Portable RV shower for camping

Portable RV Shower for Camping: Ultimate Convenience for Dry Camping


Venturing into the great outdoors doesn’t mean you have to leave the comforts of home behind. A portable RV shower can be a game-changer for your camping experience, offering the convenience of a refreshing shower in the midst of nature.

As you search for the perfect blend of adventure and luxury, a portable shower becomes an essential component of your travel gear. It ensures you can stay clean, refresh after a day of activities, and enhance your overall dry camping experience on public lands and national forests without accessible showers.

A portable RV shower set up outside a camper, with a water tank, hose, and shower head

Choosing the right portable RV shower requires understanding the different types available and what features to look for.

Whether it’s a solar-powered option for the eco-conscious camper or a battery-powered model providing a more consistent water flow, there are a variety of portable showers to fit different needs and preferences.

Key considerations including water capacity, heating methods, durability, and ease of installation play vital roles in selecting the shower that’s right for your RV camping adventures.

With careful consideration, you can find a portable shower that balances functionality with portability, transforming your camping routine.

Key Takeaways

  • Portable RV showers enhance camping comfort by offering on-the-go bathing solutions.
  • Different types and key features of portable showers cater to varied camping needs and preferences.
  • Selecting the right portable shower involves considerations of water capacity, heating, durability, and installation.

Understanding Portable RV Showers

When you’re exploring the great outdoors in your RV, having a portable shower can elevate your camping experience significantly. It allows you to refresh and stay clean where built-in options aren’t available. Here’s what you need to know about portable showers designed for the RV lifestyle.

Portability and Convenience: Your portable camp shower is compact and lightweight, making it easy for you to take it wherever you go.

Whether you opt for a simple gravity-fed model or a more sophisticated unit with a built-in pump, these showers are designed for ease of use and transport.

  • Setup: Most portable camping showers can be set up quickly and effortlessly. You simply fill up the reservoir, hang or mount it, and you’re ready to go.
  • Heating Options: Look for showers that can be heated by the sun if warm showers are crucial for your comfort, or opt for options that connect to your RV’s hot water system.
  • Some models like the Yakima also come with their own heating mechanisms.

Water Capacity: Consider how much water you’ll need. Portable showers come in different sizes, ranging from a few gallons for quick rinses to larger tanks that can offer longer showers. Keep in mind the water usage when planning your supply.

  • Examples: The Coleman Solar Shower is a budget-friendly and eco-conscious choice, using solar energy to heat the water.

Privacy Settings: Many portable camping showers come with a privacy tent or can be used alongside your RV’s changing area. You can have a secluded space to shower, even in the most remote locations.

  • Tents: A separate pop-up tent for showering can offer privacy and can be easily folded away when not in use.

Types of Portable Showers

A portable RV shower is set up outside a camping tent, with a water tank and shower head attached to the side of the vehicle

Choosing a portable shower for your camping adventures can ensure you stay clean and comfortable. Depending on your camping location, access to resources, and personal preferences, you can select from various heating methods such as solar, battery, propane, or electricity to best suit your needs.

Solar-Heated Showers

Solar-heated showers harness the power of the sun to warm the water, providing an eco-friendly solution that’s perfect for sunny environments.

Solar showers typically consist of a bag or tank that is filled with water and left in direct sunlight to heat. Some models, like the Yakima RoadShower, offer capacities ranging from 4 to 10 gallons, ensuring you have ample hot water for your showering needs.

Battery-Powered Showers

Battery-powered showers offer the convenience of portable power, allowing you to shower without the need for sunlight or a fixed power source.

An example of a high-quality battery-powered shower is the Mr. Heater BOSS portable shower system, which offers great water pressure and the versatility to take it wherever you go, without worrying about external power supplies.

Propane-Heated Showers

Propane camp showers, using gas as their heating method, provide consistent hot water and are ideal if you’re looking for a more powerful and instant heating solution.

These showers, such as the Joocla HOTTAP V2 Essentials Kit, generally utilize a propane canister to quickly heat water, which can be a boon for colder climates or when a quick warm shower is desired.

Electric Portable Showers

Electric portable showers require an external power source such as electricity to operate. They are suitable when you have access to a generator or a power hookup at a campsite.

These showers offer convenience and ease of use, with some models like the Ivation Portable Outdoor Shower operating via an electric pump, ensuring constant water flow and temperature control at your fingertips.

