If you’re chatting with anyone who isn’t a campervan aficionado then eventually the question will form on their lips: “but how do you take a shower?” There will be a slight tone of fear or revulsion, we’re not sure which, but many people’s imagination simply can’t comprehend that those with vans are pros at ingenious solutions!
We’re not pretending that it’s not a tall order. Of course, the simplest solution is to forgo the campervan shower and just make sure you park up somewhere you can use one, from a designated site to your forgiving friend’s driveway. If you’re feeling really inclined you can even do that old hack of timing your family trip to the swimming pool with shower day. There are pros and cons to having a campervan shower, we’ll grant you that.
But we’re more ambitious than resigning our van life to being constrained by ablutions. We know that you can have a truly glorious shower all within (or close to) your adored van. You’ll need to be creative, and that’s where our collection of campervan shower ideas comes in. See what floats your rubber duck from the ideas below and come up with a shower arrangement that works for you and your van lifestyle.
Table of Contents:
Having a shower in a campervan can be a subject of much debate among campervan enthusiasts in the UK. The decision to install or use a shower in a campervan depends on various factors, including your travel style, the nature of your trips, and personal preferences. Here are some points to consider:
Convenience: The primary benefit is convenience. Having a shower in your campervan means you can freshen up whenever you like, which is particularly useful if you are travelling to remote areas without access to public facilities.
Privacy and Comfort: It offers privacy and comfort, especially in colder months or in more secluded areas where outdoor showers might not be practical.
Flexibility in Travel Plans: With a shower on board, you're not tied to campsite locations just for their shower facilities. This can allow for more spontaneous and off-the-beaten-path adventures.
Hygiene: Regular access to a shower can be important for hygiene, especially if you're engaging in outdoor activities like hiking, biking, or swimming.
Space Consumption: Showers take up valuable space inside a campervan, which could otherwise be used for storage, a larger bed, or more comfortable living arrangements.
Water Storage and Heating: You'll need to store more water, which adds weight and requires more frequent refilling. Additionally, heating water for showers can consume a significant amount of energy, whether it's gas or electricity.
Moisture and Ventilation Issues: Showers can create moisture problems inside the van, leading to condensation and potentially mould if not properly ventilated.
Cost and Complexity: Installing a shower can be expensive and complex for some. It often requires additional plumbing, a water heater, and a ventilation system.
Portable Showers: Portable outdoor showers can be a great alternative, offering the flexibility to shower outside without taking up interior space.
Gym or Campsite Showers: Using facilities at gyms or campsites can be a practical solution, especially for those who stay near such amenities or travel less frequently.
Wet Wipes and No-Rinse Products: For shorter trips or minimalists, using wet wipes or no-rinse bathing products can be sufficient.
Whether it's worth having a shower in your campervan largely depends on your personal needs and the type of camping experiences you prefer.
For long-term travellers or those who value convenience and privacy, a shower can be a great addition. However, for weekend warriors or those who travel light, the space and maintenance might not be justified, and alternative options could be more suitable.
Consider your travel habits, budget, and the size of your campervan before making a decision.
1. Space and Layout: Place the shower in a location that complements the van's general layout without affecting other parts' functionality. Common placements are the rear or one of the van's sides.
2. Proximity to Water Tanks and Plumbing: To make plumbing easier, position the shower near your water supply and waste water tanks. This usually means near the kitchen, where they can share water connections.
3. Ventilation: Maintain proper ventilation in the shower area to reduce humidity and avoid mold growth. Ideal locations include beside a window or a roof vent.
4. Privacy: Consider privacy when camping in populated locations. A position that provides for a private enclosure while not exposing the user to the main living space or windows is preferred.
5. Weight Distribution: Ensure the water tank and piping are evenly distributed for optimal balance in the vehicle. This is especially critical if the shower will feature a large water tank or hefty fixtures.
6. Accessibility: The shower should be conveniently accessible without obstructing movement in the van.
7. Multi-Functional Space: In smaller vans, the shower area may need to fulfil many functions. Some van lifers build showers in the same area as the toilet, or they employ folding or retractable shower systems that can be stored when not in use.
8. Drainage: Choose a place that provides for proper drainage, such as an existing floor point or one that can be developed without compromising the van's construction.
