Doing Laundry in a Casita

Three loads of Wonder Wash laundry on drying rack bungeed to Casita tongue.

Three loads of Wonder Wash laundry on drying rack bungeed to Casita tongue.

Ron and I have had enough bad laundromat experiences to make us want to come up with a better idea.  And I believe that we have.

The Wonder Wash in use

The Wonder Wash in use

We will still use laundromats when they are available, reliable and clean.  But using mildewy washers and out-of-order or rusty dryers is now a thing of the past.

I started with a manual Wonder Wash.  I have one at home, but since I couldn’t get to it, I ordered a new one to use just for camping.  I also had a smaller spin dryer that Laundry Alternative used to carry.  But it is out of stock now and may not be available again.

The Nina spin dryer is a lot larger than I expected.  At first I was tempted to send it back, but I am so glad I didn’t.  It holds jeans, towels, sheets, etc. without a qualm, and is so quiet I wonder sometimes if it is running.  It spins at 1800 rpms and gets clothes a lot dryer than my washer’s spin cycle at home.  So they dry fast since they are just damp when you hang them up.

The Nina Spin Dryer

The Nina Spin Dryer

The Wonder Wash can be used while boondocking.  But the spin dryer needs electricity.  And since hand-wringing is the hardest part of doing laundry by hand, I would only use it when we have hookups.

You will read reviews all over the board at Amazon.  Some people say the Wonder Wash is fantastic (as I do).  Some say it does nothing and after you use it you end up with wet, dirty clothes.

I believe both views are correct because the results are solely dependent on the way you use the Wonder Wash.  The directions say to spin the tub one turn per second.  At that rate, laundry falls from top to bottom and from bottom to top each turn.  If you spin it faster, centrifugal force will keep the clothes in one place — and you will end up with wet, dirty laundry.

Clothes out of the spinner --ready to hang to dry.

Clothes out of the spinner –ready to hang to dry.

If you turn it at the recommended speed for two minutes, the clothes fall from top to bottom and from bottom to top and are slammed through the hot, soapy water each time.  Even without the “pressurized soap and water being forced through the clothes” that the ad touts, dunking clothes that many times in hot soapy water does a great job cleaning them.

I don’t use the handle.  It’s hard work.  Instead I just spin the tub on its axis, pulling the lid toward me, and then using the drain pipe mount as a handle to keep the spin going.  It’s as close to effortless as manual laundry can be.

Water comes out of the spinner fast!  I don't have a bowl large enough to hold the water, so I quickly switch to a second pot when the first one is almost filled.

Water comes out of the spinner fast! I don’t have a bowl large enough to hold the water, so I quickly switch to a second pot when the first one is almost filled.

When I first got my Casita, I wanted to make it the prettiest little camper ever.  And I loved the way it turned out.  But as we actually use the trailer, beauty is giving way to what works for us.

I had already modified our camper to have twin beds instead of a double bed and dinette.  My dinette idea was very pretty, but not too practical.  Ron uses the little round table for his tablet and man cave stuff, so I always eat off a tray sitting on my bed.  Since we weren’t using the table as a dinette, I removed the cushions by his bed and stuffed them into the closet, freeing up space to leave my “laundry room” set up permanently.  I do plan to put attractive small rugs underneath the washer and spinner to keep the bare white fiberglass seats from showing.

These pictures are out of order.  I rinse clothes from the washer in the sink or in a large bucket.  Some clothes require only one rinse.  Most require two.  And really dirty ones where I used a lot of soap require three rinses.

These pictures are out of order. I rinse clothes from the washer in the sink or in a large bucket. Some clothes require only one rinse. Most require two. And really dirty ones where I used a lot of soap require three rinses.

Hopefully this will help me spend a few minutes each day or two doing a small load and keep laundry from piling up.

Disclaimer — I have no connection with the sellers of these machines — except as a happy customer.

Heavy duty folding dryer rack bungeed to trailer.  Usually the bumper, but the way our site is situated, the front is away from the road.

Heavy duty folding dryer rack bungeed to trailer. Usually the bumper, but the way our site is situated, the front is away from the road.

 

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19 Comments

  1. Tim

     /  February 14, 2015

    Good set up Sharron. We have the plastic cone shaped washing tool and a manual hand crank wringer. This also works well. Never have to worry about electricity.

