Washing Machine

Submitted: Monday, Aug 14, 2006 at 04:23
ThreadID: 122849 Views:6503 Replies:8 FollowUps:1
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We have a 20ft BT - bought new in 2000 - we are now fitting it out to take off around Oz for about 4 years.
We saw a BT at Oak Park races which had a washing machine under the bed - I think it was plumbed in.
Can anyone advise?

Also we want to install sensor lights, so that if any baddies come around, the movement will cause the light to come on.

Any advice?

Margaret & Norton

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Reply By: Turist - Monday, Aug 14, 2006 at 07:58

Monday, Aug 14, 2006 at 07:58
The washing machine is most likely a Lemair.
They are just the right height to fit under the bed.
We use one but lift it out and use it beside the van.
Only weighs 17 Kg so not a problem to handle.

"Do It While You Can"
Nobody is getting any younger.

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Reply By: Jaunty Jordans - Monday, Aug 14, 2006 at 09:46

Monday, Aug 14, 2006 at 09:46
Hi there,
Yep, sounds like a Lemair, and yep they are light enough to lift in and outof the cargo hold. Have seen them fitted and plumbed into cupboard in kitchen end but don't like the idea myself (fear of flooding) but certainly would be convenient.
We just get it out when needed and attach to tap on drawbar or other local source, plug in and off we go.
Great to have even in cps as you don't need all those coins!!!
We did however run into a nasty pasty in Adelaide who said he didn't like us using our own machine as he made money from the laundromat and if we had ourown machine others might follow. Can you believe some people??? No oneelse has worried about it.
AnswerID: 569080

Reply By: Bushtracker - Monday, Aug 14, 2006 at 18:15

Monday, Aug 14, 2006 at 18:15
M & N, You have sent email to Bushtracker on this, but I am answering you here, for others Benefit...

There are no "baddies" out Bush. They cannot afford to get there, if they were there the locals would sort them out. Baddies are in town and city living where things are easy and victims plentiful. I also do not know of any motion sensor lighting that will take the travel. You would be replacing them every two to six months... Passive Infrared lights are made to be stationary... We have not tried any that we can say will work, so you are experimenting on your own if you want to try...

If you are going to carry a washing machine, the Lemair is probably the one with the best track record.


Neither of the Directors have washing machines in their vans. Laundrymats are springing up all over the Outback like mushrooms after a rain. The Lemair is little and will take you all day of 13 loads to do two or three loads of a weeks laundry in commercial machines. Where ever there is enough water and power for you to do laundry, chances are there is a laundrymat around the town. Coins? By the time you feed the washing machine and generator for power, and break even on the money you would have spent in a laundrymat; buy the time you break even the washing machine and generator will be well worn. And you will have been working to do four times the loads over four times the time, at about a dollar an hour for your trouble... It does not make sense in time or money....

Some people are phobic about what was washed in the commercial laundry, if that is the reason? Wash hot, if machine is not clean, run a hot cycle first... I have never had any kind of a problem...

Fear of theft? If that is the problem, put in wash cycle, come back before it finishes and stay with it on dryer cycle... No one steal clothes in full wash wet cycle, not in my experience of using commercial laundries for over 40 years... A commercial Dryer is ANOTHER GREAT REASON to use the laundrymats.... Hanging out clothes in the dusty bush is a real drag...

END OF OPINION, DO WHAT THOU WILT, HOWEVER, da Ranger go no room for no bloody dinky little washing machine that takes 14 hours to do a weeks clothes... We travel with two weeks of clothes in the Bushtracker.... Time for shopping or a meal or something when doing laundry... It is the first thing we look for in a town...

Regards, lone Ranger...
"The Last Stand In Open Country"

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Reply By: Boystoy - Wednesday, Aug 16, 2006 at 05:10

Wednesday, Aug 16, 2006 at 05:10
Hey Steve,

Don't be so negative with the Lemair. I believe ours was one of the first fitted by Bushtracker in 2004.

We have travelled extensively on some of Australias worst roads and no problems.

My wife does not have problems with its size (will handle queen size sheets) and she wouldn't travel without it. She uses it regularly & doesn't allow to much build up of dirties.

Of course, when we have been away from easy water for a while, we use the laundromat or caravan park machines. But for day to day use its great.

We also use the machine when bush camping when necessary, with me doing a 'bucket brigade' to the suction line on the A frame, & using the inverter to power the machine. (beats pounding the washing over a flat rock in the creek)

We have our machine installed on a shelf behind the shower & over the rear slope.
This meant deleting the wash basin from the ensuite, & moving the hot water service. OK when the van is being built but probably not possible on an existing van.

There have been no problems, and it keeps SWMBO happy.

Do it!!

A Bushtracker (or BT) is a "Boys Toy"

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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Wednesday, Aug 16, 2006 at 16:36

Wednesday, Aug 16, 2006 at 16:36
Well, thank you Neil,
And I am not negative on the Lemair.... However, note one thing, the views I present to the Forum are based on how the weighted overall average are traveling. There are always exceptions to the Rule I present. I give the overall view on things from the perspective of the 1000, OK? It is all about guidance, the best I can do, for the overall weighted group. And the point is that neither of the Directors have washing machines in their vans, and with laundrymats springing up all over the Outback, I do not think it is necessary equipment. An option for some, but not a necessity for most, OK? This is about my best guidance of what you can take vrs what you need, and this is not in the need category for newbies that do not know what the priorities are for this Lifestyle. There will ALWAYS be exceptions..

