RV Washer and Dryer or Use a Laundromat?

For those wanting to RV full-time, one of the looming questions is “how will we do our laundry?” Should you buy an RV washer and dryer or opt for using a laundromat or campground laundry instead? For us, the answer wasn’t that simple.

In our former fifth wheel, there was a bonafide laundry closet plumbed and ready for a washer and dryer or washer/dryer combo. We had seriously contemplated getting an RV washer and dryer. However, we had to weigh the pros and cons…literally.

So, here’s what led us to our decision of…

Before Buying a Washer and Dryer

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RV Washer and Dryer or Use a Laundromat?

Advantages of having an RV Washer and Dryer Setup

RV Splendid Washer and Dryer Combo
Photo credit: Benjamin DeVries at Grateful Glamper

Do your laundry anytime you want

If you have an RV washer and dryer installed in your motorhome, fifth wheel or travel trailer, you can do your laundry when you want. Whether starting your day or while lounging before turning in for the night, it’s just a matter of shoving your laundry in your machine, turning the knob and pushing the button.

And, you’re not having to look for a clean laundromat.

Small Town Laundromat

You know exactly what’s in your laundry!

That’s right! Having your own RV washer and dryer gives you peace of mind knowing you know only your family’s germs, hair and whatever else. Just your and your family’s DNA. Nobody else’s skin, fingernails, pee, poop or vomit!

Not having to stock up on rolls of quarters

One of the drawbacks of having to dragging our big laundry bag to the laundromat is we need to keep a stash of quarters. Which, as we know, coin is more weight to tote around.

But also, we’ve seen laundry facilities at campgrounds that take your credit card or you purchase a card in the camp store to use in the washers and dryers. So not having to worry about making sure you have enough change is a plus.

Laundromat Roll of Quarters

All of that said, if you are wanting to purchase your own RV washer and dryer setup, realize the upfront hefty costs. RV washer and dryer laundry appliances aren’t cheap to begin with.

And, it’s not like you can throw in just any washer or dryer. Closets designated for a washer/dryer are tight therefore, you’ll need a specific RV washer and dryer or one that is small.

And if you’re fifth wheel or motorhome isn’t already plumbed for water and/or dryer venting and if you pay a professional installer, you’re going to be shucking upwards to $1800.  (Based on product, installation kit and installation, applicable shipping or delivery and tax.)

A few RV Washer and Dryer laundry appliance models to give cost comparisons:

RV Washer Dryer Splendid Comparison

So, we’ve shared what the great things are about having your own RV washer and dryer setup, let’s take a look at the other side; using a laundromat instead of having your own RV laundry appliances.

Advantages of using a Laundromat

Not have to do laundry everyday

Everyone who has a washer and dryer in their RV has said they do at least one load of laundry every day because the wash cycles take so long. Who wants to be doing laundry all the time? And having visited some of our friends who have their own laundry machines running them, we’ve felt them shake the whole RV.

Laundry is done in less than 2 hours

For us though, Dan is back from the laundromat or campground laundry in less than two hours. Typically, he has two to three loads to wash and dry. He can put each load in separate washers  and then, dryers; all simultaneously.

While he’s waiting, he catches up with phone calls and emails or reads. When it’s time to fold it all, he’s quick and methodic. And guess what ladies, he’s good at it; multi-tasking too!

RV washer and dryer - Laundromat Dan

Laundry makes the heart grow fonder!

Speaking of Dan in charge of the laundry chore (which he seriously doesn’t mind), it allows each of us two hours apart so we each can do what we need to. It might be the couple hours for me to catch up on uninterrupted blogging or video editing.

RV Laundry Day - Laundromat Dan

Not having another utility appliance to worry about

Dan had in the back of his mind when thinking of getting a washer and dryer for our RV is he’d having to deal with the utilities. We all know that water is an RV’s worst enemy. Which means, you. can’t leave your laundry appliances unsupervised.

Let’s also add in the maintenance and possible necessary repair of your washer and dryer or washer dryer combo. Trying to get parts delivered on our schedule become more of a hassle. Oh, and if you need to pull either the washer or dryer out for repair or replacement, there’s not a whole heck of a lot of room to do it in any size RV.

And, since we boondocks and camp off grid, that wouldn’t work in our favor anyway because of the need for water and electricity. We’d have to conserve and monitor our utility usage even more closely.

Not having that extra weight

Not having a big honkin’ clothes washer and dryer appliances gives you a little reprieve from that extra weight.

For example, a Splendide Washer/Dryer Combo is about 150 pounds in dry weight. Then add in a few extra pounds for the hookup kit. That means you would have to give up something that the washer and dryer takes the place of.

Extra storage space

By not having an RV washer and dryer or washer dryer combo, you’ve got a cool spatial feature to put in a small office supply center if you work remotely or a toy closet for the kiddos. Or, perhaps, you could make better use of that space for your hiking gear or golf clubs.

In our former Landmark fifth wheel, we turned our washer dryer closet. into a great storage closet in which we kept everything from a few tools, RV repair supplies, household items, crafts and office supplies.

But please consider one thing

I’m going to say it right here and I hope you won’t be offended reading this. I absolutely LOATHE when people wash their pet beds or shop rags at the laundromats or campground laundry and don’t clean up the machine(s) after.

We’d rather not have to pick off your Labrador Retriever or our clothes smell like wet dog. The same goes with shop towels. Having my tops and sweatshirts smelling like diesel or chemicals…YUCK!

So, if you’re going to wash your pet beds or shop towels, please wash out the washer tub after. As we are so familiar with the phrase leave no trace, that means at the laundromats too.

Buy an RV Washer and Dryer

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