9. Heating and Insulation: For colder regions, place the shower in an easily heated or insulated location.
10. Select a Location: Choose an installation and maintenance-friendly site for plumbing and shower fittings.
Because each campervan layout is unique, these considerations should be tailored to your particular situation and requirements. It's also a good idea to seek personalised guidance from an expert or someone who has converted vans before.
Are you dreaming of hitting the road in your custom-built campervan, complete with all the comforts of home, including a much-desired shower? Converting a van into a campervan is an exciting journey, and with vanspace 3D, it becomes a seamless and enjoyable process. This innovative software is a game-changer for van conversion enthusiasts in the UK, especially for those keen on including a shower in their mobile abode.
Apart from being reasonably priced, Vanspace 3D is not just another design tool; it's a comprehensive solution tailored for van conversions. Whether you're a seasoned DIYer or a novice, this software caters to all levels of experience. Its user-friendly interface allows you to drag and drop components, customize dimensions, and visualise your campervan in stunning 3D, making the planning process as realistic as it gets.
One of the most challenging aspects of van conversion is fitting in all the essentials without compromising on space and comfort. A shower is often considered a luxury in a campervan due to space constraints. However, with vanspace 3D, you can experiment with different layouts to include a compact yet functional shower in your design. The software's extensive library of pre-built components includes various shower models, allowing you to choose one that fits your van's dimensions and your personal style.
Incorporating a shower into a campervan layout is often seen as a daunting task. Space constraints, plumbing complexities, and ensuring efficient water usage are just a few of the challenges faced. However, with the right tools and planning, these challenges can be transformed into exciting opportunities for innovation.
Vanspace 3D emerges as a powerful ally in this process. This user-friendly software allows you to create detailed and realistic 3D models of your campervan, including the integration of a shower. With its drag-and-drop interface, you can experiment with different shower sizes and placements, ensuring that your design is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Space Optimization: Vanspace 3D helps you visualise how a shower can fit into your existing layout without compromising on other essential features.
Customisation: With a variety of pre-built components, you can choose a shower design that aligns with your specific needs and preferences.
Realistic Visualisation: The software’s 3D rendering lets you see exactly how your shower will look and function within the space.
Error Reduction: By planning with vanspace 3D, you can identify potential issues before the actual build, saving time and resources.
Users of vanspace 3D have shared their success stories, highlighting the software's role in their campervan conversions. For instance, Rebecca from the UK mentioned how vanspace 3D was instrumental in designing her camper with a shower, making the process enjoyable and efficient.
Another user, Jamie, mentions, "If it wasn't for this software, I genuinely don't think I would be as far along as I am in my van conversion journey. The ability to visualize and tweak the design, including fitting in a compact shower, has been invaluable."
Combining the practical tips and considerations from our van shower guide with the design capabilities of Vanspace 3D creates a powerful toolkit for any DIY enthusiast.
You can take the technical considerations, such as water heating options and plumbing, and directly apply them to your 3D model, ensuring that your design is not only creative but also technically sound.
Adding a shower to your campervan can significantly enhance your van life experience, offering the comfort and convenience of home while on the road. With Vanspace 3D, the process becomes less about overcoming challenges and more about unleashing your creativity.
By integrating this innovative tool with the practical advice from our campervan shower guide, you're well on your way to designing a campervan that truly feels like a home away from home.
Water Heating Options:
• Instantaneous Water Heaters: Perfect for quick hot showers. They are compact and can heat water on demand.
• Solar water heaters are an eco-friendly choice employing solar panels. Ideal for sunny regions, yet sluggish to heat.
• Propane water heaters provide steady hot water, but require sufficient venting for safety.
Plumbing and Water Conservation:
• Low-flow shower heads conserve water while maintaining pressure.
• Water-Saving Triggers: Stop the flow of water while soaping up to save water.
• To manage grey water safely, use eco-friendly soaps.
When considering the amount of water needed for a campervan shower, several factors come into play, such as the type of shower system you have, your water usage habits, and the efficiency of your shower setup. Here's a breakdown to help you estimate the water requirements for a van shower:
1. Type of Shower System:
Traditional Shower Systems: These are similar to home showers and can use a significant amount of water. On average, a regular shower head might use about 8-10 litres of water per minute.
