The Best Campervan Coffee Makers for the Perfect Cup on the Road

If you’re a coffee lover like me, one of the best things about van life is watching the outdoor world wake up with a hot…

If you’re a coffee lover like me, one of the best things about van life is watching the outdoor world wake up with a hot cup of caffeinated joy in hand. That said, if you thought that van coffee would have to be instant garbage, think again!

As it happens, there are tons of ways to make coffee on the road, and I’ve tried just about all of them! I’m not the kind of coffee snob who measures everything perfectly and heats water to an exact temperature, but I do like a quality cup of black coffee. In three years on the road, I’ve tried many ways to prepare coffee and learned what works best.

Check out this curated list of the very best campervan coffee makers out there, ranging from drip machines to nifty portable inventions. I’ll also let you know what to consider before buying a campervan coffee maker. So, relax, pour yourself a cup, and let’s get right to it!

Here are our top picks at a glance:

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Drip Coffee Makers

A drip campervan coffee maker inside a van
Photo: @Pettyprinethepromaster

Just because you’re living the van life doesn’t mean you have to rule out having a drip coffee maker in your kitchen. In fact, any compact household machine will work fine if you plan on staying at RV parks with shore power hookups.

Still, if you plan on making coffee while boondocking, a more energy-efficient option will work best. After all, a household coffee maker will draw a lot of power from your batteries. Make sure you have an inverter to handle the power draw, too!

Mr. Coffee Coffee Maker
Pros:
  • Reusable filter
  • Small, takes up little space compared to full-size coffee makers
  • Brew now or brew later feature
Cons:
  • Uses 120v power
  • Says 5-cup, but makes more like 2 full mugs
  • Glass carafe has potential to break

I keep this cute little Mr. Coffee unit for the days I want to feel pampered (and when I have full batteries). It actually only uses a surprisingly low 650 watts, and I can set it at night to brew coffee at a specific time in the morning. Waking up to coffee brewing is the ultimate luxury in a camper van!

RoadPro 12-Volt Coffee Maker
Pros:
  • 20 ounce glass carafe
  • Includes a reusable filter
  • Works via a 12-volt socket
  • Comes with a mounting bracket
Cons:
  • Takes 20 minutes to make coffee
  • Glass carafe could break easily

Not only is the RoadPro coffee maker extremely affordable, but it’s also a legit automatic machine that’ll pump out 20 ounces of bean juice.

The RoadPro has made it onto the list of the best campervan coffee makers thanks to the fact that it works with a 12-volt outlet. That means this drip coffee maker is ideal for van dwellers who want to be able to cook up a pot of coffee off-grid.

Of course, you’ll have to put up with the fact that the RoadPro takes around 20 minutes to prepare a full carafe. Still, that’s not too bad.

On the bright side, you’ll get a reusable coffee filter which cuts down on waste. Plus, the RoadPro comes with a mounting bracket to keep the coffee maker secure when you’re driving. Safety first!

Makita Cordless Coffee Maker
Pros:
  • Rugged and durable construction
  • Cordless operation
  • Includes permanent filter
  • Makes hot coffee quickly
Cons:
  • Quite expensive
  • Battery sold separately

Another 12-volt coffee maker, the Makita DCM501Z is a super cool single-serve machine. Looking kind of like a power tool, this durable and compact machine uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power. Unfortunately, you’ll have to buy the battery and charger separately, making this coffee maker quite an investment.

Still, once you have what you need, you can prepare up to 12 ounces of coffee on a single charge. Moreover, the Makita includes a permanent filter and comes with a coffee cup.

Featuring super-solid construction, the Makita feels pretty indestructible, making it ideal for travel. While it requires an investment, it could be all you’ll need for van life coffee.

Immersion Brewers

An aeropress best campervan coffee maker in the side door of a campervan
The author using her Aeropress in a campervan

Immersion brewing is about as simple as it gets. You simply add ground coffee to water, let it all hang out for a while, then filter the coffee grounds. The most well-known immersion brewer is the good old French press, closely followed by the hipster-approved AeroPress.

