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6 Best RV Dishwashers for Making RV Life Even Better

After living in an RV for about 6 years, my number one want in life seemed to be a dishwasher. Luckily my dreams finally became a reality one day when we finally installed an RV dishwasher! Yes, they exist and might seem to some like a frivolous luxury in an RV. However, if you build a rolling home with everything, including the kitchen sink, a dishwasher doesent seem so crazy!

Since we have tested and done research on this topic today, we will take a look at dishwasher options for RVs.

What Is An RV Dishwasher?

An RV dishwasher is pretty much the same appliance that you would find in a home, just in most cases a more compact size. Many times RV’s utilize a drawer-type dishwasher that can be built right into cabinetry. Since many RV kitchens are on slides, these dishwashers are shorter than a full-size unit and can easily ride on the slide.

Since these dishwashers are not specially designed for RVs they do require AC power, and many people only run them when they are fully hooked up. However, when compared to hand-washing, these small dishwashers can sometimes save water, depending on your washing style. In fact, we run our dishwasher on our batteries using an inverter even when were off the grid. We found as long as it’s full, it uses as much water as we would washing dishes. We have even started it before driving and let it run while we drive!

drawer dishwasher in a motorhome
We installed a Fisher & Paykel dishwasher in our RV!

Most RVs do not come with RV dishwashers and are typically only found in higher-end RVs. While we found our unit is water efficient, it still uses quite a bit of electricity and would not be good for boondocking without hookups without a solar power system or generator. When not in use, they can also double as a great storage location.

Types of RV Dishwashers

Usually, you’ll choose between two basic dishwasher types: built-in and countertop. Factors such as personal preference and your RV size can determine what version may be right for you. Let’s look at the differences between the two styles. 

Built-In

Usually, this dishwasher style will be pre-installed in your RV. You can often find a more discreet design in contemporary RVs, which mimics a countertop and cabinet look. 

Seamlessly adding a built-in dishwasher can be challenging, so it’s best to consult a professional before making any repairs or performing an installation. However, doing an installation job yourself is possible!

Many times dishwashers are disguised as cabinetry in RVs. This is a Winnebago Horizon diesel pusher

You’ll have to consider the dimensions of counter space you’ll need (and that you’ll lose in drawers or other appliances). You’re also going to need to be able to connect your RV dishwater to the water supply. This will most likely be right next to your kitchen sink.

Countertop

In contrast to the built-in RV dishwasher, the countertop dishwasher is a perfect addition to just about any space. You’ll likely want to place it near a sink where you have ample counter space. 

Depending on how your water is run, you might even be able to install a countertop unit permanently, as these folks did:

🔴How we installed a dishwasher in our RV | RV Renovation

You can also use a countertop dishwasher wherever you have access to water, and you can take it in and out of storage as needed. 

Can You Use Any Portable Dishwasher in an RV? 

For the most part, the answer is yes. Your RV’s storage capacity will affect whether or not you can use a portable dishwasher on the road. Additionally, you must consider factors such as the weight and dimensions of the dishwasher as well as how much water it uses.  Making sure it can actually connect to the water and power is also a big concern.

Personally, we thought of getting a dishwasher with our first RV but just couldn’t justify the lost space as well as make the water hookups work.

Tip: Looking for a portable clothes washing machine? Take a look at the 5 Best Small Washing Machines for RV Living.

Tom Cooking a meal in the motorhome
Tom loves to cook, but makes alot of dishes. Having a robot to help with cleanup has made RV cooking just as easy as being at home.

What RV Types Come With Dishwashers?

The largest RV types are the most common to have a dishwasher. This is due to the size of the RV and the weight capacity. You will mostly find dishwashers in large diesel pusher motorhomes.

Large fifth-wheels will also sometimes have dishwashers. However like mentioned above dishwashers can be added to most RV types if you are adventurous enough and can find the space. In addition RV’s usually need large tanks and power systems to run them.

If you are considering installing a dishwasher remember the weight in addition to the space. Also how the water and sewer lines will hookup are important to figure out.

built in RV dishwasher
A common place for a built-in dishwasher is at the end of an island, especially in fifth wheels

5 Best RV Dishwashers for Making RV Life Even Better

Now that you have some background on RV dishwashers types, let’s learn about the five best models that will surely make RV living even better!

If you’re getting tired of eating on paper dishes or hand-washing, these RV dishwashers might be a multi-beneficial addition to your RV life.

1. Fisher & Paykel Integrated DishDrawer + Sanitize

Fisher & Paykel DishDrawers are considered the gold standard in RV dishwashers. You’ll find these models in many Class A motorhomes, but you can also order these aftermarket and DIY install as long as your cabinetry configuration allows a fit close to your sink and plumbing.

