Last Updated on 02/03/2024 by Glynn Willard




Your Blog Post with Divi-Style Box

Do Campers Have Showers?

 
Yes, most RV manufacturers incorporate some kind of indoor shower into their builds.

It could be a regular bathroom or a wet bath (toilet is in the shower). Fun times!

In fact, many manufacturers also incorporate an outdoor shower, which is great when boondocking in remote locations.

Yes, we use our outside shower when out of view to minimize the use of the gray water tank.

Just about all travel trailers, each brand of fifth wheel, each class A motorhome, and class C motorhomes are equipped with a shower.

On the other hand, not all class B motorhomes or pop-up campers (or overland trailers) have showers.

If your personal preferences are to own an RV with the comforts of home, there are a few caveats to understand about RV shower use.

And it’s good information to have in your arsenal when shopping for the right camper (for you).

Yes, most campers on the market have a shower.

 
Some links are affiliate links to make it easier for you to a) know what I’m talking about and b) help you make an informed decision. We also appreciate the commission that does not cost you any extra.
 

 

Which Campers Have An Indoor Shower?

 

A beautiful shower in a high-end camper.


 
We’ve toured A LOT of campers at shows, dealerships, and other RV owner’s rigs.

We have yet to come across a class A, Class C, or fifth wheel that doesn’t have a shower.

Most travel trailers incorporate a full bathroom as well.

Think about it. It’s certainly not in a manufacturer’s best interest to sell a camper without some kind of shower option.

Yes, size plays a role. But rather than drone on about which campers have a shower, let’s look at some that do not incorporate a water system for a shower.
 

Campers That Do Not Have A Shower

 
There are a few types of campers that may or may not have a shower depending on the manufacturer and trim level.

They include:
 

  • Most teardrop trailers: There are a few larger teardrops that have a wet bath.
  •  

  • Overland trailers: Some of the larger overland trailers or hybrids such as Opus or Kimberly have an indoor wet bath. You’ll see this in the price tag.
  •  

  • Some campervans: Some of the more popular brands like Winnebago, Pleasureway, Airstream, etc. have indoor showers (wet bath).
     
    But some custom van builds are built without indoor showers. There are options like Storyteller, which instead of shower walls, uses a shower curtain over a shower pan.

    At first, I wasn’t a fan when shopping for campervans, but the advantage is better moisture control in a small space without a vent fan. Not to mention the additional space that opens up by eliminating the shower walls.

 

Again, you’ll find variations of the above RV styles with and without a shower.

But if it has a freshwater tank, it will likely (at least) have an outdoor shower.
 

Using Your Camper Shower While Dry Camping

 

 
Boondocking in remote areas is our jam (did you just sing the Lego movie song?), so preserving our freshwater tank is a priority.

So I just want to preface that the right RV can be well suited to deliver most creature comforts while boondocking.

I’ll list some tips further along in the article on saving water while dry camping, to extend your stay in your favorite campsite.

To shower while dry camping, you’ll need:
 

  • A large freshwater tank,
  • A gray water tank,
  • and an onboard water pump.

 
Don’t worry, if the RV has a faucet somewhere in the rig, it has an onboard water pump.

If you’re not a fan of cold water (sorry Wim Hoff followers), you’ll need some kind of water heater.

There are a few versions of RV water heaters available. Most RVs are equipped with a standard hot water tank that works like your home model.

Higher-end manufacturers equip their rigs with a tankless water heater.

This is a benefit since it doesn’t waste your water supply as much.

I believe there are pros and cons to both versions. Regardless, the RV you’re considering buying probably has one of the two hot water heater variations.
 

Using Your Outdoor Shower In The Great Outdoors

 
Outdoor Shower
 
Now you have my attention! Think about it:
 

  • A beautiful view of nature.
  •  

  • You’re not adding water to the gray tank.
  •  

  • You’re less tempted to take a long, full shower.

