Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
We've been on the road traveling in our new rig all summer. We love 99% of our travels, but there are a few chores that are inconvenient. My wife and I share the laundry duty. We wish we had a washer/dryer in the fifth wheel. Finding a clean, organized and reasonably priced laundromat with working equipment is not easy. My wife wants to buy one of those small manual units that look like a miniature cement mixer. I have not convinced her that a small unit like that is not the solution to our frustrations. It looks like a toy that might wash a couple pair of underwear at a time. My interest was piqued by the guy who wrote you about his "Travels With Charlie" method of a bungee cord hanging a plastic bucket full of wash in his pickup camper. Both of these ideas sound like a lot of hand twisting to me. Do you have any other suggestions that could eliminate our need for finding a decent laundry every couple weeks?
--Shouting it out in Ouray
Dear Twist and Shout:
Having your own washer and dryer sounds practical, but most are small units that have you doing loads constantly. Don't beat yourself up about not buying a rig with a laundry room. Although they can be convenient, I think you will be better off if we work on your head a bit. It's all about attitude. Stop thinking about the laundry as a chore. Make it part of the adventure. Make it an opportunity to meet new and interesting people, learn about local activities, and listen to local gossip. As for finding a squared away establishment that is clean, maintained and friendly, NO PROBLEM! There's and App for that. It's not just an Apple commercial. There's an App for everything now. The laundry App is free. It should take you a long way in the process of finding the kind of atmosphere you are looking for. It's not like you have to find one every day. You have plenty of time to search out an excellent spot between loads.
The plus side of the laundry ledger would include tons of magazines to read. While you are waiting for your underwear to dry, you can educate yourself about hundreds of subjects. Popular Science may even have an article about some new "Space Age" material that will soon make washing clothing obsolete. Check the bulletin board for job opportunities, free kittens and puppies, and get rich quick schemes. I use the opportunity to ask locals about the best places to eat, camp, hike, and shop.
I'm not suggesting you can't get the same results with small washing appliances but by the time you twist, shout, shake, rattle and roll you will be time and money ahead going to the local watering and suds hole.
If you are just getting started, you might want to check out your computer's App store. There are Apps for finding gas, propane, camping, dump stations and anything else you may need. But be careful and speak plainly when talking to locals. I went into a gas station in Estes Park, CO and asked if they had propane. The girl behind the counter whispered to me, "Cocaine? Come back on Tuesday."
You should also check out the RVBOOKSTORE for informative informational material.
--Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink