Being full timers in our RV, we really wanted to have a washer/dryer installed. Laundromats are fine, but for us, it makes it feel more like home when you can hear/see the machine running. I’m not sure why that makes a big difference, but it does.
We went with the Splendide 2100XC. We debated on a stackable unit, but decided on the combo washer/dryer. The stackable’s advantage is that you can wash and dry at the same time, roughly cutting an hour off of the total time to do one load. The combo does a complete load in 2-2.5 hours. We chose the combo so we could have the extra space that a stackable would take up. We still believe it was the right decision for us. If we had to do laundry for more that just the two of us, we probably would have chosen the stackable. The other choice we had to make was the vented or ventless option. Through lots of research, we came to the conclusion that the vented version would cut up to an hour off a complete cycle. Since I’m not afraid to drill holes, the vented option was the way to go for us. We also ordered the Splendide RV exterior vent kit. Everything needed for the install was included, however, the vent hose was only 2′, so I did have to go buy one from Home Depot, because I needed about 3′.
The install is pretty easy. The hardest part is getting the washer/dryer in its location. I did it by myself, but honestly, lifting it from the outside to the inside was 99.9% of my capability. I removed the unit from its shipping box, but I kept the plastic wrap on, which protects the unit and the RV from scratches.
Our bedroom is in the front of the RV, up three stairs. I measured any area that my path would take while moving the unit, to make sure there weren’t any unexpected surprises. Everything was wide enough, except for the area between the foot of our mattress and the dresser. The bed lifts up for underneath storage, so I just propped it up in the open position and that solved the clearance issue. Once up the stairs, it was hard to slide it on the carpet because of the unit’s rubber feet. I grabbed a towel and spread it out flat under all four feet, then I could use the excess towel as a pull handle. It then slid easily.
The next part was by far the scariest part of the whole adventure, cutting the hole in the side wall for the vent. There were no markings on where to drill, and even if there were I would not have trusted them. I have seen several installs where they drilled on the X that marked the spot, only to have a stud be right there. I used a stud finder. At first, I didn’t think it was going to work, I kept getting all sorts of false readings and errors. Then I figured out that if I held the stud finder about an inch off the wall, it worked perfectly. I made sure to sweep both left and right, then up and down, to make sure my area was clear. Before I drilled from the inside out, I tried to guess where the drill would poke through on the exterior. I saw one install where it came through right next to the front cap, and he had to redrill it. Because of this potential, I used just a drill bit, not the hole bit, to drill the pilot hole. After I drilled the pilot hole, I went outside to see where it cam through. Since I am putting the vent just above the floor, I expected it to be about 6″-8″ from the bottom of the 5th wheel overhang, but its much higher than that. Not a problem, it just kind of caught me by surprise.
So now that the pilot hole is drilled through, I put on the 4″ hole saw bit and proceeded to go for it. My drill has an adjustable clutch on it, so if the bit grabs hard all of the sudden, rather than rip my arm off it the clutch will just slip. If your drill has this option, I highly suggest using it. Drilling the hole was uneventful, which is how you want it. Once I had reached the final exterior wall, I stopped drilling from the inside, went outside, and finished the hole by drilling from the outside in. I’m not sure, but I am guessing it made a smoother cut on the outside using this technique. I know it works for wood, so I’m assuming it is the same for fiberglass.
Now that the hole is done, you’re almost done. Simply install the vent, using your waterproofing caulk of choice. Then go inside and hook everything up, it is identical to a sticks and bricks house. I did the vent hose first because the spacing for me to work back there was limited. Then I attached the hot and cold water sources and turned them on to check for leaks. Then put the drain hose in the drain tube. Then plugged her in. The manual calls to do a full load cycle before you do any laundry. After that, we did our first load and have been in love with it ever since.
If you’re debating it, do it. You may read that the clothes come out wrinkled. Sometimes this is true, sometimes it is not. Load size has a lot to do with it. If my biggest problem that day is that my jeans may have some wrinkles, I think I’m having a pretty good day.
Hope this helps!