Is an RV Washer and Dryer Worth It?

Having an RV washer and dryer in my rig would be pure bliss. I wouldn’t have to gather my quarters and drive to the nearest laundromat. I wouldn’t have to bring a book and be bored as I watched my clothes go around, and ‘round and ‘round.  

But is it really that great? There are pros and cons to having an RV washer and dryer, some of which you may not have thought about. It sounds like having an RV washer and dryer would be super convenient. It is, but it also comes with a few negatives.

Let’s take a look at the RV washer and dryer and see if there is a difference between the dream and reality.

Do RVs Come with A Washer and Dryer?

Most RVs do not come with a washer and dryer. Some may come with hookups, so you have the option of either adding the appliances immediately or maybe down the road at some point.

If a washer and dryer is an option, it’s a good idea to price them out yourself through an appliance store. It’s very likely you will get a better deal and you may even be able to find used options.

Do RVs Come with A Washer and Dryer

Is it Worth Having an RV Washer And Dryer?

Is it worth having an RV washer and dryer? Some of the reasons one might want an RV washer and dryer may include:

  • you are RVing full-time
  • you travel with kids
  • you do laundry more than once a week
  • you want the convenience of doing laundry in your own rig

Some reasons you might not want a washer and dryer may be as simple as:

  • you don’t want to hang out at the laundromat
  • you don’t want to lose the storage space that would hold the washer and dryer.

This was the case in our first RV. We had the option for a washer/dryer combo but it would have taken away a lot of clothing storage. We chose to find a laundromat when we needed to do a load or two of laundry.

Pro Tips:

On the other hand, Mike and Susan (the owners of and love having a washer and dryer in their Class A motorhome.

Susan says she likes the option of doing laundry in her own rig without sharing appliances with others. And she likes the convenience of throwing bath towels, pool towels, bathing suits, etc in the dryer to keep them from mildewing or adding humidity inside the coach.

Mike recommends making sure your gray tank stays open while doing laundry. He and Susan made the mistake of leaving the gray tank closed one time and they had quite a bit of water to clean up when it overflowed!

Another handy tip from Mike is that you may need stacking kit for your stackable washer and dryer when you install it. The staking kit helps to keep the washer and dryer stable.

Can I Put a Residential Washer and Dryer in My RV?

RV washer and dryer

Yes, you can put a stackable residential washer and dryer in your RV or motorhome, depending on the entry door size and how much space you have to hold the washer and dryer.

Residential washers also use more water and, therefore, drain more water than RV units. You would have to be on full hookups, or you would fill your grey tank very quickly.

The best part about a stackable washer and dryer is that you can use them both at the same time!

What Is a Combination Washer and Dryer?

RV washer-dryer combos are one appliance that both washes and drys in the same drum. They work similarly to a normal washer and dryer but take up half the space. This is a real space saver for smaller rigs.

Some combo units are vented and others are not. Mike from RVBlogger says he prefers the vented types of dryers because they dry clothes faster and all the humidity leaves the RV through the vent.

Ventless dryers use a combination of cool and warm air inside the drum to create a condensation effect that is pumped out through the drain pipe.

How Much Water Does An RV Washing Machine Use?

An RV washer uses an average of 8-16 gallons per load, while a residential unit uses around 20-25 gallons per load. Some older models can use up to 40 gallons.

There are residential options like high-efficiency models that are made to use less water and other options you can employ to bring that number down.

Can You Run an RV Dryer With an Onboard Generator?

Yes, your onboard generator can power your dryer if you are boondocking or are on the road. You will likely need a 5,000-watt generator to power your appliance.

It’s not the best use of energy for sure. However, in many cases, it will be possible. You could consider air-drying your laundry in boondocking situations.

How Much Do RV Washers And Dryers Cost?

The average cost for an RV washer and dryer combo is around $1,000 to $1,500, although you can find these appliances at either end of this spectrum.

Used ones are not really common, however, it’s worth asking around.

Can You Add a Washer and Dryer to Your RV?

You can add an RV washer and dryer to your RV but it is not an easy, or inexpensive add-on.

You will need to have a dedicated space, a power source, a water source, and a drain. If you can do the plumbing and electrical work yourself, you can certainly save the labor costs.

The cost of adding hookups will involve making changes to both your plumbing and electrical systems. If you have plumbing and electrical experience, this could bring the cost down.

Otherwise, you will have to hire a professional for around $1,000 or more to make the change. Of course, over time you will save money by not using a coin-operated laundromat.

How Much Does it Cost to Do Laundry at a Campground?

While costs can vary, the average cost for a load of laundry is usually $2-$4. It is a pretty minor cost if you don’t RV full-time or camp for long periods of time. If you decide to purchase an RV washer and dryer, it will probably be more about convenience than cost savings.

These days you likely don’t need to save your quarters as there are newer laundromats that have the option to pay by credit card or app.

Final Thoughts About RV Washers And Dryers

An RV washer and dryer in your rig makes laundry days super convenient. You don’t have to rely on campground laundry rooms, which generally only have 3-4 appliances for a whole campground of people. A machine or two that is out of order can compound the backup of users.

You can always choose public laundromats outside the campground. The downside is broken or inadequate machines or being far away from your remote campground.

With an RV washer and dryer in your rig, you can fit your laundry chores into your lifestyle instead of planning your fun around spending a good portion of your day at a laundromat.

RV washers and dryers are not cheap but if your RV is already set up to accommodate these appliances, then your biggest expense will be the washer and dryer. You also have several choices when it comes to an RV washer and dryer.

There are stackable units with a separate washer and dryer, or you can purchase a combo, which is one unit that both washes and dries your clothes in the same place. There are positives and negatives to each of these options. Don’t forget to consider small portable washer and dryer options, as well.

While you might not enjoy laundry day, it is one of those necessities of life. Find what works for you so you can keep enjoying your RV adventures.

Related Reading:

7 Best Class C RVs With Washers And Dryers

10 Best RV Towel Racks For Inside And Outside

When To Turn On Your RV Tank Heaters

Are Motorhome Prices Dropping?

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