How much water does a rv shower use (And tips to save rv water)

How much water does a rv shower use (And tips to save rv water)

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Rv water shower is an important aspect of rving. A lot of people find it difficult on how to use the fresh water properly in rv. On an average a rv shower will use around 30-35 gallons of water per day.

Having said this, it will obviously vary for people. But, considering you are a couple having a single kid, this is what should be your usage per day for shower. In terms of liters it will be 95 liters to 135 liters to be precise. Now, that’s a lot of water. Most people will find themselves using this much water but not all, as it all depends on the time you spend under the shower and the flow rate.

A high flow rate clubbed together with more time will mean lots of water gone through that fresh water tank into the grey holding tank. With fresh water tank sizes not so big, you should always think about the other usages in rv before taking that long shower. A conservative way of using water in rv can be of great help to have a happy camping.

Water is the most important part of camping, specially if you are boondocking and you don’t have the water resources available whenever you need them. Remember, there are lots of other usages of fresh water and taking too much water for showers can make it hard for you during the rest of the time in camping.

Here is my previous article on how to increase the rv water pressure. There are several ways of doing it, do check it out.

How much water on an average is needed in rv everyday

Lets see how much water is normally needed for a rver in a days camping. Fresh water is needed for cooking, drinking, toilet flushing, teeth brushing, hand wash and taking bath. You may need close to around 40-50 gallons of fresh water while dry camping. As we already saw, for showers it could be as high as 35 gallons per day. For cooking, the water usage will vary depending on how many people are present in the rv for camping.

On an average you should be able to spend around 6-8 gallons or even less for cooking and quick utensil washes. It depends on the type of food you prepare and it could be even less for cooking. The next is for toilet flushing, considering 3 people in rv you may use up to 8-10 flushes and that may mean around 15-20 gallons of water gone in black water tank. Other things like brushing, washing hands or any other cleaning could take away 5-8 gallons per day.

How many showers are possible in rv per day

Its upto you how you want to utilize the water in your rv. Considering you wont have any water source once you head-on for camping, you could have around 4-5 showers in total on an average. At least a 80 gallon tank wouldn’t allow for more. If you have the bigger tank, more than 120 gallons then may be upto 8-10 showers of not more than 10-12 minutes could be possible.

It all depends on the time you spend for a single shower, a 20 minutes shower by a single person would take away extra 20 gallons and reduce the number of total showers, people can take. Kids tend to take more time for shower and that too can reduce the water more. It all depends on how you utilize the water during shower. A person using lots of soap, shampoo will end up using more water for shower.

The main thing you need to remember here is a shower in your home bathroom is different when you enter the rv shower. Yes, a class A rv would give you the luxury of tremendous big water storage but same may not possible with a travel trailer or class C RV. Most rv’s will have a limited gallons capacity and with that, its always going to be different. A flow rate of 2 gallons or more could just take out your water from the tank so quickly. Hence, its also important to use the proper flow rate shower head. This shower head by oxygenics (on amazon) is a perfect buy for your RV. it amplifies the water pressure and saves a lot of water. Do check its current price.

Fresh water tank size in different rv’s

You have to limit yourself when under a rv shower because of the limited size of the fresh water tank. Different rv’s have varying tank sizes and it all depends on the type of rv you have. A few days ago i spent whole day doing the detail analysis on tank sizes in different RV types (fresh and holding tanks) and that made many things clear, do check it out.

A class A rv will obviously have big fresh water tank and that will give you the freedom of usage. But, with other rv’s the tank size will be limiting and you need to be careful while using the water.

The obvious reason why water tanks are limiting is because you would need more space and it would put on extra weight on the rv. Specifically, with towable rv’s like travel trailer or fifth wheels, the weight is a major factor. A bigger tank can put on that extra weight, although plastic water tank may not be much. A gallon of water weighs around 8.35 pounds and thus, more the water more will be the weight. A 60 gallons of water will mean those extra 500 pounds.

A class A rv on an average comes with a fresh water tank with a capacity of around 50 gallons to 75 gallons. A class C rv on the other hand could be of similar or little less in capacity that is around 45 gallons to 60 gallons. A travel trailer, normally on an average will have a tanks size of 35 gallons to 60 gallons. Fifth wheels provide good fresh water tank sizes and, on an average could be between 50 to 75 gallons.

Other smaller campers like pop up campers will come with much less as they may not have facilities like toilet or shower. Lots of people also do customization to the water tanks and increase the capacity. Specially, if you are a big family with 2 or more kids then the water need increases much.

How long should you take a shower in rv

With fresh water tank sizes being around 50-60 gallons, you could possibly spend just over 30 gallons for showers and with this calculation a shower should not be more than 15 minutes. A 10 minutes shower will take away approximately 15 gallons of water.

If there are 4 people, then you will end up spending more than 40 gallons and that could be a difficult situation if you don’t have a refill option for fresh water tank. The better thing to do could be, to set the water pressure at minimum by using a proper shower head. A higher flow rate quickly takes the water out and spends more water in less time.

An ideal flow rate could be less than 1.5 gallons per minute. A home shower heads generally have more than 2 gallons per minute flow rate but having such rate in rv could be a bad thing. So, next time you want to replace a shower head in your rv make sure you chose the right one. Also, its better to have a one that comes with easy switch-on switch-off facility. Taking shower for long should be avoided while you are camping without easy water refill options.

How much is the shower flow rate in rv – whats the best flow rate to have

Shower’s in home bathroom can be fancy. You get lots of variety and new things keep coming in market. A shower experience can be dependent on lots of things. Some of the best shower experience include multiple shower sprays from different directions. No, i am not talking about shower experience in rv. This was for home and you never get this kind of things in rv’s. You need to have something economical in terms of water expenditure.

Normally you would get 2 gallons per minute flow rate in most of the shower heads. But, you also get less flow rate one’s. Like a 1.5 gallons per minute shower head could be a good thing to have. In some shower heads, you will also get adjustable shower sprays. Also, shut of valves will be present in higher flow rate ones. The better ones will be little costly and if you opt for the simple ones that could cost you little less.

Many times when you buy a new rv, you end up getting poor quality shower heads that may not be good enough for both good experience as well as economical usage. Thus, lot of people end up replacing them with better quality and a good economical flow rate one’s. Not only low flow rate is important to make good usage of water but also you should be able to pick the right features in shower head. Try to get shower heads with below features for your RV.

1. Good gallons per minute rate : Choose a economical flow rate, mostly 1.5 gpm should work for many but you can also try for something lesser if available. Dry camping can be a pain if your shower rate is high. With no direct water connection, a low flow rate is the best solution for your shower in rv.

2. Shower handling : hand held showers can be of great use and will also help in better usability. Mostly, the rv’s would come with hand handled showers but if it didn’t then try and get one installed. It can come great for children as well.

3. A valve to shut of the shower : a shut of valve can be great to save water. This will help prevent water loss unnecessarily. This can also help in getting the correct temperature water upto you.

Remember while in  shower you have to put on the soap, shampoo and that will take multiple shower cycles and with a proper shower head you can reduce the overall water spending. A good shower head will always save you on water and also provide good shower experience.


A shower in rv can be nice, specially during high temperatures. Amount of water spent through showers mostly depend on the time you spend under shower. Boondocking needs proper planning when it comes to water and thus, practicing small-small things can be very helpful. Selecting a proper shower-head is also important, high flow rate is not suited for rv lifestyle.

G. Yoganand

A RV enthusiast who spends countless hours researching and learning various things related to RV camping. He believes in spending time doing Outdoor activities.
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