One thing we are all having to do whilst travelling in our vans is sorting out our laundry. Once a week washing has to be done, we do have standards. Here is how Team Trundlebus manage to stay on top of our domestic laundry duties.
Over the summer months, while the sun is shining we are able to make use of our washing machine. Yes the Trundlebus has a washing machine. It’s nothing overly fancy but it works well for us.
We chose a model that was relatively low wattage so we could run it via our inverter, we have a kilowatt one, through the solar panels. The wash cycle is 180 watts and the spin cycle is 120 watts.
As long as we have a supply of water, the machine takes between 20 and 30 litres per cycle, we can wash a load. The wash takes 15 minutes and the spinner section is a 6 minute cycle. We tend to spilt a load into 3 batches for spinning. So a load can be washed, spun and out on the line in just over half and hour.
A load of washing, or the recommended weight, for our machine is 3.5kgs. That’s a lot of socks and stuff. We have even managed to wash the bedding and towels. Heavier items like jeans and jumpers we tend to wash separately.
The machine has no heating element but this isn’t a problem as we carry both cold and regular wash liquid. And the vans water heater provides us with 30 litres of piping hot water if required for those more stubborn stains and a white wash.
The majority of the time we will use our machine outside and let the ‘grey water’ drain either into a suitable container or directly into a hedge. But it can also be drained via the shower, assuming you have one.
During the winter months and in certain places whilst abroad we make use of the numerous set ups that can be found mostly at supermarkets. For the princely sum of 4€ for a wash and a couple to dry, it’s hardly bank breaking stuff, you get to sit in a supermarket carpark for the best part of an hour watching the world go by. We tend to combine a shop and lunch with our wash day so it’s not a dead hour.
Whilst in the UK during the colder months, yes even we stick around for them, we will either head for a campsite with facilities if the weather is against us or if we are really pushed will run the generator.
During our UK travels we have discovered that there are a small, and sadly I do mean small, number of forward thinking businesses that are installing European style washing machines. So it’s starting to filter across the channel which can’t be a bad thing.
Washday blues don’t have to be that difficult or stressful.
Our machine was purchased from a Motorhome dealer but they are available on a well known internet auction site and a tree friendly seller. It’s just a case of looking around and seeing what you can find that suits your requirements.