The opportunity to bring the conveniences of home along while heeding the call of the open road is among the advantages that make RVs so alluring. Having a bathroom and shower on board can really improve your travel. Most of the time, having a shower in an RV is not a pleasant experience. Unlike standard plumbing fixtures at home, RV showers are frequently undersized and have a meager supply of hot water or low pressure.
Even so, it can be annoying to only be able to take quick showers when you really want to have a long soak while you are camping. We made the decision to examine more closely the specifics of RV showers in order to assist you to make the most of them as well as to better grasp the RV bathing conundrum. This entails posing and responding to some significant inquiries regarding taking a shower in an RV.
Do RVs Have Showers?
Many modestly sized RVs, including travel trailers, fifth-wheels, and most motorhomes, are equipped with some form of bathroom and shower unless it’s a little Class B camper van or little teardrop trailer. These RVs often come with enough space and construction to support toilets, showers, and water storage tanks.
However, some smaller RVs lack even basic restrooms. This is mostly because there isn’t enough room inside for a restroom or there isn’t enough support for the enormous freshwater and wastewater storage tanks.
Types of RV Showers
A wet bath is a small, practical RV bathroom in which the sink, shower, and toilet are all submerged in water while you shower. It allows for space savings while yet providing access to a fully equipped bathroom.
An RV bathroom type known as a “dry bath” is comparable to a sticks-and-bricks home’s bathroom. Water is kept inside the shower stall, and there are distinct places for the sink, toilet, as well as shower.
Pros and Cons of and RV Shower
Both RV shower arrangements have advantages and disadvantages. Although a wet bath is roomier, you must be mindful of keeping the rest of the bathroom dry. In a dry bath, which is more conventional in design, a person can shower whereas the other goes to the bathroom, brushes their teeth, looks in the mirror, etc. The shower stall on its own is typically much smaller, which is a drawback.
A tiny bathtub may be included in dry baths, although shower pans, which are shallow basins that prevent water from spilling out but do not store water like such a tub, are so much more typical.
RVs That Have Showers
While the majority of RVs feature showers, not all of the vehicles have bathrooms. The size and form of the shower, however, varies based on the various types and the amount of room it has.
- Class A/Class C Motorhomes: Many homes would have had at least one shower-equipped bathroom. A half- or full-sized bathroom with a shower in the main living area is standard in some of the bigger Class A motorhomes.
- Class B Motorhomes: Class B motorhomes, also referred to as campervans, occasionally lack a shower or bathroom. For those that do, the toilet and shower are generally combined into a small room called a “Wet Bath.”
- Bigger Travel Trailers (Over 14 feet): The majority of travel trailers longer than 14 feet will feature some sort of shower. This could be a separate shower stall or a wet bath with a toilet and a shower attached.
- Smaller Travel Trailers (Under 14 feet): Smaller travel trailers may not have a shower entirely or only have a wet bath. A handful of them has an interior cassette toilet and an extra outer water pipe for an outdoor shower.
- Teardrop Trailers: There are only a few teardrop trailers that come with an additional wet bath which is often optional. Several bathrooms either lack showers entirely or just offer an optional external water pipe for an outdoor shower.
- Fifth-Wheel Trailers: There is often at minimum one bathroom with a shower in fifth-wheel trailers. Several of the bigger fifth-wheel trailers contain a full or half bathroom with a shower in the general living space, as well as a master bathroom with a shower. Although, in order to save room, fifth-wheel trailers that can also serve as campers and horse trailers may simply have a wet bath or even no shower equipment at all.
- Pop-up Campers: A few bigger popup campers including hybrid popup campers come with a wet bath that doubles as a shower and toilet. Others have either no restroom at all or merely a cassette toilet.
- Truck Campers: Larger truck campsites with showers split from toilets are frequently found in models made for use on three-quarter to one-ton pickup trucks. Nevertheless, many smaller truck campers simply include a combo wet bath.
Find the best RV Showerhead
The shower head is essential to having the finest RV showering experience. What to search for in an RV shower head usually is its preservation of water and its simplicity to use.
RV showers with water-conserving heads
Your RV shower head must, first and primarily, be a low-flow, water-conserving model. Preserving water is crucial, particularly if you’re dry camping without hookups.
A typical shower lasts eight minutes. A typical home showerhead provides for a flow rate of roughly 3.8 gallons per minute. A single shower uses 30.4 gallons of water, which could equal your entire freshwater tank. Additionally, this will necessitate more regular wastewater disposal, which might be a headache.
Nevertheless, a more efficient RV shower head can reduce that figure by at least 40%, providing you with more water for other uses like cooking and drinking.
RV showers with simple to use
In addition, a lot of RV shower heads come with a wall mount but are also available handheld. By doing this, you can swiftly rinse everything without needing to wait for the water to slowly trickle down. For optimal water saving, it’s also a useful option to have a shut-off or low-flow valve for flow conditions.
