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Portable washers & dryers for your RV…… are they worth it?

Since starting our fulltime RV travels in October 2018, we have been doing our laundry at various laundromats along our travels. What was once an undesirable chore, became something even more undesirable and inconvenient. Could a portable washer and dryer be the solution? Let’s first review some of the issues with laundry RVers face.

RVers and issues with laundromats

Accessibility. Not all campgrounds have laundry facilities, and if you like to camp at state parks or boondock like we do, we typically have to find places to wash our clothes that is not at our campground. This wasn’t too much of an issue when we traveled with our Little Guy Max travel trailer since we could unhitch at our campsite and just drive the truck into town (if there was one nearby) to do laundry. However, when we travel in our 33-foot motorhome, we do not have a tow-behind vehicle and have run into situations where we can not find a laundromat with a parking lot that is accessible to us. This was especially true while we were traveling through Pennsylvania last fall.

But let’s say you are staying at a campground that has a laundry room on site. Accessibility of a different sort abounds there. On numerous occasions, we have run into situations where all the washers and dryers are taken and have waited hours just to use one. Not fun.

Cost. During our travels, we have had it cost anywhere from $1.25-$3.50 for a single wash. Drying times vary too. Most run $0.25 for 10 minute increments but we have had some charge $1.75-$2.25 for a 45 minute cycle. Sticking to a budget when it comes to laundry goes out the window if you never know what you’ll have to pay.

Which leads to the question of how to pay. Some laundromats only take quarters. If you aren’t stocked up on rolls of quarters and are lucky, the laundromat will have an actual change machine – that works. Want to do laundry on a Sunday evening and you don’t have change? You’re usually out of luck. We are seeing more laundromats (both in and out of campgrounds) use a card system. To obtain a card, most require a minimum initial balance. Some even charge $5 to get the card and then you still need to put money on the card to do laundry. Here’s the problem…if you travel frequently, you will very quickly wind up with a wallet full of laundry cards with varying balances still remaining on them because the card from one location is not valid at another!

All of this, while frustrating at times, was manageable. That is, up until everything shut down in early March due to Covid_19. Laundromats were closed. Campgrounds with laundry facilities were closing. We had no real issue boondocking and self-isolating, but washing clothes by hand got old – real quick.

Looking for a solution

Whether you travel full-time or part-time in your RV, space is always a premium. We had pushed the idea of having even a portable washer out of our minds early on, purely on the basis of it being one less thing to carry around. Now that we were more open to the idea, we went to YouTube to see what other RVers are using.

We found two great reviews, one from Travels with Delaney. Patty and Patrick are part-time RVers who travel extensively every summer in their nuCamp t@b 400 which is similar in size to our Little Guy Max. In this video, Patrick reviews the Costway 13lbs portable compact mini twin tub washer.

The next review was by a channel called Camper Life. William and Jessica are full-time RVers in a motorhome a bit bigger than ours, but what was interesting about their review was not only did they review the Kuppet 16.5 lb Compact Twin Tub portable washing machine but a portable, ventless dryer by Panda as well.

Both channels reported positive experiences and showed us how we could use and store a washer and dryer in our RV. In addition, the initial investment would be recouped within a few months, so we were willing to give it a shot.

Purchasing during a pandemic

On our initial attempt to purchase a portable washer, neither unit reviewed in the videos above was in stock online or in stores nearby. It was at that point, we came across the Zeny 17.6 lbs portable compact twin tub, which could be delivered within three weeks.

The Panda dryer, however was in stock and was delivered within five days.

Our experience

The Zeny washer really surprised us. The pros: It can wash quite a bit at a time with no issue and when the clothes come out of the spin cycle, they are very nearly dry. If you were inclined to not purchase a dryer, you could hang up and line-dry the clothes in a relatively short amount of time. We have been able to wash jeans, sweatshirts, sheets and towels in the washer with no issue. Note: it is a little larger than the units reviewed in the videos above but it still easily fits in our shower. The cons: It isn’t able to handle thicker blankets and heavy bedding. In addition, smaller loads and quicker wash times require it to be a bit more hands on than a traditional washer. It is bulky and we store it in our shower, which requires us to pull it out into the living area when we use the shower, but….the time it takes us to do that is far less than the time it would take us to drive to a laundromat, so we’ll call that a win.

The Panda dryer does take up some room while it is in use, but breaks down in less than two minutes and can be stored away in a small bin. It does add some heat into the living area, which during cold weather you can dry your clothes and heat up your rig at the same time. During warmer weather, we’ve found we can set it up outside. The bag that surrounds your clothes doesn’t make look like you’re doing laundry and prevents the clothes from falling on the ground.

Final thoughts

If you like having the ability to do your laundry without the hassle of laundromats and campground laundry rooms, dealing with change and laundry cards and are willing to dedicate a some space with some inconvenience, we think its worth the investment.

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Free Camping in Florida at the DuPuis Management Area

The DuPuis Management Area in Florida offers some of the best free camping in the state. That’s right, we said FREE! For all the details, watch our video below:

Free Camping at DuPuis Management Area in Florida

You don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy the warmth and sunshine that Florida offers in the winter. Consider a stay at one of Florida’s five water management district campgrounds.

About DuPuis


DuPuis Management Area
22500 SW Kanner Highway
Canal Point, FL 33438

GPS : 27.004667,-80.5633921

DuPuis Campground is part of the South Florida Management District. The roads in and out of DuPuis are in good condition and big rig friendly.

NOTE: This is a DRY CAMPING location with potable water and dump station on site

The DuPuis Management Area is a 21,875-acre multi-use natural area located in northwestern Palm Beach and southwestern Martin counties. The property is interspersed with numerous ponds, wet prairies, cypress domes, pine flatwoods and remnant Everglades marsh. The area provides miles of hiking and horseback trails, an equestrian center, graded vehicle roads, backpack and group campsites and seasonal hunting. DuPuis is far from urban areas, and its dark night sky lends itself to excellent stargazing.

Campground Amenities

  • On-site Campground Host
  • Locked gate 24/7
  • Restrooms
  • Individual showers (note: lockable private rooms with hot water and great water pressure)
  • Potable water stations
  • Dump station
  • Fire rings
  • Picnic tables
  • On equestrian side: 2 barns and pens for horses


During our stay which was in mid-December, the campground was pretty full. That being said, everyone was spaced out and had plenty of privacy. Other campers kept to the quiet hours and we felt quite safe during our time there. The campground and its facilities are well maintained.

Other things to note:

  • Bugs were not an issue
  • Good Verizon and AT&T coverage with the ability to upload and download video with no issues
  • Plenty of sunny areas to camp for those that need solar but also many shaded areas.
  • OK to use generators

How to stay at DuPuis

It is free to stay for up to 8 days per permit (30 days limit district-wide), but you do need to create an account at the South Florida Management District website and request a Special Use License for your stay. After you have completed the request, a link to your Special Use License will be displayed for you to view or print. In addition, you will receive emails with the gate combination (if available) and a link to view or print your Special Use License.

Consider DuPuis Management Area Campground The Roads We Roam recommended!