RV Central Vacuum Review! The Dirt Devil CV 1500

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Our Winnebago EKKO RV is only 23 feet long, but that doesn’t mean we can’t install Big-Rig style appliances… like a CENTRAL VACUUM!  Now, before you think I’m weird, remember, we travel with a cat… with hair… and I’m kinda OCD.

OK, most of you probably still think I’m weird, but that doesn’t mean this vacuum isn’t awesome!


Full disclosure here:  Stef and I are Camping World partners.  But even though we are, I wanted this vacuum so badly I just went down to our local Camping World store, purchased it off the shelf, and paid full price.  You can see the exact model here:  https://cmpngwrld.com/3b6jTk5

(If you decide you’d like one, don’t forget our Camping World discount code in the sidebar!)

Overall Impressions

I say pretty much everything in the video, but just a few points bear repeating here:

  • The CV-1500 RV Central vacuum is pretty easy to install.  Cutting the hole for the vacuum port and finding a place to mount the canister are the only two real challenges with the install.
  • This thing is one of the most powerful vacuums I’ve ever used.  I really didn’t expect that.
  • It does sound like a vacuum, but that noise is mitigated because you can install it in an exterior cabinet.  Whereas with a regular vacuum, you’re right there next to it while you use it.
  • It doesn’t come with the carpet attachment.  That’s a separate purchase.  Factor that in if you need it.
  • With the long hose, I can reach every part of our RV, and even the outside storage compartments.


If there’s a question you have, or if I forgot to cover something in the video, leave me a comment below, and I’ll try to answer it for you.



James is a former rocket scientist, a USA Cycling coach, and lifelong fitness buff. When he's not driving the RV, or modifying the RV (or - that one time - doing both at once), you can find him racing bicycles, or building furniture, or making music. In his spare time, he works for a large IT company.

    32 thoughts on “RV Central Vacuum Review! The Dirt Devil CV 1500

    1. Tsippi

      Hi James. I don’t understand how my new puppy isn’t bald, given how much fur he loses everyday. I’m thinking of replacing the small shop vac I carry in my garage with this built in. One of my concerns if that I can use my shop vac to pick up pieces of gravel and lots of sand without worrying about damaging anything. How careful would I have to be with the Dirt Devil? Also, are you able to lower the power to vacuum bedding and curtains? Thanks so much for another great video.

      1. James - Post author

        Good questions.
        I’ve vacuumed up probably about a gallon of cat litter (the stuff Mel uses is like small shards of glass), and it hasn’t fazed the Dirt Devil. I think you’d be OK there. The only thing I don’t go after with the Dirt Devil – but I would with a shop vac – is water.
        There’s not a way, built in, to lower the power to the vacuum, and we haven’t needed it, so I never investigated such.
        I suppose maybe you could try putting it on a dimmer?? (Might void the warranty though.)

        1. Tsippi

          Thanks. I’ve been schlepping around that shop vac for three years and have never needed it for water, thank goodness, so I think I can risk the switchover. If I can’t lower the power, maybe I’ll just buy Hank-colored bedding and curtains. . .

    2. Cindy Perry

      Great video and comments! We have upgraded our Thor Tuscany RV from a 40ft to a 45ft and the Dirt Devil suction is not as powerful in our larger RV. My husband is very handy and has gone through the system and it appears to have the same amount of suction up to the plate where we plug in the hose. We checked the long hose for possible obstruction and did not find any. Do you have any ideas why we have less suction power in the longer RV?

      1. James - Post author

        It sounds as though the mechanical parts of the vacuum are performing the same, as your husband has tested it.
        I know that performance will decrease with hose length. It may be nothing more than that.
        My next step would be to try a different hose. Perhaps a smooth one instead of the corrugated one.

    3. JB

      I like the idea of the built-in vac, but I would be very hesitant to buy a product from Dirt Devil again. We have a “Dirt Devil Dash Multi” cannister vac for our house. Despite being “bagless” it still has three replaceable filters. Dirt Devil stopped manufacturing replacement filters last year. Our vac has become useless. I hope Dirt Devil doesn’t drop the ball with parts for the CV-1500 RV.

      1. James - Post author

        Good point. They’ve been making it for a while, though I suppose that’s no guarantee of future availability.
        The only consumable I’d need would be the bags.

    4. David Barnes

      I have been watching with some admiration of your skillset and ability to tackle these modifications. I tend to do things only as needed versus for “improvement”, because my age has become a discouraging factor.
      Having said that, All the mods you have made seem to be very productive overall and makes us wonder why manufacturers don’t do them considering the cost of the RV to begin with.
      My question is this: given the lighter weight capacity of the chassis, are these modifications restrictive to the weight you can carry? I realize that some mods may actually been neutral as far as weight gains. (air suspension).

      1. James - Post author

        I keep weighing our rig as I make modifications to ensure that we’re under the GVWR.
        But yes – everything you add is something else you can’t bring – if you’re close to the weight limit.

    5. Brian Nystrom

      When you were researching central RV vacuums, did you look at others like the Dometic RVAC CS8? It requires a larger cutout, but it’s a bit smaller and seems like an easier install. What made you select the Dirt Devil?

      1. James - Post author

        Mostly, my choice was driven by previous reviews and – honestly – product availability.
        The Dirt Devil is the only one I could find locally available. (I was trying to install without Stef knowing about it, so I didn’t want boxes arriving…)
        The Dometic looks like an interesting unit, but I can’t find good specs on it (suction power, HEPA status, etc.)
        The only real spec I can find is that it consumes 7 amps of AC power, which would lead me to believe it’s not as strong as the Dirt Devil. But I can’t verify that.

