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Do RVs Have Showers?

Published on December 7th, 2018 by Camper Report
This post was updated on April 27th, 2021

Having a shower in an RV may seem like an obvious necessity since it is essentially a house on wheels. Sometimes going an entire week without a shower may seem like a difficult burden to bear.

Do RVs have showers? Most RVs come equipped with a shower that is hooked to your main fresh water tank. You won’t find a shower in a tiny Class B RV or a Teardrop, but most other models will have at least a tiny one.

The ability and option of taking a shower (or something resembling a shower) while camping can be a gift! It’s not as simple an experience as one may think. It takes a lot of preparation and understanding to be able to shower in an RV. 

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RV Showers

With a wife and kids, a shower may be something necessary to a happy life on the road. Something that can save everyone’s sanity halfway through a camping trip is a shower.

No matter what kind of RV you have, a shower is not going to resemble anything that you see at home. Like in any other shower in the world, the essentials will still be there: a showerhead, water knobs, and a drain. The length of the task, size of the shower, and overall experience will not resemble anything like your shower at home. 

The point of a shower when you’re camping to rejuvenate you. You want to have a day where you can clean off the grime, wash your hair, and refresh yourself for the rest of the trip. 

Showing may not always be an option, but most RV’s are equipped with the feature. 

Confronting the Reality of a Small Shower 

You should be under no false impressions that you are going to have a great RV shower. It will look like someone took a basic shower and shrunk it to fit the space provided. 

You will have little to no elbow room, and you may tower over the shower head depending on how tall you are. There will be almost no space to place your toiletries so be conservative on what you bring along.

It would be a good idea to only pack the essentials when camping in an RV because of general space restrictions. There is usually a cabinet or drawer in the vanity area of a bathroom, but the shower itself will have very limited shelving. 

The entire bathroom isn’t going to be very big and may be colder than you’ll like. If you make sure to heat your water then your shower’s temperature should be pretty good. 

Sometimes we can develop a touch of claustrophobia when trying to get clean in a bathroom the size of a broom closet. Showering, drying off, and getting dressed will be bigger tasks than you ever though possible.

The bright side comes when you leave the bathroom and enter the world as a human being again. All of the stress of getting clean will melt away quickly because you are officially clean once more. 

For a lot of people, a shower will not seem like a necessity for camping. No one is going to mind if you smell like campfire smoke, sweat, or dirt because they will most likely smell the same. 

A quick clean up will be enough to get you through the trip until you can get back into your own shower at home. 

If you’re planning on living on the road for a while, the shower will become more important to you. Learning the proper showering technique and getting used to the new routines will help you come to terms with the size of the bathroom and shower. 

The size of the shower will change slightly depending on the size of your RV and so will the water tank. You need to judge what is right for you and purchase or rent accordingly.

Another thing that’s important to mention is that the price is usually directly correlated to the size of the RV and its amenities. 

Water Conservation

This isn’t a section about saving the planet, but it is about saving yourself from running out of water before your trip is over. 

Most RV’s are going to have a water tank and a water heater. The tanks can range from 6-15 gallons depending on what you have.  IF you’re hoping for a shower in a tiny Class B RV or a Teardrop then you’ll be pretty disappointed.

You need to have an RV with the strength, room, and overall capacity to handle water tanks. 

When you decide on an RV with a shower, you will want to know exactly what the task will look like. 

Here’s the experience.

For most RV’s you will have to turn on the water heater and wait for it to warm up before beginning. Once it’s warm you will want to test the water, and get in making sure you won’t freeze or burn yourself on either extreme. 

The actual act of taking a showe is more of a chore than a luxury experience. Depending on the size of your family, the length of your trip, and how much water you’ve used up already, you’ll want to apply the methods of a “G.I. shower”.

This term means that you turn off the water when you are lathering up with soap. Once you’re ready to rinse, you turn the water back on until the next event. 

Depending on the time of year and location of your camping trip, the in-between sections of lathering can be pretty upsetting. If it’s cold outside then turning off the warm water can send prickles down your arms and make you shampoo your hair with new found determination. 

Just keep reminding yourself of the end game and precious water you’re saving. 

This is by no means an enjoyable experience, but it gets the job done. You may think it was horrible, but you can never doubt that you feel refreshed after it’s done. That’s what good camping does to you: it makes you appreciate the little things. 

Showering Alternatives

Ah, the cringe-worthy ‘sponge bath’ rears its ugly head. What seems weird to us while we’re in the comfort of our own home will become more acceptable as RV life becomes more prevalent. 

Sometimes a simple washcloth and water can make us feel like we can survive another day on the road. Wet wipes and baby wipes can also be something that saves you from a dirt-covered freakout.

If you’re not sure about taking a full blown shower then try heating water on the stove and then using that to wipe yourself clean. It’s not going to be a perfect solution, but it can get you through the rest of your trip.

Taking that extra time to clean yourself can change your mood and outlook on your trip. It doesn’t matter if it’s in a shower or through a washcloth bath, you will feel better once you’ve had some time for yourself.

Finding an RV with a shower will not be difficult, but deciding whether to use it or not may be the harder decision. 

Related Questions

How many gallons does an RV shower use? Depending on how conservatively you use your water, a shower in an RV can use somewhere between 1.5-3 gallons every minute. This is why it’s important to take short showers in an RV because it uses up a lot of your water supply. 

Does an RV have a bathroom? Most RV’s have bathrooms if they’re big enough. The bathroom will usually consist of a shower, a toilet, and a small vanity area. The vanity area is usually on the outside of the bathroom to conserve space. The toilet and shower are usually in the room together. Teardrop and some small Class B RV’s will not be big enough for a bathroom. 

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