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While you might be able to save all your laundry until the end of an RV vacation, full-time RVers don’t have that option. We have to find RV laundry solutions in order to ensure we have clean clothes to wear while we’re hopping from one place to the next. This can be difficult when you’re not living in a traditional home with a standard washer and dryer.
Fortunately, there are plenty of options when it comes to RV laundry solutions.
Some full-timers choose to use campground laundry rooms and laundromats exclusively. This is a pretty good option and it does work well for some, but it can get pricey, especially if you have a large family to keep clothed.
Another option is to wash clothes by hand, but nobody really wants to do that with all of their laundry, as it would take a whole lot of time and energy.
The last option is to get an RV washing machine.
Yes, you read that right. You can absolutely get an RV washer, or even an RV washer/dryer combo! That said, there are things to consider before doing so.
Pros of RV Laundry Machines
Let’s begin by discussing the pros of an RV washer. While there are a number of benefits to having a laundry machine in your RV, these will often vary from one person to the next, depending on various factors. That said, the three pros below are things that everyone is sure to appreciate.
Pro #1: Wash Anytime, Anywhere
One of the most annoying things about taking clothes to the laundromat to be washed is the fact that you can’t always wash things right when you need to. In fact, there might even be times you have to wait a couple of weeks between laundry sessions, depending on where you’re camped.
Not only does this mean you won’t necessarily have your favorite outfit to wear on your next outing, it also means you have to own more clothes, as you’re likely washing less often. Considering that RVs are quite small as homes go, finding a place to store all those extra clothes can be challenging.
An RV washing machine solves all those problems by allowing you to wash your laundry anytime and anywhere, as long as you have the water and power needed.
Pro #2: Spend Less
Another fantastic benefit of owning your own RV washer is that you’ll spend much less on laundry. Sure, you’ll have the upfront cost of the machine itself, but that weekly laundry budget will be no more. Not only will you save on the cost of running the machines, you’ll also save on gas, as you won’t be traveling to and from laundromats.
Pro #3: Skip the Laundromat
Here’s the thing: The laundromat is not a very comfortable place. It’s loud, usually a bit dirty, and anything but private. On top of all that, doing laundry at the laundromat means lugging all those clothes from one place to another and back again.
Owning your own washing machine allows you to wash your clothes in the privacy and comfort of your own home, and avoid loading all your clothes up in your car every week or two.
Cons of RV Laundry Machines
What about the drawbacks to owning an RV washing machine? Yes, there are cons, and thinking about these before taking the plunge is definitely a good idea. Below are the top three drawbacks.
Con #1: Extra Weight
Anyone who has ever lived in an RV knows how important it is to consider the weight of each item you bring in. After all, no RV has an unlimited cargo carrying capacity, and on some rigs, the cargo capacity is quite low.
Unfortunately, many RV washing machines can be pretty heavy. This is especially true of the RV washer/dryer combo machines, which can weigh close to 150 lbs.
For this reason, if you tend to have trouble staying below that cargo capacity mark, you might want to skip this particular purchase.
Con #2: Space-Consuming
In addition to adding weight to the rig, an RV washer can also take up quite a bit of space. Sure, there are teeny tiny ones on the market, but the fact of the matter is, those tiny ones will only hold a tiny amount of laundry and aren’t very helpful in the long run.
The machines you could actually get some use out of can feel quite big, especially if you’re strapped for space, so keep that in mind while shopping.
Con #3: High Power and Water Consumption
In order to run an RV washer, you’re going to need incoming water, a place to drain it afterward, and power. If you don’t have access to any of those three things, your machine is useless.
For this reason, those who boondock most of the time might not find a laundry machine very helpful. That said, those who tend to stay in RV parks will likely get good use out of such an investment.
Top Tips for Shopping for RV Laundry Machines
Of course, before you buy an RV laundry machine, you will want to make sure you’re getting the best machine for your situation. For this reason, we highly recommend keeping the following tips in mind as you shop for your RV washer or RV washer/dryer combo.
Always Buy Vented
If you plan to purchase an RV washer-and-dryer combo, make sure the machine is vented. A non-vented machine will never work as well, you’ll always have problems getting your clothes dry, and you might even find that the machine gives you issues over time. For these reasons, a vented machine is well worth the extra money.
Consider Hanging Clothes Out
Can’t afford a combo machine? Don’t have a place to vent a dryer? Keep in mind that it is possible—and in some cases even preferable—to hang your clothes out to dry. A folding drying rack or RV ladder laundry rack will allow you to hang-dry things without damaging any trees, and the sunlight will actually help remove stains.
Think About Size and Weight
As mentioned above, the size and weight of a machine can cause issues. Because of this, it’s a good idea to keep both of these things in mind as you shop.
Measure the area you plan to keep the RV washer in to ensure you purchase something that will fit, and weigh your rig before shopping to know how much wiggle room you have in terms of cargo capacity.
Our Favorite RV Laundry Machines
Prefer to skip the shopping process and jump right to the buying step? If you don’t have the time or energy to sift through dozens of options and consider the pros and cons of each, you’ve come to the right place.
In this section, we’ve listed our top four picks for RV laundry machines. These RV washing machines have been tested and approved by actual full-time RVers, and users have confirmed that they get the job done right.
Giantex Portable Twin Tub Washing Machine
Looking for something affordable and lightweight? The Giantex Portable Twin Tub Washing Machine might be the perfect solution. While the machine can’t dry your laundry, it does a decent job of washing everything and offers a spin feature that ensures nothing is super wet when hung to dry.
Giantex Full-Automatic Washing Machine
A step above the twin tub machine we just mentioned, the Giantex Full-Automatic Washing Machine washes quite well. Like the machine above, it doesn’t dry clothes, but it does offer a very effective spin feature.
In fact, we like the spin feature on this machine even more, as you aren’t required to switch the clothes from one tub to another before the spin cycle, meaning one less step for you to worry about.
Splendide Vented Washer and Dryer Combo
The next option on our list is one of the best. The Splendide Vented Washer and Dryer Combo washes and dries your clothes, and doesn’t even require that you switch them over to dry after washing! It washes as well as any home washing machine, and the vented version dries relatively nicely.
Splendide Ariston Stackable Washer and Dryer
An absolute favorite among full timers, the Splendide Ariston Stackable Washer and Dryer set is as good as it gets. The washer can hold nearly as much as a typical household washer and washes very well. Meanwhile, the dryer works just as efficiently as any other dryer out there.
All that said, this particular set is pretty pricey, meaning it’s not the best option for the budget conscious shoppers out there.
As you can see, there is a lot to think about when considering how you will do laundry on the road. Fortunately, you can always change your mind if the option you choose doesn’t turn out to be ideal for you after a while, so pick what works for you now, clean those clothes, and keep on traveling!
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