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rv washer dryer combo

EASIEST Way to do RV Laundry

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.

rv washer dryer combo

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.

The Deets

  • 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

Nifty Tips

  • 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).

FAQ’s

  • 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.

Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (67)

  • Will

    If I were to buy a travel trailer or toy hauler would it be extremely hard to hookup one of these? I see your unit has a built in space for the w/d combo. You don’t need traditional hookups for these do you?

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  • Jeffrey Bennett

    If you can avoid a combo you will very happy. We have had a combo with a prior coach , when we got our new coach with a separate washer, dryer huge difference can do a bigger load your cloths are dry.

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  • Tamara

    I had the Splendide 7100XC Ventless Washer/Dryer Combo in our last fifth wheel – it worked fine. Currently we are looking for another model of RV. Curious if any of you have tried the old ice cubes in the dryer setting to release wrinkles? I have a steam washer/dryer at home but when I visit my Mom I use a handful of ice cubes in her dryer and set the timer for 10 minutes to release wrinkles and refresh as opposed to dragging out the iron.

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  • Carol Simons

    Thanks for the heads up on the washer/dryer. Have been trying to figure out if it would be worth it for us. You’ve sold me! 😉

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    • Curious Minion

      Glad it was helpful!

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  • Susie

    Thank you! Utterly brilliant review and graduate level class on a huge and important topic. I’m getting my second, this time ventless for an apartment. Thankful I’m on the ground floor, or it might not have gotten approved.
    You are so good at what you do – wish you were my neighbors. Thanks again, Susie in Portland.

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  • Judy

    I just got a Splenda washer dryer combo for my 5th wheel.
    I loved it.. i hated it and now i love it again!!
    When i first got my unit, i was so happy with it i washed everything.. it worked perfect.. it was like “set it and forget it”!!..
    Then… i began breaking out in a nasty, itchy, rash all over… most along the seam line if my clothing… horribly itchy rashes!!
    After about bathing in calimine for anout a week.. i finially figured out what mysterious critter was causing the rashes bumps… ME… when the Splenda directions say… only a tablespoon or two of detergent is needed… THEY ARE NOT KIDDING!!
    Now i use ONLY super clean rinsing soap.. like Castile Soap or their Sal Soap… and ONLY 1 TABLE SPOON and vinager for softner.
    I also add a couple extra gallons of water to the wash and rince cycles.
    Life is getting back to normal now.. lol

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  • This is an older post- but I REALLY want to get this combo unit- We are in a small house off the grid and I cannot find ANY information on actual real-time energy useage. I am trying to figure out if this would be a feasible option for a small solar system and how much energy it would actually use. Any thoughts? Thanks!

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  • oops, this is just so I can sign up for comments by email 🙂

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  • Would you happen to know if the washer is protected from movement in any way? I mean does it have some sort of padding to keep it from being jounced all over the place while the trailer is in motion? I want to put one in my trailer and I can’t find any information about how to install it.

    Thanks for your help!

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  • Sy82

    I know someone who uses a washer/dryer combo. Unfortunately we are a family of six, so the small load and extended time would make this impractical for us.

    However for a couple, this is an amazing thing.

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  • Heather Pace

    My husband and I are looking into purchasing our first RV but it’ll be used and expensive enough to find one that sleeps 5+. How much more expensive should we expect an RV to be if it’s pre-wired for or comes with a washer/dryer? How much does this combo run to purchase separately?

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  • Suzanne

    Thank you the information! I am currently retiring in a few months and will be purchasing a RV to live in full time. My debate was washer/dry combo or not and since I will be alone on the road, love the comfort of not going to a laundry mat. Thanks for all the info!!
    See ya on the road!

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    • It’s so simple to pull into a campground and get all our laundry done without having to haul everything back and forth to the laundromat.

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      • Jack

        Everything (except towels) I pull out at the end is always wrinkled! 100% cotton shorts & shirts especially. I’ve tried fabric softener (btw, can u use vinager in Splendid?) but it didn’t help.

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        • It takes practice to find the perfect time to pull out the clothes and not overstuff the drum. It took us a year or more to find the perfect balance.

