Travel in a van can bring a sense of freedom to life, with nothing but the open road and outdoorsy adventures ahead of you, what’s not to love? But with independence from the daily grind living the van life can bring some unexpected obstacles such as how to do your clothes washing. Today we’re going to look at some different RV washing machine options to help you decide. Many of the options will also work if you’re taking the leap into off grid living and are looking for a way to get your washing done, without relying on Laundromat. 

Washing your clothes is one of the van life essentials that everyone does differently, but it is something worth working out sooner rather than later, or you might run out of clean underwear! Here we’re going to bring together different van life ideas for the best ways to wash your clothes when travelling in a van, whether you live in a compact camper van or have something much bigger. Some of these items would also make great campervan gifts this holiday season for friends and family about to embark on a van life travel adventure.

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1. Scrubba Wash Bag

Woman using RV washing machine Scrubba Wash Bag at a waterfall

At number one our list of how to get the washing done while living in a van, we have the Scrubba Wash Bag. The Scrubba Wash Bag is a small RV Washing machine that is really helpful if you plan on doing washing by hand. Even if you don’t plan on dong washing by hand regularly, this useful item is excellent to have a back up when you run out of fresh undies (you will, guaranteed). 

The Scrubba Wash Bag is a waterproof bag with a flexible internal washboard to ensure your clothes are as clean as they would be in a regular washing machine, it can wash about two t-shirts, two pairs of socks and two pairs of underwear in one go, basically two days of summer clothing. There are six steps to successfully using the Scrubba Wash Bag: Fill, Roll & Clip, Deflate, Rub, Rinse and Dry. It really is that simple. 

Also available from the Scrubba range is the Stealth Pack. This black rucksack has the same original function as the original wash bag but can also be used as a backpack, once the straps are attached and as a shower. The Stealth Pack is perfect for those living in small campers as there is no need to pack a second bag or solar shower bag as well as your RV washing machine bag. 

2. Yirego Drumi Portable RV Washing Machine 

RV washing machine the yirego drumi

The next RV washing machine on our list of ways to get the washing done while living in a van is the Yirego Drumi Portable Washing Machine. The Yirego Drumi is a clever, electricity-free portable washing machine that allows you to wash your clothes anywhere at any time. This compact manual washing machine is small enough for those living or travelling in micro campers or those living the sprinter van life and not in a huge RV. 

The Yirego Drumi can hold up to 5lbs of clothing in one wash cycle, which is 5-7 personal items or one pair of jeans- a similar amount to the Scrubba Wash Bag. Unlike the Scrubba Wash Bag, the Yirego Drumi is operated by your feet, using the pedal at the base of the portable washing machine. To wash add the clothes, 6-12litres of water and 3-5ml of detergent and pedal slowly for up to five minutes. Drain water and refill with clean, pedal for a further 2-3minutes to rinse. Drain and pedal for 30seconds to spin clothes, hang out to dry. 

The Yirego Drumi is a sophisticated way to wash clothes without needing any electricity and would be a good option if you’re not into hand washing clothes but don’t want to have to rely on an electricity source. On the downside, it is a little pricey at $349, but if this is a long term solution then it may be worth the investment and, once you have made the initial purchase would help to keep van life costs down by not needing to use launderettes. 

3. Splendide WD2100XC

The spledide RV washing machine

The Next RV washing machine on our list of ways to do your clothes washing while on the road is the Splendide WD2100XC. It is suitable for those travelling in larger RVs and have the space to carry a washing machine onboard. The RV washing machine measures 59.7 x 57.4 x 81.4cm so is compact enough for a larger RV while doing the same job as a household washing machine.

The Splendide washing machine will wash up to 15lbs of laundry in one cycle, which is the same as an average household wash and can then dry up to 13lbs. Having a dryer onboard your RV is a real game-changer, eliminating the need to find somewhere to hang wet clothes to dry. Even better, you do not need to switch manually onto the dryer setting, set your wash, and it will automatically run into a dry spin. This means you can set your laundry at the beginning of the day, go out and come back to beautifully clean and dry washing- perfect!

The Splendide is easy to install and can either be plugged into your RVs electrics or a hook up at the campsite. The new model comes with a vented dryer that dries clothes 35% faster than the non-vented model. This washer dryer is ideal for those living full time on the road. 

4. Wonderwash

The Wonderwash

The next RV washing machine on our list is The Wonderwash portable washing machine. The Wonderwash is an electricity-free RV washing machine that works at the turn of a handle. This smart design allows you to wash clothes wherever you are, without needing to search for an electric hook-up point or a laundromat. 

To use the Wonderwash simply fill the drum of the mini washing machine with your laundry, add water and detergent and spin the machine using the handle. Wash the clothes for up to five minutes, then drain the water and refill to rinse the clothes. Once they are clean and soap-free, drain the water and spin the clothes for several more minutes before hanging to dry. The Wonder wash RV washing machine can wash up to ten t-shirts at a time!

The Wonderwash is an economical and environmentally friendly wash to do you washing on the road. Costing just $52 and using 90% less water than a conventional washing machine what’s not to love?

5.Portable 230v RV Washing Machine 

The portable washing machine

The next RV washing machine on our list of how to get the washing done while on the road is this portable 230v twin washing machine with a spin dryer. This washing machine does need to be hooked up to the electrics to be used, but it doesn’t require and plumbing into your RV before use. This means that the washing machine can be used anywhere in your RV and stored out of sight when not in use. 

To use this portable RV washing machine fill with laundry and water and choose whether a normal or a delicates wash is required. Add the detergent and sit back to let the machine do its work. Ensure the hose is in the sink or by a drain before draining the laundry and moving onto the spin cycle. This washing machine can hold up to 4.6kg of washing and can even wash a double duvet case. 

This portable washing machine is a good option if you do not want to, or do not have room to, permanently install a washing machine in your RV. It’s also great if you do not want to have to operate your portable washing machine manually and would instead let it do the work for you. This machine comes in at £120. 

Final Thoughts… 

There are several different options available for washing clothes while on the road that we have showcased in this article. What works best for you is a matter of opinion and depends on your RV washing machine budget as well as the space available in your campervan. Having any of these washing machines on board for your next road trip would minimise, or even eliminate, the need to visit the laundromat, or do washing at a campsite which can get pretty expensive, not to mention boring.

The hand-operated machines also ensure that you’re doing your bit for the environment by using less water than you would in a conventional washing machine. This means you can get your washing, and feel good about it too. Let us know what you think of these washing machine options and if you found this article helpful by joining the Van Clan over on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter