When someone learns that laundromats are inaccessible to me they always ask “How do you do laundry if you can’t go to the laundromat?!”.
How I do laundry while living full-time in a travel trailer is a bit different than how I did laundry in the van… so I thought I’d share an update.
To be brought up-to-speed on why laundromats are inaccessible and/or how I handled laundry as a Van Dweller: Check out my Doing Laundry Without Electricity – Van RV Life post.
Doing Laundry In The Travel Trailer
Laundry in the trailer is much easier than it was in the van.
In the van, I had to haul clean water in and haul the dirty water out. I also used cold water because I didn’t feel like heating water on the stove just to do laundry.
There also wasn’t room to do my laundry inside the van. I always found an out of the way place to do laundry so as not to make a spectacle out of myself.
In the trailer, when hooked up to city water, I have a continuous supply of water. To get hot water I just the water heater on!
I love that I can do my laundry inside my home and the dirty water goes down the sink drain. To dispose of the dirty water I simply go outside, open the hatch and down the sewer it goes.
Here’s the gist of how I do laundry in the travel trailer:
- Fill the sink with warm water
- Add safe-for-me laundry soap and baking soda
- Let the clothes soak for 10 minutes (or an hour or more if I forget I’m doing laundry)
- Agitate the clothes by hand until I think they’re clean (a few minutes or so)
- Run clean rinse water in the sink
- Add white vinegar to the rinse water (as a fabric softener)
- Rinse clothes
- Wring the clothes as dry as I can
- Hang clothes on a folding drying rack that sits in the tub (to catch any drips)
- Wait for them to dry!
The clothes drying rack I use is Mainstays Space Saving Steel Folding Drying Rack (I got mine at Walmart).
The rack can be used folded in half (shown above).
The rack can also stand straight up. The bottom has feet so it stands sturdy without slipping. The top edges are rounded plastic so they don’t make marks on the wall.
How Long Does It Take The Clothes To Dry?
When I can’t have the windows or vents open, I always have a fan, the AC or heater going (depending on weather). With good air-flow, the clothes dry fairly quickly.
I don’t do laundry if it’s raining or damp outside but this is just a habit I got into when I did laundry in the van. When it was raining or humid outside, with little to no climate control in the van, clothes never dried.
With my travel trailer climate control, I could possibly get by with doing laundry in the trailer when it’s raining but it’s a good excuse NOT to do laundry!
How Many Clothes Can I Wash At Once?
I can’t do a week’s worth of clothes all at once in the sink. But I can do multiple “sink loads” on laundry day and this has been working well for me.
I typically do laundry once or twice a week.
Why Not Hang Clothes Outside?
Some campgrounds have rules against hanging clothes outside to dry.
Even if they don’t have a rule, I don’t like hanging my clothes outside.
Laundry Gizmos and Gadgets
There are lots of laundry gizmos and gadgets that Van Lifer’s and RVer’s use to do their laundry (to avoid going to laundromats).
Every gizmo and gadget takes up space. Anything that takes up space in a home on wheels needs to worthy of the space it occupies.
I’ve tried several gizmos and a few gadgets but, so far, none of them have earned their keep.
I don’t like doing laundry no matter what.
Even when I had a washing machine an dryer (living in a house) I didn’t like laundry. Rather than hanging my clothes up I left them in the dryer and pulled them out, as needed.