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Question Of The Week

Big Response To Major Appliances In Truck Campers

I am considering a camp washing machine I saw advertised for tent camping.  I just have to create storage.  I once saw a Chalet cabover with a washing machine in the center island.  I thought that was the one with the fireplace also?  Cool idea, but I preferred the space of the Lance 1172.  No washing machine – yet.” – Todd Kiddee, 2011 Chevy 3500 HD, 2015 Lance 1172

“I don’t think so.  I’m guessing appliances would tether me to hookups, and that isn’t the kind of camping I want to do.  That said, if someone is living full-time with kids and dogs in a triple-slide camper with plenty of space, I say go for it.” – Anne Stauffer, 2017 Ford F350, 2017 Alaskan 8.5 (due in July)

“We spend our winters in Yuma, Arizona.  You are talking about appliances that are not found in many of the larger RVs we find there.

We have a chest freezer when we winter camp in Yuma.  To put this in perspective, my wife does all the dish washing, uses an automatic dishwasher at home and, when we look at new fifth-wheel rigs, refuses to consider one with a dishwasher.  I don’t even take my beloved Breville cappuccino machine when we go truck camping.

We respect that all sorts of people use truck campers for all sorts of camping needs.  However, our needs are too varied to waste space with these appliances.

Our first camper back in the seventies did not have an air conditioner, microwave, or generator.  Now we have determined that we want these things and are quite happy with that extra weight.

For winter camping, cross-country skiing, hunting, mountain bicycling, and hiking among our activities, we are quite content with what we have.  We cannot imagine a washing machine, chest freezer, or countertop ice maker in a truck camper.

When we started out, we had no cell phones, GPS, or computers.  Yet somehow we managed.  What we got tired of was spending weekends huddled in a backpacking tent high in the mountains with two boys while it rained 24 hours a day.  One time it was just a bit above freezing and everything we had was wet.

To us, a truck camper was a dry warm base camp for our outdoor activities.  We still feel that way.” – Michael Turner, 2007 Ram 3500, Stripped and rebuilt 1988 Lance

Bismi RV washer dryer

“We already use a washer/spin-dryer in the truck camper.  I have been using the Bismi washer-spin dryer for almost a year now and it works wonderfully.  It washes around nine pounds and spin dries better than our household washing machine.

I use cold water to do the laundry.  The large end of the washers flexible hose pushes over the end kitchen faucet and the used water drains into the sink.

Bismi portable washer-spin dryer

I start by attaching the small end of the flexible hose to the wash side of the machine.  I add the items, two or three tablespoons of laundry detergent and fill with water to about two inches​ below the overflow opening.  Then, I set the timer, sit back and relax.  When the machine stops washing, I turn on the drain timer and pump out the dirty water.  Then, I transfer the wet clothes and the flexible hose to spin side.

Washer and dryer in truck camper

I start the spin timer, and once the clothing starts spinning​, I turn the water on and count to 20, and then shut off water.  When the spinning stops, I put the clothes and flexible hose back to the washer side and add two to three tablespoons of fabric softener and repeat the process.  It sounds like a lot of work,  but it really only takes about a half an hour and you don’t have to hang out in a smelly laundromat. We only use it at campgrounds with full hookups.

Drying clothes outside camper

Jerry made a pole with a hook to hang the clothes outside.  When we are traveling, the pole is pulled out of the base and put in the camper.  The blue drying rack shown in the attached photo could be used anywhere, in or out.  All you need is a little imagination.

In transit the washer is secured with a bungee cord, and the flexible hose and the laundry bottles are stored inside it.  We put a small floor mat under the machine to prevent sliding.  Even when we had to hit the brakes the washer didn’t budge.  If ever I decide to use the oven, the washer is light enough to move out of the way.  During the winter I bring the washer into the house and store it in the laundry room.  It’s small enough it could even be stored in a closet.

I read a lot of reviews before I bought the Bismi washer.  I purchased everything on and it was delivered for free.  I like free!” – Jerry Bonneau, 1995 Ford F350 SD, 2002 Lance 1061

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