the best rv laundry hack

The best RV Laundry Hack

I’ve wanted to try this idea I had for an easy, affordable RV laundry hack for ages. Since it works while you travel, I decided to try this hack on my RV adventure across Saskatchewan this week. I have to admit I have never been this excited to do laundry. The initial experiment resulted in a load of dirty laundry getting clean, with hardly any effort on my part, no electricity, no laundromat, and no laundry machines.

linen hanging on clothesline on grassy seacoast
Photo by Olga Lioncat on

RV laundry just got really easy

RV laundry has always been a bit of a hassle. An active life of travelling, dog life, and camping make dirty laundry add up fast. Many RV manufactures and RV parks have come up with solutions like laundry centres in larger RVs and laundromats at RV parks. Those of us with smaller RV’s and tow vehicles can now choose from a few different RV washing machines, but these take up precious space and add significant weight to our rigs.

This RV laundry solution is simple, energy efficient and very effective for cleaning clothes. Dirty laundry, laundry detergent and water are added to an ordinary 5 gallon bucket. The lid is sealed tight and the bucket is secured at the back of the vehicle where there is more vibration from the road. Every bump in the road acts as agitation for this simple laundry machine, working the dirt and bad smells out of your clothes just as well as any really good washing machine. When you get to your destination, all you need to do is rinse, wring and hang your spotlessly clean clothes up to dry. I love this, because it is so environmentally friendly!

RV Laundry Hack Step #1: Gather your suppies

All you’ll need is a 5 gallon bucket with a tight fitting lid, a little laundry detergent, water and a good stretch of highway. I used a Tide pod, but you could use a small amount of any laundry detergent you like. Put a few items of dirty laundry in the bucket and add your choice of detergent. My small load had yoga pants, a t-shirt, a small towel and a really filthy dog bed cover.

I love my x-hose expandable drinking water hose

RV Laundry Hack Step #2 : Just add water

Next, cover your laundry laundry with water, plus a good few inches. As a guide, I used about 2.5 gallons of water for my small load..

RV Laundry Hack Step #3: Seal and Secure

Seal the bucket tight with a 5 gallon bucket lid. You could probably choose to leave it unsecured, and it will “probably” stay put because of its weight. I didn’t want to risk it tipping and rolling around so just in case, I tied it into the back of my XTerra, Luckily, I have lots of spots in my vehicle to secure my bucket with bungies, so it seemed to be the best option for me.

RV Laundry Hack Step #4: Drive for a few hours

Every little bump in the road, railway track or speed bump you drive over will agitate your laundry. The agitation with help of the laundry soap will make it super clean. Saskatchewan Highways used to be better for this, but this year, but the province has done a great job resurfacing them. Alberta’s highways seem to be the roughest I’ve seen anywhere (Premier Jason Kenney are you reading this?).


Today I drove for 4 hours from Rosetown, Saskatchewan to Craik Saskatchewan, where I set up camp. I set up my laundry bucket and drove. When I got my new campsite set up at Craik Regional Park, it was time to rinse and hang my load of laundry. I was really happy with the results. Even the dog bedding looks and smells fresh and clean.

All done! Photo credit Lynne Fedorick

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