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Is an RV Combo Washer Dryer Combo Any Good?

Is an RV Combo Washer Dryer Combo Any Good?

Being able to do laundry on the road in your RV is a game changer. This is especially true for those of us who are full-timers. But many rigs can’t accommodate a two-unit washer/dryer setup. One alternative is a washer-dryer combo for an RV, and that’s our focus in today’s post.

We’ll take a look at the load capacity of combo units as well as their washing/drying ability. We’ll also look at the pros and cons of having a combo unit and the type of RV that may be best suited to a combo laundry system.

Our 43′ 2005 Newmar Mountain Aire allows us sufficient room for a full-size washing machine and separate dryer.  However, we had an RV washer-dryer combo in our first rig, so we’ll also weigh in briefly with our thoughts based on our own experience.

Lots to cover, so let’s get to it!

What Is an RV Washer-Dryer Combo?

An RV washer-dryer combo is a washing machine and dryer all in one. It’s a compact unit that combines the washer and dryer into a single drum, allowing it to serve as a combination unit.

So, you wash your clothes and then use the same machine to dry your clothes.

How Do RV Washer-Dryer Combos Work?

A single-drum washer-dryer combination uses the same drum for washing and for drying. These usually have automatic cycle changes and run on 120V power as opposed to 220V like most household machines.

They actually work in a similar fashion to a regular washer and dryer, but they’re designed as a single compact unit for use in smaller spaces (like RVs).

While these units may take up less space, they also require more time.

Combo RV washer-dryer units may be vented or non-vented.

A vented dryer is like the dryer in a sticks & bricks house. These require a vent for air exhaust. With a vented unit, moist air from the drying process is blown outside. This is a more efficient alternative to the non-vented option.

A non-vented dryer has a condenser that uses both the warm outside air and cool air inside the dryer drum. The resulting condensation effect is what pulls the water from the laundry. This water is then typically pumped through to the RV grey water tank via the drain.

Portable units are non-vented and stackable units are typically vented. Washer-dryer combos for RVs can be either vented or non-vented.

Vented units work better. However, ventless units have more installation options because you don’t need a route for an exhaust pipe through the outside wall.

Pros and Cons of Washer-Dryer Combos for RVs

There are benefits as well as drawbacks to washer-dryer combos. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of these compact laundry units.

Pros

  • No more need to go to laundromats (although you may choose to for large amounts of laundry).
  • They combine one unit for both washing & drying so they take up half the space.
  • A combo unit can be a great way to do small loads while out on the road.
  • You can put a load of dirty clothes in and remove a load of clean, dry clothes once the cycle is completed.
  • You don’t have to leave the RV to do laundry, allowing you to multi-task around the rig or campground.

Cons

  • Combo units tend to have small drums and comparatively small wash capacity. These units can’t handle larger loads of laundry.
  • The compact washer/dryer size tends to result in wrinkled clothes.
  • The units are heavy and take up space in a small RV.
  • You can’t generally use these while boondocking because they’ll use up too much water and power. (However, this issue is true for separate washer & dryer installations as well.)
  • While a front-loading washing machine can be fairly well stuffed and still get clothes clean, you really have to remove about half the load for it to dry in a reasonable time frame. This means one washer load = 2 dryer loads. This is why many people choose to use a drying rack or mini clothesline so that half the load can be air drying while the other half runs through the dryer.
  • The most common complaints about these combo units are that they don’t clean or dry well or fast, and the clothes come out of the drying cycle very wrinkled. These complaints vary from machine to machine.
Sale
Amazon Basics Foldable Laundry Rack for Air Drying Clothing - 41.8" x 29.5" x 14.5", Chrome
  • Clothes drying rack for energy savings and gentle drying so your clothes last longer
  • Made of durable yet lightweight steel that is easy to move from room to room; supports up to 32 pounds
GorillaLine - Retractable Clothesline Indoor Outdoor Clothes Line | Heavy Duty Clothes Drying Laundry Line | Wall Mounted Drying Rack Clothing Line | Retracting Hanging | Lock to Prevent Sagging
  • ✅ EASY TO INSTALL - GorillaLine retractable clothesline is very easy to set up in minutes!
  • ✅ SPACE SAVING - With one touch, you can easily retract GorillaLine and put it away when not in use.

