Welcome to our ultimate guide to the best campervan shower options! Whether you’re just trying to get away from bathing in a river or lake or feel like you deserve a hot shower, this expert blog post will help you make the best decisions about shower options for your van.
If you’ve spent any amount of time on the road in a camper van, then you’ll know the struggle of finding a source of fresh water for showering. Campsites, rivers, and public bathrooms are all possible options, although they aren’t the most private or convenient.
Having your own personal van conversion bathroom can be a lifesaver, especially if you’re living off-grid or traveling far from any public showers.
Unfortunately, many campers are sceptical about outfitting their Sprinter van with bathroom and shower equipment. They’re worried about the upfront cost and how much space it will take up inside their van.
And it’s true – indoor showers, while private and convenient, can be expensive and tricky to install.
However, there are plenty of other shower alternatives that are more practical for van life living. In this article, we’ll cover the different types of showers available and tell you which ones are the best products for your van or camper.
Campervan Shower Options
Do I need a campervan shower?
Although it’s nice to have the option to shower while you’re on the road, the upfront cost and required space deter many people from installing a shower in their van. The decision to install a camper van shower will depend on a number of factors, including your hygiene needs and style of traveling.
If you spend most of your nights docked at a campground with decent bathroom facilities, then you might not need a van camper with bathroom equipment or shower hookup. Or if you’re only traveling periodically, say one or two nights at a time, then it also might be possible to go your entire trip without a wet bath.
But if you’re spending an extending period of time on the road, then having the option to shower inside your van might be a good option. That way, you won’t have to seek out public restrooms or campground showers just to get clean every morning.
Some travelers might also choose to install an outdoor shower in their campervan. While an outdoor shower is practical for camping off-grid, it’s not the best option if you’re boondocking in an urban city. In that situation, you’ll be better off with an indoor shower.
Installed vs. Portable Campervan Showers
For many full-time travelers, building a shower inside their van conversion is the most practical choice. While having an installed shower expands your product options and makes your on-board bathroom more robust, it is the most time consuming and expensive option.
And most importantly, you’ll need to have a functional water system to operate the shower. This requires a water tank, drainage system, and in some cases, an electrical battery. You’ll also need to have the knowledge to hookup or install the shower, unless you want to hire a professional for help.
If you want the convenience of a personal shower with the hassle of permanently installing one in your van, then a portable campervan shower might be the best fit.
A portable shower also gives you the option to collect water and shower away from your campsite, like on a hike or by a river. It’s also a space-saving alternative that doesn’t require a lot of time upfront to install.
Although portable showers are cheaper to purchase, don’t expect the same power or pressure that you would get from an installed shower. In many cases, these showers will need to be manually pumped or gravity-fed in order to operate.
Coleman PVC Solar Heated Water Shower Bag
With the Coleman Solar Water Shower Bag, you can enjoy a relaxing hot shower even if you’re miles away from home. All you have to do is fill up the PVC bag, lay it out in the sun for a few hours, and let the water heat up naturally.
The bag has a capacity of five gallons, which is more than enough hot water for one or two people. And it comes with an easy on and off switch, which is an environmentally friendly way to reduce your water waste.
The Coleman Solar Water Shower Bag is an efficient and economical outdoor shower for camper van owners.
KIPIDA Solar Shower Bag
Like the Coleman Heated Shower Bag, the KIPIDA Solar Shower Bag also harnesses the sun’s energy to heat up five gallons of water for a warm, comfortable shower.
It can heat up the water in just three hours and thankfully comes with a temperature monitor, so you won’t know ahead of time before pouring scalding hot water onto your body.
This all-inclusive portable shower kit comes with a hose, shower head, and adjustable shower tap so you can easily turn on and off the flow of water.
This shower for sprinter van owners is guaranteed to keep you squeaky clean throughout your entire journey!
Indoor vs. Outdoor Showers
Space, cost, and travel style are all factors to take into account when deciding between an outdoor or indoor shower.
An indoor shower is a private and convenient option that appeals to many van life travelers. However, it requires a separate waterproof space (like a wet bath room), a drainage system, and a water heater and tank.
If you don’t have the money or space to install a shower inside your van, than an outside shower is a space-saving alternative. While it does need to be set up each time (hanging a shower head and shower curtain), it’s a great option for anyone with a small van or camper.
While an outdoor shower is cheaper and easier to install compared to an indoor shower, the only downside is that it doesn’t off the same comforts or privacy that you would have from showering indoors.
Taking a shower outside is perfectly find if you’re camping in the woods, but not super practical if you’re spending a few days in the city or busy campground.
