Best Caravan Clotheslines

👕 12 Best Caravan Clothesline Ideas

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A common question asked when people are getting into caravanning is, “how do you dry your clothes in a caravan?” There’s no escaping it – the laundry pile will continue to follow you, wherever you may roam.

While travelling in a caravan or camper, having to get the washing dry is a regular task that needs to be accomplished.

Finding the best caravan clothesline for your set-up is essential for getting a good routine into action so that you can spend more time enjoying your trip. Popular caravan clotheslines include the permanent awning washing line, the pegless clothesline and the portable camping clothesline, but there are a wide variety of caravan clothesline ideas to choose from.

Here are the best clothesline for caravan ideas.

Laundry on the Road (11 Tips) →
Using Caravan Washing Machines Off-grid →

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Caravan Clothesline Ideas

Permanent Caravan Awning Clothesline

Permanent Caravan Awning Clothesline
Permanent Caravan Awning Clothesline

A popular way that many caravanners are getting their towels and clothes dry is by installing a permanent caravan awning clothesline.

The process is fairly simple, by attaching eyelets to your upper awning arms, then attaching some wire line. All of the pieces can be found at a hardware store or Bunnings for around $30.

There are two great things about this caravan awning clothesline – there’s no set-up or pack up, plus being under the awning, your clothes won’t get wet if it rains (or pooped on by birds).

Pros & Cons of a Permanent Caravan Awning Clothesline:


  • Permanent
  • Keeps washing out of the rain
  • Strong and sturdy
  • No set up/ pack up


  • Need to install it yourself
  • Awning needs to be out to use the washing line
  • Can’t follow the sun
SizeSame as your awning
Weight1 – 2 kg
Line LengthLength of your awning
Cost• DIY: $30 AUD
• Pre-made Kit: $48 AUD
Where to BuyeBay: Pre-made Caravan Awning Clothesline Kit →

If you want the step-by-step walk-through on how to attach a permanent clothesline to your caravan awning, check out the following article.

DIY Caravan Awning Clothesline Install →
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Awning Rollout Clothesline

Detachable Caravan Awning Clothesline

If you want the benefit of a full-length awning clothesline without any installation, the detachable awning rollout clotheslines are a great option.

They will easily attach to most awning brands and can be taken up or down as needed.

There are a few downsides to this style of caravan clothesline. The first is not being able to hang clothes underneath the awning in rainy weather. Secondly, you’ll need to set up and pack up the clothesline every time you need to roll the awning in and out.

Pros & Cons of a Awning Rollout Clothesline:


  • Strong and sturdy
  • Easily fits most awnings
  • Long length of line space


  • Awning needs to be out to use the washing line
  • Needs to be set up/ packed away each time the awning needs to be rolled in and out
SizeWhen detached: (L x W x H) 64 x 24 x 8cm
Line Length18 metres
CostFrom $150 AUD
Where to BuyCaravan RV Camping: Awning Rollout Clothesline →
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Expanda Clothesline

Expanda Clothesline Caravan

These pull-out expandable clotheslines for the caravan can be permanently installed, which saves on needing to find storage space for the clothesline or ever needing to pack it away.

You will be limited to where you can mount an expanda clothesline, as you’ll need some empty outside wall space. This may mean attaching it to the opposite side of the van to your awning, which also means your underwear is likely to be hanging alongside your neighbours awning when lined up in caravan parks. Just something to consider.

A handy little feature is that you can slide the washing line out of the mounting brackets and remove it if you like. The first thing that comes to mind for me from experience of being on the road, is in the case of a dust storm.

Pros & Cons of an Expanda Clothesline:


  • Permanently mounted
  • Ability to remove
  • Compact
  • No set up/ pack up


  • Limited to where you can mount it
  • Can’t follow the sun
SizeWhen extended: 780 mm (L) x 680 mm (D)
Weight2 kg
Line Length7 metres
CostFrom $39 AUD
Where to BuyeBay: Expanda Clothesline →
➤ Caravan RV Camping: Expanda Clothesline →
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Fiamma Easy Dry Clothes Line

Fiamma Drying Rack

If you already have the Fiamma bike rack on the rear of your caravan, there is a simple attachment called the Fiamma Easy Dry Clothes Line.

