road Shower

El Solis

I have one, works great! Nice to have a hot shower when you get to camp. Pressurized to boot! 5 gal seems enough for 2 quick but decent showers or one really nice shower. I also have a solar shower bag so when parked I heat up the bag as well...viola 10 gal. ImageUploadedByTapatalk1378001180.902397.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1378001203.932778.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1378001228.468207.jpg

Chazz Layne

I was fond of our demo unit, it's a great way to have onboard shower capabilities (with actual running water) without the expense and complexity. It will likely wind up part of the Forester project's build.

Two reasons for the 5-gallon size: 1. it keeps the weight minimal while still providing enough for a shower or two (perfect for couples); 2. it heats up quicker... I can't imagine higher capacity version getting warm fast enough to be useful. At just under 50 pounds, any more capacity would start to have a noticeable impact on the vehicle's center-of-gravity. Better to just carry one less jerrycan than normal down at the floor level if more capacity is needed. :)


Thanks for the info on it, might have to look into one. Although, I'm wondering if I could have one made for cheaper than what the price on this was.


It looks to me like it would be pretty simple to make one from 6" PVC pipe, end caps and a few fittings. It won't have the special rack mounts but everything else is pretty straight-forward.


What is that, black sewer pipe with an air valve and a hose connection capped at both ends?

Seems another container could be connected with a hand pump to refill the upper solar heated chamber, just keep it topped off.

Nice, noted and probably adopted.


New member
Yes you can use black pipe and double it up for Double capacity. All you need is a u joint at one end to connect the two. I can't image 50lbs being enough to make much of a difference for the added bonus of two more showers.

They are cheap to make and work well! You can even get a quick disconnect at the water spicket and have a short shower head hose combo that clicks in.

We use them on trucks when going surfing. Hot rinse down after a session!

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Old solar hot water heaters have been made as a simple loop, the upper exposed line is heated cooler water will rise at one end and displace hot water down at the other end causing the water to circulate, eventually the whole system has warm or hot water by convection with the hottest at the top.

I had a two story home with 2 water heaters that incorporated this loop system, one heater set lower that preheated, the other higher that kicked in at higher demand. I had hot water on the second floor quicker than one longer run on the first floor, the loop makes a big difference. Cheaper than an upper and lower level system that use to be in there too.

I'd think having 3 or 4 runs of pipe below the deck and above a floor (insulated) with a higher heating run above would take care of most needs for 2 for some time. Flat black works better than glossy black too. Use copper painted flat black as the heating element and it will work better, use a reflector behind the pipe, just another black surface, it gets better, enclose it with plexi-glass and you have a real water heater, use a polished reflector in there and you're boiling water, better put in a pop off valve.


it's actually all aluminum, welded at the seams, with a radiator cap and pressurization fitting.


New member
The one pictured is. The home made PVC looks similar. So to answer the op, I haven't used that particular one but would assume it would work as well as the home built ones if not better being aluminum.

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Viking with a Hammer
It'll work in the desert. But solar showers are apparently useless in the NE unless you need a shower at noon.
I'm rolling up some copper tube and a using a 12v camper pump and check valve. Just toss the thing in the camp fire or charcoal grill for a water heater.
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New member
The aluminum makes the difference between a hot shower and a cold shower. ;)
But the aluminum also means it will lose heat faster if it gets cold. Al is an awful insulator but that's also why it warms up so fast :p. I would imagine that if you had a long time to heat it up (all day driving), you would be better off with something that heated more slowly, but retained that heat longer.

Or maybe it doesn't actually matter in practice. I'm just thinking off the top of my head.

Either way I love the concept. Simple and effective. I may have to look into one of these at some point.


New member
I wanted a good solution for showering in the back country. I think this invention solves a lot of the problems of other showers. Thank you for looking at this post. Here is the correct photo of the unit.1-ROADSHOWERwithlogo.jpg

PVC or ABS is not better than aluminum. It is brittle and can break. It is an insulator, so it does not transfer heat to the water very well. That's fine if you want a luke warm shower. Your home made unit is going to need to be strapped on, there is no built in mounting. And if you pressurize it, there is a risk of exploding plastic, if you do not buy a pressure relief valve.

Check out the new aluminum great, and will last you a lifetime.

Please check out my kickstarter project:

Please share the link with your friend who might spend some time doing outdoor activities, or traveling in their vehicle.

The new camping Solar Shower

It is like adding plumbing to your vehicle! A green solution using renewable energy.

With the Road Shower you can have pressurized water wherever you go. It will heat the water while you drive and will be ready to give you a high pressure hot shower at the end of the day. Hot or cold, the Road Shower has many uses from the camp hose for dishes, gear, pets, or for extra drinking water. •
Storage capacity: Holds 5 gallons of water good for 2-3 showers

•Solar heated: Water can heat up to 100-115 degrees.

•High Pressure: Can be pumped with a bike pump up to 15 PSI.

•Safe: A pressure relief system is built in for safety.

•Easy to mount: Included hardware for Yakima or Thule racks.

•Tough. Made from powder coated high quality aluminum.

•Non toxic: You can fill it with drinking water.


schedule 40 4" Pipe has an operating pressure of 133 psi and a burst of 710. schedule 80 has 194 psi operating and burst of 1110. at its maximum operating temperature of 140, reduce strength by 20%

insulating capability is relative. While true that pvc is not as good a conductor of heat as aluminum, it also holds heat longer than aluminum. As soon as there is no more heat added, heat will dissipate- and aluminum with dissipate faster than pvc.

there's a break even point- the black aluminum tube will heat faster, but cool faster. the pvc will heat slower, but cool slower. there's pretty much a maximum amount of heat that can be gained by the water, based on a variety of factors, including cooling of the tube by simply driving. I Would probably take an educated guess to say that if driving and being out in the sun, the pvc pipe will not be more than a few hours from reaching the same peak temp as the aluminum tube. I would also reasonably guess that as your source of heat disappears, the pvc will maintain heat longer than the aluminum. 4" pvc has an approximate r value of .30- give or take, a little. It isn't substantial in this regard.

there's a few annoyances with this type of system, material science aside. you have to be parked relatively level, or forward, back, whichever to aid in the water reaching the sprayer. generally, ovalized tubes that are wider than they are taller are more sensitive. depending on the angle, you may leave about a gallon behind. my calculus is a little rusty, but it can be calculated out. that or just park differently.

my biggest gripe with any of these roof mounted systems is that you are adding about 8.34 lbs per gallon (roughly 50 lbs) of water weight + weight of system on to the roof!

the effects on vehicle dynamics is huge! I don't even know where to begin to calculate the increase of the center of gravity,and increased roll. even worse, it appears the recommended mounting area is toward the outer edge of the vehicle on one side- making the vehicle consistently unbalanced.

if keeping water up high was a good idea, rv's and campers would be putting the water supply on top, and not at the lowest point, and in the center.

if you've ever driven offroad and was off camber, teetering on toppling over- imagine the same situation but with 50 lbs off the side

for some reference, the mitsubishi evolution, had a version that uses an aluminum roof. Keeping the same dimensions, the center of gravity was reduced by 3mm, and reduction in roll by 1.3%. To achieve the same results with the standard steel roof, they would have to chop the roof line by 70mm.

So how much weight are we talking about for this compact sports car? 19lbs for the aluminum roof. 28 lbs for the steel, on a vehicle which is low slug.

imagine putting it on a lifted SUV with an already high center of gravity.