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Our campervan outdoor shower setup

Should you put a shower in your campervan? This is a big question as you design your van, as shower cubicles take up a lot of room in such a small space!

We decided against including a campervan shower cubicle in our build, as we couldn’t justify the space it would take up, and we didn’t want to deal with condensation issues. Instead, we opted to install a campervan outdoor shower which uses a gas powered instant water heater.

Read on for more information about our campervan outdoor shower setup, and other van shower options if you do want to include a shower cubicle in your campervan.

Contents

campervan outdoor shower woman having an outdoor shower at the back of a van

Our campervan outdoor shower

Our campervan outdoor shower consists of four main components:

 
Our setup is pretty simple. The Camplux instant water heater, sometimes known as a tankless heater or portable shower, is connected to our underslung LPG tank via a gas manifold. When we turn it on, the gas ignites a small flame that it instantly heats the water as it travels through a pipe.
 
The important thing to note about instant water heaters is that they are intended for outdoor use only. This means that you can’t use one to power an internal van shower. They are intended to be moveable, so that when they’re in use they can be hung on the back door of your van for maximum ventilation.
 

We have mounted ours next to our back doors, and only use it with the doors fully open. But we would recommend installing it in the recommended way, to ensure it’s fully ventilated when in use.

 

Campervan shower water usage

Our campervan outdoor shower uses about 2L of water per minute when using the Camplux 5L instant water heater on the lowest water setting. When you’re living in a campervan you need to be very aware of your water usage. If you had a 10-15 minute shower as you might do at home, this would use 20-30L of water. Once you multiply this by 2 for two people, you will very quickly run out of water unless you have a very large water tank!

We turn the shower head off in between soaping and shampooing to conserve water. The shower head that comes with the Camplux water heater has a handy switch on the handle which allows you to easily turn on and off the water supply. We’ve found that with showering in this way, a shower will typically use around 5-8L of water.

Campervan shower curtains

Obviously our van shower setup works best if you are in the middle of nowhere with nobody around. But what if you want a bit more privacy when you are showering outside? We have a campervan shower curtain setup so that we can attach a shower curtain to our back doors via a pole when we want some privacy.

We made two little brackets to go on the back doors of our van, and have an extendable shower pole from IKEA that slots into it. We can then clip a shower curtain onto the pole using clipable shower curtain rings. In case it’s windy, we can hold the campervan shower curtain in place using some small clip features we attached to the back doors of our van.

We have a fairly boring plain white shower curtain from IKEA, but we would love to get a more colourful one in the future! Juniqe have some great colourful options that would work perfectly for a campervan shower curtain.

Campervan shower ‘kit’ components

If you want to create your own campervan outdoor shower like ours, we’ve included a list below of all of the components we used to build ours. This campervan shower ‘kit’ will allow you to build your very own outdoor van shower!

Component Quantity Link
Camplux 5L instant water heater
1
Wooden shower deck
1
Extendable shower pole
1
Shower curtain
1
Shower curtain rings
1
Self adheisive clips
1

Campervan shower ideas

If you don’t like the idea of an outdoor shower, there are a number of options you can pick from for your campervan shower. As well as the more obvious campervan shower cubicles which rely on a gas boiler or a calorifier tank, we’ve seen some really clever van life shower ideas when browing Instagram that take up a lot less space!

Brown Bird  & Co have a 10L plastic tub which they fill with warm water from the kettle, and use a USB powered shower pump head. We think this is an epic low cost van life shower idea!

Another really unique campervan shower idea we’ve seen is this hidden mini bath tub/shower from @patthevan / @thewonderingdreamer! This van shower setup still relies on an internal boiler to supply hot water, but it doesn’t take up the same amount of space as a full campervan shower cubicle. This is what they have to say about it:

This is our shower / tub, that’s made from a motor home shower tray, with Perspex lined walls. The shower head, has a handy leaver, to control the flow, this saves loads of water, as it’s not running the entire time 🚿We also have a hanging shower curtain allowing us to stand, however we choose to sit 🛀⁣⁣

@patthevan

Thanks for reading, if you have any questions feel free to drop us a message on here or via Instagram!  

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our campervan outdoor shower setup and other van life shower ideas

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