GSI Outdoors JavaPress
Pros:
  • Durable materials
  • Easy to use
  • Makes up to 30 ounces of coffee
  • Not too expensive
Cons:
  • Cleanup can be messy
  • Requires coarse coffee grounds

If you’re set on making coffee without electricity and want more than just one cup at a time, a French press coffee maker is worth considering. Plus, many coffee aficionados claim this method of brewing coffee produces superior results.

Unlike traditional glass French Presses, the GSI Outdoors JavaPress is made from durable silicone. That means you won’t have to worry about any accidental breakage.

Featuring an awesome water-resistant nylon sleeve and a double-walled, insulated lid, this French press will keep coffee hot for the duration. What’s more, you’re able to brew up to 30 ounces of rocket fuel in this coffee maker.

Using the JavaPress couldn’t be easier — it’s just a case of adding coarsely ground coffee, pouring in hot water, and letting it steep. Once the coffee is ready, you simply press the plunger, twist the lid to the open position and pour black gold into your mug!

AeroPress Original
Pros:
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Makes fantastic coffee
  • Doesn't require power
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Cleanup is a breeze
Cons:
  • Requires special filters
  • Can spew hot water and grounds if you're not careful

The AeroPress has become one of the most popular options for making coffee without electricity, and for good reason. Not only is this little gadget durable and compact, it’s capable of producing excellent results. And that’s why it’s my favorite method when it comes to my regular coffee routine.

Making coffee with an AeroPress is pretty straightforward. You simply add ground coffee to the chamber, pour hot water in, insert the plunger, let it steep, then apply pressure to extract the coffee. Some folks swear by the upside down method, but either way tastes great!

Seeing as the AeroPress is so small and lightweight, it’s ideal for a van conversion. Brew directly into your coffee cup of choice without the need for accessories. The main downside to using an AeroPress is the fact that it requires special filters which can be hard to get hold of on the road.

However, you can invest in a reusable mesh filter that’ll take care of that potential problem. In a pinch, I’ve also cut my own filters out of traditional coffee filters!

Pour-Over Coffee Makers

the best campervan coffee machine is often just a pourover!
Photo: @Pettyprinethepromaster

Pour-over is another excellent way of making coffee without electricity. It’s also an approachable brew method that anyone can master. Of course, coffee snobs will tell you that an unfathomable amount of skill is involved in preparing good pour-over. However, this brew method can be as simple or as cerebral as you want it to be!

Stanley Pour Over Set
Pros:
  • Durable stainless steel design
  • Includes dripper and coffee mug
  • Comes with permanent filter
Cons:
  • Only makes one cup of coffee

Stanley is known for producing awesome flasks and travel mugs, which is why the Stanley Pour Over Set is a safe bet. Like the manufacturer’s other products, this fantastic coffee-making kit for a campervan is about as durable as you could hope for.

Made from rugged stainless steel, the Stanley Pour Over Set includes a dripper and a travel mug with a lid. What’s really great about this best campervan coffee maker is the fact that you don’t need additional paper filters. Instead, the dripper features a built-in stainless steel mesh coffee filter.

All you need to do to brew coffee is add grounds to the filter, then slowly pour in hot water. Once your coffee has finished dripping through, the dripper is easy to clean and there’s no paper waste to deal with.

MiiR Pourigami
Pros:
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to use
  • Portion of every sale helps fund non-profits
Cons:
  • Quite small
  • Doesn't work with some travel mugs

The MiiR Pourigami takes compact and lightweight to a whole new level! Seriously, this innovative little pour-over dripper weighs just 4 ounces and is pocket-sized when it’s folded up. With that said, the Pourigami is actually really durable, thanks to its medical-grade stainless steel construction. Miir is also Climate Neutral Certified, so you can feel good about using their products.

The Miir Pourigami is quite small, making it a great option for van dwelling singles. To brew coffee, you simply interlock the three panels and place it on top of your cup. Be careful though — some users complain that the Pourigami doesn’t fit well on some popular travel mugs.

Although you’ll need to use paper filters with the Pourigami, you won’t need to search for any particular brand. Still, you might be able to find a reusable filter that’ll work with this dripper.

Hario V60
Pros:
  • Really inexpensive
  • Capable of producing amazing results
  • Lightweight and portable
  • No electricity required
Cons:
  • Uses proprietary Hario filters
  • Only makes one cup at a time

The most inexpensive of our campervan coffee makers, the Hario V60 is one of the most popular pour-over drippers around. Thanks to its unique shape, the Hario V60 is capable of producing stunning cup results, especially from light roasts.

