As part of the upgrades to our 13′ 1967 Aljo Sportsman camper, I installed an on-demand water heater, an electric water pump, drinking water filter, 450 watts of solar, a 3000 Watt inverter, and an outdoor shower.
The shower unit was fairly straightforward, although taking a sawzall to the side of your camper is always a bit harrowing. I may go through the plumbing process in another instructable, as this one concentrates on the shower enclosure rather than the shower itself.
The shower unit was from Camping World, and since it leaked and looked cheap, I upgraded the nozzle to a USA-made High Sierra low-flow one that looks a bit more vintage and matches the camper.
Note: the High Sierra remote shut-off valve and hose both leaked, so I purchased this water saver valve and got another chrome hose from Home Depot and now it’s water-tight.
Step 1: Shower head placement
To determine where to mount the shower stall, first determine the best location for your shower head bracket. To add more flexibility to the system, I used two shower head mounts, one high, and one low for rinsing feet.
As with mounting anything to an aluminum-clad camper, find your studs and seal the back and holes using Putty/Butyl Tape.
Step 2: The Mounts
Using standard barrel latches, trim down the end by 1/2″ using a Dremel to allow the barrels approximately 1.25″ or more of height above the latch. You’ll likely have to drill 2 new holes on that end for mounting.
Make spacers to fit the back of the barrel latches, this allows space for end of the shower stall tube to go over the barrel latch. These can be made of wood, but I’ve been experimenting with onshape and 3D printing, so I made custom ABS spacers that match the off-center positioning of the newly drilled holes on the latch. 😉
Find studs or other secure mounting area for the mount points and seal the holes using butyl/putty tape and silicone.
Step 3: Drill your mounting holes . . . carefully (likely repeatedly)
This is the trickiest step – the two bars need to be at least the same angle and preferably parallel to the ground.
I had to drill each one twice to get them both correct.
1. Pull the barrel lock forward as far as it will go as there is some play.
2. Hold a length of 1/2″ electrical conduit up to the side of the camper (or wherever you’re mounting to) and use a Sharpie to mark the angle on the bar.
3. Use a center punch to mark where you’ll start drilling – this makes starting drilling on a curved surface MUCH easier!
4. Do your best to follow your line as you drill through the conduit using a bit that matches the barrel locks that you’re using.
5. Test, repeat/trim/file as needed until you get two 24″ tubes that look reasonably equal and parallel to the g
Step 4: Cut the tubing to length and assemble
I settled on 24″ deep by 32″ wide due to the constraints of the camper, you can make the shower whatever size works for you.
I initially tried bending the two corners rather than adding the weight of the 90 degree joints, but the bending was difficult to get exactly to 32″ wide to match up with the barrel lock mounts, plus the joints allow the unit to be broken down and rolled up in the shower curtain.
1. Cut your tubing to length for the size of your shower and file down the edges to avoid cuts.
2. Remove one of the bolts in each 90 degree joint and replace with a thumb screw (ACE Hardware had them in their screw area bins.
3. Screw in the other joint screw to secure the joint to the bar. I opted to screw one joint to the left bar, and one to the right side of the middle bar so it could only go together one way and I wouldn’t get (as) confused.
Step 5: Hang your curtain and get clean!
1. Using wire shower curtain rings, hang your curtains.
2. Test it out and get clean!
Note: I’ll be adding some clips to keep the two curtains together if the wind picks up. I’m also considering installing a snap or similar on the side of the camper to tether the curtain from the sides.