Shower Kits

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afblangley

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I don’t plan on dropping my Planet Fitness membership, but there are times when I want to wake up and take a quick shower without having to start the engine and drive to a gym. The time has come for me to add showering capability to my van.

I know that there are battery powered shower heads that can be dropped into a bucket of water. I don’t have any experience with them, but I’m thinking they won’t provide enough pressure for a nice shower. That’s one of the reasons why I'm looking at all-in-one portable camping shower systems (shower head, water storage, pump, power source). There are YouTube videos with DIY builds using Jerry cans, but I’m not sure that its worth the time and effort since factory made kits are readily available starting under $100. These are the all-in-one kits currently on the market that I know of, feel free to add to the list. Anyone have experience using any of them?

Rinse Kit Pro $315 https://www.amazon.com/Rinse-Kit-Ga...e-45b7-a9ad-41fea5864a8c&ref_=pd_gw_ci_mcx_mi

Big Kahuna $150 https://bigkahunashowers.com/shop/47-gallon-big-kahuna-portable-shower

Ivation $170 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FYPYWX...olid=31RNJLR982O0W&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

YIIQIQ $158 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09M5XX73...olid=31RNJLR982O0W&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

OYOOQO $188 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07STJH3R...olid=31RNJLR982O0W&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

Sun Joe $95 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FV12KP...olid=31RNJLR982O0W&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it
 

Carla618

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I bought the small orange Ivation shower that you drop in a bucket. The pressure is surprisingly good (to me). Guess it depends on what your idea of high pressure is. It uses a USB charger and stays charged a long time. My grandkids love playing with it:)
 

maki2

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The higher the flow the sooner you run out of water. That is going to be a real issue in a van unless you live in an RV park and are hooked up to a city water supply and also have a sewer hookup. Truthfully, like it or not, a low flow shower is a better option than higher water pressure for van dwellers. You can get clean enough with a low flow shower. So either stick with the health club showers or accept the realistic limitations of your current dwelling situation.
 

bullfrog

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On those mornings you want to wake up and take a quick shower where are you going to do that in a van. Most vans with the exception of ones with built in shower stalls and tanks require you to set up a shower curtain and water catchment that with most of the units require several gallons of water. We planned showers as even with a shower tent which we used when camping several days in one place as set up, getting and heating water took 45 minutes or so and tear down even longer. With two of us it took most of the morning and getting all the stuff dry and put away took a couple more hours. A spray bottle filled with soapy water and a small garden sprayer filled with rinse water in a small plastic bin we used as a sink covered with a microfiber towel is about as quick and easy as it gets. Acted as a shower, sink, hand wash and dish station as well as a fire extinguisher a few times. It all fitted in a cabinet and took less than a couple minutes to put away. It weighed about 10 pounds with a quart of soapy water in the spray bottle and and 3 quarts of rinse water in the garden sprayer. In all honesty if you want an easy to use shower that you can get a quick shower in start looking for an RV with a factory built shower, holding tanks and a little more room.
 
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afblangley

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I like to start my day with a nice, hot shower. For me, it's as essential to a good morning as coffee is for some folks. If space and water were severely limited, something like the Geyser Shower, looks like a great minimalistic setup. Pour a few ounces of hot water into the container, plug it into a power station, lay down a towel to absorb the water, and take what is essentially a luxurious sponge bath. For my use scenario, I think I can do better.

I don't frequent campgrounds. The only time I'm in the boonies is when it's in route to my destination. I'm mostly sub/urban docking so resources are readily available since my systems (electrical, water, toilet, trash) are small/portable.

My current plumbing system consists of a water bottle pump connected to a a 7 gal Jerry can. My shower setup will be a separate system with a dedicated, portable tank. I’m aiming to use ~5 gal per shower, refilling the tank after every use. This is easily done at a grocery store, gas station, restaurant, tire/oil changer, laundromat, rest area, Uhaul, car wash, beach/park… Water is plentiful, I’ve never had to go out of my way to find it, and its usually free.

Here's the setup I'm noodling:
  1. The shower pan is a foldable dog bath pool, which drains via hose into a collapsible water container. If I become committed to the setup, I may swap it out for a (washing machine or hot water tank) drain pan.
  2. Creating hot water is a little trickier because my plumbing system is rudimentary. Initially, I'll try heating water on my cooktop. If that proves too cumbersome, I may try an immersion heater. Eventually I'll get around to a re-iteration of my plumbing system to include a 12v pump and hot water source.
  3. The privacy curtain I currently use for the toilet is actually a cloth shower curtain which would now serve double duty.
  4. I don’t want the shower setup and teardown to take more than 10-15 minutes. Certainly less time than it takes to drive to a gym.

My design philosophy for the van from inception has been to accomplish my objective in the simplest manner that will achieve the desired result. In this case, it's to enjoy having a hot shower everyday.

But this is theory, the devil is in the execution.

Here are a couple of videos I found useful while researching this topic:



 

JDub

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I actually have one of these:


It's surprisingly handy. Good pressure too for a small pump. Functions as a shower, a pump, for washing dishes, spraying errant canines etc... It comes with 2 small lithium batteries that last about 5 min each but more than enough for a decent shower from a 5 gallon buckets. Expect to use both batteries for the shower if you're running a lot of water but it's been a good value for the price. NOTE when you turn it on, don't just press and release the button - hang onto it a while or it won't come on and you think something's wrong. Also - use the dishwasher sprayer instead of the shower head - you can on and off it.

Cheers!
 
