Unless you love searching for the exact coins and waiting hours for an available machine, there's nothing worse than doing your washing at the camp laundry. Except for dealing with a smelly pile of washing when you get home, that is. That's why a caravan washing machine has become the smart choice for travelers.
Buying a caravan washing machine gives you the freedom to do your washing when and where you want. They're compact, efficient and come with most of the same features you get at home. The good news is they aren't expensive - though in our humble opinion, you can't put a price on convenience!
Here's what you need to know when buying a caravan washing machine:
How much space?
Start by working out where your caravan washing machine will go, and measure the space precisely. Top-loading machines are great but they need enough space above to open the lid - which rules out under the bench or table. A front-loader can be installed under a bench or table, but needs enough space for the door to open outwards.
A great option if you're short on space is the Dometic WMD-1050 Space Saver, which is compact front loader washing machine designed for limited spaces in RVs. At 67cm high, this machine can be installed under the counter in your caravan, or used freestanding.
If you are looking for the ultimate space saving machine and don't mind spending a little extra, the 2kg mountable mini washer by Daewoo is for you! This washing machine can be mounted to any wall and features 6 programmable wash settings to suit every application. It has a quiet motor, transparent door, star drum, detergent container and a child safety mechanism.
Camec also have a mini washing machine in their range, which has a 2.5Kg capacity. This model has eight different cycle options and only sits at 670 mm high! Plus it features an illuminated touch screen for easy operation.
Which load capacity?
Depending on how much room you have, and how much washing you generally need to do, decide the load capacity of your caravan washing machine. You can choose anything from a modest 2kg up to a hefty 4kg washing load.
Many caravan washing machine brands, like NCE and Camec, have a range of sizes to choose from. And just because you have a washing machine, it doesn't mean you always have to use its full capacity - for example, the Camec Compact 2.5kg has high and low water level adjustment for large and small loads.
It's worth remembering that the bigger the load capacity, the heavier the machine. The Camec Compact 4kg washing machines weighs in at 47kg compared to just 16kg for the Camec Compact 2.5kg.
Hot or cold wash?
Caravan washing machines only require cold water supply. This means some are limited to a cold wash, while others use an in-built heating element to operate a hot wash. The bonus of cold-wash-only machines is that they are more economical with power.
Just like your washing machine at home, caravan washing machines come with various modes and features. For example, the Camec Compact 4kg RV Front Load Washing Machine has 15 wash programs, including three Quick Wash modes. It even has a special AQUAPLUS "delicate skin" wash mode where dedicated cycles ensure detergents are completely removed from the clothing.
How to install
Once you've chosen your caravan washing machine, you'll be relieved to learn that installation is easy. First, make sure the caravan is level. Caravan washing machines, as with domestic machines, won't work unless they are on even ground. Depending on the machine, there will be a maximum allowable incline of around 5 degrees.
Next, hook up the washing machine to a water source, such as the caravan tap. Make sure the outlet is securely in the sink. If it falls out, you'll end up with dirty water on your floor.
Plug in your caravan washing machine into a 240v outlet, and you're good to go!
If you're tired of washing your clothes in laundromats on your caravan trips, consider buying a caravan washing machine. These small purpose-designed machines can make life much easier, and less smelly, on the road.
DISCLAIMER* Please note, this advice is general in nature and we strongly recommend consulting the product manual and where relevant, a professional installer.