Examples of RV Combo Washer-Dryer Units

There are a number of different washer-dryer combos for RVs on the market. You’ll want to look for the most energy-efficient machine you can find. As always, read reviews thoroughly because some perform better than others in terms of getting clothes clean and dry.

And again, when you’re shopping for a washer-dryer combo for an RV, you’ll want to keep in mind the need for a machine that uses 120V power and not 220V.

There are a couple of different types of washer-dryer combos available, including vented, non-vented, and portable.

Let’s take a brief look at a few of the main players in this category.

Equator Version 2 Pro 24″ Compact Combo Washer Dryer

This unit is a 110V front loading 1200 RPM washer dryer combo with dimensions of 22″D x 23.5″W x 33.5″H. It has an LED color display and convertible venting, meaning that it can serve as either a vented or ventless unit.

The Equator Version 2 Pro has a 13-pound load capacity, comes in a variety of colors, and weighs 161 pounds.

Equator Version 2 Pro 24" Compact Combo Washer Dryer Vented/Ventless 1200 RPM
  • ALL-IN-1 HOME WASHER/DRYER: High-tech combination washer/dryer unit allows you to easily clean clothes, linens, and more right at home; All-in-1...
  • EASY TO USE: Easy to use with color-coded LED display, redesigned control panel, and convertible venting; Vent or ventless drying provides 110 volts...

KoolMore 2-in-1 Front Load Washer and Dryer Combo

This is a 2.7 cu ft electric (120V) front-load washer-dryer combo.

This unit offers 16 wash cycles and 4 dry cycles, including a “fast” 20-minute wash cycle. It has an LED display and a 1300RPM maximum spin speed.

KoolMore’s combo washer-dryer has dimensions of 23.1″ (depth) x 23.4″ (width) x 33.5″ (height), and weighs 171.6 pounds.

Sale
KoolMore 2-in-1 Front Load Washer and Dryer Combo, 2.7 Cu. Ft., for Apartment, Dorm, RV, 16 Wash and 4 Dry Cycles, Compact Space Saver [White] [120V] (FLC-3CWH)
  • Electric All-in-One Washer Dryer Combo – This front loader washer and dryer lets you add in dirty laundry to get it washed up and dried without...
  • Adjustable Wash and Dry Cycles – Along with a fast 20-minute wash cycle there are 16 individual washing cycles and 4 drying cycles to better support...

Splendide 2000S 120V Washer Dryer

Splendide’s 2000S is a vented front loading washer-dryer with a load capacity of 15 pounds, a dry capacity of 11 pounds, and an 8-gallon water capacity.

It has 10 wash cycle options and 3 timed dry cycles. 

This unit has dimensions of 23.5 x 23.5 x 33.2 inches and vents out the back.

WASHER/DRYER 2000S VENTED
  • WASHER/DRYER 2000S VENTED

COMFEE’ 24″ Washer and Dryer Combo

This is a 2.7 cu ft combo unit offering a 26-pound capacity washer with a 15-pound capacity dryer offering “washing machine steam care” and overnight wash & dry.  It can be programmed for 16 different cycles.

This is a vented 120V unit that weighs 161 pounds and has dimensions of 25.2 x 23.4 x 33.5 inches.

COMFEE’ 24" Washer and Dryer Combo 2.7 cu.ft 26lbs Washing Machine Steam Care, Overnight Dry, No Shaking Front Load Combo Washer Full-Automatic Washing Machine, Dorm White
  • 【STEAM CARE FOR LAUNDRY】——Our Steam Care feature significantly cares about your health. As the steam permeates through fabrics over 30minutes,...
  • 【OVERNIGHT WASH AND DRY—MAKE IT POSSIBLE】——A convenient time saving option. Your laundry can be washed and dried in one setting. No need to...

The other type of washer-dryer combo for RVs is a portable washer-spin dryer. These use a spin system to basically remove some of the water from the clothes as opposed to truly drying them.

This type of laundry unit is much lighter-weight and far less expensive than the type of true washer-dryer combo units noted above. But there’s also a trade-off in performance, of course. 

Let’s take a quick look at one of these washer/spin dryer units:

Giantex Portable Mini Compact Twin Tub Washing Machine

This is a top-loading portable washer and dryer, though the “dryer” section is actually a simple spin dryer. It weighs only 28 pounds and has dimensions of 24.8 x 15 x 28.5 inches.

