Camping and backpacking have been popular hobbies for generations. Throughout this time, we’ve managed to perfect quite a few types of equipment associated with it. While a lot of this has been focused on tents and some other key pieces of equipment, there have been some unique equipment pop up to make camper’s lives easier.
Being able to have a hot shower on your campsite or near your vehicle is one such invention. While this can easily be done in well-established camps, it might be trickier the deeper you go into the wilderness.
That’s where a road shower, also known as a camping shower, comes into play. As the name would suggest, this is a shower that you can use outdoors, typically next to your vehicle. Not all of these are made equally, though.
If you’re about to go camping and need a way to stay clean, then you’re in the right place. Here, we’ll cover the best road showers and everything you need to know to choose the right road shower for you!
The Best Road Shower: Top 5 Models On The Market
There are countless camping showers on the market, with it being almost impossible to compare all of the models. Thankfully, you don’t need to compare all of them, as there are a few notable products that stand out more than the others.
Each has various benefits, which should make them worth buying. While the exact one for you might be tricky to figure out, picking one of the below options will be worth your time. Not only will they be effective, but they should be quite affordable and will help keep you clean if you’re going camping or backpacking.
You might want an affordable kit that does what you need it to without any frills. That’s exactly where this Outdoor Portable Electric Camping Shower Kit shines, as it’s one of the more affordable options you can pick. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t effective, though, as the two-gallon drum should give you a few benefits.
One of the more notable is that pressure is quite even. Many more expensive showers are unable to replicate this, which makes it a surprising benefit. The drawback to this, though, is that despite being even, the pressure can be quite weak.
Despite holding two gallons, it doesn’t weigh too much, with the majority of the weight coming from the water itself. If you have a pet, then this could be quite easy to clean them with, as it’s easy to aim and turn on.
This road shower is a great way to quickly wash yourself, your shoes, your gear, or your pets off so that you can keep your tent clean. This road shower is also battery-powered, with one charge lasting a decent amount of time.
The only downside is the hole designed into the top, which could spill water if you’re not careful.
- Should be quite easy to wash up with.
- Has a water capacity of two gallons of water and remains relatively lightweight.
- Pressure should be quite even across each shower.
- Should be easy enough to use to clean a pet or gear with.
- One charge should provide a lot of showers.
- Despite being even, the pressure is relatively weak.
- Hole on the cap could cause spilling.
Most road showers tend to be either battery-powered or electric. Electric ones must be connected to your car before they can be used, which could be an issue. That’s why many campers choose battery-powered ones. A subsection among these is rechargeable showers.
This Lithium Rechargeable Outdoor Shower is one such option and one of the better ones to choose. That’s driven by the extensive battery life, alongside a few other key advantages. Prominent among these is a boost system, which allows more pressure to build up behind the water when you’re showering.
It’s also built with an anti-leak design, which should prevent it from spilling when you’re moving it around. There is a setup process associated with this, although it’s much simpler and more straightforward than others with a similar process.
This isn’t the most attractive of options to pick, although the design might not matter too much, as it’s able to get the job done. There’s also a decent amount of weight to this, which could make it difficult to carry if you’re backpacking or hiking to your campsite.
If you’re going somewhere that you can park close to, though, that shouldn’t affect you too much.
- Battery charge should last quite a while.
- Has a boost system to make pressurized water.
- Built with an anti-leak design to prevent spillage.
- Should put up with more bumps than competitors.
- Is quite fast and simple to set up.
- Weighs more than some competitors.
- Not the most visually appealing shower.
The length of the road shower hose can make a significant difference for many people. For many road shower options on the market, the hose tends to be too short. The AZXJC Portable Outdoor Shower provides a solution to the short hose problem, as its hose is much longer than most of its competitors.
Alongside this is a pressure cup system that lets you hang up the shower. That should help you mimic what an indoor shower will be like when you’re cleaning yourself. It also means that you won’t need to hold it with one hand, which can often be a problem.
The battery on these can also be charged with a USB connector, with one charge lasting quite a while. Its portability is also quite good, although the majority of this is focused on when it’s not in use. That’s because it’s designed to be compactly stored.
That could be quite a benefit when you’re packing it back into your vehicle. Though there are quite a few benefits, there is some assembly needed, with this being a snap-on system. That could make it appear flimsy, though it’s quite durable.
- Longer hose than its competitors.
- Can be used with a suction cup for hands-free use from a decent length.
- Shouldn’t take up too much space when not in use.
