Taking a shower during a campervan holiday can require some thinking ahead. With the right knowledge and preparation, you can enjoy comfortable, convenient showers even when you’re on your travels.

Here are some tips for successfully taking a showers during your campervan rental.

Choose the Right Campsite

If you can, always try and select campsites that have decent onsite showering facilities.

There is no deny it, the campsite showers are generally going to have a lot more hot water available than your vehicle!

Look for campsites that offer hot showers and check the reviews on trustpilot or Google reviews. Find out how long the walk to the shower block is, how many cubicles they have and if there is generally a wait in the morning.

If the place you are staying for the night doesn’t offer showering facilities then fear not, there are still options!

Preparing for the Shower

Before you take a shower in a campervan, ensure you have the essentials:

  • Towels (preferably microfibre) – Being lightweight and smaller than regular towels, they are ideal for camping holidays. They are incredibly absorbent and dry very quickly.
  • Robe – Before and after your shower, you’ll need something for your privacy or just to slip into to keep you warm after that nice shower.
  • Footwear – If you have a walk ahead of you then you’ll need sensible footwear to get you there. Preferably something that’s easy to slip on and off.
  • Hair Ties – For those of you with longer hair you may need to think about hair ties.
  • Swimsuits – If you are showering alfresco then you might want to consider donning your bathing suit rather than your birthday suit! Protect your modesty and be respectful to other campers.
  • Have a clear plan for where you will shower and how you will keep your space clean and organised. Make sure to have within reach all the necessary supplies such as towels, soap, shampoo and conditioner, etc.

Showering options for the VW California Ocean

  • If you’ve hired the go anywhere, California Ocean, then you need to have thought ahead. VW do not supply any showering facilities in this model as standard so you if want to take a shower in this campervan, you would need to bring your own showering facilities or opted for one of our kits
  • To get started you will need the collapsible bucket and the shower kit that comprises of the head and the pump. You will also need to think about your modesty/privacy as you will need to shower outside of the California Ocean. Strictly no showering inside as the vehicle is not designed for this and you don’t want to damage the vehicle and loose your security deposit!
  • Firstly erect your showering/toilet tent somewhere suitable and ensure it is pegged down correctly. If you don’t have a showing tent then you could drape towels over the rear tailgate or erect the awning and create a screen somehow. Perhaps your travelling companion could help you with this.
  • Put the kettle on. The California Ocean is sadly only a cold water campervan so you will need to heat the water first. You don’t need the water boiling hot so as not to scold yourself. Use your judgement and empty the heated water into the bucket. Top up with cold water as required. Check the water is at the desired temperature before using. Place the shower pump into the water and enjoy…or endure ,)
  • Think about the ground you are standing on as that is going to get wet. Perhaps you can use something nearby as a duck board or maybe consider wearing waterproof shoes or standing on a tarp.
  • Try and keep your shower as brief as possible. Match the time you are showering to the flow rate of the pump. You can usually reckon on two minutes run time before it has emptied the bucket. Unfortunately, that’s the reality of camper van showers! No long relaxing showers here I’m afraid.

How to shower in the VW Grand California

  • If you have the opted to rent a VW Grand California then you have the benefit of a dedicated wet room and shower in this campervan. This vehicle also has a hot and cold water supply. All that convenience however doesn’t mean you don’t have to plan ahead, a little amount of preparation is still required.
  • Ensure the tap to collect the grey water is closed. The campsite owners tend to get a little cross if you are dumping water directly over your pitch area.
  • Remember to turn on the hot water at least 30 minutes before you need it using the touch screen control panel located on the outside of the wet room.
  • You may also want to turn the air heating on too. Coming out of a warm shower into a cooler area will always make you feel a little chilly so crank up the heating if you need to.
  • Being a wet room, have a quick scan around the area to check for any items that may get wet. Ensure the toilet paper is safely out of the way in the handy locker area under the sink.
  • You may want to open the bathroom mirrored cabinet door and leave it in that position whilst you shower. This’ll give you easy access to the contents where you may have stored your shower gel, shampoo etc.
  • Remember to pop open the sky light in the wet room area. All of that lovely hot water will create a fair bit of steam. You will want all of the moist air to be able to escape the bathroom easily and to minimise condensation, opening the vent is the best way to do it. Just remember to close it again before setting off on your travels.
  • The sink tap on the Grand California also doubles as the shower head. Pull up on the tap from the sink so that it comes away from the sink receptacle. Next, fix the shower head onto the holder located above the bathroom mirror.
  • The shower tray has two plugs to allow for uneven ground, be sure that both plugs are in the open position before showering.
  • There is also a heating vent in the wet room. Ensure the vent is in the closed position before turning on the shower by gently closing the flap. You can open it again as soon as you have turned off the shower.
  • The shower is a mixer tap design. Rotate the lever to a mid-point position between hot and cold and gently lift up on the tap handle. The water will now flow.
  • The order of the day here are “efficient showers” or “Military Showers”. It is recommended that you keep your shower time as brief as possible by using the “efficient showers” or “Military Showers” method.
  • Get into the shower and make yourself wet.
    • Now turn off the shower.
    • Lather your body and hair whilst the water is off.
    • Then, rinse yourself off.
    • Turn off the shower.
    • Dry yourself.
  • Whilst having a shower in a campervan using this method probably isn’t the relaxing experience you imagined , it does help to conserve your water. Although the Grand California holds 130 litres, you still want to have a handle on how you are using it to maximise your usage before fill ups. You definitely want to converse your water supply if you are going off the beaten track where you may not have additional water readily available.

Showering on a Campervan Holiday – Checklist

  1. Always familiarise yourself with the showering facilities in your camper van before you start using them.
  2. Have a clear plan for where you will shower and how you will keep your space clean and organised.
  3. Ensure to have all the necessary supplies such as towels, soap, shampoo and conditioner, within easy reach.
  4. Always check the water temperature before using, parents should always supervise children.
  5. Be aware of any campsite rules and regulations when showering outdoors.
  6. If possible, try to find a location where you can shower outdoors safely and responsibly – ensure your modesty/privacy and be respectful to other campers .
  7. Try to use biodegradable soaps and other cleaning agents when showering outdoors – if not, it could have an environmental impact on the area around you!
  8. Take care of yourself while showering in your camper van – make sure there is adequate ventilation and be careful not to slip.
  9. Try to conserve as much water as possible when showering – this can help limit how often you need to fill up.
  10. Ensure all wastewater from the shower is disposed of properly – either store it properly until being able to dispose of it elsewhere, or use a designated dumping station if available nearby.

With these tips on hand, taking a shower in a campervan during your campervan holiday should no longer feel like an overwhelming task and hopefully help you enjoy your time away from home even more!

Related Posts


Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer