Designing the Van Part 39 – Taking Care of Washing

Space inside the campervan is a precious thing and we had to sacrifice some things to make our living area as comfortable, cosy and not cramped as possible. A lot of vans we looked at, including Reddy, had shower rooms or dedicated wash areas which was something we couldn’t factor into the design.

Obviously we weren’t going to give up washing, shaving, cleaning our teeth or cleaning clothes and I wanted to have the facilities to do those things in an off-grid capacity so I had to get my thinking cap on and find a solution.

We have a very good sink in the van and a filter guard on the plug hole to stop unwanted bodies clogging up the waste pipe and making the waste tank smell. I guess that would do for shaving and facial washing, but the whole body might be an issue. There are only so many ‘field’ washes you can live with before your body screams for a sprinkling of hot water.

I remember seeing a solar shower at a camping store in Berlin which at the time more or less blew my mind. Psychedelic drugs have nothing on all things solar as far as I’m concerned. I loved the concept; leave it out in the sun all day then hang it up and wash until your 10 litres runs out.

I did some investigating by visiting some local camping and outdoor stores, asked a few pertinent questions and ran a little price checking. Prices varied widely yet the design was pretty much consistent. I was looking at somewhere around £12.00 from stores and I thought that was pretty reasonable.

I returned to eBay, the digital battleground where the only loser is everyone and began the quest for a cheap solar shower. Fourteen pages of camping and non-relevant items later I found my solar grail; two 10 litre camping showers for the price of one with free postage.

Buy Now – yes please.

The free postage meant I had to wait for several days but as soon as the post person arrived I whisked the goods from their hands before they could say, “sign here please” and filled them both before chucking them out on the patio for the Midland sun to do its thing.

Having the showers was a good start but if we were out in the wild we’d still need some privacy; we needed a shower closet. How the hell was I going to build one of those?

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