Thread Number: 82890  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Preparing Whirlpool apartment washer/dryer for use
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Post# 1071155   5/6/2020 at 19:22 (1,388 days old) by Vintagemh (Saskatoon )        

Greetings! We are back to working on the motor home and got the washer and dryer we purchased for them into the coach. I did try them before we put them inside and they did work and complete a cycle with clothes. Now that they are inside and before we start building cabinets and steel frames with slides to accommodate them (pulling washer out on slide to load it) is there something we should to do prep these machines for use? We will not be using them regularly but once in awhile. We were told they had little use, and when we did try them they didn't make any weird noises but they did "smell hot" like maybe 40 years of sitting dried out the grease hot. Are there any instructions for doing some kind of service and inspection before we move them into the permanent homes, moving them back out to service them isn't going to be easy so would rather address any issues now.

Thank You!


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Post# 1071159 , Reply# 1   5/6/2020 at 20:53 (1,388 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Those look sweet!

Post# 1071164 , Reply# 2   5/6/2020 at 22:55 (1,388 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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I just love those compact Whirlpools!

Post# 1071168 , Reply# 3   5/6/2020 at 23:26 (1,388 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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If it were me I would at least take the backs or fronts (or wherever the service panels are) off and check the innards, vacuum them out, look at belts and hoses to check for cracking, etc.  40 years is a long time and rubber can get brittle.  But that's just me.

Post# 1071169 , Reply# 4   5/6/2020 at 23:30 (1,388 days old) by bigalsf (Salt Lake City)        
Mounting on a slide

Hi, that's a great looking set. Congrats!

This style washer was Whirlpools first series of portable/convertible washers. It is a much heavier unit than the later series. It is actually a 24" belt drive unit with front mounted controls. The suspension on this machine hangs from the cabinet top. As such, it may not be stable on a "sliding" platform if/when it goes out of balance. The machine is designed to be on a solid footing. Not sure how your designing the platform, but it would be something to consider.

John L. would know better about this.

Good luck and keep us posted!

Post# 1071170 , Reply# 5   5/6/2020 at 23:55 (1,388 days old) by Vintagemh (Saskatoon )        
thanks everyone

I'm going to fabricate the slide myself so I'll make sure its just like a floor with something that locks it in place, don't want it moving around when we are under way. I was thinking there was some kind of thing I could put in the tub so it doesn't move around. But thank you all for the help. I'll post pics as I take off the covers and build the stand so you can verify that will suit the need. Machines are the same year as the coach I believe, 1978.

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Post# 1071173 , Reply# 6   5/7/2020 at 00:48 (1,388 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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OMG! A classic GMC! Looking forward to seeing more pictures of the installation.

Post# 1071184 , Reply# 7   5/7/2020 at 06:36 (1,388 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Best of luck with your beautiful avocado babies. I would suggest a thorough inspection with preventative maintenance before installing them. It's easier to avoid trouble than have to deal with a breakdown or leak or worse after installation.


Safe travels to you both.

Post# 1071188 , Reply# 8   5/7/2020 at 07:35 (1,388 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Cool 70s WP Washer & Dryer

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If these work fine I would just start using them, there is really no preventive maintenance that is easy to perform especially on the washer.


If they both run fine without unusual noises leaks etc just enjoy them, since they will get very light use they may last a long time.


This is the later belt drive WP compact washer with a nearly 900 RPM spin, this washer is a good choice and should have no problems with excess vibration as it was designed to operate on wheels. the fast spin speed will allow the 120 volt dryer to do its job much more quickly.


John L.

Post# 1071194 , Reply# 9   5/7/2020 at 08:52 (1,388 days old) by philcobendixduo (San Jose)        
Motorhome Lust

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From the first time I saw one of those GMC motorhomes at Lake Tahoe in 1979 or 1980 I was smitten.
It still looks great and "contemporary" today.
It was a design that was WAY ahead of its time.
BEAUTIFUL motorhome!

Post# 1071201 , Reply# 10   5/7/2020 at 10:35 (1,388 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor, Maine)        

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Unless you are going to a warmer place for winter, I would make sure to treat the pump with non-toxic RV anti-freeze to prevent it from freezing.

Post# 1071211 , Reply# 11   5/7/2020 at 13:04 (1,388 days old) by JustJunque (Western MA)        

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I have no advice to offer.
I just had to say; that's a beautiful laundry pair!
And that GMC looks stunning! I've only seen one, maybe two in person in all these years.
Best of luck with all of them!


Post# 1071281 , Reply# 12   5/8/2020 at 04:17 (1,387 days old) by Kenmoreguy89 (Valenza Piemonte, Italy- Soon to be US immigrant.)        

