In this article you’ll find 5 options for drying clothes in a caravan.
We’ll show you pros and cons based on:
Ease of set up.
Size and weight.
[We’ll also let you know what we settled on for our family of 5]
Let’s get started:
1. A piece of rope: The best way to dry clothes if you don’t plan on caravanning much
This is what we used when we first started caravanning around Australia.
And it worked okay for a couple of weeks.
But to be honest:
It became a source of frustration.
I don’t recommend using a piece of rope for drying washing in a caravan.
(unless you only plan on caravanning for a few days a year)
- Very cheap
- Compact when not in use
- If you tie between 2 trees you’re almost guaranteed to get your clothes pooped on
- If you tie under your awning you only get 3-4 m of hanging space
- You need to know some specific knots otherwise it’ll loosen up and the line will sag (especially if you’re trying to get longer hanging space)
- If you do know tensioning knots, the tension plus the weight of the clothes can make small trees bend or break (your awning too)
- Some caravan parks won’t let you tie between their trees
- Rope and pegs can become a tangled mess when not in use
Would you get rid of this option altogether?
It’s worth keeping a piece of rope as a backup for when you have extra washing to dry
(like your caravan bedding)
2. Portable folding clothesline: The best way to dry your clothes while caravanning
We didn’t have one of these when we first started travelling…
…but noticed nearly everyone else did.
The moment we got one of these… I wished we’d bought it sooner!
A portable folding clothesline is our top recommendation for drying clothes in a caravan
(there’s a massive 15 m of hanging space)
- Lots of hanging space for it’s size
- Easy to set-up
- Position it wherever you want
- Can move it even when clothes are drying on it
- You can peg the legs down when it’s windy so it doesn’t blow over
- When folded it’s more compact than a normal drying rack
- Fine to use at home too
- Costs about $40-$50
Portable folding clothesline: We got ours at BCF but it’s cheaper to get the same one from Complete RV via eBay
3. Pegless clothesline: The best compact way to dry clothes in a caravan
We didn’t find rope to be a very good option for drying clothes in a caravan…
…but we’d still use it every now and again because the length would come in handy
(especially for towels and bedding)
The Slide n’ Dry Pegless Clothesline is like a better version of rope.
The same benefits, but with a few extra features.
- No pegs to lose
- Doesn’t get tangled up like rope
- Bungee cords so no special knots needed
- Easy to set up
- Ideal length for drying clothes under awning
- Compact (takes up less space than rope and pegs for same length)
- Need to find things to hang between
- There’s 2 m of hanging space per packet so you’ll need a couple
Slide n’ Dry Pegless Clothesline: We got ours from Caravanning With Kids
4. Camec Expanda Clothesline: The best no-fuss solution to hanging washing in a caravan
This can only be a good thing:
Having one less thing to mess around with when you’re hanging out washing.
Here’s where the Camec Expanda Clothesline comes in:
It’s mounted to your van, and expands to provide just under 7 m of hanging space
(that’s pretty much double the length of a piece of rope under your caravan awning)
- Really easy to set up
- Just under 7 m of hanging space
- Takes up no space when packed away
- Needs to be fixed to the wall
- Can’t reposition it based on the weather
Camec Expanda Clothesline: Best place to buy is here on eBay
5. Smalls hanger: The best way to get extra hanging space in your caravan
To be honest:
I don’t think this one is an option.
I think you’d be wise to get one of these IN ADDITION to the other ways of drying clothes in a caravan.
Firstly, depending on what you hang:
The amount of hanging space you get from one of these is actually more than a rope under your awning
Other than that, they’re:
- Can set them up almost anywhere
- You can shift them even when they have clothes on them
- We would even hang ours up in our caravan while driving
- You’re limited to the type of clothes you hang up
Smalls Hanger: We’ve got the PRESSA from Ikea (the Octopus). If you don’t have an Ikea handy, then you can get one from eBay
UPDATE: Jayco Camper Trailer Clothesline Modification
Now that we downsized to a Jayco Swan, I’m enjoying tinkering with it
[here’s a list of the 35 Most Popular Jayco Camper Trailer Modifications that I’m working my way through]
This Jayco camper trailer clothesline modification is 5th on the list…
…it cheap, saves space, uses the dead area under the slide out bed, and it’s out of the weather.
Plus, it gives 5.2 m of hanging space!
Summary: How we dry clothes while caravanning
After a bit of trial and error, our approach to drying clothes while caravanning is:
- The Portable Folding Clothesline is our main option
- We supplement this with our smalls hanger (the Octopus), and
- If doing towels or bedding, then we pull out our Pegless Clothesline
Now that we’re in a Jayco swan… it’s the Jayco camper trailer clothesline modification with our Pegless Clotheslines (and the Octopus)
Check out our article: Washing Clothes While Caravanning: The 5 Best Options