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Home > Q & A > Questions and Answers - Index > Questions and Answers 15

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Q15 Washing Machines for caravans - what are the options? 

A. What do you need?  Built in or portable?  Front or top loader?  Will you be running it from mains power, generator or use an inverter from on board 12 volt batteries?  Will you be on a water source such as at a caravan park, or will you be collecting water from a stream?  Do you need a washing machine? 

 

Most of the following will run from a generator or small (eg 300 watt pure sine wave) inverter with adequate battery power.

 

While there are others, the main brands which can be built in can be seen at  Caravans Plus and this will give you a guide to the current prices for these brands.

 

These models are

 

Top loaders

 

Lemair 2.2. kg requires 300 watts.  This unit weighs eighteen kilogrammes and is 438 mm wide x 438 mm deep x 695 mm high.  Cycles times range from 23 to 64 minutes. 

 

Sphere 2.5 kg requires 200 watts for washing and 230 w for spin cycle.  It will run from a 300 watt pure sine wave inverter.  It has high water consumption at up to 60 litres per load for the maximum setting.  Choice of two water levels. Cold wash only. This unit weighs eighteen kilogrammes and is 410 mm wide x 420 mm deep x 640 mm high.  Average washing time 38 minutes.  Spinner alone can be used as a separate cycle.     

 

Sphere 3.0 kg has high water consumption at up to 60 litres per load for the maximum setting.  Choice of three water levels.  This unit weighs nineteen kilogrammes and is 410 mm wide x 420 mm deep x 740 mm high.   Average washing time 38 minutes.  Spinner alone can be used as a separate cycle.  

 

Camec 2.5 kg do not give water usages specification.  Caravans Plus state "Approx 15L on low and 20L on high are taken from their 'warranty departments notes'. The real figure could be as much as 60ltrs of water on high".  This unit weighs sixteen kilogrammes and is 410 mm wide x 420 mm deep x 640 mm high.   

 

Front loadersFront loaders are generally considerably heaveir and more expensive than top loaders, and water use is not comparatively much lower.

 

New: Camec 4 kg front loader uses 42 litres of water on standard cycle.  This unit weighs 47 kgs and is 510 mm wide x 430 mm deep x 700 mm high.  Power usages id 230 watts for cold water and 1,300 watts for hot water cycles. 

 

Dometic 3 kg front loader.  This is really a compact home appliance and it is much heavier than the above listed machines at 54 kilogrammes, and much more expensive than the top loading caravan washing machines.  It has a long cycle time and uses up to 45 litres of water on maximum cycle.  It is the largest at 495 mm wide x 515 mm deep x 670 mm high.  The Dometic front loader will require a 2 kva generator or a large inverter and adequate power when away from mains power.  It is also the most expensvie option. 

 

Daewoo Mini Drum is a wall mounted mini front loading washing machine with full spinner function.  2 kg load capacity. The washer uses 24 litres of water on normal cycle.  Power draw is 100 watts for cold water cycle and 1,500 watts for a very hot water cycle. This unit weighs 16.5 kg and is 550 mm wide x 292 mm deep x 600 mm high.  Currently available with some New Age caravans costing over $1,000, it can be purchased from eBay stockists or AliExpress but is not a cheap option.  Update:  Daewoo Mini is now available in a 3 kg model, and most on eBay are advertised as 3 kg capacity, however their dimensions and weight are the same as the 2 kg model. 

Small Portable Washing Machines

 

Caravans Plus also stock a portable twin tub which uses 150 watts for the 2 kg wash tub and 80 watts for the 1 kg spin tub.  This weighs ten kilogrammes and is 590 mm wide x 365 mm deep x 585 mm high. Washing time fifteen minutes for wash and spin minutes for spin. 

 

In addition to Carvans Plus, similar portable twin tubs can also be purchased from some camping stores and a number of eBay sellers, and from time to time on line special stores such as Top Buy.  Quick washing time, light weight and water efficient.  These twin tub portable machines include; 2 kg with 1 kg spinner and 5 kg with 3.5 kg spinner. 

 

Search on eBay or see Five kilo Portable Twin Tub  (one of many eBay vendors for the machine). This 5 kg machine with 3.5 kg spinner is 600 mm wide x 370 mm deep x 660 mm high and weighs 12 kilogrammes.  It draws 240 watts for the wash cycle and 120 watts for the spinner.  Quick was takes fifteen minutes. 

 

Similar HISEN five kilo Twin Tub is 600 mm wide x 370 mm deep x 740 mm high and weighs 10 kilogrammes. 

 

and  Mini Camping Washing Machine (single tub 2.5 kg).   At six to seven kilogrammes, this single tub is one of the lightest and the smallest of the options at 380 mm wide x 340 mm deep x 530 mm high.  This 2.5 kg wash and 1.5 kilo spin portable single tub takes 20 to 40 litres of water according to cycle.  It draws 180 watts on wash and 130 watts on spin. 

 

A Single Tub 4 kg Machine is also available and at 5 to 6.5 kilos it is the lightest machine available.  It has dimensions of 370 mm wide x 370 mm deep x 520 mm high.  Washing capacity 4 kg and spin capacity 2 kg.

 

Links given to eBay stockists are random from searches and for example of machine types only.  Please search and choose a price and vendor to suit your needs.  Specifications may vary as listings are updated.

 

Some caravan parks will not permit the use of washing machines in caravans, or may charge extra. When bush camping a good water source or supply needs to be considered, and adequate power either from solar charged batteries via an inverter or by using a generator. 

 

If you are using water from an outside source such as a lake or stream, a portable machine will be an advantage over a plumbed in one that draws water from your tanks.

 

Power free options as an alternative to  hand washing in a bucket include the manual EzyWash and the Laundry Pod is periodically available from Deals Direct and  Catch of the Day.  Another product on the market is the Scrubba Washing Bag which being compact may be suitable for hikers.

 

2013 and products last updated September 2016

tn_plunger1.jpg tn_washday.jpg
A simple plunger and a bucket enables washing to be done by hand quickly and effectively. 
Washing day beside Old Policeman's Waterhole in the Davenport Range National Park, Northern Territory.  Note that washing water was taken away from the waterhole for disposal.  Washing was done where the water was drawn for convenience and a clean place to sit.  After wringing the washed clothes out in a towel, they dried quickly on a line strung between two trees.  Towels were also washed in the buckets here, but the sheets were left until we could use a laundromat.
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