Key Features to Consider

When selecting a portable RV shower for camping, you’ll want to find the perfect balance of convenience, efficiency, and comfort. Here’s what to keep in mind to ensure you make the right choice for your outdoor adventures.

Water Capacity

Water capacity is a critical feature, as it determines how much water you can store and use per shower session.

The Nemo Helio Pressure Shower offers a decent water capacity, which is vital for longer showers or washing dishes.

Consider devices like the Yakima RoadShower that come in multiple sizes offering 4, 7, or 10 gallons, thus catering to different needs.

Heating Options

Having hot water on demand can enhance your camping experience. Look for units with built-in water heaters such as the Hottap v2, which offer temperature control for your comfort.

Solar showers are a more eco-friendly option, harnessing the sun’s energy to heat the water over time.

Pressure and Flow

A good shower should have adequate water pressure and flow.

Electric portable showers might use a pump to increase pressure, while gravity-fed showers rely on elevation. The Ivation Portable Outdoor Shower connects to a water source and utilizes a battery-powered pump to create a pressurized spray.

Portability and Size

Your shower’s size and portability are essential for easy transport and use.

Some models may be compact and lightweight, suited for backpacking, whereas others, like the Yakima RoadShower, are more robust and mountable on vehicles for road trips. Determine your space constraints and movement needs before choosing.

Energy Sources

Consider what energy sources are available and convenient for you.

Electric portable showers typically require battery power or access to a 12-volt port, while propane-heated showers will need a gas canister.

Solar-powered showers eliminate the need for additional energy sources, making them highly sustainable and convenient for sunny locales.

Popular Models and Reviews

A portable RV shower sits next to a campsite, surrounded by trees and camping gear. A review rating of 4.5 stars is displayed prominently

When you’re choosing a portable shower for your next camping adventure, reliability, ease of use, and heat-up time are likely your top concerns. Here’s a look at some popular models that can ensure you maintain personal hygiene comfortably, even while off the grid.

Yakima Roadshower

Yakima RoadShower offers a robust build with options for different capacities, varying from 4 to 7, or even 10 gallons.

Its solar-heated design means you can enjoy a warm shower even in remote locations. It scores high on durability, making it a top choice for rugged adventures.

Nemo Helio Shower

The Nemo Helio Pressure Shower stands out for its ease of use with a foot pump that allows you to control the water pressure.

Its portability makes it a fine pick for your personal hygiene needs without the need for hanging. The Nemo Helio is often praised for its innovative design.

Ivation Portable Outdoor Shower

Ivation Portable Outdoor Shower converts a standard water bottle into a shower, operating via a handheld device which makes it incredibly user-friendly.

It’s solar-heated and suitable for those who need a quick and easy setup.

Mr. Heater Boss-XW18 System

Mr. Heater Boss-XW18 BaseCamp Battery Operated Shower System is your go-to for a portable shower with a reliable heating system.

Its battery-operated design adds convenience best overall experience in terms of temperature control and water flow.

Geyser Systems Shower with Heater

Geyser Systems Shower with Heater is recognized for delivering a hot shower with a minimal water footprint.

It uses a unique heating system to provide a comfortable and sustainable bathing experience, making it an excellent choice for environmentally-conscious campers.

Coleman Solar Shower

The Coleman Solar Shower features a simple design that uses solar energy to heat the water.

It’s a budget-friendly option and incredibly lightweight, which is perfect for backpackers or those looking to minimize their gear.

Installment and Use

A person sets up and uses a portable RV shower in a campsite surrounded by trees and nature

Before embarking on your next camping adventure, ensure you’re well-versed in the setup, operation, and upkeep of your portable RV shower for a comfortable and convenient experience.

Setting Up the Shower

To set up your portable RV shower, such as the Hottap V2, begin by securing your privacy tent to provide a secluded area for showering. Ensure that the tent is anchored properly to withstand wind.

Next, connect the water source to your Hottap V2 following the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure all connections are tight to prevent leaks.

Operation Guide

When operating your handheld shower, start by turning on the water flow gently to avoid unnecessary splashing. Your Hottap V2 may include adjustable settings, allowing you to control the water temperature for maximum comfort. Familiarize yourself with these controls to easily adjust the settings during use.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Regular maintenance and cleaning are crucial for the longevity of your portable shower. After each use, turn off the water source and allow the shower to drain.

Then, clean the showerhead and hose with mild soap, and dry them to prevent mold and mildew. Inspect your equipment for any signs of wear and address them promptly to ensure your shower remains in good working condition.

