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Post Info TOPIC: In-rig Laundry VS Laundromat


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In-rig Laundry VS Laundromat


I haven't seen this covered much in the discussions on Washers & Dryers, so here goes, in order to determine the cost effectiveness having on board laundry facilities, how much are the laundromat users out there spending at a camp ground or in-town facility on a weekly or monthly basis.  I have seen W/D stacks from 1300-2000 and my best guess for laundry is so wide that I can't begin to guess what kind of payback on investment is possible.  Then you have figure in repairs and replacement but that is another discussion, or not. How long is the replacement cycle on RV washers and dryers?



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ok ...Im solo..

on an average it cost me per week

2.00 per load wash
1.50 a load to dry

now I am big about separating and such so while using the laundamat it can be 3 loads.

something to think about.......I also have a panda washer , it is about the size of a cooler.....it will wash and spin dry small loads and comes in very handy for boondocking and doing daily loads ......of course then you must air dry......it cost me 140.00 to purchase it and it stores very nicely in the bottom of the closet

www.portablewasherdryercombo.com/reviews/portable-panda-washer-dryer-combo-review/

 

 



-- Edited by Lucky Mike on Saturday 1st of March 2014 01:53:27 PM



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Laundromat costs can vary quite a bit by location, etc. We've seen them as cheap as free (in state parks in Louisiana, for instance) up to $5-6 per load. Mostly, it's around $2.50-3.50 a load. Between the two of us, we tend to do about 6 loads a month. So maybe about $20 a month.

For us, it's no big deal.. and we like being able to get 2 weeks of laundry done all at once in under an hour. We just make sure we always carry lots of quarters.

Another cost to consider is the type RV parking you enjoy doing. For us, we like staying in a variety of places and don't prioritize having full hook-ups that would be needed to run our own laundry machines. We love staying in places that might just have electric and/or water, and once we have our solar panels installed - even that won't be necessary.

Others, really prefer having washer/dryers on board... and it's not always about cost savings, but rather convenience and/or personal preference for not using public facilities.

- Cherie

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Mike:   I've seen the Panda device online and it's an option though we haven't given much thought on it as far as practicality etc.  I'm trying to get a handle on costs per load vs the cost of equipment.  If we approximately doubled your costs we get a figure that I can use, so thanks for the input.

Cherie:   Convenience and lifestyle aside, thanks for the breakdown.  You do give me something to consider though. At locations with facilities the cost just to be there(as opposed to more OTG locations) will be higher and therefore should be part of this thinking.  We, too, will be adding solar to our future rig but I 'm not sure if it will be enough power to run them.  Soooo much to learn.confusesmile



-- Edited by biggaRView on Saturday 1st of March 2014 02:17:56 PM

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We have a Splendide 2000 in our coach. I've tried it a couple times. It's small and SLOW and takes for ever to get anything done. If you were in a pinch I guess it would fit the bill. We often just use the large household style at the campground. Not too expensive, large and quick........................Get on with your day.



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We budget about $30 a month for laundry.  It does vary from place to place but our figure is usually good.  After 8 years of fulltiming, I still haven't insisted on getting a washer/dryer as we have determined that we like to camp in places that usually don't have sewer hookups.  Now if we were stationary in an RV park with full hookups for most of the year, I would probably get a stacking unit.

Hope that helps.



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I would think it partly depends on your lifestyle. We will both be working, typically 12 hour shifts, getting back to the RV around 8pm or so on days that we work. Most laundry facilities close at 9:00, and I wouldn't want to trudge over to do wash after working 12 hours anyway. So for us, having a washer/dryer in our rig is a necessity. Having said all that, we won't be full-timing until 3 weeks from now, so we'll see how well the plan works once we're doing it :)


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I'm not the expert here, but Jo tells me that with the compact washer and dryer, she does about 10 loads per week.  Normally, she will do two loads every few days during the week and then six on the weekend which includes the blankets and sheets and towels.  If she were to do that same amount of laundry in a laundromat, it would take about 4 loads in both a washer and dryer.  The few occasions when we've had to use a laundromat, Jo usually just washes there and then brings the damp clothes home to dry in our dryer.

Keep in mind that we are still working, so we have a complete "working" wardrobe each week.  When we are on vacation, I tend to wear one pair of jeans for two days, unless I've done something that gets them dirty.  Once we retire in July, I guess we will see what happens with us.