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  • Alastair

    Sorry but my friend bought a Splendide and installed in in his Montana in Victoria BC. three years ago. It’s broken down three times and the manufacturer recommended a local repair man. After three calls to this person and getting no repose I gave up. A second person I contacted, suggested we buy a “board” from the US. $400.
    without even seeing the machine and indicated he no longer wanted to repair the Spendide. I spoke to a man yesterday from the US who’s Splendide hasn’t worked for six months. To get a repair man here (if you can find one) cost $95 service plus $80 per hour labour costs. (That is IF you can get the parts through customs without breaking the bank.) I had a 25 year old trailer and the stacked washer dryer from Sears lasted 24 years absolutely trouble free. Not once did I have it serviced. My advice: stay away from Splendide.

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  • Merrilyn Becj

    We are full time RVers who will soon be acquiring our second fifthwheel. The current one which we are trading in was used, about 3 years old when we got it 3 years ago. It was prewired and plumbed for stackable laundry units. But giving up a shelf and clothes bar in that part of the closet seemed like a big sacrifice. I asked other, more experienced RVers about their laundry choices. To save space one preferred to use campground facilities. Another had an all-in-one Splendide but said if she had it to do over she’d get one vented. A 3rd lady had told me they didn’t like the all-in-one that came in their motorhome. But when they replaced it to try to sell the RV, they really liked the new washer/dryer. So we chose a Splendide when it was on sale with special installation at Camping World. Splendide book says do not install on carpet, but it was. And no pan underneath that we can see. It’s worked out pretty well and I guess most of my complaints are due to operator error. It beats going to a laundromat. And somethings can be washed and dried for about 20 mins. then hung on a clothes rack in nice weather. So after reading this blog and other reviews, I think we will stick to the combo in our new fifth.

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    • We feel the same way…it may not be 100% perfect but it sure beats finding a laundromat and spending $40 in quarters for two weeks worth of laundry.

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  • Patrick

    I’m shopping for a new RV. Laundry is a pain to go somewhere to do it. I guess because I have never had to do that. I do a load laundry at home now right when I wake up. So it’s easy. I could do the same in an RV. As far as a dish washer… not sure, washing dishes is way easier than cloths for me. How about doing the cloths in the dishwasher…. haha

    BTW …. are RVers mostly older retired people? I’m in my 40s and wondering if a lot if younger people are out there as well?

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  • That would be a dream to have a washer dryer combo! I would want one in a class C and cut the kitchen in half to make room for one. Thanks for the heads up with how it works. I’ve wondered about it for a while.

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  • Laura

    We’re new to RVing and currently have to go to the laundry mat (which I’m finding a major pain), so I’d love one in the rig. You mention how softer clothes dry faster, but are you aware that if you use fabric softener on towels you reduce their absorbency? Once or twice you may not notice because the effect is gradual but if you always use softener on towels, you’ll notice a big difference when you next buy new towels.

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    • Thanks for the tip Laura. In the Splendide manual they recommend softener so we use it…we’ll have to take note with our next towel purchase.

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    • Travelicious

      I never use commercial softeners in my laundry because they leave a chemical residue on everything. Instead I use some vinegar, it removes all of the rest of the detergent which keeps whites from getting dingy and makes everything soft. And no, your clothes don’t smell of vinegar afterwards. I’ve been doing this for over 30 years, it’s cheaper, more natural, it removes odors, and I think my clothes/towels/etc last longer.

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  • Linda

    I’m buying a 22′ class c. I feel the same way as you do about doing laundry. I was wondering if you think it would be possible to fit one of these babies between the benches where you eat. I was thinking of either putting it under the table or remove the table entirely and using this machine as a table. Anyone have thoughts?

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  • Leah

    Just wondering if you can use the dry cycle only without washing cycle? To refresh clothing, etc. Thanks

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  • Marlin Stevens

    Love your posts. Just a comment on Laundromats. In Alaska, and any place with a lot of “Fishing” industry, avoid public Laundromats. It is common for a fisherman to use the public laundromat to clean clothing that has been up-close-and-personal with fish. Using a machine that has been used in this way will result in that permanent smell in your clothes. Particularly if the laundromat sees less than regular service. We have seen several places with warning signs restricting access to fishermen.

    We have found that the laundromats in most RV parks are cleaner and better maintained than public ones.

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    • RED BEAR

      Fish smell in washers NOT A PROBLEM… Living in alaska traveling as much as i do i found 1 can of regular COKE WILL TAKE OUT ODORS on fish along with pet urine and blood. It breaks down the enzymes and washes away dont panic if ur water turns pink it wont stain clothes its working it magic. HAPPY LAUNDRY?

