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There’s nothing quite so invigorating and cleansing as a nice hot power shower!

But what if you don’t want to eat up your van’s or generator’s battery because you’ll be needing it in the days to come?

Going too long with a good shower is not an option. You’ll be sweaty and stinky, and no joy to be around. Or alternatively, you could be covered in beach sand that you don’t want to get in the van.

But there’s no need to worry – we have the perfect solution. You can get yourself a solar powered shower for your van! It’s the perfect way to refresh after a busy day.

It may sound like quite a niche product, but they’re easier to get hold of than you might think. Better yet, we’ve been checking out some of the best ones on the market, and have come up with our top 5 favorites to show you.

And after that, we’ve also got a buying guide for you that lays out all the key things to think about before you buy. You may also want to stick around for our section at the end, where we tackle all of your most frequently asked questions on the subject.

And without further ado…

Best Solar Shower For Van

1. Beaucares Camping Shower Bag

Beaucares Solar Shower Bag,5 Gallons/20L Portable Heating Camp Shower Bag with with Removable Hose and On-Off Switchable Shower Head for Camping Beach Swimming Outdoor Traveling Hiking

This is great large capacity solar shower bag, and one that comes highly recommended. Over 60% of those who bought through Amazon rated it at 5 stars out of 5.

It can take a full 5-gallons of water, which is more than enough for 3 three showers, possibly even 4. Great if you’ve got kids to shower too.

In as little as 3 hours, the solar shower will heat up the water inside to about 113 degrees Fahrenheit, or 45 degrees Celsius.

What we particularly like about this one is the large diameter of the showerhead. And together with also being able to control the power behind the water flow (low to high) it feels just like a shower at home!

It features an integrated temperature gauge, so you can see exactly what the temperature is before you subject yourself to the water. And better yet, the gauge features both Celsius and Fahrenheit.

The water inlet is nice and large for easy filling.

The fabric is durable PVC that won’t tear. And it features a handy pocket to stash your showering sundries.

You can buy it in black or in olive green.

Pros:

  • Large 5 gallon capacity
  • Heats up in just 3 hours
  • Integrated temperature gauge
  • Features a handy pocket
  • Features a large shower head
  • Adjustable water flow

Cons:

  • The storage pocket is quite small
Sale
Beaucares Solar Shower Bag,5 Gallons/20L Portable Heating Camp Shower Bag with with Removable Hose and On-Off Switchable Shower Head for Camping Beach Swimming Outdoor Traveling Hiking
  • Heat absorbing design - It heats water up to 113°F (45°C) in 3 hours with direct sunlight.Made by environmental friendly and leak proof materials which are safe to human health.
  • High Water Capacity - Carry up to 5 gallons water for showering outdoor,let you enjoy a better and refreshing shower anywhere.
  • Useful Accessories - Supplied with a hose, a shower head and a water tap. Upgraded shower head offers an easy on/off switch with low to high water flow, easy to whirl.
  • Temperature Indicator - There is a temperature indicator (°C/°F) attached onto the bag.Be able to quickly know the temperature of the water.
  • Wildly Use - this camp shower is suit for outdoor camping, hiking, backpacking, self-driving, fishing or hunting.

2. ADVANCED ELEMENTS 5 Gallon Solar Shower

Advanced Elements 5 Gallon Summer Shower / Solar Shower,Silver/Black

This solar shower is a huge bestseller with the only retailers, and the one that has been met with the best customer ratings and feedback. It has a very large capacity of 5 gallons, and comes packed with convenient features.

It has a durable 4-ply construction, designed for optimal heat retention. It’s made up of a reflector panel, an insulator panel, a solar panel, the water reservoir and a clear window.

It has a large fill valve, so filling it up with water ready is as easy as can be.

You can turn the showerhead on or off as you please. And you can stow away the hose when not in use with a handy little velcro strap.

There’s a handy pocket (and mirror) on one side to stash your soap or shower gel and shampoo, etc. And there are velcro straps for washcloths too.

All you have to do is keep it clear side up so it’s getting sunlight.

