Owning an RV with a bathroom and shower means you have everything you need within an arm’s reach. You don’t have to share facilities with other campers, you’re in control of the cleanliness, and you don’t have to walk across the campground in inclement weather.
However, RV showers also come with some drawbacks: Hot water can be a limited resource, showers are usually small, and water pressure can be inadequate. But with a few tips, modifications, and upgrades, your shower experience can become much more enjoyable.
Here’s every question you have about RV showers, answered.
Consider the following questions. Do you have water hookups or not? How many gallons does your hot water heater hold? How many people need to shower?
If water conservation is a priority because you’re dry camping, 5 minutes or less in the shower is recommended.
If you have water hookups and conserving water isn’t necessary, you can technically take a shower for as long as your hot water will last. When RVing, a 10-minute shower is reasonable. But if multiple people need to shower, you’ll need to take shorter showers so your hot water lasts longer.
Some RVers replace their factory water heater tank with a tankless water heater, which allows for unlimited hot water. The cost varies from $150 to $650 depending on your needs.
The amount of water an RV shower uses will depend on the type of camping.
Dry Camping: On average, an estimated 1 to 5 gallons per shower might be used while dry camping. You should consider the number of days you’re camping, how long you’re showering, and the size of your gray tank.
Hookups: Water and sewer usage is unlimited while connected to full hookups, so you can take a longer shower without worrying about conservation. The amount of water used while hooked up could be around 3 to 10 gallons at a time. The amount can be controlled by the user—the longer the shower, the more water used.
A dry bath is a type of RV bathroom that’s similar to that found in a sticks-and-bricks house. The shower, toilet, and sink are all separate, and water is contained within the shower stall.
A wet bath is an RV bathroom designed to be compact and functional, where the sink, shower, and toilet are all exposed to water when showering. It’s a way to save space while also benefiting from a fully functional bathroom.
RV showers come in varying sizes, and some models even include a bathtub and shower combination. Most RV showers are walk-ins and an average of 33 inches wide, but this size varies greatly. When choosing an RV floor plan, it’s important to consider the size of an RV shower for comfort and practicality.
Safe water pressure for an RV is between 40 and 50 PSI, and shouldn’t exceed 60 PSI in newer rigs. The higher the pressure, the more you risk damaging the water system. You can maintain pressure with a water pressure regulator, which is an essential item for RVers.
Many aftermarket showerheads claim to provide high pressure, so try replacing your factory showerhead. If you still have low water pressure, check your water system, remove any blockages or build up, and repair or replace cracked pipes.
Common Problems With RV Showers
Although a water pressure regulator doesn’t increase the flow of water, it helps keep the pressure consistent, which may improve the feel of the pressure in the shower. Many water pressure regulators allow you to adjust the PSI as well.
The easiest and most valuable upgrade you can do is replace the RV showerhead. It’s a simple and inexpensive process that requires no tools.
After each shower, spray a gentle shower cleaner on the walls and floor and give it a quick scrub and rinse. Then squeegee all excess water toward the drain. This will prevent mildew build-up and keep your shower looking and smelling fresh.
The simplest way to make an RV shower last longer is by turning the water off when lathering and back on when rinsing. Consider replacing your existing showerhead with a low-flow showerhead that has a pause feature.
A more expensive solution is to go tankless. With a tankless water heater, your hot water lasts as long as your water supply and power, so if you’re attached to full hookups, you can take a shower for as long as you’d like without running out of hot water.
What to Know When Replacing Your RV Shower
An RV shower enclosure starts at around $279 and can cost up to $1,300.
In addition to replacing your RV showerhead, you can replace the hot and cold valves. Add a shelf or organizational accessory for storage or a hanging plant for a fresh feel. To conserve water, install a shut-off valve to your existing showerhead. Replace the door or shower curtain, or add a curved curtain rod to enlarge the space.
Some RVers renovate and replace outdated, broken, or moldy shower enclosures. It’s an in-depth job, so make sure to have a plan, do your research, and enlist professionals when necessary.
Your replacement showerhead doesn’t have to be made specifically for RVs, but it does need to connect to your existing RV shower plumbing. Most showerheads that easily work with an RV are handheld with a flexible hose, which easily screws on to the faucet fixture. Use plumbers tape for a water-tight connection.
The Best Showerhead Replacements for RVs
Highest value at the lowest cost, around $14.
Increasing water pressure.
Most popular among RVers; it has five spray settings, a flow-control lever, and increases water pressure.
A sleek, updated look while providing the necessary comforts.
Showering can be a tricky part of RVing that takes trial and error. With the help of these easy modifications and tips, you won’t miss the comforts of a stationary shower ever again.
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