    • That sounds great, Tim. I also have the cone shaped plunger and I use it when the dogs make a mess on the throw rugs, and will probably use it on afghans and blankets if I ever have to hand wash them. My sister also has the hand wringer. It is a great tool and so nice that you don’t need electricity to use it.

      Thanks for commenting. I wondered if you had disappeared off the face of the earth! 🙂

  2. Is there a url for the hand plunger? The set up looks good for small loads.

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

    • Judie, here’s a URL. http://www.amazon.com/Rapid-Washer-Manual-Washing-Machine/dp/B002QUAPSO

      It is pretty expensive for how it looks. But it gets a great water movement going that mimics an electric washer’s.

      It takes a lot of energy if you just move the washer up and down by hand. I discovered an easy way that even works for people with COPD!

      I hold the plunger with both hands, rest my forearm on my knee, then rock my feet on the balls of my feet and it moves the plunger up and down with almost no effort. 🙂

  3. Oh, right! I’ve seen those before. Thanks for the pointer.

  4. Rick & Beth Clark

     /  February 14, 2015

    Hi Ron and Sharon
    My wife and I are very impressed with your new washing facility!! You also mentioned you have twin beds, do you have the Spirit Deluxe? I may have ask you this in the past.
    We picked up our new Casita 17 SD this passed Tuesday (Feb. 10). Carla, Victor and the whole Casita staff were very pleasant to meet. We were so busy we forgot to take the tour of the Casita making in progress.
    It was quite the drive from Salem, SC to Rice Tx. We are now in Fl. for a wedding and to visit my mother and brother for a while. We will head back to SC towards the end of the month. We enjoy all your ventures and pictures…even though we are bad not commenting each time we view your pictures.
    Blessings,
    Rick and Beth Clark

    • Hi, Rick, yes, we have the Spirit Deluxe — a 2005 model. Here’s a page I did showing how I changed the Spirit into a twin bed model. https://tinycamper.wordpress.com/casita-decorating-mods/

      In my opinion, you bought the best little camper in the world, and should enjoy it for many years.

      Yes, SC to Rice is a LONG drive! Glad you are taking some time to leisurely enjoy your new Casita before heading home.

      Thanks so much for commenting, and Hi to Beth! 🙂

  5. bonnie borgeson

     /  February 14, 2015

    I’ve seen this on some prepper site, looked like a great little helper. Glad you like it, thinking maybe someday.

    • Bonnie, there are all kinds of workable laundry solutions for campers. It mainly boils down to what appeals to you. I chose this one because it’s effective — and I think it’s cute! 😀

  6. Aiy-yi-yii, Sharon. I have never been in a laundromat so foul that I would be willing to do home laundry instead! :-). Different strokes….

    John and I both got a smile out of this, (and we discussed the proper spelling of aiy-yi-yii). This one is mine – his made no sense to me. (another big smile)

    • I love your spelling of aiy-yi-yii, and can just picture you emphatically saying it!

      I think there is a part of me that is still a little girl playing house. The Casita is part of it. And playing with laundry is another. I really enjoy it!

      BTW, I think we were smart waiting for a weekday to go see the ships. Another camper here went and said the lines were so impossibly long they finally gave up.

  7. I was wondering about those little washers. To be gone all summer and mostly boondocking having this would help quite a bit.

    • Jo, some people love them (like me) and others don’t like them. Boondocking, you would still have to wring them out by hand, and that’s hard.

  8. Fascinating! And sounds just like the Sharon I know who is creative in all things!

    I don’t mind washing out one or two things occasionally (while I shower) but that’s where I draw the line.

    Yesterday was wash day…maybe I’ll add it to my next post! Clean clothes in AJ!

    • Clean clothes are a big deal… worth posting about. 😀

      Today we met a lovely couple who will be retiring soon. They bought a Casita in September (I think). They are planning to go to Green Eggs and Ham. I told them a little about you and David and your Dutch oven cooking — also told them a little about Jerry, Jean, Shorty, and some of the others I remembered and told them it is a great group of people. They are really looking forward to meeting you all.

      I came into the conversation late so didn’t get their names — and Ron forgot them. Sorry. 🙂

  9. How much better can it get? Doing laundry in an egg…I think I’ll check them out.

    • Thanks, Carol. I am enjoying trying to make the Casita a tiny home away from home. Being able to do laundry was the last major hurdle.

  10. I can smell the freshness!!!! Sweet!

    • I keep burying my nose in the clothes because they have that wonderful outdoor clean smell!

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