One other thing, if you are going to have a washer and dryer, make sure to also have something like the Progressive Industries power protection device.  In the mobile home park we've been in for the last few years, I can't say that our electrical power was all that "clean."  On one occasion we had an open neutral, which might have been sporatic before actually losing our power.  On another occasion, there was a bad electrical connection that was arcing in the connection.  Both cases lead to failures of the control board.

Terry



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We do about 6 to 8 Spendide combo washer/dryer loads a week, which would be around 3 loads in a regular washer and dryer. Cost did not come into play, convenience did. We did not have a washer/dryer in our first motorhome, the one we started fulltiming in, and Diane insisted on one in this motorhome.

My mother-in-law has chemical sensitivities and always uses her RV washer/dryer. She will had wash in a sink if there is no other choice, including motel rooms and cruise ships.

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Doing the math, it would take you a while to break even purchasing a washer and dryer, repairs, parts, that's if you can repair it yourself. You would more than likely replace it before it pays for itself!!
(Ask me how I know this)  Ok pull my arm !!!!
I have owned and operated a Laundromat for over 23 years and have 60 washers and dryers (4 different size washers) and 30 pound stack dryers total. I have seen every mess you could think of from water spills, liquid soap on the floor, over soaping the washer. I could write a book on this.  (maybe I will one day)
I have seen every type of break down on a washer or dryer you could think of and had to fix or pay a repairman $149.00 for the first hour and $89.00 per hour after that. You can really get good at this after a while or tired with this job, which ever comes first.
If you would like to save some money, soap and time, the bigger the washer the more you will save in the long
 run.
I know I got off track (maybe a small rabbit trail as my wife has said)
Just remember a lot of parts on these machines are made in China, some will break down faster than others and they will say it was built in America. (with China parts) again ask me how I know this.
Final note, do either of these fully informed with your eyes wide open.


Lonney

 

 



-- Edited by Lonney Wade on Sunday 2nd of March 2014 12:50:48 AM

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I am with bjoyce on this one, it is about convenient not cost for me.  When we purchased our first MH there was one in it.  I thought I would never use it and it was a bad use of space.  One night we had some laundry which needed done.  For convienence I decided to use it.  It was love at first use.  We will do 4-6 loads a week.   We will occasionally do a load at an RV park, but that is usually when we have bigger items which it is more convienent to use a full size washer and dryer.   



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We normally stay in Parks with full hookups

Bought our Stackable W/D (Maytag Washer, Sears Dryer) from a Sears Outlet store in Tampa, paid about $800 for both.

We do not shop at Sears much but on this item we thought wherever we are in the US, there is Sears service close by.

We like our Stackable units, able to run decent size loads, Washer takes about 1 hour, Dryer takes about 1 hour to complete their cycle.

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In our last rig we had the combo unit and even though you will see many say they don't like them we didn't have any gripe about it. Just having it made life easy. I guess the downside of the combo unit was we still took our heavy items to a laundry.
But now we have a stackable set and like it even better. It even handles the towels that we used to take to a laundry.
Would we like to have the extra storage, sure. Would we trade the washer/drier for it NOPE.
Hmmm, I guess to make my response legit I better say when we had the combo unit we still spent $2 or $4 taking things to a laundry once per month.

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We elected to not get W/D in our 5th wheel for space reasons. I have found I like going to the laundry facility. I can get all done in less than an hour. Cost is $2/load. I usually have 5 to 6 loads. Probably could have fewer loads but my momma's voice is in my head instructing me when I sort!

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We have a stacked washer and dryer....we do a 'load' (if you can call it that) most every morning while we are sitting around drinking coffee....sometimes at night while watching TV....wouldn't trade it for nothing....much better than one of us spending half a day in the laundromat...

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it's all about convenience for us too.
though i wish i had known about the panda before i bought mine--what a bargain if it really does the job!
we have stacked whirlpools which we had installed for around a thousand dollars when we bought our 02 cameo last july .
we use them daily and love having it on the spot when we want it.
I admit to being a bit of a laundry nut, lol. no scented anything for us, and white vinegar instead of fabric softener, and I hang all shirts to dry, etc.
last week we went to a local place which has only been open since the new year--the triple washer I wanted to use for my quilt already smelled bad and mildewy so ick, never mind.
i'll wash it twice in my normal size stacker I guess.





