Building a Shower and Toilet in Van: What You Need to Know

So, you’ve finally decided to take the plunge and transform your van into a homely, travel-ready camper? Exciting times are ahead, indeed! Now, you might be wondering, how do you incorporate essential amenities like a shower and toilet in your new home-on-wheels? No need to stress – that’s exactly what we’re covering today.

Your New Mobile Home: More than a Vehicle

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of building a shower and toilet in your van, let’s consider a question: what is your van conversion really about? It’s more than just a vehicle; it’s your mobile abode, a testament to freedom, exploration, and the undeniable charm of van life.

To make this lifestyle possible, you need more than just a comfy bed and a functional kitchen. You need a place to bathe and answer nature’s call – which brings us back to our topic for today.

Preparing Your Van: Insulation, Tools, and Space

Before you start drilling holes and installing fixtures, there’s some groundwork to be done. First and foremost, you’ll need to make sure your van is properly insulated. Insulation is a must for any van conversion. It keeps the inside warm during those chilly nights and cool during scorching hot days. A detailed guide on how to insulate your van will set you on the right path.

Next, you’ll need to gather the necessary tools for the job. We’ve got an entire article dedicated to the 10 essential tools for van conversion – a must-read for every budding van lifer.

Now, space. A standard van isn’t exactly a sprawling mansion, is it? This means you need to get a bit crafty when fitting in your shower and toilet. Check out our article on the best ways to maximize storage space in a camper van for some inspiration.

Installing the Toilet in Van: A Crucial Element

Arguably, the most critical part of any van conversion is setting up the toilet. I know, it’s not the most glamorous topic, but a well-functioning toilet can truly make or break your van life experience.

When it comes to the toilet type, there are three main options you can consider:

  1. Composting toilet: An eco-friendly choice that uses no water and turns waste into compost.
  2. Portable toilet: A movable, easy-to-empty choice – convenient but less comfortable.
  3. Cassette toilet: A built-in toilet with a portable waste tank – a happy medium between comfort and convenience.

In addition to the toilet type, you’ll also have to think about the placement. Where will you install it? Will it be a permanent fixture, or will you opt for a movable design? Whatever your choice, make sure it suits your van layout and your travel needs.

Building the Shower: Your Personal Oasis

After a long day exploring the great outdoors, there’s nothing like a warm shower to wash the dust away and recharge your batteries. This is why installing a shower in your van is just as important as setting up the toilet.

The most common solutions include:

  1. Portable outdoor shower: A simple and affordable option where you shower outside your van.
  2. Indoor shower stall: A compact, built-in shower inside the van, often combined with the toilet to save space.
  3. Hybrid shower: An indoor/outdoor solution where you can easily move the showerhead and curtain outside.

Choosing the right type of shower again comes down to your personal needs and your van’s layout. Remember, every inch of space matters, so consider your options wisely.

Flooring and Drainage: The Foundation of Your Bathroom

With the toilet and shower sorted, it’s time to think about the foundation – the flooring and the drainage system. The best flooring for your van should be sturdy, waterproof, and easy to clean. If you’re unsure of the best options, we’ve covered how to choose the best flooring for your van in a separate article.

As for drainage, you have two main options: a grey water tank installed beneath your van, or a simpler jug or bucket solution that you manually empty.

Making Your Van Feel Like Home

Once you’ve taken care of the essentials (toilet, shower, drainage), it’s time to make your van feel like home. This involves crafting works and DIY projects that transform your van into a cozy living space. Our list of best DIY projects for your van can provide you with plenty of inspiration.

Also, don’t forget about the electricity in your van. Whether it’s for lighting up your interior or powering your appliances, a reliable power supply is a must-have. Consider incorporating solar power into your design – our guide to solar power for van beginners has all the information you need.

Wrap Up: Embrace the Journey

While the journey of converting your van into a mobile home can be complex, it’s also incredibly rewarding. The process of building a shower and toilet in your van is a crucial step towards achieving the dream of a comfortable and convenient van life. With the right tools, a well-thought-out plan, and a touch of creativity, you can transform your ordinary van into a cozy, fully-functional home-on-wheels.

Remember, this is more than just a van conversion; it’s your ticket to a lifestyle full of freedom and endless adventures. Don’t hesitate to explore creative ideas for a custom van conversion and enjoy the journey of creating your home on the road.

Before you go, make sure to check out our ultimate van conversion checklist, your one-stop guide to ensure you have everything you need for your van conversion journey.