Showering in an RV

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Whether taking a short, occasional trip or you live in the RV full-time, it’s your home on wheels, hotel without a last-minute vacancy requirement, and more. When staying at a campsite, the amenities usually include communal showers but that’s less fun than it sounds (especially in bad weather).

Even in a situation where you’re without hookups and dry camping, as long as the reserve water tank has some water in it, you’ll be fine showering in the RV. And if you’re no fan of the cold shower to shake off the cobwebs, then give it an hour and they’ll be plenty of warm H2O too.

Also Read: Regular Toilet in RV?

RV Showers

Showering in an RV or camper is not much different from a sticks ‘n’ bricks situation. The general apparatus is the same, but RV tub and shower enclosures tend to be smaller than in a house or apartment.

In a motorhome or camper, the resources are finite. Even a water tank that’s just been refilled can get considerably emptier after a long 15-minute shower. Then you’ll find yourself needing to refill it sooner rather than later. As a result, many RV owners practice the art of having an effective quick shower and getting done what’s necessary for less time. That’s just the way it is!

Read Also: Do Outlets Work in an RV While Driving?

Do RVs Have Showers?

It’s a valid question. Not all of them do, but the vast majority will have one.

That’s certainly not the same with campers or trailers, or other alternative towable RVs.

The major determinant will be the size. A smaller RV like a Class B or Class C will have a more compact bathroom than a Class A offers, all other things being equal.

Also Read: Can You Flush Tampons Down in an Camper Toilet?

How to Shower in an RV

Jumping in the RV shower is a little different from using one at a home. For one thing, the shower compartment is closer to a closet than it is a full bathroom with a see-through shower enclosure. For anyone who’s a little on the larger size, it may feel a bit restrictive at first with a few knocked elbows until getting the hang of it!

Conserving water is the name of the game. Most RV showers use an RV water tank that is around six to eleven gallons (it depends on the make and model). Some modern RVs may have a tankless water heater offering on-demand hot water, but that would be unusual. By comparison, a water tank at a residential home could easily be over 45 gallons. Yes, really!

Showering in an RV The idea is to use water sparingly. Use the water to get wet, including your hair. Then quickly turn it off to conserve it. Use shower gel or soap to get all soapy and scrub away. A sponge is useful to make it feel nicer. Add some shampoo to your hair when it’s wet enough (you can do this after if you wish). Then turn the water back on and rinse off. And if you waited to wash your hair, then apply the shampoo and conditioner, and wash it out again. And done.

Gorilla Grip Patented Shower Stall Mat, 21×21 Bath Tub Mats (Washable)

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Also Read: How to Protect RV Skylights from Hail?

How Long Can You Shower in an RV?

Showers can be of different durations depending on your setup.

When you’re boondocking and not hooked up to a continuous water supply, then taking a quick 3-minute shower is best. However, when you’re on hookups at an RV campground and there’s no tankless water tank to think about, then a longer shower of 5 to 10 minutes is fine.


Also Read: RV Toilet Leaking at Foot Pedal

Small Camper Shower

If you have a truck and you’re towing a camper, then it may not have a shower. It very much depends on the size of the camper, and what amenities it came with.

Of course, you can choose to fit it with an RV shower if you like. If the camper was purchased from a previous owner, then maybe they fitted a shower themselves.

Also Read: How to Increase Space in a Pop Up Camper

Shower in Trailer

Some travel trailers may also come with showers already.

It’s certainly possible to purposely purchase a model that included one. That will be easier than fitting it later. We’d recommend looking for a travel trailer with a shower over planning to fit one yourself (both are possible).

Read Also: How to Tell If RV Thermostat is Bad?

RV Shower Head

The showerheads are not unlike what you may find in a regular home. Most modern RV showerheads are designed to be sparing with water, so the spray nozzles are a little different. What you may notice is that they have pressurization to give you a powerful shower sensation to feel clean even when using less water. Models from Jetstorm and Oxygenics feature low-flow RV showerheads and provide strong pressure too.

