Originally Posted by Pritikin
One random guys perspective...
"Shower" and "Bathroom" are entirely different things.
A shower is a difficult thing. It takes up a lot of space and uses a lot of water etc. and everything gets wet anyway. As much as I really like showers I'll probably avoid having one until I'm in some beast of a motorhome/trailer. I've found a careful sponge bath works well enough. Washing my wife's hair on a long trip has been a two person job ("water boy! pour hot water, please!"). And of course in the summer a sun shower works well. The first thing I'll improve in this area will be an outdoor privacy curtain setup followed by water supply.
A bathroom is a private place. A portapotty would be more than sufficient for us; so we don't even carry one. When somebody else is in the van it isn't "private" so when in the wilderness we find a private place outside. We have a stash of 'wag bags' that see infrequent use but are extremely valuable when needed. We have a "pickle jar" that's seen some use when stealth camping in cities. If outside isn't a private place then somebody would have to go take a walk which isn't ideal but we're in a van afterall! shrug. At least we have the option.
(A wag bag in an emptied bucket or shoe bin makes a perfectly fine "porta potty" for the infrequent times we've ever needed it. If this ooks you out then perhaps buying a real porta potty. I find the tradeoff acceptable since I never need to clean anything out -- just toss the bag in the first trash you find.)
I'm in this boat^^^. Now if I had a Sprinter I would have a shower/head combo. Size matters in this issue IMO. Black water tanks take up a fairly large space under the van. If you have room for a porta pottie, don't mind to service it, more power to you and I'd say that is the way to go.
Of all the things that refresh me, a submariners bath is fine in most cases but just a shampoo in itself is refreshing. I can get several hair appointments
with a 18 gallon tank. As long as you are conservative with the trigger on the shower wand, you'd be surprised how many full body showers you'll get. Also there is always waterless shampoo which I use a lot.
I have an Espar Hydronic but can also just use the flat plate for showers provided the engine is hot.
I'm not into heavy side sports and a sponge type bath usually supply me enough comfort plus uses a fraction of the water. I have both a rear and side shower wands. In a Ford van you can make a goat yoked shower curtain off the two rear back doors when open. Of course every insect flying around might find their way into the van. I use the side shower port and a pop up privi to shower in when the bugs are out but really the pop up is the way to go 99% of the time.
The pop up shelter also serves as a private head and I too use wag-bags when necessary. Added cat litter helps with oder but I have to admit disposal can be an issue. You need to find a dumpster. Yet generally its easier than dumping a porta pottie and I enjoy not having to dump or clean any portable or marine head. If you have family, dumping a black water tank isn't as bad as having to dump something a group of friends left behind for ya...just a mindset I guess.
I will say, with a guy only having to step outside for most mother nature calls, it's quite simple. YMMV Cold don't stop me but rain is an issue. The pop up is handy except in adverse weather such as high winds. As far has the head, a five gallon bucket can be used and can be stowed in a bag that serves as a holder and garbage bag. I use white water bags lashed to the rear of the vehicle and the bucket serves as a container to hold the unused wag-bags, cat litter, and lid. Much more comfortable than a groover.
At times I carry this one and prefer it:
I also won a backpack canoe head that I've never seen before but there are some similar types out on the market. Guess you could make your own. I stow it inside the van for those late night emergencies