RV Washer and RV Dryer: A Complete Guide

RV Owners

When you own an RV, life on the road can be exciting and fun. But there are a few things that can turn that joy into frustration – things like chores.

Chore time is harder in an RV, especially when you need to do the laundry. If you are lucky you might be able to find a coin-operated laundromat in your area. Unfortunately, these facilities tend to be expensive, unsanitary, and crowded.

The best way to do laundry in an RV is by installing a washer and dryer right inside your RV!

RV manufacturers are catching on to the fact that RV owners want to be able to do the wash on the road. New products specifically designed to make laundry in an RV more convenient are being developed every day, and many RVs come standard with a washer and dryer.

Interested in learning more? The following guide provides a detailed breakdown of the different RV washers and dryers.

Three Main RV Washer and Dryer Types

  1. Compact RV Stackable Washer and Dryer
  2. RV Washer & Dryer Combination
  3. Portable RV Washer and Dryer

There are also two variations across the three types:

  • Vented
  • Non-vented

Although they are pretty reliable,  RVers generally stay away from non-vented washers and dryers. These machines take a long time to dry clothes, and they are use a lot of water. This is especially true when compared to the vented models.

Compact RV Stackable Washer and Dryer

This type of RV washer and dryer is quite common, especially in larger RVs. They allow you to wash and dry two loads (up to 12 pounds) simultaneously. These units are similar to the machines in most homes, albeit smaller and lighter. If you have the space and need to do large loads of laundry while on the road, these units are perfect.


  • The capacity is similar to what you find in a home washer and dryer
  • Allows you to wash and dry a load simultaneously
  • Washes & drys quickly


  • Their size means that you only fit in large RVs
  • They use a good amount of water
  • You will need access to a sewer and water hookup for use
  • They use a lot of electricity

RV Washer and RV Dryer Combo

This type of RV washer and RV dryer is the preferred choice of many RVers. They don’t take up a lot of space, and one drum handles both the washing and drying process. In fact, most units switch automatically from one operation to the other.

RV washer and RV dryer combinations are made specifically to meet the needs of RVers. These units are both water and energy efficient providing the ultimate blend of efficiency and convenience.

These units are typically more efficient than other types of RV washers and dryers. Keep in mind though, that is you enjoy dry camping, this type of washer and dryer will not work for you, as you will need a significant amount of both water and power.


  • Small profile
  • Easy to use
  • Designed for small spaces
  • You can literally set it and forget it
  • Most RVs — especially the newer models — are already set up to allow for these units
  • Available in both vented and non-vented models
  • Uses less energy resources than a stackable unit


  • Doesn’t do a full load like you would expect from a home unit
  • Doesn’t work properly when overloaded
  • It can take up to 3 hours to complete one load and overloading it will increase that time frame
  • Uses a lot of water; up to 20 gallons for a single load. Non-vented models use at least 5 gallons more.

Run your generator and use your holding tanks to reduce problems. But, you must watch your water or you may find that you don’t have any when it’s time to take a shower.

A woman next to an RV using a portable washing machine

Portable RV Washer & Dryer

Portable washers are perfect for those who enjoy dry camping and boondocking because electricity is not necessary for the operation of some units. The portable washers that do use electricity typically only require a small amount of both water and electricity. Most units connect to your faucet and a load can be completed in less than 15 minutes.

Most portable dryers are non-vented. They use a condensing system to remove moisture from your clothes. Some units also come with a sensor that makes the drying process more efficient. It is important to note that many of these units can only dry a small number of clothes at one time.


  • Doesn’t require much electricity
  • Water efficient
  • Compact
  • Affordably priced
  • Easy storage
  • Perfect for occasional use
  • The washer does loads quickly


  • Many units work through manual operation
  • Cheap pricing means lower quality as compared to other types of washers and dryers
  • Not the best option for RVers who want units that can be mounted permanently

Important Considerations Before You Buy Your Next RV Washer and RV Dryer

  • Compact RV stackable washers and dryers are usually the best options for most RVers
  • Buy your RV washer and RV dryer from Amazon or Home Depot for the best prices
  • Use laundry detergent that is specifically labeled “HE” for High Efficiency
  • Hire the services of an RV technician to look over and install your new RV washer and RV dryer

Alternatives to Personal RV Washers and Dryers

  • Truck stop plazas: Many of these have amenities that RVers can use as well
  • RV Parks and Campgrounds: Most of them have on-site laundry services for patrons
  • Local laundromats: They aren’t the most pleasant, but they will get the job done in a pinch
  • Hand-washing: If you are low on cash, a 5-gallon bucket can be your saving grace.