 
We took advantage of every opportunity to shower outdoors when we boondocked in remote locations.

If this sounds appealing, you can even buy a Yakima RoadShower for campervans that are not equipped with an indoor wet bath.

If you plan on boondocking, make this a consideration.
 

Taking A Shower In A Camper With Full Water & Sewer Hookups

 
Full RV hook up
 
This is a luxury if you’re an RVer who dry camps most of the time.

So when you find yourself in this situation, treat your shower like your sticks-and-bricks shower.

I mention later on why you should keep your grey water tank closed during your shower.

Just be aware of how much time you spend in the shower so that you don’t overfill the grey tank.

You’ll know it if you do, but it’s an easy fix.

A word of caution when attaching to the water hookups in a campground.

Make sure you add an inline water pressure regulator to the hose just in case the water pressure is too high for your plumbing lines.

A regulator is small, lightweight, and inexpensive. You should always have one in your arsenal even if you boondock most of the time.

We still find ourselves in an RV park or state campground on occasion during a road trip.
 

Some Unique RV Showers In A Small Space

 

All in one!


 
I mentioned earlier in the article that Storyteller vans just have a shower pan.

There’s a shower curtain in the cabinet above that drops down and “encapsulates” the user.

It has its advantages and disadvantages.

Some small RV showers incorporate both the toilet and shower in one unit. This is a wet bath.

To each is own, but I would rather use an outdoor shower when boondocking.

If you’re considering a DIY camper, you also have the option of a RoadShower.

Yakima makes a good one that heats the water via sunlight and generates its pressure via gravity.
 

 
Such a setup is really only suitable for a van.

Yakima is expensive. There are also some “knock-off” brands on Amazon that might be more budget friendly.
 

How Many Gallons Of Water Does A Camper Shower Use?

 
You have a lot of control over how much water you use during a shower in a camper.

It comes down to:
 

  • How long you shower (to state the obvious).
  •  

  • The volume of water flow moved by your RV water pump.
  •  

  • The type of RV showerhead you have installed.

 

Over time, I calculated that I used about 1.5 gallons of water to shower. The boys came in around 2 gallons each and Rose was closer to 2.5 gallons.

The reasons should be obvious.

We showered every three days while dry camping, so approximately 12 gallons over a six day period was not bad.

We carried a total of 105 gallons and could max out at 10 days off grid by sticking to the tips I mention below.
 

Tips To Conserve Your Fresh Water Tank When Showering In An RV

 

Dispersed camping in Sedona, AZ

Dispersed camping in Sedona, AZ.


 
If you’re dry camping, water conservation is a big deal!

Here are a few tips to keep you boondocking longer without running out of water.
 

  • Dry baths: yes, baby wipes are a viable option. We always had success using wipes for two days in the “hot spots” and showering on the third day.
  •  

  • Get used to a Navy shower for your camping trip. Rinse, turn water off, lather up, rinse, and turn water off. It’s quick and painless.
  •  

  • Catch your shower water in a bin to extinguish your fires or just toss it to save grey tank space.
  •  

  • Some RV shower heads are high flow, so a great way to save water is to replace your shower head with a low-flow model that has an on/off switch on the handle.
     
    This “shameless affiliate plug” will give you an idea of what I’m talking about.
     

     

  • There’s usually some water loss when using a hot water heater (the time for running water to get warm), so abstain from a warm shower if you can. Please don’t kick me for saying that.
  •  

  • During travel days, make use of every public bathroom that you find for all your bathroom needs.

 

Can You Take A Hot Shower In A Camper?

 

Yes. I mentioned earlier that just about all campers equipped with a wet bath also have some way to heat water.

Those of you who prefer not to embark on a “polar bear plunge” for your shower experience will be fine.

Insider tip: if you have a conventional water heater in your RV, remove your anode rod on occasion to check it for excess corrosion.

Replace your anode rod if it needs replacing.
 

Remove and check your anode rod periodically.


