If you are setting up a bathroom in a Pop-Up camper, you should know its pros and cons. Setting up a bathroom in a camper requires different settings than a regular RV or motorhome.
Does a Pop-Up Camper Have a Bathroom? Yes, few designs of pop-up campers come with bathrooms installed in them. In the absence of one, you can set your customized bathroom. The presence of bathrooms facilitates travelers to attend to their needs while also helping them relax by taking showers. Due to space limitations, bathrooms’ construction in a pop-up camper requires unique designs, accessories, and settings.
Does a Pop-Up Camper Have a Bathroom?
A pop-up camper is compact, having tented or even hard-sided walls foldable for transportation purposes.
Its limited space and compact design require special arrangements and specialized sets of accessories to set up its interior.
A bathroom is a must-have item for a camper to ensure your privacy and comfort level while enjoying the camping experience.
It requires careful design to optimize the space utilization while protecting the interior from moisture. Further modifications need its construction to be foldable according to other accessories.
Importance of having a bathroom in a pop-up camper
Having a bathroom in a pop-up camper has significance, keeping in view the various aspects of your journey. Its importance becomes manifold if you are traveling or camping with your family.
Privacy is one of the key considerations at a camping site or traveling on a highway in other people’s presence.
There are chances of privacy compromise when nature calls and you have to go outside in the woods. It becomes a headache if you have to stay at a place for a long time and have family and children.
Having a toilet in the camper is a necessary commodity that enables you to preserve your privacy while fulfilling your hygiene requirements.
The only option available while traveling on highways is public restrooms. It restricts your staying options, and you have to find a place near areas having shared bathrooms available.
Otherwise, you have to go in the wild or bushes to relax yourselves. Moreover, in other travelers’ presence, you have to wait for your turn to use the restrooms or take showers.
Therefore, setting up a bathroom with toilet and shower options in your camper makes your journey convenient, and you can set your camp at any site of your desire.
To Relax by Taking a Shower
After the hectic camping routine of a full day, you need a shower to clean up yourself and relax your body’s tiredness.
The presence of a bathroom with a shower option and water tank will provide a cozy bath to massage your body.
You will feel relaxed for enjoyment on a new day with full energy and zest. It also saves you from waiting in long queues for your turn to use the public bathrooms.
Limitations of Having a Bathroom in a Pop-up Camper
Pop-up campers are small RVs with a foldable nature, and you can easily tow them with small vehicles or even bikes.
Most of them have tented walls, and people purchase due to their economical cost and portable nature.
There are few issues that you should address before setting up a bathroom in the pop-up camper.
However, you can purchase the one with a built-in bathroom facility by paying a few extra bucks if you can afford it.
Typical sizes of pop-up campers can vary from 7′ to 16′ in length and 6′ to 8′ in width in a folded condition.
However, the space available after their setup can increase up to 1.5 to 02 times. Managing the bathroom in this limited area is a tricky job.
Portable accessories used in these bathrooms require specific methods to flush the waste and get rid of it. In malfunctioning, toilets can produce a backflow of debris and cause a foul smell in the cabin.
Mostly these toilets are installed along bedside, therefore require special maintenance and cleaning requirements to avoid bad smell in the area.
Require plenty of water
If you install a shower in your bathroom, you need a water tank of sufficient capacity to fulfill your cleaning requirement.
Otherwise, you have to stay near the areas having water sources available. It requires at least 05-06 gallons of water for a single bath.
Therefore, a dedicated water tank with 15-20 gallons of storage capacity is an essential entity to take showers for 3-4 persons.
Campers having financial constraints opt for pop-up campers. The addition of a bathroom in the cabin requires extra costs. Therefore owners having limited funds do not opt for the pop-up campers having fully furnished bathrooms.
Accessories in the Bathroom of a Pop-Up Camper
Standard accessories required for a bathroom are toilet, shower, sink, taps, water heater/geyser, water storage, and waste tank.
There are various types in the market, having different sizes, designs, and materials. Installation of each type requires specific settings.