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      • Coke will clean your penny’s, remove rust or solve fish and urine smells…hmmm do you think it’s ok to drink? HAHA. Thanks for the tips.

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      • Sandra & the 2 Spaniels

        Thanks for this tip! I am baby sitting a 3 month old cocker, who has managed to baptize all of the dog beds! I will try this in my next doggie load of stuff.

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  • Just. Thank. You. I’m loving your site and info, getting things readied to start living on the road in a couple of months and you’re giving me tons of info that I won’t have to learn while sitting, head in hand, on the side of the road. 🙂

    As far as laundry, I’m assuming you still have to use the laundromats for your blankets and larger load items right?

    Cheers Wynns!

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  • Loved this post, but we elected not to install a washer/dryer. I think the tips you provide here would make it work, though. We do our laundry once a week (4 loads) and it takes about 2-2.5 hours. Most RV parks that we have stayed at have great laundry facilities. We have gotten into a once-a-week laundry, shopping, cleaning schedule. And we do that all on the same day. The rest of the time we are free to enjoy our retirement lifestyle that primarily involves hiking/exploring nature and visiting historical landmarks and museums.

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    • Agree, if you’re retired and have a little extra free time a laundromat is a fine place to meet up with other campers. For us we’re often stuck inside the RV editing video so being able to do laundry while we work is HUGE!

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  • Ludy Gibson

    Some spoke of dishwashers in their rigs. I have read that it is much more economical to use a dishwasher than to wash by hand because most of the dishwashers designed for MH use only 4 to 5 gallons of water to wash. That’s pretty economical if you ask me. We don’t yet have our ‘dream home-on-wheels’ but a dishwasher is certainly one of my ‘wants’ as well as a washer/dryer combo.

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  • Cathy Niebruegge

    Another tip. Wash all clothes, using a basket or tote for wet clothes first. The first load to dry takes the longest and the other loads will dry much quicker when using the combo w/d.

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  • John Maddox

    How does the 7th generation do. We tried it in our home washer and did not think it got everything out

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    • Works great for us. We are currently using Mrs. Meyers but we also like the ECOS brand. For us the most important thing is the detergent smells nice but is made with real stuff so it’s biodegradable.

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  • kris

    I presume this is a VENTED washer dryer? They are good, so I have been told by the boating community, but the un vented ones to be avoided. The unvented is what gives a bad name to all of them so be careful which you buy.

    We had the stackable (and vented) on our boat, was heaven! The Splendide (or Ariston which produces Splendide) are wonderful machines. I am going to buy again when these old machines I have here in my S&B house fails. That is how good they are. 🙂

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  • Michael

    Hello Jason and Nikki,
    I just came across your website in the past 24 hours and have spent nearly all that time reading through your website. We’re considering switching from boat to RV.

    We love our Splendide, an older model. After 2.5 years living aboard a 42′ sailing catamaran, I wouldn’t want another vessel (or RV) without one. We continue to use laundromats for thick bedding but that is rare enough to be just another excuse to walk out and meet more people.

    I saw you may be interested in going on the water. If you love the RV, I think you’ll love boating as well. And don’t worry about sailing experience. When we moved aboard Dec 2011 in the Northwest, we had 1 week of experience. Advance to mid May 2014 and we just returned from a 3k mile roundtrip down to Ensenada Mexico.

    If you happen to be the in Washington, feel free to drop us an email.

    Cheers
    Michael
    SV Ice Blink

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  • Derek Wilkins

    Thank you so much for the review about your Washer/Dryer combo in Roy. Been to many RV Shows, and hear all sorts of negative comments about all-in-one Washing Machines in RV’s.
    Your video proves to me that it’s not all bad.

    Thanks, Derek Wilkins

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    • It’s true, we had always heard negatives…that’s why we were so surprised to see it actually works and we really like it. So long laundromats!

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  • Amanda

    OH The jelouse, longing! I have a 30 ft bunkhouse travel trailer me and my daughter live in full time and while I am very lucky to have a friend who lets us “camp” in their yard and run a cord to their house for stove, lights, car style built in radio/cd player, pump… I would much rather be able to do my own laundry in my own house! Im very new to this 🙂 so Im still learning EVERYTHING but I already love it and hope by the end of the year I can trade in for something a little more ME!… Keep up the awesome job I have taken to “stalking” your site for tips and tricks!

