There are many things that can be considered “convenience” appliances. That could include everything from a clock radio, to a portable dishwasher, but let’s not get carried away! Our minivan camper conversion doesn’t have room for even the smallest of dishwashers. But yes, there are portable tabletop dishwashers if you really feel the need for one. And if you pull a trailer, whose to say what you could put in there, if your really want it bad enough? You could even carry your own washer/dryer if you want it bad enough.
Do you realize that if you got an RV big enough for a washer/dryer that your gas mileage would go down to about 10 MPG or less. Typically they don’t put them in anything but the largest RV’s because there just isn’t room! But a van can easily pull a small trailer, and still get 20 MPG or better. I’ll bet you can’t even find one of those new streamlined diesel RV’s that has a washer/dryer AND a dishwasher and can still get over 20 MPG! That’s something to think about!
But if you feel that you just absolutely have to have a dishwasher, there are small units available that are only 18-inches wide, in both under-counter and free standing models. Or if you have plenty of counter space, there are also countertop models available. Some of those can even be built in under a range top, by eliminating the normal oven that usually is found there. I’m showing some examples below, but if you want to see others, you can do a search after you get to Amazon.
In my book, I said you had to think outside the box, and I meant every word of it! Maybe the concept isn’t practical for everybody, but there’s no reason it can’t be done! I have seen all kinds of washer/dryer setups in RV’s depending on the amount of space available. Most larger RV’s will use a standard sized “over-under” unit, with the dryer on top, such as is found in some homes. But one of the most compact combination washer/dryers is one like we purchased and installed in our 34-foot motorhome, and which came with our 40-foot motorhome.
We purchased the first one in the late 80’s, a Splendide brand (which is actually made by Husqvarna in Sweden) from Camping World. It was a high-quality unit, worked well, and was so quiet when it was running that we could hardly hear it, even when spinning. The one that came with our 40-foot motorhome was the same kind. That was over twenty years ago. Now there are more brands available and some are even smaller than the first ones we had. This little combo unit below is only 24-inches wide.
But if you don’t have room for even that size unit in your RV, then there are even smaller units available. Please keep in mind, that I am not advocating that you carry any of these in a minivan camper. But for those with slightly larger rigs, be aware that these kinds of things are available… if you feel that you can’t live without them! Again, I am only going to show you an example of each type that I think would work. There are many others out there! Just do a search for “portable clothes washer” when you get to the Amazon site, and you will see al kinds of them. Feel free to take your choice… or pass. It’s up to you!
A microwave is also a convenience appliance for most people, but some of us have gotten so used to using them that it is more like a necessity. And besides, we talk about that in the Kitchenware / Cooking section.
A toaster is “sort of” a convenience item, because there are other ways to get the job done. A mixer is also a convenience item, because a whisk works just as well. An electric knife is also a convenience item (unless you’re trying to cut foam cushions to size, and then they are a necessity!)
When you stop and think about it, most of the appliances that we have in our homes aren’t really necessities. People got along just fine for many years before these things were invented, and now we think we can’t do without them… but we really can. And even in our minivan camper conversion, you can still have all those things if you want them. You may have to put some of them in a trailer, but you can still take them with you if you’ve a mind to!
But I can assure you that once you get out there traveling every day, instead of sitting at home, you’ll find that you are having too much fun, and too busy with other things to worry about whether you have that electric knife or that dishwasher with you! Remember… the more “stuff” you buy, the harder you have to work to pay for it, and the less time you will have to simplify your life and enjoy it without all that extra junk! So don’t “ooh and aah” too much over all the “toys” I’m showing you! Yeah, they’re nice, but think about how many hours you will have to work to pay for them. Is it worth it?
With the money you’ll save by following our methods, you’ll have the extra money to be able to eat out more often, and not have to spend time “in the kitchen”. When you do cook, you’ll find out how to do it simpler, have easier cleanup, and more time to enjoy with other people and seeing the country. Instead of working on the lawn, the house or working two jobs just to come up with all the money it takes to maintain a lifestyle that is working you to death to keep up with it, we can show you how to get out and enjoy life!
But I digress.. where were we? Oh yeah… convenience appliances. I can sum that up in two words: TOO MANY! Buy because you need it, not because it’s convenient!