 

What’s It Like To Shower In A Camper?

 
When you’re boondocking and conserving water, it’s not the best experience. I say that based on society’s general perspective of showering.

In other words, most people prefer warm water. Personally, I don’t care and I prefer a military shower in cold water.

Yeah, I’m an outlier. But I’m not you. Seek out a solution that works best for you.

If you’re in a campground (and you’re not using the campground showers), it’s very similar to showering at home.

Some camper showers also house the toilet (yes, in the shower). It’s called a wet bath.

This makes for a very compact space and it can be a little awkward to maneuver around while you’re showering.

If you don’t need much space, this should not influence your decision.

This is a typical situation in campervans. Although Storyteller vans have a portable toilet that can be removed from the shower pan.

Showering in your RV in a campground begs the next question.
 

Should You Leave The Gray Tank Open Or Closed With A Full Hook Up?

 
Unless you have a really small gray tank, it should remain closed while you shower.

Why?

Debris builds up in the tank from dish washing, which can dry and stick to the sensor, walls, and valve if too little water volume is allowed to accumulate.

By allowing the tank to fill most of the way, insoluble material has an opportunity to “soften” and get flushed out with a large bolus of water when you dump the tank.

It also helps minimize stinky gray tank fumes.

So close the valve until all dishes are washed and everyone showers. Then dump the tank at the end of the day.

 
Insider Tip: Add a half cup of Borax to your gray tank in the morning. It will raise the pH and allow particles to become more miscible.

It also helps minimize foul odors. It’s an inexpensive solution, I mean it makes an inexpensive solution. Get it? Never mind…
 

Difference Between A Cassette Toilet And Regular RV Toilet

 
Why talk about toilets in an RV?

Because not all RV’s have a full bathroom and the toilet is located inside the shower.

I get the mental image of taking care of two needs at once, but I suppose I should just stop there.

Also, there are two types of toilet set-up options for smaller RV’s.

Some more traditional RV toilets feed a black tank, which requires dumping at a dump station.

Others either house an external cassette that you remove from the side of the rig to dump at a dump station, pit toilet or in a truck stops bathroom.

The alternative is a “mobile” toilet that is connected directly to the cassette with latches.

When it’s full, unlatch it and carry the cassette portion into a rest stop’s bathroom or a toilet in your house.

Like many compromises made with an RV, both options come with pros and cons.
 

Emptying Your Black Water and Gray Water Tank At A Dump Station

 
Make sure you empty your black tank before your grey water tank.

The water from the grey tank will clean out your sewer hose.

I’m using the phrase “clean out” loosely!

You can learn more about how to find RV dump stations in the article below.
 

How To Find RV Dump Stations Near You Easily (Guide)

 

More importantly, I cover some tips and dump station etiquette to help you look like a pro!

 
And who doesn’t want to be a pro at managing RV septic systems? I digress…
 

Wrapping Up Camper Showers

 

Since you found this article to solve your RV shower question, the bottom line is yes, most campers have some kind of shower.

 
Some RVers use it for storage space. In fact, the Winnebago Revel (Sprinter) camper van incorporates shelves into the shower for those who prefer the additional storage.

There are some pretty creative RV shower set-ups. Some for just cold showers and some for warm showers.

Regardless, whatever RV you decide to by, there’s a solution to maintain your personal hygiene.

One more pro-tip before I close out this article.
 

Our P-trap came loose from frequent travel and leaked under the shower. Easy fix!


 
It’s a good idea to check the P-trap under the shower pan if it’s accessible.

Ours came loose at one point because of the gnarly off-roading we do with our rig and leaked everywhere before I realized it was loose.

It’s so easy to check and tighten that it should be added to your list of regular maintenance checklist.

What kind of shower would you prefer in a camper?
 
Meet the author.
 
We appreciate any help in bringing you great content. Donate or buy us a coffee on our Ko-Fi site. Or subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

Thank you so much for being here!