How many times have you gone camping or to your favorite lake for a family outing, and ended up with wet clothes, wet towels, and soaking wet swimsuits? If your family is anything like ours, this happens at least once during a typical summer camping trip.
When this happens, you need some place to dry your gear. Usually this means draping towels, wet socks, swimsuits and the like on chairs, over tree branches, or from any knob or hook in your camper.
This is a pain, and sometimes this method doesn’t work very well. A great solution is to pack a clothes drying rack in your camper or RV. Actually, a clothes drying rack is handy to have even if you tent camp.
There are lots of clothes drying racks to choose from. Some are made just for RVs and campers. Others can be a handy tool in your laundry room when camping is done for the season. Here are our best RV clothes drying racks for camping.
1. SONGMICS Clothes Drying Rack
This was our favorite clothes drying rack for camping. It is a great stand-alone option that doesn’t need to attach to your camper to work. The SONGMICS folding clothes drying rack is compact enough to fit easily in your trunk or cargo area, even if you would rather tent camp than camp in a camper.
This rack has plenty of space for drying towels or swimsuits. It’s large enough to be able to work well for drying a full suitcase of clothes if you need to do laundry while on the road.
One of the neat things about this drying rack is that it comes with nifty sock clips. These are handy for holding lightweight items like socks or washcloths that could be blown away with a good wind.
- Lightweight construction
- Folds compactly for easy storage
- Minimal assembly required
- Feet aren’t the most sturdy
- Arms don’t always stay in place
- Higher price
2. Stromberg Carlson CL-36 Clothes Dryer
If you are traveling around in your camper, and need a place to hang wet towels, swimsuits or damp clothes, the Stromberg Carlson Extend-A-Line clothes dryer is a great option.
We love that this clothes rack attaches to the ladder on your camper. This keeps your clothes out of the way, but yet handy. This rack is really easy to install on your camper, and just as easy to take down when you’re ready to hit the road.
This clothes rack folds down and is pretty compact, but the arms are long, and don’t fold. This rack can also be wall mounted in your laundry room for added drying space at home.
- Really easy to install
- Sturdy wire arms
- Holds a lot of items
- Seems to rust easily
- Has to be removed when driving
- Heavier than it looks
3. Minky Homecare Outdoor Retractable Clothesline
If you are looking for something simple when it comes to clothes drying racks for camping, the Minky Homecare retractable clothes line is a perfect fit. This compact, reel-type clothes line can be attached to the outside of your camper, and connected to trees or posts at your campsite.
The Minky Homecare clothesline stretches almost 50-feet, so there is plenty of space for anything that you may need to hang dry. This clothesline is pretty sturdy, so it’s a good option for airing out sleeping bags or blankets.
- Very inexpensive
- Holds larger items
- Comes with one or two lines
- Mount needs anchoring
- Not great for tent camping
- Not as durable as some options
4. Brabantia Radiator Hanging Clothes Dryer
If you are looking for a simple option, or just don’t need to have a clothes drying rack that’s big, the Brabantia Hanging Clothes Dryer is a nice option. This simple clothes drying rack can be hung from a variety of places in your camper.
It has enough space for a few towels, or even your swimsuits. The flat 26-inch tray can also be used to flat-dry items like sweaters.
The Brabantia Hanging Clothes Dryer folds down to a nice, compact size, so you can easily tuck it into a cabinet in your camper, or store with your camping gear.
- Compact size
- Both for hang or flat-dry clothes
- Easy to use
- Less spacious than others
- Hanging arms seem flimsy
- Expensive for the size of the rack
5. Titangear Portable RV Clothes Drying Rack
This is another clothes drying rack that attaches to the ladder of your camper. The Titangear Portable RV clothes drying rack comes in a 2-pack that allows you to hang a fair number of items from the back of your RV.
These racks are very easy to install and the 12-inch long arms have nice deep grooves to keep your clothes hanging securely.
Each rack is rated to hold 45-pounds, so plenty sturdy for heavier garments. Also, these clothes drying racks are made from plastic, instead of metal so they won’t rust like other clothes drying racks. The 2-pack comes in a nice velvet carrying bag for convenient storage when not in use.
- Easy to attach and remove
- Won’t rust
- Clamps won’t scratch RV ladder
- Need hangers for these to work
- Don’t hold as much as others
- Higher price
6. Quick Products Bumper-Mounted Clothesline
If you don’t have a ladder on your camper to attach a clothes drying rack, then here’s a creative solution. The Quick Products Bumper-Mounted Clothesline, clamps on to the square bumper of many campers and RVs. This clothesline has a total of 32-feet of drying space.
Because this clothesline attaches to the bumper of your camper, you don’t have to worry about the rack being too tall for your kids to reach. The frame is made from aluminum with plastic coated wire lines, so you won’t have to worry about parts rusting. This clothesline is easy to install and take down. It’s compact size makes it easy to store when not in use.
