Life in the Airstream: Laundry by Amanda

A lot of people ask us what it feels like to actually live inside the Airstream full time. I decided to start a new set of posts to share with you what it’s like to live day to day in our moveable home that is around 180 square feet. Hopefully you’ll find these posts informative, interesting and funny.

Let’s first tackle laundry. Doing the laundry is a fun chore (eye roll) when you live in a traditional home, and it’s even more fun on the road. When we started our journey, we invested in a portable “washing machine” called the Laundry Pod. It looked like a salad spinner, but bigger. It works like this……You were to put in about 15-20 clothing items into the center basket, add water and soap, and then crank the top for about 5 minute to spin the clothes. You then had to drain the water, add new water, and crank again to simulate a rinse cycle and drain again. And then crank the living hell out of it for another 5 to 10 minutes to attempt to recreate a spin cycle. Tabatha and I used this device twice. Both times it took over forty minutes to “clean” the clothes. I used airquotes there as the clothes really didn’t seem clean. They seemed like dirty clothes that were just really wet. And the 15-20 clothing items the box said you could put in the salad spinner was a joke. I guess you could put 15 infants socks in the pod but all it could really hold was a shirt or two, maybe a pair of shorts and a pair of underwear. The amount of effort, and water, used for this endevour was just not worth it, so we donated the Laundry Pod to a Goodwill almost a month into the trip!

So how do we do laundry? Well, a lot of time our loving friends and family will let us do laundy for free at their house, and when that happens, we take full advantage and wash everything…. sheets, towels, curtains, clothes, everything! But we often go long stretches without being in a home, which means we need to do laundry at campgrounds or laundry mats. I have to research when we’ll be in a place with laundry services so that we know how long, a week, possibly two or three, before we can tackle laundry. This means making sure we have enough underwear and socks to last us to the next wash. There are countless times when Micah ends up wearing his sister’s socks! We often wear things two, three or four times before we wash it, and you’d be surprised how Febreeze can make a big difference!!

We save our quarters and often do laundry at the campgrounds. In Louisiana, the State Parks had free laundry facilities, which was an amazing perk! Traditionally most State Parks do not have laundry facilities and we have to wait until we are at a privately owned campground, like a KOA, in order to do laundry. I usually end up doing two loads of laundry ever two weeks, and it can cost between $3.00 to $6.00 per load, depending on where we are. Quarters are like gold now and any quarter we come upon gets put in the quarter jar for laundry!

You meet a lot of interesting people while waiting for the laundry. I like doing laundry because I can often bring a book and get some much needed alone time. There have been times when you start folding and realize you just folded underwear that did not belong to anyone in your family! But that occurence is very rare.

Since space is at a premium, we keep our dirty laundry bag in the shower. We don’t have room for a laundry basket, so I use these great large tote bags from Thirty-One. They can hold about two loads of laundry. I throw all the dry clothes into the tote, fold everything, and then put the clothes back in the large totes to cart them back to Silvia. Once I’m done, the totes fold down and store perfectly under the bed. It’s a perfect storage tote and I love them!

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