Appliances for Small Spaces

by Merissa on May 24, 2013

in Fulltime RV Living, Organization 101

Post image for Appliances for Small Spaces

Downsizing to 1/3 of the space you are used to takes some adjusting. One of my favorite things in my house was my appliances. I loved to make the most use of them that I could. But what about appliances for small spaces? My regular size washer wouldn't fit (and I am not a laundry mat going person!), my kitchen appliances wouldn't fit and were packed away...what do I use in here? Here are some of my favorite appliances for small spaces.


Combination Washer and Dryer

Yes, this is a washer and dryer all in one! I was worried that it wouldn't be very efficient and yes, it is quite a bit smaller than a normal washer, but it gets clothes clean and dries them well also. I did have room in my space for both a compact washer and dryer (separate) but ended up going with this washer and dryer all in one to have the extra space for our laundry basket and cleaning supplies in the laundry area. It's hard to describe how much it holds but we have to do laundry every other day. (For 3 of us)

Toaster Oven

I actually have a very nice oven in my camper that works well, however when we lived in a camper before I did not have an oven and instead bought a large toaster oven to sit in it's place. It's an excellent replacement and if you get one large enough to fit a 9x13 pan. You can even bake bread in them!


Slow Cooker

Let me tell you, when you have no counter space for much baking or cooking, it's a very good thing to be able to make a one pot meal! I love my slow cooker because it can sit on a small corner of my countertop, still leaving room to do other things, and I can pour all the ingredients to a meal right in extra dirtying of dishes. I know we will enjoy it in the summer too as a small space heats up much faster than a larger one so the slow cooker will save us some air conditioning.


Magic Bullet

No room for a regular blender to sit on my countertop but I still love smoothies and I make them happen with my Magic Bullet. The extra nice thing about the Bullet is that the container that you make the smoothie or drink in you can also use as your less dish to clean!


Air Purifier

One of my major concerns about living in such a small space was the air quality. Our whole family has allergies and will be unable to open windows in the summer and in the winter we need to make sure that our air is clean so sickness doesn't run rampant in our small space. I ended up with a very nice air purifier that not only filters bacteria, virus, pollen, and dust, but also chemicals and harmful gasses. Since our camper was new when we moved in, it was wreaking of "new" smells for the first couple weeks. After I placed our air purifier in the camper, the smells (and I'm assuming the chemical gasses) were gone within 48 hours. I highly recommend this appliance above all others for a small space.

We don't have many appliances here but those are the best of the ones that we do have. Each and every thing that goes into our home takes careful consideration of whether it's really needed, where it's going to go, and what it's purpose is. A much different mindset than living in a McMansion!

Catch up on our full series about Fulltime RV Living!

What do you think of these appliances for small spaces? Do you have any of them? Which one would you deem most important?


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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mama May 24, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Wow, a washer and dryer! We would have to do some serious remodeling to fit one in our camper, but how much power does it take to run? Power is also why we decided not to use a slow cooker or our old toaster oven. Now that we have increased our wind/solar energy from 150w to a max of 600w we might be able to do more for small appliances, but we generally use the ones that came with the camper – stove and oven, AC once in a while during the summer, radio… the exception would be the propane heater in the camper which sucks energy big time, so we started using small kerosene heaters.


2 Merissa May 24, 2013 at 9:13 pm

I’m not sure how much power they take, we are on a 50 amp service and I’ve never had an issue with running things at the same time so far.


3 Donna Vincent May 25, 2013 at 1:15 pm

What brand of air filter do you have and where did you get it?


4 Merissa May 25, 2013 at 4:25 pm

I got an Austin Air Healthmate PLUS Junior: I got it directly from the company’s website but it’s the same price on Amazon (with faster shipping).


5 Audrey July 1, 2013 at 8:02 pm

We have three of these air purifiers, one for each bedroom in our house. I think they are the best! 🙂


6 Delores May 26, 2013 at 5:51 pm

My family (4 children and hubby) lived in an old converted city bus for nearly 2 years. We completely renovated it by getting a sofa that was for a camper trailer that made out into a bed. Built in bunk beds and we had a already a bed in the back of the bus with a closet, chest and built up over the engine. There was no kitchen. My husband is really a good carpenter, he built a cabinet put in a sink, and a platform for the dorm fridg. We had a two burner table top to cook on and the saving grace of a slow cooker. But no bathroom or washer. We made sure to park at places that had showers and laundry mats. But this was a step up from our cabin in the mountains that had wood stove for heat and cooking and an outhouse. This was an experience for the children they learned a lot those years and saw a lot of country and not one of them today has a bad story (even though I know there was some bad times). We rode bikes around when parked somewhere. We do what we must, but to live in one the rest of our lives would have been hard, but we did this before cell phones and personal computers. Enjoy your time would say the slow cooker is upmost because it takes less electricity, also the old time things, hand mixer, potato mashers, one good blender.


7 Connie May 28, 2013 at 9:34 am

I have an electric skillet in my RV that I use ALL the time. Saves on filling the gas bottles, can take it outside to cook so the food (bacon, sausage, chicken pretty much anything fried) doesn’t stink up the camper. Can also be used to bake small cakes and breads (use a cooling rack in the bottom) or to raise bread for baking in the oven.


