Wash Day Blues!

A great Spanish Laundry

Wash day blues? Not me, I just love them!!

Call me strange, but I just love a good wash day, so much so that it’s become a bit of a standing joke in our household! Whenever we’re out on the road I’m on the lookout for a laundrette, it’s almost a sort of weird fascination, a bit of an addiction that I just have to have my weekly laundry fix! I can’t resist a visit to the Laverie, as I tend to call them, following on from many years of French travels where my obsession began.

I guess, for many though, the laundry is a bit of a chore, so fear not, as I guide those new to the workings of the Laverie through my most favourite ritual of the camper touring week!  I’m not one for hand-washing, so turn away now if you’d rather spend time scrubbing those smalls in the bathroom sink!

Wash conduct by Country and What to expect

France….The King of the Laverie, most towns have one and many actually have outdoor or portable types! Often at fuel stations or supermarkets, particularly in the more Southern regions and sometimes next to the Aire de Service de Camping-Car or Camper dump/fill area.  This means, we can fill up with fuel, empty the waste, fill with fresh and use the outdoor laundry at the same time….Genius!!

Germany…..I’m not sure why but our German friends just don’t seem to like doing their laundry in public! With little in the way of a Laverie on offer, we resort to having to book into a campsite or hope that a private Stellplatz (camper parking) has one on offer which can sometimes be the case.

Italy…..Wow the Italians love the Laverie as much as I do or should I say Lavanderia, super clean, super modern and very reasonable.

Liechtenstein….Not a laverie in sight!! When asking at the tourist office, I was told that there was no need as everyone has a washing machine!!

Austria, Croatia, Slovenia.….Have very few camper stops/Aires so at some point we have to use campsites and make full use of the campsite laundry room.

Netherlands.…Plenty of Private aires and Marina’s to stop at which are reasonable and often have a washing machine or actual Laundry for camper’s to use.

Spain.….Very similar to France and Italy, including some at Fuel Stations, brilliant and next to camper stops….The Lavanderia is just great!

UK….. Laundrette’s in most towns, otherwise it’s the campsite laundry room, with no Aire type system we’re usually on a campsite at some point.

Australia & New Zealand…..They just love a laundrette but they can be any age or condition and often with cold water intake only, but who cares!

Laundry
An Italian Lavanderia It Even Has Bilingual Wash Instructions!

The Nitty Gritty:

How long is a wash?  

Expect the machine to take 35-40 mins.

Is Washing Powder Included?  

Very often yes, it’s automatically pumped from the back of the machine but not always.

How much will it cost?  

This varies from between €4-€8 for Europe, $3-$5 in NZ & Aus and £4-£7 in the UK, depending on size and type of machine.

What size Machine?  

Anything from 6kg-11kg+.

Opening Hours

Often 7am-10pm for a Self-Service Laundry.

What is Self-Service?

It’s a laundry or outside wash centre with machines & dryers of various sizes, a pay station which is often coin operated, put the money in, select the machine number & programme required on the actual machine e.g temperature then press the start button!

What about the Dryer?

Various sizes and costs and varying effectiveness!  Often a set time of 10 minutes, e.g €1 per 10 mins, which takes 40-50 mins to dry fully, so expect to pay around €4 0r €5, some do have a set fee though for usually 40mins drying time.  Clean the fluff out before & after using too!

Useful to Know

  • A top loading machine is not uncommon, generally they don’t spin as well and usually need your own laundry powder…..that’s to be put in the tub before the laundry, by the way!
  • Australia and New Zealand have large communal washing lines on their campgrounds, so if the weather’s fair you can save on the dryer and help the environment too!
  • Most Aires won’t accommodate a washing line, so we usually make use of a tumble dryer.
  • We keep a tub of spare change for wash day, there’s nothing worse than finding the Laverie, finding a vacant machine then realising you’ve no change!
  • Most of our towels and clothing are quick dry travel type fabrics, which means less bulk, easier to store and quicker to dry,  hang inside the van and dry in a few hours.
Italian Laundry
A Great Wash day at the Lavanderia

 

 

 

 

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