In order to camp in comfort and convenience, it is helpful to have some amenities included in your RV, fifth wheel, or motorhome. One helpful amenity to have included in your RV is a shower.
After you adventure all day, the last thing you want is to not have anywhere to shower and rinse off. Many RVs, fifth wheels, and motorhomes have showers, allowing you to have convenience while you camp. There are a variety of factors that go into how long you can shower as well as how much hot water you have.
In this article, we will cover what trailers typically don’t include showers as well as how to utilize your water best while on the road.
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Do All RVs Have Showers?
Most RVs, fifth wheels and trailers have showers built-in, making your trip easy and carefree. However, if you begin to look at trailers that are smaller such as teardrop trailers and pop-ups, you run into the issue of not having a shower.
Even if you have a small trailer that does not come with a shower, most campgrounds have showers that you and your family can use, or you can always use a mobile shower like this one on Amazon.
How Does an RV Shower Work?
You may be wondering how in the world an RV shower works and provides you with hot water. Water is brought through a hose from either the water intake valve or the freshwater tank. Once used, the water drains into the grey water holding tank.
Most RVs are equipped with tanks to hold black water and grey water. Water that goes to the black tank is what is flushed from your toilet. Water from your shower and your sinks go to your grey tank.
Larger RVs, fifth wheels, and trailers have around 40-gallon tanks to hold water. Using up a 40-gallon tank can happen fast and without much thought, so you must be intentional with your water use.
Just remember, it is illegal in some locations to dump grey water on to the ground so having a nearby dump station is important.
How Does an RV Shower Compare to a Household Shower?
The main difference between an RV shower and a household shower is how much water you can use at one time, as well as how hot your water stays.
There are a variety of factors that we will cover later in this article that will affect the amount of water you can use at one time. How large your tanks are, as well as if you are at water hookups will be a major factor in how long of a shower you can take.
Another difference between RV showers and household showers is that RV showers are typically a lot smaller in size. When you are living tiny, having a shower within your RV is a gamechanger, even if it is small.
How Long Do I Get Hot Water in My RV Shower?
More often than not your RV came with a water heater already installed. Your water heater will need to be turned on in order to be used, there is typically a switch located on the control panel that will keep your water heater on or off. Having your water heater on will allow you to get hot water throughout your RV.
If you forget to turn your water heater on, make sure to give it at least ten minutes to heat up, or else you will be stepping into a cold shower.
You can also change out your typical hot water heater for a tankless hot water heater that will allow you to get a lot more consistent hot water. Tankless water heaters typically use propane to heat, so having available propane hooked up is incredibly important.
Having hot showers in your RV will depend on how many people are using the hot water and how long of a shower they are taking. Your family taking long showers means you will have to space out your showers to ensure everyone gets hot water.
Another way you can preserve hot water is by switching off the water while showering. You can do this by using the knob typically located near the showerhead. Many RVers use this switch off to lather up and then switch the water back on to rinse.
What Factors Affect How Long of a Shower I Can Take in My RV?
Typically, the length of a shower you can take in your RV depends on many things. Whether you are boondocking, hooked up to water hookups, and if you have a dump station.
When you are boondocking, which means no hookups and dry camping, the only water you usually have is what is being held in your tanks. The water in your tanks is the only water you can use unless you have another separate water reservoir. Your freshwater tank only holds so much water, once you are out of water, you are out. When you are boondocking, you have to take quick showers to preserve your water so you do not run out.
If you are at a campsite you more often than not have water hookups at your site. Some campsites have water hookups as well as electrical hookups. Having water hookups at your site means you will not have to worry about getting access to water.
One aspect you will have to worry about is filling up your wastewater tanks too quickly. There are multiple ways to combat this issue. You can either take your RV to the nearest dump station or you can buy a separate reservoir that hooks up to your trailer hitch. If you are wanting to wait between having to dump your wastewater tanks you will need to be intentional about how you use your water and not use too much water when you shower.
Lastly, if you are at full hookups you can take as long of a shower as you want because you have a place to drain your tanks as well as refill your water. Typically, full hookups are more expensive but allow you some great amenities, such as longer showers.
Water while on the road is something important that you should consider while buying a new or used RV, fifth wheel, or motorhome. RV showers are included in most trailers and provide you with convenience while you travel to different campgrounds. There are multiple factors to consider when using your RV shower, one is how much water you can use, and how to use water efficiently. Where you camp as well as how many people you are camping with will affect how long each person can successfully shower with hot water.