Friday, October 21, 2011

Washer/Dryer vs Coin Operated Laundry…

Barefoot Landing Myrtle Beach 002

Today we are moving from Briarcliffe RV Resort near North Myrtle Beach south to the Myrtle Beach State Park. The state park is just south of Myrtle Beach so this short drive of only 20 miles or so will be more of an inconvenience than a change of location. It will, however, provide for a better change of scenery. At Briarcliffe we were surrounded by RV’s and stand alone rental units and were a short drive to the beach. At the state park we will be surrounded by forest and just a short walk to the beach… much better in my opinion.

The weather here has changed considerably from highs in the low eighties to highs in the upper 60’s to near 70. With the rain and wind that came through the area during the frontal passage it provided us the opportunity to do laundry. We don’t have our own washer/dryer in the rig so we have to search out a coin operated laundry to get it all done.

Barefoot Landing Myrtle Beach 007

Now I know there are two sides to having a washer/dryer and not having one but we are still happy with our decision to forgo having a washer/dryer. So what are the pros and cons of having our own washer and dryer to us?

Pros of us not having a washer/dryer:

  • most important was the increased storage we have in our bathroom.
  • we also prefer to get all our laundry done at once rather than in smaller more frequent loads.
  • it allows us the opportunity to get more insight into the community we are visiting by either talking with the customers or just observing them
  • we don’t have to have full hookups all the time (sewage) thus saving money at campgrounds and resorts
  • it gives us a chance to catch up on our reading

Textures -  Myrtle Beach 008

Cons of us not having a washer/dryer:

  • it is inconvenient to have to search for a coin operated laundry
  • we have to always make sure we have ample quarters on hand
  • we are at the mercy of the laundry store that their units are working properly and haven’t had someone adding dyes to their clothes before we use the washers
  • there is the added cost of having to do laundry
  • we would have to do some laundry just about everyday due to the size of the units sold for RV’s

Meeting more bloggers at Myrtle BeachNow I am sure I left off some pros and cons to others but these are our reasons why after nearly eight months on the road that we are still happy with our decision to not have one installed in our rig. Your mileage may vary…

Now if I could have just one wish to make our laundry days a little easier it would be to have a web site like rv park reviews that rated laundry facilities since it is occasionally difficult to find a nice facility in some towns. Please get to work on this for us soon you web coders…

ps. photos are from the nearby strip mall called Barefoot Landing that we can walk to (it has lots of boardwalks over the water that make for an enjoyable stroll), and the last photo is from our trivia encounter with the “Boonedocks” bloggers.


  1. We lived about 6 months in our MH without a washer/dryer and about 3 months with one. I can say we MUCH prefer having one. Yes, it takes up a little bit of space, but so did the dirty laundry. If we didn't have our washer/dryer we would probably store our dirty clothes in the "extra storage" space where the machine now is.

    Yes, I do a load about every day, but it's no problem because it's right here and can run without my attention. For some reason, when doing our clothes at the laundromats, our clothes seemed to be fade. I'm not having that problem with our Splendide machine.

    If this one quits running, I'll get another one immediately!

    I have to say, I really didn't mind the Laundromat mats for the most part, but this is so much easier.

  2. We have a washer/dryer in the MH and the wife would get rid of me before the w/d. Before we had the w/d we had a number of instances where the washer machine were so filthy that we couldn't use them. In one case our clothes came out smelling so bad that we had to go to another place and wash them again.

    We also "met" some people in the laundromat that we wished we hadn't had the pleasure of their company.

    I agree with Karen above that it is a small price to pay not having the storage space and having a w/d.

    Our w/d is 9 yrs old and still going strong after the equivalent of 8 yrs fulltime use.

    As they say, to each his own. A number of our friends would not consider loosing the space to a w/d.

  3. This is an issue on which every RV'ers has an opinion! We have a separate washer/dryer, stacking, apartment sized. The set came with our used MH when we bought it, something we thought we didn't really want. Boy, were we WRONG! When the washer went on the fritz several years ago, we figured we'd just use the laundromat - HA! After about 2 weeks, we just couldn't wait to get it fixed.

    It is so convenient to toss the laundry into the machine in the morning while we do our computing and have breakfast, or in the evening when we're making/eating dinner or watching TV... and if we don't get it out of the washer and into the dryer right one time, no one will be annoyed with us. :)

    We solve the problem of needing a sewer hookup by alternating between FHU and some other configuration, including no hookups. Since we don't usually stay longer than a week in any spot, that works for us. When we do stay a long time (like here in Sacramento, where we stay for a month twice a year), we want FHU even if we weren't doing laundry, so it works out for us.

  4. I'm with you Heyduke in feeling the cons outweigh the pros but for slightly different reasons.

    I didn't want a rig over 35' so that I would be less limited in where I could go in terms of State and National parks. We have the hook ups but not the W/D because it would add too much to the weight of our 34' motorhome. And we like to boondock.

    We also use the space and our dirty laundry wouldn't begin to fill it up ever. Our laundry bag sits in the botton corner of that space.

