How to save a bunch of time doing laundry

Laundromats take a lot of time, cost money, you have to travel to and from, there might not be one nearby, and I can think of a lot of things I’d rather be doing rather than spending hours in a laundromat!

Why use a laundromat when you can do laundry right where you’re camped? Of course it may not be possible if you’re parked in the middle of the city on a side street, but if you can hang a clothes line, it’s easy as long as the weather is dry enough.

A week’s worth of laundry takes me around 20 minutes from setup to hanging the clothes to dry. In the hot desert southwest with a little breeze my laundry is dry in less than an hour. If it’s cooler or less windy maybe all afternoon. And I don’t have to leave camp, and can do other things.

There are several ways to do it - I use an old-fashioned washboard and the dishwashing tubs with a bar of laundry soap, because the washboard is flat it takes very little storage space in the van. New washboards can be found for less than $20 online. Another good way is a 5-gallon plastic bucket with a toilet plunger and liquid soap (if you already carry a bucket). If you like to blow money on gadgets there are commercially made manual-crank wash tubs, but I don’t think they work as well, and take up space.

To me, doing laundry in camp is a lot more convenient.

We keep the plunger set-up in the back in our laundry room, for those times if the washer breaks down or any extended power outages. Also we almost never use a dryer (laundromat) because yeah, high desert, it dries super fast.

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Since I’m normally a city dweller, I try to find a full service laundromat. It doesn’t seem to cost any more than doing it myself, and I can just take my laundry in & drop it off, then pick it up finished later. Often they will even replace a missing button, or repair a zipper, or other small repairs at no additional cost.

That being said, I’ve also met some amazing people at laundromats when doing my own…


"I start saving money with the vehicle purchase,
and pay practically nothing to convert it." ~ Road Warrior

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