How to make a camping shower

How to Make a Camping Shower

How to Make a Camping Shower

Whether you are camping or at home, staying clean and fresh is always essential. It is very difficult to do so while on the road without a washroom or hotel room. In such a situation, you can construct your own shower. 

It may be a bit difficult if you are new to building, but you can prepare a DIY camping shower with the proper equipment. 


What are the tools required?

  • Hacksaw
  • Drill with 1/8″, 3/4″, and 3/8″ bits
  • Marker


What are the materials required?

  • 10′ length of 4″ schedule 40 ABS pipe 
  • 4″ T-joint ABS fitting with threaded top opening
  • Two 4″ ABS end caps
  • 4″ ABS cleanout cap for T-joint
  • One 1/2″ brass locknut
  • One flat rubber O-ring
  • Two canoe foam blocks 
  • One Schrader valve from an aluminum wheel; available at any tire/wheel shop
  • ABS cement
  • ABS cleaner/primer
  • One 3/4″ hose spigot
  • Waterproof silicone sealant
  • Sandpaper
  • Tie-down straps
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Schrader bike pump
  • One 3/4″ hose spigot
  • Hose with nozzle


Step 1: Determine the amount of water you require.

Camping Shower

Firstly, you need to determine how much water you want the shower to accommodate while remembering the total weight after it has been filled. The amount of shower time your water power provides depends on the psi you pump into the shower and the kind of nozzle you’re using.


Step 2: Cut the ABS pipe.

Measure 10′ ABS length to 5′ 6′′ and label it with the marker. Use a hacksaw to remove the measurements. Measure and mark the 6′′ length of the remaining pipe and break at the mark. You’re going to have a 5′ 6′′ piece, a 6′′ piece, and an extra portion.


Step 3: You may cut blocks of foam.

When using foam canoe blocks, put an end of the 4′′ ABS pipe on the side of one of the blocks without the bar cutouts. Hold the bottom of the pipe as near as possible to the block’s center without overlapping the bar cutout. Mark the outline of the pipe with a pen or marker. Use a hacksaw to carve off the foam semicircle. Repeat it for the rest of the block.


Step 4: Drill a hole in the spigot.

Camping Shower1

Position the brass locknut inside one of the end caps as close to the outside edge as possible without touching it. Mark the inner circumference with a pen. Remove the locknut and mark the point in the center of the circle. Start with a 1/8′′ bit and work up to a 3/4′′ bit, drill a hole through the end cap. You may want the finished hole to be 3/4′′ wide: enough for the spigot to go in. Sometimes people have to ream the gap a bit to match the spigot.


Step 5: Construct the Schrader valve.

Label a dot right above the spigot hole, around 3/4′′ from the edge of the end cap. Drill a hole at the dot using the 3/8′′ bit. Run the valve from the back to the front so it sticks out the smooth side of the face. First, set the flanged washer on the narrow side of the front part of the valve stem. Hold the washer and valve in place with one hand, use the other to add the silicone bead and the front opening around the valve stem.


Step 6: Attach the spigot.

Place a rubber O-ring over the spigot thread. We used a circular O-ring, but a flat one would have been better. Apply the silicone bead all the way around the bottom of the O-ring and place the spigot in the front of the end cap. Holding it in position with one hand, add another bead of silicone along the spigot threads on the inside of the end cap to build an airtight seal. Screw the fastener to the hand-tight spigot. Let the silicone cure according to the instructions of the box.


Step 7: Arrange and fix the body of the shower using glue.

Use sandpaper to smooth the rough edges of the pipe. In a well-ventilated area, use the ABS cleaner to clean and glue the pipes. Clean the outer ends of the 4′′ pipes, the inner sides of the T-joint, and the end caps. Working one at a time, apply ABS cement to the inside of the end cap, then to the outside of the pipe’s edge and press it tightly together. Arrange the pieces in the following order: flat end cap, 5′ ABS pipe, T-joint, 6′′ ABS pipe, end cap with spigot. Hold the end cap valve and the T-joint opening aligned at the top of the shower, and the spigot is pointed ‘under.’ Let the cement cure according to the instructions of the box.


Step 8: Fix the shower on your car.

Slide the foam blocks to the crossbars. Position the shower on top of the blocks, with the end of the spigot on the back of the vehicle. Use the tie-down straps to secure the shower to the crossbar with the spigot facing down. Alternatively, lock the shower directly to the bars, with a companion holding the shower as you do.


Step 9: Fill it with water.

Unscrew the washing cap on the opening of the T-joint. Use a hose or jug to fill your shower with water once it’s on top of your car. It’s going to be too hard to carry if you do this beforehand! Do not fill it all the way; you need to leave space to pressurize the air. Apply the petroleum jelly to the cleaning cap’s threads to maintain a strong seal and screw it back to a hand-tight position. 


Step 10: Apply pressure on the shower. 

Screw the nozzle on the hose to the spigot. Unscrew the Schrader valve cap and attach the pump or the air compressor. Pump until the desired pressure is met and turn the valve cap back on. Don’t go above the pressure rating of your pipe.


Step 11: Freshen up.

Open the spigot and enjoy your new shower. The longer the shower is in the heat, the hotter your water will be. Use it for filthy knees, dirty paws, muddy pups, sweaty boys, and everything else your heart needs to be cleaned.

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