- Won’t rust
- Weighs less than similar products
- Easy to install and take down
- Only fits square camper bumpers
- Not as much drying space
- Lines tend to stretch after a while
7. Honey-Can-Do Heavy Duty Gullwing Drying Rack
The Honey-Can-Do heavy duty gullwing drying rack has some great features that we didn’t see on other drying racks. First this sturdy drying rack is made from alloy steel, so it doesn’t feel flimsy.
Then it has a mesh drying rack for items that need to dry flat like sweaters. But our favorite feature has to be the racks for drying shoes.
This rack is a bit smaller than others, but we like that it holds plenty of items without taking up too much space. It folds down nice and compact, so it easily tucks away in your camper or camping gear.
- Has shoe drying racks
- Lower price than similar products
- Plastic parts break easily
- “Wing” supports don’t lock
- May rust over time
8. RV Camper Clothes Drying Rack
If you would rather have a drying rack made from a material other than metal or plastic, this clothes drying rack is a nice option. Made from soft maple, this handmade Amish clothes drying rack attaches nicely to the ladder on your camper or RV. The wood construction makes it sturdy and with minimal metal parts, you won’t have to deal with rust.
This is a very simple rack, but it has plenty of space for numerous items. It folds down compactly. It will fold down completely, so you don’t necessarily have to take it off when traveling. This would be a great option for your laundry room or a small backyard as well. The rack can easily be wall mounted or attached to a fence post.
- No rust
- Easy to install on most ladders
- Folds down completely
- Wood can splinter
- More expensive than others
- Support post pops out easily
9. Stromberg Carlson Bumper Mount Clothesline
This bumper mounted clothesline gives you a bit more versatility than other options. At 4-feet tall there is plenty of space on this clothesline for swimsuits, towels and other clothes.
The support posts angle outward slightly, allowing clothes to hang without being crowded. The Stromberg Carlson clothesline can stretch the full length of your camper bumper thanks to the adjustable lines.
The Stromberg Carlson clothesline mounts to a standard 4-inch bumper and does not require tools for installation or removal. This clothesline should be removed from the bumper when traveling.
- No rust, aluminum construction
- Clothesline length is adjustable
- Easy to reach for kids
- Has to be removed for travel
- Line tends to stretch
- Mount needs a lot of space
10. YACASA Clothes Drying Rack
The YACASA clothes drying rack is a simple solution for campers that need extra space for drying clothes. This drying rack adjusts from 52-inches long to 79-inches. It has more than enough space for everything you may need to dry when out camping.
This drying rack is made from sturdy stainless steel, so not only will it hold up to wear and tear, but you also won’t have to worry about it blowing around in the wind.
The YACASA clothes drying rack folds down so it is easy to store. However, it is not as compact as other clothes drying racks. It is a good option for larger campers that have more closet space. This drying rack is ready to use right from the box. Just unfold and you’re good to go.
- Made from no rust stainless steel
- Stable even on bumpy ground
- Heavy enough to not blow away
- Higher price
- Not as compact as other options
- Needs hangers
Things to consider when buying an RV clothes drying rack
With so many drying racks to choose from, it can be a chore to find the right one for your camper. To help you narrow the options, we’ve come up with some helpful product features that you should consider when shopping for clothes drying racks.
How big is it?
When you’re shopping for a clothes drying rack for your RV or camper, size is probably the most important feature. If you pick one that is too big, it’s a pain to store and set up.
If you pick one that is too small, there’s not enough room for your stuff, and you’re back to hanging wet socks from tree branches.
It is helpful to have an idea how much stuff you might need to hang on your drying rack. A single person or couple may not need as much space as a family of four.
Also, consider the space you have for storing your drying rack. If your RV or camper doesn’t have a lot of extra storage space, you’ll probably want to pick an option that will fit in the space you have.
How much does it weigh?
You are going to check the weight capacity of the drying rack you’re considering, especially if you know you’ll be using it for things that are a bit heavier. Wet towels or beach blankets that get wet are much heavier than shirts, socks or your kid’s swimsuits.
Most standing clothes drying racks can hold around 30 to 50 pounds. Over-door hanging clothes racks can handle around 15 pounds of weight. Clothesline type drying racks can hold 30 or more pounds, depending on the line material and how the line is stretched.
Is it easy to set up?
You’re buying a clothes drying rack for added convenience, so make sure that the product you pick doesn’t require hours’ worth of assembly or set-up. We like clothes racks that simply unfold and are ready to use.
Many RV specific clothes drying racks attach to the ladder or bumper. These options should screw on to the mounting location with minimal effort and should come off just as easy. It’s not a great idea to drive around with your drying rack still attached to the ladder or bumper.
Is it durable and will last a long time?
Durability has a lot to do with material. If you know that your kids will be putting the drying rack through its paces, look for ones made from heavy-duty durable materials. A drying rack made from plastic, probably won’t do the trick.
