When the washing machine doesn't work.

Submitted: Sunday, Sep 10, 2006 at 05:51
ThreadID: 122911 Views:5652 Replies:8 FollowUps:5
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We all have our favourite toys on our Bushtrackers. Some prefer Satellite TV, others breadmakers, Hi Fi, etc. My wife’s favourite is our built-in Lemair washing machine at the rear of our en-suite. It also doubles-up as a dirty clothes receptacle, and when full, a couple of washes have us clean & on the way again. It means that where ever we are, providing water is available, we can use the inverter to run it. When we are in civilisation it saves queuing-up at the caravan park to wait for availability of a machine. We also have small rotary clothes line that attaches to the A frame, and a pull-out line inside the van. When off road, we can use the WM in the morning, & fold up & put away clean & dry clothing when we stop in the afternoon. ---GREAT!!!

We all know the effects of corrugations, you know when the lids come off the mustard and the cocktail onions in the frig, and the screws that vibrate out & let the microwave make contact with the floor, and the top coming off the Thetford cassette ----YUK!!!

When this happened, a joyous cleanup resulted, and the rinsed-out cleaning items needed a bath. The Lemair filled up OK, makes all the familiar sounds, but the agitator doesn’t rotate. The spin doesn’t work either, only the fill & empty functions work!

Out comes the WM and surprise; underneath the machine are lots of missing sox, handkerchiefs, knickers etc. Corrugations also shake dirty clothes out of the tub, down inside the washing machine to the floor.

Anyhow, I found a singlet had wound itself around the motor pulley and had jammed the works.

Simple repair, remove the offending piece of underwear and re-tighten the drive belt, and we were away again, and the smelly things are no more.

Some of the joys of travelling on the brown stuff. – We still love it

Neil & Pat
A Bushtracker (or BT) is a "Boys Toy"

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Reply By: Noosa Fox - Sunday, Sep 10, 2006 at 18:08

Sunday, Sep 10, 2006 at 18:08

Your comment above "and the top coming off the Thetford cassette ----YUK!!! " reminded me of a similar experience a couple of months ago, so each time I put the cassette back in now I make sure the cap is VERY TIGHTLY screwed on.

You will just have to stop using singlets.

I take it that the clothing has found its way down the outside of the tub, because it had been stored in the machine while dry waiting for a suitable place and time to wash them.
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Reply By: sss - Sunday, Sep 10, 2006 at 20:48

Sunday, Sep 10, 2006 at 20:48
Interesting washing machine story. I have always wanted one but have a few reservations. Where does one buy one? How much? How much does it hold? How heavy is it? Would it fit in the shower recess. We have a 16 foot van so space is minimal. Love our Bushtracker. Happy travelling. sjf
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Follow Up By: Noosa Fox - Monday, Sep 11, 2006 at 00:46

Monday, Sep 11, 2006 at 00:46
We bought ours at a Caravan Accessory/ service place just down the road from BTi factory. I think from memory it was high $300s.
It weights 17 kgs.
Will holds about a 2kg wash, queen size sheet, pillow cases and Tea towels. The wash is very clean if you only put this amount in, as more fills up the bowl a bit too much we feel.
There is a web site for the machine that can be found with a google search that will give you all the details.
It would fit in a shower, no problems, but may depend on the door opening size that you have.

We had one of those buckets with the plunger that you have to turn. Took a lot to get a clean wash out of it. Just prior to our present 7 month trip we bought the Lemair and carry it in the back of the F250. Margaret said she was very pleased that we bought it and wished that we had of had one years ago. She says it is money well spent, and as yet we haven't had any complaints with ours. The only complaints that I have heard about them is the size of the wash, but there is a short cycle that does a good wash, so if water supply is no problem then who cares if you have to do a few loads. It is at the van with you so you can do other things while it is washing.
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Follow Up By: Black Cobra - Monday, Sep 11, 2006 at 12:05

Monday, Sep 11, 2006 at 12:05
Was in Qld at the end of July and ordered our 21' with lemair washing machine getting built in by BT. They are doing all the plumbing and taking the outlet hose out to the right hand side of the van.

What will be doing if we are relaxing around while the washing is going is have a large enough bucket to catch the final rinse water and then use this as the first wash for the next load.

I bought ours at a place called Deasy's in Maroochydore for $299 together with a LG microwave. They reduced it down from $350 and delivered them both for free to the BT factory. They beat Betta Electrical just down the road.

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Reply By: Kilcoy Yowies - Monday, Sep 11, 2006 at 07:01

Monday, Sep 11, 2006 at 07:01
We made a very good decision in having our Lemair washing machine (bought at The Good Guys) built in when we ordered our 21ft van. It beats going back and forth to the laundries in caravan parks and encountering laundry rage if you are late returning to your load.
I was also worried that the 2kg lemair wouldn't hold enough but it does hold plenty, and as Boystoy says, its a good place to keep the dirty clothes. I also keep the dustpan and broom and plastic bags on top of the machine beneath the lid of the hatch that conceals the Lemair.
It uses a fair bit of water but if you have your suction hose in a clean creek you can wash to your hearts content.
The suction pump and building in the washing machine are two features we are very happy we added.
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Reply By: gottabjoaken - Monday, Sep 11, 2006 at 07:43

Monday, Sep 11, 2006 at 07:43
Some questions occur to me about using the washing machine...

What do you do about the outflow of water?

What sort of detergent/powder do you use?
Is it biodegradeable?

