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Open Roads Forum  >  General RVing Issues

 > Any full timers use a roomba style vac?

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JAC1982

Colorado

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Posted: 10/12/20 11:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have one in my house and while it helps with the "maintenance" especially with 3 dogs, 2 of which who shed, it's not as good as running an actual vacuum. It also frequently gets stuck in random places. For a space as small as an RV, I think it would be just as easy to use a regular vacuum, and it would only take about 10 minutes a day. Plus it would save you hundreds of dollars since Roombas are expensive.


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dedmiston

The West

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Posted: 10/12/20 12:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have a cordless Dyson in the fiver that works well for us. It was actually a "standard feature" with our RV. I probably wouldn't have bought that model, but it's been reliable for almost five years.

We've talked about a robot vac for the RV, but the robot wouldn't be able to get the stairs up to our bedroom or the bedroom itself. It just doesn't pencil out for the RV.

We have two shedding dogs though, so we vacuum the RV nearly every day on our trips.

For home, we actually have four robot vacs (five if you count the one that I decommissioned). It's a long story, but I received three of the five for free to evaluate.

Here's my unbiased opinion of the units we've used:

Dyson 360 Eye Robot Vacuum: This vac is priced at $1,699 on Amazon right now. Unbelievable. This was our first robot vac and we had a serious love/hate relationship with it. This one was a disappointment from the git-go and it took us about a year to finally get it dialed in enough to be of any use. I think we got two more years out of it and then retired it. This vac probably gave us 60% frustration and only 40% satisfaction over its lifecycle. It just never lived up to its hype. I would have been pretty steamed if we paid for it, but instead we're just disappointed.

Roomba: This one never gave us the technology pain that the Dyson did. Maybe it's because they didn't attempt to do as much with the Roomba technology, so there wasn't as much to disappoint us. I never really liked this one from the beginning. While the other two brands make valiant attempts to draw a map of the room and then sweep back and forth through the rooms in an orderly pattern, the Roomba is just a random drunk who staggers through the rooms weakly attempting to pick stuff up. It can't negotiate even the simplest transitions from hard floors to carpet, so we based it in the "lowest" room in the house (about an inch below the carpeted rooms) where it wouldn't get into much trouble. Since it's random, it doesn't draw itself any sort of map of hazards, so it boldly charges at the gaps beneath the sofas and gets stuck all the time. Even when it doesn't get stuck, the best it will do is draw big funky asterisks (*) in your carpet because it just goes back and forth across the room with no order. Of the three brands, the Roomba picks up the least dirt and dog hair.

Neato: I had never heard of this brand and still haven't really heard of it except through our own experience. I never would have tried this one if it hadn't been given to us to evaluate. I let it sit in a box for months without deploying it because the network connectivity was finicky and I couldn't get it to connect. I finally tried it again after I upgraded my home wifi to a mesh and had better connectivity in every room. Once I got this one going, it dazzled me so much that I bought another one for downstairs. We felt silly for having an upstairs Neato robot and a downstairs one, but we still loved it and I bought one for mom for Christmas last year. And then about a week before Christmas, mom mentioned that she and her husband don't like robot vacs in principle, so we sat on that present and I eventually gave it to my wife last winter so we could divide the duties between the two robots and really keep those rooms dog hair-free. I used the mapping features to define which rooms each is responsible for, and they really do a fantastic job.

My wife also secretly still likes the Roomba, so even through I cancelled its schedule and stopped it from running automatically, she still runs it once a week or so, especially if we have people coming over soon. Last week we had a literal conga line of the three downstairs robots all lined up and chasing each other and then each of them erroring-out or running out of charge, so they just died in a line like that. Funny stuff.

We have doggy doors and our dogs are able to come and go at will, except that they have to come in through the garage and laundry room to hopefully get some of the dog crud off of their feet before they get in. Still though, this tracks an insane amount of silt dirt into the house, plus their dog hair. So with these three robots running every day (plus the occasional help from #4), our floors look good visibly, but we still have to empty out the robots' bins at least once a day.

Would I ever buy five robot vacs? Not a chance. But I've bought two of the Neato units myself because I loved the first one so much. If you live in a multi-story home, one robot doesn't really do any good.

If you don't completely love fussing with technology though, then don't ever get any brand of robot vac.


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MrWizard

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Posted: 10/12/20 01:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have shop Vac for the RV vacuum, the Roomba, and Bissell little green machine

The roomba was used from the salvation army family store, and it cleans the floor while i am doing other things,
The mopping i have to do myself

No the Roomba is not better than regular floor vacuum or sick vacuum, those have stronger motors


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Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 10/13/20 09:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not a full timer, however I take a small corded 4 gallon "shop vac" type of sweeper.

Takes up some storage space but I have a pretty big storage box mounted on the back of my TT that it fits in.

I have found that the Ridgid brand sold by Home Depot to be extremely dependable and even Incorporated a Rigid shop vac into my sticks and bricks home brew whole house vac system.

Much stronger vacuum than any battery powered device, uses filters that do not even allow drywall dust through so the dirt your vac picks up does not end up going out of the sweeper.

Home Depot has a nice compact 3 gallon Ridgid shop vac..

HERE

While it does not include a carpet beater bar, you can buy vacuum powered after market beater bar units inexpensively..

HERE for $30 which works surprisingly well on most carpets with perhaps exception of really deep pile carpet.

The Ridgid filters can be easily cleaned and reused for many times as long as you do not get the filter wet. I simply take the filter out of the vac (outside of course) and tap the filter on a solid surface to knock out accumulated dirt then put back into the vac.. Been doing it this way for 30 yrs and have never bought a new filter.

Sweeping a RV takes what a whole 10 minutes and that includes dusting all of the above floor surfaces (not sure how a robot vac can "dust" surfaces above the floor, I guess you don't or perhaps sit the roomba on the counter??).. Not to mention, I don't miss any spots. I am a loss as to why folks clamor to robot vacs..

If you clean regularly it should take much more than 10 minutes in a space of a RV, now in a 2500 sq ft house it may take a half hr per week but that is a different beast.

navegator

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Posted: 10/13/20 09:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Best vacum cleaner that actually does not give off dust when emptying it or when operating is a Rex Air unit that uses water as the filtering medium rather than paper based filters, witch by the way are porus to very fine particles of dust.

They are also known as Rainbow vacum cleaners, you can actually invert one when it is running and will not spill the water in the lower canister.

The succioned air with the dirt and dust is swirled thogether with the water and the special air water separator will only let the clean air pass leaving the dirt and dust in the water, then it just a simple matter of dumping the water from the canister in the toilet, after a few uses you do need to clean the separator under a faucet, they not only vacum but do not leave dust in the air as some of the other vacum cleaners do.

navegator

kellem

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Posted: 10/14/20 12:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have small Dyson and broom in trailer and while the Dyson performs well, we find ourselves using the prehistoric broom more often.

We have all hardwood floors in our home and find the Roomba works well.

ncrowley

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Posted: 10/16/20 06:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dick_B wrote:

Roomba's are an example of the classic create a need for a product and advertise the H___ out of it. It's a gimmick and an expensive one. There is nothing in the brains of a Roomba that forces it to cover every square foot of the floor. If it does it is just dumb luck. If a floor is completely clear of obstacles given enough time it will eventually cover the entire surface (note free of obstacles such as chair legs and given enough time).
A decent battery powered stick broom will work much more efficiently ie clean the floor in less time.
BTW I used to sell them while working at Brookstone.


That is not true for many models these days. There are two levels of robotic vacuums. One does a random path. The other maps the house and does a methodical path that covers the entire floor every time. I have a RoboRock at home and I love it. It has a cell phone app that shows how it maps and vacuums the house. I run it about every other day and it is amazing how much it picks up.

It is not as good as a regular sized vacuum on carpets, but it does a good job. It does great on hard floors. I just take my vacuum out about once per week and go over the carpets.


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wopachop

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Posted: 10/16/20 07:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Was close to buying a $100 stick vacuum. They claim it has a hepa filter but i watch youtube reviews and they use a fog machine to show the lack of filtration with the budget models. Its not a "sealed system" which i dont fully understand. They also say its not a true Hepa filter on the budget models. Need to go midrange to get into decent filtration.

Recently at a house and the lady had a Dyson V8. I was super excited to try it, because ive never even held a stick vacuum. My first impression was geez....this is an expensive model? Seemed super weak.

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