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  • Nikki, you’re making me question our decision to have the combo unit in ours removed to save money and free up clothes storage space. We read all the negative reviews about time and load size and thought it may be better to just do all the loads at once at the laundromat. I think Brandon would have rather had a dishwasher, too.
    Right now that space houses shelves for clothes, the dirty laundry, and a cat bed/hideaway. It can always be changed back, though!

    Hope to see you on the road again!

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  • kristi

    I have had the Splendide, and it made life easy . That was when we did alot of travelling.
    But my husband works welding jobs so that w/d got alot of work. Its powerful!
    I found it could do 3-4 pair of pants, or several pair of underwear, socks and T-shirts each wash. But operated best if half the load was taken out to get best results in drying..,it frees it up to “tumble”.
    And. We had room (width, depth) for a Vesta countertop dishwasher to fit under our kitchen counter, hooked up to kitchen water lines and drain..love that alot !! Just like a real home…heck, what else do you really need ?? I love living “on the road

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  • Great Video! I was wondering how good the system work. I’m looking for a new rig and it is on the must have list. I’m with Geeky Nomads – I would like a dishwasher too! OK, I’m lazy when it comes to chores, there are to many better FUN things to do. 🙂

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  • Our RV didn’t come with the washer/dryer (the insane prior owner removed it to increase storage!) but we installed a dishwasher in its place. Doesn’t seem to be a popular option but we really love it. I’ve heard such varying opinions on these splendide machines. I suspect the negative ones come from people who overload them.

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      • Surely we’ll cross paths some day and we’d be honored to wash your dishes 😉 We’ll be in Pennsylvania the next few months and then going out west. The dishwasher is pretty cool, basically all the chinese made countertop dishwashers are almost the exact same model… they only use 3 gallons of water per wash. It’d be cool to shoot a “behind the scenes” video of you guys making a video. I think you’d need a 3rd person to man the camera. I volunteer.

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  • Mark

    Thank you so much for the review/overview of doing laundry on the road. I’ve only done weekend tent camping and am just in the information gathering stage for when I hit the road full time so I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the hygiene side of life on the road. Your posts about your composting toilet are really interesting/informative, especially how it can extend your time boondocking which I am very interested in doing (I asked you guys recently about using a bidet to save water too).

    Anyway, you mentioned in your post some of your experiences at laundromats (I want to find the ones with coffee/wine bars:) so do you know of any web resources that travelers can check for “best of” laundromats? I did a quick Google for the term and didn’t find any so do know of any comment boards for RV’ers to leave notes about best/worst campground/city laundromats?

    Thanks as always for doing what you’re doing. Your real world views on life in an RV is great.

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  • Debbie

    Love our combo too! I do get wrinkled clothes so hang up a lot to dry. But here’s a tip someone shared with me last summer, take your wet/damp clothes – blouses, shirts, pants – lay them on the bed and smooth them out (iron with your hands) then leave them there to dry. Amazingly, they are wrinkle free when dry! I also use the Downy Wrinkle Release occasionally – a must for travelers.

    Thanks for sharing your great tips!

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  • I’ve got a smaller RV (24′ Class C) so, unfortunately, no way to install a Splendide. But this winter in Mexico, I came up with a pretty great system for washing and drying that weighs less than 20 lbs and uses less than 100 wts of power. For washing, a 5 gal bucket with a $20 “Mobile Washer” works amazingly well to clean clothes in less than 10 minutes, and for drying smaller items (undies, tops, shorts, jeans), the $70 electric Mini Spin Dryer is relatively small, lightweight, and leaves clothes nearly dry in just 2 minutes of spinning.

    Here’s the blog post I wrote up with pics and further details for any others out there needing a smaller laundry solution:
    http://winnieviews.blogspot.com/2014/02/my-onboard-washer-dryer.html

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  • We don’t have washer and dryer or combo in our MH but almost everyone I know what has one swears by it. We don’t mind doing the laundry (or the dishes) and don’t mind going to a Laundromat.
    I agree with Steve – good info and a well done video!

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    • Nikki doesn’t mind doing the dishes either…because it’s my job 🙂

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  • We have a Whirlpool separate stacked washer-dryer unit in our MH and the wife agrees with you. This is the ONLY way that she prefers to do laundry.
    No searching down local laundromats and then “wondering” what was last used in that machine.
    The convenience is outstanding!

    Also, kudos on another well done video.

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    • Thanks Steve! The washer and dryer was a welcome upgrade with the new RV!

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