Living in an RV usually means freedom from worry. It means a carefree lifestyle. Doing laundry when living in an RV, however, may actually be the exception. Instead of enjoying your time in an RV without worries, you would have to deal with a growing pile of smelly clothes and actually need to fit in a visit to the laundromat at least once a week.
There is a solution to this dilemma though and that is having a washer and dryer combo in your RV. If you are able to fit this in your budget, then it is highly recommended to have one installed in your RV. In fact, it can be considered as one of the essentials in an RV lifestyle.
A washer-dryer combo takes care not only of keeping your clothes odor free, but it also takes care of drying them so you won’t have to look for a line where you can dry your wet clothes. A washer-dryer combo offers you convenience to give you more time for all the adventure that you have in mind.
There is a wide variety of washer-dryer combos made available in the market these days making it difficult for you to make the right choice. A quick discussion is given here to help provide you with vital information which may help you in coming up with a decision in buying that combo that fits your needs.
WHAT IS AN RV WASHER-DRYER COMBO?
To simplify things, a washer-dryer combo is a machine that is meant to wash your clothes while allowing them to dry right after a washing cycle. As compared to regular washing machines and dryers, RV washer-dryer combos are more compact and ergonomically designed so they can fit into the small space that is usually associated with any recreational vehicle. Their design doer not compromise in terms of function, thus making these machines quite versatile.
RV washer-dryer combos are said to be more portable and compact as compared to their regular counterparts. They are made to be portable so they can be moved around just in case changes have to be made in your RV’s interior. They can also be easily put away for proper storage when your RV is not in use and your RV adventure comes to an end.
Despite their size, RV washer-dryer combos are built to be durable since they are meant to withstand shock and vibrations that usually accompany road travel. They are quite sturdy that they can withstand decades of “abuse” caused by long-term road travel.
Even better is the fact that the they are designed to be environmentally friendly. They do not only save in space, but they also save much in terms of energy and water consumption. This is quite necessary especially for travelers who camp in areas far from campgrounds where resources can be quite limited.
TYPES OF RV WASHERS AND DRYERS
As previously mentioned, there is a wide variety of RV washers and dryers being offered in today’s market. There are, however, these more highly recommended ones which you should consider before taking that plunge.
COMPACT AND STACKABLE WASHER-DRYER COMBOS
These types of washer-dryer combos are the ones that most RV owners buy. These washer-dryers have the capacity of accomodating a 12-pound load in for both washing and drying. They work quite similarly to regular household models but are usually lighter and smaller.
They are highly recommended if your RV is spacious enough to accommodate this type or washer-dryer combo. They are also quite convenient for travelers who carry with them large amounts of laundry.
PORTABLE RV WASHER AND DRYER
An advantage of this type of washer and dryer is that it doesn’t need electricity for it to operate. These models usually come with either hand cranks or foot pedals in order for them to work. These are useful for those who go on dry camping or for those who usually go inside mountainous areas far from campgrounds where there is no source of electrical power.
There are, however, portable units that use little amounts of electricity and water. These can simply be connected to a tap for operation. The washing cycle is quite fast, usually taking around 15 minutes to be completed.
Most dryers that accompany this combo are usually non-vented. Moisture from the clothes is eliminated via a condensing system. Certain models are equipped with sensors that help improve the drying process.
VENTED RV WASHERS AND DRYERS
The dryers in these types of washer-dryer combos often make use of the air within the RV. Installation of these kinds of washer-dryer combos require a hole to be bored on a part of the wall of the RV. This hole is meant to accommodate the exhaust vent needed to dry the clothes in this type of combo.
NON-VENTED RV WASHERS AND DRYERS
A disadvantage of this kind of washer and dryer is the noise that it produces due to the air circulating in the drum during the drying process. Another disadvantage of this type of washer-dryer combo is the amount of water that it uses during washing. Drying clothes also takes a longer amount of time as compared to other types of washers and dryers.
HANDY TIPS FOR DOING LAUNDRY IN YOUR RV
While doing laundry in your home may be as simple as separating the colored from the whites and pushing buttons, the same cannot be said for washing one’s clothes while traveling on the road. Some extra planning and preparation are needed in order to successfully pull off this otherwise simple chore. If you want to help “lighten your load”, try following these tips and hacks. It just might make your RV life a bit more simple.
Always try to seek the help of one other person, especially when performing heavy-duty laundry.
Bulky clothing and linen such as blankets, comforters and thick jackets are best done in and RV park washing machine. Those who are used to living in an RV are quite aware of the fact that portable machines are rarely able to handle such huge loads.
Make sure that all hoses and attachments are properly connected. You wouldn’t want loose parts to come off during washing, which may result in major floor and carpet cleaning. Get the help of an expert, if necessary, in order to make sure that the installation of your machine is done correctly.
Always read the instruction manual, even though operating a washer-dryer combo doesn’t involve rocket science. It never hurts to go through the operating instructions since as there may be additional instructions which may help ease the burden of doing this chore. Tips regarding machine maintenance may also be given in the manual.
Use your washer as a clothes hamper. Put all your used and soiled clothes inside your washer so they can go straight to washing once the washer gets filled up. This saves you space since from using an extra hamper. It saves you the effort of having to move the soiled clothes from a hamper to the washer and it saves you time as well.
Remember never to touch the wires of your washer-dryer combo. Electricity and water are always a bad combination and you wouldn’t want to end up in an emergency room as part of an unexpected adventure.
For RV washers, it is always recommended that high-efficiency detergents always be used. These types of detergents are labelled as such. These are more powerful than regular detergents which are normally used for household washing machines.
Q: How do washer-dryer combos work?
Typical RV washer-dryer combos usually have a single drum which can be used for both washing and drying purposes. After the washing cycle has ended, the machine automatically switches to the dryer function making it quite convenient to use. There are, however, others that have two separate tubs: one meant for washing and the other meant for spin drying.
Many of these washer-dryer combos have been designed to be energy-efficient and space saving. This makes them ideal for use for recreational vehicles.
Vented and ventless dryer models are easily available in the market. Vented models make use of the air inside the RV as a means to dry damp clothes.
Ventless models make use of drums that are heated up so that the air that circulates within the drum gets heated up as well during drying. Steam is produced during the process and because of this, a hole is made on one side of the RV to which an exhaust vent that is connected to the dryer is placed.
The drum is cooled down using cold water and steam that has been produced is condensed back into water. The water then drains into a drain and holding tank found on the RV.
Q: How does one use an RV washer-dryer combo?
Operating an RV washer-dryer combo is quite simple and easy, although it is advised that the operating manual be thoroughly read.
Below are some pieces of advice that may help in improving the washing efficiency of your machine:
Just as in a regular washing machine, it would be prudent not to overload the machine. Follow the load limit that is specified in the manual.
When it comes to laundry detergent, more does not necessarily mean better or cleaner. Always use just the right amount of detergent as advised by the detergent manufacturer. The usual amount given is around a tablespoon of detergent.
Always make sure that the door of the washer-dryer is properly closed and securely locked prior to use. In the case of single tubs, remove the damp clothes after washind and shake them before placing them back in the tub for drying. This practice helps prevent your clothes from wrinkling.
Always clean the vents after use and remove any lint that may have been produced during washing and drying. The units are made to rid itself of lint so cleaning the unit itself is not necessary.
Q: How does one maintain the RV washer-dryer during winter?
During winter when temperatures are near freezing, it would be best to drain the machine itself of any excess water. Close the tap of the main water supply so that nothing enters the washer when not in use. Draining the unit from any excess water and keeping the unit dry will make it easier for you to pour in any antifreeze just in case it becomes necessary during the winter months.