Choose a showerhead with a low GPM (gallons per minute), ideally 2 gallons per minute or less, while looking for a new one. To find out more regarding the dependability and longevity of the product, read internet reviews.
Where Does Shower Water Go in an RV?
In the majority of RVs, the water from your shower drains into a tank called the gray tank. Water out from sinks or showers in your RV is collected in the gray tank. It’s fascinating to observe that Winnebago created the Rialta, a small RV, with a tiny shower draining into the black tank.
The innovative bathroom in the Rialta folds through into the aisle of the RV to provide extra space, but users must be cautious because it empties into the black tank. If the black tank fills up too much, emptying a shower into it can lead to serious problems. There have been instances of Rialta owners taking showers while sitting in a pool of black water, which essentially negates the purpose of taking a shower, to begin with. The majority of RV showers drain into the gray tank for this very good reason.
Getting a great RV shower hose
With a nice RV shower head, you would like a decent RV shower hose. Sadly, the hoses that accompany RV shower wands occasionally tend to be stiff and challenging to maneuver. If you discover that this is the case, spend money on a new, more flexible hose. If you don’t constantly have to deal with an unruly hose, shower time will become less frustrating.
Where Does An RV Get Hot Water From?
A small water heater provides hot water for the majority of recreational vehicles with built-in water tanks and/or showers in the bathrooms. It functions quite similarly to your home’s hot water heater, where a propane or electric component warms the water volume and directs it to the hot water fixture as needed.
The issue is that many RVs only have hot water tanks with capacities of 6 gallons or less. Fresh, icy water is poured into the system as you drain it, and the internal thermostat activates in an effort to warm the fresh water. Short showers are what this means. The second person frequently receives a lukewarm shower or a shower in which the steamy water is flowing out even though you have shampoo in your hair if you have to wash over more than one individual in an hour or so.
How Long Can A Person Take A Shower In An RV?
Several RV manufacturers advise limiting shower times to 2 to 3 minutes in order to preserve water. While the number of fresh freshwater resources and the capacity of the hot water heater’s tank play a significant role in how long an RV shower lasts. And not to mention however many individuals you desire to shower with that particular evening. Two to three persons ought to be able to have a two to three-minute shower with a 6-gallon hot water heater.
How Long Do RV Showers Last?
Resist expecting those long, steamy showers you could appreciate at home when taking a shower in an RV. Depending on when and where you’re camped should be considered when you can take a shower or for how long you need. For the benefit of your water tanks as well as the environment, one must recommend limiting how much water you use when taking a shower in an RV.
You have more flexibility about your bathing time if you’re staying at a campground or RV park with full connections, along with a hookup to city water (though you should be sure to leave the valve on your gray tank open)! Water can continuously flow into your RV if you have a connection to a city water source. A gray tank valve that is open allows water to be pumped into the campground’s sewer system rather than into your tank at the same time.
Your RV’s water heater, which really is smaller than the one in your home, will be the sole restriction if everything is connected. The capacity of tanked water heaters ranges from 6 to 12 gallons. The length of the showers increases with tank size. A 6-gallon tank will continuously supply hot water for about 8 minutes, and a 12-gallon tank will do so for 16–20 minutes. There are also on-demand hot water devices like the Aquago some people use in an RV available. In this instance, the water in the shower heats up quickly and remains hot for as much as there is propane. This kind of water heater makes it possible to have a 20-minute shower.
The amount of water you consume for a single shower will likely require a lot less if you’re boondocking, though. In this situation, take into account all your water requirements, such as drinking, cooking, washing hands and dishes, flushing the toilet, and taking showers (until you’re able to replenish that freshwater tank again). Along with the size and fill level of your fresh water tank, take into account all of your water usage. You should also take into account how much electricity or gas is accessible to boil your water. Boondocking generally necessitates a shorter, more restrained shower.
Additional Things to Know for Showering in an RV
Given that you’ve been taking showers your entire life, you might find it weird to get showering advice. However, taking a shower in an RV differs slightly from doing it at home. Here are a few things to remember.
Preserve Water and Tank Space
As we’ve seen, it’s critical to preserve both water and gray tank space when taking a shower in an RV. A “Navy shower,” a phrase originating from Navy ships’ water-saving methods, is now popular among many RVers.
In a Navy shower, you soak down your body and hair before turning off the water to use the bathroom and then turning it back on to rinse. This method is a great and tried-and-true strategy to conserve water because it might help you preserve up to 95% of the water you’d use in a typical shower. Increased gray tank space is also possible with less water usage!
Whereas an outdoor shower still consumes the limited fresh water supply in your fresh water tank if you are boondocking, you conserve gray tank space because taking a shower outdoors fully avoids that storing tank. Some RVs come equipped with outside showers. Ensure to use high-quality biodegradable soap if you choose this method!