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Be bought our 5th wheel with hook-ups just in case.  We have been FT for 20 months now and do not want a washer and dryer in the unit.  For us, we have better uses for the weight the units would add and we use the space for our wireless printer and paper.  We also like it just being a few hours, 3 hours usually for laundry.  We also like to commune with others while doing laundry.  We do 4 loads every 2 weeks usually and costs $9-10 every 2 weeks or about $20 a month.

We also agree with others, it isn't about the cost for us, it's convenience.  To each his own opinion about convenience.

 

Mark and Patty

 



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Yeah that space would make room for a "Kick-Butt" wine cooler.



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There seems to be a something of a consensus that the use of a laundromat runs approx 25-35 per month or roughly 350 per year. If a washer & dryer can be had for 1400 tax included or less, it would need 4 years to recover the cost. If the units last 5 years or more before replacement, then from strictly a cost basis it would seem an effective use of funds as an optionable item on a new rig purchase or an aftermarket add on, if prepped for them beforehand.  Mike's Panda washing machine idea seems like a very cost effective solution for some folks out there, but I don't think we will be going that route.

With that out of the way, now comes the convenience vs space & weight debate.   Many have opined that it's worth it to have a W & D on board and a few have taken an opposing view.  Our thinking is we like the space and don't mind the inconvenience of doing it at a laundromat, but whatever we buy should have it prepped for W&D just in case we find it too inconvenient too often.  I can hear it now, RVing is also about making some compromises, we will not know until we've been there whether we want to give up this particular creature comfort or notconfuse.  We are debating the idea of using that space as additional food pantry storage or a place to store crafting and hobby supplies(if they will fitbiggrin

By the time we are ready to go I'll be a certified logistical engineer or some such haughty sounding title, either that or I'll be nutsbiggrinbiggrin .....

MarkS... ready aim firebiggrin



-- Edited by biggaRView on Monday 3rd of March 2014 12:21:44 PM

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until roughly 90 days to six months you will be doing nothing but pulling over and getting rid of all that "Stuff" we all pack in the RV because we "Thought we would need it!!!.........and it took years of planning to get it on the list.

its hard when you first start out to realize that the RV is not a S&B......and in the beginning you just think your not trying to live like your in one.


Like it is always said.......its not about economics , its about comfort levels........

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Mike, I've already signed up for that class, I believe it's a compulsory subject for CLE(Certified Logistical Engineer) accreditation.biggrinbiggrinbiggrin

 

I have to reprogram myself from my Navy Storekeeper training.... If it won't fit, force it!!!



-- Edited by biggaRView on Monday 3rd of March 2014 12:56:25 PM



-- Edited by biggaRView on Monday 3rd of March 2014 12:56:54 PM

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I like the thinking that if you have the hookups you can install later. That was our choice because I wanted the closet storage space.

Several other points:

When workamping free laundry is often part of your bennies so can be free for months at a time.

I like going to campground laundromats because I often can talk to locals to get all kinds of local see/do/eat recommendations. I do not like going into towns to use commercial laundromats because some are NOT well kept and clean. I do, however, periodically take large bedding to front loader large commercial machines.

I love the convenience of doing all our laundry weekly in about two hours and am done with it. Some campgrounds have clothes lines behind walls where those who wish to hang out their laundry can do so to save drying costs or because they love the fresh air dried.

I've learned from other RVers to use an empty prescription bottle with your name on it for your quarters in case you leave it behind.

We're all different and some want the washers & dryers in their rigs it's not always a cost benefit analysis but how you choose to live and what you prefer.

Sherry



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From a money standpoint I don't know whether a W/D in the rig or laundromat use is the best…but I don't think that's really the question you want to ask yourself. The question you really want to know the answer to is…do I want a W/D or do I want to go to the laundromat.

The pros of having one are you don't have to go out to do it. The cons are that you will still probably have to go out for towels and maybe heavy jeans and the like. In addition, the small size means that you'll have to do laundry more often. 

We normally do 3 loads about every 10 days…I can head out at 0800 and start 3 washers…42 minutes later they're done and 75 minutes after that everything is dry and folded. Those 3 full size W/D loads would probably be 4-5 RV W/D loads. You can only do a single load at a time and it will take much longer than a regular W/D to finish each one. The bottom line is that you will spend a lot more time doing laundry if you have one than if you head up to the campground laundry room and you will have to spread that more time out over more then 1 day.

