Campervan Shower

Comparing Outdoor vs Indoor Toilets and Showers in a Campervan

Embarking on a van life adventure is an exciting journey that comes with many decisions, including how to handle personal hygiene on the road. One of the key choices is whether to opt for “outdoor vs indoor toilets and showers in a campervan”. But fear not. This guide is here to help you navigate the pros and cons of each option, ultimately assisting you in making an informed decision that best suits your needs and preferences.

Short Summary

  • Compare the pros and cons of outdoor vs. indoor toilets & showers in campervans.
  • Consider space, privacy, weather exposure, plumbing complexity & water conservation when setting up your bathroom.
  • Look into custom-built or off-the-shelf solutions for a personalized experience.

Pros and Cons of Outdoor Toilets and Showers

When it comes to outdoor setups, there are some attractive benefits, such as:

  • Space-saving advantages, which allow for more room for other amenities and storage.
  • Privacy can be a concern when showering al fresco, and weather exposure might make the experience less enjoyable in extreme conditions. To mitigate these issues, a shower tent or curtain can be used for privacy and jigsaw foam mats for added comfort underfoot.
  • Outdoor setups also avoid the plumbing complexities and space requirements that come with indoor facilities.

On the other hand, the indoor shower in campervans provides convenience and easy access, especially at night. Let’s dive deeper into the pros and cons of both options.

Space-Saving Benefits

Outdoor toilets and showers offer a significant advantage in van life – they save precious space inside your campervan. This freedom allows you to dedicate more room to other amenities, storage, or even a more spacious living area.

The outdoor setup eliminates the need to allocate a designated bathroom area inside your van.

Weather Exposure

While outdoor setups save space, they do expose you to the elements. This can be a drawback, especially in extreme heat, cold, or rain. No one wants to shiver through a cold shower or try to rinse off soap while being pelted by rain, missing the comfort of a hot shower from inside.

It’s important to consider the weather and plan accordingly when relying on an outdoor shower setup. However, for those who love embracing the great outdoors, some weather exposure might not be a dealbreaker and could even add to the adventure.

Privacy Concerns

Privacy is another concern when it comes to outdoor toilets and showers in campervans. To address this issue, you can use a shower tent or curtain to create a more private space for freshening up. This way, you can still enjoy the space-saving benefits and connection to the outdoors while maintaining a sense of privacy and comfort during your daily hygiene routine.

Having a private space for freshening up is important for many people, and it’s worth it.

Pros and Cons of Indoor Toilets and Showers

Indoor toilets and indoor showers in campervans offer the ultimate convenience, providing easy access and a more comfortable experience, especially in adverse weather conditions. However, they come with their own set of challenges. Installing indoor facilities can be complex due to plumbing requirements, and there’s always the potential for leaks or damage. Additionally, indoor toilets and showers require a significant amount of space within the campervan, which may limit other amenities or storage options.

Let’s explore the pros and cons of indoor facilities in more detail.

Campervan bathroom


There’s no denying the convenience of having indoor toilets and hot showers in a campervan. You have easy access to your bathroom facilities at all times, day or night, regardless of the weather outside. This is particularly beneficial in colder climates or during rainy days, where an outdoor setup might be less than ideal.

In addition, indoor facilities offer a more comfortable and familiar experience compared to outdoor alternatives, making them an attractive choice for many van dwellers.

Plumbing Complexity

One of the main challenges of installing indoor toilets and showers is the complexity of plumbing. This includes connecting the facilities to the hot water supply, drainage systems and providing proper ventilation. Additionally, improper installation or maintenance can lead to leaks, water damage, and mould growth, which are serious concerns for any campervan owner. A composting toilet can solve some of these challenges, requiring less complex plumbing and reducing the risk of leaks.

To avoid such issues, it’s crucial to ensure proper installation and regular upkeep of your indoor facilities. This includes checking for any signs of damage or wear and tear and ensuring that all items are safe.

Space Requirements

Another consideration for indoor toilets and showers is the space they require within your campervan. By allocating room for these facilities, you may need to sacrifice other amenities or storage options. This can be a significant trade-off, especially in smaller campervans with limited space.

However, for some, the convenience and comfort of indoor living space may outweigh the loss of space.

Types of Campervan Toilets and Showers

Now that we’ve explored the pros and cons of outdoor and indoor setups, let’s dive into the different types of campervan toilets and showers available. Both portable and permanent installations have their advantages and drawbacks, depending on your needs and preferences.

By understanding these options, you can make a more informed decision when choosing the best solution for your van life experience.

Portable Toilets and Showers

Portable toilets and showers offer flexibility and ease of use, making them an attractive option for campervan owners who value adaptability. These facilities can be easily moved and set up wherever needed, providing a practical solution for those who may not require a full-time bathroom in their van.