Low-Flow Shower Heads: These are designed to conserve water. A low-flow shower head can reduce water usage to about 5-6 litres per minute.
2. Duration of the Shower:
The length of your shower is a major factor. For instance, a quick 3-minute shower with a low-flow shower head could use approximately 15-18 litres of water.
A longer, 10-minute shower with a traditional shower head could use up to 80-100 litres.
3. Water Usage Habits:
Navy Shower Method: This method involves wetting your body, turning off the water to soap up, and then rinsing off quickly. This can drastically reduce water usage, often to just 10-15 litres per shower.
Continuous Flow: If you prefer continuous flow for the entire duration of the shower, your water usage will be higher.
4. Efficiency of Your Shower Setup:
The efficiency of your water heater (if you prefer warm showers) and the pressure of your water pump also play a role in how much water is used.
5. Water Storage Capacity:
Your campervan's water storage capacity is crucial. Most campervans have a limited water tank capacity, ranging from 50 to 120 litres. This capacity needs to cater to all your water needs, not just showers.
6. Other Considerations:
Frequency of showers and the number of people using the campervan will also impact your overall water requirement.
Water availability and refill opportunities during your travels should be considered.
Monitor Your Usage: Initially, it's a good idea to monitor how much water you use per shower to get a sense of your average consumption.
Water-Saving Practices: Adopt water-saving practices like turning off the shower while soaping up.
Invest in Water-Efficient Equipment: Consider installing a low-flow shower head and an efficient water heater.
The amount of water needed for a van shower varies greatly based on individual usage and the type of shower system. Additionally, it's important to consider that water usage is a crucial aspect of your campervan kitchen as well, so be mindful of this factor. For conservative use, especially with water-saving techniques, you might manage with 10-15 litres per shower. However, for more luxurious, longer showers, you could require 50 litres or more. Balancing your water usage with your comfort, and the capacity of your campervan's water tank is key to a pleasant and sustainable campervan experience.
• Measuring tape
• Required tools: drill, jigsaw, screws, fasteners, and waterproof sealant (silicone or equivalent).
• Plumbing supplies (pipes, connectors, and water pump) • Shower tray or pan
• Optional: Shower curtain or door.
• Water heater (optional).
• Optional: ventilation fan.
• Optional: tile or waterproof wall panels.
• Shower fixtures (head and taps) • Basic carpentry tools (hammer, saw, etc.)
1. Plan and Design:
• Measure space: Determine where the shower will go and how much room is available.
• Design the shower layout, including whether it will be a standalone unit or linked with the toilet. Consider a wet bath setup for maximum space economy.
• Select materials: Choose lightweight, weatherproof materials that are appropriate for the limited and mobile surroundings of a campervan.
2. Building the Frame:
• Build a shower frame with lightweight materials like aluminium or treated wood.
• Ensure stability: Securely attach the frame to the van's structure to prevent movement.
3. Installing the shower tray:
• Place the shower tray: Fit the shower tray into the allotted space, making sure it is level.
• Use screws to secure the tray to the frame and seal the edges to prevent water leaks.
• Install water supply by running pipes from the tank to the shower. If you want to take hot showers, you may need a water heater.
• Connect the shower drain to your greywater tank. Ensure that the plumbing is leak-proof.
5. Wall and Door Installation:
• Install waterproof shower walls using panels or tiles. Seal all joints and edges.
• Install a shower door or curtain to provide privacy and prevent water splashing.
• Consider installing a ventilation fan to minimise humidity and avoid mold formation.
7. Finishing Touches:
• Install shower fixtures, including the head and taps.
• Ensure shower is waterproof by sealing all edges and joints.
• Run the shower to check for leaks in the piping or seals.
8. Customisation and Decor:
• Decorate with personal accents such as shelves, hooks, or mirrors.
• Conduct a last inspection to ensure good security and functionality.
• Consider the weight of the materials and the water tank as it can impact your van's handling.
• To conserve water, install a low-flow shower head.
• In colder climates, insulate the walls surrounding the shower.
Building a shower in a campervan takes careful design and execution, but it may greatly improve the comfort of your van life experience. If you're not sure in your DIY abilities, particularly with plumbing and waterproofing, consider hiring a professional.
