You do without a few things while full time RV’ing, but you learn to cope with their absence easier than you might think. Sleep deprivation is a true but inverse example. Cable television is a true and good example. I will have to find a way to watch LSU football, but other than that and Survivor for Kat, we have adapted very well to its absence. We can’t use the microwave when we run on batteries, but somehow we manage to eat the leftovers anyway (“we” includes Pink). And then there’s our lack of a washer and dryer; that was one feature in a travel trailer we thought we simply had to have, until we didn’t. Very few RV’s of any variety come with portable laundry facilities, for reasons of space, weight, and water usage. It’s just more practical to use coin-operated laundries in town or sometimes in your campground.
Over the past few months we have learned the coin-op laundry ropes. A fair price for a full load of clothes is $1.75, and 25 cents per 7 or 8 minutes is standard for the dryer. Put your soap in first. Never buy their soap. Stay with your clothes: the world is full of fat guys who will steal another fat guy’s shorts. Bring your dog: you can always warn parents with small, noisy children that “she might bite” even though she won’t. If it’s crowded go to your truck and make a little Out of Order sign, then fold it on one end and while nobody’s looking, poke the sign into the coin slot of the last vacant dryer. This is standard stuff; everybody knows this.
And then we visited the Pinconning Laundry. It also does dry cleaning, and for a pretty dollar she’ll do your laundry personally. More than half of the washers don’t work. A third of the dryers don’t. The jukebox works, as does the pinball machine, and she has a Paul Detlefsen reproduction like the one in my childhood home in Mooringsport. She has a sign that proclaims “Competitors? I don’t have any: NOBODY wants my job.” But she was cheerful, energetic, and a veritable font of local information. “The drive-in diner next door has been closed a couple of years.” Pinny’s Grocery “has everything” (and it really does, including Flat Out flatbread, which deserves its own story). What is there to see or visit in Pinconning, Michigan? She replied, accurately and honestly, “Nothin’.”