Washing your clothes / doing the laundry on a trip

Discussion in 'Cushion, Curtains, Carpets, Bedding, Clothing Stor' started by Koalavan, Dec 31, 2018.

  1. Koalavan

    Koalavan Member

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    Hi everyone,

    Just wondering what everyone does for clothes washing on a trip?

    On a shorter trip I might only need to wash a few bits, I can wash by hand in the sink and we have a fold-up hanger that resembles a couple of coathangers with pegs hanging off, and we have a small airing rack that I can use too.

    Campground washing machines always seem to cost at least $4-5 (AUD) per cycle, then another $4-6 if you need the dryer too, but it's been nice using them towards the end of our trip so that I don't have a ton of washing waiting when I get home!

    I saw a small 'portable camping washer' for sale for $120 (AUD) but looks like it would take up precious storage space. Has anyone got a DIY system - besides, you know, just swishing stuff around in a bucket? [%] ;)
     
  2. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    On short weekend trips we are fine. Now, as for long trips more than a week we pack for only 8 days. We will use the laundry facilities at the campgrounds. The other choice would be a laundromat, which we have done as well. But we have found the price at both is about the same. Washing clothes in a bucket you are not going to get them really clean. As for drying, that will take a bit longer. If you have rain, they will never dry!!
     
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  3. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

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    I saw someone using a 5 gallon bucket and a plunger for an agitator, the bucked lid had a hole in the top for the plunger handle. You moved the plunger up and down to agitate the clothes, then empty dirty water and re-fill with clean water, and agitate again to wash the soap out, then hang ring and hang on the clothes line.
     
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  4. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    We found long ago that we seem to take the same amount of, or even more, clothing on week-long or shorter trips than on longer ones. We try to have enough along so that we don't need to wash clothes on shorter trips. We both have sufficient socks and underwear to see us through 2-3 weeks, having enough other clothing is what takes planning and space.
    Usually we succeed, but once in a while, we'll need to wash a few items, so we find a laundromat, as we do on longer trips. We carry a supply of detergent, including the wash to take the stink out of the nylon hiking clothes, which saves us buying whatever they have at the laundry. Our problem is finding drying space for things that don't go in the dryer or don't fully dry. I tried free-standing rack, but the wind blew it over. With the second popup, we had a bit of space and lines under the back bunk. We now have a curtain rod int he TT, for the room dividing curtain, so can put a few things there, but we don't like to use it for really wet items. (That's where our towels dry after we get showers.) Almost dry things get spread wherever we can find space.
    We stash filled laundry bags in the bed of the truck; I still miss having the roof-top cargo box for those.
     
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  5. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    We travel with detergent and dryer sheets. We will use the dryer to dry everything. But, there are a few items that can't go into the dryer. We also have a wooden rod in the pup along with clothes hangers to hang those things that don't go in the dryer. To help things dry on that drying rod I will turn the fan on the rooftop AC unit to move the air around to speed the drying time up.

    We also use the wooden rod to hang our bath towels to dry.
     
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  6. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

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    Well, you got me thinking... When I camp, pants get two days wear, shirts 1.5 days, and undergarments are single day use. In 6 years of RVing, I've never done laundry on the road, to include some 7-8 day trips. We just bring enough clothes to change out, and do laundry when we get home. We're about 50/50 on campsites and boondocking and even then, I can't recall ever using a campground laundry facility. I figure we're camping. While the clothes may have some soil on them, in general I never think we stink all that bad... maybe after we process fish we're a little fishy, but hey, it's Alaska, that's a badge of success. But if you are very storage limited, I could see where you can't really bring a lot of clothes.

    But on topic, I have also seen the 5 gallon bucket trick. I can't recall where I saw it, but I THINK it was a YouTube video about a family who full time RVs in something on the smaller side with a bunch of kids. I could not find that video, but I found this one that shows you how to make one...



    Best of luck!
     
  7. Koalavan

    Koalavan Member

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    Oh that's great, and we have a recycling place in our city that sells those exact buckets too. But I did have to question if I think I'd be likely do go to all the effort to wash my clothes like that or just pay $10 to the machines to take care of it for me!! [LOL]

    I think for us the need to wash is down to lack of storage - we use a packing cube each for clothes, sometimes a bonus one to store the swimwear, and that's the main part of what limits our clothing. It's enough for a shorter trip (3-4 days) but longer than that we'll need to wash underwear at least, even if we just spot clean and air out the shirts and shorts. Sometimes we hang our towels to dry off the frame of the gazebo, that works great on a sunny day, and if it's wetter weather we'd hang them on a line or the drying rack under the bunk ends, or inside if need be.

    We use these pegs, they are very handy! Not sure if you can get them outside of Australia or not. https://www.hegs.com/discover-the-heg
    We also sometimes use magnets to help hang things too. We just keep a set in the camper.
     
  8. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

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    If you don't mind looking like a bunch of hillbillies (if you're going to wash your clothes with a bucket and a bathroom plunger, you've already crossed that line), you can string a rope between a couple trees to hang out clothes to dry. When we go to the lake I do that to hang up wet towels and swimsuits. [:)C]
     
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  9. Koalavan

    Koalavan Member

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    [LOL] In Australia everyone has outdoor clothes drying lines. The campgrounds have communal ones too. Where I lived in the UK it was also acceptable. Is it just in America it's not the done thing?
     
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  10. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    Like I said, week long trips we pack enough clothes. But when we take our 2-3 week trips we have to do laundry. No way are we packing that many clothes! The $10-15 to do laundry is well worth it.
     
