If you’re living in a budget van conversion chances are you don’t have a shower. Here are a few ways we keep clean while living on the road.
One option we often turn to is a “sponge bath” or a quick wipe down. There are many different types shower wipes but baby wipes work just as well. We like to use Dude Wipes which are made out of biodegradable plant material and are flushable. Since we tend to only shower twice a week this option is very handy when you are not necessarily dirty but want to feel a bit fresher. We like to do “pits and privates” each night and simply throw the dirty wipes in the trash. I also like to use these wipes for dirty or sandy feet (or paws) to help keep the bed clean. Wipes can be very handy for a quick clean but be sure to dispose of them properly and find ones that fit your skin and lifestyle type.
All campsites have different amenities and the prices often reflect that. If we know we need to shower we often look for a campground with showers. Cheaper campgrounds with showers will often offer “quarter showers” which will only offer cold water (or sometimes will not turn on) unless a quarter is inserted to pay for the hot water.
Campground showers are usually individual rooms with locks, which are very helpful if you are traveling with children, or in our case a dog that likes the mud. If individual showers are available we usually take the opportunity to wash our dog, but with this comes great responsibility. Be sure to clean up after yourself and your dog to keep it nice for the next user. Other times showers will be in a “locker room” style where it is separate by gender. These are just as nice but offer less privacy while showering.
My personally favorite option for showering is getting a gym membership. We use Anytime Fitness for the convenient location , 24/7 hours, and budget friendliness. Any gym with multiple locations will work but be sure to find something that fits your budget and fits your other needs.
Some other examples:
- Gold’s gym
- 24 Hour Fitness
- Snap Fitness
- Planet Fitness
Showers at Anytime Fitness are individual rooms with locks and from our experience very clean. Be sure to bring your own shower supplies and towel; however, some locations will offer complimentary towels and body wash. Many popular locations will have signs on the door reminding users to keep the showers to 10 minute minimum. So if you’re someone who likes to soak in the steam we recommend going late at night when it’s less likely for others to be using the facilities.
While we are parked in dispersed camping or in a more remote location we like to pull out the shower bag to get clean. We use a solar powered bag which we fill with water, set in the sun for a few hours, and VIOLA! you’ve got yourself a warm shower. From here the bag can be hooked on a tree, or on the back door of your van. The important thing to remember when using a shower bag is that the water, and thus your soap, is going directly back into the earth. When using the shower bag we use environmentally friendly shower products such as Love and Planet Shampoo and Conditioner and biodegradable Castile Soap. A downside of using a shower bag is that it takes a while to warm up so we usually take semi-cold to lukewarm showers; but this isn’t so much an issue when it’s 105 outside.