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Staying clean

There are several ways to stay clean in the van. None will be as quick or easy as hopping in the shower in a home or apartment.


While possible, it is extremely difficult to squeeze a practical in-vehicle shower into a van. The amount of space they take up, along with the very large amounts of water (and wastewater) storage required makes it difficult in even the largest of vans. Dwellers who want regular access to an interior shower are better served by Class C and larger vehicles, as they have the space and water tank capacity to make regular showers a reality.

images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com_images_i_411kqcahu1l._ac_us218_.jpgFolks in vans do have some shower options, although expectations may need to be adjusted.

  • Class B vans may have outdoor or tiny indoor showers.1)
  • A sink sprayer may be long enough to reach out a window or door. Sprayer hoses are available in 6' and greater lengths.
  • faucet to sprayer adapters come in long lengths
  • A solar shower is warmed in the sun then hung up so the water is dispensed by gravity.
  • Submersible pump showers will pull water out of a bucket or other container and out a showerhead.
  • Tankless water heaters run on propane and can dispense more than a 1gpm of hot water.

Regardless of the type of shower, water conservation is key. With practice, a navy shower can take ⇐ 1 gallon of water. Shower bags have valves to facilitate navy showers.

  1. turn on water, wet body, turn off water.
  2. soap up, wash self
  3. turn on water, rinse, turn off water

The easiest way to get long, hot showers is to have a gym membership. The most common amoung 'dwellers is the Planet Fitness “black card” membership, since it allows use of any PF nationwide.

sink/sponge baths

A sink bath is very simple. Put some water in a sink or large-ish container2) and use it to wet and rise a washrag, scrubber, or sponge. Wash a small area, wet and wring the rag, repeat. Soap is not required for this process. If you do you soap, consider having a seperate bowl for rinse water.

When using single containers for baths, consider using the army procedure:

  1. wash face first
  2. wash head
  3. wash torso
  4. wash arms and legs
  5. wash armpits
  6. wash groin
  7. wash feet last

The washwater can be used to rinse pee bottles, etc.

baby wipes

images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com_images_i_41u3mmiibvl._ac_us218_.jpgBaby wipes are relatively inexpensive and available everywhere. They are particularly useful for quick “pits and bits” touch-ups.

Wipes are also useful for folks in very small spaces3), since it doesn't require large, open containers of water.

gym membership

this section has moved to its own page


  • use sponge-baths instead of shower bags when practical
  • use non-potable or less-potable water for bathing instead of using your drinking water
  • use a spraybottle to wet yourself, your toothbrush, etc.
“wet baths” are waterproof bathrooms with a shower head
big plastic dollar store bowls work great
like car and minivan dwellers
hygiene/bathing.txt · Last modified: 2024/01/26 18:19 by princess_fluffypants