It easily installs on the folding rail support base of all bike carriers with 35mm tube. The no-drill Fiamma Drying Rack can stay attached permanently and fold up for travel, or you can remove it if you wish.

The length of the rack is adjustable from 100 – 120cm.

Is it Worth Taking the Bikes on the Road? →

The one thing that has me hesitant about this drying rack is the fact that the back of the caravan is rarely 100% clean. While it would work well for shorter items, I think you’d have to be a bit more careful that longer items aren’t flapping in the wind against the back of the dirty van.

Otherwise, this is a really handy option for those who already have the Fiamma Bike Rack system, as the Drying Rack can be attached whether you’re using it for bikes or not.

Pros & Cons of a Fiamma Easy Dry Clothes Line:


  • Can be permanent or removable
  • Handy if you’ve got the Fiamma Bike Rack
  • Easy to fold away
  • Compact


  • Longer items may flap against the back of the dirty van
  • Can’t follow the sun
Size100 – 120 cm (L) x 60 cm open/ 37 cm closed (D)
Weight 1 – 2 kg
Line Length8 – 9 metres
CostFrom $249 AUD
Where to Buy➤ Caravan RV Camping: Fiamma Easy Dry Clothes Line →
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Collapsible Rotary Clothesline

Portable Camping Clothesline

If you like the Hills Hoist-style clothesline, then you might like to go for the collapsible rotary clothesline option.

These washing lines can be handy in that you can move the line around to where the sun and breeze is, to get your washing dried quicker. You get six lines of space on each side, totally 15 metres of hanging space.

I initially started out with one of these and ended up getting rid of it. I didn’t like how you needed to peg the feet down so it didn’t blow over in the wind, plus it was a bit fiddly to put together each time I wanted to use it.

Another negative for this style of washing line is that you need a fair chunk of space to store it when you’re not using it.

Pros & Cons of a Portable Rotary Clothesline:


  • Lots of line space
  • Can follow the sun
  • Can put under the awning if it rains
  • Can ditch the stand and pair it with the BBQARM attachment (see next item)


  • Bulky to store
  • Need to set up for each use
  • Will topple if not secured or pegged down
SizeWhen open: 106cm (L) x 106cm (W) x 143 – 154cm (H)
Weight2 kg
Line Length15 metres
CostFrom $42 AUD
Where to Buy➤ eBay: Portable Rotary Clothesline →
Caravan RV Camping: Portable Rotary Clothesline →
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BBQARM Clothesline Connector

BBQARM Clothesline Connector Kit

With the BBQARM Clothesline Connector, you can easily slot a rotary-style camping clothesline into the arm for a secure caravan clothesline option.

If you’ve already got a BBQARM, then all you need is the connector to turn it into a clothesline arm, which makes it a lightweight clothesline choice. The connector itself only weighs 40 grams.

However, if you don’t plan on using the BBQARM for any other purpose (BBQ, food prep table etc.), then this would be a heavy clothesline set-up to have.

The best thing about using the BBQARM for this style of camping clothesline is that it will be much more solid and secure in the wind. No more having to peg down the legs!

In addition, you can move the clothesline from the caravan draw bar to the rear bar and even to the tow bar on the car, depending on where the sun is.

Click on the full guide below to see exactly how the BBQARM Clothesline Connector works (step-by-step pics).

How to Use the BBQARM Clothesline Connector →

Pros & Cons of a BBQARM Clothesline Connector:


  • Attaches to caravan draw bar, rear bar & vehicle tow bar
  • Can ditch the clothesline stand
  • Clothesline won’t fall over in the wind
  • Works with existing BBQARM
  • Connector is light (40g)


  • Need to set up for each use
  • Need to purchase a BBQARM if you don’t already have one
  • Can’t put under awning if it rains
  • Clothesline not included (purchase separately)
  • Heavy for full set-up if you’re not using the BBQARM for any other purpose
Arm LengthTwo Options:
• 850 mm
• 1000 mm
Weight• Arm: 1.95 kg – 2.2 kg
• Mounting Bracket: 2.7 kg – 3 kg
• Clothesline Connector: 40 g
CostConnector: $59.95 AUD
(+ Arm & Mounting Bracket if you don’t already have them)
Where to Buy➤ BBQARM: Use ‘MYRIG’ code for 5% Off →
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Clothes Airer

Clothes Airer

A simple Clothes Airer (sometimes called a Clothes Horse) can often do the trick really well. Most people have a Clothes Airer at home, so throwing it in the caravan or camper when you go away can save having to buy another item.

