Campervan Tips – Washing Yourself

December 16, 2010 · 8 comments

Many people ask how to wash when living out of a campervan, some might assume that anyone who does is just part of the great unwashed. Which of course may be true in some cases. But personally I washed almost daily when living out of my campervan in Australia. The shear hot temperatures made it an essential daily task anyway, let alone spending 6-18 hours in a hot metal box without air conditioning. So I:m going to dispell the myth and explain just how I maintained my hygiene in such conditions.

1. Go have a shower by the beach

beach shower

Showering on the beach

This is probably my most common method of cleaning when I was living in a campervan. Beaches nearly always have a shower nearby for people to clean themselves after swimming in the salty sea water – guess what – they are free (98% of the time) and can be used to clean yourself normally. To top it off, you can get yourself cleaner by having a dip in the sea whilst you’re there too.

2. Just swim in the sea.

It’s water. It’s salty. It’s good for your skin. It is also cold on first entry but your body will enjoy it after a minute or so.

3. Wet Wipes

wet wipes

Wet wipe option

A.K.A baby wipes. For a dry quick clean you can use these. Personally I hated the smell of them (even the unscented ones) so I seldom used this option. But it’s alright if your in land and finding it difficult to find showers.

4. Bucket wash

campervan cleaning

Bucket wash!

You’ve more than likely got a water supply with you. Yes, this can be used to clean you too, but you’ll need a wipe/sponge of some sort for it to work well, and preferably a small pot (one from your cooking utilities will do) to pour water over yourself. Requires privacy somewhat as you can’t do it inside your campervan like wet wipes so it’ll more than likely need to be in a quiet area. Can be pleasant after a hot day in the desert though. Another negative is it uses your water supply, but if you’re not near a beach you’ll be running low anyway.

5. Make some friends

A mechanic let me use his shower when I took my campervan to be fixed from him, I’m sure there are plenty more options to blag a shower from some friends (try couch surfing) or who ever you happen to meet on your travels.

Of course you can always stop by a hotel/motel/hostel occasionally to get a wash / real bed too if you aren’t hardcore enough to do it in the ways I’ve suggested ;-) If anyone has other options they do please let me know in the comments, I’m sure I’ve missed a few options.

Note: all pictures were taken from Google images, they aren’t my own for a change.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrea December 17, 2010 at 12:40 PM

I always wondered how campervan travellers get clean…I imagine the quest for a shower is a fantastic conversation starter =) Beach showers are a brilliant idea!
Andrea´s latest blogpost – Bungas’s Beer of the Week


AdventureRob December 19, 2010 at 12:06 PM

True! – “Hey, know where I can get a shower around here?” is quite a legit conversation starter.


Randy December 18, 2010 at 4:29 AM

I can voucher for the beach shower tip. While I don’t have a campervan, yet, I have used this method when camping in my car and it is a great way to get a free shower, especially in San Diego. Of course, so is jumping in the ocean. I guess that’s one of the real beauties about the campervan: you can have a bathtub the size of an ocean. Another option in North San Diego is showering at the campgrounds. Just park across the street from the campgrounds, then walk in. The only downfall is they’re not free. I think it costs approximately $1 for 3 minutes, but they are clean and hot. You can get tokens from a machine near the ranger’s station.
Randy´s latest blogpost – Drekkid Coca Cola-Reykjavik- Iceland – Sometime In Time Photo


AdventureRob December 19, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Thanks for the tip, funnily enough I never thought of going into a camp ground for a shower, seems obvious now though! Another option I used once is a swimming pool. Pay for the shower and get a free swimming session out of it!


R. Lee January 4, 2011 at 6:59 AM

Thanks soo much for the advice. I also took the time to read the other post, and I must say I’m glad you put the info on here. I’m also a bit saddened to notice that there are becoming problems in campervan areas, (I can only imagine that locals are a bit upset at ‘waste’ being left all over the place). I suppose we have people everywhere though that are disrespectful to the areas that have generously been set aside; it only take a few to ruin it for everyone.


Alicia January 14, 2011 at 8:19 AM

I love you post so much… You just presented facts about traveling on a campervan. It is really a challenge to do this while you are in a strange place isn’t it? The most applicable strategy for me that is in your list is making friends. I have been camping for so many times and it is such a great honor to meet people who are willing to help strangers.


Sam April 9, 2011 at 9:28 AM

For Showers this tip would also be useful: you could pay to use public swimming pools.Usually about $3 – $5 entrance.
Sam´s latest blogpost – Luxus Villa Capri Superb Meerblick an der Amalfiküste


AdventureRob April 9, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Yes totally. I had that idea once but found a free shower around the corner in the end!


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