RV washing machine

How Much Water Does an RV Washing Machine Use?

The convenience of doing laundry in your RV comes with its fair share of worries. One of the most pressing is its water consumption, especially when your vehicle’s fresh water tank is the provider. Any miscalculation can take a heavy toll on your trip.

An RV washing machine uses 8-25 gallons (30-95 L) of water for each load. That is more than other water-demanding appliances, such as the shower, bathroom, and dishwasher. For this reason, you must regulate its use closely to avoid becoming stranded without water in the middle of nowhere.

GE GFQ14ESSNWW 24" Electric Front Load Washer Dryer Combo with 2.4 cu. ft. Capacity, 14 Cycles, Electronic Touch, in White

It’s never fun to discover a water shortage when you need to shower or use the bathroom. Therefore, understanding how much water you risk any time you use your washing machine is crucial. Continue reading this to learn more about the water demands of an RV washing machine and what factors affect it.

The Amount of Water Used Depends on These Factors

RV washing machines use the most water among all appliances on board. However, these factors determine the consumption per load:

  • Washer type
  • Washing machine variation
  • Load size and fabric type

Washing Machine Type

The amount of water an RV washer uses depends on the type of machine. Manufacturers classify RV washers into three types, usually with the following rates of water usage:

  • Stackable washer and dryer: 5 to 16 gallons (19-61 L) per load
  • Portable washer and dryer: 7 to 10 gallons (26.5-37.8 L) per load
  • Washer and dryer combos: 15 to 20 gallons (57-76 L) per load

The Washer’s Variation

RV washing machine types have two variations–the vented and non-vented–with varying water consumption levels that considerably affect how much water you’ll need during laundry.

Generally, the non-vented variations of washers require more water than the vented ones. For example, most RV stackable washers are vented machines that don’t require much more water. In comparison, the washer and dryer combo is usually non-vented and will need an additional 5 gallons (19 liters) for complete operation. 

Notably, portable washers are popularly unvented, yet they only demand a little water per load.

Load Size and Fabric Type

Top RV washer producers state that the load size and fabric type can affect the amount of water the machine uses per load.

Hence, the more laundry you have and the heavier your clothes, the more water you need.

Moreover, the washing machine may be too small to accommodate all your laundry in one load, and you’ll need to prepare for another, significantly reducing your RV’s water storage.

Final Thoughts

One of the resources no RV camper ever wants to lack is water. Van owners employ various conservation techniques to prevent it, yet, washing machines hardly seem to align with this goal. Thus, it’s essential to consider all the determining factors, including washer type, machine variation, load size, and fabric type.

If the water tank becomes depleted, you can refill it with potable water at the following locations:

  • Campsites
  • State parks
  • Travel centers

And to ensure you always have hot water available for all your washing needs, read 5 Essential RV Water Heater Maintenance Tips to Keep Your System Running Smoothly.

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