Clothes Airers are great in that you can move them around and follow the sun to get your clothes dry on the road. They can fit a surprising amount on them and fold up quickly and easily to a long, flat shape.

Having to store a Clothes Horse inside your van would be a pain in the backside, but if you’ve got room in the back of your car or in the tunnel boot, they can be easy enough to store.

Pros & Cons of a Clothes Airer:


  • Lots of line space
  • Can follow the sun
  • Can put under awning if it rains
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to set up and fold away


  • Need somewhere to store it
  • Will topple on a windy day
SizeWhen open: 180cm (L) x 50cm (W) x 100cm (H)
Weight2 – 3 kg
Line Length15 metres
CostFrom $30 AUD
Where to BuyeBay: Clothes Airer →
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Retractable Clothesline

Retractable Camping Clothesline

A really handy and compact washing line for travelling is the portable Retractable Clothesline.

This little guy has a round container, which automatically rolls up your clothesline when it’s ready to be packed away. The box includes a hanging hook for one end, while the line has a clip for hanging up the other end.

The only thing you need to worry about with the Retractable Clothesline is finding two places to hang your clothesline between. You could go from the awning to the car or a tree, depending on your set up.

An added bonus is that you could use this clothesline inside the caravan if you had a few things that needed to be hung on a rainy day or travel day. Just be aware of mould growth in the caravan if you’re regularly hanging wet clothes and towels inside.

Mould in the Van (Prevention & Tips) →

Admittedly, I think that plastic clip would eventually break, but replacing it with a metal D Shackle would be easy enough.

Pros & Cons of a Retractable Clothesline:


  • Very compact
  • Lightweight
  • Versatile with where you can hang it
  • Ability to choose length of line that’s pulled out


  • Need two points to connect between
  • Plastic pieces may not last
Box Diameter8 cm
Weight< 1 kg
Line Length8 metres
CostFrom $12 AUD
Where to Buy➤ eBay: Retractable Clothesline →
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Pegless Clothesline

Pegless Clothesline
Pegless Clothesline

These Pegless Clotheslines have become super popular with Australian travellers in recent years. They’re compact, lightweight and really easy to use.

Each Pegless Clothesline comes with 12 slides (24 slide points), so you can make it to whatever length you like. If you want more hanging space, just buy a few packs and you can link them all together.

Your pack will also come with two bungee cords and hooks (holding up to 40kg), so that you can hang the Pegless Clothesline from wherever suits you.

As the name states, you won’t need any pegs with the Slide ‘n’ Dry Pegless Clothesline. Instead, you simply slide your washing into the slots, which will hold them securely as they dry.

They are made from UV protected recycled plastic, meaning that the clothesline shouldn’t go brittle or fade as normal plastic does.

Pros & Cons of a Pegless Clothesline:


  • Very compact
  • Lightweight
  • Versatile with where you can hang it
  • Ability to add/ remove slides to choose length
  • No pegs required


  • Need two points to connect between
  • Need more than one pack to make the line a decent length
Size275mm (H) x 122mm (W) x 23mm (D)
Weight128 g
Line Length2 metres per pack
CostFrom $12.95 AUD
Where to Buy➤ Adventure Awaits: Pegless Clothesline →
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Bungee Cord Clothesline

Travel Bungee Clothesline
Bungee Travel Clothesline

The Bungee Cord Travel Clothesline is very compact and handy to throw in for drying the washing on the road. Like the Pegless Clothesline, this one doesn’t require any pegs either.

With two hooks at each end, you just need to find two solid trees or a pole and a tree to wrap your washing line around, then away you go.

You’d need to pull the Bungee Cord Clothesline pretty tight so that when you hang the items between the cords, they will hold them tight and not slip out.

Given that the cord needs to be tensioned pretty tight, you may be limited with finding two things just the right distance apart to hang your washing line in between. If you can get one or two to go the length of your awning, that would be perfect.

