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Post Info TOPIC: Full-timing laundry questions


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Full-timing laundry questions


I’ve found another good thread on the forum about laundry, but the discussion was all about laundromats vs. on-board washers/dryers. We have selected a fifth wheel that is prepped for W/D in the front closet, but we’re not sure we want to add the weight to the front of the RV (only have a ¾ ton truck). We’re also still not certain about the percentage of time we’ll spend camping with full hookups as opposed to dry camping.

In the “other” laundry thread, those who use laundromats talked about doing laundry once every one to two weeks. This would mean one to two sets of bed linens, numerous towels and washcloths, and clothing for two people. I know how much space dirty laundry takes up at our house – and my wife does loads at least every other day. (I understand that the clothing volume will decrease when I retire in February and no longer maintain and use my work wardrobe). So… here’s my question. For those of you who do “the laundromat thing,” where do you store the dirty laundry in the meantime. I’ve see a few (mostly older) fivers with a laundry chute to the basement (with a wire basket that catches it there). What other approaches have you seen or come up with that address both the bulk and the potential for odor if not properly ventilated?

 

 

Thanks,

 

 

Rob



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We have a w/d stackable unit but it is located just forward of the axles. They are not that heavy since the units are apartment sized.

We tend to do laundry every couple of days to a week depending on how often we are doing something physical, going out or mostly sitting around watching TV, reading or computer work.

It comes in handy and eliminates the need to sit for an hour or so in a laundry room waiting for the clothes to get done.

We carry a lot fewer clothes than we did in our last RV with no w/d.

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I have never seen a thread wondering about that. You can easily enough find a place for the laundry but as for the odor, I don't know a solution. We had the Splendide one piece unit. I never felt it added that much weight overall. I did small loads every day but there are 3 of us. We used towels from JC Penney that dry quickly (ribbed) but still feel like a towel not some weird material so that helped. We use clean towels each day, change the sheets weekly but I would say we were in the minority with doing this. We had a neighbor with an English sheep dog and a bully breed and she told me "Since we moved in the RV and the dogs sleep on the bed with us, I have to wash the sheets every month." Ah? To each his own. But, I do think most reuse towels and may not change their sheets that often to cut back on laundry. When we had to use the laundry mat, I was so embarrassed because I had so much laundry and had to try to go when I would not be in the way of those with just a couple of loads.

Your biggest problem will be the wet things and the chance of mold. You might just look at this website where I have purchased a couple of things before: www.compactappliance.com/laundry/ and look at alternatives. For us, at nearly $3.00 to wash and dry a load or more, probably in a week 7 to 8 loads because the facilities had smaller units than the ones we ever had at home and dryers tended to need more than one cycle, it was cost prohibitive.

Rethinking one's wardrobe can go a long way in helping as can going with lighter and easier to wash/dry linens. You could keep some sort of odor eater thing in the dirty laundry container, that is the big thing now if something smells since Wal-Mart has 1/2 aisle dedicated to making it smell clean when it isn't.

Hope you find a workable solution.



-- Edited by SnowGypsy on Thursday 13th of November 2014 09:14:57 AM

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The thing we like about a laundromat is that it is so fast. In and out in two hours, once a week. We both work on it together, and time flies.

With us being in the northern latitudes this year, our clothes are heavier. But most folks will have lightweight summer clothing, as they head south for the winter. Storing a weeks worth of clothing shouldn't take up too much room.

Jim

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We have full timed for 8 years now. We have always had W/D. If ours quit today we would promptly replace it. I still work so clothes get dirty. Do not want to store them. We use laundry mats for quilts and such.

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We have recently found coming behind people in laundromats pose a huge issue.

Wife did a load of colored.. well, someone before must have used bleach.. and the washer must not have drained it all.. One of my good shirts was ruined..

If you use them.. be careful..Maybe smell the washer or something?

We have a new side by side I am telling her to use from now on.. replacing clothes can get expensive.


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We ran a Laundromat for 24 years, welcome to our world, any questions?