To use this type of unit you’d place your laundry in the washing section (rated capacity 11 pounds). After washing and running the rinse cycle, you’d run the “spinner dryer”. It has only half the capacity of the washer, so you’d spin one half of the laundry, and then spin the other half.

Clearly, this type of unit is for very small loads, but for a solo traveler, it might be just what’s needed.

After you spin dry, you could use a drying rack or portable clothesline like those we posted above to finish drying the laundry.

Sale
Giantex Portable Mini Compact Twin Tub Washing Machine 17.6lbs Washer Spain Spinner Portable Washing Machine, Blue+ White
  • 【Easy to Operate】: This is our portable mini compact twin tub washing machine which is easy for you to operate. Saving so much time that you don't...
  • 【17.6LBS Large Capacity】: Washing tube: place clothing in the wash tub section, rated washing capacity: 11 lbs. Run the rinse cycle for the...

Our Experience Using an RV Washer Dryer Combo

As we noted at the beginning of this post, we had a combo washer-dryer in our first RV — a Splendide. While it was better than not having a washer/dryer at all, it did have some drawbacks. It certainly didn’t wash and dry as well as our current separate washer & dryer configuration.

The machine wasn’t very deep, making the capacity extremely small. It also tended to leave our laundry pretty wrinkled, even when we split one wash load in half to dry it in two loads. We found ourselves using a laundromat quite a lot, but we did still appreciate having it on board for keeping up with small wash loads, too. And even a little combo unit could handle our washable rugs!

Since 2005, we’ve had the luxury of plenty of space in our 43’ motorhome to accommodate a separate washer & dryer. But if we didn’t have sufficient space, we’d probably consider some alternative to going to a laundromat, like these combo units, for example.

Our friends Nikki and Jason Wynn had a Splendide washer-dryer combo on their Fleetwood Excursion.

If you’d like to see their Splendide in action, spend a couple of minutes with Nikki and she’ll show you around!

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Alan Resnicke

Friday 23rd of September 2022

We're full-timers in a Newmar Bay Star 3414 (35') gasser. No washer or dryer, even as an option. Wife hates laundromats and requested "something," so she did the research and we bought a Splendide. We weren't using the dining table & chairs, so we removed them to make space for the combo unit (which we plumbed to its own external fill and drain hoses through the back wall of the slideout and vented thru the driver's side wall). Wife also built me a desk/work station over it. Much more useful to us. Newmar confirmed the living room slide it's on will take the additional weight with no issue. Wife shakes out drying clothes mid-cycle to prevent wrinkles. Had it for four years now with almost no issues (dryer vent clogged once and made things a little exciting, but clearing that path is now on my maintenance checklist). We'd certainly do it again if needed.

TheRVgeeks

Saturday 24th of September 2022

Wow... great way to personalize your RV, Alan! Sounds like it's working great for you!

LadyCash

Tuesday 6th of September 2022

We bought LG Energy Star compact stackable washer (fits in closet made for washer/dry in our 5th wheel) and opted for line drying. Our clothes are clean and no wrinkles. The savings not going to laundromat more than pays for the washer. We have had the pleasure of using a 120v dryer at a workamp gig. IMO, it takes 2-3 times longer than standard house or commercial dryer. After reading many reviews on combos and seeing the price tag, was our reason for not getting one initially. I recommend doing research and getting what works best for you and your situation.

TheRVgeeks

Tuesday 6th of September 2022

Sounds like a perfect setup!

John

Monday 5th of September 2022

We have the Splendide wash/dry combo in our DP and we really like it. It's small but dries clothes really well. I was very surprised at how hot it gets for a 120v dryer. We aren't full timers so our loads are usually small, still I was impressed the first time I used it.

John S.

Sunday 4th of September 2022

I know a couple that went from no washer in their RV to a combo unit. They confirmed your comments of small loads and they still used laundromats a lot.

They have a Class A coach but decided storage room was more important than a larger & faster separate washer/dryer. After five months of the combo unit they were reevaluating that decision.

Note: Their coach was pre-wired and pre-plumbed for a combo unit. To put in the big dryer they need a vent to outside which also played into the decision making.

Did you put in a dryer vent for your dryer?

TheRVgeeks

Sunday 4th of September 2022

No surprise about their rethinking their decision. As full-timers, we value space as well. But not enough to give up our awesome washer/dryer pair. We didn't need to add a dryer vent. It came with one from the factory.

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