And you don’t even need a fancy kettle, scale, and thermometer to make a delicious cup of coffee with this dripper! As it happens, using the V60 is as easy as adding ground coffee to a paper filter and pouring in hot water.

It’ll take a little time before your coffee is ready, but not more than 3 or 4 minutes. Seeing as it’s compact and lightweight, the Hario V60 is ideal for van life, and all you’ll need is hot water. Plus, you’ll be able to impress all the coffee snobs – er, coffee lovers – in your life!

TIP: You don’t need a fancy pourover to go this route with your campervan coffee. The publisher of The Wayward Home uses this simple plastic Melitta pourover dripper.

Espresso Makers

Man using a Nanopresso as his campervan coffee machine
My pal Dan Scarpino (@trailsofdanindy on Instagram) introduced me to the impressive Nanopresso!

If you prefer concentrated espresso over drip coffee, you’ve got options! Sure, preparing authentic espresso requires a big fancy machine. However, you can get pretty close without the need for power. In fact, a new breed of portable coffee makers have made it possible to create sufficient pressure for espresso using just your muscle power.

Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker
Pros:
  • Compact, lightweight, and portable
  • Doesn't require power
  • Makes high-quality espresso
  • Easy to use
Cons:
  • Lots of small part
  • Uses very finely ground coffee
  • Rather expensive for a single-serve coffee maker

The Wacaco Nanopresso is a modern design marvel that can actually make pretty authentic espresso. This compact device does so via an innovative hand pumping system which can generate up to 18 bars of pressure. For reference, commercial espresso machines use 9 bars of pressure during extraction.

Small enough to fit in a backpack pocket, the Nanopresso is lightweight and portable, making it one of the best campervan coffee makers around. Using the Nanopresso is extremely easy — just add hot water to the chamber and ground coffee to the filter basket. After tamping, place the Nanopresso over a cup and pump until coffee is extracted.

Thanks to its all-in-one design, everything you need is contained within the coffee maker. Heck, there’s even a coffee scoop and a cleaning brush in there! But lots of small parts means you could easily lose something if you aren’t careful.

Bialetti Moka Pot
Pros:
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Makes concentrated coffee
  • Doesn't require paper filters
  • Available in many different sizes
Cons:
  • Requires camping stove (will not work on induction)
  • Uses very fine coffee grounds

No list of the best campervan coffee makers would be complete without including a moka pot. Let’s face it, this Italian classic never goes out of style. Plus, it’ll consistently produce strong, hot coffee that’ll mentally transport you to a coffee shop in Naples!

While you can spend a lot of money on a boutique model, the traditional Bialetti moka pot is all you really need. Thanks to its durable construction, the Bialetti is an ideal coffee maker for the road. Plus, this is an all-in-one coffee maker, so you won’t need additional filters.

To top it all off, using a moka pot is a piece of cake. You just put water in the bottom, add ground coffee to the filter, then set it to boil on your campervan stove.

Depending on the size you’re using, there’ll be enough coffee for multiple drinkers, and you can always dilute it with a little hot water. In fact, that method is recommended, seeing as moka pot espresso is seriously intense!

Espresso Maker Splurge – Loved by Engineers Who Van Life

Here is what they say about the Breville Bambino Espresso Machine.

“It has been one of our favorite upgrades to our van life mornings. It felt bougie at first, but it brings us so much joy and a sense of normalcy to our life on the road. We put it off for so long because of power reasons but this one in particular doesn’t use much at all! It doesn’t have heat a boiler, it simply uses power when it’s actively pulling a shot or steaming.”

Engineers Who Van Life

Other Options for Making Coffee on the Road

coffee cup and a dog in a campervan
Photo: @Pettyprinethepromaster

Here are some less popular options for drinking coffee on the road. Maybe one of these will suit your fancy!

JoGo Brewing Straw
Pros:
  • Very inexpensive
  • Easy to use
  • Portable and compact
  • Helps reduce coffee stains on teeth
Cons:
  • Each person will need their own
  • Coffee might become over extracted

Inspired by South American bombilla straws, the JoGo Brewing Straw seems too good to be true. However, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a bad review of this thing — people absolutely love it!