However, portable facilities may lack the comfort and convenience of permanent installations, as they typically offer a more basic and less comfortable experience than custom-built solutions.

The RinseKit

Permanent Installations

Conversely, permanent installations of toilets and shower facilities in campervans provide a more comfortable and convenient experience, closely resembling a traditional bathroom setup. These facilities are typically better equipped to handle daily use and offer a more familiar feel for those accustomed to traditional bathrooms.

However, permanent installations require more space within the campervan and may involve more complex plumbing, which can be a significant drawback for some van owners.

Water Management and Conservation

Regardless of the type of toilet and shower setup you choose, water management and conservation are crucial. Proper water management ensures that your facilities will remain functional and efficient, while conservation practices help minimize your environmental impact and extend the usability of your campervan bathroom.

Let’s explore water tank capacity and water-saving techniques in more detail.

Water Tank Capacity

Water tank capacity is an important consideration for campervan toilets and showers, as it determines how long you can use the facilities before needing to refill. The average converted campervan usually has between 30 and 150 liters of water storage, depending on the number of people and their water usage habits.

Ensuring that your water tank can hold enough water for at least three days of use is generally recommended. This will help to ensure that you have enough water for your needs.

Water Saving Techniques

Implementing water-saving techniques can help conserve water and extend the usability of your campervan toilets and showers. For example, using trigger showerheads can help reduce water consumption by allowing you to control water flow during your shower.

Additionally, opting for eco-friendly toiletries such as biodegradable soaps and shampoos can minimize the environmental impact of your bathroom activities.

Campervan Bathroom Accessories

To enhance your campervan bathroom experience, you can consider adding various accessories that provide comfort, convenience, and sustainability. Whether you have an outdoor or indoor setup, these accessories can help you create a more enjoyable and efficient bathroom space.

Let’s take a look at some popular campervan bathroom accessories, including shower curtains and tents, showerheads and hoses, and eco-friendly toiletries.

Shower Curtains and Tents

Shower curtains and tents are essential accessories for campervan bathrooms, as they provide privacy and protection for both indoor and outdoor showers. By installing a shower curtain or setting up a shower tent, you can create a private space for freshening up while maintaining the connection to the outdoors or the openness of your indoor setup.

These accessories are easy to install and can be used to create a comfortable and private showering experience.

Shower Tent outside

Showerheads and Hoses

Showerheads and hoses can be customized for optimal water pressure and conservation in your campervan shower. Selecting a shower head that allows you to control the water flow, such as a trigger showerhead, can help save water and make your shower more efficient.

Furthermore, choosing a hose with the right length and flexibility ensures enough maneuverability during your shower, enhancing your overall experience.

Eco-Friendly Toiletries

Eco-friendly toiletries are another great addition to your campervan bathroom. By opting for biodegradable soaps, shampoos, and conditioners, you can minimize the environmental impact of your daily hygiene routine.

Other eco-friendly options include bamboo toothbrushes and natural deodorants. By incorporating these sustainable products into your campervan bathroom, you can contribute to a greener van life experience.

Real-Life Examples of Campervan Toilets and Showers

To help you visualize the different possibilities for your campervan bathroom, let’s look at some real-life examples of custom-built and off-the-shelf toilet and shower setups. These examples showcase the various options available to cater to your needs and preferences. Ultimately, they can guide you in making the best decision for your van life journey.

Custom-Built Solutions

Custom-built camper van toilets and showers are tailored to your specific needs and preferences, offering unique and personalized solutions that cater to your lifestyle. For example, the Advanced RV camper van bathroom features an expandable layout that provides more room during your shower, as well as a pop-out shower curtain holder that doubles as a towel rack for wet clothes.

These custom-built solutions allow you to create a bathroom space that perfectly fits your needs, ensuring an enjoyable and comfortable experience on the road.

Campervan bathroom

Off-the-Shelf Options

Off-the-shelf options for campervan toilets and showers offer convenience and ease of installation but may not be as customizable or adaptable as custom-built solutions. Pre-made, ready-to-install facilities are available from various retailers, providing a practical solution for those who may not require a full-time bathroom in their van.

While these options might be less tailored to your needs, they still provide a functional and efficient wet bath experience for your campervan adventures.


In conclusion, choosing between outdoor and indoor toilets and showers for your campervan is a personal decision based on your needs, preferences, and van layout. Both options have advantages and disadvantages, which should be carefully considered before making a choice. By understanding the various types of facilities, water management, and conservation practices, as well as exploring real-life examples and accessories, you can make an informed decision that best suits your van life journey. Ultimately, the right choice will ensure a comfortable, convenient, and sustainable bathroom experience on the road.

Frequently Asked Questions