- Can be charged with a USB connector.
- More durable than it may appear.
- Requires some preassembly.
- Snap-on assembly may feel flimsy.
You might want to have a hot shower without having to use too much electricity or battery life to do so. While you might think this is impossible with a road shower, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out that it isn’t as far-fetched as it may seem. Some products use solar radiation to heat up the water. That’s where this TripleTree camping solar bag can help.
With its built-in solar reader, the water inside the bag should heat up continuously with time. If you put it out on a sunny day in the morning, then you should be able to clean yourself in hot water by the evening. Since there’s a large water capacity here, you should be able to use hot water for a variety of tasks throughout the day, or as a shower for multiple people per day.
You might think that since this road shower is a bag, then it’s likely to leak. The manufacturers behind this thought of that and designed it to be as leak-proof as possible, alongside being durable. As it’s a bag, you should also be able to bring it with you anywhere with no effort.
That should give you a little bit of privacy when you’re cleaning yourself, which is always welcome. Lastly is that it can be hung from almost anything, so you can have a hands-free clean without anything affecting the stream of water.
Despite the overall portability, this can be quite bulky. That’s only when it’s full, so you shouldn’t have to deal with the problem too often. As you might expect, if the sun isn’t out, then it isn’t going to heat the water. If that’s the case, filling it with the kettle should work.
- Can be heated up in the sunlight.
- Has a water capacity of five gallons/20 litres of water.
- Durable and designed to be leak-proof.
- Much more portable than many of its competitors.
- Can be hung from above and used hands-free with a steady stream of water.
- Must be filled with hot water if it’s a cloudy day.
- Despite portability, it can be bulky when filled.
When it comes to a solar-powered camp shower, there are few high-quality choices on the market. The JRS Road Shower, however, is one such product that’s worth considering – and it’s not just because you can save money by using the sun to heat up your water.
This road shower one of the more lightweight and portable options, which should be great if you’ll be hiking or backpacking to your campsite. Coupled with this is a unique nozzle that lets you switch between two settings. The first of these lets out a burst of water. Secondly is a continuous stream, which is perfect for showering.
The first setting could be a great solution if you’re looking for some extra power to clean equipment or get a thorough wash. This road shower is also one of the few options that are designed to have a transparent section.This will let you see exactly how much water is left, so you can judge whether you can clean yourself before needing to refill it.
The only negatives here are that it takes a while for the water to heat up, which is to be expected, and that it’s not the most durable of picks. Given that you won’t be throwing it around, the latter of these shouldn’t be a problem.
- Strong nylon strap makes it easy to carry.
- Nozzle allows you to switch between a short burst of water or continuous stream.
- Solar-powered, so it can make hot water in the sunlight.
- Design lets you see the water level without opening.
- Quite lightweight compared to other models.
- Takes a while for water to heat up.
- Might not be as durable as some competitors.
How to Set Up a Camp Shower
If you’ve never used one before, you might be wondering how to set up and use a camp shower. Thankfully, almost everything is the same, except there are a few extra things that you’ll need to worry about and look after.
Naturally, privacy is one, which is why you should find something to hang around you when you’re showering. These are typically drapes or shower curtains you brought from home that you’ve wrapped around some branches to keep you private.
After that, you should be able to attach your shower to the tree. How you do so will depend on what kind of shower you have. You’ll generally have to choose between suction cups or a strap to hang from a tree, rock surface, or other sturdy structure.
Both of these should be quite effective, as long as you attach it correctly. If you’re using a solar-powered shower, then you’ll need to keep it in the sun for a few hours before you can get any hot water.
There might also be some rigging attached to the product, which should make it easier to put up and clean yourself with. They should also help keep any curtains up, although this can depend on the model.
Some models will also need you to hold the showerhead above you to clean yourself, although these have become increasingly rare. For any features specific to certain showers, the manufacturer’s packaging will have information about how to use it.
Picking the right road shower from the above could be pretty difficult if you don’t know what you’re looking for. If you do, then you might be able to come to a decision relatively quickly. If you’re finding it tricky, though, the TripleTree Camping Solar Shower Bag is one of the better and most versatile options on our list.
It’s got quite a large water capacity, and the sun should heat it up relatively quickly during the day. Not only does that mean that you’ll get a hot shower, but you shouldn’t have to spend too much money on charging a battery or using your kettle to do so.
There’s also the fact that it’s one of the easier-to-use options and one of the few to offer a decent hands-free option. If you’re going camping soon, it’s worth buying.