 

Lonney



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What I can say about laundry, though it's from the S&B perspective... it is what it is. I suspect most people are used to the nice feature of having loads o' space to just let clothes pile up during the week, give or take.  Your mileage may vary as they say.  Once you get into a RV, space becomes more limited and routines like laundry also change. Again, it is what it is... Laundry, when you think about it, doesn't really take hours, just the time it takes to sort, load and start..... go and do other things.... and then unload, put in the dryer, start.... go do other things.... unload, sort, fold, stow... done.smile  Certainly easier with the W & D in the rig... somewhat less convenient at a laundromat but, then the grocery store, post office etc. is usually nearby to make up for the trip if going into town. At a CG other issues come into play like Junkman suggests but these can happen in any laundry environment.  Again, it is what it is.  

As to stowing clothes till laundry day, since your loads will likely be smaller and more often than at a S&B space for them should not be that big a factor. 

Being flexible will definitely make the "transition" from what you are used to now to what it will be when you go FT.

JMHO, Brian



-- Edited by biggaRView on Thursday 13th of November 2014 11:54:31 AM

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Be forewarned that in campgrounds, especially if you have tenters, and throw wet and sometimes muddy sleeping bags in the dryer without washing them. Have also seen people use the dryer to remove pet hair from different items again not washing first. And, in busy areas, you can spend a very long time waiting to wash/dry. It was often better to just go into town where there were more washers/dryers available and 90% of the time the cost was less than the campground and combined with shopping, etc. no extra cost for gas.

I don't even like reflecting on what it was like.



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We use Laundromats, and I have to admit, we're a bit picky. We look for ones that are clean to begin with, we've been known to go elsewhere. Yelp is a good app to use to find reviews on local Laundromats.

As far as storing the dirty laundry, we have a large basket that fits in our closet underneath our coats. Other than the few times we've been caught in unusually cold or wet weather, our lighter weight clothing takes up far less room. We've never had an issue with odor but if something is wet we air dry it before throwing it into the laundry basket.

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NWescapee has the same answer as we do. A plastic tub in the bottom of our closet holds a weeks dirty clothes. When it is Laundromat time, we strip the bed, and bring the towels. Been doing it that way for 8 years....works for us. We have 2 sets of bed linens and towels just in case but you could do it with one. You do need to be picky with the Laundromat or park washers but we need the room in the rv for stuff other than a washer or dryer. This is another "no right or wrong answer"....everyone is different.

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We have a large canvas laundry bag that we keep on the driver's seat while stationary and in the shower when moving. We can get about a week's worth of clothes, not including towels & sheets which we put in as we head to the laundromat.

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Great post! Thanks for the Yelp tip, NWescapee!

Jim

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You mentioned dry camping - won't be able to use an installed W/D there as you'll really need to have a sewer connection. One load will equal a shower at least. Usually these things are plumbed into the closest grey tank and our Montana (like yours with a forward W/D space) goes into the bathroom grey tank. Some are plumbed directly into the drain pipe so there's no storage to speak of.

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We keep a mesh hamper in the shower for our dirties. When it gets full (depending on how heavy of clothing we're currently wearing due to climate that can be anywhere between 1-2 weeks), we strip the bed sheets, gather the towels and find the best rated laundromat on Yelp. We're usually in and out of the laundromat in under and hour, and run errands while doing loads. We like finding laundromats next to a grocery store or somewhere to grab lunch, for example.

In 8+ years on the road - haven't really encountered the negative things we keep hearing about laundromats, and have found some really nice ones along the way. Either we're just not picky, or lucky.

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Before I had my stackable washer and dryer, I would use the closet space for a hamper for a week/couple days worth of laundry (hubby, myself and 2 dirty little boys...LOL). We had a decent laundry area a the rv park we stayed in and it was luckily almost right next door. Just had to do it at the right times since there were only 2 washers and 2 dryers. Just be careful with any wet clothes you may have, maybe hang them over the shower to dry before putting in hamper to avoid smell/mildew. Otherwise, it seemed to work great in that little closet space and there were no holes or anything that I had to put in my camper to run a shoot to the basement.

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We use over the door hooks and command hooks on the shower to hang wet towels and washcloths and keep the plastic laundry basket in the shower- just move it out during shower time. We have multiple cloth bags and sort the clothes in the RV before heading to the laundry.

