Washing Machines

Submitted: Monday, Feb 12, 2007 at 21:41
ThreadID: 123319 Views:4299 Replies:4 FollowUps:5
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We are looking at options for washing machines for our BT. Has anyone had anything to do with Front Loaders for the van? Know about the Lemair but would like a front loader if possible. Weight seems to be a lot more, was hoping someone may have a front loader in their van? Thanks for any help.
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Reply By: Rockgoc - Monday, Feb 12, 2007 at 23:48

Monday, Feb 12, 2007 at 23:48
Hi there. We initially had a Lemair but found it too small for our needs. We now have an NEC NW 452. This is a 4.5kg top loader which is able to be run off the inverter, is light to carry, and takes up very little space as well as being a very efficient washer. We also wanted a front loader but found them to be huge in size, very heavy, plus they are very hungry in the power dept. hence you cannot run them off the inverter. We did see one couple at the Copeton 2004 rally with a front loader fitted into the rear of their Landcruiser, but at the time we were not in the market for anything other than our Lemair, so didn't take much interest.
Hope this helps.
Cheers, Jan O
AnswerID: 570578

Follow Up By: Sue & Jeff - Thursday, Feb 22, 2007 at 21:11

Thursday, Feb 22, 2007 at 21:11
Hi Jan. We have a 20' bt on order & I am interested in having a washing machine that has a bigger washing capacity than the Lemair. Your NEC sounds good, but where do you carry it? In the van or your vehicle. On discussions with BT, seems
like there is nowhere possible to fit this sized machine.

Does anyone have any other suggestions that might help please.
FollowupID: 847201

Follow Up By: Rockgoc - Friday, Feb 23, 2007 at 05:10

Friday, Feb 23, 2007 at 05:10
Sue we carry our washer inside the van and it is secured against the side of the yacht style bed with an occy strap and two hooks which Ian put in. We used to carry the Lemair in the ensuite but found it was a pain if we wanted to use the loo .
See the post further down in this thread for info regarding Bushtracker fitting an NEC to a van.
Cheers, Jan O
FollowupID: 847202

Reply By: TroopyTracker - Tuesday, Feb 13, 2007 at 23:39

Tuesday, Feb 13, 2007 at 23:39
Dometic have a little front loader. Have seen them built into a few vans. About 4 times the price of a Lemair though.

AnswerID: 570579

Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Tuesday, Feb 13, 2007 at 23:54

Tuesday, Feb 13, 2007 at 23:54
We have not had good results with this unit, like a 35 lb counterweight thrashing around, that needs to be fixed down.... Or it destroys the unit... Boggers: Unless they have changed the design radically I would avoid it. From memory it even says in its paperwork "Not intended for off-road use" or something to that affect.. Regards, Ranger
FollowupID: 847203

Follow Up By: Burt and Mary - Friday, Feb 16, 2007 at 06:42

Friday, Feb 16, 2007 at 06:42
Had a Dometic in previous van and easily summed up rubbish. Now have Samsung twin tub.
FollowupID: 847204

Reply By: FTP TRACKERS - Wednesday, Feb 21, 2007 at 02:31

Wednesday, Feb 21, 2007 at 02:31
Hi Rob,
We have a NEC 4.5 KG top loader in our 20FT BT, expertly installed by BT when the van was built. Great washer. nice and lite,have had no trouble in nearly 2 years of use, cost $370 at Hardly Normals.

Regards Ian.
AnswerID: 570580

Reply By: Freewheelers - Wednesday, Feb 21, 2007 at 06:59

Wednesday, Feb 21, 2007 at 06:59
Is it possible to recycle the water with a front-loader?

Cheers, Deb
Stephen & Deborah

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AnswerID: 570581

Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Friday, Feb 23, 2007 at 20:08

Friday, Feb 23, 2007 at 20:08
In all fairness something like that is possible, yes..... We have tried all kinds of things, since yachts at sea in the 1970's all the way to vans in Australia and camping in the 1980s in Australia... I went back last in 1990 to dispose of a major world cruising yacht, my last, and it did not sell until 1993.... Look, why I am saying this, is we have tried all kinds of systems, and in a nutshell it is probably not practical to battle.

IF, and I say IF, you were to try and wash with shower water, out of a holding tank, you are opening up all kinds of other problems. Soap scum builds up to about 50mm thick and rots with fungus, giving off an awful odor from the tank, the drain system would not work well as there is not enough drop, you would have to pump out of the tank, plumbing and pumps would have to be isolated for prevention of bacterialogical contamination, all in all it is fraught with too many problems.... That system is out...

I have thought of all means of increased water supply. Yes you can increase water supply by tipping your awning to run off into 20 litre pails, and I have thought of gutter systems and any number of other things... The one crude but effective method: You could of course collect the water used for the rinsing cycle in a 20 litre pail under the drain, and pour that back into the washing machine for the next wash cycle. That is a simple 50% savings... But anything else is probably not worth the hassle.

Trying to recycle water for the laundry any other way, is harder than you might think.. The shortest answer is probably wait to do laundry until you are somewhere that has adequate water supply... Even if you have to bucket or pump out of the creek or dam.

AND NOW A NOTE FOR NEWBIES AS THIS POSTING MIGHT HAVE CAUGHT YOUR EYE.... I am concerned that some of you might think you are missing something, so this is my analysis on washing machines..

As in all things, if we think it is not right we will tell you.. You do not have to do it our way, we will do it your way if iit is possible.... But we will be honest with you and tell you what we think.... And while we do put washing machines in, maybe one a month or every other month, we do not think it is worth the storage space and power and water they use; because Laundromats are springing up all over the Outback. The most common way to travel is with two weeks of clothes, and come out of the bush every week or two to town, and first thing you do is put the clothes in the Laundry at the caravan park or the Laundromat... You have to baby-sit them on the dry cycle, but overall not on the washing cycle... But that is the first step of coming to town to "party time", coming out of the Bush every week or two.

So, you can have one if you like, but..... They eat up a lot space, only do a tiny little load so you are stuck with 12 loads all day… Where three machines would do it all at once in a laundry… Anywhere you could run 10-12 loads all day with enough power and water to run that toy, you would most likely have access to proper washing machines in a caravan park or Laundromat in town… Neither of the Directors have washing machines in their vans, and my own personal van is 22' long. So in a nutshell, while we do put them in, we do not feel they are necessary for most... OK? Some people HAVE to have them for various reasons, but we do not feel it is worthwhile to drag around a small machine for the overall traveller...

For the very few, that are hooked up somewhere working longer term in remote Stations or something.. Makes sense. For a few that are phobic of laundries, OK, it makes sense, and there are a few more reasons to justify it... Newbies, the point is that I have travelled with vans since the 1960's and do not think it is part of the necessary gear to carry on board...

Regards, Ranger
FollowupID: 847205

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