Of course…you could do it in the evening while watching TV or something…but for us the convenience of an every 10 day chore far outweighed any savings we might see…although with the prices of the built in units it would take quite a long time to pay for them. Cost for our 3 loads varies but it's usually in the 7-8 bucks range.

 



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Just to follow up with a thought.  I remember being in an RV park laundromat and there was a sign that prohibited washing items with pet hair on them.  I guess the concern was that subsequent users of the machines might be allergic to pet hair.  I don't know if that would be a problem for many, but one never knows.  Allergies can certainly be troublesome at times.

Jo personally likes the ability to do other things around the coach while laundry is being done.  While she is content to "fire up her e-reader" at a laundromat, she prefers not to, and the old adage that "if the wife is happy, then I"m happy."

Terry



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most laundromats do not want you to wash Pet hair items because some put pet bedding in the machine and the volume of hair clogs the pump and bell diaphragm and damages the to machine and causes big repair bills or flooding.

 

of course if you ever have had to work on some of these machines.........pet hair is minor to some of the things I have had to pull out of them ......LOL

 



-- Edited by Lucky Mike on Monday 3rd of March 2014 04:36:44 PM

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We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!



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We actually had the W/D removed so we would have room in the coach for Dale's tools / supplies, etc. We have been on the road for 8 months, 25% of that time has been at parks with laundromats, the rest of the time, we've found local laundromats using advice from either the work campers or searching Yelp for clean laundromats. We much prefer state / city / county parks, most do not have FHUs so right now we're still comfortable with our decision to utilize the storage space for Dale's business.

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I hope you'll forgive reviving an old thread.

I see comments about only using an in-rig W/D if you have full hookups. Why? Do they use that much water?

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Yes, they use that much water. Around 15 to 20 gallons a load. Plus some RV manufacturers plumb them directly to the grey water hose connection, not to the tank, so you have to have the grey tank valve open. Ours goes to the grey tank, so we occasionally do a load when on water/electric for a day or two. Another friend runs the generator (you need a big one with clean electric output like Onan) while going down the road and does a load while traveling.

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I like the convenience of having the stackable washer and dryer in the 5th wheel. It saves time by allowing us to do other chores while the laundry is going. If I had to take it to a laundry facility and stay with it, we couldn't get as much done.

Plus we are able to carry a lot less clothes.

When figuring my time I always use $110.00 per hour so if you add the time savings into the equation, having in RV laundry makes a lot of sense. If you think $110.00 per hour is high remember that I live in the Los Angeles area where a 1300 square foot house on a 50 X 100 foot lot goes for $800,000.



-- Edited by The Bear II on Tuesday 9th of September 2014 08:09:24 AM

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dammed if you do ....dammed if you dont!!

like having one when its really needed or in a park where its running on there dime......hate it when Im boondocking and have to wash my clothes in a bucket and hang things to dry and have to look at it....LOL


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We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!



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If I am in a park with free electric and water.. I'd just use my onboard splendid system.. If I amd paying for electric.. I will leave it up to the wife.

But seems to me if you do it when your sitting around.. who care's how long it takes? It's free.. And I bet does better than a 10 year old large park units..

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It seems when we have to use park laudromats it runs us about $10/week. so around $500/year.  So that would pay for a w/d combo in about 2 years.

But the real reason is convenience.   I don't have to spend hrs doing the laundry at the laundromat, just pop a load in and go do something else.   Often put a load in when we go to bed, take it out, fold and put away in the morning.  Maybe 5 mins/load including hanging up/folding and putting away.   You don't have to sit and watch it go round and round - you do something else (like make posts on this forum) while the w/d is doing its thing.  biggrin

 

Barb

 



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I'm in it for the convenience and time. Before buying the rig, I was doing this same cost analysis as well. The rig we bought (used) already came with a w/d so we didn't have to make a decision. Initially my thinking was that between laundry facilities at the cg and at the nearest town, it wouldn't be a problem. But I have to say, I am totally hooked on being able to just throw the wash into the machine any time I want and just leave it and do something else.