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Wow! Fantastic!
Please post pictures once they are installed.
The hot smell is normal as I noticed these whirlpool motors heats up more than others and dust collected on them during the time is the hot now that will just disappear as they will be used.
The only suggestion I can give you is to use the machine for more loads not one only and for a while a week or two to see if it's reliable and won't develop any leaks or issues.
Another suggestion i can give you is that you may want to have the tub still while traveling, say narrow curves or steep climbs or a sudden brake ,you can fabricate a styrofoam tub block holding tub collar ring and a hole for agitator in the middle to hold it,a thing you can slide in when not in use and dry.
They were used for transportation when brand new.

Post# 1071283 , Reply# 13   5/8/2020 at 04:24 (1,387 days old) by chestermikeuk (Rainhill *Home of the RailwayTrials* Merseyside,UK)        
Kenmore portable

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Good morning Loren, welcome from over the big pond, the Kenmores and your Coach look absolutely fantastic, what a way to enjoy travel and to do washing, looking forward to seeing how its all checked out and installed.
We had the washer version badged here by Servis UK for a short time but not in the beautiful colorway..

Enjoy & Cheers for now , Mike

Post# 1071284 , Reply# 14   5/8/2020 at 04:38 (1,387 days old) by Kenmoreguy89 (Valenza Piemonte, Italy- Soon to be US immigrant.)        

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The dryer...
If felts are okay, no roller or tensioner is squeaking and completes it's cycle without over heating then it's fine.
Clean it from lint and you are set.
Dryers usually outlast washers as they are simpler appliances and very few things can go wrong with a dryer.
Make sure to have a vent installed in the frame-closet you will build, for air intake.
Whirlpool was very specific for minimum installation in motor-mobile homes giving all clearances written on their lids...
But i'm sure few followed those requirements.

Post# 1071300 , Reply# 15   5/8/2020 at 08:01 (1,387 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        

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I never knew those compact Whirlpool washers had a 900 RPM spin. I had lots of friends who had those growing up in NYC because they were perfect size for apartments. Now I want one. Was the spin speed also 900 for the 24" wide Whirlpool top loaders that had the same innards as the compacts?

Post# 1071327 , Reply# 16   5/8/2020 at 10:05 (1,387 days old) by Mickeyd (Hamburg NY)        

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Oh no, now we're going to have to start spying on and checking out motor homes to see if there's a washer inside. Yikes !

Post# 1071331 , Reply# 17   5/8/2020 at 10:57 (1,387 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        
Laundry Room Spys are at Large!

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Of course, having a washer is as important and mandatorily required as having a, a, a--you know what...

-- Dave

Post# 1071396 , Reply# 18   5/8/2020 at 15:22 (1,386 days old) by agiflow3 ()        

Great looking Whirlpools and mobile home. Could you get a picture of the interior of the washer tub and agitator when you get a chance ? Thanks.

Post# 1071408 , Reply# 19   5/8/2020 at 17:31 (1,386 days old) by pierreandreply4 (St-Bruno de montarville (province of quebec) canada)        

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and i would love to see if possible a closeup of the timer to know what cycle that washer has?

Post# 1071816 , Reply# 20   5/10/2020 at 16:11 (1,384 days old) by dishwasherfan (Phoenix, AZ)        
Just WOW

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I love your motorhome & the washer/drier project. More pictures please when you are done. Thank you.

Post# 1071820 , Reply# 21   5/10/2020 at 16:49 (1,384 days old) by bradfordwhite (central U.S.)        

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Make sure you have an easy to install and remove TUB BRACE for your washer.

When you're traveling you don't want the drum shifting around banging the sides and possibly damaging the machine from the vehicles bumping down the road.

Post# 1075403 , Reply# 22   6/2/2020 at 07:38 (1,362 days old) by Vintagemh (Saskatoon )        
pics requests

Here are the pics you requested. I noticed the plastic top liner in the tub appears to be very loose, you can hear it when the machine spins. Does it just snap together? I'd also like to find a tub brace, like some styrofoam to place on top of the agitator so the machine will move less when we are under way. I'm guessing I have to get a block of stryofoam and cut it to fit?

Also when the machine was being moved the timer got messed up, somehow the knob got caught on something and was pulled out very far (a long "pole") was sticking out, we just pushed it back in, but when you turn the dial to select the cycle sometimes you have to grab the bottom part of the knob where the cycle is listed to get it to turn properly, and push/pulling the timer doesn't sound as good as it used to. Is there a timer shop that can rebuild the timer?


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Post# 1075430 , Reply# 23   6/2/2020 at 10:46 (1,362 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        

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That plastic tub cover snaps in place, WP had trouble with the plastic tabs breaking that hold it in place, when you raise the top of the washer if the plastic tabs are broken I may still have the kit to fix this problem.

It should not be necessary to secure the tub in this washer when you are on the road, If you want to put a piece of soft foam between the top of the tub cover and the underside of the top it might not hurt, just stay away from the lid switch etc as they are easy to break, This washer only needed its tub braced when it was being shipped on its side, back etc.

I would try to find a new timer, once these get messed up it can be hard to fix them. We used to see a lot of these get broken because of the way they stick out from the machine.

John L.

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