Thursday, September 21, 2023


Tips and gadgets to make RV laundry day easier

Laundry isn’t my favorite thing to do in our stix-n-brix home. So, doing laundry during RV trips seems especially daunting.

For several years we didn’t have an RV washer or dryer. That meant schlepping our dirty duds to the campground’s laundry room, settling in to wait for an available machine, and then flipping through outdated magazines while waiting for the laundry to finish. Even now that we have a washer and dryer on board, I’ve continued my search for tips to make camp laundry day easier. Here are a few products and ideas that bring a bit of joy to an otherwise less-than-exciting activity.

RV laundry tips

Toss it in. This idea was born of desperation. A collapsible laundry basket, hanging laundry bag, or even the smallest of clothes bins would simply not fit in our RV. So, as an alternative, we decided to place our dirty clothes directly into our RV’s washing machine instead. When clothes fill the washer, I slip in a Color Catcher, add detergent, and turn on the machine. No more stumbling over dirty duds or tripping over the always-in-the-way laundry basket! (Hint: If you lack room for a laundry basket and do not have an on-board washer/dryer, you might find space under the bed. Just slip a basket under there and the problem is solved.)

Here’s your sign. This sign brightens every laundry day for me. It’s small enough to fit perfectly on the inside of our laundry cabinet door. The sign brings a smile to my face each time I see it, making laundry day not so bad after all.

If you lack wall space but have floor space, you can order a whimsical laundry rug like this one.

Mesh bag. Ever have your delicates (i.e., underwear) get twisted or knotted into other clothing? You won’t if you use a mesh bag like this one. These are an inexpensive way to help undies last longer and eliminate the twisty-tangled mess forever!

Don’t overload. I know how tempting it is to cram just one more T-shirt into your already-full RV washer, and then add more detergent to the load for good measure. Don’t do it! Overloading your washer with too many clothes and/or too much soap can ruin the fabric. Why? Because your washer may not fully rinse out all of the detergent. Ugh!

Dryer whimsy. These reusable dryer balls bring a bit of whimsy to laundry day—no matter where you do your camp laundry.

Inside out. Your clothes will last longer and look better if you wash them inside out. Unless you are digging ditches, chances are your clothes are dirtiest on the inside anyway. Body oils, sweat, and dead skin accumulate on the inside of your clothes. Washing them inside out will ensure that both soap and water have direct access to the oils and will clean your clothes better. Laundering inside out can also help protect your machines because buttons, snaps, and zippers will not accidentally snag on machine parts or scratch the interior drums. Clothing will not “pill” as easily if you launder inside out, and dark colors especially will retain their “new” look for longer.

Pet laundry bag. If you RV with pets, chances are you’ll love this bag! You simply put your fur baby’s small bed or liner, fleece, or other fabric into the bag. Then drop it into the washing machine. The heavy-duty material keeps the washer clean and free of pet debris and hair. The bag’s interior anti-stick coating prevents pet hair from clinging, so you can easily shake Fido’s fur outside!

Freshen towels. I’m not sure how it happens, but our beach towels often get that funky, mildewy odor when RVing. If this happens to you, too, I recommend the Smelly Washer Cleaner™. (That’s actually the product’s name!) It works well for us and comes lightly scented or odorless—whichever you prefer.

Do you have a tip or product that makes camp laundry day easier for you? Please share your ideas in the comments below.


Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh is an avid RVer and occasional work camper. Retired from 30+ years in the field of education as an author and educator, she now enjoys sharing tips and tricks that make RVing easier and more enjoyable.


  1. To get the funky smell out of towels I use white vinegar in the softener dispenser, I make sure the towels are 110% dry before folding. FYI dried vinegar doesn’t smell.

    I almost always double rinse, if it’s good enough for the white cycle it’s good enough for all clothes.

    Some of those sport clothing are difficult to get body odor out. A friend told me about, Sweat X Sport Original Activewear Laundry Detergent, High Performance Sports Wash for Activewear and All Fabrics

  2. Thank you, Gail! I use two tennis balls to help the clothes get dry in our RV dryer. I have always enjoyed doing laundry. It was a community thing in college. Two or three of us would go to the laundromat and do our laundry together. After marriage, I asked DW to let me do the laundry because I found her folding of our clothes too imprecise. Thirty-four years later and she still keeps that promise. 🙂

  3. I’m another one who just grabs the Kindle along with the 2 baskets of dirty clothes (clothes baskets fit in the bottom of our closet), Tide pods and quarters and head to the closest coin op laundry. I haven’t been impressed with detergent sheets—we tend to have some pretty grubby clothes at times. At home I use liquid, but the pods are handier when traveling.

  4. We bought an off-grid washer. Three pieces of it cracked the first few times we used it, but it soldiered on for about a year and a half before breaking to a point of nearly unusable. They told me they would send new parts, but they never did, so I left them a 1* review. The design is great, but the parts are sub-standard. Then, I tried a famous one, but sent it back. Though the quality of the parts was much better, the absence of a “spin” option made it like washing by hand, and buckets are a lot cheaper. So, I bought another of our first option…and plan to treat it very gingerly. Having a small washer on board (and Turkish towels and extra sheets) keeps us out of the laundromat for 2-3 weeks at a time.

  5. On occasion I have dropped off the dirty clothes in the thrift store collection bin and purchased clean clothes in the thrift shop. Usually cheaper than the cost of using a laundry mat. 🤣

  6. I’ve found that giving towels an extra rinse cycle helps out. Apparently, not all the soap gets rinsed out, so the leftover soap traps smells, or something.

  7. “Wash and fold near me.” Those are the words I enter in the internet. Find a place, drop off my clothes, pick them up next day. I’m not lazy but I don’t want to spend precious adventure time doing laundry. I don’t have a washer and dryer in my 26 foot trailer but I do have a small corner hamper that fits perfectly by the bed and never gets in the way. Found it on Amazon.

  8. Laundry day a chore? I take my book (kindle) haul in the bags of dirty clothes and 90 min later I’m done not a big deal.

  9. I purchase the largest duffel bag I could find and we this as our dirty laundry bag. When we are set up in a campground this bag rests in the passenger cab seat of our Class C. It is out of the way and easy to get to. The bag also holds my quarters, Tide pods and dryer sheets. When it is time to do laundry I just zip the bag closed and throw it over my shoulder. This is so much easier than a laundry basket in the shower.

  10. We use Earth Breeze laundry detergent – uses less detergent, comes in envelopes that are also recycle-able (use in your garden), free loads given to veterans when you buy a package, uses less storage space and you really don’t need fab softener (we use tennis balls anyway).
    No, I’m not getting paid to say this by the way!

    • I love Earth Breeze and the convenience and stores easily. No more plastic containers to clutter our landfills and, as you said, the envelopes are biodegradable. 👍


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

Sign up and receive 3 FREE RV Checklists: Set-Up, Take-Down and Packing List.