Tuesday, October 3, 2023


A campground horror to avoid regarding water

By Chuck Woodbury
Once upon a time, back when I had a small RV with a small holding tank, I would take my showers in public restrooms. As you may know yourself, they are not all created equal. For example, some are in unheated rooms. And some shower heads project more of a straight stream than a spray.

In my RVing life I have had a few bad shower experiences. Here is an example of one type.

It begins on a very cold morning when you head off to the restroom, hoping, of course, for a hot, soothing shower. When you get to the restroom (often called a comfort station in government campgrounds — for some odd reason) — it’s as cold as outside, so you race to undress so the water can warm you before you freeze to death. Once undressed, now shivering, you turn on the water. As you wait for it to warm you notice that your feet are turning blue on the icy concrete.

Alas, after a minute, the water is still freezing cold and your teeth are chattering and you suddenly realize, with some degree of horror, that you have entered the Twilight Zone of showering: The hot water doesn’t work, never will, and there you are naked as a jaybird (why are jaybirds always naked?), freezing your fanny off and maybe 15 minutes away from death by hypothermia!

So you dress as fast as humanly possible, race to your RV in a foul mood, and are forced into an unsatisfying sponge bath (or something similar).

The moral of this story, which I learned after a few experiences like this, is to turn on the hot water before you undress to be sure it gets hot, and that the water sprays wider than two square inches. If it’s a pay shower and you need to waste a quarter to see if the water heats, then waste it — it’s worth it.

Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodburyhttps://rvtravel.com
I'm the founder and publisher of RVtravel.com. I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.


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Brian S. Holmes
3 years ago

I bought a large unit to use the shower/bathroom with my own DNA in it with no excuses like the maintenance man didn’t show up today so there won’t be any hot water, sorry.

Mark B
3 years ago

Hmmm. Chilling. Stimulating. Publisher gets cold feet.

Here’s a more important tip: Have a small, almost used, flattened roll of toilet paper, in a plastic baggie in your toiletry kit. No matter where you “go” on the path of life, always check the stall for toilet paper before sitting down to do the job.

3 years ago

And this contributed to the conversation how?

M. Will
3 years ago
Reply to  Carl

It didn’t!!

3 years ago
Reply to  M. Will

Of course this contributed to the conversation. Please allow me to connect the dots for you: When you are going to use a public restroom or shower facility in a campground, do not assume that it will have hot water (or any water at all, for that matter), a decent shower head , toilet paper, soap or towels. Best to verify prior to placing yourself into an uncomfortable or even compromising situation. Same goes for verifying both the presence of and proper operation of a dump station prior to irrevocably committing to it’s use. AMHIK

Lois Zillmer
3 years ago

I’ve also encountered the problem of turning on the hot water and waiting and waiting only to discover I had to turn the knob to cold to get the hot…

Tommy Molnar
3 years ago

Now there’s “news we can use”.

Sharon B
3 years ago

I really prefer to use my own shower in my own small travel trailer. The reason is I prefer to be around my own germs. I do a marine shower which is as effective. It also helps the piping in my trailer to keep functioning as it should. I also have short hair which helps.

3 years ago
Reply to  Sharon B

My Wife and I ran across a number of RVers who refuse to use their RV Showers! WHY, you might ask? Funny how the answers were all the same! ” I don’t use the Shower in the RV, because then I will have to clean it”! OMG!

Tony Melton
3 years ago

We check the showers before we even hook up. Funny thing is, we have pulled into absolutely beautiful campgrounds that had terrible showers, and we have seen the exact opposite. Apps like RVParky help if you check on the reviews, reviews have steered us away from a few campgrounds.

3 years ago

Just be careful on Organ Pipe National Park during the late spring. Water is solar heated and there is no cold water to add. It started out as pretty nice and then scalding. I had to finish up in the trailer.

Walter Loyd Fuhrmann
3 years ago
Reply to  mdstudey

Same here. I wrote the responsible agency, warned them about liability. Suggested simply running a cold line from adjacent sink.

Janet Miller
3 years ago

I carry a shower kit that includes a bathmat. Place all my gear on the mat and only step barefoot on the mat. Also take toothbrush and supply to brush my teeth with the cold water while it is warming up. Generally get all the essential needs accomplished and save capacity in my holding tanks.

Deborah B
3 years ago

Yikes, one more reason I am grateful for the Class A. Not that I use it all the time, but we recon the “comfort station” when we arrive. I have a shower five gallon bucket. Flip flops, bath mat, toiletries, towel, everything inside stays dry and I have it all with me. Plus a place to sit and shave my legs!

Mike Schwab
3 years ago

I go with the Cindy Crawford opinion from Vacation. Invigorating. Even ran into a campground shower where the money regulator only controlled the hot water, so I took the free cold shower instead.

3 years ago

Well you get what you pay for , guess that cheap camp ground was wore it !!!!!!! !!!!!!!

3 years ago
Reply to  Tom

Worth it 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

3 years ago

Sad. I learned that about not stepping into a cold shower when
i was a small child.

3 years ago

Re: campground horror
Agree totally. I have a camp shower bag, flip flops, over door hooks(there are never enough or sometimes any at all), a shower head (yes I remove theirs and use mine, I like more than a trickle of water), a shower curtain and a small adjustable rod (this is for the odd time there isn’t one at all to keep your towel and clothes dry), and last but not least a bath mat (it’s nice to have a clean dry place to stand and dress) I always check the shower facilities prior to use so I know what if anything I need to bring with from this bag. I actually had to bring a light bulb once or shower in total dark.😄

Matthew Bucar
3 years ago
Reply to  Shamrock

RVing has turned into a nightmare. Restrooms unfit for humans. Unclean water and just Filth. No wonder boondocking has seen more solar panels being added with 12v refrigerators. Large holding tanks in many brands now make life much better in the road. Nⁿ0

Barbara Johnson
2 years ago
Reply to  Matthew Bucar
We have the solar 
Barbara Johnson
2 years ago

We have the solar panel’s and love them…always hot water.

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