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norton83

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We are wondering about a washer and dryer for our 5th wheel. What is everyone's opinion on this subject? Is it easier to have your own or to use the laundry facilites and if you have your own, is it one of the dual machines that is both washer and dryer? Any input would be greatly appeciated.

 

The Nortons

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Guess it depends on what kind of RVing you'll do. We're rarely in full hookup RV parks. We enjoy national parks, national forests, state parks, etc. so we don't always have hookups. We also like to get the laundry done in 1-1/2 hours about every two weeks. That's why we don't have a washer/dryer as you have to keep doing small loads almost daily. It's never bothered us.

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We had a Splendide single unit and were very happy with it. There have been a few discussions of this in the past and folks have arguments for either style or none. For us the convenience of having a machine in the rig offset the space it took up and the wife didn't mind the small loads.

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We didn't get a washer/dryer when we ordered our fifth wheel in late 2006, Research said the loads were very small and took quite awhile. With the new RV washer/dryers I understand those limitations are now gone. We do wish we had a new washer/dryer now. Those trips to the Laundromat are getting old but if we did get one added I do not want it to shake the RV like some do. Greg

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We have had separate washers and dryers in our rigs for all the 15 years we have been full timing. We wouldn't have it any other way. The separate units allow you to both wash and dry at the same time so the overall time to complete is less, but since the units are in the rig and convenient it really does not matter how long it takes. We don't have to sit around and wait for anything to finish. I know a trip to the laundromat is an outing for some folks, but it's just a pain for us.

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DW insists on separate washer and dryer. She has front loading whirlpool units and loves them. She says they are as good or better than the older top loaders at home in the summer house. In the end this is a personal decision. For us this and a dish washer were must haves in the rig. Best Wishes, Jay

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We are wondering about a washer and dryer for our 5th wheel. What is everyone's opinion on this subject? Is it easier to have your own or to use the laundry facilites and if you have your own, is it one of the dual machines that is both washer and dryer? Any input would be greatly appeciated.

 

The Nortons

 

We don't really have the space - and the bulk of our camping is boondocking so a built in just doesn't work for us. We have a routine where every 1-2 weeks we go into town, do laundry, buy groceries, etc. - works okay for us but YMMV.

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I've already responded to this in a post above, but several people have mentioned that they tend to boondock a fair amount and don't have a washer/dryer for that reason. I understand each situation is different but we too boondock a great deal yet still use our washer/dryer. We find it is more convenient to haul water and waste, which we have to do anyway, than it is to find someplace to do laundry. I don't know if it's also less expensive but it feels like it is.

 

We usually spend a few months in the Quartzsite or Imperial Dam LTVA's each winter and a lot of National Forest boondocking during the rest of the year. The RV rarely moves during our stays. We are probably equipped a bit better than some but I have a 70 gallon fresh water tank and a 100 gallon waste tank on my truck. We haul water in with the truck and pump it into the tank on the RV. I see others who use small trailers for the same purpose. We also have a 50 gallon water bladder that fits in the trunk of the car. We'll often fill that when we go out just to resupply. When our holding tanks are full we pump the contents into the holding tank on the truck using a macerator and take it to the dump station. One of the nice things about the new front loaders is that they use a lot less water than top loaders so it doesn't feel like it adds that much to our normal usage.

 

As for power, our inverter runs the front loading washing machine just fine but we have to fire up the Onan generator to run the 120V dryer. We've tried drying our clothes on a clothes line outside but don't like the feel of the result. Fortunately the front loaders get the clothes a lot dryer than the old top loaders so the drying time is not all that long. We usually arrange it so that we take advantage of the generator to do some other heavy electrical using jobs at the same time.

 

I fully realize that this approach won't work for everyone and that different folks have different approaches to boondocking. Nonetheless, we are proof that just because you boondock does not mean than a washer/dryer is not sometimes a worthwhile thing to have.

 

Edited to correct spelling.

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We volunteer at state and federal sites and only take positions with full hookups. Even while taking our month of travel between volunteer positions we seldom go more than three days without WSE sites but even with WE sites DW can get a quick load done in our Splendidi all n one. Four and a half years and she is still happy with it.

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We had spent a number of years FTing without a washer and dryer, and didn't find the Laundromat trips a real big deal. A couple of years ago, we decided to go with a set. We also went with the Whirlpool stackable set of front loaders. I suspect we would never do very long without them now as the convenience is just more than we had imagined.

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As you have already probably noticed, there are two firmly entrenched groups of people on this issue: those that wouldn't be without their washer/dryers and those who see no need for them. We happen to be in the first group. There is no right or wrong answer to your question. One thing we enjoy about having one is that we never have to accumulate a pile of dirty clothes to take to the laundry. We have a small hamper and when it is full it holds just about a wash load for our Splendide. At parks that don't charge for electricity doing the wash becomes free (we heat our water electrically). For us that means at least 30 weeks a year of free laundry. These days it costs us at least $10/week to do a couple of washes and dryer loads by the time you count towels and sheets. At that rate the unit pays for itself in a relatively short time.

