Laundry used to be inconvenient. Now laundry is a costly pain in the butt!
When you look at RV park reviews you often see laundry as a review mention. I used to wonder why RVers cried so much about laundry.
Now I understand!
For starters you have to drag your laundry around the campsite. Our current campground has 1500 spots. You could have to take your laundry almost a mile down the road! If you don’t have a laundry place at the campground you have to drive into town.
Next you are held hostage to the machine costs. You can’t negotiate or barter with a machine. If a machine eats your money? Are you going to stick around for a few weeks for a refund?
Once in Minneapolis we went to a “fancy” laundry place. Couches, Wifi, and a coffee bar! We drove 30 minutes just to go!
We showed up and were very disappointed. The couch was a bench, the wifi was very slow, the coffee bar was a vending machine, and we ended up paying about $28 for 3 loads of laundry!
We actually felt bad for the people in the store. Many of them looked like poverty was their friend. It’s hard to get ahead when you are spending absurd amounts of money on the only laundry mat in walking distance to your house.
Fortunately for us this RV park has pretty decent prices. It only has 6 washers and 8 dryers for 1500 sites, but they always appear to be mostly empty. We actually are pretty close to the laundry mat.
The worst part of doing laundry on the road is when you get held hostage to the machine. It sucks when you see the dryer is $1.50 and after you put in the money you discover it is $1.50 for 5 minutes and you need 30 minutes because the dryer is so weak.
When you show up to a laundry mat you are not going to drive to another one. Usually the various businesses are all located all over town. It’s usually not a good use of your time to trample all over a city looking to save a quarter.
Another annoying issue is when the laundry doesn’t take coins. You end up having to put money onto a laundry club card. The card only works at that laundry. You often end up with too much money on your card with no way to cash out. In Duluth Tracy ended up giving away almost $7 in laundry credit to another RVer she met while doing laundry.
Sometimes you just get annoyed with the laundry mat and you end up bringing home wet clothes. This happens when you can’t take it anymore and you won’t give the laundry machine 1 more coin! Most parks have rules against hanging out your laundry to dry so you end up turning your entire living area into a makeshift laundry mat.
Every corner and overhang ends up a dryer!
Our RV does not have a washer/dryer so we have to go out for laundry. Our RV isn’t wired for a machine and the labor costs are pretty costly to get some permanent piping put in if we wanted a machine hooked up.
The positive side to having a washer/dryer onboard is you can do laundry whenever you want. The negative is that the machines are very expensive to replace. They also have a small load capacity (3 shirts and 1 pair of jeans small), and our friends have witnessed RVs being flooded by a malfunctioning unit.
For us going out is the simplest option. Campground laundry mats are our first choice for convince, but any laundry mat with GOOD wifi is always accepted!
I have no idea how you could budget for laundry. Sometimes we get away with $7 and once we got slapped with $25 for a visit.
In the past I have joked that we might be better off just buying new clothes at the thrift store every week.
When we started Tracy thought she would like doing laundry. It would be a chance for her to get out of the house, get nice wifi, and relax. So far it hasn’t worked out. She hasn’t found a laundry mat that was relaxing enough I guess.
Laundry has been pretty much a pain on our full-time journey. It is more annoying to me then even having to daily empty the grey tank.
I am pretty sure the people who say going to laundry mat is nice are secretly doing the laundry and going someplace else for an hour or two after the laundry is done. I know that is what Tracy likes to do (esp McDonalds!) anyway!
Of course I can’t say much. The library was closed today so I am typing this post at a Starbucks with an iced coffee at my side!