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Showering on the Road

12 Clever Alternatives to the Campsite Shower

“How do you shower when travelling in a campervan?” A frequently asked question, especially amongst those new to van life. You could try a bit of perfume, but, after a while, it stops fooling everyone. That is why we are here to tell you that showering on the road is easier than you thought. Hire a campervan with a shower or find 12 clever alternatives to shower comfortably on the road!

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©roadsurfer GmbH / Clara Johanna

The portable shower

Even if there’s no running water nearby, you can still “shower” on the go.  Fill your toiletry bag with a few useful items such as wet wipes, dry shampoo, talcum powder, or healing clay. A pinch of talcum powder on your feet helps combat sweaty feet and bad smells as well as prevents blisters on long hikes.

Even if you cannot find running water in your vicinity, there are a lot of easy ways for you to freshen up while you travel, most of which you can even do inside your van.

A bucket of warm water goes a long way

Pack a small plastic tub in your luggage so you can always treat yourself to a warm footbath – after a long hike, you’ll feel reborn! A plastic tub is also very handy to store wet shoes in. It will keep the inside of your camper clean and dry for longer.

If it’s a bit warmer outside, you can arm yourself with a washcloth, eco-friendly soap, and a bucket of warm water and get outside to refresh yourself.

If you’re out on the trails, look for pump fountains along the way. If it’s not too busy, you can also use this option for refreshment. A flannel and a bar of soap weigh almost nothing in your backpack anyway.

Public toilet as a first-aid shower

The advantage of using a public bathroom is that you’re usually in a well-tempered room and warm water. If you’re a bit flexible, you can even wash your feet in a sink, and washing your hair is no problem. Just make sure you leave everything dry and clean.


Showers are everywhere

Where there’s is a will there’s a way. Sometimes you have to get creative on the road to find a shower alternative. The following suggestions are showers that you can access on the road:

1. roadsurfer spots

Conveniently book a roadsurfer spot online and stay overnight on private properties of welcoming hosts, who often offer you not only breakfast but also a hot shower. What’s more, you can set up camp in the most beautiful spots in the middle of nature and sleep peacefully next to an alpaca meadow or in a fragrant orchard.

2. Airbnb

Sometimes it’s nice to treat yourself to a place to stay for a night and have a good shower and put a wash on!

3. Service stations and truck stops

Use the Truck Parking Europe app to find showers at rest stops and car parks. These were originally designed for truck drivers, but are often used by travellers who want to freshen up on the road for a small fee.

4 Swimming pools and spas

A visit to a thermal spa is a nice highlight of your holiday or a cheaper option is to visit an outdoor or indoor pool. If you ask nicely, you might just be able to use the shower and pay less. If you’re at the seaside, you can usually use the beach pools for free.

5. Hostels

As is often the case, asking nicely can help here too: drop by a hostel and ask if you can use the shower for a small fee. Since hostels are designed for overnight guests who don’t stay long anyway, things are more relaxed here and you’re often lucky enough to be allowed to shower there even if you haven’t booked an overnight stay.

6. Gyms

If you are registered to a gym, check if there are branches in other cities and you can use the showers there.

7. Solarium

There are showers at the solarium in every small town. Either ask if you can use the showers for a small fee or soak up the artificial sun for a few minutes and come out freshly showered with a glow.

8. Sports clubs

Follow the trail of sweat! Sports clubs are all about sweating and where there’s sweat, there are typically showers!

9. Sports areas in universities

This one is for the adventurous. In the sports areas of some universities, you can chance it and shower incognito.

10 Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a great way to meet people and take a hot shower!

11. Yacht clubs and Marinas

This may not be first option you think of, but they also have showers. Again, if you ask nicely and offer a small fee they might let you use them!

12. Airports and train stations

If you pass an airport or train station on your itinerary, you can take a short detour there to shower. At airports and many train stations in major cities, there are showers for travellers that you can use for a few euros.


The Indoor Camper Shower

The easiest and most convenient option: rent a camper with a shower! At roadsurfer, you have a wide choice of camper models with an integrated bathroom or shower room:

Road House

Couple Cottage

Family Finca

Camper Castle 

roadsurfer Road House with pop up roof
  • 4
  • 4

Road House Van with pop-up roof (540)

  • 140 hp diesel
  • spacious kitchen area
  • Indoor shower/wet room (warm)
  • WC
  • Manual pop-up roof
  • Parking assistance, rear camera, Tempomat, etc.
  • 4
  • 2

Couple Cottage Van without a pop-up roof (600)

  • 140 hp diesel
  • spacious kitchen area
  • Indoor shower/wet room (warm)
  • WC
  • without pop-up roof
  • Parking assistance, rear camera, Tempomat, etc.
Family Finca Side View
  • 4
  • 2+2

Family Finca Van with a fixed high roof (600)

  • 177 hp diesel
  • spacious kitchen area
  • Indoor shower/wet room (warm)
  • WC
  • Fixed high roof
  • Parking assistance, rear camera, Tempomat, etc.
  • 4
  • 4

Camper Castle Semi-integrated caravan (700)

  • 140 hp diesel
  • spacious kitchen area
  • large bathroom
  • WC
  • without pop-up roof
  • Rear camera, Tempomat, air conditioning, etc.

The Fresh Outdoor Shower

Whilst this is not for everyone and is better suited for warmer climates, outdoor showering can be rewarding after a long day in the sun. An outdoor shower is included with the following camper models:
Surfer Suite
Travel Home
Camper Cabin
Camper Cabin Deluxe

If you want a little more privacy, a shower tent is a good solution. This is a small tent made of nylon or polyester that you set up just like a normal roll-up tent. You can then go about your washing ritual in peace and quiet. The tent can also come in handy for the mobile camping toilet or as a changing room.

roadsurfer surfer suite side view
  • 4
  • 4

Surfer Suite VW T6.1 California Ocean

  • 150 hp diesel
  • Integrated kitchenette
  • Outdoor shower (cold)
  • Automatic pop-up roof
  • Park-assist and rear camera
  • Cruise and distance control ACC, GPS
roadsurfer travel home side view
  • 4
  • 4

Travel Home Mercedes Marco Polo

  • 163 hp diesel
  • Integrated kitchenette
  • Outdoor shower (cold)
  • Manual pop-up roof
  • Hitch
  • Park-assist and rear camera
roadsurfer camper cabin side view
  • 5
  • 4+1

Camper Cabin Ford Nugget with pop-up roof

  • 170 PS Diesel
  • Integrated kitchenette (2-room concept)
  • Outdoor shower (cold)
  • Manual pop-up roof
  • Hitch
  • Park assist
roadsurfer camper cabin side view
  • 5
  • 4+1

Camper Cabin Deluxe Ford Nugget Plus with pop-up roof

  • 150 hp diesel
  • Integrated kitchenette (2-room concept)
  • Outdoor shower (cold)
  • WC
  • Manual pop-up roof
  • Hitch, Parking aid

The Natural Shower

Last but not least: You came to experience nature, so you can also use it to get clean again. Cool off from the long summer days by taking a refreshing dip in the lake or river.

If your camper doesn’t come with a shower, you can also make a DIY outdoor shower. All you need is an old plastic bottle to drill a few holes in it. Fill the bottle with water and place it in the sun for a few hours, and you have a warm shower to go. You can also be completely self-sufficient with a foldable solar shower which you can buy for as little as 30 euros. To use it, fill it with water and hang it in the sun for a few hours. As soon as the water has warmed up, you can shower comfortably next to your camper thanks to the screwed-on shower head.

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