        1. Brian Nystrom

          I dug around some and found these specs on the CS8:

          – Traps up to 98.3 percent of dust and allergens (vs. up to 99.9% for HEPA filters)

          – 1/2 gallon capacity (vs. 1 gallon for the Dirt Devil)

          – Flow rate of 111 cubic ft per minute (more than the Dirt Devil, but no Air Watts or Water Lift data)

          – Draws 7 Amps, as you stated (vs. 11 for the Dirt Devil)

          – 6-year warranty

          There appears to only be one bag type available for it and it’s not HEPA, but that’s not a major concern for us. Our dog doesn’t shed, the cat stays home, and neither of us has allergies. We’re mainly concerned with cleaning up the dirt we track in and the messes I make during upgrades and repairs.

    6. Bill Pearson

      Hi James, We’re waiting on delivery of our new EKKO. I’ll be replacing the propane cooktop with induction and hope to squeeze in a larger sink. During your central vac project we noticed your countertop arrangement has changed. When will we see that project? You are the reason we are buying an EKKO. Nobody analyzes and shares the function of these machines the way you do. Without you, we would be flying blind on our next motorhome. Thank you.

      1. James - Post author

        Glad we’re helpful like that!

        I did capture some video of the galley remodel. I’ll get that video out eventually.
        I’ll warn you though, that wasn’t a “beginner level” mod.
        For example, that’s not an original-but-modified countertop you’re seeing.
        I had to laminate a new countertop, CNC the cutouts, and reinstall the original edge banding to get it to look “factory”. And that’s just one of the challenges I had.
        It’s still a very do-able project, but it shouldn’t be anyone’s first RV mod.
        Hope you get your EKKO soon!

    7. Gary

      Are you able to use the vac with the door to the storage area closed? If yes, would you have more suction with the door loosely opened?

      1. James - Post author

        Yes, we can use it. There is space for air to bleed into the insides of cabinets, etc.
        Theoretically, it would work better with less back pressure. But I’m unable to notice a difference.
        It still sucks circles around our old Dyson.

    8. Graham Smith

      To my mind, and apparently to Steph’s as well, this is a bit overkill. That said, I think this is a excellent demonstration of thinking WAY outside the box. It may not be the sort of thing that everyone is going to rush out and do. But it proves that there’s a way to do a whole bunch of things that people may otherwise just pass over as being “no way can you do that.” Bravo.

      1. James - Post author

        If I figure out a way to get a laundry appliance in there, well that’s about as far as I want to go…

    9. Tom

      In your video you make sound like Stephanie does not like the vacuum. Why does she not like it? I would like to hear her side before purchasing.

      1. James - Post author

        It’s not that she doesn’t like it. It’s more just that she thinks it a bit “over the top” for our small RV. So it’s more of an “eye roll” than a dislike.

        But I’ll let her respond.

      2. Stefany

        The vacuum works great! I like it fine, but it certainly wasn’t on my radar that our small 23 foot RV actually NEEDED one! It’s a ‘nice to have’ thing, but certainly not necessary! I’m not a clean freak like James though.

    10. Lorene

      Love the vacuum and all your other mods! Does Mel the cat scratch or otherwise try to destroy the shades and/or screens on the windows? Our 2 cats go after anything that blocks their view outside.

      1. James - Post author

        Mel doesn’t scratch the blinds… he opens them.
        (The blinds in the EKKO open downwards, and he’s figured out that if he puts his paws/weight on the handle, he can usually lower them.)

        He’s generally content to keep his scratching to the scratching post on the dinette table leg.

    11. Manny Estrada

      Do you know near El Paso who will convert a 2017 Thor Gemini 23TR to lithium house batteries?
      Thank you
      Manny Estrada

      1. James - Post author

        I do not.
        But! If you contact Lithionics Battery, they can likely put you in touch with a dealer or qualified installer in your area.

    12. Alastair

      I’m curious. It appears that the vacuum exhausts into that external compartment. I’m wondering whether it couldn’t be mounted so that it exhausted directly to the outside of the vehicle. Which would surely beat even a HEPA filter for performance.

      I can’t decide if I’m missing something obvious here, though…


      1. James - Post author

        You’re correct. It does vent into that compartment.
        The way it’s constructed, in order to vent it outside, you’d have to put the whole vacuum box outside. There’s not a dedicated vent hose – just some vents on the box itself.
        Putting it outside would probably shorten its life considerably, as well as really annoy everyone around while you use it!

    13. Ian F

      That’s a neat vacuum. I was wondering how it compared to the popular Dyson vacuum I’ve seen in so many RVs. That said, it seems like the Ekko is about as small an RV installing one would be practical.

      1. James - Post author

        Yeah. I wouldn’t think it would be= practical in anything smaller.
        This thing eats the Dyson for lunch.

    14. Alexa

      We’ve been following Number 1, but cannot let this one go without a comment. Appreciate good vacuum systems whether for your house or your RV. Especially from those of us who live with our furry friends. As always, your enthusiasm and ingenuity, James, are contagious! A definite plus for re-sale when the time comes in my book! :))

      1. James - Post author

        Woo hoo! I was just pumped that I could actually install it – now that we have exterior compartments.
        Here’s hoping your furry friends keep most of their fur on their bodies while they’re in the RV!

        Hope Lance is holding up well for you guys!


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