Does Scrubba Really Work? An RV Laundry Torture Test

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We featured the Scrubba a couple weeks ago when we found it at the Outdoor Retailer show.  It’s a wash bag that we thought would be perfect to take along in our Class B RV.  We don’t have much space or resources to devote to laundry in a camper van, and this little gadget seemed to fit the bill.

We immediately got a bunch of questions from readers wanting to know if it worked or not.  Well, we finally got a chance to use it, and I put it to the test on something particularly nasty.  Watch the video to see how it did:


I used the Scrubba to wash a cycling kit.  But this was not just any cycling kit – I had just worn it racing 150 miles across the Arizona and Utah deserts and mountains.  There were over ten hours of sweaty funk in that kit… particularly in the pad that sits right on your backside.  Honestly, it was the most stringent test I could think of for the Scrubba.  (I mean, dirt is dirt, but this stuff was pretty nasty.)

I followed the directions on the Scrubba, and I’m happy to report it worked!  The kit came out looking and smelling clean.  I would have no reservations about wearing that same kit again, or about storing it in a closet for a couple weeks without it fermenting.  I’ll add that a cycling kit is also a delicate and technical fabric.  These things are known for hanging on to stink.  And you can’t rough them up too much in the wash without ruining them.  Scrubba scored the win over sweaty cycling kit, and has earned a place in our Class B.  (And with the limited storage in a class B, earning storage space is no small accomplishment.)  Also – unlike washing things in the sink, I managed not to slosh water everywhere.  Another win.

One Caveat

There was one small issue with the Scrubba, and that was the air release valve.  I found it difficult to operate.  The valve worked just fine once I got it to work, but it was tricky.  If you read other reviews online, it sounds like other folks have had issues with the valve.  So I’m passing this feedback on to the Scrubba people.  They were really nice when we met them, so hopefully, they will do some work on that valve.  It shouldn’t hold you back on a purchase though.

Anyway – if you were on the fence about getting a Scrubba, don’t be.  It works as advertised.  If we can keep up using it, we’ll need a lot less room to store dirty laundry in our RV.

And About That Bike Race

Stef blogged about that race HERE. It was her first time heading out as Lance’s pilot. Check out her first impressions.


That’s all for now.  Cheers!

James is a former rocket scientist, a USA Cycling coach, and lifelong fitness buff. When he's not driving the RV, or modifying the RV (or - that one time - doing both at once), you can find him racing bicycles, or building furniture, or making music. In his spare time, he works for a large IT company.

    13 thoughts on “Does Scrubba Really Work? An RV Laundry Torture Test

    1. Kelli Brooke

      Hi James–I love your retractable clothes line (clearly a star in a supporting role in this video…) Question: How did you mount it? Did you drill into the back of the bathroom cabinet, or did you use adhesive? Thanks!

    2. Jan

      Thanks for bringing a fresh new healthy eating and fitness spin to RVing!
      The Scrubba, although cute, seems like a doodad that could easily be replaced with a gallon sized Ziplock bag or dry bag for water sports. Why the valve when the entire top is open? We use the Ziplock Baggie washing machine when traveling abroad, when often there is no plug in the sink or sink might be questionably clean.
      I’d love more info on features and considerations for the RV that you chose, roadie fitness, plus organizational and nutritional tips for stovetop cooking.

      1. James - Post author

        The Scrubba is quite a bit larger than a gallon ZipLock bag. This past weekend, for example, we used the Scrubba to wash TWO cycling kits at once. That would have taken multiple cycles with a zip lock.
        I had thought about the dry bag idea. But the Scrubba has those silicone nubs on the inside that do a pretty good job roughing up the clothes like a washboard. I suppose you could just use the dry bag a bit longer to get the same effect? Don’t know on that – I’m not a laundry scientist. I can say though, that the more air you get out, the easier it is to get the clothes working in there properly. The valve does make it easier to get all the air out (when you can get the valve open).
        The rest of the stuff you’re asking for sounds like our site. You can find features on our RV in the “Lance” posts. And Stef rocks it with the fitness content. We are considering doing a post on our kitchen appliances/equipment/gadgets. That might be interesting to you.
        Thanks for checking us out!

    3. stefan

      I don’t think that would work for me, I’d have to bring you or your muscles to wring out the water. Oh I just got it, that’s why you call it the “FIT RV”
      just kidding

    4. Ted

      Wow! 150 miles. I don’t think I’d have the energy to do laundry, whine, or be grumpy (as noted by your “Chase Crew”). I’d be passed out with my wife trying to pump her Starbucks drink through an IV drip to revive me.

      I had a friend who did this sort of activity. I remember him coming back from a race with a thick layer of salt crystals crusted on his helmet straps from dried sweat (and that was just from a 70 mile run)

      The Scrubba looks like an important addition to your gear since the Travato lacks external storage to isolate “fermenting” bike apparel. It sounds like the Travato is small and stable enough to perform well as a chase vehicle. Larger rigs would either place the driver too high to hand over bottles or be too wide behind the cab making it dangerous to ride along side on a bike.

      Cool stuff as always.


      1. James - Post author

        Well, as the guy riding the bike on the side of the road, I got to learn the sound of our Travato, and was always relieved to hear it coming up from behind – as opposed to the sound of an angry diesel pickup pulling a boat. I wouldn’t want anything wider as a support vehicle.
        And yeah – the Scrubba’s a keeper. Even if we only washed stinky cycling clothes with it, it would be totally worth it.

    5. Maggie

      Thank you James for the review. It was awesome! It was very informative and you really gave the Scrubba a torture test. It helped us decide to get one of these. It is a great solution for doing laundry in a small space. We really like your clothesline. Pretty neat! Where did you guys get the towel? Thank you both for all you do to keep the RV community fit and informed. Looking forward to your continued insight on products and Stef’s ideas on how to keep fit. You guys are an inspiration and a great team!


    6. Gary Goldberg

      Thank you for the video. After watching James’ efforts with the Scrubba, I’m not sure I’m seeing the advantage over using the sink to do the same thing. Spending money on the Scrubba should be better than using the sink, right? Thanks in advance for your insight.

      1. James - Post author

        Offhand, I can think of two advantages of the Scrubba vs. a sink.
        First, I was able to wash the clothes in the Scrubba without sloshing water all over our RV. I’ve never been able to do that in a sink.
        The other thing the Scrubba brings are those silicone nubs inside the bag. They provide a similar action to an old-timey washboard. I’m not saying you couldn’t get the same mechanical action washing in a sink (especially if you actually used a washing board), but the Scrubba makes it a no-brainer.
        I guess the other thing is you can sit down to massage the Scrubba vs. standing at the sink. It’s kind of like a big stress-relief-ball thing. Very calming to rub the bag around. Depending on how your day went, that alone may be worth it!

    7. Jason

      We live on a sailboat and ride 5-6 days a week. We usually wash our kits in a bucket and then hang dry on the rigging…works great.


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