How far from a creek are you if you pump water from it, because I wouldn't want to be letting any detergent on to the ground within 30 metres of a water course?

How do you stop you camp site getting soggy/muddy/unpleasant underfoot?
Do you use it in a caravan park? - only when they have a sullage drain?

I can check what water volumes the machine uses, but typically how many loads do you do in a session - how long does it take?

Ken and Joan.
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Reply By: Boystoy - Tuesday, Sep 12, 2006 at 06:25

Tuesday, Sep 12, 2006 at 06:25
Hi Ken & Joan,

Water outflow. We generally use our sullage hoses & direct the outflow to the nearest thirsty tree. We have always been in very dry locations, & the water disappears as soon as it hits the ground.(Lush green areas we have yet to find)

In caravan parks, we use sullage where possible, but a lot of parks in dry areas want you to water their trees or any grass they have.

Washing away from civilisation is generally limited to the essentials, and we usually only do one or two washes. We use common sense in regards to outlet water, & where necessary we catch it in a 20 litre bucket & carry it away.

Cycle time depends on quantity of available water, but is typically 30 minutes/ load.
When we have a build up, we may do 5 or 6 loads in a caravan park. This is usually done in conjunction with cleaning & maintenance after a spell on the brown stuff.
We use OMO, don't know bio-degradable aspects.

Neil & Pat
A Bushtracker (or BT) is a "Boys Toy"

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Follow Up By: gottabjoaken - Tuesday, Sep 12, 2006 at 17:38

Tuesday, Sep 12, 2006 at 17:38
Neil & Pat

that seem reasonable, thanks.

I just don't fancy dropping the waste too near a creek or water source.

I guess that it isn't really feasible to pump water from a creek any great distance, so it will probably have to be the bucket brigade to fill the tank/machine.

Joan and Ken
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Reply By: Burt & Mary - Wednesday, Sep 13, 2006 at 00:57

Wednesday, Sep 13, 2006 at 00:57
Would not be without the Lemair. We use BioZet environmentally friendly that cleans the clothes and leaves them with a good smell. Have a 3m hose to run water away from van. Bought another Lemair last week for $295 from Retravision as gift for son and daughter-in-law's caravan. Same price we paid 2 years ago for ours. Recently bought a pump to pump water to Lemair when parked next to clean rivers and dams and is a beauty. The solar fitter who upgraded and repaired our electrical system did modifications to the machine so it switches the pump on and off automatically when the machine needs to fill and shut off. Lemair is located in the back of the truck next to door opening and used in situ. Prefer it that way to space hog in caravan. Speaking to others who had it built in, some said next time they would do as we have.
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Reply By: Freewheelers - Wednesday, Sep 13, 2006 at 09:58

Wednesday, Sep 13, 2006 at 09:58
We're pretty happy with our Lemair, stored in cupboard adjacent to entry door, and lifted outside for use. Steve very kindly cut us a chequerplate base plate (for free) to sit it on when in use and in store.
I sometimes bucket in hot water from the shower.Use liquid detergent (Cold Power) I always recycle, (wash whites, spin/pumpout to buckets, park whites in a bucket then tip back the soapy water for a darks wash) It's not hard once you get into a routine.
The Lemair is a vigorous washer, I think tougher on the clothes than my F & P Smart Drive 601 at home, but certainly gets them clean.
For day-to day washing of undies and t-shirts, I use the HandiWash bucket available at all caravan/camping shows. Throw them in the bucket with a bit of Napisan and use hot water left after our showers at night. Give 'em a swish whenever you walk past and rinse,wring and hang in the morning, or next evening if you're on the move. We use the Lemair for sheets, towels and larger items of clothing.
I always catch the pumpout in a bucket, there's always another use for it, even if it's washing the 4WD.

Cheers, Deborah
Stephen & Deborah

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Follow Up By: Burt & Mary - Thursday, Sep 14, 2006 at 19:30

Thursday, Sep 14, 2006 at 19:30
"Lemair is a vigorous washer" are they?
never noticed washing our glad rags LOL
the Lemair is made in Russia so it should be vigorous on the clothes LOL
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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Thursday, Sep 14, 2006 at 22:48

Thursday, Sep 14, 2006 at 22:48
They have held up the best...
Mind you the lone Ranger will still look for a Laundrymat every week or two, and do all of it at once.... But in all fairness, I travel with a few in my Crew... And that little 3.5 kg toy is just that, a toy, if there is much to do...

I will have a meal or shop a little while it cycles, then come and read something while it dries.... But if you have to haul one around with you, the Lemair has the best record..

Horses for courses, hopeless in my wagon train, but.....

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

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Reply By: Tellem Bugrem - Tuesday, Sep 19, 2006 at 17:35

Tuesday, Sep 19, 2006 at 17:35
Hello all in the laundry!!,

Our Lemair is now about 2 years old, cost $ 295, and has now done about 100 washes. Average $2.95 per wash and getting cheaper!! We don't spend much time in caravan parks so most washing is in the bush. Pump from creek, and if distance too great, we have a 100litre rubber tank to cart water. Then a fish tub for recycling. Our Lemair is on the A-frame in a dust proof box.(see in Pictures under Tellem Bugrem). Tap on A-frame piped from tee in shower supply line.

If you buy one, keep all the foam and plastic packing and keep it in place when travelling....stops the bowl from wobbling around, and keeps the machine snuggly inside its aluminium box, which is built to the dimensions of the cardboard box it came in.

Cheers........Rob and Liz
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