For instance, when someone asks what size of van for full time travel is adequate. I deal with the long term travel of the 1000, and I know that for most about 19' is probably the major happiness quotient of a minimum size. That does not mean that 16' is wrong, it just means that it is wrong for the far and above majority. There will be a group of a half dozen or so that are successfully traveling full time in 16'. Original Owners in 16' that travel full time, what maybe 3 I can think of ? Or less? Most would sell them on, as they lack storage and room for enough Lifestyle to be happy for long term travel.. There will be ten times more than the happy few, that came back for a larger van, or would like to... So, I say to Clients that for full time travel the success rate in a 16' is something less than 25%.

OK Neil? To be fair, my advice is based on the overall weighted view, and I would not say that for MOST, the loss of storage space and such is worth carrying around a washing machine. That does not mean I am down on you for doing it, it means I am giving an overview of guidance for the majority of Newbies, and I do not rate a WM up there in priorities... Fair Enough?

Ranger, trying to give the best guidance for the Newbies possible...

I may go to Hell, but it won't be for lack of trying to do the right thing....

Semper Fidelis...
"The Last Stand In Open Country"

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Reply By: Tellem Bugrem - Wednesday, Aug 16, 2006 at 18:09

Wednesday, Aug 16, 2006 at 18:09
Hello M & N,

We have had a Lemair for 6 months of travel over the past 18 months. It cost $295 and has paid for itself through not having to pay laundromat or CP Laundry fees.

It is mounted on the A frame in an aluminium treadplate box which drops over the top of the machine and tightened down with two adjustable pull down toggle hitches. It sits on a rubber mat and this makes the box completely dustproof. Obviously if you let the washing stack up, it is going to take a long time to complete the job, so the trick is to wash more frequently.

We have used it in CP's, one of which advertises that private washing machines are not permitted!!. (we ignored this stupid rule). But, mostly we use it in the bush when water is available. We pump out of creeks, or find a tap in a town park or service station to fill our tanks or 100 litre bladder, or, direct to the machine. If there is a shortage of water we recycle the used water.......collect it in a fish tub and then pump back into the machine.

Of course, there are negatives in the procedure, as Steve has pointed out, but what price do you put on self-satisfaction and pride in your own ability to be self sufficient?

If you are going to go this path, make sure you keep the packaging, including the top and bottom foam inserts that keep the bowl in place whilst in transport. The aluminium box was designed to fit neatly over the foam slabs.

As for Baddies in the bush, there are more baddies in cities, towns and caravan parks than you will ever find in the bush. We have had possoms, rodents, kangaroos, dingoes, cattle, sheep, rabbits, hares, feral cats and foxes come near our van at night in the bush and I wouldn't want security lights coming on just for them!! We always try to "burrow in" at bush camps well out of town and, if possible, out of site of the road.

Happy travels....go Lemair....and stuff the baddies.

Rob and Liz

AnswerID: 569083

Reply By: MEG & Capt Norty - Wednesday, Aug 16, 2006 at 19:16

Wednesday, Aug 16, 2006 at 19:16
Many, Many thanks for the advice re the washing machine. Lone Ranger, you may always be faithful (semper fidelis) to your cps; but I agree with Rob & Liz, Neil, Prue and Bob - having a WM on board will be a necessary luxury and most welcome.

As for being a newbie - Not exactly - towed a 30fter around with an Ford LTD in the '70s with 3 kids (in various gestation periods at the beginning) for years - in outback NSW - rarely in cps. (and had to beat the clothes over the rocks in the creek !! - no disposable nappies in those days)

Now in the 2000's can't wait to take off in the BT with all the luxuries we can fit in.

If anybody else knows of some great idea to make life easier, please give us your advice. The BT owners at Oak Park Races had a great rig (bought 2nd hand 2 years ago); and have done heaps of mods - best one was the pull-out pantry shelves in the cupboard next to the fridge. So we have been beating a path to Bunnings and Howards for the necessaries for those mods.

Very grateful for all your advice. Can't wait to meet you all on the road.
Margaret & Norton

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Reply By: Noosa Fox - Saturday, Sep 09, 2006 at 06:22

Saturday, Sep 09, 2006 at 06:22
We have a Lamair that is carried in the rear of the F250 and has been used quite a lot in the last 6 months of travelling.

We have found that it is rather thirsty for the amount of washing that it can do in a load, but the cleanliness of the wash is second to none, and the lint filter is excellent.

Where they really come into their own is for travellers who have all the time in the world to travel, not like the BTi directors who have to fit into shorter time frames. For instance, we spent 4 days camped on the Gibb River with ample clean water in the river and a generator to back up the solar if required, and in circumstances like that they are excellent.

We have however been forced to use caravan or laudromat machines when time was short.
Enjoying the friendship of BOG members

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Reply By: MEG & Capt Norty - Saturday, Sep 09, 2006 at 21:45

Saturday, Sep 09, 2006 at 21:45
Hi Brian and Margaret
The WM question was posted on the day we became Boggers - although we have had a BT since 2000 - but not much time to travel. Come March 2008 we take OFF, so are really getting serious about the luxuries we can add to make life easier. Have a few more short trips planned in between.

Rob & Liz gave us some good tips on how to secure the WM when travelling. And someone mentioned a tap on the drawbar (sounds very handy) to fill WM.

Howards Storage in Cairns think we are their best customers. We now have pull out shelves with locks, in every nook and cranny. No waste space.
Margaret & Norton

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