Can you install a washing machine in a caravan?

In general, a mini portable washing machine can be installed in most caravan models. However, the most important factors to consider before the installation are the size, weight, power consumption, and power source as they will dictate where you can place the washer.

Washing machines come in different sizes and shapes. Therefore, you need to properly measure the available areas of your caravan to see which size is suitable.

The weight of the washing machine is also an important consideration.

If you plan on moving your caravan frequently, then you need to make sure that the washing machine you choose is not too heavy.

Furthermore, you also need to make sure there is an adequate water supply and necessary arrangements for a waste water outlet.

With that said, most modern-day caravans these days come with a built-in washer and are typically positioned near the kitchen.

Since the size of the washers in caravans is usually on the smaller side, they use a lower electrical voltage and can easily operate on batteries as a source to supply sufficient power.

These machines are not meant for everyday laundry, but they can handle small loads.

Compact washers are quite popularly used in caravans, RVs, camper vans, and other mobile homes.

Key Takeaways

  • You can install a mini-portable washing machine in your caravan after taking the right measurement i.e.., the height, the width, and the length of the machine.
  • You need to make sure that there is an adequate water supply and waste water outlet.
  • You can make use of a portable generator, battery, or solar power to fulfill the power requirements of the machine.
  • If you have a caravan that does have a built-in washer, you can opt for automatic washing machines with lower capacity. These machines are not meant for everyday laundry, but they can handle small loads. You can get them installed in a cabinet with the

Important points to consider before installing a washing machine in a caravan

When you’re on the road, there are a lot of things to consider when it comes to doing your laundry.

Here are some important points to consider before installing a washing machine in your caravan.

The capacity of a washer

The capacity of the washer is an important factor to consider.

You need to make sure that the washing machine you choose is not too big or too small for your caravan.

A larger washer may not be able to fit into your caravan, plus you will also have to deal with the power consumption issue.

So, always calculate the height and width, and then do some homework on the daily laundry requirements. Also, check the power source from which the washer will draw its power before choosing the ideal washer.

Water supply and drainage

Another important factor to consider is the water supply and drainage.

You need to make sure that there is an adequate water supply and a proper waste water outlet.

Weight of the washing machine

Another important consideration is the weight of the washing machine.

You need to make sure that the washing machine you choose is not too heavy for your caravan.

Some models may be too heavy and may cause damage to your caravan.

So, always check the weight of the washing machine before making a purchase.

The Installation cost

Installation can be expensive, not because of the washer per se, but because of the labor cost involved.

You will likely need to have someone who is qualified to install the washing machine in your caravan.

So, always keep these factors in mind before making a purchase.

Power consumption and power source

Power consumption and power sources are also important factors to consider.

You need to make sure there is a proper power source from which the washer will get its power.

With that said, don’t forget to check the power consumption of the washing machine so that you can get an estimate of the power bill and a suitable power source.

Water pressure and availability

In order to successfully run your washer, you need a good amount of water pressure and water availability.

If the water pressure is too low, it might damage the washer.

You should also check on the availability of water in your area so that you can be sure that there will be no shortage of water.

Space for storing detergents, fabric softeners, and other laundry products

Having enough space to store all the laundry products that you will need is always a good thing.

This includes detergents, fabric softeners, and other laundry products.

You should also have a place to store the dirty laundry until you are ready to wash it.

The drainage system in the caravan

Last but not least, you need to have a proper drainage system in your caravan so that the wastewater from the washer can be properly drained out.

In order to collect wastewater, you can either install a drainage pipe or use a portable container.

Installing a washing machine in your caravan can be a bit of a challenge, but if you keep these important factors in mind, you will be able to do it successfully.

How to get power back up for laundry in a caravan?

In most cases, the standard fixture in caravans does include a built-in power source.

However, you can consider a few power backup options for laundry on the go if the power source is not sufficient.