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LargeMarge

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Baja frequently, Oregon occasionally
We prefer simple.
We prefer multiple uses from one equipment.
.
2003, after a half-century of camping in lesser rigs, we converted a 1996 Ford CF8000 commercial truck to our concept of an ExpeditionVehicle.
After a year and a hundred thousand miles delivering RecreateVehicles manufacturer-to-dealer and dealer-to-shows, we knew nothing in the 'RV' category would work for us.
.
For water storage, we use stainless-steel five-gallon retired Pepsi kegs.
For showers, we use a three-gallon 'Torpedo' keg, a miniature of the Pepsi kegs.
.
For heating water, we use 'sous vide' circulation heaters designed to maintain a set temperature for cooking.
.
Pepsi kegs are engineered to be pressurized

A quick puff from a 12vdc bicycle tire pump, and fresh clean water flows through the sprayer (designed for a stand-still house kitchen-sink).
.
We designed our ExpeditionVehicle with a rear-entry.
We have a permanent porch with a permanent roof over it.
I fabricated the porch deck from expanded metal, similar to stout window-screen.
.
To take our late-afternoon showers, we:
a -- fill the Torpedo
b -- insert the circulation heater
c -- clip the shower curtain to the eye-bolts (ring down, bitter-end up) holding the sheet metal roof to the roof frame.
Heating the three-gallons usually takes less than ten minutes.
.
For cold weather, the shower curtain can clip around the entry door, so interior heat warms the impromptu enclosure.
.
As you can see, we can access the porch from the ground using the existing structure.
(Compare this to a side-entry with removable stairs/steps... and No! Handrail!, violating the 'three points of contact' rule for anybody leaving the ground to climb on equipment.)
.
Another rear-entry benefit:
* during our two-year tour of South America, we rolled through nations using the Brit/Aussie style of left lane driving.
Would a side-entry occasionally open into traffic?
.
.
This portrait of two of our somewhat non-enthusiastic RedHeelers shows the steel wall, steel door with dual dead-bolts... plus the tiny upper Dutch-door we can open while maintaining the security of the main door

For more visuals plus an in-depth description, visit our Intro page on the vanliving forum.
 

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LoupGarou

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Been there, experienced that. You're going to have to decide on how much effort you want to put into everything.

I've been using an enamel wash basin placed on a single burner stove to heat the water. I also use Walgreen's No Rinse Body Wash. The waste water is pured into the cassette tiolet or into a repurporsed 2 1/2 gallon DEF jug.

Of the products you listed I'd probably go with the SunJoe since it uses a rechargeable battery. You can heat up some water, pour it in, without a power cord.
 

Walt

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Hospitals and nursing homes bathe bed-ridden patients regularly.
They use "no-rinse" solutions that don't require the entire staff to go to each patient.
Amazon has products for $7-12/bottle. Each bottle does a bunch of baths when diluted.
It provides a good cleaning between the full "16-year old shower" cycle.
 

Happy Camper

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You might consider something like this. It'll heat the water, pump it, and it's self contained. Heats with propane and is heat adjustable. 2.3 qt/minute. Just drop the end in a bucket of water and you're ready. Years ago on here there was someone that made a shower in their van. So he got a grout mixing pan that's square as his catch. I forget what he sat on. Used a hula hoop that he hung from the top as a shower rod and made sure the shower curtain was inside the pan. After he finished he could take it down and it didn't use up any extra space. I would have to find the thread, but I thought it was a smart solution, as he didn't have much space and it was a regular height van, so he couldn't stand up. If you have a taller van and can stand just remove the chair from the equation.

Hike Crew Portable Propane Water Heater & Shower Pump – Compact Outdoor Cleaning & Showering System w/LCD & Auto Safety Shutoff for Instant Hot Water While Camping, Hiking – Carry Case Included https://a.co/d/99v2OEg
 

bagabum

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I have tried them all. Battery powered pumps, pump up sprayers, heavy solar bags you hang on a hook, etc. Driving in to town to pay 5 bucks for a shower and then driving back to where I was; every day, is not an option. By the time I do all of that I need a shower again. I like to shower just before I go to bed. My tried-and-true setup is about as simple as it gets. A 2-gallon SS pot with a parachute cord going from handle to handle acting like a center handle (esy one hand carrying) , a burner for heating the water to 110 deg F and a 1 quart square repurposed container with 25 tiny holes drilled in the bottom. I hang up a sheer curtain, (2 sewed together to get 120") to make the full circle, remember, doesn't have to be waterproof, just catch splash, then velcroing to the ceiling. About twenty 1" circular looms are glued to the top of the curtain and twenty 1" circular hooks to the ceiling in a 36" circle. I use GOOP to glue them down because the self-adhesive glue always fails. For catching the water, I use a 30" folding "doggy bath", works amazingly well. (easy storage about the size of a volley ball) Set pot on stool, use 1 container of water to get wet, suds down and then rinse off, once you get the hang of rinsing off with the cup and not wasting it, you will be able to take an amazing shower with 1 gallon, I do it all of the time, the trick is to make all of the water flow over you, if the water is missing your skin, you're wasting it. Note: Curtain can be hung, doggy pool can be put in place, stool can be set inside all before the water is ready which takes about 3 minutes. Dry off, get dressed, now drink a cold beer watching the sun set sitting in your favorite lawn chair. Later, stuff dry sheer curtain in pot, poor doggy pool water in your slop bucket, fold up doggy pool and shove bottom down in pot and store. I will never go back to pumps and gadgets or drive to town, but that's just me and this may not be for everyone. Thanks for reading.
 
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