Washing your clothes in the RV is one of the major conveniences of having an RV. You can avoid a laundromat and your own private place to clean up and refresh your clothes. Go ahead and watch a movie or make dinner while you are washing clothes instead of sitting and staring at something while at a laundromat.
A stackable washer and dryer can definitely do the trick. While not especially unique in their ability to wash or dry, they are built to be stacked and save space. The question is: how do you install these?
Most stackable washers and dryers have their own hardware kit to install them. The next challenge is getting the washer and dryer into your RV and physically lifting the dryer onto your washer. Read below for more details and how to do this.
What is stackable?
Not all washers and dryers are quite the same. A stackable washer and dryer are typically built in a way that them possible to stack.
- Stackables tend to be designed with weight in mind. They might actually be smaller and more narrow than a full sized dryer without having a huge impact on load capacity.
- They almost always have pre-drilled holes in the housing of the machine. These holes allow for screws and a bracket to be placed.
Nearly all stackable washers and dryers are sold as such. They might also be listed as for an RV. Buying separate washers and dryers and stacking them yourself is possible, though not really recommended for the purpose of this article.
As far as efficiency and power goes, stackables and traditional side by side washing machines generally have the same abilities.
How do I get them stacked
The first and most important thing to do even before buying a stackable is to ensure you have space. This is probably going to be your most vertical appliance. Just ensure that the area you want to install has the depth and height to place a pair of appliances.
When installing, one of the trick parts is to have the back of the appliances exposed in some way. Another option if you are physically able is to squeeze into the area behind the appliance.
Before actually lifting one appliance on another, you’ll want to install the bottom bracket.
At this point, you should have the hardware already, so here we go.
- Get your hardware. This will typically be two brackets and at least 4 screws. Put the hardware anywhere but the top of the washer.
- Get a screwdriver. We actually recommend a short one, especially if you are going to be putting the screws in near a wall. A shorter screwdriver will be easier to turn and hold in that situation.
- While yours might come with specific instructions, you’ll typically want to line up the bottom part of the bracket with the pre-drilled holes on bottom.
- Start with your washer. Your washer typically wears more than your dryer. Your dryer will be easier to lift.
- Using a screwdriver, screw the bottom brackets into your washer. Which is the washer bracket? The dryer part of the bracket usually comes out a bit more. So if you place the bracket against the washer, the other end of the bracket should be out an inch or two.
You should need to do this twice, one for the left and one for the right.
How do I lift my stackables?
There’s no “I” here. A typical dryer weights over 100 pounds. Get someone else to help you! You’ll want to lift from the sides of the dryer and place it straight on top of the washer.
Remember to lift with your knees and not your back. Given the dryer’s weight, get the dryer as close to the washer as you can before lifting.
While it’s possible to “slide” the dryer back, you might scratch a surface – if you care!
Appliance lifting “bands” that go around your waist could be helpful in this scenario as long as you can lift it high enough.
At this point you shouldn’t need to hold the dryer in place atop your washer. You can let it go so long as the entire surfaces are touching. Don’t worry, these are designed to sit on top of one another.
Finishing the installation
With the dryer on top of the washer, get the rest of your screws ready along with your screwdriver. Hang tight won’t cut it in this case.
- Align the brackets with the pre-drilled holes for your dryer. You should be at an angle where you can see through the holes in the bracket.
- Screw the screws into these holes. To keep things aligned, consider doing one screw into a right bracket then one screw into a left bracket.
- Complete screwing them in until you are out of screws.
If you weren’t already in the right spot with your stackables, you can now slowly slide the machines into the right lace. You are unlikely to be able to physically lift both, so gentle sliding them side to side should suffice without endangering your muscles or anything else around you.
You’ll want to leave some space to plug your washer and dryer in of course, and add venting if necessary. Stackable washers and dryers typically need some amount of venting so leaving enough room for a flexible aluminum tube might be necessary.
Can I put the washer on top?
It’s possible, but we wouldn’t for a variety of reasons.
- The washer weighs significantly more. While it’s possible for the dryer to hold the washer, it’ll take more effort to get the washer up there.
- Most laundry rooms are designed with low water sources. Connecting water to your washer when it’s a couple feet higher can be a larger challenge. This might require extensions for your laundry hose.
- In the event your washer leaks, the water has to go somewhere. The ground is actually the most ideal place for this. You don’t want large quantities of water spilling onto the electronics for your dryer.
In other words, unless your installation is different from the all the above situations, dryer on top is your best bet.
Stacking your stackable washer and dryer is pretty easy and quick. Especially if you have help. Get some muscle to help you lift the dryer on top of the washer and you’ll be well only your way to a space saving laundry situation.
You’ll also need a screwdriver and some planning. Best of luck! Our tips and instructions should keep you safe while getting the job done.