Neat new tool for RVers: Dyson's powerful handheld vacuum

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December 2, 2009

By Bob Difley

dyson_vacuum1Two situations facing RVers in this holiday season are (1) What to give our favorite RVer (a spouse or son/daughter, maybe) and (2) How to clean up the old rig and make it presentable for visits from family and assorted holiday merry makers. Luckily Dyson, the vacuum people, have come up with something that will fill both requirements.

I’m referring to the Dyson DC31, a powerful new handheld vacuum that will have your clean up chores finished before the fun of using it wears off. Dyson recently sent me a DC31 vacuum to test (probably upon hearing about the current state of cleanliness of my motorhome) and I agreed to put it to the test. These are the findings of me, my wife, her sister, my brother-in-law (who vacuumed out his entire car), niece, and nephew, all who participated in the testing over the Thanksgiving weekend).

  • The first thing I noticed was the powerful suction, what Dyson calls their patented cyclone design (ten years in development, twice as efficient as a conventional motor, spinning at 104,000 RPMs).
    twice as power-efficient as
    a conventional motor,. The claim was that it is the only handheld vacuum that doesn’t lose suction over the length of the battery charge. I can attest to this, having used it right up to the end of its charge.
  • The Root 6 utilizes a 21.6 volt lithium ion battery that gives ten minutes of continuous suction. And this battery, Dyson claims, re-charges three times faster than the competition. I can’t guarantee that, not having tried every other vacuum, but I can tell you that it charged up very fast. In fact, I seldom used it for the full charge, using it mostly for short quick pick-ups, and kept it plugged into its wall mounted charger when not in use and it was always ready to go.

This is what I liked about the DC31.

  • It looks like one of the Star Wars robot fighting machines.
  • It was not too heavy for my wife and young niece to use.
  • It carries a two-year warranty.
  • It picks up from carpets, linoleum, wood, computer keyboards, small children’s food trays, around litter boxes, in corners and crevices, and sucks up spider webs, beach sand, garden dirt, the scattered remains of a Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Changeable tools allow for most cleaning situations. The clever design of the main tool has a sliding brush head that slides back out of the way for use on hard surfaces. The crevice tool can get into the dark back corners under the dinette seats, the murky depths of the outside lockers, and the mysterious clutter under the driver’s seat.
  • A button on the back offers the option of ten minutes at lower power, or up to six minutes at 70% greater power. The lower power setting will handle most jobs, but the increased power setting really turns on the juice for tough jobs.
  • And this I liked best. To empty, I simply pushed a red release button and the bottom sprung open to empty the debris into a trash can. Then snap closed. (Open, shake debris out, close–four seconds. I timed it.) There is no bag to replace and the lifetime filter needs cleaning only once a year.

Bottom line. I recommend you take a look at the DC31. It does the job admirably, and it fits in perfectly with our RV and boondocking lifestyles.

Check out my new eBook, BOONDOCKING: Finding the Perfect Campsite on America’s Public Lands.

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  2. Rich

    I have used it’s predessor a lot at work and it really work as advertised.
    Expensive but it works.

    Ten minutes goes fast but you don’t turn it on and run it constantly.
    You pull the trigger as you reach for the dirt and I can clean the whole TV dept in a retail store.

    You never buy a bag or a filter and it is guarnateed for 2 years?
    Big savings over the competition.

  3. JT

    The Dyson hand-held (it doesn’t do floors!) may work great, but $220.00 for this little “sucker “is *way* over the top for me!

  4. Bill

    I can’t vouch for any of the Dyson Vacuums but I did experience a Dyson Hand Dryer. It was at Sams Club (in the men’s room) in St. Clairsville, Ohio right next to I-70.

    It is a strange looking contraption. You put your hands into a slot and then withdraw them slowly. Putting your hands all the way in turns on the air blower. As you withdraw your hands streams of air on both sides blow the water downward towards your finger tips.

    We’ve all used hand dryers and then wiped our hands on our pants. One quick pass through this dryer and my hands were dry enough that I skipped the pants wipe. Something to said for Dyson Engineering.

  5. Virgil Owen

    They have great suction. I have one and the only thing I dont like about it is that 10 minutes goes by very quickly

  6. gmas

    Ya and you can use it to fend off invaders too… just point and click… and you can dust ’em off…. 😀

  7. GK

    We have one of these, and they are awesome! They do a great job of picking up pretty much anything you can throw at it. Just be prepared for the sound, because they are pretty loud.