Nomadic showers

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  • So. How many of you that live in your vehicles have a shower on board? I think it's the only thing I've deemed essential to van living (for me), but I'm not sure how much space I have for water tanks. What sort of water capacity do you guys have? How long do you spend in the shower? Do you have an electric pump, if so, what size? Do you have a boiler to warm up the water? All comments showery in nature are welcome :)

  • Post by r3ubs ().

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  • There's always somewhere you can get a shower that isn't in the van, that's my take.
    Why would you want the water capacity/heating/damp concerns that come with a shower?

    Coz i'm smelly! I dont want to rely on other people's showers, I'm sure I could occasionally borrow showers from friends and family, but I would prefer to be a bit more self sufficient.

  • I wouldn't bother fitting a shower either. The space and payload used for fresh and waste water isn't worth it.
    There are lots of health clubs you can shower at. Obviously that costs a little bit. You don't have to rely on friends and family.

  • I wouldn't have a shower in a smallish wheelyhome, but have had a shower or bath in all four of my coaches over the decades. In the first one it doubled up as a hanging space for clothes when not being used.
    If I was full time in something too small then I'd consider a screen outside and either a bottle as per Sootyfoot's thread, or a showerhead that would fix to the outside.

  • I would suggest:

    A 70l water tank
    A Shurflo 20psi water pump with accumulator for decent and consistent pressure.
    Instant water heater (I chose a Cointra Optima 5l as it's small and decent quality- gets the water nice and hot) Will need a flue to the outside of the vehicle.
    Mixer shower (make sure it's compatible with an instant water heater)
    1.5mm PVC cladding for the shower walls

    Works well and pretty easy to fit :-)

  • Sounds good dude, thankyou! :) Do you use all of the 70l in one shower? I'm gonna talk to my old man about water pumps, and find out what an accumulator is.

  • I really miss showers when off grid but have to agree that the space, expense, moisture etc probably means it is not worthwhile for most......It's not worthwhile for me at least.

    There are pretty good wipes available in a variety of guises that will afford a good degree of 'clean' without the added moisture of heating water and expense and space deficit of tanks, pumps and stalls.

    If baby wipes don't float your boat then a quick search for 'incontinence wipes' may push your working equation into the realms of fantasy.

    Rub down after with strong paper towel or an actual towel and hit leisure centres for an overpriced shower now and then and you've probably struck van living gold.

  • We don't have a shower in our Airstream and we didn't have a shower in our van. We have not had a shower for 15 years.

    We just have a washing up bowl (dedicated washing up bowl. We are not animals) and have an all over wash. It has no plumbing, no moving parts, cheap to replace, uses very little water.

    I can't remember the last time I had a shower


  • I've had a few years of this and I find the only thing important is to have somewhere to wash away from everything else. I've not had a working water heating system for years but to have a space where you can have a bottle or sink wash from is all I ever need. Just heat the water separately and go for it, you'll develop your own personal methods from there.

  • On my Hiace I was thinking of fitting shower curtain rails, to fit shower curtains with weights in the bottom. Then using a large spray bottle. There are small 12V shower pumps you can buy.

  • Sounds good dude, thank you! :) Do you use all of the 70l in one shower? I'm gonna talk to my old man about water pumps, and find out what an accumulator is.

    Depends how long you spend in the shower! If it's just a few minutes for a quick freshen up you should be okay.

    If you like a long drenching then you'll be filling up your tank and emptying your waste half way through your shower, as well as struggling with damp/ condensation... all.of which will not be fun! If that's the case, I agree that the only really sensible option is to shower else where. That said, however long you want to spend in there, good ventilation is essential.

    An accumulator is basically a little device that's fitted between the pump and the shower/taps, preventing pulsating water pressure and on / off cycling of the pump- this means a smoother flow of water, making for a happier water heater (the auto ignition is fired by the water flow) and longer pump life. Shurflo make one that screws directly to the pump- it's not the cheapest but it is effective and very easy to fit.

  • In the Pinz I have a shower room/with sink and Lavac vacuum toilet. Shower is 12 volt pumped water heated from a LPG water/central heating boiler. Manual or 12 volt toilet flush. 4 x fresh water tanks. 1 x toilet flush water tank, 1 x black tank 1 x grey tank.
    I wont be using the shower that much but intend installing a outside shower hose. This would get used, even if the kids rebel.
    Ive always managed with a large 2'6" diameter Aluminium bowl. It had a handle missing when I bought it & I've had it for over 30 years, it's still going strong but I came accross an identical one at the carboot 3 weeks ago and this new one has both it's handles. I paid just £4 for it. Beauty about these big Aluminium bowls is you can shove them into a fire to heat the water or stand them on a gas ring. It's adequate to stand in and nice in winter infront of the woodburner to get a great strip wash/bath.
    I take a traditional full size tin bath if Im staying in one place for a week or more and we will be camped near a river or tap.

  • My 2p..Wetroom/toilet area,custom built shower tray,cassette toilet,solar heat water in 2 litre bottles on dash top,decant to larger tank,submersible pump up to household shower pipe and head.Never had a damp problem in various vans,same system.

  • 30g tank h&c pumped shower & toilet 1981 ford transit mk2 motor home
    (but I'm a flash bastard sorry) could tell you about solar panels and 240v system with 3 . 5 kW genny where the passenger seat used to be... but I won't

  • I usually just google Swimming Pools and find a local one then have a swim at the same time.

    Like Wolfie says, Camp sites you can most definitely walk into nearly all of them and use showers, sometimes laundry room etc all usually coin operated so can't see its wrong.

    Truck stops, including the ones on motorway services apparently although that's a new area to me. I have only ever used a couple of truck stops in my life.

    Many hospitals have a public shower if you ask at reception, Imply you are a visiting relative

  • Having spent many years living in vehicles,I feel that anything that is not a very large truck or a bus does not have space for a shower.
    My log burner (made by julian on this site) is small and is raised off the ground a foot or so,so to give the dog a bit of breathing space lower down and I have got storage space under and around it. It is very easy to strip wash on a towel with water heated up on your burner,also getting the burner to a good temperature to cook on at the same time.

    If you are either living in the vehicle or spending lots of time in it,you really want to give thought to being minimilist so that you have more space around you,which is good for the spirit. If you put too much in a small space,you will get cabin fever or claustrophobic.

    I think that life can be much easier and more comfortable without a shower. It does not take long to adapt :thumbup:

  • Thanks for the reply and I totally understand where you're coming from, but we have a toddler and it seems hes inherited eczema so I feel it's kind of essential for us really. Though it may be the smallest shower room in the universe that we are putting together, I think it is only 550mm wide. Plus I want to add a valve to direct it outside so we have the option of showering outdoors if we desire.