A design quirk with RV showerheads over conventional ones is that they’re often used as a wand. This way, they can be moved across and up and down your body during the shower, instead of always being in a fixed, overhead position. They also typically have a shut-off value too. The idea with both is to conserve water with the wand-effect allowing you to rinse off the suds faster than with a fixed position showerhead.

Replacing the RV shower head is easy enough. Most just require a turn and they’ll begin to unscrew at that point. A shower head that’s partially blocked up, deteriorated, or doesn’t provide good pressure is often resolved quickly with a replacement.

Oxygenics 92781 Fury Hand Held Sprayer Kit (White)

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Read Also: Should I Run a Dehumidifier in My RV?

RV Shower Pan

The majority of RV showers stalls and don’t have an RV shower tub base. Because of this, they include an RV shower pan that collects the water and funnels it to the greywater collection tank. The lip on the sides of the pan is there to prevent water from overflowing onto the bathroom floor.

Either acrylic or fiberglass is mostly used to produce RV shower pans. They are patterned to make them grippy to avoid slipping in the shower. You should get a few good years out of it, but at a certain point, it’ll need replacing. If any major hairline cracks develop, they should be replaced immediately to avoid water getting into places that you don’t want it to go and creating a moisture problem.

Sometimes, it’s possible to repair a cracked RV shower pan using epoxy resin when it’s minor damaged. When doing so, avoid being too hasty to try it out as the resin requires considerable time to fully set.

Replacing an RV shower pan is hard to do. It’s attached to the walls and the floor in the bathroom to make it sturdier. Therefore, removing the current one while not damaging the walls, and then installing a new one is a decent size job. If possible, repairing is preferable over replacing.

Lippert 301241 Better Bath 34″ by 34″ Neo Angle RV Shower Pan (Center Drainage)

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RV Shower Replacement

It is not always necessary to replace an entire shower. Usually, the parts of the RV shower can be individually replaced. However, when the walls of the shower are damaged or aging badly, then an RV shower replacement may be necessary.

Avoid making the worse mistake which is failing to measure properly to ensure any replacement will exactly fit into the available space.

To replace the old shower, disconnect the water and the water pump too. Open up the access panel for the RV shower and disconnect the pipes one by one. Then it’s time to remove the shower itself. Examine how it’s held in position. It might be using concealed brackets, adhesive, or something else.

Don’t rush an RV shower installation because you don’t want to pull away from a section of the wall with the old shower unit as you remove it. Also, when removing the shower walls or the unit, consider replacing the RV shower pan along with it. It’ll be far easier than having to circle back a year or two later to do it.

Once the old RV shower is removed and the new one installed, secure it in place following the instructions provided by the manufacturer (usually they’re online and may come with a video too). Use plenty of caulking to fill in any gaps to avoid water penetrating the surfaces. Access the shower panel again and reconnect all the pipes. Then turn the pumps and water supply back on. Test the RV shower now. It should be working at that point if you’ve done everything correctly.

Cleaning the RV Shower

It’s important to avoid the ever-present risk of mildew or mold developing. When water or soap suds linger, then it’s best to wipe down the shower.

A squeegee is probably one of the best tools for the job. It can make short work of a wet shower and ensure the residual water finds its way to the RV shower drain. If you want a workout in the shower afterward, then wipe down the fixtures, shower head, the floor, and the walls too.

Cleaning the Shower

Cleaning the RV shower while it’s still wet might seem like overkill, but when the RV toilet is part of the bathroom with the shower, then dampness is going to be a problem. A towel is useful to wipe down in a hurry and it’ll keep the bathroom drier overall.

For a proper clean and disinfecting session, avoid harsh scratchy cleaners. Instead, use gentle cleaning solutions suitable for RVs or campers, and a sponge or a cloth. If you’re stuck on ideas, then consider dryer sheets are they work surprisingly well.

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