How one RVer figured out how to never do laundry again


By Rick Cain

Most RVers do laundry. But not me. I don’t have to deal with laundry at all. Let me tell you why.

Boredom and me have never been a good combo. Once my brain starts to wander it comes up with all kinds of fun stuff. Including this brilliant strategy. Guys, if you want to get out of laundry duties, pay attention.

We were somewhere in Texas in a laundry mat. I was sitting there with nothing to do, no power or Internet for my tablet. Soooooooo, I started looking around. First thing I see is a timer on the washers. However, it’s not really timed to the minute. So I started counting down. Each time the timer ticks down one I say out loud … really loud … “19, 18, 17,” etc., until the actual minute passes.

I watched my watch. It was short 12 seconds the first time, 10 seconds the next.

During this time my wife simply shushed me. But I have about forty-five seconds to wait for the next movement of the timer and that’s forty-five seconds my brain has to add up the lost seconds.

So at about 9 minutes I start to wonder. What happens to those lost seconds? Over 30 minutes we lost 12 seconds, on average for each minute. That was like 360 seconds, close to six minutes of washing time that my quarters paid for!

Now that my brain had done the math there was no way I could let this go. It must be corrected! My wife in the meantime has gone past “Shush” to “Oh My God, would you please shut your mouth and grow up!” Hmmmm … Does that seem likely to happen at this point?

THE LADY WHO RUNS THE PLACE walks by just in time. Before I go on I must tell you that my wife bought a soft drink from her, and they had a short conversation about nothing. You will need to know this. So the lady walks by. I ask when the last time anyone certified these washers. She looks at me as if I were speaking some other language. The wife jumps in with, “Oh, ignore him. He thinks he’s being funny.” (I would like it noted I was not being funny. I wanted those six minutes!).

So I asked a different question. “Do you know that your timers are not a full sixty seconds? We are being shorted several seconds per minute.” I swear to you she looked at me and said, “I no speak English.” So I said, “You spoke it to my wife when she bought a drink!” She just smiled, shrugged and walked away.

My wife got mad. She smacked my arm so fast her hand never seemed to move. Then she did it again. So I spent most of the rest of the laundromat time rubbing my arm and lifting baskets. I never found out what happened to those missing seconds. A year later it still haunts me.

Fast forward to Florida, laundry day again. It surprises me how often we have laundry day. My belief is we should wait ’til the sniff test fails.

I grabbed a pair of my wife’s underwear and sniffed, loudly, making a production out of it, and told her they failed the sniff test. She looked at me deadpan. “Those are my clean underwear for the day. You’re an idiot.” So my idea for getting out of laundry that day died. So off we went. I was told to be quiet several times in the car on the way to the laundromat. It was explained to me very clearly that any “active cuddling” that night with her might not occur if I spoke at all. That motivated me to keep quiet.

But something was wrong with the washers. They would start to make this loud vibration when washing. Well, I might not be able to say a word but I did see this movie once. So after the washers were loaded. I remained silent. My wife, now feeling safe, got up to get a Coke. I immediately walked over to a vibrating washer and hopped right on top, making groaning sounds. Loudly. My wife turned four shades of red. The lady running the laundry mat came over and said, “You can’t sit on those washers.” I looked around as if I had no idea she was talking to me.

She continued, “You can’t sit there. It can break them.” The wife was trying to get across the room to calm things, but she was too late. I spoke for the first time since getting there. “Sorry ma’am, but the wife said if I spoke even once there was no cuddling for me tonight. So I figured I would deal with this situation without talking.” I swear to you that lady just started laughing and turned and walked away. Again, I spent the rest of the time there rubbing my sore arm.

FAST FORWARD TO IOWA and the last time she let me go with her. We wash, and dry, no issue. I am sure she thought she was in the clear. We go to the tables used for folding. There are a bunch of people there. I say to my wife rather loudly, “Those washers didn’t do a very good job on the underwear!” My wife said, “Teach ya to wipe better.” To which I responded, “Yeah, but they’re your underwear!” I held up a pair. The guy across from us busted out laughing, no hiding it. The woman just down the way snorted. The woman across from the wife turned two shades of red. Me? I just rubbed a sore arm all the way home.

Now, the kid does laundry with the wife. For some reason she doesn’t let me go anymore. Shame, since it was so much fun except the stinging of the arm.

Pro tip for RV campers in laundries: Don’t hold up your wife’s underwear and ask if anyone lost some tighty whities. Also never say “granny panties” in a laundromat. That makes your arm sting, too.


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your story is hilarious! Thank you for giving me laugh therapy today.


Hilarious! Sounds like something I would do!
I must admit though, I was actually looking forward to some new technique that saved soap and water or maybe some new gadget that we could use in our RVs so as not to have to patronize public laundromats ever again, ha! could one of you bored RVers’ doing laundry think up something like that Please, ha!


Grt. story. My husband also read it, told him it wont work for


Very very funny! ! !

My new solution on the Road is to take to the Laundromat where the nice owners feature “Fluff And Fold”. Discovered this in Quartzsite, $1.50/lb. Amazing, 4 hour service, Amazing! Changed my whole outlook on my two week solo adventures. I now come home with CLEAN clothes. AMAZING. Now I only wear the same clothes two days instead of 4.


Love This. Of course I’ll have to forward it to my wife. I’ll let you know later how my arm is healing.

Therese Orr

I don’t think making fun of your wife in front of strangers is funny.


There is something wrong with you, and I like it! The wife and I both have tears from laughing. Keep up the funny stories please.


Keep it up buddy, you may get out of camping with the wife altogether.


Funny article… we need more comedic editorial!

Re: lost seconds: If not for the 90% accuracy, I’d say it’s using a mechanical clock based on the 60hz line cycle as the oscillator — your line frequency is thus running around 66hz which is possible, but unusually bad. Power companies sometimes mess with the frequency as part of load balancing. You CAN modify electronic clocks with a “bad” crystal to change their speed, but that’s pretty advanced for most laundromats…


A bored writer at the laundromat! Love the story. Sounds like a guy version of Erma Bombeck. Hilarious!


Now my eyes sting from tears from laughing so hard

Steve S.

My wife and I call this the ‘Chocolate Cake’ technique.
As originally described by Bill Cosby . . . here:


well written, great story


well written, thanks for a great story

Wayne Caldwell

My wife doesn’t let me buy groceries any more. A few months ago, she sent me to Wal-Mart to get a gallon of milk. Just before I left she said, “If they have avocados, get three”. I came back home with three gallons of milk.

Richard Carlson

Sounds very similar to the reason I’m no longer to do dishes, vacuum, buy groceries or make the beds.

Bill F

Very funny story!! I’ll have to try it. LOL

STEPHEN P Malochleb

Thanks for the morning laugh. :):)

Leslie Berg

Funniest article ever on doing laudry:)

mike henrich

That was fun. Thanks for sharing.