6 Causes You Don’t Want an Indoor Bathe in your Van – Bearfoot Principle


If you happen to’re contemplating changing a camper van to stay or journey in, you’re most likely dealing with the query of whether or not or not you want a van bathe. Again in 2016, after I was designing the floorplan in my first Sprinter Van, I used to be satisfied I wanted a bathe. On the time, I considered it as a fundamental necessity. I had a completely enclosed bathe constructed inside my Sprinter and it was lovely with black tile and a teak flooring, similar to I’d need in a home, however in miniature kind.

After two years of touring in that van, I had solely used the bathe a handful of instances, principally at campout weddings and particular events. The bathe had changed into an costly, awkwardly positioned closet that your entire flooring plan was constructed round. Each time I wished to bathe, I must pull all the things out, and normally, I discovered it simpler and extra nice to bathe at campsites, at pals’ homes, or to skip the bathe altogether.

On this weblog publish, I share 6 explanation why you don’t want an indoor bathe in your van.

Causes Why You Can Forego the Indoor Van Bathe

1. A van bathe limits choices on your flooring plan

With ~100 sq. ft of dwelling house, each inch issues when designing your van structure. If you need a bathe, it means saying goodbye to one thing else – whether or not that be storage below your mattress, a spacious kitchen that you just’ll use every single day to arrange meals, or a workstation when you work from the highway.

In my first van, as soon as I made a decision that I’d have a rest room/bathe within the very again of the van on the passenger facet, my choices for a mattress and galley had been fairly restricted. I needed to say goodbye to the thought of storing bikes or different cumbersome gear within the van.

View of converted Sprinter van from the back with rear doors open
Having an indoor bathe in my first Sprinter meant having to forego storing outside gear like bikes and paddling gear

2. A bathe will complicate your plumbing

If you need a bathe in your van, you or whoever is constructing out your van must know what they’re doing in the case of plumbing. Swiftly, you go from easy plumbing on your sink to a bathe with a sizzling water heater, a gray water tank, and water traces operating in a number of instructions.

If you’re hiring somebody to do your conversion, it’s crucial that they’ve expertise putting in showers. You do not need to be the guinea pig (study from my errors).

Photo of tiled van shower
Showers require further plumbing experience for warm a water system and gray water tank

3. Indoor van showers are costly

For the value that you just paid on your indoor bathe, you could possibly keep at a paid campground as soon as every week with limitless sizzling showers and nonetheless have some huge cash left over.

Hell, you could possibly even keep in a lodge and nonetheless most likely come out forward! Constructing a van bathe is dear resulting from all of the plumbing and further supplies. Save your self the cash and forego the indoor bathe.

4. You solely have a lot water

You probably have a 2500 Sprinter Van, the utmost water you’ll most likely have onboard is 30 gallons to be sure you don’t go over your automobile’s payload. For comparability, the typical American consumes 17 gallons of water after they bathe at dwelling. This implies a van bathe typically finally ends up being navy model. Rinse, flip the water off, scrub, and switch the water again on to rapidly rinse once more.

It will get the job executed, nevertheless it’s not all that gratifying. As an alternative, you may get pleasure from limitless (and infrequently free) sizzling water at one of many services I discussed above. If you happen to’re solely going to bathe 1-2 instances every week, why not make it an gratifying expertise?

5. You don’t must bathe as typically as you do at dwelling

While you stay in a van, your habits have a tendency to vary. For us, we now not exit to fancy dinners and we aren’t placing on work apparel every single day. Most of our each day interactions are with individuals who additionally get pleasure from spending time exterior. If we will’t put on our mountaineering garments, you most likely received’t discover us there.

After all, we nonetheless prefer to really feel clear, however a bit of dust while you’re on the highway isn’t the identical as exhibiting up smelly to work, glad hour, or the brand new hip bar on the town.

Most individuals use a bathe to get up within the morning for work. While you’re on the highway, you go to mattress earlier and get up extra naturally with the solar, so a bathe isn’t a necessity on your each day routine. Additionally, my wager is your physique will adapt. For me, after I used to bathe every single day, my hair bought greasy so quick. Now that I solely shampoo my hair 1-2 instances every week, my hair isn’t practically as greasy in between showers because it was.