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We used a tall plastic hamper from Walmart that other RVers told us about. It has holes in the sides and can hold a lot and fit in the closet. (I liked it as I could wipe it down inside each time I did laundry and put clean folded clothes back in to carry home.) When it was full or close to, we'd do laundry. Like others we'd strip the bed weekly and put sheets into one of the pillow cases. How often we washed depended on a variety of things. When workamping we had laundry privileges so I'd do some laundry about every other day. We've gone as long as two weeks if we were moving a lot. Odor was never an issue. In our year and a half I can only recall a couple of places where we didn't feel we had clean facilities so we just moved on. We really appreciated RV Parks or laundromats that had a machine dedicated to rugs and or pet bedding and the folks who used them.

It's a simpler life and we were mostly in warm climates so clothes were lighter. I like big fluffy white absorbent towels and we'd use fresh ones about every 4 days. At home we change them more often.

You'll figure out what works for you.

Sherry

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I keep a lightweight duffle bag in my closet to hold dirty laundry. Once it's full, time to find a laundromat or do it in the rig with my mini washer & dryer that I stow in the shower ( http://winnieviews.blogspot.com/2014/02/my-onboard-washer-dryer.html ).  Now that I'm full-timing, I'm starting to like laundromats much more than I did before as they really can be a time-saver, especially if you have errands to do in town anyway.

Another tip (and this might sound a bit gross to people coming from a sticks & bricks with seemingly endless amounts of water and electric) is to simply not launder your items as frequently.  Unless you're incredibly dirty or it's been stained-- there's no need to launder a towel that has only been used once (or a pair of pants or shirt for that matter either).  Keep your towel on one side, and your spouse's towel on the other and use them multiple times before tossing to the laundry.  Not only will your clothes and linens last longer, but you'll save some time & money, and help the planet out a bit by conserving more.

Lynne

 



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Do people wash their towels every time they use them? Really? Darn....I must have been raised poorly :)

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Yeah.........One should get four hits out of their underwear.

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We have onboard machines. Whirlpools. We wouldn't be without them. The payback saved from laundromats was pretty quick and we don't have to risk not-so-nice areas and dirty unkept laundry machines.

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Jack Mayer wrote:

Do people wash their towels every time they use them? Really? Darn....I must have been raised poorly :)


 That brings back memories.... each family member had 2 towels, use 1 for a week and it went in the laundry.  Decide to dry the dog with it??? Then you had a hairy towel for the rest of the week!  

When I could finally afford it, I used a clean fresh from the dryer towel every day, and I don't mean those thin normal size from Wal-mart either!  It was great for a long time! 

But now with space being a premium, and a rug size towel would overload the Splendie, it's back to what will remove the water, wash easily, and store away compactly. 

We wouldn't be without our washer/dryer. 



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Me too…they get washed usually every 10 days or so with the rest of the laundry. With 3 siblings growing up my mom wasn't about to do that many loads of laundry.

 



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We found that after we retired & went on the road full time, the only clothes we changed everyday were undergarments...  Jeans, for me at least, were good for 3-4 days.  Same thing with shorts.  T-shirts, if I had been just laying around, were good for 2-3 days if alternated with another.  Had we been out hiking and exerting ourselves, we’d launder more frequently.  We had a Splendid in our Country Coach but found that the heat from the drying really did a number on the elastic in underwear and such...  but it sure was convenient!

Other items like jeans and shirts, towels, etc. weren’t affected. It was good for “maintenance” laundry, thus, visits to a local laundry mat were often in order when we had the chance.  Sheets, blankets, heavy-duty clothing and the likes we did in a laundry mat weekly which brings up a gem we found in our travels - Tom Sawyer RV Park in West Memphis, Arkansas...  they had free laundry and by god, I think we washed everything there while we stayed.  Twice.  

It’s funny how a change in life style rearranges ones priorities.  I still remember the delight we experienced upon learning the laundry was free.



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Theres only 2 of us.
We use our towels once.
Wear our clothes once too.

Too humid in Florida for anything but, for me.. Even in winter.

We have a brand new spendid side x side.. Wife is still using RV parks facilities.. trying to break her of that..

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We don't have a machine on board as we dry camp a lot. We are currently remodeling bedroom and are turning a poorly used space into a mini closet that holds 2 canvas laundry bags. I will post pictures when it is finished.

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We keep a mesh hamper in the shower, just move it in and out when we need to shower. We have a running joke about rotating our clothes every three to four days so we don't wear them two or three days in a row. When the hamper gets full we strip the bed sheets, gather the towels and go to the camp ground laundromat. Which is about once a week for us. We haven't encountered the negative things we've heard about laundromats, or any odor associated with the hamper. Even in our S & B we never changed towels every day.



