I just got back from a road trip up north. It was awesome, got to see a few friends, camp, disconnect, and enjoy some amazing views. With all that said, I decided to write about how to shower on the road.
There are a few different options you have, but I will stick to the top three that I currently use.
To add a bonus tip, my number one way to shower on the road is to do it at a gym. I have a membership to a national chain and this has helped me in many ways. But, as you know, COVID is making going to the gym very difficult. So the following are the three options I have and use as a backup. After all, we all need to stay clean and if you are on the road you have to get creative.
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Showering Is Important
This is a statement that some will argue with me about, but let’s be real. Being clean is essential.
Have you ever been out and about (camping, hiking, cycling) and needed to wash up? Having a portable shower while on the road might be the best way you can fix this problem.
Not only that, but having a way to wash off your feet after a day at the beach, or even wash down the gear you used, might be another way to use a portable shower.
I have found that I’ve been in that exact situation more times than I want to admit. So I started my quest to find a portable shower. Tons on the market cost upwards of $500! Then there are the DIY options.
In the past, I’ve been on long hikes to get back to cam and realize there is no water or any way of getting clean. For me, it made the night not as enjoyable as it could have been. I love being outdoors but hate the sticky, sweaty feeling you get after a day of adventures.
Sometimes you need to get creative and come up with your own solutions.
I have tried to do the quick and easy thing of changing clothing. This did help when there were no showers, but there are days that even that doesn’t always cut it.
My first way of “showering” on the road is what I have deemed my emergency wash up. I’m sure you have done this as well. It is doing a quick wipe down using some sort of wet wipes. Or what I have heard it being called the shower in a bag. This is where you use the wipes on the essential parts.
These are some solutions that are better than doing nothing. But if you are still wondering, YES, there is a better way out there.
The best option I have seen is PVC that you can pressurize. You can see these on vans and RV’s on the road, they look like large black PVC tubs on the side of the vehicle. I believe this is a fantastic option, but if you purchase one they are going to cost you a lot.
I enjoy the option of having something that is portable and I can take where I need it. Having something on the roof of my car limits me to where I can get my Rav. So back to searching for a better option.
Then I found a blog post on SUVRVing, who I’ve mentioned on this site before. The man behind the site and videos is Tristan, and he has a ton of fantastic content. Not only that, but he also has a Rav so he must be a cool guy. Anyway, he converted a spray bottle and a kitchen sink sprayer.
I took on the task myself and spent around $45 on Amazon for the pieces. If you don’t want to go to Amazon, I made sure my local Home Depot and ACE had all the same materials. You can watch the video below for a walkthrough on how to make it. I found the process to be extremely simple, and it works great.
I have taken this portable option to the beach, camping, and even on my latest road trip. It has worked out great! Another way I used it for was when PG&E shut down my power (I didn’t have water). I placed the shower outside, and after the sun had warmed it up, I then used it in my actual shower.
To make this portable shower even better, I sprayed the bottle black. This helps the water become nice and warm.
My Current Configuration
Not sure if this will help, or if the links will work but here are the items you need:
- A plastic spray bottle
- The spray nozzle, like in a kitchen sink
- The need hose to connect the bottle and spray nozzle
- A most important piece, the magic adaptor that connects everything
Side Note: I also have a stand-up tent that is amazing, and folds up like a vehicle sun visor.
With the sprayer that I purchased, I can get two showers out of it. I do have to pump the sprayer a few times while I’m using it as a shower, but it’s nothing that I have found to be a pain. The only thing I would like to fix is having someplace to hang the nozzle. Not a deal-breaker, as you use one hand to hold it and the other to get the soap off your body.
I’m pleased with my build and have suggested it to many people. I have had two friends build one with the same items I ordered on Amazon and have been pleased as well. So, if you want your portable shower, I would suggest making this one.
There are plenty of other options on the market today. For me, I was looking for a solution that was under $50 and easy setup. I mention this because another nice thing about using this sprayer is that you don’t have to have a high place to hang it.
These are known as gravity showers, and you need to hang it somewhere. The bags are generally really nice, but sometimes it isn’t easy to find a tree or anything to hang it from. If you are using a large truck or RV, this might be a better option for you.
My last suggestion, and one I have been using for the last few months, is for a quick wipe down. This is another trick I learned from Tristan and took me a while to actually do it. It has to be the easiest option here is, and that’s getting a spray bottle.
It is easy and really perfect for when you just want something quick. I’ve used it in combination with the wet wipes, brushing my teeth, and washing my face.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Having something for a quick wash up, or a full shower will help you feel human again. Not to mention, keep the dirt and grime out of your sleeping bag.
It’s nice having a few options when you need to wash up. The three I listed here (wet wipes, portable shower, and a small spray bottle) are my simple solutions that all cost under $50 combined.
Have you built a portable shower? I would love to hear about it. Let me know about your build, and if you don’t mind, the cost and how easy it was to build.