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As you can see everyone is different. We started with a combo in our 5th wheel (already installed in that used rig). I learned to use it and was happy. However when it died we had the space and for less money than a new combo we installed separates. Needless to say while shopping for our new (to us) MH it was essential that we could bring them with us. Heck I even gave up a bedroom slide to get that closet.

I have always hated laundromats. Expensive, pain to cart and tote and over hot dryers ruining my clothes etc. They paid for themselves in a year. We do a mix of camping so it always works out

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We belong to the got to have group.

 

One thing I haven't seen mentioned is the efficiency of the laundromats. Most that we have seen, the complete cycle takes 30 minutes. The short cycle on our Splendide takes 60 minutes. Also, many of them short the rinse cycle on water. We just don't believe the laundry is cleaned well in a commercial laundromat.

 

Newt

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We're in the "Don't have it, don't miss it" camp. We generally are volunteering in State Parks or National Wildlife Refuges, and often those places will have washers/dryers available. Usually we'll use those. But there are times when they only offer a single machine, so we'll take everything into town on "shopping day" and get it all knocked out in 60 - 90 minutes. When we're on the road we'll find an RV park with laundry and do that every 7-10 days.

 

Our trailer is set up for washer/dryer, but we choose to use the space for other things.

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Have had a separate front loader washer with a 120 volt dryer on top for maybe 5 or 6 years now. Wouldn't want to be without them. I think we may have had to use a laundry in a park maybe twice during that time and we like having it onboard. It allows us to keep up with the laundry without having to have it pile up. Sometimes, when we're working hard and it's hot and we're getting quite dirty and sweaty, we end up doing a load most days. During times when we're not getting so dirty, we don't do it as often.

 

The last time I used the laundry in a campground, it ended up costing us quite a bit more than expected because the dryers never got the clothes dry on one run through, even the smaller loads. I like my clothes dry.

 

The convenience is worth it to me.

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7 years ago when we sold our S&B house and moved into our home on wheels. DW insisted that we didn't need laundry facilities. but I made an executive decision and installed a front loading Whirlpool and put in a shelf about 12 inches above the washer and installed a GE 120V Dryer. This gives shelf space waist high for all the cleaning and laundry products. My DW is very thankful that I went ahead and outvoted her on this subject. She thinks I am great. It is so ease to throw in a load on the way out the door and move to the dryer on the return. We do a lot of boondocking and we can say off grid about 2 weeks. Then we find a RVPark, dump, take on water and do our laundry in the comfort of our home. Then it is back out off grid again. My wife so much appreciated not having to spend hours in a Laundry Mat.

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We went for 12 years without a washer dryer part timing and felt that we didn't need one. The newer rig we found had a Splendide in it And we thought that it would be worth trying. We love it! No more sitting around a Laundromat with 50Lbs of quarters in your pockets. I hate Laundromats. The Splendide is a different machine and needs to be treated differently than your normal home machine. I'd highly recommend buying the book by Wrinkle Free RV Laundry Sandy Jones. These machines are common in Europe and are mostly used by families. They CAN wash and dry large loads. Drying takes a little longer but then it's only a 110V dryer. Besides, what's the big hurry? The Splendide combo is nice because you don't lose so much storage space and you can wash and dry in the same cycle. Set it up in the morning, take off for the day, and come home to cleaned, dried sheets or whatever. There's a trick to getting the wrinkles out and it works great. See the book.

Bob & Sue Bartleson

2009 Monaco Knight 41SKQ

2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel

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Well, I seem to fit into a slightly different category. Maybe it is because I am a bachelor. I live in my rig full time but I still work. I travel as much as I can and would rather have the storage space rather than a washer/dryer. But I have found that many laundromats offer full service. I know that where I live in Texas there are several close by. I also found one in Hutchison, KS when I attended my first HDT rally. I just bag up my dirty laundry and drop it off. I get it back washed and folded, or on hangers if I ask and take them with me. I drop it off in the morning and pick it up in the afternoon. Yeah, it is a service I pay for, but it isn't that much more expensive than doing it myself. They fold clothes better than I do and the time I avoid sitting in the laundromat is worth something also. Like others, if I have no choice, I will sit in the laundromat rather than give up my closet space but given a choice, I will let the nice ladies in the laundromat do it for me.

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I'm on my second washer/dryer. the first one was a combo, and this one is stackable. The washers are great. They do smaller loads, but they save money (from coin operated machines). I don't like the dryers, they are 110 voltage, and take forever to dry anything, especially heavy items like jeans. I have a hanging rack that I use to dry my clothes, and just set it up where ever I have room for overnight. By the morning everything is dry and ready to put away. I like my own washer because once when I used a laundry at a rv park, the previous user washed oily something, didn't clean the washer out, and ruined an entire load of clothes. If you are like most rvers, you don't carry that much with in the first place, and having a load of clothes ruined (unwearable) is not good. Its also very convenient in that I don't have to find a laundry mat in parks that don't have one.

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