Visit Bob and Coleen's Workers On Wheels Website for Working RVers

RV Washer and Dryers

An RV Life and Travel Reader asks....
(The Good and Bad of Having a W/D in an RV)

Which RVs have clothes washers and dryers in them, and which W/D is a good buy? What are the pros and cons of having a W/D in my RV?

Bob, the RVing editor's husband replies:

WOW those are loaded questions! I can't tell you which RVs come with a washer/dryer or which ones are the best. I will, however, share some of my thoughts on having these laundry appliances in an RV, including the advantages and disadvantages.

The selection of RV models is constantly changing. Some high end motor homes and fifth wheels are plumbed and wired for laundry facilities. Usually the dealer must order the washer and dryer installed at the factory or install them after they receive the unit. I don’t have a list of the models and brands, and don’t know who might. I believe that will take a bunch of phone calls to dealers, or some research on the internet.

While most RVers do well with the laundry facilities at the campground or the local Laundromat, some people must have their own. The washers and dryers that are designed for RV’s have had mixed to poor reviews. Any of the units that will fit in an RV will usually have a small load capacity, and at best a medium duty cycle. That means no heavily soiled work cloths, no more than one or two big bath towels, no jackets, no rugs, or no more than two pair of jeans. Dryers that fit in an RV usually have a small capacity and take a lot longer time to dry your clothes than a household dryer.

Another consideration is whether or not you will be in a campground that has sufficient electricity. Electric motors in both washers and dryers sometime need up to six times the rated amperage to start as they take
to run. In the summer with everybody’s air conditioning running, and marginal electric in many campgrounds to start with, will there be enough to run your washer and dryer? If you burn out a motor who will fix it? RV dealers don’t want to, and appliance dealers will shy away from it, and I wouldn't bet on the campground owner replacing it.

If you must have a laundry center in your RV, don’t ask the dealer that will be selling you the $1000-$2000 or more appliances. Talk to people that actually have and use them. See if you can find two or three different people that have the models you are considering.

Ask these people questions. How do they use them? How much do they use them? Have there been any problems? Do they work as advertised? Has there been any service required? Were service and parts readily available? Was it worth what they had to pay? Would they get the same appliances again, would they get something different, or would they go without a W/D?

As you can tell, I’m not a big proponent of washers and dryers in RV’s. I’ve never seen an RV washer and dryer that I thought would do a good enough job to justify the space they would take.. I would rather have a closet or set of cabinets in that space.

These are some of the cons of having a washer/dryer in an RV. Sorry, but I can't think of any pros.

There are several different brands out there, and every new model is supposed to be better than the last. Maybe the one you chose will be the one that finally surmounts the numerous problems they have been plagued with, and you will love it.

Good luck,

P.S. My wife may have other thoughts on this issue.

Comments for RV Washer and Dryers

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More on Having a W/D in the RV
by: The Wife Responds

Coleen, here, your RVing editor and Bob's wife. As he mentioned, I do have some thoughts on the washer dryer issue.

I think it it would be super handy to take off dirty clothes at the end of the day, pop them into the washer in my RV, push a couple of buttons and -- walla -- have clean and dry clothes a few hours later. Do a small batch every day, and you never have a pile of dirty laundry. It even ends the age-old question of where to put the laundry basket.

Alas, Bob and his ever-practical perspective wins out, again.

Something I'm surprised he didn't mention is water and sewer -- or lack thereof. We frequently boondock or park where we do not have full hook-ups. No water and sewer hook-up means no using the W/D, even if there is adequate electricity for it.

Some other things he didn't mention are noise, motion, and bad odors. When you are parked for the evening, do you want to be listening to a clothes washer and dryer? I've heard RVers complain about the racket and rumbling. I also hear fairly frequent complaints about bad smells coming from the washers, presumably from water trapped somewhere it stagnates.

While I think they would be handy, I agree with Bob that the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. I really don't want to give up the space an RV W/D takes up, even the all-in-one combo units.

Let's see what some of our other RV Life and Travel readers have to say. I think you'll hear from some of the folks who couldn't imagine relying on a public or park laundry facility. They'll probably have specific brand information for you, too.


P.S. I suppose I should confess: Bob most always does the laundry at our house. If he prefers waiting until we have several full-size loads to do and then doing it all at once at the Laundromat, that works for me.

