How Do RVers Do Laundry? Your Questions Answered!
Tips for using public laundromats as well as an in-RV washer/dryer.
By: GoLife Staff

One of the top questions RVers get is how they manage laundry days. You don’t have to be a full-timer to find yourself needing to do a load of wash while traveling. Some RVs come with built-in washer/dryers that make laundry days extra convenient. But, more often than not, RVers rely on campground laundry rooms or public laundromats to get their wash done.

It may seem like a simple task, but doing laundry as an RVer can have a few quirks. So, we asked a few pros to share their insights and tips for using laundromats as well the in-RV option!

Using Public Laundry Facilities

We asked Noel Fleming and Chris Miller, current owners of a Class C EKKO and previous van lifers, to share their top tips for doing laundry on the road. Here’s what they had to share …

“Don’t you just love the 12 seconds when the laundry is clean?” This anonymous quote makes us laugh! Due to full-time RVing, we have developed a road laundry rhythm. We hope our formula helps you appreciate your 12 seconds! 

Find a Good Laundromat

Google Maps is definitely your friend in terms of location, hours, and reviews. Always check the reviews! Depending on the size of your rig, you can also use the map to determine if there’s ample parking for your coach. 

If you’re not in a hurry, widen your search perimeter as you might score a great find like we did when we found the Cowgirl Pizza and Laundry in Sundance, Wyoming. There’s nothing better than fresh hot pizza and cold beer while you wait for your laundry! 

Lastly, we have found that Sunday is the most popular day at laundromats, so it’s the least popular day for us.

Choose Your Machines Wisely

Regardless of whether you are traveling solo or have laundry for multiple adventurers, be sure to poke your head in the machines to check for cleanliness by both sight and smell. A friend of ours taught us the trick of bringing a bottle of Clorox spray and a rag to wipe out the machines before use. 

We use multiple machines simultaneously despite the size of our load instead of lumping everything together in a large capacity washer or dryer. This method seems to both wash and dry the clothes better and faster. 

Make Laundry Days More Efficient

When we had a sticks and bricks home, we used to sort clothes by color. On the road, we now sort clothes by fabric. We group items according to the length of time required for drying. We do this in order to streamline our routine. The load of quick-drying fabrics can be folded and put away while the load requiring more time finishes its cycle in the dryer. 

When it comes to detergent, a variety of brands are often available in laundromat vending machines. If you choose to carry your own, consider using laundry detergent sheets. As opposed to liquids or pods, these paper-thin, dissolvable sheets offer a great space-saving option for RVers. 

Finally, while we have found a few laundromats that employ credit card machines or refillable cards, most are coin-operated, so bring quarters in case the change machine is out of service. The change machine had a magical pull when we were on the hunt for the National Park quarters!

Using In-RV Washer/Dryers

While many RVers in smaller rigs use public laundry facilities, or wait to wash things at home, some larger RVs will come with the option to do your laundry in your rolling home! While not the exact same laundry experience as a traditional house, this option is very convenient and many RVers love it.

Washer/dryer combos are an optional add-on for multiple Winnebago Class A RV models, including the Journey, Adventurer, and Forza.

The Forza washer/dryer combo option hidden away in the bathroom.

Kenny and Sabrina Phillips had the chance to see what having an on-board washer/dryer combo was like when testing out the Adventurer 36Z on a two-week trip to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground. “We loved the convenience of being able to do laundry on our own time or even start the washer before heading out for the day, especially since after the wash cycle was done it automatically switched to its dry cycle,” Kenny shares. 

He also notes the potential cost-savings having an in-RV laundry option offered: “We also liked that we could save money by not needing to use the laundry room at the campground.” While some campground laundromats are inexpensive, others can really add up if you have to do multiple loads.

A Few Things to Keep in Mind with an In-RV Washer/Dryer:

Through their experience, the Phillips learned there are two main things to consider when using a washer/dryer in an RV:

  • “RV washer/dryers are very thirsty and power hungry, so full hookups are usually needed. One load of wash would almost completely fill one of the two grey tanks in the RV, so doing a day of laundry unhooked just isn’t possible,” Kenny pointed out.
  • “Also, due to the small size, and the fact that the washer and dryer is an all-in-one unit, you are limited of the amount of clothes you can wash per cycle, so expect that you will be washing frequent smaller loads of laundry in the RV,” he shares.

However, even with these two factors in mind, a washer/dryer is still on the Phillips’ most-wanted list for their next RV purchase! The convenience just really wins out for them.
 

We hope this article helps you better tackle your laundry pile on your next RV trip! Do you have more questions about RVing? Check out our education section of the blog for more insights.

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