Foot-operated washing machine - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 01-09-2017, 10:28 PM   #15
Name: Eric
Trailer: Trillium
Posts: 30
Originally Posted by ZachO View Post
When I left on a several month trip in my old motorhome, I did just a little bit of research on clothes washing and the best, cheapest option I found was a plastic 5-gallon bucket and a toilet plunger, much like what they're selling in the Amazon link. I think that kind of setup would work really well. I bought a bucket and plunger...

I never used it. It was just me, and definitely no kids which I know changes everything, but I was out at one spot often for up to 6 days and just never needed to do laundry. And by "out" I mean 40-60 miles down a highway from a town, then another 10-30 miles down a dirt road, hours from the nearest business. If I was within an hour of a town I'd just drive in and do laundry every now and then. And I found that if I traveled from one spot to another once a week, doing laundry then when I was back on the road was plenty.

But that's me and everyone has their own idea of how they want to do it, and I can see the allure of sticking around camp, doing the laundry by hand and being self sufficient.

There were a lot of things I bought, figuring I'd need them during months on the road, leading up to the trip. A lot of what I bought I never used. A lot of what I never even considered buying, I had to grab somewhere along the way.

Not sure how experienced of an RV'er you are but if you haven't been out boondocking much yet, I'd wait until figuring out what you really need before spending much money on anything. If you've been there done that and know you need boondocking laundry services, then definitely go for it.

I come from a backpacking/big wall climbing background and am use to having the bare minimum. The whole rv thing came about as my wife was diagnosed with RA and we had a child. Sleeping on the ground and dealing with living outside was no longer an option. It is amazing the amount of comfort a little trailer can provide! My wife turned me on to the foot powered washer and I was intrigued, especially if washing clothes became one of her chores😆. I have yet to finish our Trillium but I am already planning on long stays in the desert and mountains and if a gadget helps bring my wife on board...well it is worth it to me.

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Old 01-10-2017, 08:58 AM   #16
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Gotcha. And I would guess that a foot powered washer would be easier on the body than working a plunger in a bucket...

Well a big disclaimer is that what I needed and didn't need is going to be different from what someone else needs and doesn't need. I've never wanted, needed or owned a generator. For some people it's indispensable. No TV, no AC, no microwave. No bbq. Etc. It depends more on how you "camp", so my experiences won't necessarily apply to someone else. And I don't want to hijack the thread...but here's a quick list of what I remember (I'm sure there's more) and I'll be done with it.

I ended up buying a roof rack for the camper. I thought I'd either thin out my stuff enough or find places to put it, or be ok with it everywhere. But I needed it out of my way. So a lot of stuff went up on the roof.

I needed a cooler. I only had a tiny fridge, and when out for more than 3-4 days, it couldn't really hold enough food. I like to have a lot of fresh veggies. And in both the campers I've owned, I've had issues with the fridge just not being able to keep up once the temps get into the 80s.

I didn't use my coleman 2-burner enough to justify the space it took up. I figured getting out of the camper to cook would be great. And it would be. But I really just rarely did it.

I never used the camper table. The way it was set up just made it inconvenient so I always ate with my food in my lap. Ended up leaving the table in Moab to get it out of my way. I use the table in my new camper all the time.

Most important I just realized that you aren't going to be able to "imagine" what it will be like all that accurately. I mean you'll get close enough, but I think that realizing that you can't jump into it completely prepared is a realistic thing to expect. You really don't "need" much more than if you were car camping. Just expect that you'll work it out while you're on the road. Expect to be stopping by a Camping World or sports store or kitchen store and buying stuff as you realize you want it. Don't start out with a giant pile of all the coolest camper gear people told you you'd need, then realize a lot of it was wasted money.

Unless you've been car camping with others who have their RV with them and you've analyzed their set up and already have a really good idea of how you'd do it. I see a lot of my friends with all kinds of gear I know I'd never need. And every now and then they have something great that I go right out and buy.

But it all depends on the individual. There are some basic necessities for "camping" and traveling with a camper trailer. The rest is just dependent on how you RV.

