Laundry is one of those never ending chores (no matter how much you do there is always more!) and I get a lot of questions about how we get the job done while living on the road full time. It was something I had definitely taken into consideration before we took the leap to live full time in our travel trailer since I had no experience doing laundry anywhere but in my house. The information, however, was limited. I couldn’t find anything about the cost of doing laundry at a laundromat or a campground. So after having done laundry for a family of five while full time living in our travel trailer I thought I would share my experience for others who might also be considering this lifestyle.
I am a frugal person, so cost was a main concern for me in regards to the laundry while researching our budget for full time RVing. I was able to find costs for everything on websites or in videos, everything except laundry. While it does vary from place to place, it’s not much. The higher prices are usually at laundromats where have large load washers and dryers. Most RV parks and campground facilities are very reasonably priced.
It can be as low as $1 (I have heard some places are free, but have yet to stay at one myself) and up to $5, but the average price we pay is $1.75/wash and $1.50/dry. The machines I find in these places are usually pretty similar, with the exception of the dryers. Some places have dryers that give you 6-8 minutes per quarter. These are my preferred type of dryer because it’s nice to choose how much time the clothes need and they actually seem to dry the clothes really well in less time. This of course ends up costing less money! I can usually dry for about $1/load in these types of dryers. So while the price does vary from place to place, on average it costs about $3 to wash/dry a load of laundry for our family of five.
In our house we had a whole room for laundry including a washer and a dryer. It was convenient, but I felt like I was constantly doing a load of laundry. The kids laundry hampers seemed to be overflowing with dirty laundry daily. We aren’t always at camps that have a laundry facility. This means we sometimes have to go to a laundromat. We now keep our dirty laundry in the middle of the trailer where it is conveniently located for all. It is put into mesh laundry bag , the holes help to let the clothes dry.
The laundry is now washed, dried, folded, and put away all in the same day. No more forgetting a load in the dryer or leaving it to be folded tomorrow. It is actually kind of nice that it is just has to be done now. The kids have also learned that wearing their clothes for five minutes doesn’t mean they’re dirty.
The Laundry Facilities
It is great for us when the campground or park has a laundry facility. We don’t have to just sit and wait for the clothes the whole time which is usually the case when doing laundry at the laundromat. We have taken advantage of the down time to have the kids get some school work done, but it’s never fun to just sit around waiting. The camp facilities are usually close enough to walk the laundry over so we don’t always have to wait. It can be difficult when you get to the facility and find all the machines in use, especially when there are some out of order. This happens more often than you would think. Most of the time they keep the laundry areas clean and often times they have books, magazines, and even games or puzzles to do while you wait.
Our laundry day has changed in many ways. Some of the changes are good some are not, but I don’t regret our decision to travel this amazing country. The best part is that the laundry is done in a timely manner now. The worst part is when we have to wait around for the laundry at a laundromat. The things we get to see and do on this grand adventure make it all worth it.