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Small Cabin Forum / Off-Grid Living / Laundry Options
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paulz
Member
# Posted: 10 Oct 2022 10:37
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We return to our city house a night or two week for shopping, medical appointments, the mail and laundry. I've been pondering getting a washer and dryer, got room in the well shack, water obviously and the 220v genny that powers the well pump. A dryer could be either electric or propane, a 20lb. tank ought to last awhile? Wash water would be cold only, unless I add a heater.

Wondering about other, less modern options. Not sure I want to hand wash in the creek, but maybe in a soap drum and rinse setup? Hang drying OK too, for fair weather at least.

For another option there is a small strip mall 10 miles away with a laundromat and a pizza parlor, good excuse for a night out. I'll bet the laundry machines are more than the pizza nowadays.

So anyone else doing off grid laundry?

kittysmitty
Member
# Posted: 10 Oct 2022 15:16
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I remember my grandmother used a wringer washer. Heated water on the wood stove and did a couple of loads. Still need power to run, but not as much as your modern day machines, and a clothes line or one of those racks inside.

darz5150
Member
# Posted: 10 Oct 2022 15:27
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We have a Panda xpb45.
We've had it for a few years. It really works well. It doesn't use a ton of water. It has a spin dryer that works great. And we power it off a small inverter/solar.
In the summer we hang the clothes on a line outside. In the winter we have retractable clotheslines and a couple of those collapsible wooden racks.

gcrank1
Member
# Posted: 10 Oct 2022 16:20
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Arent there washer & drier for upscale rv's?
Maybe pull unit(s) out of a wreck.
Of course the Amish have something but it might be too much exercise.....

travellerw
Member
# Posted: 10 Oct 2022 16:51
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I will second the Panda. They wash really well.

Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 10 Oct 2022 18:53
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I'll third the Panda! The spin cycle is amazing!

darz5150
Member
# Posted: 10 Oct 2022 19:23
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Quoting: Nobadays
The spin cycle is amazing!

It really is isn't it. Sure speeds up the drying time for sure.đź‘Ť

silverwaterlady
Member
# Posted: 10 Oct 2022 20:06
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How much of a load can one place in a Panda?
Can you wash queen size sheets or a comforter?
Do you add the water or is it automatic?
I’m trying to figure out a way to do laundry at camp as well.
I don’t have room for a full size washer. I would like a propane dryer just because I don’t want to have to rely on the weather for drying plus there is the lint issue. Sure don’t want all the left over lint on everything. Don’t like the stiffness on line dried items either.
I’m not going to do it the way my Grandmother’s did. They both had bad arthritis in their hands as did most women that had to wring laundry by hand.

Steve_S
Member
# Posted: 10 Oct 2022 20:31
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End of August, I bought a Comfee' 3.5 cf portable washing machine, uses 120V, energy efficient and works like a champ ! I wanted the bigger model so spent the coin on it. It's by Midea Inc.

I purchased it on Amazon.CA
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B09XH976S4/ref=emc_b_5_t?th=1

There are smaller models of course and even stackables.

darz5150
Member
# Posted: 10 Oct 2022 21:12
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Quoting: silverwaterlady
How much of a load can one place in a Panda?
Can you wash queen size sheets or a comforter?
Do you add the water or is it automatic?

I think most of the portable machines quote how many pounds you can wash. Which really doesn't translate into anything.
I've put in 3 or 4 pairs of jeans and a few t-shirts
Without a problem.
I know my wife has done sheets before. Not sure about the comforter. Each one is different.
The panda has a hose that you slip on the machine and on your faucet. Then you fill it up to cover the size load your washing.
There are many brands of machines available. But I can only speak about the panda. I wish I would've bought one decades ago.
They are extremely cabin friendly on water and power consumption.
They don't take up a lot of space either. Our bathroom is 48 sq. ft. We have a shower, vanity with a sink, water heater under that. Medicine cabinet, a floor cabinet with a counter top and also some wall storage. Oh yah. And a toilet. Lol

ICC
Member
# Posted: 10 Oct 2022 21:24
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I don't do laundry at the cabin; it gets taken home. But I do have a combo unit in the Bus/RV. It now about 10-11 years old. It is a Splendide WD2100XC. I believe there is a newer model but basically the same. Not quite 24" wide, it will slip into a 24" space. 120 VAC, 11 amps max.

I have done a queen-fitted and flat sheet plus 2 pillowcases in the same wash.

FishHog
Member
# Posted: 11 Oct 2022 07:58
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We use a 5gal bucket and a plunger. Hand wring and hang to dry

jhp
Member
# Posted: 11 Oct 2022 09:44
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Quoting: FishHog
We use a 5gal bucket and a plunger. Hand wring and hang to dry

I hardly ever need to do laundry but when I do I usually just throw everything in the bucket with water and soap and pop the lid on. Throw it in the back of the truck when running errands, or strap it to the four wheeler and take a nice trail ride.

Come back, dump, rinse, wring, and hang it up.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 11 Oct 2022 10:19
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Thanks for the replies. The Panda sounds good. I haven't been able to find the current draw. If it would run off a 2kw inverter I could possibly fit it in the cabin bathroom, maybe in the shower stall if I could move it easily enough to take an inside shower.

darz5150
Member
# Posted: 11 Oct 2022 10:37
Reply 


I believe ours can run off a 750 watt inverter. I will double check and let you know. I should still have the manual. I will dig it out and check for the specs also.

darz5150
Member
# Posted: 11 Oct 2022 10:53
Reply 


The inverter is an Energizer 500 watt.
The manual says.. 280 watts for the wash cycle. 140 watts for the spin dry cycle.
I got ours in Feb. 2016

paulz
Member
# Posted: 11 Oct 2022 11:22
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Wow that's amazingly low, thanks darz.

travellerw
Member
# Posted: 11 Oct 2022 18:05
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Quoting: paulz
Wow that's amazingly low, thanks darz.


