DIY Van Shower Tour: How I Stay Clean on the Road

Dee | Lady Bugout
by Dee | Lady Bugout

So many of you have asked me about my DIY van shower.

Today, I'm going to show you the whole faucet situation and how I shower. If you're struggling with a van shower solution, this may be just what you need.

I usually store my rod and curtains in my van's storage area. It can expand. It's one of those you expand it, then twist it, and it stays.

So I do that, and it holds some things in the storage space when I'm not using it to shower.

Shower area

Setting up the shower area

So I take my shower curtain rod and the curtain to the back of the van, where the back doors can open.

They open all the way but, for the shower situation, I open them partially and then unroll the curtain.

I have little cut-outs in the doors that were factory built, I attach the rod to those. I find that it fits perfectly for this type of curtain rod. 

Then it's one of these twisties. So to make it tight, you twist it until it gets tight. I have a curtain that I either have folded or to the side, but when I shower, I close it so that no water can get to it.

The curtain covers the inside of the van, protecting it from water. By opening the doors and adding the rod, I create a shower stall. 

Hand-held showerhead

I have a hand-held showerhead

It is tied up so that it just stays in place. I can just place it in a hook if I want it hands-free. 

Getting water to the shower

Before all this happens, I have to turn on the pump to the water, which is also attached to my faucet inside. I have a water pump, and it's like a 2-foot 2.5-gallon jug.

It's a built-in shower pump or a lot of times, it's what people use for gardens. It has an electric pump. This is a 12-volt electric pump, and you can recharge the batteries. They have little lithium batteries that are recharged.

I got that because I thought, "oh, well, I can just put it in here and forget about it." When I need it, I can just turn it on. There is a button in the back here that I press, and that turns that on, and then the water will flow.

I had shown as well that I had rigged this so that the cap I just drilled a hole in it, and I got some extra pipe, like rubber tubing, that food grade rubber tubing, and put that in the top so that it can attach itself, or I attached it to the bottom of this.

I put it on a PVC pipe that I just cut to the desired height that I wanted. 

You don't even have to do that if you don't want to. I think it comes with a little stand. I wanted it to be able to attach high so that I could use this to fill it. Then I cut a little hole in the back of the PVC pipe and ran that through and down into my storage cabinet.

This way, I can run the water when I need water for whatever I'm doing, whether for coffee, cooking, or washing. I just have that. You can hear that little bleep, bleep. 

Shower head

That means the other pump is on and ready for me to use the shower head. 

Showering while on the road

The shower head that I have is nice because right now it's off, but when I want, it can turn on, so I can manually turn it on and off. It doesn't just automatically go on like some of them.

I much prefer that because I can wet myself down and then soak up, lather up, and then rinse myself off. I use very little water that way. 

I would go out there in a swimsuit or however I felt like at the time, depending on how many people are around, and you can shower that way.

The other thing, since we're on the subject of how to stay clean, you can go to a truck stop on the road, or if I really want a shower where I'm washing my hair and want to do that, I can.

It would be $10, $8, and I could go ahead and do that. I think that's the way that it is kind of smart to do it while you're on the road.

In between, use either a sponge bath where you can fill up a bowl of water and a washcloth. 

Then, of course, there are the good old wet wipes. I have a granddaughter, so I am familiar with those these days, and it's perfect for just being able to get clean, stay clean, and feel fresh.

You can wash your face, and it really, for me, I say that it is a good way in between showers to feel like you're not dirty all the time.

Depending on the amount of activity you do during the day, or if you're hiking a lot or sweating a lot, you decide what your comfort level is on that.

DIY van shower

I have found that I feel just as fresh and clean in the van as I do anywhere else when I need to stay clean. 

Staying clean while living the van life is not hard to do. Do you have a DIY van shower? Share your setup in the comments below.

Join the conversation