To buy Shower/Toilet or not!

Submitted: Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 15:32
ThreadID: 34012 Views:9171 Replies:15 FollowUps:5
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We have pretty much decided to purchase a Windsor Rapid, what is holding us up is whether to get it with a shower/toilet or not. We will be staying mostly at caravan parks, however, we have a very young family and I wonder if it will be useful having our own shower. I understand I can just use a porta potti for night time toilet trips etc, but I would hate to not get the shower and wish I had, or have it and never use it. Can anyone tell me about their experience of the pro's and con's of having a shower in their caravan. I would much appreciate your feedback.
ps. if you have any feedback on the windsor rapid versus the jayco expanda (our other option) I would love to hear it.
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Reply By: Outbacktourer - Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 15:56

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 15:56
Had a Winnebago with a young family for 4 years. Hardly ever used the shower. I'd just go the porta potti.
AnswerID: 173365

Follow Up By: Johnny boy - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 10:23

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 10:23
Mate Im having the same Delimer so let me know your choice as it may influence me and what size Rapid are u buying are you from N.S.W ? I have had a close look at the Expana and I still think the rapid is the way to go Im going 14.6 ATV and I think Im going for the ext shower with the atachable tent and you just leave the porta potti out there , anyway good luck .

Regards J.B.
FollowupID: 429453

Reply By: flappa - Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 15:56

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 15:56
If you intend to mostly use Cvan parks , personally , I wouldn't bother with the shower. There are many alternatives available for that.

I WOULD get the porta potti provision , I think that would be useful , but thats usually either , under the bed , or under a seat, rather then the shower/toilet cubicle.
AnswerID: 173366

Reply By: Alan H - Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 16:25

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 16:25
Hi Ju.
I've just sold a Rapid and never bothered with either. Couldn't stand the thought of emptying the bog in the morning after smelling what others were getting rid of!

Showers and toilets in most of the many parks I've stayed at have been well looked after but during school holidays they tend to get abused a bit.
(Parents take no notice of signs saying that kids under certain ages (30?) should be accompanied by an adult).
Lots of the grey nomads disappear at these times and get going back out after the kids have gone back.

As for differences between the two, I'd say the Rapid is better value and ours really held it's value so much so that we got about the same as we'd paid 4 years earlier.
Happy vanning and try not to be a "mobile roadblock" as some of our speedier forum contributors say we are.
AnswerID: 173367

Reply By: Flash - Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 16:32

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 16:32
It's a bit like business class.... once spoilt, you hate to go back.
Having said that, with a young family, it would probably not be so good. For one thing, you run out of hot water very quickly in a van.(only 22litres hot water) I think that with kids I'd be sending them off to the facilities elsewhere!

Have had a number of vans, with only the latest with shower and toilet- we did many miles over many years with four children and never had that luxury, but it never seemed to matter. When we free camped, the shower tent worked a treat.
The kids don't come with us anymore... now it's nice to have a shower and 'loo.
AnswerID: 173369

Reply By: Kimberly Kruiser - Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 16:50

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 16:50
G'day Ju

Toilet/shower take up a lot of room in a van, specially family type van where space may be at a premium.
Have you considered a porta loo (stored under a bed, etc) and an external shower.
Don't forget to have extra water tank/s fitted if having any shower option fitted. Even the most frugal, will use several litres of water per shower.

AnswerID: 173375

Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 20:31

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 20:31
Yeah agree totally, the external shower would be the only thing I would get if I was to change vans again. When you do camp out it would be nice not to go to all the hassle of setting up the Glind on the car, then pack it all up again to go for a drive.
But I wouldn't waste the room inside the van for a shower either, so if it's not available as an external, I wouldn't bother.

Regards Trevor.
FollowupID: 429349

Follow Up By: Member - Stillthinkinaboutit - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 09:44

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 09:44
I am with Wal and Trevor on this one.

Our Windsor Rapid has the external shower, great idea for the times when you free camp and it doesn't take up any internal space. Our configuration has two water tanks and a gas hot water system. Just carry a Porta Potti for those places that don't have some form of toilet and you will be right.

FollowupID: 429448

Reply By: chips59 - Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 18:21

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 18:21
I had a 22ft jayco with shower and toilet, the bride kept using the water to fast and the first time i used the toilet i was told i stink to much and will have to use the park toilets. (seems someone Else's doesn't smell). Anyway for the extra cost and the room it takes up I'd forget it, go the portaloo. We have now got a windsor rapid, had it for two years now and love it. No shower or loo. Had a 12v point put in on the out side by the door and have our shower tent right there. We use the colman hot water unit and all works a treat.
AnswerID: 173389

Reply By: Old Scalyback & denny - Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 19:00

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 19:00
goodday ju
big decision we have both in our van and will keep getting both no kids these days and as per i post try not to use tiolet for no2 but its great if your on a long road
if you decide to go with the shower make sure you get gas/electric type so that when in a park you use both there watwer and power

AnswerID: 173392

Reply By: Member - Captain (WA) - Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 19:17

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 19:17
Hi Ju,

I had a Windsor Rapid without the shower/toilet but did have a portapotti. I recently sold mine, camper trailer planned for next, with a van some time down the track again. Interesting reading others opinions, but personally when I get another van I will be getting a shower/toilet. Not that I plan to use it all the time, more as a midnight emergency and shower option for those places where you wouldn't wash your dog.

