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Our Outside Shower

All photos are thumbnails, click to see an enlarged version

.  Now, we used this set up a lot more when we had the Santa Fe, but I have the Niagara set up to use it the same way.  This provides us with a curtain for some privacy, a shower stand as well as an extended shower hose, We only use this set up when primitive camping and no shower facilities are available.  Even with the curtain I am afraid of what folks would think of me if I used it in a campground.  As we do not use a water capture system for this shower we make sure of several things:

1.  All running water will not cause erosion of soil.

2. Biodegradable soap is used.

No water runoff will go near ANY source of water (stream, pond etc.)

Any ideas on an easily transported water capture system accepted!

Shwr01.jpg (53784 bytes)

The photo above shows our shower stand as we use it.

Soap.jpg (27743 bytes)Campsuds now makes biodegradable bath soap/shampoo.  In the photo to the right, it is the left bottle.  I found it at Galyan's, but I am sure it available other places.  In the middle is the standard Campsuds and on the right, Pert - which is only used in bath houses.  See my Dry Camping page for more information

Shower Floor

The first thing we wanted was a place to stand, out of the dirt

We saw a similar shower stand in a camping store for around $75.  While I admit it was nice, it was made of teak, I thought pressure treated (PT) pine would work just as well.  I made two squares out of PT 2 X 4 pine.  Over the top I secured PT 1 X 2 pine as a slat floor.

The two squares are secured together with brass hinges, so the unit folds back on itself.  This is the travel position, and the 1 X 2 pine slats are to the outside.

I installed a brass window hasp where the two parts come together to secure them together for travel.  I tried several handles, but none seemed right.  I finally settled on a rope handle covered with a piece of PVC tubing I had left over from a previous project.

Privacy Screen

Even though we only use the shower when primitive camping, we decided a privacy screen was in order.  I made a prototype out of  2 X 2 PT pine.  After using this for a few months I made the final unit out of 1/4" schedule 40 PVC pipe.  I assembled two frames using  PVC pipe and PVC elbows and PVC "T" connectors.  These two frames are held together during use by 4 crossbars which are not glued in place, only friction fit.  The bottom of  the frame legs have holes drilled in them to allow it to be pegged to the ground with standard tent pegs if necessary.  The "privacy" part is provided by hanging a standard shower curtain from the top.  The two corners of the curtain are held in place by wing nuts, and the back hangs on 2 screw heads.  The screw heads are smaller that the brass grommets on the curtain, so it can be removed for travel. 

The photo to the left shows the prototype made out of 2X2 PT lumber.


This photo shows the stand assembled, with the shower hose hanging from the top.  Note the two top crossbars are screwed together with 3 1X3 pine boards.  These serve 3 purposes:

1. They make the frame more rigid

2. They provide a place to attach the screws on the back to hang the shower curtain.

3. They provide a place on the front to hang the shower head and soap holder.

The photo on the left shows a close up of the top of the stand, including the shower head and soap holder.  The soap holder is a standard item available at most RV stores.

A side view of the stand shows the construction.  When constructing a stand you can make the dimensions of the "boxes" created by the connection of the PVC pipes any size you wish.  Remember that the larger the box the more unstable the stand becomes.

The photo on the left shows the wing nut which holds the shower curtain.

The photo to the right shows a close up of the rear side of the top.  Note the screw at the top on which the shower curtain hangs.

The photo to the left shows the stand taken apart for travel.


Shower Hose Extension and Quick Disconnect

The standard 6 foot shower hose never seemed long enough to use in any fashion other than hand held.  I decided that it needed to be longer, but after searching high and low (OK, I just checked Home Depot) I was never able to find any standard hose longer than 6 feet.  It seemed easy enough.  Cut the existing hose in half, insert an extension in the middle, and there you go - a longer hose.  This does seem to work well with one drawback, it has to be removed for travel, but using the quick connect I added it works fine. Remember,  21 feet of hose will not fit inside the little outside shower compartment!  You can make this hose any length you wish, but remember you will probably want to be in proximity to the faucet to adjust the water temperature.

Ok, Step 1 is to remove the stock shower hose form the outside faucet.  Don't worry, it's only hand tight!  You should now have the shower attached to a six foot white hose.


Step 2, using a cutting device (I used pruning sheers from the garden), cut the stock six foot hose into two parts, one about 1 foot long and 1 about 5 feet long.  You now have 2 hoses, with one having the hand shower on the end of it.  Using the parts you should have purchased, you will now connect the 3/8" PVC tubing to the part which has the hand shower attached.

To the right, you will see all the parts needed for this connection.  Note that I used a copper nipple as the connection device rather than a barbed connector because the inside diameter of the 2 types of tubing are different.

To the left you see the first completed connection.

You will now need to connect the parts for the "quick disconnect" into the other break in the hose.  To the right you see the parts for the "female" end of the quick disconnect.  I used an air line disconnect as it was the closest in size to the water lines I was using.

To the left you see the parts for the male end of the quick disconnect.  You will note I used a barbed adaptor to insert into the hose, as the threaded end of the male connector to push into the white stock hoes.

Once all connections are made, reconnect the short hose with the male end into the outside shower compartment.  When you need to use the shower, open the compartment and connect the two pieces of hose together.

Here is what it looks like when disconnected for travel.  No longer do you need to try to fit that hose and shower head into the little compartment.


Parts List for Shower Extension

Home Depot

1- 3" copper nipple $1.94ea

4- Stainless Steel Hose Clamps $0.44ea

1- Male end, air hose disconnect $2.97ea

1- Female end, air hose disconnect $3.95ea

1- Air hose barbed adaptor/connector $0.97ea

15 feet 3/8" reinforced PVC Tube @ $0.37 per ft.


Sorry, no parts list for the shower stand or privacy screen.  I made it out of standard 10 foot lengths of 1/4" PCV pipe, 1/4" PVC elbows and 1/4" PVC "T" connectors.  All of these are available at Home Depot.  Buy a bunch and return what you don't use (They are great about that!).  PVC and a little PVC cement (if you don't already have a can of PVC cement, buy a small one as it goes a long way.


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