Go to the RV Life and Travel blog.

Laundry W/D
by: GIGI

My husband and I travel at least 6 months out of the year. I do have a washer and dryer in my rig but do not care for it. I find it wrinkles your clothes way to much for me to iron. I suppose it is b/c the tub is so small. If I could have a full size like at home I would love it. Besides the wrinkles it vibrates the entire MH, especially during the spend cycle. I would much rather have the storage. Just my opinion.

Handy to Have
by: John L

We really like having a w/d in our 5th wheel. I would caution to get a vented model like we have. We has a problem with it not working and dealer was very helpful in diagnosis and sending parts as I chose to fix it myself. Our's is a Splendide and it has plenty of wash and dry settings. We do not boondock. So don't write off a w/d until you decide what really works best for you.

by: SandiS

I have a stacking Splendia set for one major reason...I really, really, really hate doing my laundry in the same W/D someone else has used. When I've been forced to, I've found grass, coins, earplugs, and worst of all, a condom!!!

The set we purchased has worked really well for us. Yes, we do smaller loads, but as it is so handy, we do several loads during the week.

Our washer is very quiet, at most, we feel a little shaking during the spin cycle. The dryer does take a bit longer than models made for the home, but not having to cart around baskets of laundry and wait in the washeteria for your laundry to finish outweighs (for us at least) the minor drawbacks to having the set in our RV.

We chose a stacking set so we could be washing one load, while the other one drys. My sister has a combo W/D, and it takes forever for her to do her laundry. Her tub size is also smaller than ours.

Of course, we don't run the W/D while at a site that doesn't have sewer hook-up. The mild odor occasionally experienced can be overcome by leaving the washer door open a bit after your last load to allow the tub to dry out. The odor comes from the mustiness that arises from shutting off air to the tub and allowing the moisture that remains in the washer tub to stagnate.

Our rig came equipped with the W/D hook-ups in a nice closet in the bathroom. This sure beats the bedroom closet installation my sister has in her rig.

My best advice would be to weigh the pros and cons then determine which option is best for you and your lifestyle.

Happy RVing.

Love my W/D Combo
by: June Dewar

We are full timers and also workampers.We have a Slendide 2100 KC unit in our 37' triple slide motorhome.

We had used laundrymats for years and always dreaded the weekly chore of taking 4-5 loads each time. We would watch people overloading the machines with clothes and also pet rugs into machines that said no pet rugs or mats. This is one of the many things you have to deal with.
With my own W/D in the unit, I put a load in every morning when I get up. This takes about 2 minutes.

I go about my daily chores as the machine does its job. I don't have to even change from washer to dryer. If the weather is fit I hang the clothes outside on our clothes line. We have not been in any parks that object to clothes lines. If we ever do we will dry them in W/D.

We have had this W/D since 8/2012 and have had no problems so far. We could afford to repair or replace if ever necessary as we don't have the expense of the laundrymat.

It does take up some space in the unit, but if we had the space for storage we would just stuff it full of things we obviously don't need.

Have great travels, and keep the wind behind you.
God Bless
June and Bob Dewar

by: Anonymous

We have a Splendide 2000 in our 2002 Bounder motorhome. I used the combo washer/dryer all the time. I wash two bath towels, handtowels and dishtowels at the same time. A pair of jeans, and t-shirts. I have even washed rugs. We have never had a problem with power. The only con I see is that it takes up some space. I would never go without a washer and dryer in my rig! If I ever get a new rig we will add a dishwasher next.
From the woman that does the laundry! My husband would agree!

A Big Plus
by: Anonymous

My wife wouldn't be without a washer and dryer in our RV. We have had one since 2005 and they work great for us. We've worked as gate guards in oil field and you appreciate them.

Washer and Dryers
by: Mabel Leffler

Thanks Bob and Colen..I am not yet a full time ever till I can sell my big mobile suport my little 29 foot motor home I also have heard that the units are not that am going to try ordering the little roleaway washer. ..the counter top dryer and the small counter top wash rag size unit from moms catalog the three with shipping is 800.00 they run off of 110 ...I have cats and a turtle plus my moms that require being changed twice a can not aford pay machines...and ya I was wondering the same thing about the water..but figure I will have to cross that when the time comes...

Lady Trucker of 36 years

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