Ah, van life – the freedom to roam and explore, with your home right there with you. But let’s be honest; staying clean and refreshed on the road is just as important as the adventures. That’s where a comfortable and efficient shower setup comes in! In this blog post, we’ll uncover various campervan shower options, portable solutions, water conservation tips, and essential accessories to enhance your van life experience, all while staying squeaky clean. So, how do you shower in a campervan? Let’s dive in and find out!
- Indoor vs. outdoor campervan showers: privacy and convenience vs open experience
- Portable shower solutions for van life, like solar & battery powered showers
- Public facilities, DIY setups, space-saving accessories & water conservation tips to maximise efficiency
Campervan Shower Options: Indoor vs. Outdoor
Campervan showers offer two primary choices: indoor showers and outdoor setups. Each has distinct pros and cons; thus, your personal preferences and the space in your van should guide your decision. Indoor showers offer more privacy and convenience but might require more space and plumbing. On the other hand, outdoor showers can be a liberating experience, using rainwater and making it easy to dispose of the dirty water, but they may lack privacy and require more time to set up.
So, how do you choose between an indoor or outdoor campervan shower? The choice boils down to what you value more: privacy and convenience or a more open and natural experience. Other alternatives, like gym showers or public shower facilities, could also be considered.
Indoor Campervan Showers
Indoor campervan showers:
- Built into the van
- Provide a private and convenient showering experience
- Equipped with curtains for privacy
- Use internal heating systems, eliminating the need for an external power source for hot water.
However, indoor showers do come with some drawbacks. They may require more maintenance and take up valuable space inside your van. To make the most of your indoor campervan shower, consider the following tips:
- Ensure the wet room is waterproof
- Use quick-drying microfiber towels
- Use eco-friendly soaps and cleansers
- Take short and efficient showers to conserve water
By following these tips, you can maximise the functionality and efficiency of your indoor campervan shower.
Outdoor Campervan Showers
Outdoor campervan showers, including motorhome shower options, provide a more open and natural experience, allowing you to enjoy the great outdoors while you freshen up. There are various outdoor showers, from DIY setups using a plastic bottle to high-quality portable shower systems.
The downside of outdoor showers is the potential lack of privacy and the reliance on favourable weather conditions. To overcome these challenges, consider using a shower tent or curtain for privacy and warmth, and opt for eco-friendly soaps to minimise your environmental impact. Alternatively, you can set up a shower room to provide a more enclosed and comfortable space for your warm shower experience.
Portable Shower Solutions for Van Life
If you’re looking for flexibility and ease of use, portable shower solutions are an excellent choice for van life. These showers can be set up wherever you please, allowing you to shower whenever and wherever you need it.
Solar showers and battery-powered showers are popular portable options. Each type has unique advantages and disadvantages, which we will examine in more detail below. Whether you’re a fan of harnessing the sun’s energy or prefer the convenience of a battery-powered shower, a portable solution is perfect for your van life experience.
Solar showers are eco-friendly and cost-effective, using the sun’s energy to heat water for your hot shower. Simply fill a solar shower bag with water and leave it in the sun to heat up. You’ll have hot water ready for use in just a few hours.
However, solar showers do have some limitations. They rely on sunshine, so you’ll need to plan your showers around the weather and the sun’s availability. Also, heating time can vary depending on the amount of water in the shower bag and the strength of sunlight.
Battery-powered showers offer a more consistent water flow and can be used anywhere, regardless of sunlight availability. These showers use a submersible pump powered by a battery to draw water from a source like a bucket or water tank and pump it out through a shower head.
While battery-powered showers provide convenience and versatility, they have some drawbacks. One potential concern is the need for frequent battery replacements or recharging, depending on the type of battery and usage. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for the proper charging and replacement frequency.
Making the Most of Public Shower Facilities
If you’re not keen on installing a shower in your campervan or prefer to save space, public shower facilities offer a range of options to maintain hygiene on the road. These facilities can be found at:
- RV parks
- Truck stops
- Service stations
- Gyms and fitness centres
By utilising public shower facilities, you can enjoy a warm, comfortable shower without the necessity for a dedicated setup in your van. In the next subsections, we’ll discuss the various types of public shower facilities and how to make the most of them during your van life adventures.
Campgrounds and RV Parks
Campgrounds and RV parks often have shower facilities for a fee, providing a reliable and comfortable option for van dwellers. These facilities usually include:
- Picnic tables
- Fire pits
- Sometimes, even laundry facilities
The quality and cleanliness of campground and RV park showers can vary, so it’s essential to research the facilities available in the areas you plan to visit. Some well-known campgrounds and RV parks are known for their excellent shower facilities, such as:
- Big 4
Truck Stops and Service Stations
Truck stops and service stations offer clean and safe showers, usually for a small fee, and can be found along major highways. Chains like BP and Shell truck stops are known for their private shower rooms, complete with:
- a full bathroom
- a bench
- a mirror
Gyms and Fitness Centers
Another option for van dwellers seeking shower facilities is gyms and fitness centres. These establishments provide access to showers, workout equipment, and sometimes even pools, often for a monthly membership fee.
National gym chains like Anytime Fitness offer nationwide memberships for van lifers, allowing you to access their facilities nationwide. We have a membership with Anytime Fitness and will use their gyms at least three times a week.
DIY Campervan Shower Setups
DIY campervan shower setups are an excellent choice for those who prefer to customise and personalise their van’s showering experience. With some creativity and essential materials and tools, you can create a shower setup that meets your specific needs and preferences.
