Filling the void with a vacuum | Meet the Trudgians

Filling the void with a vacuum

Posted by on Apr 18, 2016 in Featured, Reviews | 1 comment

Filling the void with a vacuum

The problem is simple, we need a vacuum for the caravan. We would like a vacuum that can run from 12 Volts or be cordless, have a good battery life and most importantly have great performance. We already own a Black & Decker car vacuum and a Beldray stick vacuum. Both of which are terrible.

We asked twitter for some advice, and the comments we got back pointed towards the Dyson V6 handheld. We already own a Dyson cordless and we are not that keen on the battery life. In genuine usage at home we manage about 5 minutes, just enough time to suck up the cat litter. The power and results are fantastic – we cannot fault that, but being able to vacuum an entire caravan while we are in storage is not feasible in just 5 minutes.

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 13.07.49We ventured out to look at the range of Dyson Cordless vacuums. With the promise of 20mins run time we purchased a V6 Cordless Animal, for £289.00 Not cheap, but if it does what we want, it will be worth the price.


Once home I quickly realised that this may not totally answer our prayers :
Problem 1 is the vacuum cannot recharge from a 12v supply, no problem I thought – I will buy extra batteries and we can have them charged up from an inverter, while using one of them.
Problem 2. You cannot swap the batteries. They are now sealed into the vacuum. I realised that to charge the vacuum I will need to purchase an Inverter, and use that for when we are only on 12v supply.
Problem 3. I cannot use it while it charges up. So I will need to wait nearly 4 hours for the charge to complete. But maybe, with 20 minutes run time, I am overreacting.

I ventured up to the ‘van with a fully charged vacuum and clean carpets. Our ritual up to this point was to remove the carpets, clean them at home then return them to the ‘van. My intention was to clean the floor then the seats and if enough charge was left go over the blinds.

The tools supplied with the V6 Animal are good. In the box you get a Motorised cleaner head, mini motorised tool, a combination tool and the crevice tool. We also purchased the accessory pack that includes a hard brush, soft dusting brush and a handy hose to really get those hard to reach areas. All these items are perfect for getting cobwebs, corners and areas of the van that a brush just cannot reach.

With the motorised cleaner head plugged in, run time is reduced to just 14 minutes. But that would be good enough for me to clean the floor before resulting to a traditional “soft” head for the rest of the ‘van.


How did I get on?

The Dyson barley made it over the floor. The Dyson has a normal mode of operation and MAX power – which gives better performance but limits the battery life yet further. When using the vacuum, I had it set to standard mode with the Motorised head and it barley lasted 9 minutes. Which leaves me with a problem. I cannot recharge the battery; I need a mains supply to allow this to happen. I cannot swap the battery; they are sealed units. I cannot recharge from a 12 volt supply. I have a half cleaned caravan, a dead £300 vacuum and a 3.5 hour wait, once I return back home and put it on charge.

And this is the downfall of the Dyson V6. Unless you have a mains supply, 3.5 hours to wait while it charges up and low expectation of the run time, it wont be an issue.

How about the performance?

IMG_3450 The performance of this little vacuum is astonishing. It really did an excellent job of getting dog hair out of the corners, from around the shower tray and around the toilet. We had previously brushed out the ‘van from our last outing but what the Dyson was able to suck up was simply mesmerising. I just wish it had enough charge to allow me to carry on and finish the job.




On the basis of the performance I would highly recommend this vacuum. But, on the price point, the annoyance of the life span and inability to recharge without mains supply, on balance I think it’s a no. There are far better solutions available. Albeit with less performance but with the option of replaceable battery packs and 12Volt chargers, you can spend longer getting the same results, but at less cost and more practical. Have a look at the review that Richard Easy put together on the Merlin 2 in 1 mini vacuum.

Which vacuums do you use ? and how do you find them ? please let me know.


One Comment

  1. Hi Dan,

    I‘m Ralph from Germany. I discovered your blog on YouTube a few days ago during my overwintering on Tenerife. I’ve eben preparing the next caravan Season. The Videos are amazing and realy helpful – thanks a lot. In Germany there is unfortunally anything like this on an equivalent level.

    But now let me come back to the issue: I use the Dyson V6 for many years in my caravan – and I‘m convinced. You‘re right by listing the problems. But the performance of the Dyson V6 is unparalleled. If one want to clean up the caravan perfectly and in a pleasent time it’s the first choise. If the were a lower price…

    PS: It‘s a pity not having more british caravan brands on the mainland europe. Comfort and diversity are competitive.

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