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!
- 1) What Is an RV Washer-Dryer Combo?
- 2) How Do RV Washer-Dryer Combos Work?
- 3) Pros and Cons of Washer-Dryer Combos for RVs
- 4) Examples of RV Combo Washer-Dryer Units
- 5) Our Experience Using an RV Washer Dryer Combo
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Clothes drying laundry rack for energy savings and gentle air drying so clothes last longer; for indoor use
- Durable, lightweight steel with a Chrome finish that protects against rust and mildew
- ✅ 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Item Package Dimension: 33.2L x 23.5W x 23.5H inches
- Item Package Weight - 155.0 Pounds
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.
- 【Wash and Dry in One】COMFEE's all-in-1 Ventless Washer and Dryer Combo has multi modes to meet different washing demands - steam care, overnight...
- 【Reduces Wrinkles and Odor】 COMFEE' 2.7 Cu.ft washer and dryer combo is equipped with steam care, which significantly cares about your health. The...
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.
- 【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...
- 【20LBS Large Capacity】: Washing tub: place clothing in the wash tub section, rated washing capacity: 12 lbs. Run the rinse cycle for the desired...
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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