Can Airstreams Have Washers and Dryers?

Airstreams are on of my favorite RV brands, and it would be great if they had a washer and dryer. I was curiouse to see if they did, so I did a little research and here is what I found.

So, can Airstreams have washers and dryers? While you can install a washer and dryer in an Airstream yourself, or go get one installed through a customization company, Airstreams are not manufactured with a laundry facility.

While you can’t buy an Airstream with a washer and dryer fresh of the line, that doesn’t mean you are stuck going to a laundromat every time you need to give your clothes a fresh washing. There are ways to have a washer installed, and there are even ways to install one yourself.

Washers, Dryers, and Airstreams

I don’t think that I have ever been shy in the past about saying how much I enjoy Airstream’s products. Their campers are some of the finest out there and their sleek look makes them the envy of any RV park. Although they are pricey, Airstream is one of the greatest value buys out there.

Now, if only they had a washer and dryer.

The one thing a lot of people gripe about Airstream is the lack of laundry facilities on board. This isn’t so much of a problem for the weekender, but I know of plenty of folks that live on aboard their Airstream 24/7, and the absence of a washer and dryer can really be a headache.

A lot of other large trailers, like fifth wheels, will have a washer and dryer, but you just can’t find them in an Airstream. Shame.

So, in the absence of a washer and dryer, what is one to do? Well, you have a myriad of options, so let’s take a look at each one and examine their benefits and drawbacks.

The Laundromat

It’s not very romantic. It can be a pain to find one. Is there anyone left on the planet that actually carries change anymore? Yup, you know what I’m talking about. The classic on-the-road cleaner, the laundromat.

Laundromats can be found in just about any city throughout the country. They have a reputation of being shabby run down places full of strangers watching each other’s underwear float around in a metal box like some kind of weird movie.

Although a lot of laundromats are kind of crummy, I think they have an undeserved reputation and are worth considering if you need a quick wash on the road.

First of all, laundromats are everywhere, and I mean everywhere! Even small towns on the fringes of society are likely to have some facility that you can use to wash your drawers. You are already on the road, just drive an extra five mile and you are likely to find one.

Laundromats are also relatively cheap. With $5 a week you can wash and dry all of your clothes and quickly too. I know a lot of laundromats that let you use that is already there in your loads as well. That’s cheap and convenient!

Another great thing about going to the laundromat is how quick you can get everything done as well. Long gone are the days of laundromats packed to bursting with patrons clutching their sweaty socks, looking to pounce on the first machine to become available.

Everytime that I go to a laundromat there are only a few other people there, and I always find an open machine right away. Usually, I find a couple of washers available.

That’s my favorite part. I can wash and dry multiple loads of laundry at once, and be done within a couple of hours. That’s faster than if you had a washer aboard your Airstream.

If you have a family like me, then a laundromat is a great way to get things done fast. More people, more laundry, and I would rather not be slaving over a washer all day.

Of course, a laundromat isn’t all fun and games. There are a lot of unpleasant things about frequenting laundromats as well.

My least favorite thing is that a lot of laundromats still only accept cash. I always have a few dollars on me, but I never carry change, and if the machines are coin operated, it can be a pain to find some quarters.

Most laundromats have change machines where you can put in dollars and it will spit out quarters, but I can’t tell you how many broken change machines I’ve had to deal with.

But most laundromats are switching to some sort of credit card-operated machine so, hopefully, this won’t be an issue in the near future.

I also don’t care for doing my laundry in public. I always catch some weirdo staring at my boxers and it grinds my gears. Parading your underwear in a public place is odd, to say the least.

Not to mention the fact that if you lose any article of clothing at a laundromat, it’s gone forever. I shudder to think of the socks that I have left abandoned at laundromats and try to imagine where they are now. Hopefully a better place.

A huge drawback of going to the laundromat is that you are kind of stuck there while the clothes are washing. I dislike being tied to one spot with nothing to do, but I have left laundry unattended before and someone always removes it to get to the idle machine I was using.

I really don’t like strangers handling my delicates and I feel the urge to put them in the wash again if someone removes them from the wash.

Overall though, I think the Laundromat is a great option for washing on the road. Just make sure to bring a book to read while waiting for your clothes.

Here is a quick recap of everything discussed about the laundromat.

Pros

  • Laundromats are everywhere and readily available
  • They are cheap
  • You can wash all of your clothes fast

Cons

  • You usually need cash, and who carries cash?
  • You have to wash your clothes in public which, personally, gives me the creeps.
  • You have to wait around for your clothes to finish washing.

Installing a Washer and Dryer

If the thought of going to a laundromat still gives you the willies, you could always install a washer and dryer. The process is expensive but well worth it to some people.

There are two options when it comes to a bit of heavy customization like this.

  1. Hire a professional, or
  2. Do it yourself.

Unless you are a contractor or some sort of construction genius, I do not recommend installing a washer and dryer on an Airstream yourself.

I think you will find them very different than most traditional handyman jobs and are liable to screw up your beautiful Airstream.

Hiring a professional isn’t cheap, but will at least ensure that your Airstream remains in one piece.

Airstream customization specialty shops are hard to come by, only a handful around the country I imagine, but their work is professional and well executed.

Ultimateairstream.com, for example, will upgrade your Airstream with a washer and dryer and are able to do a whole host of other projects as well. I have seen some of their work and it is gorgeous.

Contact them, or any Airstream dealership and they will be able to point you to a shop nearby.

Other Washing Options

If none of these options strike your fancy then there are alternatives.

There are portable washing machines that can be plugged in and can handle small loads of clothes. These usually have poor reviews on Amazon though, and can’t handle too many clothes at once.

However, if you are running it 24/7 then you should be able to manage.

You could always buy a washing bin and do the laundry by hand. A lot of people don’t realize how long it takes to do laundry by hand. Hours. And I mean HOURS of time. If you like doing laundry for days on end and don’t mind the blisters on your hand, go for it.

Lastly, you can always pay someone 20 dollars and they will do anything you want including washing your clothes. I have used services like this before and my clothes always come back pristinely clean. Not a bad option. 

There are apps and websites you can find where people are willing to do oddjobs like that for you, so look there if you are interested.

Related Questions

Do Airstreams have bathrooms? All Airstream campers have bathrooms, and they are pretty nice as well. Bathrooms include a sink, toilet, and usually a bath/shower combo.

How much does an Airstream cost? You can buy Airstreams starting at around $40,000, but more realistically around $50,000. The largest models, like the Airstream Pendleton, can cost upward of $115,000.

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