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Monday, December 7, 2009

Boondocker's wish list: Dyson's new super clean up machine

Are you still looking for a useful gift for the RVer in your life? This futuristic machine takes some serious consideration. I’m referring to the Dyson DC31, a powerful new handheld vacuum from the Dyson people that will have your clean up chores finished before the fun of using it wears off.

Dyson recently sent one of their DC31 vacuums to me 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, the Dyson patented cyclone design. 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 DC31 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 a robot fighting machine out of Star Wars.
• 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, and 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. A crevice tool gets the hard to clean areas.
• A button on the back offers the option of ten minutes at lower power, or up to six minutes at 70% greater power—which even at this setting is not annoyingly loud. The lower power setting will handle most jobs, but the increased power setting really turns on the juice for tough jobs.
• 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.

After using the DC31 to suck up everything I could think of I can recommend it as a very useful tool for RVers. It does the job admirably, and it fits in perfectly with our RV and boondocking lifestyles.

Learn more about boondocking with my new eBook, BOONDOCKING: Finding the Perfect Campsite on America’s Public Lands.

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