Portable Generators

Portable generators can be considered as a power backup option for the laundry. In general, most caravans that use washing machines consume less power compared to standard washers.

However, you can choose a suitable generator that can power your laundry as a backup source.

Generators often operate using fuel, transforming mechanical energy to generate electrical power that can power a few appliances on the go.

Also Read: Can a washing machine run on a generator?

Solar Power

More often than not, the rooftops of caravans are left unused when they could be used to install solar panels. These panels can then generate power for things like laundry or other needs.

Solar panels use sunlight to generate electrical power that can be supplied to your appliances, including your washing machine.

The power supplied by solar panels is DC (Direct Current), which is converted to AC (Alternative Current) power through an inverter, which becomes suitable for most appliances, including your washer.

You can easily move or park your caravan in places that can give you exposure to direct sunlight.

The excess energy generated by solar panels can be stored in solar batteries for later use.

Also Read: Can Washing Machines Run on Solar Power?

Common problems with doing laundry while traveling

While a well-thought-out washer installation can help you make the most of your caravan’s limited space and boost its aesthetic appeal, you still run into some issues on the road.

Here are some of the common problems that you may face while doing laundry.

Water shortages

One of the most common problems that people face while doing laundry in a caravan is water shortages.

This can be a major problem, especially if you are traveling in an area where there is a water shortage.

Leaking pipes

Regularly check the hoses and connections for any leaks.

If there is a leak, then immediately repair it to avoid the wastage of water.

Waste water disposal

Another common problem that people face while doing laundry in a caravan is the disposal of wastewater.

You should have a proper plan for disposing of the wastewater so that it does not pollute the environment.

Detergent build-up

If you are using too much detergent, it can build up in the machine and on your clothes.

You should only use the amount of detergent that is recommended by the manufacturer.

Lack of Storage space

If you find that you do not have enough space to store all of your laundry products, you can try to find a storage container that is specifically designed for storing detergents, fabric softeners, and other related products.

You can also try to keep the products in their original packaging, as this will take up less space.

Another option is to purchase smaller versions of the products that you usually use.

Tips for doing laundry while traveling in a caravan

  • In order to avoid water shortage, do laundry during the daytime and collect rainwater in a container for doing future laundry.
  • Keep your caravan clean and tidy to avoid attracting insects.
  • Use eco-friendly detergents and fabric softeners to avoid polluting the environment.
  • Wash smaller loads.
  • Dry clothes naturally by hanging them on a line or rack.
  • Fold clothes immediately after they are dry to prevent wrinkles.
  • Pack a small sewing kit to repair any clothes that rip or tear while you are traveling.
  • Install a solar panel along with a decent-capacity battery to power your washer and other appliances in the caravan.

Laundry hacks for Caravans

Be it a family vacation or a solo trip, caravanning has become a popular way to travel and explore new places. And one of the most important things to consider when planning a caravan trip is how you will do your laundry.

Here are some of the best and most effective laundry hacks for a caravan that you can use to make your trip more enjoyable and hassle-free.


If you lack space in your mobile home, then you must be using a common sink for both dishwashing and laundry.

Sharing a standard sink can help you save some space by eliminating the idea of installing a separate sink for laundry.

For easy cleaning of laundry, you can use a washboard over the sink.

Washboards are simply clothes scrubbing pads and are a handy tool that uses less space.

You can hang them over walls or store them in any corner after use.

You can choose one made out of wood, silicon, plastic, or metal. 

Portable bucket washing machine

You can use a portable bucket washing machine to clean your clothes in a very short time.

It is like a plug-and-play tool that is quite handy and portable.

Portable bucket washing machines are simply disk-like impellers that can be placed inside a bucket or sink.

These types of devices require less power to function and can agitate in forward and reverse motions.

Moreover, it can offer adequate spin speed in the process.

Instructions to use

  • Fill a container with water and add the required amount of detergent.
  • Place the portable washing disk inside the bucket and plug it into a power source.
  • Now load your garments and run the device.
  • These automatic rotating impellers also offer a few washing options and settings.

