Are RV washers and dryers worth it?
This question is common for people thinking of buying a recreational vehicle, and the answer depends on your camping style.
For camping families or full-time RVers, a washer and dryer is practically a necessity, while weekend warriors or short-term vacationers can do without.
If an RV washer and dryer is a priority, I hope you stick around to find out the best travel trailers with washer and dryer setups already installed!
Why You Need an RV Washer and Dryer
Is having a washer and dryer in your travel trailer helpful?
Most RVers agree that having a way to do laundry at your convenience is well worth the investment if there’s space inside the recreational vehicle.
Unfortunately, very few RVs come complete with a washer and dryer at purchase, but there are campers with space and hookups to quickly install a washer and dryer if you wish.
Before you decide whether or not washing clothes while traveling in your RV is important, take a peek at the pros and cons:
RV Washer and Dryer Pros
Convenience While Camping
Having a way to wash clothes in your RV is exceptionally convenient.
You don’t have the hassle of dragging clothes to a laundromat or the campground laundry facility and possibly waiting for an available machine when you’d rather be enjoying your trip.
You also have complete control over the cleanliness of your laundry units. Laundromats have constant traffic and various germs on and inside the machines that could transfer to you and your items.
When you can wash clothes at will, another benefit is that you can streamline your packing. Being able to pack fewer clothing items saves on space.
It’s also very convenient to dry damp items without having to hang them outside in the sun. After showering or returning from the pool, wet towels can get musty hanging inside your RV, but tossing them in your RV dryer fixes this issue fast.
It takes time to plan out a “laundry day” while RVing since most campground laundry rooms are busy. Leaving a campground to seek out a local laundromat is even more time-consuming.
Tossing clothes into your handy washer and dryer set inside your travel trailer means no waiting for a free machine nor driving into town in search of a laundromat, saving precious camping time.
When accidental spills or messes occur, you can quickly clean linens or clothing items without a fuss at any hour of the day.
RV campground laundry facilities require quarters to run the machines. Most parks will charge $2-$4 to wash and dry a full load, but I’ve been to some that cost closer to $8!
If you have several loads to wash, the cost adds up fast, especially for seasonal and full-time RVers who will have weekly laundry that requires cleaning.
An RV washer and dryer will eliminate laundry charges, which will save you money over the long run.
Keeps Your RV Fresher
A pile of sweaty, dirty clothing and linens can stink up your travel trailer quickly. Letting clothes sit until you reach the next campground or laundromat means you may also have to put up with unpleasant odors that permeate your entire camper.
When you have a way to wash clothes inside your RV, you can avoid letting laundry sit around, stinking up your space.
Keeps Your Trip Plans on Track
Running out of clean clothes or a child wetting the bed means stopping whatever plans you had for the day and finding a place to wash laundry instead.
An in-rig laundry center means you can take care of unexpected clean-ups while keeping your camping schedule intact.
RV Washer and Dryer Cons
RV Washers Use Water
RVers know water usage when not hooked to campground water means relying on your freshwater holding tank requires rationing to make it last.
Washing clothes can use 15 or more gallons of water per load, putting a massive dent in the average 40-gallon RV water tank if you’re camping off-grid.
Using hot water to wash clothes is even harder to manage with an RV’s standard 6-gallon water heater. Cleaning a load of laundry may entail putting off taking a warm shower for a couple of hours until your water heater has time to catch up.
The Initial Camper Cost Will Be Higher
A travel trailer with a washer and dryer will have a higher sticker price than one that does not, which may stretch your RV shopping budget.
The average cost of an RV washer and dryer set is $1,600 for a stackable set and around $1,200 for a single unit that does double duty.
The good news is that many RVers install a washer and dryer after purchase, and you can find a great deal on a used travel trailer or motorhome already set up with the machines.
Washers and Dryers Gobble up Space
Everyone knows RVs are tight on space, so having bulky machines to clean your dirty laundry eliminates a lot of extra storage space you’d have otherwise.
RV Laundry Units Lower Available Load Weight
While RV washers and dryers are more compact than residential units, they are still heavy enough to alter the amount of weight you’ll have for packing your RV with camping supplies.
When every pound counts for both fuel economy and safety, you must consider the 100+ extra pounds of weight a washer or dryer adds.
Best Travel Trailers With Washer and Dryer
Palomino SolAire 320TSBH Ultra Lite
The Palomino SolAire 320TSBH offers a laundry center inside the master bedroom that has space for a stackable washer and dryer, so you can keep your dirty clothes under control.
The travel trailer provides ample sleeping arrangements for even large families but boasts an ultra-lightweight frame and design that makes towing more economical.
With two separate bedrooms and three slides, there is plenty of space for privacy and family time. The outside kitchen and two air conditioners increase convenience and comfort.
Jayco Jay Flight Bungalow 40RLTS
This Jayco Bungalow 40RLTS travel trailer is a destination model best for parking long-term at your favorite camping locations.
The laundry center is in the bathroom just off the master bedroom, making it quieter to run the machines while someone is sleeping. The location also lets you toss your dirty clothes right into the washer before showering.
Three slides, a huge kitchen island, and residential-style appliances make the most of the available space. The entertainment center has a 40-inch TV, and the electric fireplace in the living room feels like home, especially when you kick back in your choice of recliners or theater seats.
