How to Stay Fresh and Clean While Living the #Vanlife

April 10, 2019 by Ryan ZumMallen, @Zoomy575M

Life on the road means cleanliness can take a back seat. But that only works for so long. No one wants to feel (or smell) like they’ve been outdoors for days – or weeks.

A shower in your van might be the way to stay clean. But those can be pricey, so we also offer a few less expensive options to maintaining a clean #vanlife.

Indoor shower: A shower in your van is best, but they’re expensive. Inside-van showers mean you won’t have to trek to a public restroom to clean up. But, in addition to being expensive, in-van showers require large graywater tanks that increase the van’s weight and reduce space. They also can be prone to leaks.

Adventurer Kristen Bor decided that an in-van shower was the say to go and installed an enclosed shower in her Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van for extended trips into the mountains.

shower wand in a van

Photo: Outside Van

Shower wand: If you want the convenience of a shower without sacrificing space and payload capacity, use an extendable shower. You’ll still need a water-storage tank, but a wand takes up a lot less space than a shower stall. And outside shower head options are available.

Portable showers: These are the least expensive, and they don’t require graywater storage tanks. Instead, water is stowed in a tank or bag, and a hand-held nozzle – or one that can be hung from the van or a tree – is used. Some portable showers work without electricity.

Hitch-mounted rear deck: Attach a cargo carrier tray to your van via the trailer hitch and add a rear deck. The deck will provide a steady platform on which to rinse yourself, your dog or your bikes with a shower wand.

Some decks have grated floors that allow the water to drain or be captured for graywater use. Surfer Eric Lizerbram installed a rear deck on his outfitted Sprinter van to allow a quick rinse-off after a morning session.

A deck mounted on a trailer hitch provides outside space for cleaning off. (Photo: Outside Van)

On-demand air: You don’t always need water to get rid of unwanted messes. A compact air compressor can provide a swift blast that blows sand and dirt off the van’s floor. It will even do a decent job of getting such substances off your feet, arms and legs.

Amanda Ellis April 3, 2019
Solar power is a convenient, reliable source of electricity while on the road. Here’s an overview of how to install a solar kit on a camper van.

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