Solar Shower Review

Tom recently installed a shower for our van. (THANK YOU, TOM!) Before this install, one of the biggest struggles of #vanlife was finding a warm shower. We have taken many sink baths, swam in many cold rivers, and bummed many, many showers.

Not anymore.

Now we have a glorious, 8 gallon solar roof-top shower that pumps HOT water. Well, when there is sun at least.

We mulled over our options before going the solar roof shower route. Other options include, propane-heated showers, electric-heated showers, and solar bag showers. Neither the propane water heaters nor the electric water heaters we found seemed to generate enough hot water for two people, at least not the cost-efficient ones.

Solar Bag Shower

Prior to installing the roof-top solar shower, we used a solar bag shower. It worked pretty well, however we personally had a hard time staying in one place long enough for it to heat up. Sometimes we would heat up water in the electric kettle and pour it into the shower bag. The downside to this was that it was a hassle to fill the bag with warm water. The upside was that we could control the temperature in the bag despite the weather outside. If you are interested in purchasing one, here is our recommendation:

We love all of the extra features that this product has, including a temperature gauge, shower head, and pocket for your toiletries.

Solar Power Shower

We chose the roof-top shower because it heats up 8 gallons within a couple of hours (Tom LOVES to use a heat sensor gun to test this through out the day). Ah, how magical it is to have a hot shower!

The water pump pulls water from our 35 gallon water tank and pumps it into the pipes on top of the roof, so they are always full with little effort. The ease of just turning on the pump and the shower head is the greatest benefit of this system.

The downside is that when it is cold outside, the water in the pipes are also cold. We are still looking into a solution for this, but in the meantime, neither of us are foreign to a cold shower.

If you are interested in this system, we have seen these Road Showers on Instagram:

This option holds 5 gallons and seems pretty simple to install.

Another option would be a customized solar roof shower system. We really enjoy the 2in water pipes because they heat up quickly and we are able to hold 8 gallons on our roof. Contact us for more information.

If you have any questions, or would like to share your van shower experiences/ideas, leave us a comment.

Happy travels!