These dishwashers are available in two height options, 16.5″ for the standard and 17 7/8″ for the tall version to accommodate larger dishes. They have 6 different wash modes: Delicate, Eco, Fast, Medium, Heavy, and Rinse. It uses about 2.4 gallons of water per cycle on average, about half of a traditional dishwasher. The Eco mode uses less, at as little as 1.9 gallons.

When running in your small space, its quiet 44dB noise level on gentle won’t bother your movie viewing or sleeping.

This is the type of dishwasher we installed and it has been working extremly well. Not only does it wash well but its as quiet as top of the line residential dishwashers. We run ours on eco when off grid and it uses about the same ammount of water as hand washing.

fischer paykel

2. Vesta Built-In RV Dishwasher

If you appreciate the look of a slick, spotless, and polished kitchen, then the Vesta Built-In Dishwasher might be just for you.

The black exterior design with a stainless steel door and interior make this one of the most modern options in today’s market. Amazingly efficient at only 1.7 gallons of water per load, the noise is kept to a minimum while in use at a low 49dB.

Inside, you’ll find an easy-to-use loading basket for your dishes before you select from the six available wash programs. This mighty dishwasher can clean up to six place settings at one time with the highly-efficient filter design.

Vesta RV Dishwasher
Source: campingworld.com

3. Vesta Countertop RV Dishwasher

Similar in many ways to the Vesta built-in dishwasher, their countertop version offers a few distinct differences.

Westland Sales DWV362CB Countertop Dishwasher -...
  • Maximum performance, minimal consumption
  • Quick and easy to install
  • Saves space and water

This RV dishwasher can clean up to six place settings. It weighs a moderate sixty-five pounds and is compact enough for many RV floorplans. This Vesta dishwasher also uses 1.7 gallons of water per cycle and offers seven customizable wash settings,

When comparing Vesta’s built-in model versus their countertop, note two prime variations. 

First, the countertop version has an additional wash setting for a total of seven programs. Second, the exterior appearances vary greatly. The countertop style is jet black with a touch of stainless steel. The built-in version is stainless steel in the door and interior.

Source: campingworld.com

4. Edgestar Built-In RV Dishwasher

Edgestar’s Built-In RV Dishwasher ranks #3 for built-in RV dishwashers, and it’s among the top 100 appliances on Amazon. 

EdgeStar BIDW1802BL 18 Inch Wide 8 Place Setting...
  • Accommodates up to eight (8) place settings and features a...
  • Six (6) Wash Cycles: Heavy, Normal, ECO, Glass, Rapid, and Rinse;...
  • At only 17.75 inches wide, using this unit to replace an older...

Semi lightweight at 52.9 pounds, this dishwasher is a smidge louder than some of its competitors, with a 52dB noise level. Offering more opportunities to wash dishes simultaneously, this model can comfortably hold up to eight place settings. 

Measuring only 17.75 inches wide, this machine can replace a slender, outdated appliance quite easily. There are six wash cycles as well as three drying options. 

This dishwasher also has a leakage sensor, which automatically ceases water flow if it senses a leak. You can walk away from your dishwasher while it’s running with peace of mind that it won’t flood your rig! 

5. Farberware Countertop RV Dishwasher

One of the lightest options on the market is the Farberware Countertop RV Dishwasher, weighing 44.1 pounds. It has a simplified installation process with a straightforward connect system that includes accessories and adapters to attach to your faucet. 

Farberware Portable Countertop Dishwasher -...
  • COMPACT AND PORTABLE: This mini tabletop dishwasher is great for...
  • VERSATILE CLEANING OPTIONS: The Farberware countertop dishwasher...
  • TIME-SAVING CONVENIENCE: With just 45 minutes, hookups, water,...

Furthermore, there are seven washing programs as well as optional self-cleaning and speed wash settings. Those who travel with children in their RV will enjoy the child lock function to ensure that dishes are safe and secure from curious hands.

Finally, the external LED display controls are easy to identify and use. Thanks to their stainless steel interiors, these dishwashers are durable enough for everyday use. You can use any form of dishwasher detergent, but the manufacturer recommends tablets during long wash cycles.

6. Furrion Built-In RV Dishwasher

On the higher side of the spectrum cost-wise, the Furrion Built-In RV Dishwasher is energy star certified and designed with RV living in mind.

No products found.

This model offers a double rack to stack dishes, a separate carrier for utensils, and a shelf for cups. It weighs just shy of 70 pounds and is very durable with a stainless steel finish. 

The controls are touch-activated and resistant to vibration. The dishwasher can withstand abrupt climate changes too. 

RV DISHWASHER Install & Review | Furrion 18" Built in

How Do You Install An RV Dishwasher

Installation can be quite complicated if the RV was not originally designed for a dishwasher. A portable unit might work but keep in mind that the drain and water supply still need to get hooked up.

Its important to determine fit and design before you begin. For our installation we started by framing out the cabinet that we reconfigured from a different storage design. We also built a new drawer under our unit to retain as much storage as possible.

