Ah sweet travel–what’s not to love: The thrill of the adventure. The quality time spent with loved ones. The respite from everyday responsibilities. And the mound of laundry that replicates every night. Oh, yeah. So maybe that part of the travel lifestyle is not so cool. Over the years of RVing, though, we’ve found a few secrets to keep the laundry situation under control while we are traveling. Here are our top tips for doing laundry on the road:
Tip #1: Pick campgrounds with laundry facilities or with access to nearby laundromats.
Hitting pause on your sight-seeing plans to go do laundry is never anyone’s idea of a fun time. But if you can get your laundry done during the “in between” moments, then it’s not so bad. The nice thing about having access to a laundry room at the campground is that you can pop over early in the morning and throw a load in, then it washes while you shower. It can be in the dryer while you’re still enjoying your morning coffee and eggs.
Tip #2: Come prepared.
Old school laundromats and campground laundry rooms still use quarter-fed machines–which means you’ll need to come prepared with a stack of quarters. Although some locations will have change machines that dispense quarters for 1’s and 5’s, we try to have extra quarters in the camper just in case we don’t find a change machine.
Some laundromats and campground laundry rooms are going to card-readers, so it’s also a good idea to carry your credit card in case you come across a location that no longer takes coins.
And if you don’t want to pay through the nose at the laundromat, make sure you keep your camper stocked with a supply of laundry detergent and dryer sheets. We personally prefer using the laundry pacs when we travel because we don’t have to worry about liquid detergent leaking out of the bottle and making a mess. It’s also super convenient to just throw a pac into the washer without having to measure out any detergent.
Tip #3: Make it a family affair.
Many hands make light work, so involve the whole family in getting the laundry sorted, loaded, and then folded back into your laundry baskets. Bring along a book to real aloud, an audio book to listen to, or other fun activities to keep the kids busy in between the wash and dry cycles.
Tip #4: Pick the right time to do laundry (but bring a book just in case).
Laundromats and campground laundry rooms will be busier at certain times of the week and day, so if you can avoid those times, you’ll spend less time waiting on a washer or dryer. We have found that laundromats are the busiest on weekends or in the early evening hours, but early morning hours (before 8) are usually a safe bet. Campground laundry rooms are often less busy around check-out time.
Tip #5: Pack smart
If you want to keep the laundry under control while traveling, don’t be afraid to rewear lightly used pants, shirts, and shorts more than once. The more times you wear the items, the less laundry you will create. The one exception is underwear: Always pack lots of underwear. 🙂
Additionally, make sure you are packing enough clothes to last you at least a week. If you have the space, the more clothes you take on your trip, the less need you’ll have to do laundry. Opt for clothes that are multi-purpose–think zip-off pants and shirts with roll-up sleeves–so no matter the weather you are prepared.
Do you have any tips to add for doing laundry on the road?