Bathroom / Shower Options for Sportsmobile

#1
Hello,
I am looking for some guidance on this matter. I notice that a lot of SMB E350 products are not being built with bath and shower(internal) due to space limitations. Makes sense to me. We like the SMB, but my wife wants a dedicated shower in the vehicle. I don't mind getting a bit creative(i.e. baby wipes, shower at community centers, campgrounds, external shower,etc...), but not sure wife is onboard with that. Anyway, would love to hear how your spouses cope. Thanks!
 
#3
We have an outside shower (little box I plumbed in on the side of the van) and a freestanding shower tent. This works but it's far from ideal. It's not great in adverse weather at all. We've used it a few times though and it's much better than no shower. Also, we've had great luck finding showers at campgrounds, hostels, etc. and never had to resort to a truck stop.
Without a fixed top at least your inside options for any van are pretty limited and cramped.
 

Keyne

Adventurer
#5
We have a full wetbath (nonSMB Sprinter) but use campground showers mainly due to the moisture from the shower. The vans are a small space and the moisture is a pain. Every once in a while it could be fine but most of the time its easier (and roomier) to use the campground shower (or external shower tent). My wife resisted at first but the shower facilities we have used have been private and clean so it didn't bother her at all.
 
#8
We have a Sprinter 4x4 high-roof on order through SMB, and we're doing a shower. It'll be their smallest shower with a porta potty. We'll just slide the potty into the hallway to shower, or do a seated shower with the potty inside. We just toured the Fresno facility, and it's plenty big for a standup shower. For 2 people, I think there is plenty of room in the sprinter for it. Our layout will have the shower directly behind the driver, followed the the fridge mounted in a low-top cabinet. We'll have a width-wise dinette in the rear so we can maintain a walk-through layout. Sink, stove, and some low-top cabinets on the passenger side. Two rear windows, sliding door window, and a small window in the bathroom.

We'll be doing a lot of winter camping and neither of us were too stoked about taking a grump when it's 10 degrees outside. We climb, bike, backpack, etc and a big part of going with a Sprinter high-roof was being able to take a shower once back in camp (regardless of the season or temp), but still maintaining an airy layout and not feeling cramped.

We were pretty set on getting a well-equipped teardrop for 25K. Our Cayenne Turbo is more capable offroad than the sprinter, and has power to spare for the towing duties. But, there is just no good way of making a teardrop a 4-season unit. The Sprinter, however, is perfect. Just capable enough offroad, just enough interior space that we have *all* the conveniences of home, and the price is right.

You do lose a lot of space with it, but we'll have a full roof rack to store our gear that doesn't need to be inside. The space between the driver seat and bathroom (bathroom will be set rewards a few inches) will be covered in rubber with the cargo tracks everywhere. That will be our space for hanging gear and storing our skis. Space will be a premium on the inside. But, the bathroom/shower sold us on it.

So, if it's something important to you, I say go for it. I'll agree that I'm surprised that more people don't do it. But, I think the Sprinter layout is more conducive to a shower given the interior space than a Ford-based SMB (most of those are pop tops).
 

grogie

I Like to Camp
#10
I don't have a van, but the wife and I have been using a solar shower bag (I tend to just boil water to get it warm up vs. the sun) and a simple popup tent, and I'm always amazed how we can share 2 gallons of water and each get a good shower! I also recently bought a Nemo to try out.

Eventually, I'm thinking of moving up to a like a Four Wheel camper and I would continue with an outside popup tent with the camper's outside shower vs. their installed inside shower due to as others said... the moisture issue as well as losing that inside space. Believe me, my wife likes a shower and she's been good with going minimalistic. :)
 
#11
Not sure how much room you have for a tank but I will be using a 40x40 solar water heater on the roof, constantly recirculating. Its good for keeping 15 gallons over 90° with an insulated container on sunny days. For cloudy days 7gall water heater on 2k honda genset.
Kevin
 
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#12
...For cloudy days 7gall water heater on 2k honda genset.
First 120v 7gal WH google gave me

12 amps draw, 6.8 gal/hr recovery rate

So run your generator an hour to heat 7 gallons. Yikes. I didn't do a great deal of research but I wouldn't expect the Bosch unit to be the worst example on the market.

12a of 120 is within the generator's capabilities no question. On cloud days wouldn't you rather use it for something else? Or not at all? That's about 133 ah DC so not likely to supply the juice from batteries, inverter, etc. So where to get it? The engine. Use a coolant heat exchanger. My .02.
 
#13
Have not used it yet but that was the plan, always open to ideas. I would run the genset say a few hours in the evening to recharge my battery bank. 1.5 GPH shower head would allow 2 good showers. My 40" LED would be battery. Only thing the genset would really be used for is the 8000 BTU AC/Heat. Keep the ideas coming though.
Kevin
 
#14
The 2000w Honda I have puts out 16.7a max. Give 12 of that to heat water and you're not gonna do much battery charging with ~4 amps. Solar panels in the plan?
 
#15
Mwilliams.
I have looked into that, just trying to figure it all out now. So say there was no sun and my tank is cold. There would be 2 hours for hot water. Run it another hour for battery charging. I have 100 amps (its just for 10 1 watt led bulbs (not all on at once) and my 40" LED say a few hours in the evening and avg 2-3amps TF fridge. Most I would do is a 3 day mountain bike trip off grid. Let me know your thoughts, plan is not set. I do have everything mentioned except fridge but its in the plan. What would I need a 300 watt solar setup for 100 amps?
TIA,
Kevin
 
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