Ivation Portable Battery Powered Shower
The Ivation Portable Battery Powered Shower gives you the option to shower almost anywhere without the use of plumbing, a water bag, or even a separate tank.
When it comes time to turn it on, the Ivation Portable Battery Powered Shower simply draws water from a bucket or sink and delivers a powerful stream of .66 gal/minute using the rechargeable battery-powered handle.
With just one charge, you’ll be able to use the handle for over an hour, which is great for families or large groups. And it’s small and compact size means it can easily be packed in your backpack or stored in a cabinet when not in use.
OYOOQO 5 Gallons Portable Outdoor Camping Shower
Although it’s not the most affordable outdoor camper shower on this list, the OYOOQO Portable Camping Shower is a durable product that will last for many years of rugged outdoor adventure.
This battery-powered shower is constructed with waterproof and anti-leak materials and built with a German imported pure copper brushless motor, so you know it can survive even the most treacherous of elements.
It has a flow of 6 liters per minute, which is by far one of the most powerful outdoor shower camper models we’ve seen.
And as an added bonus, you can also use the shower as a high-powered van or car wash system! When it’s empty and not in use, the storage tank is also perfect for holding small items and goods while you’re traveling.
Tankless vs. Plumbed Showers
Even if you don’t have an attachable water tank installed in your van, you can still have hot water for your shower while traveling. Tankless showers can either connect directly to a campsite’s water supply or draw water from a portable bucket or sink.
These electrical appliances heat up the water so you can enjoy a hot shower anytime you want.
Keep in mind that most tankless showers need to be used outside, as they need to connect to a propane tank or electrical grid and have to draw from a separate water source.
However, it’s an upgrade over your more typical solar bag or tank units, as you’ll get consistent hot and pressurized water each time.
If you prefer something more self-contained, then you can choose to install a plumbed shower. These are hooked up to your van’s plumbing system and supplied with water from your attachable van tank.
While many large vans and RVs have built-in plumbing that supports a plumbed shower, other small camper vans might not have the capability to support a plumbed system.
Camplux 5L 1.32 GPM Outdoor Portable Propane Tankless Water Heater
The energy-saving Camplux Tankless Water Heater is one of the most popular camper showers for people who don’t want to rely on water supplied by the van’s tank. It’s capable of heating up water in just a few seconds and delivers a stream of 1.32 gallons of hot water per minute.
This vanlife shower also comes packed with safety features that are surprisingly missing in other products, like flame failure device, anti-freezing protection and oxygen depletion safety shut-off protection
It easy to install right out of the box. And while it doesn’t need electricity, the Camplux Tankless Water Heater does require LP gas or propane hookup to operate.
But once you experience the power of Camplux, you’ll see why it’s one of the best showers for campervans on the market!
Eccotemp L10 3.0 GPM Portable Outdoor Tankless Water Heater
We believe the hefty price tag on the Eccotemp Portable Outdoor Tankless Water Heater is worth every penny. It has all the benefits of an indoor shower (3 gallons per minute and 20 PSI), with the added benefit of portability, so it’s easy to set up and pack up when it’s not in use.
There are a variety of spray settings to choose from, and the temperature can be set anywhere between 80 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you’re looking for a robust shower with a powerful and comfortable water flow, then the Eccotemp is the perfect addition to your outdoor campervan bathroom.
Alternative Shower Options
In addition to the the indoor and outdoor shower types we discussed above, you might also come across other alternative shower options for your van.
If you don’t have enough space for a camper van with bathroom appliances, you can always opt for the Road Shower tool instead. The water tank mounts directly onto the roof rack on top of your van and comes with a hose and shower head attachment so you can shower outside.
It uses solar power to heat up the water in the tank, so you can have a hot, pressurized shower in just a matter of seconds.
You can also use it for drinking water, cleaning dishes, or even pressure washing dirty gear (thanks to the high-powered spray).
WaterPORT 3.8 Gallon Self-Pressurized Water Tank for Camp Showers
If you’re unable to mount a freshwater shower on your roof, then you can also install the WaterPORT Water Tank underneath your tow hitch bar. At only 25 inches long and 9 inches high, the WaterPORT Water Tank is one of the only van life showers that includes a tow hitch, so it’s perfect for those traveling with a large RV or van.
It can hold up to 3.8 gallons, which is relatively large compared to another camper outside shower tanks.
This is great for anyone who doesn’t want to use their attached water tank while traveling off-grid, as you’ll have a camper bathroom and shower within seconds of setting it up.
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