Everything You Need to Know About Outdoor Laundry

When you have been on the road travelling for some time or away camping for a few weeks it comes a time when you must do laundry. Several caravan parks have washing machines and dryers that you can use for a fee, but you may like to do your own washing and hang it on a line. Laundromats are another option to do your clothes washing and drying but it can be expensive.

If you want to wash your own clothes, there are three things that you can do. You can do it through hand washing or placing your clothes with water and suds in a sealed container on the draw bar or ‘A’ frame and let it stay there while travelling or bring your own washing devices.

When choosing washing powder or a laundry liquid look for one that is environmentally friendly. For example, Planet Ark and Aware laundry washing powders are, phosphate-free, readily biodegradable and available from Coles, Woolworths and Safeway stores.

Now let’s look at some portable laundry or clothes washing devices available.

What Are the Best Portable Washing Machines Available?

Portable washing machines and the “normal” washing machines that we have at home are different. First, portable washing machines only has limited capacity compared to household washing machines that can wash upwards of 9 kg of laundry. Second, portable washing machines are made for travel, so they are significantly lighter than “normal” washing machines. 

Lastly, most of them are made of plastic instead of aluminum or other metals because it can make the portable washing machine heavier and it can corrode over time. So, here are some of the best washing machines in the market:



  • Magic Wash Portable Washing Machine – this is a compact portable hand-operated washing machine which washes up to a 2.5 kg load. It is ideal for boating and camping. The Magic Wash machine measures 400 x 450 x 380 mm and is made of plastic except for a metal insert in the winder handle and the screw in the pressure seal lid. However, it cannot be used to wring or dry the clothes.

  • Wonder Wash Portable Laundry Machine – except for the stainless-steel lid this laundry device is made of plastic so there is nothing to rust. The dimensions are 305 x 305 x 405 mm (12” long, 12” wide and 16” high). It is operated by turning the handle for 2-3 minutes per load.

  • Kuppet Portable Washing Machine – this washing machine has the capacity for 3.49 kg of laundry. It also has a water inlet, sprinkling, and water flow to save you time, effort, and water usage. The washing machine also has a clear lid to make it easier for you to see the water condition. It is also very user-friendly because like washing machines found at home, you will just need to set the timer and wait for it to finish.

How Will I Dry My Laundry When Camping?

Your main option is to setup a clothesline for you to dry your laundry. Some caravan tourist parks will not permit you to hang your washing around your RV or tent and may restrict you to using their clothes lines or clothes hoists near the amenities block. 

Some clothesline brand that we recommend are:

  • Pegless Clotheslines – these clothes lines come up to 2.5m in length and no pegs are required as you simply tuck the clothes between the elastic.
  • Kent Clothesline (pictured above) – this clothesline is made by Danny Kent of Morphet Vale, South Australia (awningclothesline@gmail.com or Mobile 0403251369). It has two brackets that attach to the awning arms and has two lines on which to peg your clothes. It can be reversed so it will place your clothes under the awning. We use this product and find it very handy and compact. The brackets are powder coated and are made to fit the width of your awning arm and length of the awning.
  • Mrs. Pegg’s Handy Line – these are sturdy free-standing fold-up powder coated aluminum clothes lines that come in two sizes. Although the smaller version of Mrs. Pegg’s handy line is 154cm long, 69cm wide, weighs only 2.6 kg and a folded depth of 7cm it may present a storage problem for some RV travellers when travelling. This smaller line when erected stands 128 cm and it has 8 lines.
  • Portable Clothes Airer – this wire clothes airer is vinyl coated and designed to hook over a door or towel rail and folds away when not in use.
  • Pee Wee Portable Clothesline – this 3-line portable clothesline is available from Camec. (When using these wire clothes airers make sure they don’t scrub on the exterior of your RV or the door you are hanging them on.)
  • Flinbex Clothesline – there is the 70 cm folding clothesline with a pull-out drying rack or a 80 cm concertina style folding clothes line. The concertina version comes with brackets you can affix to the side of your RV and it slides out of the fixed brackets and can be put away whilst in transit. It is lightweight and has 9 bars on which to peg clothes. Make sure you put silicone or Sikaflex sealant over the screw holes for the brackets when fixing them to your RV.
  • Fiamma Folding Clothesline Airer (4 rail) – this anodized aluminum clothes airer comes with a bracket for fixing on the caravan ‘A’ frame or draw bar.

Bonus: Doing Laundry in an RV Life Hacks

You need to follow these tips to do your laundry without a hitch. Here are some of them:

Use your shower cubicle to dry your clothes – some RV owners who have a Webasto Air Top or Eberspacher Airtronic diesel air blown heaters have had an extra air heating outlet vented into the shower cubicle and use it as a drying room for clothes.

Four Seasons Hatch – curtain rails can be used to accommodate up to 4 drying rails which makes it very handy to hang your towels to dry especially whilst in transit.

Related Questions

What Is the Most Reliable Brand of Washer and Dryer?

The Korean brands, LG and Samsung, have overtaken Whirlpool and Maytag as the most reliable laundry units for 2019.

Do RVs Have Washing Machines?

To accommodate RV vented washers and dryers, you will have to make a hole for the exhaust vent. They tend to use a lot of water, and drying clothes takes a long time. However, if these are the kind that fit in your type of RV, go for it.

What Is A Ventless Dryer?

Vented dryers are basically hot air vacuums. They pull room-temperature air in from your laundry room, heat it up, tumble your clothes in it, and then blow the exhaust – full of evaporate moisture outside. Most ventless dryers, however, are condenser dryers, which don’t exhaust air.

Are Condensing Dryers Better Than Vented?

A vented tumble dryer remove moisture through a vent that can be fitted to an external wall, or through a hose. Vented dryers use about a fifth less energy than a condensed dryer would use to dry a full load, but if you have a super energy efficient dryer with a heat pump, then they are even more efficient.

James Mitchell

Hi, I’m Jimmy Mitchell and I love exploring this great country with my wife and two boys. I have a 2015 Sterling LX that is the Mitchell Family camping machine. Lets Getaway is the website where I share things about my trailer as I learn them, and help other camper owners to enjoy their RV even more.

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