Living in your van, down by the river sounds so romantic. Away from civilization, not a care in the world. After a few days, the wilderness will be the only place you’ll be accepted unless you come up with a way to keep a body clean. Your standard cargo van, and worse yet smaller vehicles that can do well for the Stealth Van Dweller do have one shortcoming. There isn’t room for a workable shower. Not to fear, there are a lot of options to meet your needs. There is no reason to smell like a vagrant just because you choose to live on the fringe of society.
Many websites on the subject suggest membership at a gym or exercise club, the YMCA, or a trip to the nearest truck stop as ways to obtain a shower. Well and good if your budget can withstand the impact of this almost daily expense. Health clubs, gyms and the like can easily run you $75 to $100 a month. Your larger truck stops, though very convenient and clean, will hit you up for the better part of $10 a shower unless you happen to be purchasing large quantities of diesel fuel.
The usual van dweller is of pretty modest means, cheap or free fits much better into their way of life. If you can find a source of water, and a private spot an investment into a portable shower would seem like a much better alternative.
Best Portable Showers for Camping Trips
For as little as $13 the Coleman Camp Shower can supply you with a quick though limited shower. Basically a black plastic sack with a simplistic small shower head, you fill it and let it sit out in the sun to warm. When you want to use it, hang if from a tree branch or similar structure and when you lower the nozzle you will get a shower of sorts. Not the best, but a whole lot better then nothing.
At about $92 a Camp Shower Shelter can be added to your equipment list to provide your own privacy, allowing you to take a shower anywhere you would be comfortable pitching a tent for a bit.
My personal preference would be to be able to take a good “Hot” shower, even on a cloudy cold day. The Zodi Portable Shower will fix you right up. It’s a small gas operated portable water heater and water pump shower system. You can use a five gallon bucket of water as your source, or drop the suction hose into a nearby stream. Now that spot down by the river is looking pretty good. With an endless supply of water, you can luxuriate under a hot steamy shower for as long as you like, or at least until the battery for the water pump runs down, or the gas bottle goes empty.
Of course this is a more expensive option at about $150, but how valuable is the ability to take a good hot shower when ever you want. Seems like a bargain to me.
Coleman also makes a Portable Hot Water On Demand water heater that can supply all your hot water needs in a nice compact unit that won’t take up much space. More expensive at over $200, but it is another example of a need well met.
There you have it, when you head out on your minimalistic way of life you can at least feel confident that your musky stale odor won’t become a problem, of course if you choose to drive humanity away, just forget this article.