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Old 03-10-2017, 08:20 AM   #17
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Cari & I just include a ~2hr chill time (usually wifi included) at a laundromat when going into town to resupply once a week. Other than the grocery store it's like our only contact with humanity when in our happy-hermits-in-the-hills mode : )
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Old 08-26-2017, 03:46 PM   #18
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For us it's once a week 2 loads for no more 2 hrs at a laundromat. Easier than doing a number of small loads in a bucket. Even our friends with big rigs with washer and driers end up using them all the time because the washer and driers are small capacity units.
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Old 08-27-2017, 09:57 PM   #19
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Read the book "Travels With Charley" by John Steinbeck for a lesson on traveling light. He describes how he washed his clothes with a 5-gallon bucket with lid that agitates while he's driving! I think this classic is a "must read" for any modern camper.
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Old 09-30-2017, 09:25 AM   #20
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While its interesting I think I will stay with the laundermat. Keep adding things to your supply of junk and pretty soon no more room for you or you will go to the 70k 5th wheel motel on wheels!!
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Old 09-30-2017, 09:52 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
For us it's once a week 2 loads for no more 2 hrs at a laundromat. Easier than doing a number of small loads in a bucket. Even our friends with big rigs with washer and driers end up using them all the time because the washer and driers are small capacity units.
Hi: honda03842... I really like my wife operated washer. Since bleaching all the kids striped sports socks pure white I've not been asked to do the laundry again. Only question I have is "Where did all my quarters go"?
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Old 09-30-2017, 10:46 AM   #22
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1971 Trailswest Campster
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The key to the solution does not belong in what washer you buy but in what clothes you buy. But more about that later, we will address washers first.

Washboards work great and you can flat pack them. Plungers work great too and are also compact. Buckets are handy for camping and you can pack stuff in them that can then be temporarily removed for use as a wash bucket. You can get small wringers to mount on the bucket, use the keywords "chamois wringer" It takes no longer to wash clothes that way than the foot powered machine. The foot powered washing machine is clever but weighs too much and takes up too much space. Saving space and weight is normally a major consideration on longer trips. For shorter trips this subject has a null value.

Getting water out of the clothes so they dry quicker is very important. If you feel you are going to need to do laundry on trips and want to do it with hand washing then the solution is to purchase clothes designed to make that chore very easy. Buy quick dry clothing dress in layers of moisture wicking fabrics to keep warm and dry or even cool and dry. Do not bring articles of clothing that are thick and heavy. Blue jeans are thick and heavy which makes them difficult to wash and dry. If you are going to wear blue jeans all the time bring enough to last for a couple of weeks so you can go to a laundry in town or at an RV park or truckstop. It is much easier to do hand washing methods for summer vacation trips as you will want light weight clothing. So basically any hand washing method will work but the key to making the chore go quickly is to avoid heavy clothing. Heavy clothing also requires considerably more water to get it clean which is another reason to avoid it if you want to avoid going to a coin operated laundry.
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Old 09-30-2017, 10:59 AM   #23
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Boler13/trillium4500/buro13
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Once again after being inspired by some of the posts here I have come up with a new idea for the HC1 .after talking with the engineers at happier camper we will now offer a barrel that can be attached to your rim just fill it with water and as you drive down the road the spin action will super clean your clothes. After a half hour just pop the drain plug and your clothes will spin dry the rest of your trip.should be a relatively cheap option after we check with our lawyers as to the legalities of it.
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Old 09-30-2017, 01:08 PM   #24
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Old 09-30-2017, 03:41 PM   #25
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Here's an idea, the Easy Wring Spin Mop & Bucket System: O-Cedar
Use the bucket to wash clothes. Put an item or two at a time into the spinner section and use the foot pedal to spin the water out. Rinse as needed, spin again, hang to dry.
If the trailer's vinyl floor gets dirty or if you want to wash the outer shell, the mop will come in handy also.
I bought one of these this summer (Home Depot had the best price at the time) and I really like it. Very light weight and doesn't take up too much space.
How to prepare Tofu
Step 1: throw tofu in the trash
Step 2: grill some meat
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Old 09-30-2017, 08:54 PM   #26
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Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
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washing machine

I know lets build a whole camper around a washing machine! Oh its already been done with the 500k rigs. All tongue in check we have camped out for a month and only washed clothes once in that trip.

pack lots of clothes a have a place in your tv to strore the dirty ones. We found we never dirtied up that many clothes!
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Old 10-01-2017, 08:03 AM   #27
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John Steinbeck in his book “Travels with Charlie” put his clothes in a 5 gallon bucket, with a cover and with soap and water then hung it with a bungee cord in his truck camper. It jiggled up and down cleaning his clothes. He then put clean water and repeated. If you’re traveling a lot that sounds like it would work
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Old 10-01-2017, 08:50 AM   #28
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I am beginning to think there is some funning going on here!

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