Dirty Laundry Solutions That Will Save Space In Your RV
Wouldn’t it be great to live in a world where your clothes just cleaned themselves while you were sleeping? Sorry, but unless you’re in the royal family (who have had their share of dirty laundry), that’s probably not going to be your reality.
The drudgery of doing the laundry doesn’t even take a break when we’re RV camping. Many campers use tactics like re-wearing clothes a few times before tossing them in the laundry hamper. However, eventually, we’ll still need to take care of our dirty laundry one way or another.
In this article, we’ll give you some quick and dirty laundry solutions for RV living. We researched and found seven great tips for keeping laundry under control that have worked well for RVers.
1. Find a convenient place to store dirty laundry
Storing dirty laundry in a hamper under the bed, in the bathroom, or in a storage bay are all solutions that have worked for RVers who want to get the dirty laundry out of sight until laundry day.
These days, many motorhomes and trailers have ample under-bed storage in the master bedroom to put a laundry hamper or two. There are a few RVs that have an innovative laundry chute that drops laundry from the master bedroom into a hamper in the basement area.
The Keystone Bullet travel trailer comes with a laundry chute. However, it isn’t difficult to make a laundry chute in your RV if you’re handy and have space for laundry in your basement.
2. Use a laundry bag or pop-up hamper to hang dirty laundry
Getting your dirty laundry off the floor and out of the way can save valuable floor space in your RV. Hanging a laundry bag in the bathroom or bedroom can really help to keep things tidy in the RV.
3. Take your dirty laundry to a laundromat
Taking dirty laundry to a laundromat to wash and dry is an easy solution. Most RV parks have a laundromat where you can do laundry without traveling too far. Even if you aren’t staying at an RV park that offers a laundromat, you might be lucky enough to have a full-service laundromat in a nearby town you can use.
These days, commercial laundromats can offer much more than just a place to wash your laundry while you wait. A laundromat now might offer free Wi-Fi, a coffee shop, or even a laundry drop-off service so you can drop off dirty laundry, go sightseeing, and come back in a few hours to pick it up, all clean and neatly folded.
4. Wash laundry in the RV
Some large RVs may have their own laundry machines built in. A laundry solution for those of us in smaller RVs is a portable washing machine. These small machines clean your laundry just like a large machine, although they have a much smaller load capacity.
When shopping for a portable washing machine, be sure to check the load capacity because some of them were designed just for washing a few undergarments. The Wonder Wash is a fantastic, hand-cranked mini washer that does not require electricity. If you need a larger capacity portable washer, check out the Helohome portable washing machine. It gets great reviews and holds 11 lbs of dirty clothes, giving it lots of capacity for a small portable washing machine.
5. Hand wash laundry in minutes with a Scrubba wash bag
The Scrubba is an ingenious invention. Folded up, the Scrubba could easily fit into a pocket. When it’s unfolded, the Scrubba turns into a watertight wash bag.
To help clothes get clean, the Scrubba wash bag is lined with silicone tooth-like nodules. You can put an item of clothing into it with water and laundry soap and then seal it closed. Then gently knead the bag for a few minutes. When you are done, your filthy clothes will be clean and ready to be rinsed.
6. Use a 5-gallon bucket and let your travel do the washing
Washing your clothes when you travel doesn’t get any easier than this. All you need is a 5-gallon bucket with a tightly fitting lid. Tear up a laundry strip or put your favorite laundry detergent into the bucket. Add your dirty laundry up to 2/3 full. Put in a couple of tennis balls. Fill with warm or cold water to 2-3 inches above the level of the clothes, and seal the lid tightly.
You might wish to secure the bucket upright, but you shouldn’t need to. Drive for an hour. Every bump in the road will agitate your laundry and help get it sparkling clean.
Empty the bucket and replace the dirty water with clean water and drive some more. After about an hour, your laundry will be clean and rinsed and ready to have the rinse water squeezed out.
7. Use laundry strips instead of detergent
Laundry strips are perfect for use in the RV. Instead of coming in a plastic bottle or bag or cardboard box, laundry strips come in a thin cardboard envelope that doesn’t take up much space.
Despite how small and lightweight they are, when it comes to cleaning power, laundry strips really pack a punch. Laundry strips are also biodegradable and free of any chemicals that are known to harm the environment.
When you want to use a strip, just tear one into small pieces in the washing machine, load your clothes in, and wash in any temperature you want.
Get more laundry tips from other RVers
Forums such as iRV2.com and blog sites like RV LIFE, Do It Yourself RV, and Camper Report provide all the information you need to enjoy your RV. You’ll also find brand-specific information on additional forums like Air Forums, Forest River Forums, and Jayco Owners Forum.
Lynne lives, travels, and works full-time in a Forest-River R-Pod 180 with her 2-pointers, Jolene and Annabelle. Lynne has been an enthusiastic RVer for over 35 years. And then one day in 2019, she began full-time RVing as a lifestyle experiment. She quickly fell in love with the convenience, freedom and minimalist lifestyle offered by full-time RV living. Lynne is a professional writer and has been a professional dog trainer since 1995. You can read about her travel adventures on her R-Pod Adventure blog, R-podyssey at: http://www.rpodaventure.com
Along with the 5-gallon bucket washing, we also use a small plunger, with holes drilled in the top rubber part. If not traveling down the road you can agitate your clothes using the plunger. Cut the wooden handle shorter so it can be stored in the bucket.