From Choosing the Right Day to Investing in Essential Gear: Your Ultimate RV Laundry Handbook
There are very few people who enjoy doing laundry, and doing laundry when traveling in an RV is even less fun. Finding places to do your RV laundry and then lugging it to those places is such a pain. On top of that, there are the waits for machines, the battles with the laundry apps, the searches to find quarters, and the dreaded week-old stains to deal with.
Fortunately, there are ways to make an RV laundry day a little bit less stressful. All you have to do is use the tips below so you go into the experience feeling cool, calm, and totally prepared.
Tip #1: Pick the Right Laundry Day
The first step? Choosing the right day to do your RV laundry.
You see, laundromats and laundry rooms are busier some days than others, and by choosing the less busy days, you are less likely to need to wait for machines. Generally speaking, laundromats are busiest on the weekends, and Mondays and Fridays are only a little better.
We recommend doing your laundry mid-week, as Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays tend to see the least traffic in laundry rooms.
Tip #2: Do Your Research Before You Go
Before you head out to a laundromat, do your research. Read reviews of the place to get a feel for what it might be like, and if it doesn’t seem like an awesome pick, try another spot.
It’s also important that you learn the laundromat hours before you go so you don’t start a load just before closing time or arrive only to find out they closed an hour ago. This applies to campground laundry rooms as well, as those rooms can have some pretty surprising hours.
Tip #3: Invest in the Right Gear
You can’t do a job right without the right gear. In the case of RV laundry, this means laundry detergent bought at the store (the tiny containers found in laundromats are overpriced and aren’t always available) and good-quality laundry bags.
Tired of lugging giant bottles of laundry soap around? You could consider laundry soap sheets. You might also want to look into purchasing a collapsible wagon for lugging your laundry across the campground.
Tip #4: Carry All Payment Types
One of the most frustrating things in the world? Getting all of your laundry loaded into a machine only to realize you don’t have what you need to pay.
Many campgrounds are switching to app-based payment systems. Therefore, carrying a smartphone to the laundry is usually a good idea. That said, there are still plenty of laundromats that want you to pay with quarters, and some don’t provide a quarter machine, meaning carrying some rolls of quarters on laundry day is also a good call. Lastly, there are those machines that require a credit card payment, making carrying a card essential.
If you always have these three forms of payment, you should be able to pay for pretty much any machine that comes your way on RV laundry day.
Tip #5: Don’t Let Clothes Sit
Another major irritation? Clothes that are left sitting in machines long after their cycles have finished running. This is a very common complaint in campground social media groups, but it can also be irritating in very busy laundromats.
Don’t be the person that leaves everyone waiting for a machine. Even if you think you’re the only one doing laundry, set a timer and show up as soon as your machine is finished running. This is what courteous campers do, and your fellow RVers will thank you.
Tip #6: Scrub Those Stains
When you’re out having adventures and far from any laundromats, it can happen that you let your dirty clothes sit for a week or more. As long as you have enough clothes to last this long, this isn’t really a problem until you come across the stain that has been left to sit for a week.
Unfortunately, stains that sit on clothes for long periods of time are much less likely to come out in the wash. For this reason, we recommend scrubbing all stains out in the sink using a bit of Dawn dish soap and then hanging the garment to dry before tossing it in the dirty clothes hamper. This will help avoid stains that won’t come out when RV laundry day does finally roll around.
Tip #7: Think About Washing by Hand
If you’re scrubbing stains out by hand anyway, you might just want to wash a few things by hand. Many RVers find that when laundromats are few and far between, washing some things by hand can help them get by for a while until they can have a proper laundry day. Heck, some RVers even skip the laundromat altogether and wash everything by hand.
If you choose to go this route, we really like this method for ensuring the clothes are totally clean.
Tip #8: Grab a Drying Rack
Here’s the thing: If you’re washing items by hand (or even just scrubbing out stains), finding places to hang your clothes to dry in a teeny tiny living space can be a challenge. Some people head outside, but even then, there aren’t a lot of places to hang things.
This is where a collapsible drying rack comes into play. You can place it in your campsite, hang everything out to dry, and then fold it up and put it away when you’re finished.
Tip #9: Run the Dehumidifier
Unfortunately, there are always going to be some rainy days that will make drying clothes outside impossible. Additionally, some campgrounds don’t allow campers to dry clothes outside.
In these cases, go ahead and use that drying rack to hang everything inside and run a dehumidifier while they’re hanging. This will help make the drying process go faster and will remove excess moisture from the air so it doesn’t show up as condensation on the walls and windows.
Tip #10: Consider an RV Washer
Do you think all of this sounds like way too much work? You aren’t alone. Many people don’t love campground laundry rooms, laundromats, or washing by hand. This is where an RV washer can help. There are lots of different types of RV washing machines out there, and by putting one in your rig, you can make doing your RV laundry a cinch.
In summary, RV laundry doesn’t have to be a chore that you dread. With a little planning, the right gear, and a variety of payment options, you can turn laundry day into a smooth, hassle-free experience. Whether you opt for the convenience of an RV washer or decide to go old-school with hand washing, these tips are designed to make your life easier. So go ahead; embark on your next adventure without the laundry woes. Safe travels and happy cleaning!