DIY campervan shower setups can include shower tents, curtains for outdoor showers, and various water heating and storage options. In the following subsections, we’ll explore some of the best approaches for creating your own campervan shower setup.
Shower Tents and Curtains
Shower tents and shower curtains provide privacy for outdoor showers and can be easily set up and taken down as needed. They come in various sizes and materials, ensuring that you can find the perfect fit for your campervan and shower setup.
Some top shower tents for van camping include:
- Nemo Heliopolis Camp Shower
- Ozark Trail 2-Room Instant Shower
- G4Free Outdoor Shower Tent
- Coleman Double Shower Tent
When choosing a shower tent or curtain, consider material, size, ventilation, ease of setup, durability, and additional features.
Water Heating and Storage
A comfortable and efficient shower experience in your campervan requires suitable water heating and storage solutions. There are various options, such as:
- Propane or electric water heaters
- Tankless water heaters
- Solar showers
- Custom-shaped water tanks
When installing a water heater in your campervan, it’s essential to consider factors like ventilation, accessibility, and safety. Water storage options like permanent tanks and portable jugs can help ensure you have enough water for showering and other needs while on the road.
Essential Campervan Shower Accessories
To enhance your campervan shower experience, there are a few essential accessories that can make a world of difference. These accessories include quick-drying microfiber towels, eco-friendly soaps and cleansers, and space-saving toiletry storage solutions.
Below, we will cover the benefits of these essential campervan shower accessories and suggest the top products for your van life adventures.
Quick-Drying Microfiber Towels
Quick-drying microfiber towels are a must-have for van life, as they are lightweight, compact, and highly absorbent. These towels can dry you off quickly and efficiently while taking up minimal space in your campervan.
Some of the best quick-drying microfiber towels for camping include Rainleaf Microfiber Towel, Matador Ultralight Travel Towel, and VENTURE 4TH Quick Dry Travel Towel. To care for your microfiber towels, hand-wash them with warm water and a mild detergent, and hang them to air dry or tumble dry on low heat.
Eco-Friendly Soaps and Cleansers
Using eco-friendly soaps and cleansers during your van life adventures offers several benefits:
- Minimises your environmental impact
- Ensures that the products you use are safe for natural water sources
- Biodegradable and eco-friendly soaps can be used with confidence without harming the environment or aquatic life.
Some popular eco-friendly soaps for campervan showers include Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap, Kirk’s Original Bar Soap, and Sea to Summit Wilderness Wash. Remember, even when using eco-friendly soaps, it’s still important to follow the Leave No Trace guidelines and avoid using them directly in natural water sources.
Space-Saving Toiletry Storage
Keeping your shower essentials organised and easily accessible is crucial for an enjoyable campervan shower experience. Space-saving toiletry storage options, such as clear bags and hanging organisers, can help maintain a tidy and clutter-free shower area.
Clear toiletry bags, like the ones from eBags and Sea to Summit, allow you to spot your items quickly and keep them organised. Hanging organisers can be attached to towel rails or hooks, providing additional storage without taking up counter or floor space. These space-saving solutions will help you make the most of your campervan shower setup.
Water Conservation Tips for Campervan Showers
Conserving water is essential to van life, as water supply is often limited, and it can be challenging to refill or find water sources. Using water conservation tips, you can extend the amount of water you have, reduce the frequency of refills, and lessen the environmental impact of your water usage.
Below, we will cover several practical water conservation strategies for campervan showers, including taking brief, efficient showers and reusing shower water.
Short and Efficient Showers
Taking short and efficient showers saves water and time, ensuring you have enough water for other needs while on the road. By wetting yourself down, turning off the water while lathering up, and rinsing quickly, you can conserve water and still get clean.
Short showers use significantly less water than long ones, with an average of 60 litres. By practising efficient showering habits, you can maximise your water supply while maintaining hygiene during your van life adventures.
In conclusion, having a comfortable and efficient shower setup is essential for enjoying your van life adventures. Whether you opt for an indoor or outdoor campervan shower, a portable solution, or make use of public facilities, the key is to find the option that best suits your needs and preferences. By incorporating essential accessories and practicing water conservation techniques, you can maintain hygiene on the road while reducing your environmental impact.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does a shower in a campervan work?
Taking a shower in a campervan is easy – just like a regular shower! It has a built-in cubicle with a water tank that needs to be emptied daily to work correctly.
Can you shower in a campervan?
Yes, you can shower in a campervan if it has a permanent internal shower cubicle, water access, and a gas hot water system. Remember that it may take some time to heat the water for a warm shower and that you’ll need power for the water pump.
How do you go to the bathroom in a camper van?
In a camper van, you can go to the bathroom by using a composting or chemical toilet or by getting a flushable toilet that holds waste in a black water tank and then finding an appropriate place to dump it.
What are the main differences between indoor and outdoor campervan showers?
Indoor showers provide more privacy and convenience but require more space and plumbing, whereas outdoor showers offer a more natural experience but may lack privacy and require more setup time.
How can I conserve water while showering in a campervan?
Shorten your showers, and consider reusing the water for other tasks – this is a great way to conserve water in a campervan!
Wade & Dani
Hi! We’re Wade and Dani, We’re currently travelling around Australia in our 2017 Mercedes Sprinter Camper van and sharing our best experiences, stories, reviews and adventures as we go along. Make sure to check out our socials