Also, keep in mind that many of the drying racks on the market are made from metal. Look for options that are lightweight, but also are made from quality materials so they don’t rust or last many camping seasons before they do rust.
What material should you go for?
The material you pick for your RV clothes drying rack will make a difference in portability, weight, durability and ease of use. There are a few choices for clothes drying rack material. Here’s what you need to know about your options.
The thing we like most about stainless-steel is that it doesn’t rust. No matter how often you use it, and how soaked your towels are, it won’t rust. It would be our number one choice for material, except for one thing.
Stainless steel is heavy. When it comes to portable items like clothes drying racks, we didn’t find many that were made from stainless steel.
Like stainless steel, aluminum also doesn’t rust. So, if you’re looking to avoid the rust, but also want a drying rack that is lighter weight and easier to move around, aluminum is a great option.
One thing you should keep in mind with aluminum is that it can bend and dent easy. So, make sure you’re being careful to not overfill your clothes drying rack. You should also make sure that you pack it away carefully. And aluminum may not be a great choice if you have rambunctious kids.
Coated steel alloy
Many of the options that we found that were the most portable and affordable were made from a steel alloy coated with plastic or other material. Steel alloys are relatively lightweight, and when coated in plastic, chrome or enamel are relatively rust resistant.
Steel alloy clothes drying racks are relatively affordable and are much sturdier than aluminum. However, remember that if the coating is damaged, the steel will rust, and this can stain your clothes or towels.
Plastic certainly has its benefits. It’s lightweight, easy to clean, won’t rust and is affordable. However, plastic isn’t great if you know that you’ll need to hang dry a lot of items or if you need to dry something heavy.
Plastic is great for small drying racks that you may use only occasionally. Or for drying racks that hang over doors. This reduces the weight on the door, and because plastic is lightweight, it’s easy to install over a tall door.
We were surprised to see that there are RV clothes drying racks made from wood. Wood is nice for more delicate fabrics. It is also very sturdy and can handle heavier weight objects.
Wood is also heavier, so if you aren’t up for the effort of installing a wood clothes drying rack on your camper bumper or ladder, you may want to stick with a drying rack made from another material.
Oh, and wood doesn’t rust, so if you want a clothes drying rack that should last a long time, and won’t damage your clothes with rust, wood is a great option.
Why do you even need a drying rack when camping?
With all of that said, why do you need a clothes drying rack for camping? Well, here are some benefits to investing in one of these handy tools.
Most drying racks allow you to hang clothes over bars and hooks and keep clothes separated from each other. This means that there is better air flow around your wet clothes or towels, which allows for faster drying.
Fast drying means you can use swimsuits and towels the next day or even a few hours later. It also means that you can pack clothes that were wet, without worrying about them getting moldy or mildewy.
Hanging clothes on tree branches is a sure way to end up with snags, stains, and tears. The easiest way to avoid this is to hang your clothes on a drying rack. Drying racks are made to be gentle on clothes and towels.
Keep your space tidy
If you don’t have a drying rack, you’ve probably at one time or the other, had wet clothes and towels and stuff hung on your RV couches, beds, tables, and doors.
This can make an already small space seem even smaller. Now, hang all that same stuff on an RV clothes drying rack and it’s out of the way, and you can enjoy your RV without a bunch of stuff lying around.
What to look out for when buying an RV drying rack?
There are some simple precautions that you should take when using an RV clothes drying rack. While they seem fairly harmless, an RV clothes drying rack can turn into a big disaster if you aren’t careful.
If you want to break your clothes drying rack, one of the easiest ways is to put too much stuff on it. Only use it for drying clothes or towels. Don’t hang heavy objects from it or use it for a table or bench. They just aren’t made for a lot of weight.
Don’t drive with it attached (duuh…)
Some RV specific clothes drying racks, particularly some that mount to the ladder of your RV or camper, say that you can leave the drying rack mounted when traveling. However, if it isn’t properly secured, it can damage your RV or break apart from wind.
Watch out for your kids
This is particularly important if you’ve purchased an RV bumper mounted clothesline. These aren’t toys, and kids should not be allowed to play on or around them. There is serious risk of injury if clotheslines become loose or tangled from children using them for toys.
An RV clothes drying rack is one of those creature comforts that you didn’t realize you were missing. When you’re camping there will inevitably come a time when you’ll need a more organized way to manage wet towels, swimsuits, soggy socks, or rain-soaked shirts. The perfect tool for this moment is the RV clothes drying rack.
Whether you choose a free-standing option like the SONGMICS free-standing, folding clothes drying rack, or the Stromberg Carlson RV Ladder mounted drying rack, this is a great way to get your camping gear dry faster. And it allows you to keep wet clothes and towels out of your way, so you can enjoy time camping in your RV, instead of picking up clothes in your RV.