Van Life Shower Options // For Off-Grid Living

Shower Options for Mobile Living

Staying clean while you are on the road can be a challenge. It usually involves the arduous task of finding a gym with a shower or a cold lake to reluctantly jump in, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you have decided that you have had enough of finding ways to stay clean on the road then it’s time to look at your Shower Options for Van Life.

We have spent time researching the best and most popular Off Grid Shower Options so that you can decide which is the right one for you.

Below are a variety of Shower Options that are best suited for Campervans and Mobile Living:

Installed showers

Having a fixed permanently installed shower is the best option. If you have the space a purpose-built tank can be installed and water fed to a shower nozzle/head via either an electrical or manual pump. A custom shower curtain can be erected around an open door for privacy.

Eccotemp  Portable Tankless Water Heater 

Campervan showers

More Info and reviews on Amazon

  • Liquid Propane Fuel – connects to a standard propane tank
  • Battery Operated for Use Off the Grid- 2 D Cell Battery Ignition
  • Minimum Flow Rate of 0.3 Ltrs Per Minute
  • Needs 20-80 PSI of water pressure
  • Lightweight for easy Portability
  • Easy Setup

This heater supposedly produces hot water within seconds. You can choose from multiple spray settings to select your preferred water pressure. The heater provides a temperature range of 80 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit, starting at a .5 gallons per minute (GPM) flow rate and going up to 1.4 GPM. After 20 minutes, the water heater shuts off automatically for added peace of mind.

 

Marey Power Gas 10L Tankless Water Heatercampervan showersSpecs and Price on Amazon

  • Activates by water flow from the moment the faucet is opened
  • No electrical connection required
  • Energy Sufficient
  • Includes Auto Ignition
  • Compact Design
  • Heats unlimited volume of water as needed.

This water heater is an energy-saving design which claims to heat up in seconds and uses gas only while water is flowing. Available in LP and natural gas models. It activates by water flow when faucet is turned on. Works easily with low levels of water pressure.

 

Solar Roof Rack Shower

campervan showers

Road Shower on Amazon

  • Attaches to your vehicle rack
  • Heated water from the sun
  • Good for washing dishes, rinsing off gear or washing the dog

You can also have a semi-permanent installed shower, gravity fed and heated by the sun. Obviously if there is no sun then you’re having a cold shower, so this isn’t always ideal. It carries about 6 gallons (22.7 Litres) although the hot water only lasts an hour or so after the sun goes down so planning your shower while the sun is still up is ideal. You have to pressurize it using a bicycle pump (not included) which doesn’t last long and requires you to continuously pump it while you are using it.

Budget Installed Shower Option

If you consider yourself a bit of a MacGyver, a cheaper option is a homemade shower which can be made by using some Black PVC tubing and attaching a hose to the end – we made one that we used on our journey through Latin America and it worked just as well as the much more expensive aluminum version above.  All the parts can be found in the plumbing section of a local hardware store.  If you are going to make your own, the main challenge is finding a way to have an exit hole at the bottom of the pipe so that all of the water can come out.  You’ll want to minimize the amount of play and stress that can be put on the tap fitting as too much movement will cause a leak in short time.  Also nylon threaded nuts don’t work as well for this job as metal.  Also keep the number of joins to a minimum.  Black pipes work best as they attract the most heat during the day.  Go get creative! 🙂

Homemade Road Shower

 

Luxury Option

The most luxurious option, is to have a dedicated tank and electrical (or mechanical) pump to give you a ‘real show’. By using a heat exchanger, as seen in marine applications, you can use the heat generated from your engine to heat your on-board water tank whilst you drive. More info about this method here.

 

A bath with a view

Portable Shower

It’s a bit of a space hog, we admit – but for some people that space is well spent on having the ability to have a hot shower. These devices use propane to instantly heat their self-contained water supply. Some products use batteries; however we recommend that you go for the option that uses a 12v supply that can be hooked up to your vehicle.

