Portable showers, Cabelas and this cheap-o - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-21-2006, 12:39 PM   #1
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Ola! In a effort to be able to boondock without any power source other than my propane tank, using water I've brought along, I am thinking about the purchase of:

a porta-potty
a portable shower hut-Cabelas is nice, but, $99, and includes a solar bag for heating water
or the Walmart knock off that's $35

I haven't see the Cabela model, it sure looks nice, but, as I don't know that I'll use it a lot as a shower, but more so as a privacy hut with the toilet.(ar, ar, ar, I DO shower, mostly it's boondock and shower at the campground, which I don't mind a lot)

Cabela shower


Walmart shower

Has annyone here used or seen either model? I'd appreciate input.
If no one has, I may scoot to Cabela's next week. Ooooh, that's a dangerous place for campers!

There's no question that I enjoy camping the most when isolated from everyone else. The goal is to be able to do this as long as possible on a camping trip. All ideas welcome!
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Old 04-21-2006, 03:36 PM   #2
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I bought one at Kmart several years ago that looked like a cross between the two. It is green, a tall, skinny version, has a fly for incliment weather, and the hanging shelf. We used it for a changing/privacy room and had our little porta potty in there. Never actually took a shower in it as it was designed, but did sponge down in it.

As far as the elements in the design....the shelf is worthless. I have a smaller model and the shelf not only got in the way, but you cannot put anything but very light items on the shelf or it folds, and the items fall over. I tried putting lotions and handwash on the shelf to have them fall off.

The rainfly was very useful. It stormed for several days last time we went camping and it was nice to change clothes in a dry area AND have dry toilet paper.
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Old 04-21-2006, 03:48 PM   #3
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Keep in mind that portable showers are forbidden in many national parks and some state parks. They're okay in National Forests, but a no-no in just about every national park (all of them, for all I know).

They're really good items for people who don't have an onboard shower.
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Old 04-21-2006, 09:27 PM   #4
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Hi Gigi,

My wife won a Cabelas unit last year and we used it a half dozen or so times. Its well made and I expect it will provide several years of use but I haven't seen any other brands so I can't make any valid comparisons. The only drawback I've found is the water bag is too heavy for my wife to lift and suspend from the top of the tent. I expect to plumb in an outside shower on the Scamp sometime this spring so that shouldn't be a long term problem.

I'm also trying to figure out some way to contain the 'used' water and pump it back into the gray water tank. We frequently camp in National Forests where, as Bob mentioned, it's OK to have one of these but I'd still prefer to not just dump bath water on the ground.

on edit: Our Scamp does have a shower but I prefer the Cabelas if its not too cold.


Al
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Old 04-22-2006, 04:26 AM   #5
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Gigi, we bought a Coleman battery-operated shower pump ($28 US) for just what you want to do and I rigged a way to hang shower curtains inside that gives us a dandy shower. The water is caught in a large tray on the floor and by using the same pump we pump the water from the catch tray back into a 5-gallon plastic jug and dispose of it legally later.

We put two large soup pots on the stove in the trailer and when we have the water at the temperature we like it's carried in through the curtain by way of a 1/2 inch hose and you simply push the button on demand for water. It works like a charm!

The shower curtains and all the gear for the shower go into the catch tray and get stored in the tow vehicle until next time. It only takes minutes to set up and take down.

See our Bigfoot album on Webshots below for pictures of this setup - page 3.
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Old 04-22-2006, 07:50 AM   #6
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Ken, I really like your shower idea. I checked out the photos you posted. Was especially interested in the one titled "SHOWER AT WORK".

I was wondering about the convenience factor. It looks like it would be quick and easy to set up and take down.

Do you use it extensively? How about when there are campground or public showers available?

How do you stow the gear? Do you have to dry the curtain before putting it away? After using the pump to decant the basin, do you have to purge the pump and hose with clean water?
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Old 04-22-2006, 08:33 AM   #7
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I was in Wal-Mart last night and the Zodi Instant Water Heater and Hot Shower caught my eye. It's like the Coleman shower pump but it inclused an on-demand water heater using propane from a disposable cylinder. It's about $100, but looks like it would be pretty handy. Of course, I suppose heating a pot of water on the stove would work just as well.
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Old 04-22-2006, 09:06 AM   #8
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Loren, that shower thing is so simple to use we prefer it to the shower room in a campsite often.

As for the shower curtains, we do make that a two-person deal when putting them away. We rough wipe them down and the wife holds the bottom, I hold the top and we fold them. Everything plops nicely into the catch tray with room to spare. We even put one of the soup pots in the catch tray too. Gravity takes care of the water in the pump and the hose.

At the moment we are trading trailers and where in the Bigfoot I could screw the cup hooks into the ceiling panelling I do not have that option in the Trillium. I will build a new ABS pipe frame that extends from the closet door over to the cupboards. I plan to hang the frame on something like the cups that hold a closet pole in your home.

The convenience of this simple shower amazes us.
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Old 04-22-2006, 04:37 PM   #9
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Hi Gigi - we received a "privacy cabana" from Santa Daughter last Christmas, just in time for our winter adventure in Quartzsite, AZ. Ours came from Cabela's (I think the brand is 'StansSport') and it works like a charm for the porta-pot and for our Coleman battery-operated shower (used with a pot of water warmed on the stove). I agree with Ken - you can be legal by standing in a plastic tote-bin, then using proper grey-water disposal technique. Own one note of caution - the frame of our cabana is flexible to withstand the wind, which makes it unsuitable to hold the weight of a solar shower bag ... go for the $20 Coleman shower & enjoy being squeaky clean in the outback! Happy trails - L 'n D
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Old 04-24-2006, 09:10 AM   #10
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Name: Gigi
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Quote:
I bought one at Kmart several years ago that looked like a cross between the two. It is green, a tall, skinny version, has a fly for incliment weather, and the hanging shelf. We used it for a changing/privacy room and had our little porta potty in there. Never actually took a shower in it as it was designed, but did sponge down in it.

