Compare portable water heaters and learn where to find a hot shower on the go
There’s always a good excuse to go on a campervan road trip and the sunny weather means that nature enthusiasts are already mapping out their driving routes. Whether you’re planning on a weekend trip or are beginning your adventure as a Digital Nomad (someone who lives and works on the road), you’ll need to know how to keep yourself clean in a campervan.
A lot of our motorhomes at TB Outdoor Rentals will come fitted with a shower, but the more compact campervans and truck campers do not have the space for this facility. In this blog, you will learn about the different types of portable water heaters and where you might locate a hot shower on the go.
Portable Water Heaters: The Pros & Cons
With modern technology, it’s now easier than ever to find a source of hot water for your daily showers. If your campsite doesn’t have hot showers, or if you are out in nature and have no access to hot water, have no fear. Just use one of these different water heating methods and you’re all set for an adventure into the great outdoors!
The most eco-friendly option is a solar-powered water heater. These special bags must first be filled with fresh water and then placed in a sunny spot for a few hours. Using power gathered from the sun and the naturally heat-absorbant dark color of the bag, the water inside slowly turns hot enough for a pleasant shower. The benefit of this water method is that it is very transportable and doesn’t rely on your vehicle’s battery. The downside is that the heater becomes significantly less effective on cold or overcast days.
Electric portable water heaters can warm up water faster than a solar-powered device and can be used at any time, regardless of the weather. Most electric camping showers can be plugged into your vehicle and use its energy to heat up the water inside a tank, but this runs the risk of draining your camper’s battery. For this reason, portable batteries or generators come in handy for the repeated use of electric water heaters (or any other electronic device). Electric showers can be useful if you need a dependable hot shower on the road, but their ability to strand your vehicle and the possible need for extra equipment means they aren’t always the most convenient.
The most common portable camping water heaters use propane gas to rapidly heat up the water in a tank. Propane gas can be purchased at camping stores and many other general good stores, and a single person can have daily showers on just 5 lbs of gas. These heaters provide the quickest hot showers and have the advantage of working in all climates and not using up your vehicle’s battery. Propane is even an environmentally friendly source of fuel. The disadvantages of propane-powered heaters are that you need to have the space for a gas tank and that, if you run out and aren’t near a supplier, you will have to wait for your next hot shower.
You can also make a campfire shower by heating water in large cooking pots of a fire until they reach a comfortable temperature. Then take a large, clean, plastic bin liner and fill it carefully with your water. Tie off one end and attach it to a tree with a rope. Gently poke a few holes in the bottom and enjoy the warm water while it lasts. You can also make your own “solar-powered” hot water by placing clean water inside a black bin liner, placing that inside a second black bag for protection, then leaving it in direct sunlight for a couple of hours. The water should heat up enough for a pleasant shower once the bag has been tied up and a few holes are poked in the bottom. These two methods are a cheap and easy way of showering on a short trip but aren’t very eco-friendly solutions as the poked bags can not be reused. If you’re buying a portable water heater but have no secluded space where you could use it, you might want to invest in a foldable shower tent that offers you privacy while you wash.
Where to Find a Hot Shower on the Road
If you’re staying in a campervan for a longer period of time, you might need to know how to locate a hot shower, either for your daily wash or for shower emergencies. A lot of campsites will have hot shower facilities, but you might not always be staying in a private camping ground.
Service stations are not guaranteed to have hot showers, however, a few of them along the big interstates will have facilities available so long haul truckers can shower. These will cost between $12 and $17 per wash and the quality of the shower depends on what company is providing the service. If you’re doing a coastal drive, then you can probably find a hot shower on a public beach. These showers could cost you a fee to use and they are not always private.
Going to a gym or leisure center for the day will find you cleaner showers, but they might only have big shower rooms where privacy is hard to come by. It’s best to check in advance whether they have private shower stalls. If you’re staying around one area for more than a month, getting a cheap gym membership will be the easiest way to find a reliable place to wash and you have the bonus of being able to use the gym’s other services.
Keep Clean in Your Campervan
A campervan road trip is a great way to get away from the rush of everyday life, experience nature, and see some unforgettable views this spring. Make sure you stay clean during your next adventure with the help of this handy guide. If you own a campervan and want to share it with other enthusiasts when it’s not in use, then chat with us to find out how our website can benefit you. If you don’t have your own camper, then you’re in luck. Renting a camping vehicle through TB Outdoor Rentals has never been easier and you can browse through our available vehicles right here. Don’t forget to come back next Wednesday to read about where to find the best springtime foods in the Southwest!