RV Washer/Dryer…Our Experience

When we were exploring the type of RV we would like to have, the idea of having a washer and dryer seemed over the top for me. True…it would be convenient to not hace to frequent laundromats, but a washer/dryer was never a factor in our consideration of RV to buy. When I found out that Stimpy, our Class A motorhome, came with a combo washer/dryer, it was a pleasant surprise. However, I didn’t think that we would use it much.

I have read that some RVers prefer doing their laundry at a laundromat because all could be taken care of in one visit. RV washer and dryer can only do small loads. It’s also not feasible when you’re not hooked up at RV parks. Another issue we were told was that clothes came out of these machine wrinkled. My enthusiasm for the convenience of not having to make routine visits to laundromats was hampered as a result.

Our first few times of using it appeared to confirm the wrinkled clothes problem. For some of the loads the clothes weren’t completely dry, while some were too dry, to the point of clothes came out very hot…tough on synthetic fabrics. After following the manufacturer’s recommendation closely and some experimentation, we’re now at the point where most of the loads came out fine with no or very little wrinkles and didn’t always take 3 hours to do a load either. What did I learned?

Different washing and drying programs and settings

Different washing and drying programs and settings

It's an older model but works great.

It’s an older model but works great.

Here are some of what I learned and observed that made our RV washer/dryer work effectively:

  • Separate clothes for laundry based on fabric-type — I found this to be the most important factor for dry and non-wrinkled clothes. Avoid washing cotton clothes with synthetic clothes. Never wash thick cotton jeans with light-weight clothes. It may be tempting to combine them to get a decent-size load. I have certainly been guilty of doing this. Just don’t do it.
  • Do not overload the machine — Simple enough, you think? Most of us are used to doing laundry in separate washing and drying machines. A household dryer can handle a full load from a household washer because the dryer has more capacity than the washer. For a combo washer and dryer, the capacity of the dryer is the limit of the whole system. Drying clothes expand in volume so you need to leave room in the machine for them to expand and can still tumble. Instead of doing a large load of laundry once a week, we do a small load every day or two. We generally do laundry in the morning or in the evening when we hang around the RV anyway so it isn’t disrupting to our routine. For blanket or over-sized loads, we still go to the laundromat.
  • Follow instructions for using the machine for best results. For our combo washer and dryer, Splendide recommends using a laundry detergent for high-efficiency (HE) washers and liquid fabric conditioner. We use fragrance-free Tide and Ultra Downy free & gentle. They work great.
Our fragrance-free laundry detergent and fabric conditioner

Our fragrance-free laundry detergent and fabric conditioner

Although the washer manual said that we should be able to wash and dry a queen-size fitted bedsheet and a flat sheet, we found that the load is too large for the machine. However, I didn’t care to separately dry them. We just live with wrinkled bedsheet since they didn’t bother us.

Despite what the manual recommended, bed sheets always came out wrinkle.

Despite what the manual recommended, bed sheets always came out wrinkled.

Those are all I could think of. What are your experience using RV washer and dryer?

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