The way I look at it, there is enough room in the Rapids that having a shower/toilet is a nice luxury that doesn't have to be used if the other facilities are up to scratch. Also, with young kids it will be a real blessing, ours were 2/4 when we got the van and 6/8 when we sold it - a vast difference in their abilities re:toilets and showers. Look at it this way, if you have a shower/toilet you can use it as required, but without it, you never can and I bet there will always be the time you wish you had it.

Also, would thoroughly recommned the Rapid over the Expanda.

All just my opinion, ymmv


AnswerID: 173394

Reply By: Member - Russell B (SA) - Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 19:47

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 19:47
If you've got one and don't use it then so what.

However, last weekend we rocked up at the CP and the ladies was under repair. No big deal, just use the shower and ensuite no biggie.

SWMBO uses the shower all the time, doesn't have to transport all the paints etc, and most of all, I don't have to do escort duty at three in the morning.

Wouldn't be without.

Couldn't advise anyone not to get one.


AnswerID: 173398

Reply By: Dazmit - Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 19:52

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 19:52
Hi Ju

We have a 16'6" Kedron offroad van with a 6 YO son and no int shower toilet - takes up a lot of space in van and most van shower cubicles are squeezy for 1 prson let alone trying to shower a child as well as yourself. We use a porta potti and have a gas/elec HWS which is great for the sink and also external shower where we use a pop up shower tent.
That setup works well for us although ext shower might not be so great in Vic or Tassie. Sometimes I think a int shower would be good for overnighter free camps but in reality the shower would only be used for 20 mins a day and the big club lounge in it's place gets far more use.

Enjoy your travels - it's a great lifestyle and the kids will love it.


AnswerID: 173400

Reply By: djpatrol - Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 20:57

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 20:57
We updated to a 18 ft van shower/toilet 2 years ago wondered what we did all those years without one, when campin out now we mainly use a 12v $19.95 an a bucket of water cause its easy to run out of water (2x59liter) we use this in the shower or in our shower tent, But the loo well it speaks for itself you dont hav to find ya way in the dark an its easy to get back to sleep no number 2,s.But over all if i was ever to get another van most defitnally it would have both again an if planned right like mine is plenty of room left inside .So go on go for the lot.
AnswerID: 173421

Follow Up By: BBB - Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 21:41

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 21:41
We have had a Traveler Gladiator 19ft van for 6 months, I have a external shower and porta poty and a shower toilet tent that is (2100 L x 1200 W) which ataches to a sail track onthe side of the van and uses two tent posts and ropes on the out side of the unit. I had a external flro fited to the off side of the van below the sail track so there is light in the tent at night.this works very well gives you mutch more space in the van. As a Plumber i would also concider what damage steam and water will do over time.

Cost to have the sower ten made was $220.00 from the Local Canvas Place.

Good Luck

FollowupID: 429377

Reply By: Derek from Affordable Batteries & Radiators - Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 22:36

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 22:36
My van has shower and toilet. Great !

Prefer to use my own than some of the parks around.

A few tips...

Use good quality chemicals and double the dose. Empty every 2nd day.

Throw the shower head away and fit a garden spray head with adjustable spray. Learn to soap up and then rinse off. We can get 4 to 6 showers from the hot water. Measured the shower and each person uses 5 to 7 ltrs. We only have 160 L on board and have learnt to make it last 4 days.

I would never go back to a porta potty the electric THETFORD Cassette Toilet is great.

Regards Derek.
AnswerID: 173445

Reply By: Muzzgit (WA) - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 00:05

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 00:05
I don't have kids and I don't have a caravan but having seen how big the shower is in these caravans, I imagine it would be fun trying to shower a toddler in one!

Also, cold woolly nights it would be fun...shower on, get wet.....shower off, soap up....shower on, soap off....BRRRRR
AnswerID: 173455

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 04:57

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 04:57

Had 6 years camping in a van, during the 80's, with one, then 2 toddlers. Definitely go for the shower. Wde were camping on stations, and never spent a night in a van park.

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 173467

Reply By: troopy_wonderer - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 07:23

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 07:23
Have Jayco Heritage 22' with separate on-suite (shower & toilet), been on the road for 3 years. Would not do without shower & toilet. NO No.2 and it doesn't stink. Can't imagine going to park facility in cold, rainy night all the time (have to do that for No,2)
AnswerID: 173471

Follow Up By: troopy_wonderer - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 08:05

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 08:05
Change the shower head to a AAA water saving head and you can have 15 minutes hot shower before hot water runs out. It takes 20 minutes to recover for gas heater. We use approx. $1 gas per day for 2 persons inc. hot shower, cooking, dish washing etc.
FollowupID: 429428

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