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Boondocker clothes washing using a breathing washing wand - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pf9YV9B1XZI.  The video is 8:44 long and he uses this, http://www.amazon.com/MobileWasher-Operating-Washing-Machine-Emergencies/dp/B003SQ7I5S.  



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We turned one of our small hanging closets into a large laundry hamper with mesh netting. It works great and the wood closet doors keep the smells in. Lee's shirts were too long to hang in there anyways, so he uses the space we used to have the laundry hamper in for a hanging area and it works much better for us.

Trace

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We plan on getting a wonder washer and a spin dryer for boondocking to conserve both water and electricity vs. a standard RV washer and drier.
www.laundry-alternative.com/product/The-Wonderwash
www.laundry-alternative.com/product/Mini-Countertop-Spin-Dryer

Chip

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I asked the same question before we fulltimed...what do you do with the laundry. The ones who did have W/D said yes we love it we do a little every day. I thought...I don't want to do laundry everyday. We follow the sun so the few cold weather clothes we do have are under the bed storage. We put shelves in the area of the W/D hookup and use the bottom to store the retractable cloth wash bag I take to the laundry. If it's in the CG I do it myself. If it's in town, hubby comes too and we share the duty and do other stuff-sightseeing or errands. I second (or third) make sure the Laundromat is clean. If there are more than 2 of you, or you still work, a W/D in the rig is probably better. Your choice.

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BLRSmith wrote:

I asked the same question before we fulltimed...what do you do with the laundry. The ones who did have W/D said yes we love it we do a little every day. I thought...I don't want to do laundry everyday....


 Just a thought on your "thought"... It's a matter of perspective. If you view it as a just a couple of those 5 minute tasks, after all how long does it take to throw a small load in the wash, add detergent, select the type of cycle and hit the start button? Go do other stuff and later, transfer to the dryer, add softener sheet or whatever, set the timer and hit the start button. Still later pull it out, fold it and stow it. Total time maybe 15 minutes all squeezed into spare minutes everbody has in their daily routines. You'll spend more time gathering dirty clothes, loading them into the truck or toad, hauling them to the laundromat, unloading them from the truck or toad, possibly waiting for an open machine, etc etc. You can see the point I'm making. Yes you can run other errands while doing the actual laundry, but then so can you while it's in your own rig.  Just don't lock yourself into a mindset because of the imagery of doing laundry everyday using a visual from a 50's TV show that has been drilled into our collective subconscious. W/D space in a rig is premium space and some people would rather use it for other things and that is okay too.

As you say... your choice.smile

Just sayin'

Brian



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With the exception of when we are in very hot humid climates, or our clothes get wet/dirty due to activities we partake in, we tend to do our laundry in our rig when we are on hook up and dump about once every 7 to 12 days +/- all depending how long our tanks last. We worked out by the time we pay to dump, fill water and the cost of laundry we might as well go into a full hook up early one day until check out around Noon the next, and just keep the onboard machine going whilst we go out and about in-between. Often works out cheaper that way I've found. Try to avoid laundromats on a regular basis after encountering faeces in one years ago, and dyes/bleaches/hair etc in others. Prefer to use our own machines ideally except for laundering bulky items bi-monthly or thereabouts, when we will google for great reviews on a laundromat enroute.

Being used to hand washing (including sheets in the bath tub) for many years back in the 70's early 80's, when boon docking I will often rinse up some socks, underwear, light clothing such as shorts, Tee-shirts by hand here and there so that keeps our laundry to a minimum and we don't have to deal with any hockey changing room type odours from dirty laundry as can some. It really doesn't take that long if you keep on top of it every other day or so and works for us. We're flexible in many ways nowadays after being regimentally scheduled for too long in the past to keep it all together. Our towels get washed more often when in humid hot climates than when in cooler slower-bacteria inducing environments. Can't bear to dry with an odour happening towel, same with tea towels and dishcloths. Bed linen mileage varies from weekly to bi-weekly depending again on climate conditions etc.

Dirty laundry kept in a hip hugger type basket under the desk in the bedroom.

I can't believe that for 30+ years I used to vacuum and dust two or three times a week, launder towels and cloths every other day, and shower twice a day. Looking back I shudder how much life I wasted doing it all that often for so long (LOL).

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