Camp shower mods for access...

Discussion in 'Camping for the Medically/Physically Challenged' started by dbhost, Aug 23, 2021.

  1. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    I know I have talked about this quite a bit, but please indulge me here.

    As you may know from my prior posts, I am a big man, I am losing weight, but size is a big consideration for me...

    Combined with degenerative disk disorder of the lumbar spine, flexibility isn't exactly in my wheelhouse any more, and to be blunt, I need a handheld shower to be able to wash myself properly.

    For use either tenting, or with the camper since I want / need more space than a built in shower, which my PU doesn't have, can offer. And I needed simple setup, no, or at least absolute minimum of stooping, and I needed a shower that could shower me top to bottom, and from bottom up to rinse the areas that are hard to get to due to flexibility limitations.

    To accomodate this...

    I have a Joolca Ensuite Double, a 2 room instant set shower tent with build in plumbing retainer clips. Aside from driving stakes, I can fully set this up with zero stooping.

    I updated my shower / water heater to an on demand heater so I don't have to fuddle with reaching out of the shower tent, to turn the heater on, and off.

    Now mind you, the pass through to get the shower hose into the tent is at the very bottom, and the shower head hangs 7' off the ground. MOST of the on demand water heaters have a 5' shower hose...

    So you see the problem?

    AND as I alluded to above, I need a handheld shower head so I can point the shower UP.

    I got some 3/8" ID translucent tubing, 3/8" barb x 3/4" Garden Hose thread male and female end fittings, a 1/2" Female x 3/8" barb fitting, hose clamps, and garden hose quick connects. I made a 5' jumper hose from the heater to the tent, with quick connects, and a customized "Ensuite plumbing" set with a 12' hose, and quick connect on one end, and shower head on the other end. The shower head had a loop of paracord epoxied to it as a hanger loop.

    To make hookup easier, I added quick connects to my potable water hose that connects to camp supply, OR to a custom hose off of a 1.2 GPM 12v pump.

    This rig set up this way allows me to set up with an absolute minimum of stooping, and handheld shower head that can reach down to just above my knees. I can fold up the shower tent with the plumbing left installed in the clips no worries.

    The main issue is gray water capture / dumping. In areas where this is necessary, I use a 36" dia collapsible doggie pool in the shwoer compartment which captures the gray water no problem.

    I try to set up the shower tent when I have to capture gray water, in such a way as to have a slope and I can run a garden hose from the gray capture, out the port in the bottom of the tent, and then down to a flexible 5 gallon water carrier as a capture tank. This Allows me to sit on the toilet, and then tip ip the gray capture doggie pool, and drain out of the hose without stressing my back.

    In the few places I can indulge in a long hot back massaging shwoer without gray capture, I can, and do just let it flow, allowing a back massaging shower which is oh so relieving in camp!

    Due to the hose length issues, combined with the fact that no matter the heater I got, I would need to modify the hose rig, I decided the expensive brands with the nicer hose rigs were really a waste of money for me, so my heater ended up being a Camplux 5L, which came with the fittings I needed to fit US sizes instead of the funky British 1/2 fittings every one of these things I have seen seems to have by default, and of course I use their about 1 step above absolute basic handheld shower head to do the job, thus saving literally about 60% of the cost were I to do this same project say using the Joolca HOTTAP Nomad kit, I did spend the money for the Joolca Gasknect of course, again to facilitate easy setup / takedown, and minimze stooping.

    Similarly, and to allow the bathroom to be quite independent from the kitchen area, I have a Steak Saver adapter allowing me to use a 1lb cylinder instead of the 20lb propane tank, which also allows me to use white gas stove, lanterns, and heater, allowing me more space, and fuel efficiency. And no lifting / lugging of a 20lb BBQ cylinder, although in the camper that really isn't an issue so much but in that use case, the steak saver allows me to be independent of the camper for fuel still allowing me more freedom of placement..

    I have also gotten a couple of spools of reflective paracord, that I am working on replacing guylines with. The idea here is a visible guyline is FAR less likely to cause tripping.

    While I do NOT have any sort of safety rails, nor can I imiagine any way to get them in there and make them work, for at least my needs, I believe I have succeeded in accomplishing my camp sanitation and showering goals.
     
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  2. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    I should mention the sink sprayer as well. Not directly bathroom related, but to mimic the HOTTAP NOMAD kit, I have a garden hose Y splitter, with 2 additional quick connects, and a hose made up with quick connect, adapters etc... to allow connection of a standard sink sprayer for kitchen sink duty. Useful for any exterior camp kitchen. It works well with the Coleman PackAway and folding washbasins, but is a perfect fit with the Cabelas Deluxe Campers Kitchen allowing fast and easy pumped and sprayed water into the sink. Basically start by washing biggest pots first, use them to hold water in sink, wash dishes in decreasing size, until done, rinse... Of course cast iron gets done first, good scraping, and hot water rinse, wipe down with coat of fresh oil and put up THEN move on to the stuff needing soap.
     
  3. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Thank you for sharing this! I know others will appreciate the info! Camper manufacturers most certainly don’t seem to cater to the “plus size” folks.... took me quite a while to find a trailer I liked and could make use of all the amenities.
     
  4. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    When you consider that over 50% of Americans are considered obese, this is an issue that needs to be considered in product design, especially in sporting goods and outdoor gear as these are the activities many of us use to help get back into shape, especially considering intermittent gym closures etc...

    I am actually quite shocked at how poorly designed / insufficient the plumbing / tubing supplied with nearly all of the portable showers are out there when you consider Privacy / shower tents. Kind of a massive engineering oversight, and one I suspect is driven by budgetary considerations...
     
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