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RV Washer Dryer Guide: Simple not Easy

Guide to RV Washer and RV DryerHaving access to an RV washer and dryer happens to be vital  for many RV enthusiasts.

Life on the road can be quite exciting, but some of the typical household chores can steal away the fun.

Owning a house that rolls is the envy of many living in regular brick and mortar homes.

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However, washing and drying the laundry on the road is not always as simple a task as it is back at home.

Intent on helping the RV traveler, companies have come up an array of products suited to take the headache out of one of the most hated RV chores of all time.

In this guide I will attempt to brief you on the technology, options, convenience and value associated with the many RV washer dryer decisions you will need to make to take back control of your dirty underwear on the road!

Types of RV Washers Dryers

The major types of RV washers and dryers include:

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

Variations Across the Above Three Types:

  • Vented – Vented machines during the drying process take room air, heat it, tumble it through the clothes and exhaust it to the outside. This means a hole has to be made in the wall of the RV for the exhaust vent.
  • Non Vented – Non-vented machines heat air inside the drum and tumble it through the clothes. This creates steam within the drum. Cold water is then used to cool the outside of the drum. This condenses the steam to water which is pumped into the RV’s drain and holding tank. Most RV’ers in-the-know will disregard non-vented RV dryers as an option.

It’s not that the ventless models don’t work or aren’t reliable.

They work great, and if that’s all you can do because of the design of your RV, then go for it. Just be aware that you’ll use more water and it will take longer for your laundry to dry than with a vented model.

If you are going ventless, you might also consider a marine ventless RV washer dryer combo model.


1. Compact Stackable RV Washer Dryer

Stackable RV Washer Dryer

If you have ever moved children into their first apartment or visited someone who lived downtown in a big city, chances are you have already seen the compact stackable washer and dryer.

They handle around a 12-pound load and can dry while they wash (not impressive unless you’re in an RV).

You will get a very similar experience with these units as you would with your home appliances – except they are slightly smaller and lighter!

This is a favorite option for people who are remodeling their RV as they can build a closet to accommodate the larger profile of this size of a washer and dryer.

These units typically are in the range of 30″ wide by 30″ deep by 70″ inches tall for your reference.

This option is probably the most under utilized option, but is certainly the preferable option if you have the space and have an extensive need for laundry services on your trips.

The Good Stuff

  • Generous Capacity. Load size is close to what you would expect at home.
  • Faster Loads – You can dry a load and wash a load at the same time
  • These dryers are all vented which means they don’t use water to dry the clothes. They dry clothes faster and don’t hinder your water tanks as a result of drying.

The Bad Stuff

  • Because they’re not the industry standard, many RVs can’t accommodate their size.  You may have to do some serious alterations to your RV if you want to go this route.
  • Uses more water than units specific to RV’s. You most likely will need water hookups and sewer to use it. Keep in mind the amps this unit will draw – can be over 20 amps depending on the unit, which doesn’t leave much left for everything else in your RV.

14 thoughts on “RV Washer Dryer Guide: Simple not Easy”

  1. Maybe I missed it in your useful information, but most dryers operate on 220V. 220V is not available at RV parks, is it? The Home Depot stacked unit that you recommend is 220V. How does one deal with that?

  2. Awesome info!

    Anyone know when the manufacturers started adding washer/dryer hookups in general (like in 5th wheels).


  3. I want to thank you for all the work you put into your article it was well written and have lots of great information for a new buyer RV. The next six months me and my wife will buy our first and washer and dryer seems to be a luxury item that we may be aford. When I started reading this I literally had no clue of the washer and dryers that go into an RV. Your article gave me exactly the amount of information I needed to start my own research. Thank you once again for all the hard work and research that you’ve already done.
    Thank you

  4. Just one problem- the Thin Twin can’t be used with the 110 outlet that is in my RV laundry closet. 🙁

  5. I do the Panda washer and Panda non-vented dryer. I put the dryer on the floor of my shower and use it for a hamper #2. The lightweight washer is on top and is hamper #1. I take the dryer out of the shower when running the washer and use the shower hose and drain to assist, then hang the rest on a clothespin tree under the skylight if needed.

  6. A popular option in modern Recreational Vehicles is a washer-dryer combination unit. Most motorhomes, and fifth-wheels offer a washer-dryer option, or are pre-plumbed and wired for easy after-market installation. Because the washer-dryers take up so little room and weigh just over 160 pounds, they are practical for many situations.

  7. I like my roll of quarters and the ability to run multiple loads at once in the RV parks/laundromats. Plus – a good time ot catch up on reading, or meet a neighbor!

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