Accessories for Enhanced Comfort

A portable RV shower sits in a lush camping setting, surrounded by towels, soap, and a cozy bath mat for enhanced comfort

Enhancing your comfort while camping with an RV is easy when you equip yourself with the right accessories for your portable shower. Consider the trifecta of privacy, convenience, and comfort: getting a sturdy privacy tent, a reliable water container with sufficient capacity, and a powerful shower pump.

Privacy Tents

Investing in a privacy tent can significantly improve your showering experience. You’ll appreciate the privacy and the feeling of seclusion it provides, allowing you to shower without worries. Look for tents with easy setup and features such as towel racks or storage pockets for added convenience.

  • Key Features to Consider:
    • Quick and easy setup
    • Durable material
    • Built-in storage options

Water Containers

Your water source is critical for a satisfactory camping shower. A high-capacity water container ensures you have enough water for all your needs. Solar-heated options offer the added benefit of warm showers, enhancing your comfort. Portability may be a concern, so choose a container that balances capacity with ease of transport.

  • Considerations:
    • Capacity (4, 7, or 10 gallons)
    • Portability: Size and weight
    • Heating method (e.g., solar)

Shower Pumps

The right shower pump can make all the difference in water pressure and overall convenience. Portable, battery-operated pumps offer the flexibility of showering anywhere.

For a consistent flow, ensure the battery life meets your needs, and consider a pump with USB charging for ease of recharging.

  • Pump Features:
    • Rechargeable battery
    • Adjustable water flow
    • Portability and ease of use

Safety Precautions

A portable RV shower is set up outside a camper, with a non-slip mat, privacy tent, and water heater nearby

When using a portable RV shower for camping, your safety is paramount. Here’s what you need to keep in mind:

  • Check Equipment: Before each use, inspect your portable shower for any signs of wear and tear. Ensure that all connections are secure and that there are no leaks.
  • Water Temperature: Test the water temperature before showering to prevent scalding, especially with solar showers that have been heating in the sun. The ideal temperature should be comfortable to touch.
  • Electrical Safety: If your shower has a pump or heater that requires electricity, never operate it with wet hands. Also, ensure it’s properly grounded to prevent electrical shocks.
  • Stable Setup: Place your shower on a stable surface to avoid tipping over. Make sure your footing is secure to prevent slips and falls.
  • Usage Instructions: Adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions for setup and use. Misuse can lead to injury or damage to the equipment.
Do Don’t Do
Test water temperature Leave shower unattended when heating
Follow manufacturer’s instructions Use shower on an unstable surface
Check for leaks and secure connections Misuse electrical components

Environmental Considerations

A portable RV shower is set up outside in a wooded camping area, with a small water tank and a solar panel for heating

When you choose a portable RV shower for your camping adventures, considering the environmental impact is essential. You’re already making a positive choice by selecting an off-grid solution, but let’s dig a little deeper.

Water Conservation:

  • Use a flow-reducing showerhead to limit water usage.
  • Time your showers to avoid excess water consumption.

Consider a solar shower, which not only reduces your energy footprint but also conserves water by limiting shower time due to the limited water heated by the sun.

Eco-Friendly Soaps:

  • Choose biodegradable soaps that won’t harm the environment.
  • Always shower at least 200 feet away from natural water sources to prevent contamination.

Waste Reduction:

  • Use a reusable water container to avoid plastic waste.
  • Embrace towel drying or a solar clothes dryer to reduce reliance on energy-heavy appliances.

Alternatives to Portable Showers

An RV parked in a scenic campsite with a portable shower unit set up outside, surrounded by trees and camping gear

If you’re camping with your RV and looking for alternatives to portable showers, there are a few options that might suit your needs.

Outdoor Showers: These can be a great alternative and can often be attached to the side of your RV or nearby trees. An outdoor shower provides the same refreshing experience as a portable shower, without the need to worry about refilling and carrying a separate unit.

Trailers: Some camping trailers come equipped with built-in showers that offer the convenience of a home shower in a compact space. Upgrading your trailer to include a shower might be a wise investment if you frequently camp in areas without facilities.

  • Solar Showers: Simply fill them with water, place them in the sun to heat up, and hang them from a tree branch.
  • Bucket Showers: Cost-effective and straightforward, just fill a bucket with water and use a ladle or cup to pour over yourself.
  • Sponge Baths: If conserving water is crucial, consider using a damp cloth or sponge to clean yourself.
  • Natural Water Sources: When available and safe, lakes and streams can be refreshing; remember to use biodegradable soap to protect the environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

A portable RV shower in a forest clearing, water flowing from a hose into a collapsible shower tent, surrounded by camping gear and trees

When heading out for a camping adventure with your RV, a quality portable shower can enhance your experience significantly. Here are some common inquiries to help you decide on the best shower solutions for your outdoor escapades.

