RV Laundry 101: Explore the Options

Laundry is a fact of life. You can’t go long without having to wash your clothes at some point. For most people laundry is a considered a chore, but for those who RV, it can be a downright pain in the you know what. For those of you who are puzzled as to the best way to do laundry in your RV, we have some expert advice from a traveling family.

In 2011 the Tipperary family traveled in their RV with two infant girls for 18 months. You can imagine the amount of laundry this family had to deal with!

The Tipperarys explored several ways to approach the “L word” while traveling. Here are their tips for doing laundry in an RV.

#1: Install a Splendide Washer/Dryer combo

There are pros and cons to an onboard washer/dryer combo. The cons are that you can only do very small loads, the cost of the unit is high, and not all RVs have the space or sufficient power for a washer/dryer. The pros are that they are super easy to use, and don’t require a trip to the laundromat. Check out the below video by Gone With The Wynns all about their Splendide washer/dryer combo.

#2: Go Old School

Laundromats all over the country are getting a face lift. Some offer free WiFi, TVs, beverages, folding services, and play areas for kids. The biggest advantage is that they allow you to get a bunch of washing done in a small amount of time. Many of the new oversized washers will allow you to complete 4-6 loads in one machine! This is perfect if you need to wash bedding and rugs, or prefer to only do laundry once every few weeks.


The Tipperay family used the laundromat as a place to let their kids run around while washing the mounds of laundry they acquired on a weekly basis. Some newer laundromats even offer specific kids ares with movies and indoor playgrounds.

Many people complain about the cost of using a Laundromat. In truth, it would take years to pay for a washer and dryer at the rate of $3 a load or less. Want to save money? Buy color saving sheets, wash all the colors together, toss in a sheet and save time and money!.

#3: The Portable Washer

Many RVers, myself included, use a portable washer as a way to wash a small load here and there. There are several types of portable washers. Personally, I like the Panda and the Manatee. Both washers handle small loads and will wash and spin dry. Once your laundry has been through the spinner you can easily hang it up to dry (I suggest the shower or a portable drying rack for the back of your rig).

Check out this video of a portable washer below.

For small loads of wash at the RV, The Tipperary family like the WonderWash non-electric portable washer. It has a hand crank that you crank around for 3 minutes and then let soak. The downside is that you need to wring out the clothes by hand. For very small items it is convenient, but for large loads they simply go to the laundromat.

For more laundry tips from the Tipperary family take a look at their blog post all about laundry, or to read more about their life on the road, visit their blog, the Long, Long Way to Tipperary.

So, here’s the question. How do you do your laundry in your RV? Do you like or hate laundromats? Why?

Leave your comments below and then take a few moments to share this article with your friends. Post it, tweet it, share it. Believe it or not, laundry is something we all have in common!

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