You might think RV showers can’t rival the luxury of your showers at home – but think again!
RV showers might be shorter in duration since you’re limited to the size of your water heater (unless you upgrade to a tankless water heater). However, they can still have the same amenities we all love – good water pressure, storage for our toiletries, and functional items that keep the bathroom clean.
There are several ways to upgrade your RV shower – a simple shower curtain replacement can dramatically affect your shower’s ambiance. So let’s explore how you can make your shower experience more enjoyable in your RV.
Upgraded RV Showerhead
RVs are limited to a certain water pressure due to the design of their plumbing systems. This can make getting good pressure in the shower challenging, but you can’t replace your existing showerhead with just any model.
RV showerheads are specifically designed to work with pressure regulators that protect the rest of your RV plumbing. So you’ll be able to leave that essential piece of RV safety equipment in place and still enjoy sufficient water pressure with an RV showerhead.
The good news is that RV showerheads are one of the most manageable components to change out if you’re not happy with what you have. When selecting a new RV showerhead, some factors to consider include the flow rate (in gallons per minute), hose length, and spray settings – doesn’t a showerhead with a massage setting sound dreamy?
Here are a few top showerhead models to consider:
With five spray settings, this is more than your ordinary RV showerhead. It’s also designed to provide a flow rate of 1.8 gallons per minute (GPM) at a pressure of 80 pounds per square inch (PSI), which leads to superior water pressure without draining your fresh water tank too quickly.
Check out the brushed nickel version of this RV showerhead if white isn’t your preferred color.
The PowerFlow RV showerhead matches the water pressure delivery of the Fury model. It comes with a 72-inch flexible hose that makes it easier to rinse and take advantage of the five spray patterns. Here are your other color options:
Oxygenics features a unique showerhead design with their Voyage model, going for an oval versus a traditional round shape. Arguably its most exciting feature is the pendulum setting, which oscillates back and forth up to 500 times per minute to deliver up to 14 inches of water coverage.
New Shower Curtain and Bath Mat
RV shower curtains are essential for keeping water where it should be – inside the shower. They should be replaced regularly to prevent mold accumulation and keep your shower looking and smelling fresh.
Upgrading to a new shower curtain can also change the style and decor of your RV shower. Exercise your creativity with your choice from something seasonally festive to a curtain that matches the rest of your RV’s interior decor.
And don’t forget a new bathmat. Your shower bathmat should be water-absorbent and provide a safe, slip-resistant surface to step onto with wet feet. But what if it also pads your feet and tickles your toes, so you remain comfortable as you dry off?
Enclave 15-Piece Bathroom Sets
Enclave is your go-to name for all-in-one RV bathroom sets. They feature many colors to match your RV’s interior decor, and the set comes with a 17” x 24” absorbent bathmat with non-slip backing to keep you from slipping when you exit your shower.
Here are all your color options:
Towel Holders & Hooks
Your RV towels need a dedicated space to hang and dry between uses. Whether it’s an over-the-door hook or sticky hooks on your bathroom walls, upgrade your RV shower so you’re no longer hanging towels over the shower curtain rod.
With room for up to four towels, this over-the-door hanger fits RV interior doors up to 1.5 inches thick. It’s constructed from durable stainless steel and measures 12” W x 5.5” H x 3” D. You’ll be able to hang and start using it instantly, as installation requires no tools or fasteners.
If you’re a fan of folding your towels to hang them, here’s another over-the-door option with a different design. You don’t get the cute saying, but you get a rack that facilitates better air circulation, so your towels dry faster.
This towel bar and basket are perfect for hanging on the cabinet underneath your bathroom sink. It allows you to hang a hand towel in front and elevated storage for RV bathroom essentials inside the cabinet.
Shower Caddies and Organizers
Hanging storage is a great way to add extra storage throughout your RV, including the bathroom. With minimal shelf storage in most RV showers, a shower caddy or organizer is the best way to keep your shower and bath essentials organized in one place, upright, and easily accessible when needed.
Loose bottles of shampoo or bars of soap aren’t ideal in an RV shower. They’ll fall, break, spill, and cause a mess if you don’t store them properly while driving. A 3-chamber shower dispenser is a perfect solution to give you a contained, secure place to keep your shampoo, conditioner, and body soap.
This caddy can hang over your curtain rod or RV shower door if you need a place to store your shower essentials without installing a permanent dispenser. It is easy to install but only compatible with European-style showerheads, so be careful to avoid hanging it on regular RV showerheads.
This two-piece shelf set is great if you need more storage space outside your RV shower. The set comes with small (11.5” x 4” x 5”) and medium (14” x 5” x 6”) shelves with Nordic-style baskets and natural wood shelf liners.
Shower Pan and Wall Surround
If your RV shower is beyond a few simple upgrades, you can look into a complete shower renovation. Replacing the shower pan and shower wall surround are RV DIY projects.
When you’re talking about an upgrade that has to be completely watertight when finished, it’s best to consult a Camping World performance specialist about RV upgrades and improvements. We’ll provide advice specific to your RV and, if you wish, schedule a time for a technician to install an upgraded RV shower before your next camping trip.