Find Shower Replacements to Camp Out Longer
Regardless if they have an RV shower, many campers choose to utilize the showers at the campsites. In addition to saving water and gray tank space, this also makes campground showers larger.
There are also other options, including such outdoor solar-heated showers, if you’re in a distant area. Many tourists are aware that bathing is not the only option to bathe, therefore they also use baby wipes or a different type of sponge bath to become fresh.
Unlimited Hot Water is Provided by Tankless Water Heaters
Another thing to keep in mind while warming water for RV showers is when you have access to a continuous water supply, a tankless water heater is a great substitute for heating water for showers, dishwashing, and other uses that require hot water. Although they are portable and reasonably priced, small tankless water heaters require skilled installation.
When you turn on the hot water tap, a tankless water heater begins heating the water; it really doesn’t end unless you turn the tap off. Approximately 15 seconds are needed for tankless devices to heat the water to the appropriate temperature for bathing, virtually instantly.
Make Sure To Have Your RV Shower Cleaned
Even while an RV shower may assist you in keeping clean, you still need to clean the shower after each use.
The secret to maintaining a shower is avoiding accumulation. In your shower, soap scum, mildew, dirt, and grime can all lead to problems. The simplest method of cleaning is to just squeegee or wipe down your shower after each usage.
Use a cleaner to wipe everything down for a more thorough RV shower clean. Use a gentle scrubber that won’t scratch any surfaces, like a soft sponge or a light abrasive like a dryer sheet. The majority of cleaners that you’d use in a shower at home are appropriate. To ensure compatibility with the item you’re cleaning, just pay attention to the label.
Guidelines For Getting Longer Hot Showers In Your RV
There are a few options for extending the amount of time you could spend showering in an RV. Setting up a shower routine whereby half the family showers in the morning while the other half in the evening is the first step in achieving this.
This allows the hot water heater enough time to warm and refill to full capacity. Beyond a tactical strategy, there are physical improvements and techniques to access more resources that are worthwhile taking into account.
Increase Your Hot Water Heater Size
Your RV can provide you with more total gallons of water if there is space beneath the cupboard or anywhere in the plumbing system to install a larger water heater. This may make it possible to take longer showers or to shower additional people in a single evening.
Adding Another Hot Water Heater
Another small water heater could potentially be installed in parallel if space is available under a cabinet. This will assist each water heater tank filling less quickly each cycle as well as provide you with more hot water every session.
Setup An RV Showerhead That Saves Water
The same way they function in your home bathroom, water-saving showerheads will function in an RV bathroom. Although they do have the same grating low flow that some people find bothersome.
When Shampooing, Shut Off the water.
If you’ve got a lot of hair, you could waste a lot of time scrubbing shampoo into your hair as the water just streams down the drain. Rinse water can be conserved by shutting off the water as you work the shampoo through your hair.
To maximize this method and cut down on washing time even further, use a two-in-one shampoo and conditioner.
Putting in a Tankless Water Heater in Your RV
A comparatively recent development, tankless water heaters are now being used for RV water heating.
They either use propane or electrical power to quickly heat water on required, similar to the residential models.
You get a lot more volume and may take longer showers because of this without using a water heater.
The old tank can then be removed to make a place for more storage in your RV’s bathroom or kitchen.
Other FAQs About RV Showers
How much does an RV shower cost?
The price of an RV shower enclosure ranges from from $279 to $1,300.
How can my RV shower be made better?
Change the hot and cold valves in combination with the showerhead on your RV. For storage or to add a sense of freshness, add a hanging plant or a shelf. Set a shut-off valve on your current showerhead to save water. To make the room appear larger, swap out the door, and the shower curtain, or add a curving curtain rod.
Can an RV shower be replaced?
Some RVers upgrade and swap out worn-out, faulty, or moldy shower enclosures. It’s a complicated task, so be sure to plan ahead, conduct your research, and consult experts as needed.
How can I change the showerhead on my RV?
It’s not necessary for your replacement showerhead to be designed expressly for RVs, but it must be able to connect to the plumbing in your RV shower. The majority of showerheads that are suitable for use with an RV are handheld models with flexible hoses that attach to the faucet fixture with ease. To create a water-tight link, try the plumbers’ tape.
If you have been wondering if RVs can have showers, then the answer is yes! Hopefully, this article answered lots of your questions regarding RVs and showers.
You may do a few things to make the most of your RV showering time. Putting a low-flow showerhead and shutting off the water when using a two-in-one shampoo and conditioner combination are easy first steps in this direction. You can improve to a water heater with a larger tank or add a parallel water heater if your RV’s plumbing system has the room and the money is available. In a similar manner, a tankless water heater can save you space while providing hot water on required.
If you’re looking for an RV with shower, we wish you the best of luck in finding one that suits your needs to most!