Doing laundry is not a fun task when you are stuck at home and it is not any easier when you are on the road. One advantage of being able to wash your clothes in your RV, however, is that you will be able to pack less. You can save time by avoiding pit stops in the city.
If you are considering a long-term trip or a short weekend excursion, our RV laundry solutions are guaranteed to come in handy while you are traveling.
1. Install a Washer and Dryer in Your RV Camper
If you have a large enough rig and 4 or fewer people in your traveling party, installing a washer dryer is worth the investment.
There are several sizes and types to choose from depending on your budget and the space you have available. The great thing about installing a washer dryer in your RV is that you won’t have to depend on luck, or that the RV park has a working laundry area.
Not everyone who travels in an motorhome will stop at an RV park. Plenty of people will use available hookups in commercial lots or other areas. While there are water and sewer hookups, laundry facilities are not always available.
If you don’t have a smaller car being towed behind you it may be hard to traverse through the city to find a coin-op. With an in-RV washing machine set up, you can have fresh clothes no matter where you go.
If you’re a full-time traveler, having a washer and dryer in your RV is a must. RV Washer/dryer combos are best suited for full-time RVers doing long, extended road journeys.
The Equater Stackable Duo is a perfect example of one of these units is one of the top-rated washer dryer sets on the market for RV campers.
2. Head To The Local Coin-Up
No matter where you are in the US chances are there is a coin-operated laundry mart somewhere nearby.
For those traveling in an RV, this is an easy solution for keeping your linens clean and tidy when you travel.
If you have a large family or plan to be on the road for an extended time period we have a suggestion. Pack some quarters and make a point of stopping once or twice a week to refresh your laundry and air out your RV.
Using a coin-op will give you the freedom of packing more items for your trip. It will also reduce the amount of time you need to spend washing clothing at an RV park.
Most coin-ops have oversized washing machines and dryers which will allow you to complete bigger loads each cycle. Coin-ops often are much cheaper than the laundry facilities at RV park locations as well.
3. Make The Most of Laundry Points in the RV Park
Depending on the type of traveler you are and how many people you plan to take with you, RV parks can be a great solution.
Smaller RV campers can get really cramped if you install a washing machine. If you have a large family, a mobile washer can also be a pain to use.
90% of all RV parks offer laundry facilities where you can wash your clothes while you are parked for the day or even overnight. Every park has its own policies, most of which are a pay-per-use model.
Sometimes the washer and dryers may be included in the RV park rental fee, but it is rare. This is a great option for larger families, people with smaller RV’s, or those who simply prefer to use their extra space for other things.
Make sure that you always have coins on hand because there is often no one available to make change. Also, double-check that the machines are clean and clear of debris before tossing your items in for a spin cycle. The last thing you want is to stop at a random washing spot only to leave with a load of laundry full of melted crayons.
4. Consider A Portable RV Washer
Sometimes stopping in the city to use a coin-op isn’t an option. Other times you may be traveling in areas where the RV park is not likely to offer laundry facilities. For these instances, it may be worth considering purchasing a portable washer and dryer.
This type of RV washing machine is a bit different than the regular models. It is a two-bin machine that is on the smaller side. It is not suitable for heavy items or even large loads. You can however wash undergarments, an outfit or two, and maybe one RV bedsheet at a time.
A portable unit uses 120v power and has around 10 lbs capacities for each cycle. The tube for draining is separate so you don’t have to make a permanent connection in your RV.
For those who may only need an RV washer for certain trips each year, this is an affordable and easy-to-store option worth considering.
Keep in mind that these units are not intended to dry your clothes completely, so you will need to be parked so you can hang your clothes out to dry. Alternatively, you can install an RV clothing rack inside your rig to dry your clothes on the go.
See this clothes dryer rack on Amazon.
Here’s an example of a portable washing machine – the Costway mini washing machine and spin dryer – cleans your clothes in 15 minutes or less. It’s AC powered and weighing just 14 pounds, it’s lightweight and portable.
5. Drop Your Clothes Off With The Professionals
The least cost-effective option that you can use is to drop off your clothes to be professionally cleaned. If you are parking in an RV park for at least 48 hours, you can bundle up your clothes and hand them off to a next-day laundry service.
Most of the overnight or next-day options will even fold your clothes for you after they are washed. Keep in mind that while this is an effortless method of doing your laundry while you are traveling, it can be costly.
Most of these services will charge by weight. If you have special instructions or need hypoallergenic detergent, you will have to pay extra even if you supply it yourself. For older travelers, this may be a good choice but for regular roadsters, it can put a serious dent into your savings.
6. Hand Washing Your Clothes
This is not really a solution but rather an emergency measure if none of the above pans out. Nothing like a bit of old-fashioned elbow grease to knock the muck out of your clothes. All you need is a bucket, some laundry soap, and of course freshwater.
Toss your clothes in a bucket, let them soak for about ten minutes, and then agitate them with force. Of course, you will need to rinse them with vigor and hang them up to dry in a well-ventilated area.
Another solution to hand washing your clothes is the Lavario manual non-electric portable washing machine. You can wash up to 5 gallons of clothes, it’s simple to operate and it’s very robust.
Our Final Thoughts on Doing RV Laundry on the Road
No matter which option you use to wash your clothes while traveling in your RV, it is a good idea to break up the work.
Aside from the coin-op solution, there is a limited amount of space provided for each cycle. By washing smaller loads of clothing more often, you will not only keep your linens and clothing smelling fresh, but you will also cut down on your overall workload.
Stick to doing a load twice a week if there are 3 people or fewer. If there are more than that, washing a load every other day can prevent a dirty clothes backlog.
Keeping your clothes clean when you are traveling in your RV is not much different than how you wash clothes at home. The most common option for people with smaller RVs is using the facilities offered in the RV park.
If you don’t want to deal with long lines or you prefer to keep to yourself, an RV washer is the next best thing. You can choose from a variety of brands, types, and sizes to fit your laundering needs. Water consumption will run between 8 gallons per cycle for smaller washing machines and 25 gallons for larger unvented machines.
Make sure to keep this in mind when choosing which laundry solution is will best suit your traveling style.