by Nadyne Huber
Originally posted on 4/3/21
There are convenient RV resort facilities that take a special card you must purchase to use the machines. In these places you pay to set your card for a set amount, $5, for example, then add increments to them of $2 - $5. I have always left these campgrounds with credits on my card that I can’t use anywhere else. I’ve actually had campgrounds tell me that I have to return my card even if there are credits on it. To that I say, no thanks.
We’ve used laundry rooms in campgrounds where the broken machines outnumbered the working machines and laundry rooms with equipment so gross that I’ve walked out! Occasionally, you find one that is literally pristine. Some washers also use a “water saving” mode, which means that no matter how large your load is, the tub fills only about half way.
All of these laundromats have one thing in common; they are all very pricey. To wash and dry an average load can take $5 or more.
There are not many positives that I have to say about using pay facilities. Retail laundromats can be so sketchy that you can image your bludgeoned bodies in the news the next morning. After our first year on the road full-time, I started using my own washer and dryer. Without an area prepped for these machines, we have found a way to make it work for us.
I use a Giantex Portable 8 pound load washing machine. This washer works exactly like any regular washer with rinsing, spinning and drain pump, only smaller. I also use a Costway 8 pound 110V electric clothes dryer as well as a clothesline under the awning.
We removed a cabinet in our bedroom to store the washer in an out of the way area until wash day. When that day arrives, my husband moves the washing machine into the shower. It works great in the shower and once I’m done washing, he moves it back to its space in our bedroom. It is pretty light so moving it is easily done.
The dryer can be mounted on a wall but we have it installed down in the basement of our fifth wheel. I vent it out the basement's cabinet door when it is in use so it doesn’t heat up our home. I hang almost everything on a clothesline first and then move it to the dryer as everything is almost dry. This fluffs and unwrinkles our laundry and expedites the laundry day process.
To be fair, there are many types of other washers that RVers use. Some wash in one tub and then you wring out everything and move it to a second tub for rinsing and/or spinning. These are referred to as “Twin Tub” machines. Twin tub machines tend to hold more clothes in a cycle than my washer and are less expensive as you have to move the clothes from one tub to the other. The downsides are that they include no spin cycle and the water doesn't drain automatically, so you have to manage the water throughout the process, then ring out the clothes by hand.
I’ve heard of RVers using a 5 gallon pail with a toilet plunger to wash their clothes, I suppose that is also an option although not one I would be interested in!