8 Merissa May 28, 2013 at 10:06 am

Oh I forgot that one, we have a skillet too! Super useful 🙂


9 Tori July 12, 2013 at 4:32 pm

I was wondering how you powered your double fridge when you said you were on limited electricity, but 50 amps explains everything! We have a 38′ Gulfstream Conquest park model on our property but we are only running solar panels – when the sun it out, and a generator when it’s pouring raining for days on end. :-\ I’ve been researching that same washer/dryer combo but not sure if we’ll be able to generate enough juice to run it. I suppose we can just fire up the generator.

You have a beautiful RV! Ours is older – a 2005 model that we got for a very good deal, but it has two bedrooms and will work for us empty nesters until we build.

I so enjoy reading you blog. Keep up the good work. Blessings!


10 Merissa July 12, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Yes right now we are on 50 amps, next week we won’t be so we will be running it with propane.


11 Kim August 3, 2013 at 7:44 pm

My husband is in the Army. And we have bought houses at every base we have been sent to. But when the housing market went to poop… It was hard to sell the last house we had to take a gamble on a young soldier and family on a rent to own contract so far all good. But a little over a year ago I told my husband no more. So I came up with getting a 5th wheel. Been living in it over a year and now we wish we would have done it years ago. But I found a 5th wheel that I could put a 50″ TV with a house couch with recliners on both ends. I took out all the RV furniture and put nice reg furniture. I also added a apartment roll around dishwasher. Our RV is 30′ with 2 slides. We just found out we are heading to Fairbanks Alaska in the next year. So I found a year around RV Park there and been reading up on winterizing for -50 degrees at first wasn’t sure if it could be done. But now I’m excited about going it can be done. My hubby as been in the army for 22 yrs we have at less 3 or more to go. And we will be doing it in our RV. 🙂


12 Steph September 23, 2013 at 6:23 pm

We have been living in our 25′ travel trailer since May. My husband and I are young-ish with no children yet and had moved in with his grandma to help her out. Needless to say we got out of there this spring for a break. We have our German shepherd and 2 kitties with us too. We are going to be spending our first winter in our trailer and are working to button it up for our very cold winter. This year we will have to forgo water and sewage but are also about 30′ from my in laws so we have the best of both worlds. One appliance I have found that I can’t live without is my XL capacity convection oven. It is awesome it fits most of my land and I can use bake, broil, toast or convection to cook quicker. It is amazing! I use it everyday and it also helps warm things up on cool days. I wish I had room for a washer but have one to use at the house so not terrible. I am hoping tri upgrade our trailer. Unfortunately I have bad back and am 75% disabled and this setup truly helps. Minimal stories to climb as opposed to the house with no upstairs bathroom. So when I get a settlement web hope to go bigger with a tip out and a heated undercarriage. I am loving reading your journey in preparation for our new life. We will be moving the trailer back home soon as we spend May October at a campground 950 for the summer including electric and water. Pretty good deal. I look forward to reading more on your adventures.


13 Judy P. King March 19, 2014 at 10:21 am

We have that washer/dryer on our boat…works great!


14 Linnea June 19, 2014 at 7:43 pm

Hi there, love your website. I am wondering what made you choose the air purifier you did? I am doing a lot of research to find just the right now for our RV. Thanks!


15 Kelli December 3, 2014 at 1:14 pm

I recently (about 2 months ago) expressed to my fiance my desire to live in a tiny house (just over 200 sq feet). He is an amazing man and is doing everything he can to try and make it work. We are currently in the planning stage and I admit I get more and more excited by the day. Everyone I have told (not too many people) think I am a bit nuts but my therapist thinks it is a great idea. I have agoraphobia and even a smaller apartment feels too big for me. I know for a lot of people the idea of a house the size of a walk in closet is insane but to me it sounds like pure comfort. I have seen families (3-4 people) living in roughly the same square feet so I know me and my honey can do it. Pulling all the advice about living small is very helpful. Thank you so much! = D


16 Brandy January 17, 2015 at 10:02 pm

Thank you for sharing all this great advice. I’m curious what you use for a vacuum cleaner? Our current 5th wheel has a small chargeable one but I’m never impressed with it’s performance. When we return to our home from any trip I’m having to use my large home vacuum to really get the job done. We’re looking at switching to a motor home with minimal carpets (hate them) but in the interim I’m curious what alternatives are available.


17 Merissa January 18, 2015 at 8:04 am

I have a Dyson that I got refurbished. It has a handle the folds down into the main part of the vacuum so it doesn’t need much storage space.


18 Rachael March 28, 2015 at 6:26 am

Hi! I just came across your blog last night and I’ve been eating up this series! My husband, 9 month old daughter, and I are moving into our 34 ft. RV in 1 week and so I find myself doing a lot of late night research. We are a cloth diapering family, which I noticed in one of your previous posts that you are too. Our RV does not currently have a washer/dryer, but my husband is wanting to purchase one. Do you find that yours cleans the diapers as well as you would like and what is your “system” (we are still fairly new to cloth diapering)? Thanks so much!


19 Merissa March 30, 2015 at 8:56 am

It worked well for washing diapers but not as well as I hoped for washing other clothes. It was nice to have the convenience of a washer/dryer in our space especially when the weather was bad but doing laundry took a very long time!


20 sandy goldman May 15, 2017 at 10:16 am


my name is Sandy. I am currently living in a 1 room rooming house in Montreal, Quebec. The catch is that the building operates on a voltage of 110 watts.
Which means my appliances (fridge and stove) are running on 110 volts. the thing is they are so old and beat up, I have decided to replace them . Therefore I am wondering if you can suggest a place preferably second hand where I can replace my appliance. let me know. thanks for your time.

Sandy Goldman


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