The glass sliding entrance door brings in tons of light, but there is also a private entry door directly into the master. This unit is best for couples who plan to full-time in seasonal locations or for a small family.
Jayco Jay Flight Bungalow 40RLTS (Video)
Highland Ridge Open Range OT338BHS
|Sleeps||Up to 10|
The Highland Ridge Open Range OT338BHS not only has a stackable washer and dryer in the master suite but is one of the few travel trailers with two bathrooms to go with the second bedroom making this a top choice for camping families.
The Open Range series design takes the needs of experienced RVers to heart by providing tons of storage, a highly functional kitchen, and ample sleeping accommodations.
Having a full bathroom off the master and a half-bath in the bunkhouse allows quick access to a toilet, especially at night. Four slides increase living space, but the lack of doors on the master and bunkhouse areas may create a privacy issue for some campers.
The outdoor kitchen and shower are fantastic for cooking and cleaning flexibility. Another unusual feature with this travel trailer is the dual awnings that create plenty of outdoor-entertaining shade.
Highland Ridge 338BHS Open Range (Video)
Coachmen Catalina Destination Series 39RLTS
The Catalina Destination Series 39RLTS is another destination-style camping trailer the places the washer and dryer between the master suite and the spacious bathroom, which features a massive 48 x 30 shower pan.
When you want all the comforts of home while camping as a couple or small family, this travel trailer is hard to beat. There is one slide in the master, while the other two expand the living area’s width fully on both walls.
The sliding door is wide for easier entry and exit, and the kitchen island with a sink makes cooking prep and clean up a breeze.
Coachmen Catalina Destination Series 39RLTS (Video)
Coachmen Catalina Legacy Edition 343BHTS
|Sleeps||4 – 6|
The Coachmen Catalina Legacy Edition 343BHTS has a floorplan with two bedrooms with queen beds or a choice of a rear bunkhouse instead. The washer and dryer closet in the master suite is ready for the stackable or all-in-one unit you select.
The travel trailer is perfect for two adults who want their own private space or camping families who want an efficient yet smaller and lighter camper to tow.
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The three deep slideouts are all on the trailer’s right side, leaving the other side free for the 21-foot awning.
The living room has a TV and sofa seating open to the kitchen. You also have the choice between a dinette table or a freestanding table and chairs.
Coachmen Catalina Legacy Edition 343BHTS (Video)
Grand Design Reflection 315RLTS
The Grand Design Reflection 315RLTS is another travel trailer that puts the washer and dryer in the master bedroom, but this manufacturer puts the washer on one side of the central closet and the dryer on the other.
The entire camper has many residential amenities, like the big refrigerator, cozy fireplace, and comfortable seating in the living area. The pantry and hutch in the kitchen provide tons of storage for canned and dry goods.
Outdoors, the pass-through storage compartment allows you to pack bulky and long camping gear, and the LP quick-connect lets you hook up a gas grill right to your camper’s propane system.
The bathroom has a 30 x 36 shower with a skylight. The room is a bit compact overall but thankfully remains functional.
Reflection 315RLTS by Grand Design (Video)
Is a Stackable RV Washer and Dryer Better Than a Combination Unit?
For RVs, most washer and dryer choices are a stackable pair or a single unit that works to both wash a dry laundry.
Both types of RV washers and dryers have their benefits and disadvantages, so you’ll need to keep reading to learn which setup will work best for your needs.
How Much Space Do an RV Washer and Dryer Take Up?
When it comes to taking up space, the stackable will win this award. But, because the units sit atop the other, you are not losing any floor space over a single combo unit.
If you want the upper area of your laundry center open for shelving or a hanging rod, then you may opt for the combination washer and dryer.
Which Type of RV Washer and Dryer Is Easier to Use?
For overall ease of use, the combination washer and dryer requires less manual labor. Once you load your clothes, the unit will wash the items, then automatically switch over to the drying mode.
This auto feature eliminates the need for you to watch the clock and manually move items from the washing machine to the dryer, which is great when you want to enjoy camping activities and return later to dry clothing.
The combo laundry unit also has a larger tub so that you can wash more items at once.
The biggest downfall of the combination unit is the time it takes to complete one load. The dryer’s efficiency is not as good as a stand-alone unit, so it takes a lot longer to dry a load thoroughly.
If you have a lot of laundry, it may be bothersome not to wash one load while another is drying, as you can do with a separate stackable washer and dryer set.
The benefit of going with separate units is the ability to replace a single component if one breaks and continue using the other.
If an all-in-one washer and dryer breaks, you are stuck using the laundromat for both the wash and dry until you can repair the unit.
Which RV Washer and Dryer Uses Less Water?
The compact stackable washer uses less water per load, but you do have to consider that each load will be smaller than one in a combination washer/dryer unit.
Depending on how much laundry you average per week and if you’re using campground water will determine how much this issue will concern you.
Many RVers feel having a washer and dryer in their camper is a luxury, but many brands offer travel trailers with laundry centers that don’t hog space nor will break the bank.
Doing laundry inside your RV while camping increases enjoyment and avoids all the stress and time it takes trying to find and use a local laundromat.
If you want the convenience of a washer and dryer in your travel trailer, put the models above on your shopping list and check them out!
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