I'm an innovator / inventor and 2024 U.S. Presidential candidate who has been living on the streets across the USA and Canada since July, 2015. I custom built this campervan from a 2007 Dodge / Mercedes Sprinter since January 2016. I installed an outside shower due to extremely limited space inside and with the intention to use the outside shower only in emergencies and to wash the dog. I've been using fitness center and campground showers until the March, 2020 COVID-19 lockdown which required all fitness centers and most campgrounds to close. This forced me to innovate a way to take showers outside of my van and eventually inside of my van. I had to move the shower from outside to inside due to issues of cold weather, wind and privacy.
This is an eco-friendly low energy consumption shower system that eliminates the need for propane consumption.
Biodegradable soap is recommended for the environment, especially if drained to the ground.
It takes about 15 minutes to heat the water. You will need a "decent", but not extreme power source. A 3,000+W inverter is necessary to prevent overload. To conserve power, turn the water heater off after it has heated the water so when you take a shower, it won't consume more power heating water. Use the water on/off valve at the shower head as mentioned below to reduce water use when lathering, etc.
This is not completely my idea. I learned from Live Like Pete and made some modifications to suit my style which is a more simplistic and stronger design for every day use rather than once in a while.
This design is for vans / RVs too small to accommodate a permanent shower or where the permanent shower is too tiny.
This design is a mixture of permanent and temporary. Only the drain is permanent.
This design allows a much larger freedom of upper body movement vs. standard RV showers. Most Class B RV owners don't use their inside shower because of the extremely limited freedom of upper body movement.
A standard RV shower handle is not recommended due to made in China plastic and bulkiness and two handles for hot/cold are not needed since you will only be running one hot/warm water line. Rather, I recommend using a 1/2" ID threaded brass valve at the shower head for ease of reach. Use this valve to turn water supply on and off and to reduce water consumption (don't have to shower with valve wide open, can close half way for half as much water consumption and turn off for a pause to lather / allow hair conditioner to work.
When done taking shower, tilt shower pan towards drain and rinse to prevent mildew and grime. You can either crunch the shower pan and curtains out of the way or remove them for storage. I just crunch out of the way a bit since I rarely need to use the cumbersome sliding door anyway (I enter and exit through the driver's side door as much as possible).
How to connect the drain: Cut a 1/2" hole 1" from the edge of the vinyl pool. Insert the rubber washer at bottom, then screw on the large nut to tighten the seal.
I'm seeking a method for a quick connect/disconnect drain to move the vinyl pool out of the way.
Never set the water heater past the "ideal" setting because the water temperature will be so hot as to cause skin burns or extreme pain. Also excess power consumption to heat the water will result.
Recommended Main Parts
3,000+W pure sine wave inverter and suitable power source that can handle a 15 minute long heavy power drain.
4 gallon Bosch electric water heater.
32" collapsible / folding dog / kid pool.
1/2" ID threaded brass valve. Cheaper plastic can be used, but will not be as reliable and is harder to open/close.
1 3/4" Faucet hole cover (any color), 1/2" drill bit (drill from the inside of hole going out the top), suitable drain hose.
3/4" metal hole saw blade (for drain hose), optional grommet and primer paint.
Low flow shower head with holder(s) (I have two holders for a high and low shower position). A two handle shower control is not needed or recommended.
2X 72" medium or light duty shower curtains (any color or clear) with bottom weights.
Medium size carabiner clips to fasten shower top.