ZODI Outback Portable Shower Kit

van life showers

Variety of Portable Shower Options from Zodi on Amazon

  • Attaches to 16.4-ounce propane cylinder or 5-gallon propane tank (with kit)
  • 6-volt water pump with pushbutton ignition; 8-foot hose with shower head
  • 4-gallon storage case doubles as water tank (holds enough water for 10-minute shower)
  • Temperature adjusts up to 100 degrees F.
  • Case measures 15 x 10 x 10 inches (W x H x D)

Easy to use by adding four D-cell batteries to the waterproof battery case, connect the propane heat source, and submerge the self-contained 6-volt water pump in a clean water source. If you’re in an area without an easily accessible water source, you can use the rugged 4-gallon travel case as a water tank instead. The tank holds enough water for a 10-minute shower and refills in seconds.

Winterial Pressurized Solar Heated Shower 

Check it out the reviews on Amazon

  • Compact and Lightweight – Only weighing 2lbs this pressure camping shower makes it easy to travel with.
  • Can hold up to 11L of water
  • Heats water in bag when placed in the sun. Capable of holding water that is up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Pump to pressurize: To pressurize simply pump the provided foot pump to inflate the bag. The pressurized camping shower will hold the water pressure up to 5-7 minutes
  • Portable: The shower can be hung from a tree to provide the best water flow

 

Solar shower bags

These are convenient to fill up and hang up to in the sun when you have settled down for the day. Unfortunately, you can’t really store the bag permanently on your vehicle when you are traveling but it’s a great option if you’re setting up camp for a few days. We recommend having one of these regardless of other options as the collapsible solar-heated format works great when you know you’ll be needing extra capacity for a few days.

Coleman Solar Shower

vanlife showers

Sizes and prices vary – Amazon

Advanced Elements Summer Solar Shower

campervan solar shower

Sizes and prices vary – Amazon

Natures shower

 

Weed-Killer Shower

Repurposing a 1 gallon (or larger) spray bottle used in agricultural applications can give you a small portable shower. They are best used with a little help from a friend. Make sure to paint the bottle black so that it can heat up quickly in the sun but leave a strip unpainted so that you can still see how much water you have left.

van life showers

You can get these weed killers from any home and hardware store. There are some really cheap ones on Amazon but keep in mind that you need other attachments if you want to add a shower head on to the weed killer.

If you are intending on getting extra parts to make your weed killer shower you could just get a similar portable shower that is already made for just a few extra dollars.

Razor Reef Portable Surf Shower

van life shower

Portable Surf Shower (also for non surfers) 😉 on Amazon

  • Neoprene
  • No batteries needed
  • 1.5 Gallon tank holds 1 gallon of water
  • 1 Meter poly hose

The Bucket Option

If you don’t have either of those a collapsible bucket and a cup will do the job, we call that an Indo-shower because that’s how they shower in south east Asia, particularly Indonesia. This method might get old quickly but it’s an option if only temporary.

An option if you only have a bucket is to get a portable handheld shower which works by sucking up heated water from a bucket.

Ivation Portable Handheld Shower 

van life shower options

Buy from Amazon if this is the camp shower for you.

  • Easy to Use with Water From a Bucket
  • Rechargeable via USB
  • Active, Built-In Water Filtration System
  • For a hot shower, water needs to be heated in the bucket before use

A waterproof, battery-powered portable shower drawing water from virtually any bucket, basin or sink. It has a built-in rechargeable 2200mAh lithium battery which powers the shower for up to 60 minutes on a single charge.

The Baby Wipe Shower

We’ve all head about the infamous baby wipe shower and hopefully this is only used as an emergency option or used in between a real shower. We suggest that you should always have a packet of baby wipes handy and to ONLY use ones that are antibacterial. If you are going to clean yourself with wipes they at least need to give you a proper clean.

The antibacterial body wipes are a bit harder to find in stores (stay away from the antibacterial house cleaning ones – they’ll bur your bits!) but there are a few online.

Antibacterial Body Wipes

 

We buy our body wipes online via Amazon because the majority of “baby wipes” available on the high-street aren’t antibacterial.

  • Clinically proven natural tea tree and eucalyptus oil provides benefits effective at helping wash away bacteria, viruses, and fungus
  • Natural, free and clear of fragrances, dyes, cosmetics, petrochemical compounds, triclosan alcohol or sodium lauryl sulfate

Really Desperate?

You could always wait for it to rain…

campervan shower


 The products in this article are affiliate links which means that we get a small percentage for researching the products but will cost you nothing extra.

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