Here’s the deal: you just float coffee grounds in boiling water, allow the grounds to settle, then use the JoGo to drink your coffee. Oh, and there’s a specially engineered mesh filter at the bottom to make sure you don’t end up with a mouthful of grounds.

The main downside is that your coffee will keep extracting, which makes the coffee taste bitter after a while. Still, this inexpensive and compact portable coffee solution could be all you’ll ever need.

Hario Cold Brew Bottle
Pros:
  • Very affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to clean
  • Slim, streamlined design
Cons:
  • Takes time to prepare coffee
  • You'll have to carve out space in your likely crowded fridge

If making coffee without power or hot water sounds good, consider switching to cold brew. After all, what could be simpler than letting ground coffee sit in water overnight?

Of course, maintaining a consistent supply of ice in a camper van isn’t easy, but who’s to say you can’t just drink cold brew at room temperature? Or you can add hot water to cold brew concentrate for an extra-smooth cup of Joe.

The Hario Cold Brew Bottle is easy to use and its slim design means it’ll fit nicely in a camper van fridge. Even better, the brewer is really easy to clean once you’ve guzzled down all that cold brew!

Choosing the Best Campervan Coffee Maker: What To Consider

woman drinking coffee with her dog on a ridge
Photo: @Pettyprinethepromaster

Everyone has different needs and expectations when it comes to coffee. Some folks don’t care too much about how it tastes as long as there’s sufficient caffeine involved. On the other hand, true aficionados want a brew method that’ll bring out the best from their high-quality beans. Either way, there are several factors to consider as you search for the best campervan coffee maker:

  • Budget. It may seem obvious, but how much money you have to spend on a coffee maker will play a big part in your decision. Fortunately, there are seriously affordable options on our list if money is tight.
  • Capacity. This really comes down to how much coffee you drink. If you like to savor cup after cup in the morning, a single-serve brewer might turn into a hassle. In that case, you’d be better off with a larger capacity coffee maker.
  • Size. You already know that space is tight in a camper, so adding a bulky coffee maker to the mix might not make sense. That’s why most of the best campervan coffee makers are compact and lightweight. If you do opt for something larger, make sure you have space to store it when it’s not in use.
  • Durability. We always recommend using camper van kitchen items that will stand the test of time and bumpy back roads. So, think twice about buying a machine with breakable components such as a glass coffee pot.
  • Power Draw. A household coffee maker uses more power than you’d think, so consider making coffee without electricity if you’ll be spending a lot of time off grid. Alternatively, if you’ll be using shore power most days, an electric machine is certainly an option. I keep compact versions of both options in my rig so I stay caffeinated with or without electricity!
The Wayward Home Pick
1Zpresso Coffee Grinder

I started grinding my own coffee beans back in 2022, and it sure made a world of a difference. I get such fresh-tasting coffee every morning, and this makes enough for about two pour-over cups of joe. If you're looking to get into manual coffee grinding, this is a great pick for van life!

Final Thoughts

As you can see by this list, the best campervan coffee makers come in all shapes and sizes. You can choose anything from a simple device that’ll pull pretty near perfect espresso to a traditional automatic machine with a carafe. Ultimately, there are loads of options, none of which involve suffering through instant coffee!

If you’re a real coffee fanatic, consider adding a manual coffee grinder to your arsenal. After all, freshly ground coffee beans are always going to yield the best results. The JavaPresse hand grinder is an affordable option that’ll get the job done with no electricity required.

One last tip for you: Years ago, a dear friend showed me how to hook a drill to a hand grinder and speed that process right up! (Though this won’t make you any friends if you’re parked close to others at 7AM!)

We hope you’ve enjoyed this guide to the best campervan coffee makers! Feel free to leave any questions or ideas in the comments section.

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3 Comments

  1. Japenese Iced Pour-Over is my new fav !

    1. Brooke Alexander says:

      Iced coffee is such a treat for me since I don’t have a freezer or way to keep ice in the van. If I did, I’d be all over this! It sounds delish!

      1. Kristin Hanes says:

        Me too!! I’d LOVE to have ice in the van or the boat!

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