RV laundry is a dirty chore but unless you’re going to become a nudist, it has to be done.
From laundromats and hand washing, to no-electricity-required gizmos, to full on Washer/Dryer Combos, choosing a method for RV laundry while on the road can be a total pain in the rear! I like clean clothes but I hate doing laundry (it’s a real conundrum, and I have the same issue with dishes), however I like doing laundry a lot more now than ever before! Why? Because #FleetwoodRoy came equipped with a washer-dryer combo! Holy mother of laundry, what a discovery! If you have never used an RV washer and dryer combo before, watch this video (note, I had to curb my enthusiasm so I didn’t seem like an appliance salesman):
The best way to do laundry ever!(and that’s the honest truth) If you’re interested in more details and tips on the washer-dryer combo, skip down. For those that don’t have the space for one of these nifty little combos (our first few RV’s didn’t) here are some other RV laundry options:
- Laundromats – always call ahead and ask how old their machines are, how often they are serviced, and what the cost is (it can vary a lot). There are some really nice places if you are willing to do a little research. We have found Laundromats with full coffee bars, cafes, slot machines, and cocktail bars…all for the same price as the places with nothing but some old machines. The good news is, as long as it’s not busy you can get all your laundry done at one time!
- Drop Off Service – as long as you are near a decent sized town there are usually wash and fold laundry services. I can’t vouch for any because I have never used one (and not entirely sure why). As much as I hated to do laundry, and as much as it costs to do it yourself at a Laundromat, it’s probably not much more for full service (note to self: try wash and fold service).
- Old School Hand Wash Made Easy – Fill a tub (with lid is best) with soap, water and clothes. Place the tub in the shower while driving down the road. This agitates the clothes similar to a machine and you can really make those miles of driving count! When you arrive, rinse the clothes out and hang dry.
- Hang Dry – There really is no escaping the need to Hang Dry certain items, and most campgrounds have rules against tying lines to the trees…so we use this compact folding dryer: Heavy Duty Drying Rack
- Mini Machines – We have used the Basecamp Ezywash and the Laundry Pod. While you are free to try these and other mini machine options out for yourself, here is my take.
- The Mr. Heater Basecamp Ezywash worked ok but the old school handwash method works just as well and either way the clothes will have to be hand wrung (a lot of work, its hard on clothes and not recommended for some fabrics). I returned it after 3 loads.
- The Laundry POD requires more elbow grease but worked well for agitation and spinning the water out of the clothes (but not as well as a machine). It’s basically an oversized salad spinner for clothes. The downside was the capacity. It’s a lot of work for just a few shirts and some underwear. I did use it occasionally (worked great for hand wash only items) but ditched it when we got the washer-dryer combo because it has a hand wash setting.
Washer / Dryer Combo Specs, Tips and Tricks
This little machine is seriously my favorite upgrade! Jason may disagree and say he would rather have a dishwasher…but he doesn’t do the laundry, so why bring him into this anyway.
I have talked to some people that love their machine as much as I do and then I have talked to others that still prefer to go to a Laundromat (some people are just not meant to be understood). I have heard statements such as; my clothes come out wrinkled, it doesn’t hold enough, it takes to long… My opinion, it’s all about knowing how to properly use the machine and using the recommended tips.
- We own the Splendide 2100XC
- Max capacity is approximately 3 bath towels, 1 hand towel and 2 wash cloths
- High efficiency “he” machine with load auto balance
- Load times and water usage vary upon size, fabric type, and setting
- Uses between 9-16 gallons of water per load
- No lint trap. It’s so gentle on fabrics that very little lint is produced. The small amount of lint that accumulates is safely expelled through the drain.
- Ours was installed at the factory, if you want to upgrade your RV this model is better because it’s ventless: Splendide 7100XC Ventless Washer/Dryer Combo
- Make sure you choose a Laundry Soap that is made for “he” machines.
- 1-2 tablespoons of Liquid Fabric Softener is super helpful as softer clothes dry faster (do not use dryer sheets in this machine).
- For better drying and less wrinkles on sheets and blankets…take them out after 20-30 min of drying, shake out, fold them up (yes fold them) and put them back in for the remainder of the dry time. It sounds ludicrous but it works.
- Don’t overload the washer/dryer (seems like a no brainer but I’ve been guilty).
- Yes, the loads are smaller than a normal washer, but the combo unit saves so much room vs. a stackable unit we think its a better option for RV laundry.
- No, I don’t use it while Wild Camping (boondocking) as I can think of better uses for my limited water and electricity while living off the cord. If you try it out, let me know how it goes.
- Yes, I do really like it and think it does a great job.
- No, I have not had issues with the clothes not drying.
- Yes, it may take 2-3 hours to wash and dry a load but that is fine for us as we’re often hanging around the RV or working on the computer on laundry day.
- Yes, the spin cycle does shake the RV a little, but it’s short lived and it’s not bothersome (but I wouldn’t try baking a cake or rising bread at the same time just in case).
- I like to use Seventh Generation Detergent and Natural Fabric Softener. I like these because they’re easy to find (target, walmart, etc) its free of crazy chemicals, it works great, its biodegradable, the Eucalyptus & Lavender smell is delightful and Seventh Generation is an environmentally conscious company which is important to us.
So that’s my dirty thoughts on RV laundry. If you have suggestions for hassle free laundry, know where the best laundromats are or want to toss in a few words of wisdom on sorting out life one load at a time…share in the comment box below.
Disclaimer: Splendid didn’t pay us; they don’t even know we wrote this. Fleetwood commissioned the quick tip video series because they want their owners to know how to use their RV’s and appliances. All of our experiences, thoughts and opinions are our own and never purchased. The product hyperlinks are for Amazon, if you purchase we get a few pennies and you pay the same price.