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  11. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    For me, I rewear all my clothes except for underwear/socks so even for a two week trip I bring only a weeks worth of clothes but enough underwear for all days and a couple extra shirts. With perhaps an am Emergancy outfit. (Never know when I’m going to fall in a lake.[:I] ) My brother taught me how to army roll clothes so I’m able to squeeze so much more in a bag now. The hard part is needing to pack for two different types of weather for my trips in the mountains. Summer during the day, winter at night. [:>(] I stopped bringing jeans and wear hiking pants only now. Can’t believe how much lighter my bag is. Even better my pants become shorts with a quick unzip. I usually just keep my clothes in the tow vehicle just so I don’t have to worry about the clutter. The side kick, being a typical teenage girl feels the need to spread her clothes out everywhere to determine her clothes for the day and so her side is always a mess. She will put things away in the morning, but good grief somehow during the corse of the day they are back out of the bag.:eek: I have only found to need to wash clothes once on a trip, like said lake plunge. I only just washed one load and used the campground washers. I dried the clothes at the camper under the bunk ends. I’ve tied up clothes lines but at some places got the stink eye from the rangers. They are very particular about anything tied to the trees. I get where they are coming from, because idiots who abuse the use and destroy and deface property or leave things in or attached to trees forever. It can damage or make the tree suspectible to disease. We are losing a lot of trees already due to the ash beetle. Sadly our city slickers I find are the worse culprits. :mad:
     
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  12. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member

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    I just put on my dirty clothes and go for a swim! [:D]
     
  13. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Many people do have clotheslines in the U.S. I live in the SW, and have a very small space in the backyard where we could put up lines. (We are below the grade level of the street behind us, so there's a rocky slope for a good half of the yard.) Our lines are in our sun room, which is a patio the original house owners enclosed with glass. It's nice to not have to worry about rain and wind, or flying dust. (When I lived back east, in snow belt country, I couldn't use my clotheslines during most of the winter.)
    However, private campgrounds usually forbid putting out lines. In many of the public campgrounds, such as national parks, putting up any type of line is prohibited, not counting guy lines for tents. Often that's not just for looks, but to protect the animals - for example, elk and moose are both known to get their antlers tangled in lines.
     
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  14. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    Also putting up clothes lines on trees can damage the bark. Think of it, if folks were constantly putting up a clothes line on the same trees the bark would be severely damaged and this can hurt the tree. For those of you that have gone to Philmont Scout Ranch you know the rules. If you need to put a rope around a tree you need to put sticks under the rope so the rope doesn't touch the bark.
     
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  15. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    We plan to do laundry at least every 7 days. We also need to buy groceries at least every 7 days. So if we do not have washing machines in the CG we try to do the laundry and groceries at the same time. WE have found the CG and city laundromat are about the same price. About $2-2.50 US for wash ($10-15 for all our laundry with dryers). Drying we use the laundromat dryers until most everything is dry. Most of the time we run the wash and start up the dry cycles, and the DW gos groceries shopping while I watch the cloths flip in dryers. So it turns out to be about 2 hours in a town.

    Cotton jeans and towels we finish drying on a line we string at the CS between trees. Have not found an issue with the bark of the trees. But I did take down and keep about 30' of climbing rope someone used as a line and left. Very nice rope.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
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  16. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

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    When I was a kid my mother always had a clothesline. These days about the only place you see clotheslines are farms and small towns. Most city folks (like DW) just throw everything in the dryer. Apartments, condos and homeowners associations probably had something to do with that. [:)C]
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
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  17. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    I will wear pants or shirts more than once before washing so I usually aim for no more than 4 bottoms and 6 tops on any given trip. I always choose darker neutral colors for the bottoms. Much easier to wear a pair of brown pants three times than a pair of cream pants. Tops are usually a print so they will hide a stain easier. And never white. I will take enough undies and socks for the trip (plus a few extras).

    I have gone as long as 24 days without doing laundry this way. I may do a quick spot clean on a shirt or bottom, but haven't needed to do a full wash.

    I will say that I am not an extreme sweater nor do I tend to do extremely labor intensive activities that would lead to profuse sweating.

    I also tend to layer. So my tops will be sleeveless and I will take a couple lightweight long sleeved shirts or sweaters to wear over them. This minimizes the packing space needed.

    I know some frequent travelers who use the plastic baggie wash method. Put the item in a large ziplock baggie, add detergent and water, zip closed, and then squish around for several minutes. Then open and empty water, wring baggie with item to remove all liquid, add water, and repeat until detergent is gone.

    I always have the spot wipes handy so I can clean a spot asap.
     
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  18. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

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    For a week or longer trip I go to a laundromat. Around here they all have big commercial dryers. I just throw everything in the wash, and same with the dryer. Usually all done within an hour as the commercial ones are much faster and efficient compared to campground/residential ones.

    I have looked at the small countertop units, and may consider one if I ever get a HTT. I am pretty much at capacity right now for optional appliances.

    The problem with most of the countertop ones is they are limited to basically a single change of clothes, and the combo ones do a poor job of drying. This you need to use it often or you'll spend a whole day doing laundry.

    If you wanted to hang stuff out to dry the towel bar mod might be a good idea to help. Works well for my wet towels and swim trunks. I have also seen some neat collapsible drying tracks that can attach to the side of the camper or food up to a small package for storage.
     
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  19. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    In any RV Resorts, clothesline are forbidden so are fridge outside.
     
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  20. Katskamper

    Katskamper Active Member

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    i made dry racks under the bunks. screwed a loop of “strap” (from a damaged ratchet strap) big enough for closet rod pole to slip through, 2 straps per pole, about 14 inches in from side edge. on the king bed, i leave the front edge pole on & use it to pull bunk out.

    trick to faster drying clothes is spinning out as much water as possible.
     
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