After buying a portable washing machine for your caravan or motorhome you will never look back. Gone are the days when you had to search for gold coins to operate the laundromat machines or do a mountain of washing when you get home. You'll have more flexibility on where you stay and be able to pack lighter. Caravans Plus sell 3 of Australias leading brands for Caravan and RV Washing Machines; Camec, Sphere & Dometic.
1. Space Constraints and Storage Options
If you don't have the space to permanently install a washing machine in you RV they are still light enough for you to store in your shower, under your table or even in the back of your car and then place outside (under cover) once you arrive at your destination. If you have the space inside take accurate measurements and remember a top-loading machine will need free space above it, while a front loader can be installed under a counter or bench (subject to the available height and front clearance).
2. Installing Washing Machine
Installing your portable washing machine is an incredibly easy procedure. You can set up the washing machine inside your RV permanently or outside as a space saving portable option with only 2 simple steps:
Step 1. The washing machine must be hooked up to a water source - generally the faucet of a caravan or the sink.
Step 2. Simply plug the washing machine into a 3 pronged electrical outlet and fill it with your washing.
3. How to Use Portable Washing Machines
Step 1. If your washer is not permanently installed use your sink to fill and drain the washer, washing small loads of clothing at a time. Make sure to read your instruction manual before filling the washer, as precise instructions vary from machine to machine.
Step 2. Drain the dirty water. Automatic washers will do this for you, you just need to make sure to place the draining nozzle in the sink (if not permanently installed) and allow all the dirty water to drain if the washer is not permanently installed. If you're not sure which nozzle to use, check your instruction manual.
TIP: Make sure the nozzle is securely in the sink. If the nozzle falls out, you could end up with dirty water all over your floor.
Step 3. Rinse the clothes again, if your machine requires it. Some machines do not have a rinse cycle. Once you've drained the water, you can remove and dry your clothing. However, other machines require a specific rinse cycle. If your machine requires a rinse cycle, fill the machine with cold, clean water and set it to rinse.
TIP: You may have to drain the water again after the rinse cycle is over.
Step 4. Dry your clothes. If you have a portable dryer, you can dry your clothes there.
The specifications of all caravan washing machines are determined by their load capacities. Based on your requirements, you can purchase anything from a basic 2.5kg machine to feature-packed versions that handle 4kg wash loads. Factor in the number of people who will be travelling, the duration of your trip, and the expected frequency of wash cycles. Sometimes, you can afford to go light on the load capacity if space and budget are limited.
1. Read your instruction manual before using the machine. While portable washing machines are all somewhat similar, precise instructions will vary. Before using your machine, read your instruction manual closely. You want to make sure you follow the rules for your machine closely.
2. Make sure to dry your hands before handling the machine's plug. It's easy to get your hands wet when handling laundry. To protect yourself form electric shock, dry your hands thoroughly before plugging in or unplugging the machine.
3. Avoid washing coats. Heavy items, like coats, are generally too bulky for a portable washing machine. You will have to get such items dry cleaned or wash them in a regular washing machine.
4. Make sure everything is in place. You want to make sure all the nozzles are screwed on tightly. You should also be vigilant about not overfilling the machine. You do not want to be left with a soapy mess to clean up.
7. Handy Tips
1. Washing machines make a great dirty-clothes hamper.
2. Wash whites first so you can re-use the water.
3. Use wool wash so you don't need to rinse.
4. Save sheets for the laundromat.
8. Cheap Washing Machine Alternatives
Hand powered portable washers such as the Sphere EcoSpin are a cost-effective solution for those who enjoy free camping. This washer can hold up to 2kg of laundry at a time and uses less water and detergent than traditional washing machines. It requires no electricity and is lightweight and compact, allowing you to quickly and easily wash wherever your travels take you.
Even cheaper is a plastic bucket with a lid that seals: put the washing, detergent and water in it and let it agitate while you're driving. Wringing by hand can be a pain though, and it probably won't wash your sheets.