Remember.. These are VERY manual machines. Nothing fancy, basically just a big agitator. No heater inside or anything like that.. However they clean amazingly well for what they are.

gcrank1
Member
# Posted: 11 Oct 2022 18:57
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Look online for the vintage Handy Hot portable wash machine. My mom had one in the old trailer we took to CA in 1955ish.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 12 Oct 2022 10:28
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Quoting: travellerw
Remember.. These are VERY manual machines. Nothing fancy, basically just a big agitator. No heater inside or anything like that..


I replaced the drum bearings in our washer in the city house. What a job.. It's also really nothing more than a motor and a belt. A good size motor though.

If they could incorporate a heater for drying in those Pandas that would be the cat's meow.

mj1angier
Member
# Posted: 12 Oct 2022 13:38
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Quoting: FishHog

We use a 5gal bucket and a plunger. Hand wring and hang to dry


Same but we use a 7 gal bucket and a round piece of cutting board with holes in it bolted to a handle. Works good enough for 4-5 day trips

silverwaterlady
Member
# Posted: 12 Oct 2022 18:43
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This is how badly I want to do laundry at our camp.
We drove two hours round trip to the only appliance store near our camp this summer.
Fortunately the young lady I spoke with lives off grid. She has a full size Whirlpool washer and a propane dryer.
The only way I can have these two items is for my husband to build a laundry shed.
With the cost of the shed and appliances we are looking at least 4K.
I suppose I could do the bucket thing.
Amazon sells a machine that spins laundry. Really that’s all it does. It spins so fast the items are almost dry. It costs approximately 185.00.

gcrank1
Member
# Posted: 12 Oct 2022 19:56
Reply 


Wash, then wring. The old dbl roller wringer squeezes most of the water out; dbl wringing even more. Doesnt take much to hang dry after that.
Use the solar dryer
Too stiff? Tumble them. Any old cast off dryer, gas or elec, with the heating disconnected so all it does is tumble with soften them up.

travellerw
Member
# Posted: 12 Oct 2022 22:51
Reply 


Quoting: paulz
If they could incorporate a heater for drying in those Pandas that would be the cat's meow.


You will be super impressed at how dry the clothes are after the spin cycle.. Just an hour or so in the sun and they are fully dry.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 13 Oct 2022 10:36 - Edited by: paulz
Reply 


Quoting: travellerw
You will be super impressed at how dry the clothes are after the spin cycle.. Just an hour or so in the sun and they are fully dry.


Plenty for sale on Craigslist around here. The $80 one is too far away, the NIB $175 one I could snag.

i guess many get them for temporary use in rentals or some such.
Screenshot_2022101.png
Screenshot_2022101.png


salarguy
Member
# Posted: 12 Nov 2022 07:07 - Edited by: salarguy
Reply 


Would there be any problem storing a Panda PAN56MGP3 Portable Compact Washing Machine, Cloth Washer indoors and covered, but unheated, where outside temps reach -10c?

Fanman
Member
# Posted: 12 Nov 2022 08:41
Reply 


At our cabin the laundry machines (full size washer and propane dryer) are outdoors, under an overhang. Both used from Craigslist, ~$50 each, though the NG to propane conversion kit cost another $50. I spray painted them dark brown so they wouldn't be so obtrusive.

We originally tried to get by without dryer until one very wet summer when NOTHING dried. We still use the clothesline in good weather to save propane.

When I was a kid we had no laundry, my mother went home every Thursday to do laundry and food shopping (and dragged me along to mow the lawn).

Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 12 Nov 2022 08:42
Reply 


Quoting: salarguy
Would there be any problem storing a Panda PAN56MGP3 Portable Compact Washing Machine, Cloth Washer indoors and covered, but unheated, where outside temps reach -10c?


There is no way, I have found to be confident it has completely drained, no drain plugs. We pump RV antifreeze through it. This is done by starting a wash cycle then using an rv pump to suck rv antifreeze out of the jug and into the washer. (If you don'thave a sparerv pump you could likely rig up a gravity feed.) Once a gallon of antifreeze has been run into the washer we then put it on spin cycle to expell the water/antifreeze mixture, we catch this mixture, which is probably 90% antifreeze and use it for winterizing the toilet and drains. In the spring we just run a wash cycle with no clothes to rinse the washer out.

Hope this helps.

salarguy
Member
# Posted: 12 Nov 2022 12:34
Reply 


Thanks NOBADAYS!
I should have joined up and asked at the cabin. I'm 600km. away from the cabin now so I'll have to try to groom a neighbor to try it. Adding straight antifreeze directly to the tub and waiting for rinse to finish wouldn't work, eh?

Fanman
Member
# Posted: 12 Nov 2022 13:14
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Quoting: salarguy
Adding straight antifreeze directly to the tub and waiting for rinse to finish wouldn't work, eh?


Not if there's still water in the fill lines.

That said, I've been successful winterizing our standard washer by disconnecting the fill hoses, then tipping it over and disconnecting the drain hose from the pump. Never used antifreeze.

For the dishwasher I put in this year, I hooked up the fill line to a water filter housing (with no filter cartridge); I filled the filter housing with antifreeze and used a small air compressor to push the antifreeze into the dishwasher while started, and then aborted the cycle to pump it back out the drain. We'll see how well it worked this spring...

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