Pros & Cons of a Bungee Cord Clothesline:


  • Very compact
  • Lightweight
  • Versatile with where you can hang it
  • No pegs required


  • Need two points to connect between
  • Need to tension it tight so clothes don’t slip out
Size164 cm (unstretched)
Weight24 g
Line Length3 metres (stretched)
CostFrom $6 AUD
Where to Buy➤ eBay: Bungee Cord Clothesline →
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Rope & Springs

Washing Bang Bang Rest Area
Drying the washing at Bang Bang Rest Area, Outback QLD

My back-up clothesline on the road has always been simple – a length of rope with a few old trampoline springs (one for each end).

I had one length of rope that would strategically fit from the top of the awning arm, over to the bike rack on the back of the caravan. Plus, I had an extra length for when I needed additional hanging space.

The rolled up rope and springs took up bugger all space to store in my outdoor cupboard and were particularly handy when our awning broke, so I didn’t have access to my Permanent Awning Clothesline.

The springs made connecting the rope to anything really easy, as you could just loop the rope around a tree or pole, then clip the spring on.

But, if you don’t have any springs you can use whatever clips or clasps you have lying around.

Pros & Cons of a Rope & Springs Clothesline:


  • Very compact
  • Lightweight
  • Cheap/ free
  • Versatile with where you can hang it
  • Handy to have as a backup


  • Need two solid ends to connect between
  • Some parks specify that they don’t allow rope to be strung between trees
Size15 cm (rolled up)
Weight< 500 g
CostFREE – use what you’ve got at home
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Smalls Hanger

Stainless Smalls Hanger Clothes Airer

The Smalls Hanger is one of my favourite pieces of laundry equipment. They make hanging out the socks and undies so quick and easy, while only taking up a small amount of space.

Hanging each sock and item of underwear individually along a washing line can be tedious, plus those little things collectively take up so much space!

With the Smalls Hanger you can chase the sun around, hanging it from anything you can find, to get those thick socks dry.

I prefer the stainless steel hanger, as it won’t rust when left in the rain or in coastal locations, plus you won’t have to worry about plastic going brittle and breaking.

There are a range of different sized Smalls Hangers and all of them come with pegs connected. Some are even foldable (as pictured above).

Pros & Cons of a Smalls Hanger:


  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Cheap
  • Saves hanging space
  • Pegs included
  • Can hang from anything (even inside the van)


  • Only good for very small items
SizeApprox. 50cm (L) x 50cm (W) x 19cm (H)
Weight< 500 g
Number of Pegs15 – 55
CostFrom $7 – $25 AUD
Where to Buy➤ eBay: Stainless Steel Smalls Hanger →
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10 thoughts on “👕 12 Best Caravan Clothesline Ideas”

  1. I had no idea that there were so many different ways to hang dry clothes! I’ve never been campervan camping before, so I haven’t really had to deal with it (besides hang-drying clothes in my own house LOL). But that retractable clothesline looks super useful.

  2. It is amazing how many options there are. Some of them are so clever. When we took our ten-day RV trip we just hung things in our shower, but were lucky to have had washer/dryers in campgrounds that we stopped in.

  3. I am sure doing laundry is a bit of a challenge. But good to know you have discovered some options for clotheslines that seem to work. We have a small unit much like the Expanda Clothesline that we use in our bathtub for drying delicates. But the pegless clothesline is probably the coolest thing.

    1. Doing laundry on the road can definitely feel like a challenge until you’ve got your systems in place, then it’s easy. The pegless clothesline is a nifty little invention.

  4. We had a clothes airer when we lived in Paris, and were very happy to have it because it was so easy to store it once it was folded. You know… our studio in Paris had probably the same size than your caravan, haha!

    1. Haha that’s crazy! But I can’t say I’m surprised. I still use a fold-up clothes airer inside my house on rainy days – best things ever.

  5. So I am a minimalist and thus I would probably have never even thought of fancy caravan clothesline ideas like the ones you found here. There are some amazing styles to find but I think the portable Retractable Clothesline seems to be the best as you can keep it out of the way while still saving money and keeping it simple in my novice opinion.

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