We will discuss the details and their location in a pop-up camper here.
Types of Toilets in a Pop-Up Camper
A toilet is an integral part of the bathroom that ensures convenience and privacy for you and your family because of its frequent usage. There are various types of portable toilets by different manufacturers varying in size and designs.
All these types of toilets have similar construction materials. They have lightweight but durable polyurethane plastics for flush tanks, seats, and covers because of their portability.
Waste holding tanks and other accessories can have PVC materials in their construction. Larger campers with fixed toilets can also be made of ceramic bowls to give the feel of an actual bathroom at home.
Some of the popular types of toilets used in campers are cassette type, portable known as porta-potties, composting, and recirculating toilets. These types vary in their sizes, designs, and their working mechanism.
It is feasible for pop-up campers because of its small size and self-reliance for waste storage as it has a small storage tank for waste.
It has a fixed toilet assembly like seat, bowel, and flush tank, while the waste holding tank is removable and can be located underneath the toilet or outside the pop-up camper.
Its regular operation requires filling the flush tank with fresh water up to the prescribed level. Next, add the chemicals in the waste tank or storage tank beneath the toilet to suppress any foul smell.
There is a knob to open the blade valve and one to flush the toilet. Use the bathroom, wash it 2-3 times and open the valve to transfer the toilet waste to the holding tank.
You will find an indicator on the cassette toilet’s front side that shows the waste tank level. When the waste reaches the maximum level, you should empty it by detaching it from the toilet assembly.
Recirculating Type Toilet
This toilet has a small pump or chopper system installed that turns solid waste into small pieces and stores it in a holding tank underneath.
You have to fill the tank with water and add any deodorizing chemical to it. It processes the waste and reuses it for flushing the bowl until you empty the holding tank.
It has an advantage because you don’t have to fill the flush tank each time it gets emptied. Instead, you flush your toilet with that used water multiple times.
The only drawback associated with it is the stinking smell caused by wastewater reuse various times.
These are small toilets with a flush tank, a seat, and a waste holding tank. All three parts are part of a movable assembly of small size that you can store underneath the bed or in a cabinet.
Its working principle is the same as cassette type except for its portability. For a small RV like a pop-up camper, a portable toilet is a perfect solution.
This toilet option requires chemicals to dispose of human waste by promoting aerobic decomposition in a separate tank underneath the toilet seat. To allow for a sufficient oxygen supply, you should have a vent in the waste holding tank.
You do not need a fresh water supply to flush the bowl and dispose of the waste. It is also called a dry toilet.
Its disadvantage includes more space requirements and smell in the absence of aerobic decomposition. Moreover, it is easy to empty as compared to cassette-type toilets.
How to set up a toilet in a Pop-Up Camper?
Different types of toilets utilize space according to their requirements. All kinds of toilets except portable ones require fixed installation and dedicated space.
Therefore you need to allocate a 3×3 area for composite and recirculating types. According to the design, waste handling tanks also require separate space underneath the toilet or any other side.
Cassette-type designs utilize comparatively less space, and an area of 2×2 feet is sufficient for their installation. On the other hand, portable toilets require a small place of 1×1 for their settings.
They are incredibly lightweight, and you can store them under the bed or cabinet after use. Therefore, it is the number one choice as it requires no special arrangements for its installation. Moreover, it fulfills the sanitation and hygiene requirements of a small family of 3-4 persons.
The average price of Camper Toilets
Toilets suitable for a pop-up camper come in a variety of brands, designs, and sizes. Therefore, their price can vary according to your requirement. Here is a table of tentative prices for all four types of toilets.
|Type||Price Range||Water Requirement|
|Cassette Type||$450-600||Plenty for each flush|
|Recirculating||$500-700||One time after emptying the waste tank|
|Portable||$80-200||Small amount for each flush|
The selection of toilets depends upon the available budget, water availability, and ease of operation.
Empty the waste tank every 3-4 days or whenever level indicators show full status.
Use recommended chemicals to avoid foul smell.
How to add a shower in a Pop-up camper?
