Showering, bathing, and hygiene is a concern when you’re planning on living in a van full-time. While I look forward to being “HomeFree”, I don’t want to look unwashed or smell suspect. LOL!  We had discussed this in depth, before deciding to live in the Prairie Schooner, and had found several options for bathing and keeping clean.

Rainmaker Garden Sprayer
Rainmaker Garden Sprayer

The best solution seems to be converting a simple garden sprayer into a miniature, pressurized, hot water tank.  We gauged the bath water usage we would need over a day or so, and selected a 3-gallon garden sprayer with a shoulder strap and pressure relief valve.

Rainmaker 3-gallon Pump Sprayer

Masking and paint.
Masking tape removed. Masked off before painting.

To assist it in warming the water, I masked off the level indicator markings, and spray painted it with some flat black we had laying around, left from a previous project.
I snipped the end of the garden sprayer off, installed a coupler, and attached a kitchen sink sprayer with the little on/off lever for water savings.  The kitchen sprayer portion is a 4′ length, then the garden sprayer portion has another 4′ in length, plus the sprayer body adds another 1.5′ in height! Plenty of hose to maneuver around with…

Time to test it out!


Coupler between garden sprayer and kitchen sink sprayer.

Around noon, I filled it with garden-hose-water-faucet temperature water, and set it out on a semi-cloudy day, in late March sunshine. By 4-5 that evening, I washed my hair with it to test for sufficient water-flow, quantity, pressure, and how warm it had gotten. While it wasn’t hot, it was definitely warm enough and had pressure enough to sluice the gunk out of my hair.  It has plenty of pressure to get through my mess of curly hair.  And three gallons was more than enough, as I only used a little more than a gallon – and that was just playing around. I could have washed my hair with under half of a gallon.

A friend in town with a Ford Transit Wagon

Ready for Showering!
Ready for Showering!

Camper has a great idea of using the open back doors as two walls of a private shower stall, and hanging a curtain across the open end of the doors for the third wall and privacy… The windows are then about face height, while everything between shoulders and knees are covered by the doors while showering.

So I am thinking that mounting an open/enlarged hose clamp to hook the sprayer on, might make for a great “shower”! We will let you know how that concept works out… LOL!

So, in conclusion, for about $50 you can look forward to showering in hot water!  I am thinking that I might make another, smaller one to assist with dish washing!

Update: I finally found the original YouTube video that outlined this handy camp shower project.  Kudos to Mark Keeler and his wonderful tutorial!

Mark Keeler’s Campward Bound YouTube tutorial

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2 thoughts on “Showering, Bidet, and Hot Water”

    1. Yes, I was so tickled when I found this tip! I have lost the link to the guy I first saw doing it, and need to make an effort to give him the credit he deserves.
      It should have many uses from people-washing to dog-washing and everything in between. And I am thoroughly convinced that I want a smaller one for the cleaner duties like dishes, it really meters the water usage, which will be a huge concern to us when we are roaming and urban stealth camping.

      I have to snicker about the privacy shower concept, as I am already trying to figure out how to keep the shower curtain from lifting in a breeze and horrifying small children… LOL! It will work, I just need to put a little more thought into it.

      Thanks for the comment! See you on your site ASAP!

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