The Washing Machine Adventure, Continued…

In our last installment of the Great Washing Machine Adventure (see previous post), I described the challenges we ran into while trying to find a replacement for a washing machine for our fifth wheel. After a week or more of research, shopping, and a lot of phone calls to line up someone to install the washer, we thought we were set.

Remember, all of this is to remind everyone thinking of trading a sticks-and-bricks house for an RV that THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING. “If you ain’t fixin, you ain’t RVin,” goes the saying, but a lot of people, hearing it, say, “Well, if you have a sticks-and-bricks house, you’d be fixing things all the time, too.”

But it’s not the same thing. Take getting a new washing machine. If you have a sticks-and-bricks house, you can walk into an appliance store, pick out one you want, have it delivered and installed.

Picking out an appliance for an RV and getting it delivered and installed is another matter entirely.

We thought we had it all figured out, set up, and ready.

The washing machine we’d ordered from the RV store arrived on a pallet, shipped from Texas to Nevada. We had someone lined up to pick it up and install it.


Bob called the man who said he’d be happy to take the job. There was just one problem: he didn’t have a pick-up truck. Despite Bob clearly saying we needed someone to pick up the washer at the store and bring it to our RV, the man now said he didn’t have a way to move it.

Maybe something happened to his truck in the interim, who knows? The only sure thing was we now needed to find someone else. A few phone calls later and we had that appliance tech lined up, but he was behind his work a bit and needed a few more days.

We called the store — we’d be delayed in getting our washer. “No worries,” they said.

A few days later we called the new appliance man back — he was sick. We waited a few more days, but by then we were sick, too.

Maybe all those days of sitting around watching old black-and-white Western movies, trying to feel better, made us stir-crazy enough that odd thoughts floated through our heads. It was on one of those days Bob got up from his chair and walked across the living room and kitchen to the few steps leading to the bathroom and bedroom.

Oh, crap.

There’s a doorway at the top of those few steps. We hadn’t measured it because we knew the washing machine we had in the closet had fit through that doorway. We’d ordered the washer and dryer added as after-market, so we knew the RV hadn’t been built around them.

But now we were suddenly wondering about that doorway.

Bob got out the specs on the new washer. He got out the tape measure.

A Quarter of an Inch

The new washer was not going to fit through that doorway. We examined the framing, but it was a pocket door on one side and the shower installation on the other — no room for removing trim to gain that quarter of an inch.

Poop-dammit, as Betty Rollin would say.

We drove to the RV store. “What about a window?”

Back we went to measure the bedroom window. Nope. Not even sideways would that new washer go through that window.

Lesson Learned

So although we’d carefully measured to be sure the washer would fit through the front door and into the closet, we’d made two critical boo-boos:

1. Forgot to measure the interior doorway it would have to fit through.
2. Assumed that because the broken washer had gone in okay (though our measurements showed it had been a very snug fit), and this one was supposed to be the same size, that it would fit.

We ended up paying a re-stocking fee, the store refunded the rest of the cost of the washing machine, and now we’re back to square one.

At least RV parks have laundry rooms!

About Ellen

Fiction writer and photographer, I travel the country with my sweetheart of a husband as a "full-time RVer."
This entry was posted in Interesting Stories, RV Parks & Lifestyle and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Washing Machine Adventure, Continued…

  1. So, maybe with age your RV shrank? No? How about going to your nearest local hardware business and buying a galvanized wash tub and a scrub-board? Here’s a couple of links on Amazon that should solve your problem:

    See, problem solved! And this system is very economical and environmentally friendly. And hey, how about that manufacturer’s name? Can’t be beat! 🙂

    Happy Trails!


    • Ellen says:

      Washtub and scrub board, eh? Well, we do know RVers who put their clothes in a tub with soap and let the motion of the moving RV do the work! Of course, one big bump and the interior of the rig gets a good washing, too…. Ah…. life on the road!

      Hope you’re well and happy!

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