When traveling in a motorhome there is one thing that is unavoidable, clothes and bedding washing. If you are the type of motor homer that just stays in campsites then the chore is easy, use the washing machines at the site, these can range from being free [very rare] right up to being very expensive. If like us you spend most of the time wild camping or staying in aires then it come down to hand washing. Below are a few of the tips that we use when having to do the washing ourselves.
When we were in Greece we purchased a plastic container which has a screw top lid. While we travel it is half filled with water and detergent and we place our dirty clothes inside. As we drive along the water sloshes around and prewashes the clothes, especially on windy roads.
We have also purchased a plumbing plunger, this we use to by putting it into the container and by pumping up and down it acts as an agitator. As you can see in the photo the top of the plastic handle has a handle which makes it easy to hold while pumping up and down. After this we put the washed clothes into a plastic tub full of water where we rinse the clothes out. The hardest part is wringing the water out of the clothes. We have always thought that an old fashioned mangle would be a useful thing to have, but alas we wrestle with the clothes and get then as dry as possible.
Hanging the washing is done using various washing lines. The first is a small fold out line which can handle a single wash load. This we store in our bathroom on the wall. The good thing about this is that we can put it in the rear of the motor home while we are driving if the washing is not yet dry. Folding racks come in various sizes but we made sure that it could be stored easily and placed in the motorhome with clothes on it if they hadn’t completely dried.
I have screwed stainless steel fittings to the motorhome [advantages of having an old van where a few extra screws don’t matter] where we can attach washing lines to trees , poles ,fencing or to our awning. To maximize limited space we loop the line in three and put spreaders between the lines. These are just narrow pieces of wood with grooves cut out where the lines slip in.
For socks, underwear and other small items we use a plastic hanging rack. This we hang outside and if the washing is still damp we hang it inside over night or while traveling. All the cheap shops sell these and they only cost a few euros.
Be discreet. We always place the washing where it is as discreet as possible as to keep a low as possible profile. You don’t want to give the impression that you are planning to make the place a permanent home.
We try to wash often then we can have all our washing on the one rack which we can easily slip into the van. Bedding we try to do when we are at a campsite but we have been known to spend the entire day washing, hanging and folding in a warm remote place, near to plenty of water.