2015 Summer Journal

Bus Life: Camp Laundry

I mentioned yesterday that we were working on getting our feet back under us – cleaning the bus, organizing the gear, getting back in the swing of things. One of those tasks was laundry. Surprisingly to me, lots of people ask what we do for clothes & laundry on the bus. It’s pretty simple, but since you asked…

First, we don’t have an overwhelming amount of clothing. Each of us has a drawer that’s about 2′ x 2′ x 18″. For me that fits about four pairs of jeans, two pairs of leggings/sweats, a bunch of athletic shorts, and ~15 different shirts. (We also have a big bin of sweatshirts & jackets under the bed, because they take up too much room for the drawers.) I’m not sure of Will’s breakdown, but it’s similar. We each have a “fancy outfit” stowed away but we generally dress casually. This amount of clothing can get us through two to three weeks without laundry, if we’re careful, but we use absolutely everything. 

“Absolutely everything” – my clothes, will’s clothes, towels, sheets, other linens – roughly equates to one very full-to-overflowing IKEA shopping bag. The IKEA bag is great because the handles are tall, so you can stuff it very full, but it has some shape to it your folded clothes don’t get all jumbled, like they would in a traditional mesh laundry bag.

Knowing that I had 2-3 loads of laundry to do before we had to be out of our campsite at 11am, I headed over to the laundry room at 7 to be the first one in. Campground laundromats vary in niceness, and this KOA was bare bones. Four washers, six dryers, (one of each out-of-order) and lots of lint and dust. I monopolized the three unused washers and went on my way.

The greatest thing about the laundromat is getting all of your laundry done in one go. If you’ve lived somewhere without a washer/dryer you know what I mean: a stack of dirty clothes that would take a single household laundry room a week to get through is done in two hours at the laundromat… like magic!

Of course, it’s all dependent on the fact that you time your laundry. These washers didn’t have a timer on them so I came back in about 30 minutes. They were done (and really couldn’t have sat for more than a few minutes) and the laundry room was full of older women who were very grumpy that I hadn’t been there to remove my laundry right at the moment the washers stopped spinning. Whoops!

The rest of the process went fine (I won’t bore you with the details.) I’ve found that I’m a much more efficient laundry doer on the bus: everything gets folded and put away immediately, rather than hanging around, unfolded, until it’s dirty again.

That’s it – we do all of our laundry at campgrounds and laundromats, and it’s not even that bad. Do you have questions about life on the bus? Leave them in the comments!


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