We love the integrated water temperature gauge because it helps you to ensure that it’s reached a temperature you like before taking your shower.

Pros:

  • A bestseller with great customer ratings
  • Large capacity for water reservoir
  • Very easy to set up and to use
  • Handy & generous on-board storage

Cons:

  • Customers only rated it at 4 stars out of 5 for sturdiness
  • Mixed reviews on how hot the water actually gets
Advanced Elements 5 Gallon Summer Shower / Solar Shower,Silver/Black
  • 5-gallon outdoor shower powered by solar technology
  • 4-ply construction with reflector panel and insulator panel
  • Easy-to-use on/off showerhead and extra-large filling valve
  • Side pocket for soap and shampoo; water temperature gauge
  • Velcro straps for wash cloths; weighs 1 pounds 4 ounces

3. Sportneer Solar Shower Bag

Sportneer Solar Shower Bag, 20L/5 Gallon Camping Shower Bag Portable Solar Camp Shower Bag with Upgraded Removable Hose & On-Off Switchable Shower Head for Camping Beach Swimming Traveling Hiking

This solar shower comes at a great price, and comes highly recommended, with over 50% of Amazon customers rating it at 5 stars out of 5.

It has a large water reservoir at 5 gallons (20 liters), so it can accommodate enough water for a small family, provided none of you hog the water.

And after just 3 hours of exposure to sunlight, the water will be heated to 113 degrees Fahrenheit, or 45 degrees Celsius.

The hose has a long reach, so you’ll be able to wash all over, including the soles of your feet if you’ve been barefoot.

It’s made of durable PVC so you don’t have to worry about the bag bursting and spilling water everywhere. This PVC is non-toxic and environmentally friendly.

All you have to do is face the bag the right way so it can absorb sunlight, and the water heats and you’re ready to go.

We love that there’s an integrated temperature gauge at the back. So you’ll know exactly what temperature to expect when you turn the shower head on.

There’s also a handy pocket situated at the front, great for stashing your soap and shampoo.

This is an upgraded version of Sportneer’s previous model, with a stronger handle, larger filling valve, a shower head that won’t leak, and handy velcro straps to hang the hose.

It’s available in 4 colors, black, blue, army green and camouflage.

The aftersales service is very good, and you get a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Pros:

  • Large 20L reservoir
  • Heats up in 3 hours
  • Temperature guage
  • Convenient pocket
  • Upgraded version
  • Nice color options

Cons:

  • You have to ensure that the lid and hose nozzle are screwed in as tight as possible to prevent leaks
Sportneer Solar Shower Bag, 20L/5 Gallon Camping Shower Bag Portable Solar Camp Shower Bag with Upgraded Removable Hose & On-Off Switchable Shower Head for Camping Beach Swimming Traveling Hiking
  • 💦 PORTABLE SOLAR SHOWER: Camping is great fun but don’t you just want to take a shower sometimes? No need to check into a hotel just to get clean—a rinse-off is just moments away with this solar-powered camping shower bag! This amazing device heats water up to 113°F (45°C) in 3 hours when exposed to direct sunlight. Wherever the sun shines, you can bring it to keep you clean, from camping trips, hunting, backpacking, boating or any other outdoor activities.
  • 💦 PREMIUM MATERIAL & BEST HEATING CAPACITY: Built tough to last through endless outdoor trips and travel, this camping shower bag is made of the right stuff. Thanks to the durable PVC materials, it can survive anything while heating quickly, and it’s non-toxic and friendly to the environment. If you put it on a tree branch it won’t rip or get snagged. Just place the army green side facing the sun and it absorbs enough sunlight to easily heat up the water inside.
  • 💦 LARGE WATER CAPACITY: Have multiple people that need a shower? No problem! Holding a capacity of 5 gallons (20 liters), it’s more than enough for several showers. As an added convenience, the front pocket holds your shower accessories! There’s even a temperature indicator (°C/°F) attached to the bag so you know exactly how hot your shower is going to be!
  • 💦 UPGRADED VERSION: In this improved and upgraded version, it has a better hose, shower head and water tap. For ease of use, the shower head has a convenient open/close switch to control the rate of water flow. Even with soapy hands, adjusting the valve is a piece of cake, and it won’t leak over time. The longer hose makes reaching all your spots a cinch, and it stays firmly attached, no matter what.
  • 💦 A FOCUS ON THE ESSENTIALS: Designed by our team of experts who make premium products across the board, we’re committed to making sure you have a quality product experience. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’ll guarantee that you will be 100% satisfied with the outcome. Customer service is our top priority !