How can I choose the best portable RV shower for my camping needs?

To find the best portable RV shower for your camping needs, consider water capacity, heating method, portability, and ease of setup. It’s essential to match these features with your camping style and duration.

What are the advantages of using a portable hot water shower while camping?

A portable hot water shower ensures you can enjoy the comfort of a warm shower even off the grid, crucial for hygiene and for outdoor activities in cooler weather.

How long can I expect a portable camping shower bag to last during my trip?

The durability of a portable camping shower bag depends on the material quality and usage. Generally, they can last for several trips if properly maintained.

How long will a 5-gallon shower bag last?

A 5-gallon shower bag typically lasts for about 8-10 minutes of continuous use, enough for a quick, efficient shower.

What are some tips for setting up a shower tent at a campsite?

When setting up a shower tent, choose a level spot away from heavy foot traffic for privacy and stability. Ensure it’s within reach of your water source for convenience.

Can you provide guidance on creating a DIY portable shower for outdoor adventures?

To create a DIY portable shower, you can repurpose a garden sprayer or a water jug with a shower head attachment. Make sure it’s clean and safe for human use and consider a way to heat the water if necessary.

Is it possible to find a portable shower that’s easily accessible while traveling?

Yes, many portable showers are designed for easy access while traveling, with features like collapsible designs and quick setup.

How does a solar camping shower work?

A solar camping shower uses a black bag or material to absorb heat from the sun, warming the water inside for a comfortable shower.

What is the best portable hot water shower for camping?

The best portable hot water shower offers reliable heating, ease of use, and enough water capacity for your needs. Products like Mr. Heater F235350 BOSS are highly regarded for their performance.

What is a bush shower?

A bush shower is a rudimentary shower set up in a remote or wilderness area. It often consists of a water container and a nozzle, without any of the amenities of a traditional bathroom.

Do camping showers heat water?

Some camping showers have heating elements or are designed to be used with a heat source to provide warm water.

What’s a camping shower water tank?

A camping shower water tank is a reservoir that holds the water necessary for showering. It is designed to be part of a portable camping shower system.

Can I get a portable camping shower with privacy?

Yes, many portable shower setups come with a shower tent or enclosure to provide privacy while you bathe.

How much does a portable shower weigh when filled with water?

The weight of a filled portable shower varies. However, a 5-gallon bag would weigh approximately 42 pounds (5 gallons of water at about 8.34 pounds per gallon).

How much water do portable showers need?

The amount of water needed will depend on the shower duration and flow rate. But, typically, you will need 2.5 to 5 gallons for a decent shower.


A portable RV shower is set up outdoors near a campsite, with a water tank, hose, and shower head. The sun is shining, and a towel and toiletry bag are placed nearby

When you’re considering a portable shower for your RV dry camping adventures, you want something that balances functionality and convenience.

The right portable camping shower can elevate your outdoor experience, providing the comfort of a warm shower in remote locations.

  • Portability: Look for a shower that’s easy to pack and carry. Your storage space is precious.
  • Capacity: Choose a model with a water capacity that suits the length of your trips and the size of your group.
  • Heating Method: Solar-powered options offer energy savings, while battery-powered showers provide quick and consistent water temperatures.

The Yakima RoadShower is a robust choice if durability is a top priority. For those who prioritize hot water and higher water pressure, the Mr. Heater BOSS portable Shower System might be your perfect match.

In selecting a portable shower, assess features against your specific needs. Whether it’s quick setup, ease of use, or the ability to provide both hot and cold water, your choice should enhance your camping experience.

Remember, the best portable shower is the one that meets your requirements for comfort, convenience, and value.

Charley Waters

I've traveled to 49 states and 3 provinces in Canada living in my RV full-time over many years. I've stayed just about everywhere possible. National parks, state parks, parking lots, BLM land, Independent RV parks and friends and family's driveways. I lived through a crazy Derecho windstorm in Iowa. I got stuck in a winter freeze in Texas.

Living on the road in your RV can be challenging at times. But the good times make up for the bad. I'm here to share my experience and help fellow RVers good decisions while enjoying the great outdoors and vast camping opportunities this country has to offer.

View stories

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll Up