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How to Take a Navy Shower in Your Camper

Living in an RV comes with many perks. One perk is that you can travel wherever you want and see new things. However, living in close quarters comes with some challenges, too. One challenge that often arises is how to conserve water when there’s not much to go around. You can save water by taking a navy shower. 

Most people probably aren’t familiar with the term navy shower. Some call it a wet-down or a cold bath instead. Still, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with the concept.

A navy shower conserves water using only a fraction of the water normal showers use.

We’ll show you how to take a navy shower in your camper and provide tips on making the most of this eco-friendly option. Read on for all the details!

What Is the Navy Shower Technique? 

The navy shower technique is simple but effective. First, turn the water heater on and allow the water to heat up. Then turn the water on and step inside. Turn it off to lather up, and turn it back on to rinse off.

This method of showering can save a lot of water, making it perfect for those who want to be more environmentally conscious. If you’re going to take your environmentalism to another level, don’t use the water heater.

This technique works particularly well during hot weather but can be a little chilly otherwise.

Pro Tip: Going on a road trip? We uncovered How to Take a Public Shower Anywhere in the USA.

How Much Water Does a Navy Shower Use? 

How much water a navy shower uses depends on how efficient you are. A usual navy shower shouldn’t use more than two to three gallons of water. That is stark contrast to a typical shower, which can use upwards of 40 to 60 gallons in as little as 10 to 15 minutes.

How Many Gallons of Water Does An RV Shower Use?

How many gallons of water you use in an RV shower depends on how focused you are on conserving water and what type of shower is in your rig.

If you treat your RV shower the same as a residential shower, you can efficiently still use 20 to 30 gallons or more water. Most RV showerheads, however, have built-in water-regulating features to help reduce the water you use.

Even with such equipment, if you don’t focus on reducing your usage, you could still use 15 to 25 gallons of water for a ten-minute shower.

Woman shampooing hair
Shampoo your hair with the water off to save water.

How Do You Take a Navy Shower in Your Camper?

If you want to conserve water, which significantly increases the time you can be off-grid or go without full hook-ups, you need to learn how to take a navy shower in your camper.

Follow the basic principles of how a navy shower works, and you will reduce the amount of water you use. Let the water heat up before stepping into the shower.

Turn the water on to get wet and then immediately shut the water off. Lather up while the water is off. Then turn the water back on just long enough to rinse off. Shut the water off, and that’s all!

A couple of added tips can further help reduce your water usage. Ensure that you lather up your entire body all at once so that you only rinse one time. Additionally, ensure that your RV showerhead is handheld and has a pause function.

The pause function is a simple push-button that allows you to immediately pause the water, making it easier to get wet and rinse off without reaching for the faucet.

Pro Tip: Use these 5 Shower Hacks for Road Trips on your next adventure.

Are Navy Showers Effective?

You can take a typical navy shower with just two to three gallons of water. Versus a regular shower in your camper without focusing on conservation, it easily saves you well over ten gallons of water per shower.

If you install a handheld showerhead with a pause button, you can feasibly reduce that two to three gallons to one gallon or less.

When many RV fresh water tanks hold 30-50 gallons of water, reducing your showers from ten-plus gallons per shower to as little as a single gallon can significantly extend the life of each freshwater fill-up. That’s a savings of ten gallons or more per shower.

If you already take short showers, you are still likely to save four to six or more gallons of water per shower.

All this water conservation is ideal for the environment, and it can also be a morale boost when you’re sharing your space (and your water) with multiple people.

Is It Worth Taking Navy Showers When Boondocking? 

In our opinion, taking a navy shower is worth it, and is the only way to shower when boondocking. Even if your freshwater tank is a reduced size, at a gallon per shower, you can make 20 to 30 gallons of freshwater last weeks instead of days. That is a game-changer for boondocking.

Even if you’re not boondocking, navy showers save gallons of water, which is a responsible approach to being environmentally friendly. When many RVers migrate to warmer climates where water is often scarce, navy showers could be essential.

Whatever your reasoning for conserving water, a navy shower is the best way to do so in an RV. And it’s easy to start now! 

How do you conserve water in your RV? Tell us in the comments!

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