There are a few brands of washer and dryers available for RVs but he most common brand manufactured is Splendide®. Combination units (often called “Combo” units) are unusual appliances. They are actually both a washer and dryer made into a single unit—it both washes and dries the load. Combination units are commonly manufactured in Europe, they are small in overall size when compared to the American-made units, and the fact that they are a combination unit also makes them unusual. The vast majority of American-made brands are stacked (one of top of the other) or side-by-side units.
The Bad News
The combo washer/dryer has developed a reputation as a unit that drives people a bit crazy. Consider the following rumors…
- Only on the most recent models could you open the door immediately when the unit stopped. Some models had a two-minute wait time before the door could be opened after the machine stopped—both for the wash cycle and the dry cycle. People naturally assumed that this waiting period was paramount in causing wrinkled laundry. This wait time really doesn’t affect wrinkling at all but the users didn’t know that.
- People assumed that because of the compact size of the combo unit, you could only wash 2-3-4 items in a load, maybe two pair of jeans, or just one sheet. Not true.
- The combo unit only used a small amount of water and people thought it was not enough to get their clothes clean.
The above statements are all rumors—completely untrue. The Splendide is a family-size washer/dryer in Europe. It doesn’t make sense that they would do tiny loads of laundry for a family. They could never stop doing laundry if this were true. However, the following two statements are very true—unfortunately.
- The combo unit is known for taking a long time to do a load of laundry and even longer to dry that load.
- The combo unit was known for producing loads of laundry that had massive wrinkles. Ironing was mandatory. The wrinkles were too many and really set in.
While true, these two items are easily fixable. RVers simply do not know how to correctly use the Splendide. They were never taught. The manual is focused on how to operate the equipment (what the switches and knobs will do and how to set them) but not on “how” to do laundry using a combo unit.
The Stacked Unit Myth
Companies, including Splendide, also manufacture stacked units for RVs—separate washers and dryers installed with the washer below the dryer. However, no brand of stack units will automatically solve your wrinkle problem especially when the dryer and washer drums are near the same size. Stack units may also require twice as much electricity because there are two separate appliances. You may not be able to wash and dry at the same time (run both appliances) if plugged into 30-amp shore power.
All RVers know that space inside a coach has about the same value as beachfront property. The stack units consume slightly more than twice the space of a combination unit. Your lost space will not automatically result in wrinkle-free laundry. Sorry.
A Long Time to Dry
Combination washer/dryer units for RVs are compact and operate using 115V (your home unit uses 230V). This means that your drying times will be longer because the power to the unit is halved—but so what? You are home (in your RV) and your laundry can simply run in the background while you go to the mall, are watching TV, doing dinner, or just lounging around. Go to the store and let that laundry wash and dry. Who cares how long it takes? You don’t have to set there and watch it like you do in some laundromat. Okay, a stacked dryer load may take a tiny bit less time to dry since you are starting with a totally dry drum but the time savings is miniscule.
If you are getting an RV with a washer/dryer or thinking about adding one to your existing RV, get the Splendide combo unit. It is an efficient and easy-to-operate appliance that consumes the least space. Learn how to operate the unit. Attend Sandy Jones’ seminars and purchase her book.
[“Wrinkle-Free RV Laundry” ISBN 156870590-3, by Sandra E. Jones, is available. Click Here. Also note that this is the Second Edition and the book has been completely rewritten and expanded to help you.]
Perhaps the opening statement in Sandy’s book describes it best…
“Let’s dive right in. I wash…
Six pairs denim jeans, or
Four king-size sheets, or
Eight polo-type shirts
in one load using my combo washer/dryer in my coach.”
Need we say more?