RV Living: Laundry Solutions for Nomadic Lifestyles

Camping Gear, RV, Traveling Tips -

RV Living: Laundry Solutions for Nomadic Lifestyles

Life on the road can be exciting, but it presents a few challenges if you’re used to living in a home without wheels. Daily tasks like laundry can take much longer than normal, and you won’t have the luxury of being able to lug around your in-home washing machine and dryer with you. This means you’ll need to put a little additional thought into this task to make sure it doesn’t interfere with your exploration dreams. 

Nobody likes doing laundry, but when you’re out on the road, it’s a necessary evil. If you’re wondering how in the world people manage their laundry when living out of their RV, we’ve compiled the perfect list of mobile strategies for cleaning your threads! Check out these options and see which one works best for you and your family!


When camping at established sites, always make sure to look for a laundromat. For example, you can search the KOA website to find sites that have a built-in coin laundromat. While many of these facilities will just have the bare minimum equipment, they can certainly serve the purpose of getting your clothes fresh and clean before you head out to your next location. Just remember to keep some coins handy, and bring your own detergent, fabric softener, and stain remover along with you. 

Hand Wash

If you’re trying to figure out how to do your laundry during a long RV road trip, you always have the option of doing it the old fashioned way. For those of you out exploring the great American scenery, you might as well get the full pioneer experience. Hand washing your clothes, while not time efficient, is the cheapest and perhaps best washing method for the long term life of your clothing. Just bring along a collapsable bin and some of your own detergent and you’re all set. If you really need to get primitive, you can utilize nearby river or lake water. Just be sure to use a biodegradable soap to preserve the local ecosystem.

When it comes to drying out your hand washed clothes; however, your going to have to get a bit creative. Try hanging some paracord between two trees or the poles of your RV awning for a DIY approach to a clothes’ line. Just make sure to bring along some clothes pins to secure your clothing on a windy day. 

Portable Washing Machine

Portable washing machines are compact and can be easily stored when not in use, making them ideal for RV living. They are also designed to use less water and energy than traditional washing machines, which is a big plus when you're living off the grid or trying to conserve resources.

One of the main advantages of a portable washing machine is the convenience factor. You no longer have to lug your dirty clothes to a laundromat or wait for hours for a communal machine to become available. With a portable washing machine, you can wash your clothes on your own schedule and in the comfort of your own RV. While these machines won’t hold quite as much as a normal load, they can be handy tools to have along for the ride. 

Interested in looking into this option? Check out these portable washing machines and see if one of these models best suits your needs:

GE Portable Washing Machine

The GE Portable Washing Machine is a bit heavy, weighing in at 99 lbs, but it can easily handle larger loads and comes with many features such as presoak, quickwash,  extra spin, & extra rinse.

Danby 0.9 Washer

The Danby 0.9 Washer is a great budget option. With 5 cycle options this machine gives enables you to tailor your wash to specific materials, but it  can only operate with cold water.

The WonderWash Mini

The WonderWash Mini is the smallest and most portable option on our list, (it can even fit on a table or countertop) but it has a limited maximum capacity of around 5-6 dress shirts or 2 pairs of jeans. It also doesn’t offer any sort of spin or dry cycle.

Planned Stops

If all of the strategies above don’t work out for you, you may be able to plan stops into your journey that allow you to access cities and towns where you can pay for cleaning services. This may even be at a hotel or resort, if you decide to sleep in a bed without wheels for a night or two. While this option requires a bit more planning, it shouldn’t be too difficult to execute as nearly every town in North America likely offers some kind of laundry service. Of course, if you use a pickup service, be ready to pay a premium, and be sure you don’t drive off without your gear!

So if doing the laundry from your RV or mobile home has you stressed out, try one of these strategies. Even though monotonous daily tasks like laundry can be a drag, having and executing a plan so that it doesn’t sneak up and surprise you can make all the difference. And speaking of being prepared, we’d like to invite you to purchase our Ultimate RV Camping Checklist to ensure you don’t miss anything vital to the success of your exploration. We’ve literally thought of everything you will need to properly equip your crew for weeks of adventure and bonding in your home away from home. Pick up your digital copy today, or print and laminate your checklist to hang in your RV for future adventures.