4. Advanced Elements (SS761) Summer Solar Shower

Advanced Elements (SS761) Summer Solar Shower - 3 Gallon , Silver/Black

This solar shower comes form a great brand and comes highly recommended.

It’s basically a smaller and more affordable version of the ADVANCED ELEMENTS 5 Gallon Solar Shower that we showed you earlier. And has a lot of matching features.

It has a durable 4-ply construction, designed for optimal heat retention. It’s made up of a reflector panel, an insulator panel, a solar panel, the water reservoir and a clear window.

It has a large fill valve, so filling it up with water ready is as easy as can be.

You can turn the shower head on or off as you please. And you can stow away the hose when not in use with a handy little velcro strap.

There’s a handy pocket (and mirror) on one side to stash your soap or shower gel and shampoo, etc. And there are velcro straps for wash cloths too.

All you have to do is keep it clear side up so it’s getting sunlight.

We love the integrated water temperature gauge because it helps you to ensure that it’s reached a temperature you like before taking your shower.

When not in use, it rolls up for easy storage.

And it comes backed by a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty, which is reassuring.

Pros:

  • Comes from the top brand
  • Durable 4 ply construction
  • Large size fill valve
  • Handy pocket for sundries
  • Has a temperature gauge
  • Backed by a 1-year warranty

Cons:

  • Has a modest 3 gallon water reservoir rather than 5 gallon
Advanced Elements (SS761) Summer Solar Shower - 3 Gallon , Silver/Black
  • Camping shower; ideal for hiking, hunting, fishing, and other outdoor adventures
  • 3-gallon capacity; designed to heat water fast in the warm sun; has water temperature gauge
  • Extra-large filling valve with twist-off cap; wide carrying handles; Velcro straps for soap and shampoo
  • Extra-large filling valve with twist-off cap; wide carrying handles; Velcro straps for soap and shampoo
  • Rolls up for easy storage; covered by a one-year manufacturer

5. Coghlan’s Solar Heated Camp Shower

Coghlan's Solar Heated Camp Shower, 5-Gallon, Black

What we love about the most about this solar shower is the bargain price tag. You won’t find many solar showers much more affordable than this.

But despite being so apparently cheap, we can confirm that it’s of good quality, and has seen a lot of praise from those who’ve used it. On Amazon for example, more that 60 percent of customers rated it at 5 stars out of 5.

Of course, however, at this price you just don’t get fancy features such as a temperature gauge or a pocket to stash your soap. But those are luxury features rather than essential ones.

It has a 5 gallon water reservoir capacity, which is enough water for about 3 or 4 showers. And it’s just as easy to use as any other solar shower. Simply expose the bag to the sun and the water will heat up. The longer the exposure the higher the heat.

Although the bag is non-toxic, the manufacturer still does not recommend using it for drinling water.

Pros:

  • Bargain price tag
  • Large 5 gallon capacity
  • Easy to heat up and use
  • Went down well with customers

Cons:

  • No fancy features like a temperature gauge

Best Solar Shower For Van Buying Guide

As promised, here’s your buying guide.

Capacity

The bigger the water reservoir you have in the solar shower, the more hot water you get to enjoy. For families, we generally recommend that you go for a solar shower with at least a 5-gallon capacity.

Couples and singles may also enjoy a large reservoir capacity because it means you can take a nice long shower without having to worry about the water running out half way through.

Fabric and Connections

The last thing you’d want is for your solar shower to start leaking away before you’ve even had chance to use it. This is why you should look for solar showers that have thick, durable fabric. Ideally at least 2 ply, and a non-toxic fabric at that.