Installing a shower in your pop-up camper requires design changes to install a shower and curtain walls to avoid water spread in your cabin and water drainage system or waste tank.
Showerheads and fitting pipes do not require any specific materials for their construction. Portable showers mostly have plastic parts and flexible rubber pipes with valves attached to control water flow.
Permanently fitted showers have more options like PVC fittings, flexible pipes, SS, and plastic showerheads. Therefore, you can choose the options according to your style and budget requirements.
There are two options available to enjoy the bath during your camping experience: a portable shower and a permanently fixed shower.
There are a variety of portable showers available for an indoor or outdoor bath. The simplest of all is a gravity-fed water shower with a shower head installed at the lower end of your water container.
Water pressure is a result of gravity. The only requirement is to place the water source at some height to increase the flow of water.
The second type is a hand or foot-operated pump installed with a water container to increase the water pressure for showering purposes. It is a portable option, and you can shower outside your camper.
Another option can be a 12 or 24VDC rechargeable battery-operated pump installed with a water source and showerhead.
You can recharge it in your pop-up camper and enjoy the bath whenever you require and according to water availability.
Permanently Fitted Showers
If you allocate a dedicated space for the bathroom in your pop-up camper, you can install a tightly fitted shower.
These designs have similar showerheads as regular bathrooms except to have less water flow due to the limited water supply. They also require a water tank with your camper and an electric pump to allow water pressure.
Setting up a Portable Shower
Setting up a portable shower does not require any special arrangements. You put a water container or bag at some height, open the valve and enjoy the bath. It is not an option if your family has to take a shower.
To install a permanently fitted shower, you need to hire a plumber for all the pipe fitting and connections with the water tank.
Furthermore, you need to install curtain walls made of some waterproof material, including canvas, fiberglass, or PVC panels, to avoid moisture in the rest of the cabin.
The bathroom floor should also be of impermeable material and water drainage to the wastewater tank. Some modern, pop-up campers come with dedicated, fully furnished bathrooms.
You can do it on your own to save money by installing polythene sheets and a bucket to collect the water during showering. You have to spend a few dollars to have a properly fitted bathroom with all accessories.
Portable showers are economical, and their price with water bags of 2-3 gallons capacity is in a range of $25-50.
Properly fitted showers with plastic showerheads have a price range of $15-20, while for the ones made of stainless steel, the cost can vary from $50-60.
Install the showers in an enclosed area with a proper drainage system to the pop-up camper’s grey tank.
Use SS shower heads for durable and efficient operation.
Install the showerhead with a pressure-regulated valve for the optimal bathing experience.
How to add a sink in the Pop up camper?
The sink is a commonly used item at our homes in kitchens and washrooms. They are available in a variety of styles, colors, brands, and materials.
Sinks for campers come in different shapes and designs, keeping in view the cabin’s space limitations. Most of them have oval, triangular, rectangular, or round shapes to perfectly fit the bathroom’s limited space.
You can visit any online store or specialized brands to look for the variety of sinks available and select the one having a feasible size and style of your choice.
Sinks should be lightweight and of small size. You will find plastic, stainless steel, acrylic, composites, ceramics, and stones as their construction material.
People usually prefer plastic ones as they are inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to install. Other options can be adapted according to your budget constraints and add a style factor to your bathroom.
Setting up a sink in the bathroom does not require any special arrangements. Install the sink along the bathroom wall with the help of screws.
Mostly they are installed near the door of the bathroom to have easy access. However, due to the bathroom’s limited size, your toiletries can get wet while taking a bath. Therefore, you should place them in a separate place or cover them while taking a shower.
The cost of sinks depends upon their size and material of construction. You can find the suitable one by the market survey. Here is a tentative price range for sinks of different materials available online.
|Type of Shower||Price Range|
Choose the sink size to fit in the available space correctly.
Install the faucets to match the style and available holes in the sink.
Choose a compact design with splash-free properties.
Add Water Taps/Faucets
You can use the regular water taps installed with sinks at our homes for the bathroom in a camper.
