Washing Clothes OTR

No matter where you are or what you are doing (holidays or not) certain domestic duties still need to be done. As a traveling family, one of our never ending chores seemed to be attending to constant loads of dirty clothes. For us 3-4 loads of washing a week was not unusual taking into consideration our clothes, towels and linen.

Most caravan parks and Laundromats usually charge between $3 and $5 a load for washing, which can be around $50-$80 a month for us.

For any longer term traveller looking to save a few dollars- the investment of a portable washing machine maybe an option. Some modern top-end caravans include a washing machine but there are plenty of portable washing machines on the market for those who have the room to carry one.

One of our biggest grievances is when we take our washing out of a shared machine to find our clothes covered in fluff, lint or dog hair left by the previous load of washing that someone done.

We paid only $90 for our 3.2lt twin tub washing machine from E-Bay. Plenty of good bargains on there but most good camping stores would have a range of brand name machines priced under $400. Our cheap E-Bay special is working fine and we put it through its paces regularly. Don’t let the size fool you, they do a great job. Our machine runs on 240 volt mains power but uses less than 300 watts and we run ours off a power inverter when away from powered sites. For travellers who are only away a few weeks at a time, a portable washing machine may be a bit of overkill. However for long term travellers, a portable washing machine would add a lot of convenience and would pay for itself in no time.


  • It saves you money
  • no waiting for a machine at the laundry
  • wash as often as you like
  • no foreign hair or fluff from other peoples washing
  • you no longer need that jar of gold coins
  • most machines can be run from an inverter (check wattage before purchasing) – use it whilst bush camping!
  • fairly cheap to buy and come in a few sizes


  • They are bulky to carry but generally not heavy
  • a smaller tub = more loads = more time
  • needs a source of water (hose, bucket etc.)
  • it’s an initial investment


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