One question that we are frequently asked is how do we wash our clothes.
We had debated taking them to a launderette, but the closest one… isn’t so close. Besides, being self-sufficient is a much better alternative.
One of these was bought:
This is a twin tub washing machine. The tub on the left washes, whilst the tub on the right hand side spin dries. With both tubs running, it consumes about 200W of electricity, meaning that it can easily run from an inverter should it need to. Both tubs run independently from one another, each with it’s own timer. The only thing this washing machine doesn’t do is heat the water up – as you can see, the twin tub is sitting in our shower, so we simply remove the shower head, and use the hot water produced by the caravan.
Each wash cycle takes about 15 minutes, and so far, has produced great results. The spin drier is able to remove most of the water from clothes, although they still need further drying afterwards.
It is all placed upon a foldable box, it keeps the machine from getting wet when it is draining water into the shower tray. The power cable comfortably reaches the outlet in the bedroom. In terms of capacity, you can easily fit in a couple of shirts and trousers to be washed at a time (bed sheets and towels will also fit, individually), the drier will take about 1/3 of the load of the washer to dry – although the wash cycle lasts 15 minutes, and the spin cycle is 5 minutes, so it all works out wonderfully.
Drying it was a challenge… Despite the weather being like this:
It was still proving difficult to dry clothes. The wind helped (we are the first object the wind hits as it rolls up the hill), although a few pegs were required to prevent the clothes airier from falling over!
We needed a solution which would allow us to dry the clothes inside the caravan – in case of bad weather or over night drying.
The first step was to hang up all of the clothes in the washroom:
It did take up the entire washroom, the above picture is only half the story! Clothes hanging on hooks, vents, cupboard doors. Any available space is being occupied! We made the mistake of not opening the vents and windows at this stage, after everything falling over, we were ready to try again! With the roof vent open, and the windows on night mode, the clothes were hung and ready to dry.
To aid the drying process, a fan heater was used – the hot air vent from the caravan was able to do the job, but it took a long time. The fan heater is able to dry all of our clothes overnight. There is an added bonus that the fan heater also keeps the bedroom warm, this is useful because we have to turn the caravan heating off to be able to use it!
(Maths bit: we are on a 10 amp supply, which means we can use approximately 2400 watts (240V x 10 amp) before tripping the RCD. The fan heater consumes approximately 1800w when heating, the caravan heater uses 2000w. This would push us over the 2400w limit, meaning that we can only use 1 heating device at a time. The same story for the toaster and the kettle – these are used next to the isolater switch for the heating as a reminder!)
With regards to water usage, two fills of the washing tub are usually sufficient to wash all of our clothes on a weekly basis – this is about 20 litres.