Types of the camper showers and their advantages and disadvantages

Hiring a camping van is always an easy way to explore any safari destination because they car rental company always offer all the things you will need during your camping trip apart from the things you will need for showering.

Showering in the van is always an up-to-date and controversial topic even among experienced vanlifers. Some set for themselves a wet cell in the van, others have cheaper solutions or a workaround. There are some possibilities, but each option has its advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we have collected you the most famous and popular washing facilities in the camper.

Showering is a big topic – not only when it comes to Vanlife and campers. Thousands of questions arise and nobody really talks about it. “How do you shower, how many times, and how do you do it during camping?” Are the questions that are piling up in our inbox. In order to speak plainly once and for all, clean up the myths but also to help you with your decision for your own van, we have listed and compared you with the various possibilities during road trips.

Shower in the van / wet room

This already has to be decided during the conversion. If you want to install a shower in the van, it should be well planned and executed. We decided against this possibility. Mainly because of the disadvantages mentioned below.

In general, a private shower in a camper van is possible if planned well, for example, in your own van, as in a tiny house to live, possibly even in a big city. (But there are also workarounds – cheap fitness subscriptions, for example, and the shared use of their showers…;)) Even if your trips take you to colder countries, there is a separate wet cell in the camper. But now to the advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages:
Privacy. None of the other options will give you as much privacy in your cleaning as your own shower.

Windless and protected from the cold. Whether it’s warm water or not, taking a shower in your own home is certainly warmer than outdoors.

Disadvantage:
Takes up a lot of space in the van. Establishing a shower in the camper van – that means space. The question you have to ask yourself is: Does a shower fit into my base vehicle?

Consumes a lot of water. Remember, all the water that you want to consume within your van, you also have to go around with you and refuel.
Additional budget is needed – as this costs extra to be rebuilt but certainly also in maintenance.

Moisture in the van is a touchy subject and having a shower in your own camper brings some wetness into the car interior.

Shower and faucet in one

Already seen at other Van-lifer and a friend installed it in his camper, is the following option: The faucet, which is already installed for the kitchen and thus already provided with running water (pressure) is simply assigned a second function. Ideally, you have in this case a retractable head that you can put through a window to the outside, for example. We personally like this solution very well!
If you do not have a suitable window next to the kitchen, you can also use an external battery operated shower.

The advantages:
Space-saving
No additional water tank
Water pressure is available

Disadvantage:
Outdoor
Must be considered in the planning! You have to have a window installed, or the kitchen very close to one of the doors.

Shower for hanging or pumping

We have chosen this solution. More specifically, for a “black bag” that we fill up, put in the sun and then wait for the water to heat up. The pump version works similarly, except that there is much more pressure. We also have a shower curtain that we can hang between our gull wing doors. So we can even strip naked. Mostly we shower in a bikini or in a board short without a shower curtain.

Advantages:
Little water consumption. We do not need more than a sack for two. Mostly not even that much.
Warm water
The feeling of being in the shower. More and more we have the feeling that people often simply lack the feeling of a shower.
Cheap solution
Quick to stow and does not take up much space.
The bag and the shower pump are handy and lightweight.
This shower variant does not have to be considered when planning the campervan.

Disadvantage:
Warm water only in warmer countries. Granted: the sun has to warm for a few hours. In Morocco that worked out great. For example, in winter in Portugal, the sun is not strong enough to really warm the water.
Nothing for long-term use and future investments. A few months on the road: Our sack is already dripping a bit. Hardly noticeable, but the price speaks for no high quality.

Stand in the bucket and empty the water over it.

Yes, we also want to add this as an alternative, because it is probably the most used method of us to shower. Especially after surfing – when we have taken off the wetsuit again – we like to wash ourselves off quickly. The water is mostly cold, but that’s half as bad in the areas we’re traveling to.
Advantage:
No additional costs
No preparation time

Disadvantage:
Cold water

Washcloths

“Ask your grandmother how she used to take a shower”, we heard a friend say lately. Well, let’s give you the answer: There used to be a “laundry day” a week. And that does not apply to your clothing. No. This refers to the washing of one’s own body. The rest of the day you just take a small towel or a washcloth to hand and cleans the most meticulous areas – so armpits and intimate area. We like this method because not only can we wash ourselves completely naked, we can also use warm water. In our kettle, we simply put a little water on the gas stove and then mix it to the right temperature. Heart, what do you want more?

Advantages:
Warm water
Little water consumption
Indoor

Disadvantage:
Preparation time
No hair washing
No showering sensation