Here are some eCommerce websites in the UK that provide campervan shower equipment:
Nolan Camping Supplies
Nolan Camper Supplies provides high-quality bathroom equipment for campervans, including cassette toilets and roller shutter shower systems.
GRP Direct specialises in campervan and motorhome bathrooms, offering items that fit top panel van manufacturers.
Grasshopper Leisure offers washroom and toilet equipment for caravans and motorhomes, including accessories
The Campervan Shop
The Campervan Shop offers a complete bathroom set for campers, including a toilet, shower tray, cabinet, sink and external door.
Jackson Leisure provides a variety of bathroom facilities for caravans and motorhomes, including basins and shower trays.
Brownhills Acessory Shop
Brownhills Accessory Shop provides motorhome bathroom supplies such as toilet rolls, brushes, camper mirrors, shower mats and soap dispensers.
Midland Leisure Supplies
Midland Leisure Supplies is a family-run firm that provides complete solutions for the motorhome and camper van conversion sector.
Leisure Shop Direct
Leisureshopdirect offers caravan showers, Ultraflow, shower trays, and replacement shower heads in multiple colours.
These websites provide a variety of goods appropriate for various van shower configurations, responding to the needs and desires of UK clients.
Learn how other campervan enthusiasts approached the difficulty of installing showers in their mobile homes. These real-life stories offer useful insights and innovative solutions.
Case Study 1: Compact Shower in a Small Van.
• Emma and Jake turned a modest Ford Transit into a cosy mobile home. The difficulty was to put a working shower into a constrained space.
• Solution: Custom-made folding shower tray with storage compartment. A curtain rail was erected on the ceiling, allowing the shower space to be enclosed while in use.
• The creative solution provided a space-saving shower while maintaining comfort.
Case Study 2: Overcoming Plumbing Challenges.
• Mark, a solitary traveller, experienced plumbing issues in his Mercedes Sprinter.
• Mark solved the issue by installing a 12V water pump and connecting it to an external tank. He employed flexible pipes for easy maintenance and a basic gravity-fed drainage system.
• Mark's setup was efficient and quick to fix, making it ideal for long journeys.
Case Study 3: A luxurious shower in a family campervan.
• The Johnsons wanted a comfortable shower in their VW Crafter conversion.
• The solution involved installing a full-size shower pan and a gas water heater to ensure regular hot water. To save water, they installed a low-flow showerhead and a water-saving trigger system.
• The Johnsons appreciated the comfortable and sustainable shower system, which enhanced their family visits.
Each of these experiences demonstrates the value of innovation, research, and adaptation in successfully building a campervan shower. Whether you're dealing with space limits, plumbing issues, or the requirement for comfort, there's always a solution to suit every demand and vehicle size.
Tools and materials:
1. Shower Installation Kits. Camper Shower Kit - A comprehensive kit with all of the essential components for a campervan shower.
2. The Sealant Guide provides reviews and recommendations for the best waterproof sealants for campervan use.
3. VanPlumbingSupplies.com offers a comprehensive range of plumbing supplies for campervans, including pumps and pipes.
Instructional Guides and Tutorials:
1. DIY Campervan Shower Installation Guide: VanLifeDIY.com provides step-by-step directions for installing a van shower.
2. Check out YouTube's Van Shower Setup video tutorial for a step-by-step instruction to installing a shower in your campervan.
Online Forums and Communities:
1. VanConvertersForum.com is a community of campervan enthusiasts who share tips, tricks, and advice.
2. Reddit. VanLife Community: r/VanLife - Discuss and offer advise on campervan conversions, especially shower installations.
Product Review and Recommendations:
1. Check out VanShowerReviews.com for reviews of campervan-friendly shower heads.
2. CampervanHeaters.com provides evaluations and comparisons of various water heaters for campervans.
Maintaining your campervan shower is essential for both longevity and hygiene. Here are some useful ideas for keeping your shower in good shape.
• Wipe down the shower after each use to prevent mold and mildew buildup.
• Deep clean the shower once a week with eco-friendly solutions, paying special attention to corners and crevices.
Water System Maintenance:
• Regularly inspect hoses and connectors for symptoms of leakage.
• Prevent freezing and damage to your van's plumbing by draining it while not in use.
