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RV Washer Dryer Guide: Simple not Easy

This post was updated on March 15th, 2024

2. Combination RV Washer Dryer

RV Combo Washer and Dryer

This is by far the most popular option in most RVs that need laundry appliances.

These units allow one drum for both the washing and the drying operation.

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Most units automatically switch between the two operations.

These units measure up to 25″ width x 25″ depth x 35″ height but they can vary so be sure to measure twice and buy once!

These units specifically speak to the needs of RV’ers.

Special engineering considerations have been made for energy and water efficiency which in my opinion are the selling points for these units. It’s a great blend of convenience and efficiency.

That being said the washer will use water at a feverish pace. They are efficient but not enough so to do a dozen loads.

For the boondockers, you won’t find this to be the most desirable option if you’re not nearby a place to fill up and empty your holding tanks.

It takes 2-3 hours to finish a load with these units which may be frustrating for those looking to turn around a load in an hour like at home.

The Good Stuff

  • Small profile, designed for tight spaces, and simple to operate.
  • Set it and forget it operation. Once it starts it doesn’t stop till the clothes are dry.
  • Newer RV’s may be already setup for you to slide a unit in, hook it up and go.
  • Vented or non vented models available.
  • Much lower use of your energy resources compared to to stackable compact units. 13 amps on average.


The Bad Stuff

  • Will not accept a full load of laundry like your home units. If overloaded it will not wash or dry properly.
  • A load can take 3 hours to complete. Overloading can push that number out much longer.
  • Will use a lot of water and also a fair amount of amps. Be sure to check your electrical output before buying.

It can take up to 20 gallons of water to complete a single load in these RV washer dryer models .

Non-vented machines will use even more (up to 5 gallons or more) during the drying cycle.

You can always run your generator and use your holding tank, but you may find that when it comes time to wash the most important thing of all (yourself) that you’re fresh out of water!

3. Portable and Storable RV Washer Dryer

RV Portable Washer

Portable Washer

Portable washers allow you the convenience to do laundry almost anywhere a sink, drain and electrical outlet exist.

Some units actually don’t require electricity – just some elbow grease.

They’re perfect for RV’s without means for doing laundry elsewhere.

Most portable washers connect to a faucet using an adapter that’s included with the appliance.

You can complete a wash in under 15 minutes in most cases.

RV Portable Dryer

Portable Dryer

Portable dryers are all mostly non-vented.

A portable dryer’s condensing system removes moisture from clothing.

Some models are equipped with a sensor that detects how damp clothing is, and applies the appropriate amount of heat needed to dry the items.

Water collects in the condenser.

It can be emptied by hand, or via a hose attached to the condenser which directs the water into a drain.

Most models offer multiple drying cycles and heat options, such as a quick fluff for removing wrinkles from sheets and high heat for drying heavy items.

Keep in mind that most of these units can be quite heavy, unlike their washer counterparts – some as much as 100 lbs! Though many weigh in around 20-40 lbs.

The Good Stuff

  • Very compact, water efficient, and require little if any electricity.
  • Less costly than any other washer and dryer units.
  • Great for occasional use. Easy to stow away and can do a load of laundry quickly (particularly the washer)

The Bad Stuff

  • Many units take good old fashioned elbow grease to operate, not to mention heavy lifting.
  • Not ideal for RV’ers that want to permanently mount their laundry appliances.
  • Because of the pricing the units tend to be of lower quality than the other options.

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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