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We were forced to go without a washer when ours died shortly after my first post on this thread. It took until July for whirlpool to replace it, and during that time I was a very unhappy camper!
Now I have a fully functioning machine again and it is bliss, because I am sort of a laundry nerd and an introvert, it just works best for me to do laundry in my home.

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Wow, 15-20 gallons per load? I had no idea.

For as much as we plan to boondock, I'm not sure it would be very useful for us.

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Since I plan on boondocking quite a bit, an electricity and water using appliance would seem t be an extravagence that is unusable whenever one is sans hookups. However there is also the option of a manual washer (for emergencies, light loads and when boondocking and water is scarce) like this: www.laundry-alternative.com/product/The-Wonderwash

It's only $43, conserves water and electricity, is light weight (5.5 lbs) and compact (12"x12"x16") You could even store your laundry soap inside - and the best part is that your payback time is only 1-2 months! It seems like a no brainer. If you decide you don't like it there's no big investment to lose. According to the ad it will either wash 7-8 dress shirts, 10 T-shirts, 30 pairs of socks or 2 pairs of blue jeans.

Chip

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2008 F-250 6.4l supercab 2wd - motor blew, cost more than truck so sold it for scrap

Now looking for a used Cass A gasser for FT use.

2006 Aliner XLE pulled by a Chevy Cobalt SS with 370k miles and counting. It will be my FT toad



RV-Dreams Family Member

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We are very happy to have a clothes washer and dryer, even though we plan to boondock/dry camp (e.g., public lands, state and national parks).

We typically use the washer and dryer when we have full hook-ups. We have also used the washer and dryer to help fill-up the gray tank, prior to dumping the tanks, when we don't have sewer hook-ups. We alternate the types of places we stay (i.e., alternate a full hook-up location with a boondocking/limited hook-up location) to enable us to periodically use the washer and dryer -- that approach has worked well for us, at least so far. When I know our next location is anything less than full hook-ups, all dirty clothes/linens are washed prior to departure. We can go a couple weeks without the need to wash clothing/linens, which is something we were mindful of when we determined what clothing/linens we would carry with us -- to best allow us to stay in "It Factor" locations, that have limited or no hook-ups.

To address biggaRView's original question -- we choose to have a washer and dryer for convenience (versus saving money). At the very least, I think it saves us time -- which in my mind is valuable.



-- Edited by Lynn and Ed on Wednesday 10th of September 2014 03:32:02 PM

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2014 New Horizons Majestic 40'
2014 Ram 5500 HD with Utility Bodywerks hauler body

Enjoying this chapter in our lives!!!



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Because of my work we are in the deep south during summer some. We are now. Who in their right mind wants to wash clothes in a 104 degree index. Nice and cool in our Teton. Yes we have a stackable w/d and if it broke today it would be replaced today.

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2003 Teton Grand Freedon  2006 Mobile Suites 32TK3 SOLD     2006 Freightliner Century 120 with Detroit 14L singled, ultrashift,  hauling a 2016 Smart Passion



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Give yourself awhile before buying. I thought I wanted a washer/dryer combo, but found I didn't mind the park laundry facilites. We did stay at a friend's property for 7 months while my husband was sick & I hated loading the laundry & hauling it to town to the washateria, but it is not bad at all in most RV Parks. You may decide you don't need one & that extra space for storage is always nice..

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Kenny & Brenda

 2005 Dodge Dulley & 2012 Montana



RV-Dreams Family Member

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We use a combo of a small hand powered Washer (air dry) and when we stay for a place long enough we opt for a laundromat.

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Jayco TT

Ford F-350

Owner BasicRV.com

Discount RV Covers and Over 10,000 Parts



RV-Dreams Family Member

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I do not know the cost versus benefit as far as $.  I can tell you I never thought I would use a RV washer/dryer.  Our first Rv had one and I thought it was a ridiculous.  On one trip i found it necessary to use and have been sold every since.  In my S & B I never thought twice about having one, and when we purchased our full timing rig we put a combo unit in.  I can do a load in the evening and not worry about spending time in a laundromat.  The only time I go to one is when I need to wash comforters. We have a combo unit.  

We almost always stay in RV parks so having connections is not a concern.



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Patti and Ed

and their feathered kids in the Lipson Chicken Coop

a 2008 Powerhouse CoacH

No longer dreaming...... 😎

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