    Although we only do our laundry twice a month. We have plenty of clothing to last that long.

    We do our laundry a lot in Passport America parks where we stay one night on our way to wherever. That way we don't have to use laundramats very often

    I guess we've been lucky, we've never had dirty laundramats, or sketchy people, never had machines that were dirty or had dye inside. I have noticed that the laundry detergent I use makes a difference in whiteness and brightness but have never found it to be the water.

    Most private parks with FHUs have on site facilities. They are usually in the same condition as the park. Prices of course may vary widely. :-) We just stop at a bank and get $10 worth of quarters and keep them handy. All quarters gotten in change go into the jar. That's never been a problem.

    Rainy days are often laundry days and like you, we wait and read. Seldom takes more than 90 minutes.

    Good discussion. Thanks for letting us all give our views.

  5. I was going to say what Sherry said. I have enough clothes that I don't need to do laundry often, I can wait a week or two - when convenient. I kind of like laundromats, where I can sit and relax and read for an hour or so, fold everything up, and put it all away at once. Then I am set with everything clean all at once. I've never had a problem.

    If I had a bigger rig and full hookups most of the time, I would like an apartment sized stacked unit, though. Obviously it would be more convenient. :)

  6. I don't really have the experience to comment, but that has never stopped me before! If our MH had come with a WD I probably would have gotten used to using it. At the house I am used to doing the laundry once a week. Then I don't have to think about it again for six days. Using laundromats does not concern me at all. I have used them for large items (rugs and comforters) and don't mind public washers. Haven't run into a dirty one yet I guess!

    The thought of doing a load every day does not appeal to me. I wonder how much noise the machines would make, and always having to be ready to take the clothes out so they weren't all wrinkled.

    Over the years the cost of replacing or fixing the machines in the rig and the fuel to transport the extra weight might balance some of the quarters.

    36' is almost 40' I guess if we had a 40' we would have a washer, but there isn't room for it in our present rig.

  7. We had a washer/dryer comb when we bought our motorhome. We gave it one year to see if it was worth it. takes too much time to wash and dry one load. The loads can't be too big and some of the campgrounds charge for electric if we stayed a week or more. Just not worth it. We took them out, sold them, and now do all the laundry at one time. Takes 1/4 of the time. AND I love the space which we use as a coat closet.
    I usually ask the host where they would recommend us to do the laundry. Everyone has been far!

  8. Over 5 years on the road and we choose the laundra mat. Most resort have one, we are usually in a warmer climate and don't need a lot of clothes,You can do two three or four loads at a laundramat in about an hour then we are good for a week or two, the extra storage is is nice too. Works for us. I like your decision too.

  9. Although we have not been on the road yet with our Montana, we opted to have the Splendide installed. It does not take up the storage space in the bedroom, as this model Montana came with the added 'hall' closet, and that's where the w/d is. It hardly makes any noise, and now that we've learned to do smaller loads, it's working out fine! We may have to do laundry on weeks we have FHU.

  10. We chose not to have a w/d because of space. We FT in a 30ft 5th wheel. I don't mind going to the laundramat but I do think they are a little harsh on the clothes and that is the only reason I miss having my own. Maybe someday if we get a bigger rig we will add the w/d option but I'm not sure. Just like many things in the FT RV life there really isn't a right way so we can each do what works for us. I like the idea of a laundramat review!

  11. Good post and good comments. We RVers definitely have opinions to share. We have a Splendide in our MH - it was one of my requirements since the previous MH didn't have one and I'm not a fan of laundromats. However, it takes forever to do laundry in the MH. Someday we will downsize to a smaller MH and I'll be back at the laundromats. Being able to use one in a campground is better than having to find one in town.

  12. I guess I will weigh in here too.

    We have a Splendide W/D in the rig and I love it when we are travelling. We are not fulltimers yet, but when we are in 2013, we will use it and enjoy having it. But we will stop at laundromats for big things or if we get backed up on laundry duties if we are short on water when boondocking. We measured ours and it used about 6 gal to wash and 6 gallons to rinse.

    Often we take the clothes out at the end of the wash cycle and put small things on a folding wooden rack that fits in our tub, and the shirts and pants go on hangers. We hang them all around the rig in the evening before bed from every cabinet handle. Looks like a chinese laundry! But in the morning they are all dry and smelling good and put away.

    Especially in the desert, they dried REALLY fast! I kinda like the firm crispness of a tshirt that is air dried compared to machine tumbled anyhow.

    Karen and Steve

    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  13. Luckily, in most of the places we've been over the previous two years, there's been a good public washer and drier somewhere relatively close by. But in a few places, the choices were awful - dirty, expensive, yuk. That sucks but in our 29 foot 5th wheel, we don't have room for them. So until we get a motorhome, we'll be looking for laundramats wherever we go.

  14. Thanks for the post, and I think that one of the worst things that I had to deal with when I was in my college years was all of those coin operated washers in Vancouver. Especially when you're a poor university student, like I was most of my years at school.