Van life couple at campground with van doors open, camp chairs set out, paddleboard leaning against van, and dog ready to play ball
Dwelling and touring in a van means you may skip the each day bathe – your physique will modify, belief me

6. There are numerous different alternate options for staying clear

Slicing again on how ceaselessly you bathe doesn’t imply that your private hygiene has to endure. There are different alternate options to staying clear. First, take a look at our ladies’s backcountry hygiene information. Whereas it’s written for backpacking, most of the similar suggestions apply. Our tenting suggestions for girls are useful as effectively.

Listed below are other ways you may keep clear and recent with out an indoor van bathe:

  • For fast wipe downs, I like to recommend maintaining a pack or two of child/physique wipes in your van.
  • For an inexpensive, compact outside bathe, take into account the NEMO Helio bathe which is pressurized through a foot pump. I took this after I went to Burning Man and it will get sizzling when you depart it out within the solar. It additionally has nice strain.
  • If a sizzling, dependable bathe is a necessity, the Geyser Methods Moveable Bathe has a built-in heater and solely makes use of one gallon of water for as much as quarter-hour of utilization. It may be plugged into any 12V outlet (i.e. cigarette outlet in your automobile or your energy station) and has a management valve so you may monitor the water move. Learn our full evaluation of the Geyser Bathe right here.
  • In my second van, Outdoors Van (my conversion firm) completely put in an out of doors bathe that hooks up on the again of our water tank. Whereas it is a dearer choice than physique wipes or a transportable van bathe, it’s nonetheless cheaper than putting in a completely enclosed indoor bathe in your van and it does require much less setup than among the different strategies above.
Kristen holding hose of van shower set up at rear of converted camper van
My second van had a completely put in rear outside bathe

Van Life Bathe Concepts

So the query you may be asking is: If I don’t have an indoor bathe, the place can I bathe whereas on the highway?

When you’re out dwelling the van life, you’ll see that showers are available. My go-to locations are:

  • Campgrounds – It’s frequent to search out bathe services in state park campgrounds and different established campgrounds.
  • RV Parks – We not often keep in an RV park, however every now and then we do as a result of we will clear out the van, do our laundry, refill our water, and bathe multi function place. Costs for RV Parks might be fairly excessive, however consider all of the facilities they provide for a one-night keep.
  • Recreation facilities – Many cities have recreation facilities the place you may pay a small payment to take a bathe. With that additionally comes entry to the pool, sizzling tub, and steam room/sauna if they’ve one. It normally prices lower than $10 or $15 for full entry, and plenty of even hire towels for a buck.
  • Gyms – If you happen to spend numerous time in cities, take into account a 24 Hour Health or Planet Health membership that comes with nationwide entry.
  • Buddy’s Homes – If you happen to’re like us, you’ll find yourself visiting numerous your family and friends throughout your travels. Belief me, you’ll get loads of bathe gives.

The app I take advantage of to search out campgrounds with showers is All Stays Camp and RV. You may filter down your campground search by quite a few components, together with showers. This app can be nice for locating quite a few different issues like free campgrounds, journey facilities, dump stations, and extra.

Front porch of wooden building with sign that says "Laundry - Showers" with arrows pointing opposite directions
Showers are available at campgrounds, RV Parks, and different institutions

When An Indoor Bathe is a Good Thought In Your Van

I feel there may be one main exception to my arguments above of getting a van bathe. If you happen to plan to stay full time in your van in snowy, winter climates otherwise you wish to take prolonged ski journeys in your van, an indoor bathe would possibly make extra sense.

With many campgrounds closed, there aren’t as many locations to bathe within the winter and an out of doors bathe is clearly out of the query. Many small mountain cities do have recreation and aquatic facilities with showers, however not all of them. And let’s be sincere, nothing sounds higher than a sizzling bathe after a day of snowboarding.

Nonetheless, your capability to hold water comes with the identical limitations and it’s a bit of harder to search out locations to refill in winter since many spigots are turned off in these months. Additionally, you’ll want to verify your water system is totally winterized to stop hoses from freezing.

Van Life Necessities Packing Record

Beneath are a couple of of my favourite items of van life gear and suggestions for the highway:

What questions do you continue to have about van showers and staying clear whereas on the highway? Did you go for a bathe in your van? Why or why not? Depart a remark under!

Wondering whether you need a van shower to stay clean on the road? Here are 6 reasons you don't need a shower in your converted van.



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