The stitching and connecting parts must also be top quality to prevent any disastrous leaks or spillages.

In addition to being thick enough to prevent leaks, the bag must also have excellent insulation properties. You don’t want all that nice heat dissipating away through the fabric.

Quick Heating

You don’t want to be waiting too long for your water to heat up. Most solar showers will get to a nice warm temperature after about 3 hours of exposure to direct sunlight.

But, please note, some manufacturers of solar showers do not put a figure to how long it will take for the water to heat up.

Temperature Gauge

We like solar showers that feature a temperature gauge. That way you can see whether your water has heated up enough for you yet, or whether to give it a little bit longer before taking your shower.

Pocket for Sundries

You might also be interested in a solar shower that features a pocket for your soap or gel and other sundries. Especially if the ground outside is dirty.

Large Water Inlet

For easy filling, we recommend going for solar showers that have a large diameter water inlet. That way, it’s easier to fill with most of the water going into the reservoir rather than sliding down the outside.

Hose Length

We would argue that the length of the shower’s hose isn’t particularly important. You don’t need to move the hose around too much to get clean, so long as you move around enough to get properly clean.

Brand

When it comes to summer solar showers, there are some brands that are clearly much better than others, with higher product sales together with much more positive customer feedback and ratings.

We would argue that the best brand for solar showers is Advanced Elements, and that is why we included two of their solar showers in our shortlist of top 5 picks.

Cost

Solar heated showers can vary in price from as little as under $10 to over $40. The main differentiating factor in price is the capacity of the shower, and whether there’s also a pump included.

When shopping for anything online, our advice, as always, is to check the prices of items as you go along. That way you can learn what your money buys you, so you can make a well-informed decision when setting your budget.

Customer Ratings And Reviews

When shopping for anything online, you have the opportunity to check out customer ratings and reviews. What you should be looking for on sites like Amazon are products where over 50% of customers have rated the item at 5 stars out of 5. That way you know you’re onto a winner.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a solar shower? How does it work?

A solar shower is a container, usually a bag, with a solar panel attached, along with a hose and shower head.

You will need to fill the bag’s reservoir up with water before you leave for your trip, and when you get to your destination, you simply hang the bag in the sun for a few hours.

The solar panel converts the sunlight energy into heat, and the bag of water serves as insulation. Once you’ve got the water to a temperature you like, you simply turn on the shower head and take your shower.

Are solar showers any good?

We think solar showers are great. They are so simple to use and you can have your shower virtually anywhere, so long as you have something to hang it from.

You can take it on a hiking trip or to the beach. And if you fill it to its maximum you should be able to get several showers out of it before you run out of water.

They heat up reasonably quickly to similar temperatures that you’d enjoy at home. And all without eating up your van’s battery, or your generator’s battery.

But we’re going to level with you here and say that you don’t necessarily get a power shower. The water that comes out is usually more of a trickle.

What is the best solar shower?

After much deliberation, we felt that the best solar shower around is the Beaucares Camping Shower Bag. Not only does it have a very large capacity of 5 gallons. But it also has a range of other great features as well.

These include the likes of a large shower head, adjustable water flow, an integrated temperature gauge that features both Fahrenheit and Celsius, a large water inlet, and a pocket to store your shower gel.

Do solar showers work in winter?

We are pleased to report some good news on this front. A good quality solar shower such as the ones that made our shortlist of top 5 picks will work all year round.

However, they do tend to heat up far quicker under direct sunlight than when the sky is clouded over.

How do you install a solar shower?

Please refer to this YouTube video which shows you exactly how you can install a solar shower bag by hanging it on a nearby tree: Easy Way to Hang Up a Solar Shower Bag – How To

Unfortunately, solar showers do not come with rope and carabiners included, and you will have to buy these separately.

How can I save water when using a solar shower?

Solar showers have a limited amount of water in their reservoir, so you don’t want to waste any of it.

We recommend that you try to limit the amount of water that you use for each shower. We suggest a shower of just 7 minutes per person.

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