How to Increase Water Pressure in an RV Shower
Low water pressure in your RV will render all those other upgrades moot. Of course, it’s essential to be mindful about conserving water when showering in your RV, but how are you getting clean if the water’s just trickling out of your showerhead?
Here are a few things to check if your RV is suffering from low water pressure:
Check the RV Park’s Water Pressure
The place to start is at the source. If you’re plugged into city water, your pressure issues could be outside your control. But you can check the pressure at your water spigot using a water pressure regulator with a gauge.
If you’re boondocking and relying on your RV’s onboard water supply, your onboard water pump will determine water pressure. Unless your pump is off or not working, the system should be pressurized until the water level falls below the pickup and begins pulling air in, which will result in a lack of pressure overall and can be remedied by refilling your fresh water tank.
Check for Leaks in Plumbing Lines
Depending on the design of your RV, all your plumbing lines may or may not be easily accessible. Fortunately, there’s a simple way to check for leaks in RV plumbing lines before trying to inspect every inch visually.
Fill your fresh water tank, make sure all faucets and fixtures are closed, and turn on your water pump to pressurize the system. Your water pump should cycle off if it can build pressure, but listen to the sound of the pump running for a second or two after it shuts off, as this can signal a slower leak somewhere in the system. If the water pump continues to run without shutting off in cycles, you should evaluate further for a leak in the system.
The main problem with this method is that it identifies if, but not where, a leak is present. So if you suspect a leak in an RV water line, your best choice is to schedule a service appointment at your local Camping World so a technician can take a closer look.
Technician Tip: Technicians will connect a water pressure apparatus to an RV’s city water fill inlet to perform a pressure test on the system. This is a professional apparatus, and your technician should conduct a timed pressure test conforming to federal regulations.
Check Your RV Water Filter
In some cases, low water pressure can result from a clogged water filter. RVs can be equipped with several types of RV water filters that must be inspected. These include disposable filters that attach to your fresh water hose, built-in cartridge filter assemblies, sediment bowl screen filters between the fresh tank and water pump, washers in the city water inlet, and aerators at each faucet.
Identifying a clogged or expired water filter can take some time. But if you locate one, a replacement water filter might be the simplest way to increase water pressure in your RV shower and fixtures.
Upgrade your RV Water Pump
If your RV’s water pump goes out, a replacement will be necessary to continue the comfortable use of your RV. Most RV water pumps move roughly 3.5-5 GPM and build pressure in your plumbing lines to 40-50 PSI. Most water pumps state their water flow rating on the data tag on the pump.
Even if your pump is still functioning, you may be able to improve your water pressure issue with an upgrade. Some RV water pumps are made for higher flow rates and water pressures, but things can get dangerous if you don’t ensure compatibility with your RV’s plumbing.
Regardless of the volume and flow available in the system, most RVs come with low-volume faucets designed to save water. It may be necessary for a user to change to a higher volume faucet to obtain the desired results.
Just remember that installing an RV water pump with a higher flow rate will lead to consuming water more quickly during showers and dishwashing. The downside may be decreased time you can spend boondocking before you dump and refill your fresh water tank.
RV Shower FAQs
Once you’ve upgraded your RV shower, it’s crucial to maintain it properly. So let’s talk about some commonly asked questions about RV showers.
How to Unclog an RV Shower Drain?
Before addressing unclogging techniques, let’s talk about prevention. Installing a drain strainer is the best way to catch hair (the main culprit for drain clogs) before it enters your RV’s plumbing.
If you neglected that easy prevention piece, all is not lost. The best way to unclog an RV shower drain is to utilize the same RV tank treatments and drain cleaners you should regularly apply to maintain your RV’s holding tanks.
If that doesn’t work, try a combination of baking soda and vinegar. Pour baking soda directly into the drain and follow immediately with vinegar. Repeat this process until your drain is no longer clogged.
These chemicals shouldn’t be harmful to your holding tanks, especially once water is added and they are diluted. But to be safe, you’ll want to find a dump station and empty your holding tanks ASAP after removing the clog.
Can I use Drano in my RV Shower?
We strongly recommend avoiding cleaning solutions with caustic chemicals (like Drano) in your RV’s plumbing and holding tanks. These chemicals can damage rubber seals, valves, gaskets, and plumbing lines.
Can You Use a Regular Showerhead in an RV?
Not necessarily, but it will need to be compatible with your RV’s plumbing, meaning it will need a flexible hose that can screw onto the camper shower faucet fixture. It also helps to choose handheld showerheads that are compatible with the mount on your shower wall.
Finally, many overlook an essential feature of all the best RV shower heads: the flow control lever. This is a shut-off valve you won’t find on all non-RV showerheads, but it’s vital to shutting off the water quickly as needed to conserve water while dry camping without losing your preferred temperature adjustment.
If you’d rather be smelly than have an uncomfortable RV shower, it’s time to make some changes. Use these RV shower upgrade ideas to create a luxury bathing experience in your RV. And if you’re feeling stuck, talk to a Camping World Design Center specialist about your vision for RV upgrades.
Is there anything else you’d like to know about upgrading your RV shower? Let us know in the comments below!