Next you need to figure out hookups. Your waste line needs to connect to a vented drain. We cut our sink drain line but had to make a PVC to ABS pipe transition to get correct fittings to install the dishwasher. This is possible but requires special glue.

You will also need to T into a hot water line. Ours was a particularly hard transition as the pipe sizes did not match. Many fittings later we got it to connect and added a water shutoff valve as well. You need to be able to turn the dishwasher water line off seperate.

We also had to tap into existing wiring to install an electrical plug for the dishwasher. Because its a dishwasher it required a GFCI plug. The first GFCI did not work with our inverter and we had to switch types.

Lastly, we had to route our dishwasher’s air vent line (they dont all have them, under the drawer we built and connect it to the unit as we slid it into place. Power water and drain lines all had to get routed at the same time. Once secured in place it was basically ready to use. While I would not consider this an easy job, we were able to complete it in a few days of work.

Is an RV Dishwasher Right for You? 

It’s not hard to understand why RV dishwashers are an awesome upgrade to your RV. They save you time so you can spend more time enjoying your RV trip!

However, they do have some drawbacks that are difficult for RV life, such as taking up valuable weight capacity and counter space.  They also make noise, which, in a small space like an RV, can be quite annoying at times.

However, much of the reason people transition to RV living is for its minimal, simplistic way of life. Most RVers yearn for ways to make daily chores easier so they can enjoy the serenity of RV life.  A pile of dirty dishes that need hand washing can serious cramp that vibe.

If you’re considering investing in one of these models, we recommend doing your research to make sure your choice fits into your RV and living style.

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About Tom Morton

Tom, a Pacific Northwest native, is our technical genius. Born in Washington and raised in Alaska before settling in Michigan. He's the man who keeps our operation running, both figuratively and literally.

With a background in Electrical Engineering, Tom specializes in RV solar systems and lithium batteries. He made history as the first documented individual to use a Tesla battery module as an RV battery. Tom has personally assisted countless RVers with system installations and has educated thousands more through his videos and articles.

Cinematography is another of Tom's passions, showcased in his work on the Go North series. You can see his camera skills on display in The RVers TV show on Discovery Channel and PBS where he also stars as a co-host.

Tom's mechanical expertise extends beyond RVs to boats, planes, and all things mechanical. He's renowned for taking on maintenance and repair projects single-handedly and is often spotted underneath RVs, making him the technical backbone of our endeavors.

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Barbara Vidal

Friday 28th of July 2023

Hi. I am a truck driver and I own a 2021 Freightliner Cascadia that I would like to convert into an RV. Do you have or know where I can find information about this?

Mortons on the Move

Monday 18th of September 2023

Since thats a niche build you will find info all over the place. Our website covers lots of RV specific topics but build and frame stuff you might find on forums and youtube.

Darlene Morton

Thursday 31st of March 2022

We removed the oven (never used) from our 44’ 2016 Heartland Torque gooseneck toy hauler & replaced it with a countertop dishwasher an induction plate that we can use on our roomy island or outside if we’re boiling corn etc & a Max rotisserie Air Fryer that we can also bake in as it has an oven feature. LOVE the Reno. I was always stuck doing the dishes. When I RV I don’t want to do dished as I have a dishwasher at home. As the dishwasher is in the slide out the water & drain hoses were put through a hole in the cupboard base & coils when not in use in a bucket (in case of any excess water in the hoses). When in use the hoses come out through the bottom cupboard & attach to the tap & drain in the sink. A very small hook up & well worth the extra 1/2 minute.

Mortons on the Move

Friday 1st of April 2022

That's a great idea and a common swap these days. We're finding more and more RVers prefer dishwashers over ovens when they have to choose between the two. https://www.mortonsonthemove.com/end-of-the-rv-propane-oven/

Samantha Nichols

Wednesday 13th of October 2021

I live in a 5th wheel RV and the Farberware dishwasher is perfect for one person. Very compact, efficient, and extraordinarily quiet, it sits on my kitchen counter directly behind the sink. This dishwasher has exceeded my expectations.

Tom Brain

Saturday 17th of April 2021

Edgestar is also great dishwasher, it can clean dishes thoroughly while also promoting a high level of efficiency when it comes to water and power consumption. Overall, it is a good product without any significant downside that will disappoint users.

Mortons on the Move

Saturday 17th of April 2021

Yes, the Edgestar is a great option!

Natalie Roberts

Monday 29th of March 2021

If you are looking for a portable dishwasher like me, this Farberware dishwasher is a perfect pick. Overall, the Farberware dishwasher is perfect for RV’s with limited kitchen space. With the number of washing programs that it has, you’ll be able to clean every kitchenware that you have.

Mortons on the Move

Monday 29th of March 2021

Yes, the Farberware is a great option! :)