As far as the elements in the design....the shelf is worthless. I have a smaller model and the shelf not only got in the way, but you cannot put anything but very light items on the shelf or it folds, and the items fall over. I tried putting lotions and handwash on the shelf to have them fall off.

The rainfly was very useful. It stormed for several days last time we went camping and it was nice to change clothes in a dry area AND have dry toilet paper.
Thanks for the endorsement of even getting one. I like the less is more for my trailer, but, less driving to the bathrooms is lotsa more, too!

If I never used it as a bathroom, I could see it as an artist's shack...perfect for my french easel and keeping dry and warm during a rain.

Is the floor removable?
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Old 04-24-2006, 09:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Hi Gigi,

My wife won a Cabelas unit last year and we used it a half dozen or so times. Its well made and I expect it will provide several years of use but I haven't seen any other brands so I can't make any valid comparisons. The only drawback I've found is the water bag is too heavy for my wife to lift and suspend from the top of the tent. I expect to plumb in an outside shower on the Scamp sometime this spring so that shouldn't be a long term problem.

I'm also trying to figure out some way to contain the 'used' water and pump it back into the gray water tank. We frequently camp in National Forests where, as Bob mentioned, it's OK to have one of these but I'd still prefer to not just dump bath water on the ground.

on edit: Our Scamp does have a shower but I prefer the Cabelas if its not too cold.
Al
Ahh, good to hear from someone who has the Cabela shower. I'd have that same concern about the bag, with my shoulder surgery and bad back, I just can't lift much.
I like the idea of a solar bag used to warm the water, but, may need to invest in the draw pump and heat water on the stove.

Is there place to anchor the bag and then fill it with water?

Thanks for the info!
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Old 04-24-2006, 09:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Gigi, we bought a Coleman battery-operated shower pump ($28 US) for just what you want to do and I rigged a way to hang shower curtains inside that gives us a dandy shower. The water is caught in a large tray on the floor and by using the same pump we pump the water from the catch tray back into a 5-gallon plastic jug and dispose of it legally later.

We put two large soup pots on the stove in the trailer and when we have the water at the temperature we like it's carried in through the curtain by way of a 1/2 inch hose and you simply push the button on demand for water. It works like a charm!

The shower curtains and all the gear for the shower go into the catch tray and get stored in the tow vehicle until next time. It only takes minutes to set up and take down.

See our Bigfoot album on Webshots below for pictures of this setup - page 3.
Hi, Ken! Great shower set up. I've looked at it for a bit. In the Lovebug I thought about tension rods between the closet and cupboards and then using your dowel/cuphook idea.
The idea is great.

I looked at your photo albums of the trailers, all your mods are so well done!

Thanks for the input!
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Old 04-24-2006, 09:38 AM   #13
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Quote:
Hi Gigi - we received a "privacy cabana" from Santa Daughter last Christmas, just in time for our winter adventure in Quartzsite, AZ. Ours came from Cabela's (I think the brand is 'StansSport') and it works like a charm for the porta-pot and for our Coleman battery-operated shower (used with a pot of water warmed on the stove). I agree with Ken - you can be legal by standing in a plastic tote-bin, then using proper grey-water disposal technique. Own one note of caution - the frame of our cabana is flexible to withstand the wind, which makes it unsuitable to hold the weight of a solar shower bag ... go for the $20 Coleman shower & enjoy being squeaky clean in the outback! Happy trails - L 'n D
Hello!

Another endorsement for the Cabela cabana and for a shower pump!
I have some physical challenges in that I can't lift more than a few pounds. Would a person be able to use a campstove on a picnic table to heat the water and leave said water on campstove (turned off of course!) drawing it out to the shower head? Is the hose long enough for this? That would eliminate having to move a fairly large container of water.

Thanks for the note!


I also recall someone setting up a shower on the exterior of the camper. It was constructed of PVC pipe and used two shower curtains. This is a good idea if one could secure the base the same as the top... I think that person used a shower head that pumped water as well.

Anyone remember that post?

Cheers! Thanks for all the help!
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Old 04-24-2006, 09:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Hello!

Another endorsement for the Cabela cabana and for a shower pump!
I have some physical challenges in that I can't lift more than a few pounds. Would a person be able to use a campstove on a picnic table to heat the water and leave said water on campstove (turned off of course!) drawing it out to the shower head? Is the hose long enough for this? That would eliminate having to move a fairly large container of water.

Thanks for the note!
I also recall someone setting up a shower on the exterior of the camper. It was constructed of PVC pipe and used two shower curtains. This is a good idea if one could secure the base the same as the top... I think that person used a shower head that pumped water as well.

Anyone remember that post?

Cheers! Thanks for all the help!
Yes, you can use a camp stove on the picnic table to heat your water. I would suggest you position your Cabelas' shelter (or whatever you use), close enough to the stove that you can reach out to adjust the temperature. We heat a large pot of water to what seems right to us. Then we keep a second pot close by so we can ladle cold water into the hot pot until we get our favorite temperature. The hose on the Coleman pump is plenty long enough.

You might check my web site to see about the PVC pipe frame to hang the shower curtains from. Our rig could be suspended outside the trailer in a number of ways. Frankly, we prefer to set it up inside so we can step out of the shower and dress.

You will be surprised by how little water you use if you only spray when needed and do not leave the water running. 3 gallons will give you a very adequate shower. 5 gallons if you have long flowing tresses that need laundering. Water weighs about 10 pounds per gallon so if you split into two pots you should never have to lift more than 20 pounds.
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