Unless you are lucky enough to custom order your new RV from the factory, chances are it has some amenities you don’t need. When we purchased our first diesel pusher, it included the last thing we would ever want in a motorhome… or so we thought.
Enter the RV washer/dryer; it sat in one of the RV closets taking up valuable space that could otherwise be used to store clothes, linens, tools, or what-have-you, and we were not impressed.
Here we are, several years later, and we are true converts. While it is true that the unit is large, heavy, and takes up significant space, this is a small price to pay for the convenience a washer/dryer offers. It has really become a “must-have” go-to appliance in the years since.
We travel with two teenagers and two pets, and my eldest daughter has a two-year-old, and he is sure to be traveling with us soon as well, so the washer/dryer has become a lifesaver. We now take the appliance for granted, and certainly noticed its absence when we had one RV that did not have one. Our current RV has this essential appliance and it is unlikely we would be without one if and when we purchase a new RV in the future. If you’ve never considered a washer/dryer to be a factor in your RV purchasing decision, here are some thoughts that may affect your decision:
- You don’t have to turn around after leaving an RV park because you left a load of laundry in the dryer (yes this has happened).
- You won’t have to scrounge for change in order to wash your clothes
- You won’t have to purchase single-use wash detergent every time you need to do a load of laundry.
- It’s very easy to do laundry after kids and pets get things dirty.
- The space taken up by the washer/dryer may be compensated for by the fact you can pack fewer clothes and linens due to the convenience of onboard laundry.
- Individuals who may have soap sensitivities don’t have to worry about residual detergent in the commercial public machines.
- You don’t have to worry about changing your loads of laundry over between the public washers and dryers or leaving them in the machines while you are out, especially if the laundry facilities are busy and/or they close at night. This is especially relevant if you are out sightseeing and won’t be back to the park to switch your laundry.
- The sheer convenience of being able to do laundry where and when you want
There are some other things to think about when considering an RV washer/dryer:
- While combo units such as ours are the most convenient, the wash load capacity is generally larger than the drying capacity. The easiest workaround for this is simply to wash smaller loads
- You can opt for a separate washer and dryer units, but they take up more space and you will have to change your laundry over manually. This is not a major inconvenience for most people.
- You can also opt for vented or ventless dryers. The latter is used in RVs that can’t easily support a vent installed on the outside of the coach. Ventless dryers take longer to dry the laundry and consume more water.
- There are other options for washing clothes in an RV as well, such as washers that utilize the RV shower, as well as manually hand-cranked units. These are handy for the budget-conscious RV owner.
In summary, we have found that our washer/dryer has become an essential appliance in our motorhome, and the extra space it takes up is a small price to pay for the convenience it provides on the road. If you haven’t considered this appliance, or if you have previously dismissed it as an option, I highly recommend giving it another look.
About the author: Steve Froese
Steve Froese, an avid RV owner, traveler, and Coach-Net member since 2013, is the principal of “A Word to the Wise Technical Communications”, a published RV author, certified RV technician, and licensed Professional Engineer. He frequently collaborates with the “RV Doctor”, Gary Bunzer, and has worked with the RVIA/RVDA as a technical and training writer and consultant. Professionally, he works as a quality engineer and musician. Watch for more of Steve’s work in upcoming Coach-Net publications.
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