Portable clothes washing bags 

These bags include a flexible washboard with scrubbing nobules on the inside surface.

You can add a few garments per load, including water and detergent, to clean them.

With this option, you can save water and avoid laundromats, which will help you cut short on expenses.

Also Read: How to use Scrubba Washing Bags?

Airtight Buckets

You can use an airtight bucket to wash garments with ease.

Make sure it’s a round-shaped bucket, like a barrel.

Simply fill in the water to half level and add a suitable detergent.

Next, place your washable garments in the tub and close the lid firmly.

Now, lay the bucket down and roll it in a back-and-forth motion on the floor.

This will agitate the garments inside the bucket and clean them effectively.

You can follow the same step to rinse your garments by replacing the used water with clean.

Lastly, remove excess water and put your garments for drying.

Manual washing buckets

These types of laundry washing buckets come with a rotating disk inside the tub and a paddle-like handle on the outside.

You don’t need any special hookup for these types of laundry buckets.

They do not run on electricity or any other power source. You can run them manually using the paddles.

So, just load your laundry as you do in a bucket or washer by adding water and detergent, and start turning the paddle with your hands in order to agitate your garments.

You can turn them in forward and reverse directions to offer even agitation.

Mini portable washing machines

Mini portable washing machines are simply smaller units that can help you wash a minimum amount of laundry per load.

Most modern caravans have a cabinet near the kitchen area that houses these machines.

If you don’t have a built-in washer, then this could be a better choice for laundry.

Mini washers are capable of washing 2.5 kg to 3.5 kg laundry loads in a short span of time.

Some mini portable washing machines designed specifically for caravans may be installed on the walls to save space.

Also Read: Can Washing Machines run on Inverter?

Final Thoughts

People love caravans, so manufacturers are always innovating to make them even better.

If your caravan or RV does not have a company-fitted washer, you can always install it on your own.

It’s just that the installation and maintenance of washers may at times be on the higher side. Therefore, we recommend installing a washer only if you travel frequently, or else you are better off handwashing your clothes.

Handwashing techniques are always the best and most reliable method to keep your clothes clean while you are on the go.

So, if you want to avoid hand washing and yet want a better alternative, try a portable laundry device.

These devices are small and powerful enough to agitate smaller loads of laundry.

Since they require less power, you should be able to run them from the power outlet in your caravan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you plumb a washing machine into a static caravan?

Theoretically, it is possible to plumb a washing machine into a static caravan, but it is not recommended. Ideally, the washing machine should be hooked up to a faucet or a sink in the caravan.

Can a washing machine be installed anywhere in the caravan?

While you can install the washing machine wherever you want inside the caravan, it’s ideal to install the washer near the water supply source and the water outlet. This will make it easier for you to connect the hoses and plumbing.

How do you hook up a washing machine in a caravan?

To hook up a washing machine in a caravan, you need to connect the water hoses to the water inlet and outlet of the washing machine. You also need to connect the power cord to a power outlet. Once everything is connected, you can start using the washing machine. With that said, you may need to check the feasibility and compatibility of your caravan before installation. Lastly, the power source, height, and width of the washer are the key factors in selecting the ideal match.

Do caravan washing machines use a lot of power?

The power consumption of a caravan washing machine depends on the model and make of the washing machine. However, on average, a 3 kg capacity caravan washing machine may use around 230 watts to 1035 watts depending on the wash settings. If you use hot water settings, the power consumption will be on the higher side.

Manish Singh is an expert in electrical engineering with a Diploma in the field. With over 12 years of experience, he specializes in repairing music systems, washing machines, dryers, and other laundry-related appliances. His in-depth knowledge in electrical repairs and decent knowledge about garment care makes him a trusted authority in the field of appliance repair and laundry related topics. If you have any questions or need assistance with your appliances, you can reach out to Manish through email: manish.singh (at)