Over the past year and a half since we left our sticks-and-bricks home and started our RV adventure we have had to deal with laundromats. We have found some to be fairly nice, and some to be not so great. Some of the campgrounds we have stayed in have had laundry rooms, but like laundromats, some are nicer than others. One thing we have not liked is that we have no idea what was in the washer or dryer prior to us using it. We do not use fabric softener because it clogs the pores of fabric and makes towels less absorbent. However, if the last person to use the machine used it, we get a little in our wash anyways. One also must stay at the laundromat to tend to their clothes so they do not end up dumped on a table or floor or, even worse, someone decides they like your clothes better than you do. While we have never lost laundry to our knowledge, we have heard of people loosing nice shirts or expensive workout clothes from laundry rooms.
So, after a year and a half we decided we were done with the laundromat scene and wanted a washer/dryer for ourselves. Now, in an RV you have limited options. You can get a very expensive machine that will do both to save precious space, but you sacrifice the ability to wash and dry at the same time. The other option is to have regular household units, but sacrifice precious RV space…of which we have little to spare. Therefore, we did some searching online and came up with a third option. We could get a small box trailer and make a laundry room on wheels. This would also afford us some extra storage space and an optional place to haul the motorcycle if we do not want to have it in the back of the RV as we have over the past year and a half.
We researched trailers and visited a dealer, American Trailers, in Tampa FL. We decided on a V-nose 6×12-foot box trailer with an internal height of 6 1/2 feet so I can comfortably stand up while inside of it. The trailer has a single axle rated at 3,500 pounds which should be plenty for our use. We opted for two swinging rear doors instead of a ramp door that folds down to make entrance and egress easier on a daily basis when the motorcycle is not involved.
Now that we had the trailer we had to move the RV forward on our lot about 8 feet and placed the trailer behind the RV. We went to Lowe’s and picked up a washer and dryer matched set. We opted for a gas dryer so we would not require 220 volt electrical service at our site, and if we really wanted to, we could even do laundry via generator. We did have to adjust the dryer to use propane instead of natural gas which only required changing one orifice and turning a knob on the gas regulator…however some disassembly was required to get to the orifice and regulator.
Once the washer and dryer locations were determined it came time to start drilling holes in our trailer that had been purchased just days prior. We would need power, water, and propane inlets, as well as sewer and dryer outlets. A trip to Camping World as well as Lowe’s made the installation possible, and with electric, water, sewer, and propane installed, we were ready for laundry to be washed. We are also appreciative to Heather’s grandparents who, whether they realized it or not, donated the two propane tanks, a water hose, and 2 sewer hoses to our project as we were cleaning out their RV and were preparing it for sale.
We also installed sheet vinyl flooring, electrical outlets, 12 volt lighting, and shelving to complete the project. To finish off the trailer we placed some reflective striping and custom vinyl lettering on the outside to officially make it our own. Our trailer was now ready for use. To ensure a safe travel all shelving as well as the washer and dryer are secured to the wall/floor so they will not bounce or shift as we move to our next assignment. I am proud of my trailer conversion/installation, and Heather and I both LOVE having our own laundry room.