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Sunday, June 2, 2013

A tiny DIY Shower for a teardrop style travel trailer

Here it is! My tiny indoor shower for my 4'x6' travel trailer. Yes! It fits in the trailer and with room to spare. When sitting I'll have 9" of clearance over the top of my head which will even let me wash my hair without making a big mess!


There were several reasons I wanted to be able to have the option to bathe in the trailer:
  1. Not every place I'll be staying at will have campground showers
  2. I already know I wouldn't always feel safe using a campground shower, especially alone in the evening after a long day of hiking and shooting pictures for the blog
  3. If Kitai is with me I want don't want to have to leave him alone any more than is absolutely necessary

At first I thought I'd bring along a large rubbermaid container to use for the catch pan but then I realized the bottom half of Kitai's dog crate worked even better because it's flared at the top edge and has an entryway. It's not too deep but I figure I can get by with a gallon of water for most showers, two if I'm washing my hair, and the crate is deep enough to catch the grey water.


First I needed a frame to hang the shower curtain from. I used 1/2" PVC pipe along with T and elbow joints. The top and bottom I knocked together tightly with a rubber mallet so they'll stay assembled.

The verticals are lightly pushed into place. With the top added it's very sturdy and gravity keeps it all together.


I tried setting it up from a sitting position in the dog crate and it was no problem. Tearing it down was also a smooth process.

Once I'm done showering I have a small bath mat to place in front of the shower where I can dry off and dress.

To clean up all I'll have to do is slide the kennel to the entry of the trailer where I can pour the grey water into my improvised "sink." You can see it to the right of the shower in the first picture. It's a large grey oil funnel tucked into an empty gallon lemonade container.


I'll also use the sink for brushing my teeth and washing my hands and dishes.

I did see bright yellow funnels online but couldn't find one locally. If I spot one I'll have to upgrade. Or even better, find a large, enamelware, vintage funnel.


To make the frame I used a measuring tape, sharpie to mark where to cut the PVC, and a pipe cutter.


The elbow and T joints were cheaper if I bought them in bulk so I have some left over for other projects.


How to hang the curtain? It had to be fast and easy so I devised a system using velcro and binder clips. I trimmed the velcro in a bit on the loop side to give it a nitch to fit into through the clip. I also cut a small piece of black cupboard lining foam that I placed in the clip before pinching it to the curtain. This serves two purposes:
  1. It helps the clip to better grip the plastic
  2. It protects the plastic from the metal clip which I can already tell will extend the life of the curtain significantly
When I break down the shower the velcro stays with the clips on the curtain making the next set up  just as easy.

And it only took one curtain liner to make the curtain wrap all the way around. Once I trimmed off the excess length that extra piece became the door flap.


Once I put it together and sat inside it I realized if I added one more parallel bar across the top I could use it to hang my washcloth and it would make the stand double as a great drying rack in case I'm ever out dry camping and need to do some laundry. Just put the clothes on hangers and hang them from the center pipe.

I'm still working on the water disbursement system. I'm leaning towards a solar shower bag with a better DIY hose and nozzle that far exceeds the quality and effectiveness of what came with the solar shower I purchased. I can heat the water in the bag on a warm sunny day or on my camping stove.

And I'm going to find something I can use as a seat that's only a couple of inches high to keep me out of the grey water. Then it'll be done.

So that's it! My teeny, tiny, travel trailer shower stall. If you make one let me know and I'll add a photo of yours to this post :)



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