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The Pros And Cons Of Adding A Washer & Dryer To Your RV

If you spend much time at all in your RV, it’s likely you’ve considered adding a washer and dryer to your set-up at some point. After all, heading to the laundromat to wash your clothes is always a hassle, and having the ability to throw some clothes in a washer in your own home-on-wheels sure would be great.

That said, there are definitely some cons to this upgrade. Knowing these cons and weighing them against the pros is something you will want to do before taking the leap. Let’s discuss the benefits versus the less-than-awesome parts about putting a laundry set-up in your rig, so you can decide if it’s the right move for you.

Which washer/dryer is right for you? Photo via iRV2 Forums
Reasons to add a washer and dryer to your RV

We’ll begin with the awesome points of having a laundry area in your motorhome or travel trailer. These are the things most people think of when they daydream about adding such appliances to their RV, so they’ve likely entered your mind already too.

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  • Pro #1: Wash clothes anytime, any place

If you travel with your RV often, you’ve probably discovered that doing laundry during your adventures is not always possible. Perhaps the RV park you’re in doesn’t have a laundry room, and maybe the nearest town doesn’t even have a laundromat.

This can be super frustrating when you really need some clean undies. When you have your own laundry set-up with you wherever you roam, you can do laundry at any time and in any place, even in the middle of the wilderness.

  • Pro #2: Save money

While an RV washer and dryer are a pretty big investment initially, over time, you will make that investment back by skipping the paid laundry machines. If you do laundry while traveling regularly, you might just make it back more quickly than you think.

Besides, having your own laundry machines on hand means you’ll no longer need to keep large amounts of change and/or tokens on hand.

  • Pro #3: Avoid lugging laundry around

Many people aren’t comfortable doing their laundry in a public place. This is understandable. After all, who wants the entire laundromat checking out their dirty underwear? On top of that, lugging large baskets of clothes in and out of the car is never fun.

If you’re a private person, you’ll appreciate the fact that you can keep your dirty laundry in your house, avoid lugging it all over town, and relax in the comfort of your own home-on-wheels while waiting for your clothes to get clean.

RV washer - Photo via iRV2 Forums
RV washer – Photo via iRV2 Forums
Reasons to skip the washer and dryer in your RV

With so many benefits to having a washer and dryer in your RV, you may be wondering what the cons could be. Believe it or not, there are a few. Here are the top three:

  • Con #1: Weight

As an RVer, you probably already know that watching your weight is important. All RVs have a cargo carrying capacity, and going over this weight limit can be extremely dangerous.

While RV washers and dryers are quite lightweight compared to their household counterparts, they are still appliances and do add weight. Be aware of this before adding them to your rig in order to make sure you aren’t going overweight, and that the weight in your motorhome or trailer is evenly distributed afterward.

A great solution for this is the tabletop Wonder Wash and its accompanying dryer.

  • Con #2: Space

In addition to adding weight, laundry machines also take up space. In some cases, RVs actually come with a place to put a washer and dryer, complete with hookups. However, this isn’t usually the case.

You will need to take space into consideration and realize that you’ll likely be giving up a piece of furniture or closet space in order to fit your laundry machine(s) in.

  • Con #3: Water and power consumption

Lastly, there is the issue of water and power consumption. As long as you will only do laundry in your RV when you have full hookups, this is no problem whatsoever.

However, as soon as you want to wash a load while boondocking, or even with partial hookups, you have to keep in mind that these machines use a significant amount of water and power and will quickly fill your waste tanks. This means monitoring these things more closely and could mean more freshwater fillups, dumps, and generator power top-ups while boondocking.

RV washer – Photo via iRV2 Forums
Tips for shopping for RV laundry machines
  • Go vented

First and foremost, we must mention the importance of choosing the vented dryer option over the non-vented. This may not seem like a big deal, and yes, installing the non-vented version is a bit easier. However, that little vent makes a huge difference when it comes to efficiency.

  • Hang clothes to dry

Keep in mind that you can always hang clothes to dry. This is also a great thing to keep in mind when shopping for machines, as it means you don’t actually have to buy a dryer and could get away with a less expensive set-up. Keeping a drying rack on hand is a good idea if you plan to go this route.

  • Watch the size

Here’s the thing: RV washing machines are much smaller than other machines. This means fewer clothes can be washed at one time, making it much more difficult to catch up should you fall behind on your laundry duties. Always check the size of any machine you’re considering buying to be sure it’s something you can live with.

Hopefully, knowing these things will help you make an informed decision when considering purchasing laundry machines for your RV. If you do decide to take the plunge, we highly recommend this Splendide machine which is vented and highly rated by nearly every person who invests in it.

3 thoughts on “The Pros And Cons Of Adding A Washer & Dryer To Your RV”

  1. My husband travels and works all over the US. I removed our second bedroom and had a stacking washer and dryer unit installed 10 years ago. I have never regretted it. He works 10 to 12 hours a day not including travel time. It is as essential as the 2nd AC. The dryer is vented propane. Every place he works someone tries to “buy” his 5th wheel or ask if he needs a roommate. If you spend a significant amount of time RVing I think they are essential.

  2. You would think it saves time over going to a laundromat, but it really doesn’t. You can do as many loads as you have at one time. With your own washer/dryer, you can only do one load at a time. This means more time spent doing laundry in the long run.

  3. I wouldn’t have an RV without a washer & dryer. I’ve had the combo machine which was not vented & I would never do that again because it takes forever to dry the clothes. My new set is a separate washer & dryer & I use it everyday, it’s fabulous to not have to deal with going to the laundromat. I highly recommend it.

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