Washing Machine in Campervan

Hi Folks
I am working towards my retirement and to live in a van permanently off grid and I have done my rough layout of van which includes a very tiny washing machine, like one of those 2kg drawer types or wall mountable RV models. Not sure which way to go yet however as I know they use a fair decent amount of water!
What I am wondering is, can the water be recycled like the option you have with a shower loop 3 filter system?
I would be interested to hear if anyone has installed a washer with this sort of water system, how is it working, do the filters clog up more than a system I might use for the shower/wet bath?
I am planning to have a separate water tank just for the washer and use it roughly on a weekly basis as most time I will do hand washing at Kitchen Sink.

Thoughtful replies would be welcomed. Thank you

I’d like to see what you come up with. I’m sure someone will come along with some ideas. My van is too small for a wash machine, so do it the old fashioned way - washboard and tubs. Not as hard as one might think and it doesn’t use any power other than heating some water.

I have been perusing YT to see what is available and there is a collapsible one, suitable for washing a few items like Undies, Tshirts etc, It only uses 2litres of water and run on Sure Power or USB, It is small enough to store in the bottom of a cupboard or garage area however I was looking for a more permanent plumbed in solution. But must say the little collapsible one is pretty nifty.

An old-fashioned washboard doesn’t use any electricity and stores flat. I have a couple dish tubs that do triple duty as dish tubs, laundry tubs, and storage. Takes me 10 minutes to do the laundry (other than drying and folding) and the results are better than any wash machine.

The simpler the better in my opinion.


My $3.00 onboard laundry solution consists of 2x dollar store dish tubs/sinks, and a nylon dish scrubber. Works as good or better than any commercial washing machine, and uses no added space.


I’m not a fan of recirculating gray water for any purpose. I totally dislike complicated solutions for simple or non existent problems. In over 40 years of being a nomad, I have never had any problem finding more than enough water for anything I needed. If I need to filter water, I would prefer to filter fresh water instead of gray water. Boiling water is simple enough too… With my fire coil, I can boil a full 7 gallon container very quickly. It works with my stove, heater, or a campfire, and provides unlimited hot water, and if you recirculate it you can boil the water. I haven’t used my filters in years.

I typically place it under my pot/pan while I’m cooking, then I’ll have a jug full of hot water to wash my dishes, shower, take a bath, do laundry, or whatever other cleaning chores I might have. On a cold night, I might even use it for a hot drink. Sometimes I’ll take it down to a lake/river/stream, and have an unlimited hot shower, bath, or soak in my jacuzzi under the stars. It’s amazing the amount of amenities we can have if we put our minds to it.



"Friends don't let friends convert cargo vans." ~ A Friend


I can completely understand the desire for clothes washing convenience in your van. I have a portable, manual little wash machine that works similar to a salad spinner. It has a lid and a drain hose, you fill with clothes, water, detergent, close the kid and rotate it around back and forth with a handle on top to wash the clothes. Then open the drain and spin to get most of the water out, and refill/repeat to rinse. It’s pretty handy and small so it doesnt take up too much space. But it wouldn’t work well for bigger items like jeans or bedding. Something like this:

The Amish have quite a few interesting tools at Lehman’s in Ohio, including a Laundry POD Manual Compact Washer that takes only 5 gal of water and no electricity. They also have an interesting looking plunger contraption that people say is incredibly fast and cleans better than their electric washing machine. Lehmans dot com is a fun place to just look and see what’s out there for people who would rather avoid electricity…