To prevent blockages in your shower head and faucets, descale them on a regular basis, depending on the water hardness.
• Replace worn elements, such as washers or seals, to guarantee proper water flow.
To maintain the drainage system, clean it regularly to prevent obstructions caused by hair and debris.
• Install drain covers to capture hair and bigger debris.
Ventilation and humidity control:
• Provide adequate ventilation through vents or windows to minimise humidity and prevent condensation.
• Use a tiny dehumidifier in damp weather to keep the interior dry.
Regular maintenance of your campervan shower will keep it a comfortable and sanitary part of your mobile life. Regular maintenance can prevent frequent difficulties and extend the life of your shower equipment. Remember that a well-maintained van shower not only gives comfort, but also increases the value of your mobile home.
We love this idea from Far Out Ride. Their suction cup shower works perfectly with the outdoor shower they've created. The curtains also add privacy for the ultimate alfresco shower.
You can pop it up inside the van over a tray or bucket, or, if you position it carefully and with a long enough hose, you can pull it out, attach it to the side of the van, and create an alfresco shower for you (and in this case, the dogs).
It doesn’t come much more convenient than this over the loo shower by Living the Vanlife. Pretty, practical and compact, it is a fantastic use of space in their van.
Let’s face it, if space is at a premium then why not use it to level-up your luxury and go full out for a bath-style shower?! This amazing post on Climbingvan showcases this seriously ingenious idea of fitting a bath tub under a bench seat and having a shower attachment there and ready to go.
Additionally, this is a good plan in terms of water splash. If you’re sitting down then there’s less chance of the shower water bouncing its way around your beloved van.
How nifty is this idea seen on Campal?! It takes some clever jiggery-pokery with the pipes, but you’ve got ready made cover and a perfect at-height shower head. Just take care to possibly have a shower screen covering the entry to the van so that you don’t accidentally spray your bed or seating!
A tropical outdoor shower, perfectly fitted to the van door! An ingenious shower solution from vandogtraveller.
This design is incredible sleek, and perfectly integrated into the countertops spotted on Vanclan. When you're ready to shower, simply hook up a plastic curtain to prevent the splash.
Featured on Offgridspot this luxurious campervan shower shows just what is possible with the right budget and a smart design. Elegant and spacious - perfect for those who spend a lot of time in their vans.
This stunning shower setup featured on Climbingvan is a great reminder of the blissful freedom a campervan can offer. Using the suction shower mount again, if you’re a hardened or fair weather camper then always showering outside the van is an option. This way you only need to worry about water supply and not so much about drainage. Just choose somewhere where the run off won’t bother people or wildlife, and pop on your swimmers if you’re showering with an audience!
Check out our other favourite campervan accessories here.
Here are some YouTube videos that provide useful insights and tutorials on campervan shower installation, which may be beneficial for completing action point:
1. Shower Install in The Van | Vanlife Bathroom by Navigation Nowhere.
• This video demonstrates the process of assisting with a van conversion, specifically the bathroom and shower installation.
2. Learn how to build a luxury shower in a camper van in 10 minutes. This modern van design is ideal for van life and travel. Scarlet and Seth's time-lapse movie shows the installation of a luxury shower in a modern camper van.
3. Self Built Stories' Transit Van Conversion E29 features a recirculating shower frame (Part 1).
• This episode explores creating a unique wetroom for a campervan shower to maximise space.
4. DIY Camper Van Plumbing (Full Tutorial) by Explorer Life - DIY Campers.
• Learn how to install a DIY plumbing system in a camper van, including setting up the shower.
5. Nate Murphy shares the most innovative shower design for a van conversion.
• The van conversion has an innovative shower design.
7. Alternative Lives' clever folding van shower design.
• This video shows how to design a foldable bathroom in a truck that provides a practical shower solution while maintaining the comfort of fixed shower pans and hard walls, even with limited space.
7. Turn your bench into a shower area for easy drying using @wabisabi_vanlife from Project Van Life.
• A video shows a creative DIY shower solution in a campervan, converting the bench area into a shower space.
• Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/shorts/dkwG7S9V7t4
These films cover a wide range of topics, from simple installations to more inventive solutions, and provide a thorough overview of several techniques to installing a campervan shower.
