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Van Life: What to Do about Showering?

Originally published: November 3, 2018

If you’re reading this because you’re thinking of living in a van and are concerned about where to shower, this might or might not be the article for you. Truthfully, I’m probably in the same boat as you. I want to try the van life thing, but am concerned about showering (My last two posts addressed my other two primary concerns, toilet and sink).  Now I'll address the last remaining major concern of keeping clean.

I’ve watched videos and read blogs, but haven’t first-hand experienced the conundrum of showering while traveling in a van.


Having said that, I have taken precautions for those “just in case” moments. This is funny coming from the gal who is basically van traveling in her mind. Well, actually, I’ve taken trips in the van, but haven’t done an overnight in the van as yet. Anyway, for when I do muster up the courage for an overnight trip, I’ve taken a few precautions.

Alternative Methods for Showering

  • Joined Planet Fitness. If I happen to be near civilization after a day or two of van traveling, I can always visit any one of the 1,500 Planet Fitness locations and get a nice shower (not to mention a workout too).

  • Washing up in the van. Since I installed a sink with a 6-gallon water capacity, I can always freshen up there. I also have a 2-burner stove on which to warm water if need be. I’m also considering purchasing a large collapsible bucket to stand in to keep things the inside of the van from getting too wet and messy.

  • 2-Gallon garden sprayer shower. I rigged a 2-gallon garden sprayer with a kitchen sprayer hose. I can pump up the garden sprayer to build pressure and use the hose as I would as if I were washing vegetables. This, of course, is an outside routine, not to be used in the van. And for privacy, I have a collapsible shower tent. If the water temperature becomes a problem, I can set the sprayer out in the sun for a bit to warm the water. I’m not a fan of ice-cold showers, but a gal’s gotta do what a gal’s gotta do. The video below outlines the instructions for creating the shower out of a garden sprayer.

I’ve also read/watched videos outlining several other options for maintaining personal hygiene including:

  • Lots of baby wipes
  • Alcohol (which sounds a bit harsh to me, but if it works...
  • Small spray bottle of soapy water.

Bottom line is, if you want to get clean you can. There are many options for maintaining proper hygiene while traveling/living in a van. Now, it’s time for me to stop talking and writing about it and actually get about the business of doing it.

About the Author: Felicia likes to traipse around and write about her traipsings. FeliciaIn her mind, she lives in an RV and gets to travel to beautiful places far and near. However, in reality, she traipses around in her mobile cabin, Faith, a 2005 Chevy Express Conversion van. With Faith, she’s slowly (and I mean slowly) transitioning her mind to leave the ‘safe world’ of bricks and sticks in favor of the unpredictable world of van travel.

Last Modified: 4 May 2021

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