How to Install an RV Washer and Dryer (7 Tips to Use It)

Some RVs may not be plumbed for a washer nor have the electrical outlet for a dryer. Yet those facts do not need to stop you from keeping your clothes nice and clean and avoiding local laundromats. You can install a washer and dryer in your RV if you want.

How to Install an RV Washer and Dryer: If you are an expert handyman or carpenter, installing an RV washer and dryer will take a little time but it may be worth it.. One of the keys to installation will be to measure your space to make sure you have room.

To learn more about installing a washer and dryer in your RV just keep reading our article. It has the information you need to make sure you can avoid local laundries and keep your clothes clean when it is convenient for you.

  • Tip #1: One of the very first steps you need to take before you purchase an RV washer and dryer is to check how many gallons of water it will take to fill the washer and how many gallons your gray water tank will hold. You have to make sure the tank will hold that much water
  • Tip #2: When purchasing a stacking washer and dryer, similar to apartment styles, you need to install a shelf to hold the dryer. Make sure you vent the dryer to the outside no matter which dryer you purchase.

How to Install RV Washer and Dryer

The good news is that manufacturers are starting to catch on that their customers want to do their laundry at or in their RVs. They have begun to make room for these appliances or install the necessary hook ups in their construction of newer models.

But if you have an older RV, you will have to do some modifications or remodeling to make sure the appliances fit inside your vehicle. To install a washer and dryer in this situation will take some work, some cutting of holes in your RV wall and floor.

To do it, you would need to decide if you want to drain the washer into your gray or black holding tank and get the piping that will direct the water into those tanks. Or you could have a direct to the sewer connection.

The latter will require you to do your laundry only when you are hooked up to a sewer line. Again, you would need to place the drain in the right spot and add hook up vents that open and close to protect the appliance from weather conditions and your RV from leaks.

After that, you would need to run the proper wiring to your RV’s electrical system and install an outlet to plug the washer into. If the dryer is not the same voltage, you would need to install a separate outlet for it.

Then you would need to add in a separate fuse for the dryer to make sure it does not trigger a power outage when in use. The wall would need to be cut if you are using a vented dryer. You cannot vent inside at any time.

Step-by-step instructions would need to come from a very experienced installer, handyman or carpenter as well as an electrician. There are far too many steps to take to list them all here.

If you are not good at installation and tools, then it is better if you hire a professional to do the job right. The professional will have all the needed tools and knowledge to install the washer and dryer correctly.

That is the way we would recommend that you do it because less than professional installation could lead to a lot of frustration and mistakes in installation. It may be cheaper in the long run as well.

  • Tip #3: It is better to do small loads than a big load of wash. Big loads use a lot of power and you may not be able to use other appliances or your air conditioner when the washer is going. The washer will take a lot of power to run as well. Big loads may take hours to do as well.

Adding Washer and Dryer Hookups

Adding washer and dryer hookups has a lot going for it. It makes keeping your clothes clean more convenient and a lot easier to do. There are also some negatives to adding these hook-ups to your rig.

Here is a list for both so you can see the full picture before you invest in these appliances:


  • Saves you some money over the long run- your vacation costs are cut down helping to pay for your investment
  • You can wash clothes when you want- instead of planning trips to the local laundromat, you can use that time and expense for a nice dinner for two, etc. All because you can clean your clothes when you want to do it
  • No dirty laundry mess- having dirty laundry pile up can create a reek that is not pleasant to your nose. You get rid of that nasty odor by washing regularly.
  • Saves space- dirty laundry can take up a lot of space while you are traveling, or camping. Doing your laundry at your RV frees up that space more often letting you use it for other important items.


