Of the 25 million Australians around our vast country, no two of us are the same. And of the almost eight million square kilometres of Country, no two communities are the same. Our environment, culture, people, and businesses are all unique to where we live – which is why not every Orange Sky vehicle is built the same.  

As we began to increase our services in remote parts of Australia, our team quickly realised that our existing city-dwelling vehicles weren’t going to be suitable long-term in the outback. With harsher weather conditions and much longer distances from parts and repairs, we required our remote vehicles and hardware to be more robust, in order to provide a reliable service to our friends in remote locations.

This month, we have proudly launched the RV3.0 – a new range of laundry trucks, designed with sustainability, reliability and self-sufficient features to support Orange Sky’s remote community expansion.

Features of the RV3.0:

🚚 Equipped with a solar and lithium battery system
🚚 Three washers and three dryers
🚚 Reduces electrical consumption by up to 80% per shift
🚚 Solar technology can produce more power than it uses
🚚 New Waru Dryers on board
🚚 Supported by REDARC and Canva

By 2025, Orange Sky’s mission is to triple our impact and help 40,000 people doing it tough. Of the 116,000 Aussies experiencing homelessness on any given night, over 20% identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. In remote communities, access to affordable and reliable health hardware, such as washing machines can be challenging, and in some cases, impossible. That’s why Orange Sky is committed to improving access to free laundry services and genuine non-judgemental yarns – irrespective of the location. Hardship doesn’t discriminate on location, so we must be willing to find ways to reach communities far and wide. 

With our ‘Imagination and Innovation’ team striving to think outside of the box to create smarter and more efficient ways for Orange Sky to drive greater impact, the RV3.0 vehicle was born.

Orange Sky Co-Founder Nic Marchesi, who heads up our Imagination and Innovation team, says, “The RV3.0 allows Orange Sky vehicles to venture further than ever before and the new systems on board can increase the duration of shifts. These innovations are at the heart of what Orange Sky is about – helping more people.”

Preliminary plans and sketches for the new range of remote trucks were developed by Orange Sky, using Canva to quantify sketches. The real life RV3.0 vehicle has been brought to life in Orange Sky’s Brisbane workshop, powered by REDARC solar panels and a battery management and charging system. These new systems capture and store more energy than is needed to power the laundry vehicle’s use. Overall, the new power system reduces electrical consumption by up to 80% per shift.

The remote upgrade of the RV3.0 range has been made possible by the addition of the new Waru Dryer. The Waru Dryer, designed and built by Orange Sky, is the world’s first diesel and solar powered clothes dryer. Engineering this innovation has allowed Orange Sky’s vehicles to operate without generators, which was the springboard to the RV3.0 advancements. 

Orange Sky Lead Engineer, Ben Battaglia said, “We built the Waru Dryer with the aim of significantly reducing buildt costs, environmental impacts and maintenance needs. The dryer upgrade has reduced the electrical consumption by 90% when compared to regular clothes dryers.”

In addition to the improved environmental footprint, we are proud to play a part in enhancing social and health outcomes of the communities we operate in. From a remote landscape, our impact has been growing since launching in Lockhart River – QLD in 2014. Since then, Orange Sky has launched in Palm Island – QLD, Maningrida and Wadeye – NT and Bidyadanga and Fitzroy Crossing – WA. 

In 2021, Orange Sky embarked on a remote venture, connecting with and washing for 29 communities. Judith Meiklejohn, Orange Sky Remote Program Manager, led this venture and has witnessed the ongoing demand and engagement with our services in remote communities. 

“Many people and families in remote communities don’t have access to basic facilities like washing machines and if they do, they are often overused and don’t last long – with new washing machines being extremely expensive and the geographical location making it challenging to find a technician to repair items,” Judith said.

“Since introducing the RV3.0 vehicle to Wadeye alongside our local partner Thamarrurr Development Corporation (TDC), we have been overwhelmed with the response from the community. The laundry van not only meets the strong demand for laundry facilities, but it brings together so many different families and clan groups, which is a really beautiful outcome.”

Orange Sky has been fortunate to power these ideas with the support of our National Power Partner, REDARC Electronics. Managing Director, Anthony Kittel says REDARC believes in Orange Sky’s mission to ‘positively connect communities’, a mission that strongly resonates with REDARC’s values.  

“We are delighted to partner with Orange Sky to support their remote community expansion plans. REDARC’s mobile power tech provides a more reliable and sustainable mechanism for Orange Sky to deliver their critical mission,” Mr Kittel said.

Similarly, Canva Co-Founder and COO, Cliff Obrecht says, “It’s fantastic to see Canva being used to help raise awareness for important causes and initiatives such as Orange Sky. Their team is doing an incredible job in remote communities across Australia, and we’re glad to be a part of their journey.” 

As part of our mission to support the nation’s most vulnerable communities, we will be introducing a total of eight RV3.0 laundry vehicles to our fleet, and fitting out three of our current laundry vehicles with the REDARC gear. All eleven speciality laundry trucks are set to be introduced to remote communities by the end of the year. 

RV3.0 was designed and built on Yuggera land. Despite this innovation being a world first, ideas and innovation are not new to these lands. With ancestral ties dating back over 60,000 years, Orange Sky pays respects to the first inventors and connectors that have paved the way for the possibilities of today.

Learn more about Orange Sky’s remote communities expansion plans

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Learn more about the Waru Dryer – the world’s first solar and diesel powered dryer

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