Friday, May 3, 2013

A Shower - Luxury or Necessity?

When you love living in a vintage trailer, you need to accept there are things you must live without or be creative.... I choose to be creative.  I have solved many issues as I bring my little vintage darling into this century and make my travels comfortable.  My latest creation is an on board shower.

Let's go back a bit.  I will not be camping in campgrounds for a large portion of the time.  You may wonder why I don't use a shower tent outside.  During nice weather I most certainly will use a outdoor tent and solar shower (which is glamped up of course) but when you live full time in your little cutie, I found I wanted a shower for when those times a bowl bath just isn't enough.    Sometimes the campground showers are not somewhere I would ever want to take my clothes off without first scrubbing the walls and floor,  so I set my creative juices to work to find a solution that would work for me.

While doing my research and problem solving I had some criteria that the shower must meet.
  1.  It must be light and portable and inexpensive
  2.  The components must be able to serve multiple uses
  3.   It must pack away into available space
  4.   Set up and Take down must be manageable with both time and effort
                                       And Most Important: It must work!

I started my thinking by sitting in Lolita and looking carefully at the space I had available.  The closet is packed to the gills so I knew right away that I wouldn't want to unload it to use that small space.  And let's face it I could not imagine my nearly 6ft body trying to shower in that small space.

My trailer footprint had a large open area in the space by the couch.  Above it is a vent that can open.  I think I can work with this.  So I designed a way to hang a shower frame and curtain from the roof vent using.... (Now don't laugh.)  A hula hoop and bungee cords.  I slip the hula hoop under a curtain rod that provides a changing area in the trailer and then use small bungee cords to attach the hoop firmly to the roof vent.  (Takes about 15 seconds!)
When I am traveling I use large buckets with rope handles to store items that need to be contained.  I have one for outside items and one for inside items.  I use one of the empty tubs as a water catch basin and 2 shower curtains attached with simple shower rings to the hula hoop (the rings that open and close work best)  
I purchased a small Zodi battery operated camping water pump from Amazon for $28.47 including shipping. ZODI Outback Gear Battery Powered Shower    
I use a large water container that I had already gotten from Walmart and I add water that I heated on a stove - 1 1/2 gallons to boiling and add to 1 1/2 gallons to room temperature water (adjust to your desired temp)simply drop the the submersible pump (shown on the left into the water source and press the red button.  Presto... a shower with hot water!

A little glamping.... (what else is a gal to do?)  and here is the finished product.

When I am done I pour the water down the sink to my gray water tank.  I hang the shower curtain out to dry from the awning and I'm clean and fresh.  

Ok, it's not as simple as hopping in a shower in a sticks and bricks house but it is a wonderful alternative when you want a shower and only a shower will do.             

 I only use this pump for potable water so I will use this pump for multiple other clean water uses.

And lastly..... I have a wonderful item to play with after my shower!!

Departure Date:  10 Days




  1. Looks like you did a great job. We met this woman last year. She did something similar.
    I must say I don't have a problem using most campground showers. It's so nice to just let hot water run over you for as long as you want! I just try not to look too closely at how clean they are.

  2. Just creative! The pull backs really set it off just perfectly! And best yet, clean as a whistle!

  3. awesome and very creative... this is going in my memory bank of things when I hit the road part/full-time!! Thanks for sharing!!

  4. Love the look! Nice glamping! Very very creative. When is the maiden indoor shower???

    1. It was this AM.... wanted to check it out BEFORE take off. There were no camera's to document the occasion. Lucky for all you!

  5. Very good. There is a similar set up in a van someone put together. Of cours it had the raided roof.
    I'm really getting excited to travel along with you in 1 days.

  6. You are incredible! I'm hoping I can see your set up at the end of this month. Really inventive and oh so glampy too!

  7. your concept worked perfectly, hurray! So excited for you. Still heading to Oregon?

  8. Omigod, you're so clever! Cute, cute, cute.

  9. Pretty nifty! My only suggestion - and one I have trouble remembering to do - is: Save the water to use in the toilet. The black tank gets filled much slower than the grey tank, so the black tank gets the extra water as the toilet needs to be flushed.

    I don't have a problem with campground showers. I have shower shoes and don't touch ANYTHING except the plumbing handles. Most are nice and clean, though some are very old. I keep everything in a bag that hangs on a hook.

  10. So your RV has absolutely no shower installed? Does it have a "toilet room"? I thought even many older trailers had the all-in-one sink-toilet-shower room

  11. Gosh, I hope I fit in that shower!!

  12. Great idea!!!

    Now how would you set-up the hula hoop if you wanted to use it outside? Going to copy this set-up, thank you for posting!

  13. looking forward to using this going full time in my RV

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  15. Perfect for my cottage, which has no running water. Toilet, easy solution but shower none, until now. I already have the cord and the hula hoop, just need the pump. Of course I could have a shower outside, if I could convince all my neighbors to move. Great idea.

  16. Love this idea. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Thank you for the great tips! Inspired to fit out my own vintage camper :-)