Here are several photographs on Pinterest that depict various campervan shower layouts. These photographs can serve as visual inspiration and ideas for your van shower.
1. Vanlife Shower Ideas and Designs:
• An image showing various camper van bathroom design ideas, including toilets and showers.
2. Hidden Bath in a Camper Van:
• A creative setup of a hidden shower in a bench within a van.
3. Van Build Series - Vanlife Outfitters:
• An image from Vanlife Outfitters showing a van conversion shower setup.
4. 11 Van Life Shower Ideas - Off Grid Spot:
• A collection of van conversion shower design ideas for different needs and styles.
5. Portable Shower Basin for Inside Camper Van:
• An innovative solution for a collapsible shower with a removable shower basin.
6. 30 Camper Van Floor Plan Layout Ideas:
• This image shows different camper van floor plan ideas, including shower setups.
These photographs depict a variety of ideas and setups that can serve as visual inspirations for various sorts of campervan showers.
If you are still struggling by yourself here are a few UK companies who specialise in installing custom or off-the-shelf showers in campervans, along with examples of their work and links:
1. Brown Bird & Co
• Specializes in designing and building Long Wheel Base Campervans with showers, focusing on creating a space where the shower seamlessly integrates into the design.
• Nevis - Campervans With Shower – Brown Bird & Co
• Offers solutions for creating outdoor showers for campervans, providing a list of components used in their setups.
• Climbingvan Outdoor Shower Setup
• Provides lightweight, high-quality shower panels for camper van conversion projects, with ideas and products suitable for various van types.
• Camper Van Conversions - Showerscape
4. GRP Direct
• Manufactures campervan bathrooms designed to fit leading panel van manufacturers, offering a range of bathroom solutions.
• Campervan & Motorhome Bathrooms - GRP Direct
5. Bobil Vans
• Specializes in custom campervan conversions, including the installation of first fix electrics, solar panels, and campervan water heaters.
• Bobil Vans - Custom Campervan Conversions
• Designs and builds beautiful off-grid campers, including campervans with custom shower installations.
• Romerworld - Off Grid Living
Campervan conversions represent a unique opportunity to combine mobility, independence, and comfort into a single package. Whether undertaking a project oneself or working with professionals, the rewards of creating a personalized campervan far outweigh any challenges encountered along the way.
If you’re fitting a campervan shower inside the van, don’t forget to take every step to waterproof it. Nonetheless, things can still go wrong. That’s why campervan conversion insurance is so important. The last thing you want is your interiors ruined by a leaky shower and just hard work and hefty bills to show to make it right again.
If you plan to buy a campervan in the near future or already own one, then you will need to get campervan insurance before you can drive it. You can compare camper insurance quotes from multiple providers by filling out our quick and easy form. Let us help you find the best deal for your needs.
We believe that the finest advise frequently comes from the campervan community itself. That is why we are inviting our readers to submit their own experiences, tales, and suggestions for constructing and using campervan showers. Your insights could be an invaluable resource for other fans!
How to participate:
1. Share your story. Have you placed a shower in your camper van? Tell us about your trip, including the problems you encountered, the solutions you discovered, and any innovative ideas you adopted.
2. Tips & Tricks: Do you have any suggestions for maintaining, utilising, or enhancing campervan showers? We'd love to hear some practical tips.
3. Submit Photos: Visuals speak louder than words! Send us photographs of your van shower setup. We're particularly interested in distinctive and imaginative designs.
4. Video Guides: Share your shower installation or tutorial films with us! Videos are an excellent tool for helping people comprehend the process more clearly.
5. Product Feedback: Have you had positive or negative experiences with specific items or tools? Your reviews can help others make more educated selections.
How Your Contributions Help:
• Inspire Others: Share your experiences and recommendations to help others with their van shower projects.
• Sharing community information allows for collective experience and avoidance of common problems.
• Feature your stories, tips, and images on our website to reach a new audience.
To submit, please email email@example.com with your tales, tips, images, or video links.
•Comment below. Please share your tips and stories in the comments area of this page.
Your experiences are invaluable to the campervan community. Whether you're an experienced DIYer or new to van life, your tips can assist others traverse the exciting process of constructing a comfortable and effective mobile living environment. We cannot wait to hear from you!