories. In these situations, however, you want to be conscious of conserving things like power and water, so having utensils fit to cook on a fire is important under these circumstances as well.
Chances are, if you’re RV camping you’ll want to enjoy both ways of cooking and dining, so it’s good to have utensils that can operate in both conditions.
The Small Stovetop Coffee Percolator That Does Both
If you’re going for a coffee brewer that can be used both inside an RV and out at a camp sight, you obviously want something that doesn’t require electricity. There are a number of different methods for hand-brewing, and most of them are suited for indoor and outdoor use.
One simple and compact way to hand brew is by pour over. All you need for this is a pour over coffee maker, which just sits atop a mug, holds a filer with the coffee grounds, and brews the coffee as the user manually pours hot water over the grounds. There is collapsible pour over makers that are great because of how compact they are, but you would still need an additional tool for boiling the hot water. Another potential downside to the pour over is it will only brew one cup at a time.
A second option is a French press. You can buy French presses in many sizes, so with this method, you can brew more than one cup at a time. There are also stainless steel options well suited for the outdoors. However, as with the pour over, you’ll still need a way to boil the water separately, which is even less convenient when you already have a bulkier French press.
What’s ideal is a combination of size, outdoor durability, and all-in-one utility— a sturdy coffee maker that can do it all in one place.
Enter the small stovetop coffee percolator. Percolator coffee pots come in multi-serving sizes, so they’re great for groups. Their brewing method boils the water directly in the pot, too, so all you’ll need is the percolator and some coffee grounds and you can enjoy fresh, hand-brewed coffee cooked over a fire.
But, like the French press and the pour over, the percolator is also suited for indoor use which is what makes it such a great coffee pot for your RV. The brewing method requires the water in the percolator be boiled, and this can be done either over a fire or on a stovetop burner.
Best Small Stovetop Percolator Coffee Pot for Your RV
There are more small stovetop coffee percolators out there than you might know what to do with, so how will you find the best coffee pot for your RV? Here are a few things you can keep in mind that will help you narrow it down.
For one thing, if you’re shopping for a versatile percolator that can work both indoors and outdoors on fire, you want one made with the right materials. Plastic is a no-go, and while aluminum can be a sturdy and rust-resistant option, there’s some debate as to whether the material is a health-risk. The best materials for a coffee percolator that can handle a campfire is stainless steel.
Now that material is narrowed down, you’ll want to consider size. The Coletti “Bozeman” Percolator Coffee pot is a 9-cup percolator. Before you assume that this equates to 72 ounces, you should learn that the standard “cup” of coffee as described in the industry is actually five ounces (as opposed to eight). With that measurement in mind, the Coletti “Bozeman” Percolator is a 45 ounce, compact, stainless steel option designed to work well on both a fire and in the kitchen of an RV or home.
There are coffee percolators of similar sizes and styles, like the Farberware Classic Stainless Steel Yosemite 8-Cup Coffee Percolator, though this one is slightly smaller (an eight “cup” capacity) and slightly heavier. There are also larger options, like the super light-weight Coleman 12 Cup Stainless Steel Percolator, but this one has received lots of negative reviews for being poorly made and not long-lasting. If you’re going to purchase a small stovetop coffee percolator for an important ritual such as coffee during your RV and camping adventures, you might as well find a brand that’s trustworthy and invested in the quality of their product!
How do you prefer to make coffee when RV camping? What are some other tools you can’t live without during life on the road?
Katrina Eresman worked for over a decade as a barista in Ohio. Since she left to write full time, she has become a compulsive traveler. If she's not touring with one of her bands, she's scheming her next backpacking trip or a flight to a new part of the country where camping and coffee sipping will both surely occur.