Campers with built-in washrooms have faucets installed made of simple plastic or lighter materials. However, you can replace them with any design and materials of your choice.
Make sure to have the new tap fittings match that of the newly installed sink. In the case of loose-fitting, you have to face the problems like leakage and corrosion with time.
The price range of faucets varies from $30 to $55 for different materials, from plastic to SS and other designs.
Add a heater in a popup camper bathroom
A heater is a luxury with a bathroom shower to enjoy a bath with warm water during the winter season. Options available in this case are an electric heater or the one working on propane. You can choose the one according to your requirement and availability of propane or electricity.
An electric heater is an expensive option as it requires power from batteries or a vehicle’s engine to operate. In comparison, propane or LPG is a cheaper option to burn for heating water.
Some people even use solar energy to warm up water in portable water containers and showers. However, that is not a reliable option, especially during the winter season.
Therefore, install the electric or propane heater of suitable capacity to enjoy your bath in a hassle-free manner. You will find the heaters in the market having both options.
Add a Water Tank
You can mount the water tanks of varying capacities ranging from 10 gallons to 30 gallons under the floor of a pop-up camper.
You can enhance the storage capacity according to your camping routine and the availability of water nearby. Some people also keep aqua cans of 7-10 gallons capacity to have enough supply to fulfill their requirements for a week or so in the area’s absence of water.
The freshwater supply system has a pump installed with the tank to ensure supply to the bathroom and kitchen with enough pressure.
Drainage system/waste tank
Pop-up campers have a black water tank to collect the sewer waste in case of a properly fitted bathroom. Toilet and shower water accumulates in this tank before its disposal.
The tank can be installed underneath the floor and have storage capacity varying from 5-10 gallons depending upon the vehicle’s design and requirements.
It is important to regularly evacuate this tank to avoid foul smell and backflow of this wastewater into the cabin. The government has dedicated spots to empty the waste tank of campers.
We must evacuate the waste to those designated places to avoid dispersal of human feces in the environment and causing pollution.
Do all Popup Campers have Bathrooms?
Some hard-sided walls pop-up campers have built-in dedicated bathrooms with relevant accessories. You can purchase them by paying an extra amount as they are expensive ones.
However, in case of limited funds, you can purchase the one without a bathroom and set up the one on your own by spending a small amount.
You can also use a simple option with a portable toilet and shower instead of a fully furnished bathroom. It is up to your purchasing capacity as there are plenty of options available for each commodity according to different buyers.
How to protect campers from water during showers?
The presence of showers in the bathroom of a pop-up camper is the main reason for moisture in the cabin.
Take measures to stop water splashes and steam leaking into the bathroom cabin to avoid condensation. You should use waterproof materials like polythene sheets or PVC cabins with sealed corners to prevent any leakage.
The use of special rubber seals at the door frame and utility connections entering the bathroom will also serve the purpose and reduce the humidity level. Keep the windows open after the bath so that fresh air enters the cabin and ventilates the area. The use of an air heater can also dry things up.
Preventive measures to avoid malfunctioning of camper bathrooms
Maintaining the bathroom is vital in a limited space like a pop-up camper to ensure a relaxed and smooth environment in the cabin. Few tips regarding the maintenance of the toilet are:
● Regularly evacuate the waste holding tank to avoid foul smell in the cabin.
● Use recommended deodorizing and composting chemicals as recommended in the user manual of the toilet.
● Check weekly all the water supply and waste tank connections to detect any leakage or any free connection and fix it immediately.
● Ensure that the tank’s water drainage system works correctly and there is no stagnant water in the bathroom cabin.
● Read the instruction manual with each bathroom accessory, especially the toilet, to ensure proper operation and avoid malfunctioning. You can also seek online guidance from experts.
You can purchase the pop-up camper having bathrooms installed in it to enjoy a luxurious and convenient camping experience by paying extra money.
While in case of limited funds, you can establish the bathroom in a popup camper by yourself by purchasing the desirable accessories to fulfill your needs in the available budget.
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