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Showering in a Camper Van


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Showering in a Camper Van

  Class B RV Rental

July 2, 2024 Showering in a Camper Van

You’re considering renting a camper van (a class B RV) during your next vacation. Now you may be wondering, do camper vans have showers, and if so, what’s it like to have access to a hot shower on the road?

This article reviews all your options to help you make an educated choice before securing a class B RV rental.

Where to Shower in a Campervan 

Van life showering options will vary depending on the type of vehicle you rent.

Some premium camper vans come with compact showers right inside them. That said, many people find they don’t enjoy showering in this type of setup since it’s hard to move around in close-quarters showers. Compact plumbing systems can cause several maintenance issues, and installing an indoor shower can be expensive due to the plumbing and extra materials required. You don’t want your vacation plans derailed because your camper’s shower stopped working, so ensuring proper drainage with a grey water tank is crucial.

An outdoor shower can be a convenient and practical option for those who enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle.

Instead, a better option is usually finding alternate locations where you can take a shower.

Where to Find Campervan Outdoor Shower Locations While Traveling

When you’re camping, many campsites will have public shower facilities you can use. Check the details of each campground you’re considering before reserving it to ensure it has the showers, bathrooms, and amenities you need. Accessing unlimited hot showers through gym memberships or paid campgrounds can be a cost-effective and convenient alternative to installing an indoor van shower.

Another option is to look for local gyms or truck stops in the area where you’re planning your vacation. Many gyms offer a one-week free trial to give you easy access to their showers.

How Do You Find Shower Facilities When Living in a Van?

Outside of finding public facilities to shower in, you can consider other van life shower setups even when your vehicle doesn’t come with one inside. A water heater is essential for efficient heating, ensuring a comfortable showering experience.

Portable showers are a convenient option for many van lifers when you can’t find facilities in your area. They come in several different styles, including:

  • You can attach pop-up tents with a shower head inside to a running water source. When folded down, they’re compact and easy to carry. However, ensure you air them enough after use to avoid mold growth.
  • Portable shower tubs or bathtubs. These will typically come with a shower nozzle or hose, which you can use to spray yourself off, and the water will collect right in the tub.
  • Portable wash kits are a fast option for cleaning up. They usually have a small water tank and hose attached so you can spray yourself off. Since they have a small water tank, these are usually best to use in a pinch, but they won’t get you as clean as a full shower.

A solar shower is also a practical and eco-friendly solution for outdoor showering, utilizing the sun’s energy to heat water without plumbing.

Some shower hacks will ensure the best results when using portable options. For instance, you’ll want to heat the water before use to avoid taking an uncomfortable cold shower. Tools like solar-powered or instant water heaters can do this effectively.

How Does a Hot Water Shower Work in a Camper?

Now that you know all about portable campervan shower systems, you’ll likely still want an overview of shower options when your van comes with one inside.

Plumbing in a van works a bit differently than household plumbing. Most van shower systems have a dual water tank. One side holds clean water, and the other holds dirty water. When the clean water side runs out, your shower will stop running until it’s refilled. Compact camper vans don’t have a ton of water storage, so you’ll need to take fast showers. The shower drainage system must also handle hot and cold water efficiently to prevent any issues.

Most vans have either solar-powered or propane systems to heat the water. Solar-powered heating is very environmentally friendly, but it takes longer for the water to heat up, so you may need to take a break between showers before using it with hot water again. Propane systems generally heat the water much faster if you want more convenience.

When your dirty water tank fills up, you must look for grey water disposal in your area. Usually, RV dump stations or waste disposal centers are the safest places to dump your dirty water tank.

How Long Can You Take a Shower in a Camper?

Camper van shower durations are typically shorter than those of a normal home shower. Due to the small water tank, limiting showers to 5 minutes or less is best, especially if you’re traveling with multiple people. Utilizing a warm shower, such as a solar shower that heats the water using the sun’s rays, can provide a toasty and comfortable showering experience without the need for plumbing, making it easier to enjoy a quick yet satisfying shower.

Conserving water usage is also key to avoiding refilling your clean water tank or constantly dumping grey water. One of the best conservation tips is to soap up before starting the water to avoid running it unnecessarily.

The Limitations of Having a Shower and Grey Water Tank in a Camper Van

Many of the limitations on how long you can shower in a camper van, combined with the maintenance required to keep these shower systems up, are why many people prefer to rent RVs that come without one. Using a shower tent for added privacy when showering outdoors can be a great alternative. When you want to go on a relaxing vacation, taking breaks to dump and refill your shower’s water tank or clean it can feel like a hassle.

Our vans at Escape don’t come with showers or toilets; our customers usually prefer them that way. Camper vans without showers or bathrooms are generally less expensive to rent and much easier to maintain while on your trip. You can get away just fine when using public facilities without dealing with all the maintenance.

Rent a Camper Van from Escape Camper Vans

When you need reliable and affordable transportation and sleeping solutions for your next vacation, Escape Camper Vans has you covered. We have over 600 uniquely hand-painted vans available for rent at our 11 locations across the U.S. While our vans don’t come with showers, they still have several features that will be helpful during your trip, such as:

  • Propane stove
  • Sink with a water tank
  • Refrigerator
  • Foldaway tables and benches
  • Extra storage
  • Queen size beds
  • Bucket seats that you don’t have to collapse to make your bed

Reserve yours today, or contact us with any other questions. 

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