Monday, September 3, 2012

Cool New Toy

OK, not really a toy.  For years I've been looking for a small one-piece washer-dryer laundry unit for our vacation place. There are several European  and US manufacturer models available, but they are almost all unvented, which means longer dry times and higher potential for internal mold and mildew growing between visits.

We finally found a VENTED unit, small enough for our intended space and with good user reviews -- most of the unvented unit reviews were filled with regret and sadness. Turns out the unit was designed for cabin cruisers, yachts and luxury RVs -- not quite our niche!

Well this little item, the Splendide 2100 XC, works. It is counter depth (23.5" wide and deep, 33.13" high), uses 110 current, and vents the dryer heat and moisture out of the unit rather than condensing it to use on the next load of wash.  I bought it from Camping World and picked it up from their nearest location.  Shipping costs were not bad, but I was going to town anyway, so saved myself a few $$.  Timing was great.  They are having a Labor Day sale so it was $299 off, but I did have to spend $20 on a Good Sam Club membership to get the discount. $20 to get a sure $299 off, I'll take those odds. That's better than a true daily double, Alex.

There is one website with a lower price.  The shipping charge was about the same, BUT you had to inspect upon delivery or you couldn't return it if it was damaged. That meant an additional trip to the vacation place to sit and wait. No savings in that option for us.

We passed on the installation service because it didn't include the drive time to the vacation spot -- no chance it would be a reasonable fee.  It was fairly easy to install.  The hardest part was removing the shipping block that kept the drum from crashing around during transit. The remainder was pretty easy --hook uo the hot and cold water, stick the drain hose in the drain pipe in the wall and connect tothe vent. 

For now, it is venting into the house. We held back on finishing the utility room until we had a unit, so we'll now design the remaining space. Until we have a firm design and cabinets installed, we'll keep venting into the house. With winter coming on and the perpetual low humidity, it could be a two-fer every time it runs. May even rig up a method for summer venting to the outside and winter venting inside the house to recycle that heat when we can use it!

We cranked it up and did a few loads. The little nipper has a lot of options and choices for how you do your laundry -- just like the big ones! First challenge was getting accustomed to load size.  It will wash about 15 lbs, but if you dry it all at once, things come out very wrinkled --like wadded in a tight ball that can only be relaxed by washing again. Setting the initial dry to about 20 minutes allows opening it and pulling out some of the items that can hang well, like shorts, tops or sheets. That leaves the drying capacity for the important stuff like soft towels! I also dried one load in two phases, which worked well.

Having this little luxury reduced the laundry that we need to bring home, wash and take back by about 70%. Once I realign sheets, towels and work clothes at the other end, the percentage may be higher. I like the idea of not having piles of dirty, and storage tubs of clean, laundry kicking around home for weeks at a time. This may even let us take a more fuel efficient vehicle on vacation because we are hauling less. Hey, lots of connections to real life from this little toy.


  1. A trick that we use at our house, if we need something dried quickly. We load half the dryer with clean dry towels then add the rest of the items that we need quickly. We can go from sopping wet to dry in 30 minutes. It might help your situation.

  2. A very neat appliance you found there! And what a space saver, too! Makes laundry almost fun when you have a new toy!