  • Washer and dryer sets are heavy- even the combo style weighs around 150 pounds or more. So by adding more weight to your rig, you may be cutting down on your fuel economy
  • You will lose space- washer and dryers need someplace to sit. That usually means you have to give up storage space or closet space to fit them in. Can you afford to lose that needed space since space is very limited on an RV?
  • What you save on laundry costs, fuel to go to the laundromat and back again and other related expenses you may lose by using a lot more water and electricity. Even if you have full hook-ups you will be using a lot of both.
  • Tip #4: Wash and dry your heavier items like blankets, jeans, towels, etc., in the RV campground laundromat instead of your new RV washer and dryer. Those machines will be faster than yours making laundry inside your RV a lot easier to do

Can You Get a Washer and Dryer in an Airstream

There is some good news here. Airstream has placed a washer and a dryer into their newer models. It is a combo set, and it looks like it is positioned right next to your oven. So the answer to the question is yes you can do your laundry inside your airstream trailer.

The bad news is that these washer and dryer combos may take 2 1/2 hours just to wash a set of sheets and then dry them. They are not that powerful but probably get the job done on lighter items like socks, shirts and underwear.

When you install a washer in an Airstream or use the built-in models, you need to be aware that you are using only one machine. A laundromat will let you use multiple machines if they are not busy. That means it takes less time to do your laundry at the laundromat than in your own trailer.

Also, if you install a unit or the built-in model is not installed properly, you will have issues with leaks and trying to get them fixed. Some Airstream trailers only use 110 volts to dry your clothes so you are not getting a great deal when you use their units to clean your clothes.

Then if you turn to a non-vented machine, you are looking at even longer drying times. So calculate how much free time you have to do the laundry and if you want to spend that free time doing a cleaning chore.

  • Tip #5: When you use a ventless washer and dryer set, do not be surprised if the clothes come out a little damp. That is normal. All you have to do is shake the clothes a few times to get the dampness out, then you can fold your clothes and put them away.

How to Use an RV Washer Dryer

Washing your clothes in your RV is not the same as washing your laundry at home. Back at the house, you had a normal-sized washer and dryer that handles big loads with ease. Not so with an RV model.

To use one of the RV washer and dryers, you need to learn that big loads are a no no. Most of those appliances cannot handle big loads and it takes a long time for them to wash and dry your clothes. One RV owner spent almost 3 hours getting one load completed.

Also, there is no lint trap on these machines. That is okay as the washer is very gentle on clothes and does not create a lot of lint. Any that is created goes down the drain.

Then you should not use dryer sheets when using the dryer or the dryer mode. 1 to 2 tablespoons of fabric softener is all you will need. On top of that, you can get better drying results if you take out your clothes after only about 20 or 30 minutes of drying time.

Another way to use these washers and dryers is to schedule your day to fit your laundry needs. While it takes a long time to wash and dry your laundry through these machines, you can use that time to fix problems around the rig or spend a lot of time on your computer answering e-mails, etc.

Laundry day is a great day to get that honey-do list cut down to size.

To get them drier all you have to do is pull the clothes out shake them, fold them up and then put them back into the dryer for the rest of the drying cycle.

  • Tip #6: When you are washing and drying your clothes, do not overload the drum. This does not make washing and drying go any faster. Especially when it comes to drying them all. Also, you should use a little liquid fabric softener in the dryer. This will help the drying process speed up and keeps wrinkles away

Types of RV Washer and Dryers

One of the good things about getting a washer and dryer set for your rig is that you get a little choice. There are three main styles you can choose from.

  • Compact and stackable W & D
  • Combination W & D
  • Portable and storable RV W & D

Then you have a choice between vented and non-vented machines. Most people recommend the vented because those dryers dry faster and better than the non-vented style.

But make sure you get some good advice before you buy so you do not get stuck with the wrong appliances for you and your RV

  • Tip #7: if you want to save money on electrical use you can always use your RV washer to wash your clothes. Then if you are in the right situation, you can hang dry them. It is easier to do and you do not have to wait till the dryer is done to get your next load of clothes dry

Some Final Words

Doing laundry is a household chore that will never go away. Even if you escape the normal world and hide out in your RV. Cleaning clothes is always going to have to be done.

You can make that chore a lot easier by installing your own RV washer and dryer. That is if your RV or TT doesn’t already have one. These machines can make it very easy and convenient for you to get your laundry nice and clean.

While they do take up space and add a little weight to your rig, the convenience may be worth the sacrifice. Do your research and see if this is an option for you. And if you go for it, let a professional install the appliances so you do not have future issues to deal with.

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