You and your family are ready to hit the road and go camping for the season or maybe you are even looking at full-time RVing. No matter what your family’s needs are, having the same amenities as your home makes your trip carefree. One amenity that is incredibly convenient to have is a washer and dryer.
As you go on more and more trips you will realize that as you camp, hike, and do outdoor activities your laundry pile will grow steadily. Having laundry facilities in your RV will allow you to do laundry whenever it is needed and keep you from having to go into town every time you need to do laundry.
Many larger RVs, motorhomes, and fifth wheels either have washer and dryer hookups or come with a washer and dryer already included. Smaller trailers typically do not come with washers and dryers, but if you have extra space they can be added with some extra attention and thought.
In the article below we will cover the options you have to have a washer and dryer in your rig as well as the pros and cons of each.
Do RVs have Washers and Dryers
Many larger RVs that run on 50 amp power have places to hook up a washer and dryer in your RV. When you are looking for a new or used RV, fifth wheel, or trailer you may find your rig already has the washer and dryer included or you may find the hookups to add one later. Many smaller trailers do not have hookups for washers and dryers, so doing adequate research as well as making a list of your must-haves in your rig is important.
You will often find laundry hookups if you are looking at purchasing a larger fifth wheel or motorhome because they typically have more space. If you want a washer and dryer in your rig, there are multiple options to use and we will discuss them in the article below.
Can I Add a Washer and Dryer to My RV? What Are My Options
There are a variety of washer and dryer options that you can add to your RV to make doing laundry a breeze and they include:
- Hand Washing Machines
- Portable Washer and Dryers
- Stackable Washer and Dryers
- Washer and Dryer Combos
You can choose to buy a hand washing machine and hang your clothes outside to dry. The benefits of a hand washer is that it uses no electricity, a small amount of water, and a small amount of space. The drawbacks are that it is small, so you can only wash a limited amount of clothes per wash, and of course there is no dryer – this won’t work if you are winter camping.
You can also choose to buy a portable washer or dryer to put up as they are needed. A portable washer can be placed in your shower or bathtub and hooked up to water and electricity. Portable washers are convenient because they are small and can be used anywhere you have a water hookup.
Stackable Washer and Dryers
Another option you have is to get a separate washer and dryer that are created smaller to fit in most rigs. Typically, the smaller washer and dryers are made to stack on top of each other to conserve space and provide convenience. You will likely need an area for your dryer to expel heat out of such as a vent. Many RVs often have areas to hook up washers and dryers already installed, but you can easily add one as well.
Lastly, you can decide to purchase a washer/dryer combo that you can add to your RV. A washer dryer combo uses the same chamber to wash and dry your clothes.
One major con about washer/dryer combos is you can only do small loads at a time and they tend to be larger because they have both included.
Ventless Versus Vented
There are also two types of washers and dryers. Ones that need a place to release heat and ones that maintain the heat inside the appliance.
- Vented – The main issue with a vented one is that they have a vent that releases the heat out of your RV, likely needing to put a hole in your RV.
- Ventless – Ventless options allow you to wash or dry your clothes without having to put any holes in your RV. The downside of a ventless option is that it will typically use more water to keep the drum heated inside.
What Do I Need to Run a Washer and Dryer in My RV
Having an added amenities such as a washer and dryer will add so much convenience to your rig, so knowing what exactly you need to run it successfully is important. If your rig came with a washer and dryer or you are wanting to install a washer and dryer yourself, you need to make sure you have access to water and power.
RV washers typically use around 8 to 20 gallons per laundry load depending on the amount of use and how big your washer is. If you are using your washer, you will need to be at a water hookup or else you will run through your water very quickly. Also, if you are adding that much water into your grey tank, then you will want somewhere to dump so you do not fill up your grey tank too quickly.
Another factor to consider is how much electricity you will need to run your washer and dryer as well as the rest of your rig. Typically, to run many added appliances you will need 50 amp power.
What to Decide Before Purchasing an RV Washer and Dryer
There are a few things to think about before deciding to add a washer and dryer to your rig.
- Placement – One thing you need to think about first is where you will place your washer and dryer and if your current rig has space to install one successfully. As you learned above, there are multiple different types of washers and dryers so you will need to narrow down which ones work best for your space.
- DIY or Professional Install – The second thing you need to think about is whether or not you want to install one yourself or take it to an RV shop for them to install. It is likely to be cheaper to install one yourself, but RV shops can do it quickly and make you feel confident that it is installed correctly.
- Camping Location – Lastly, you need to think about where you will be camping. Do you typically stay at places that have laundry facilities? Will you have water and electricity hookups as well as a place to dump? If you boondock often, will your solar power be able to power a washer dryer or will it use way too much of your power? All of these are questions you need to consider when you are wanting an RV washer and dryer.
Before plunging into the world of RV washers and dryers, it is helpful to make a pros and cons list of all of the different factors involved.
Having a washer and dryer in your rig is incredibly convenient and will allow you to do laundry whenever you need. There are a variety of options that you can choose from if you are wanting to add a washer and dryer to your rig. These options include a hand washer, a portable washer and dryer, stackable washer/dryers, and combo washer/dryers and each one comes with its own pros and cons.
Also, many larger rigs come with a washer/dryer already installed or give you hookups to purchase and add your own. What type of washer/dryer you choose to get all comes down to personal preference as well as how much extra space you have in your rig.