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12 Easy Steps to Save Water While Boondocking – Bathroom Edition

RVs are designed to be self-reliant portable homes that keep you comfy no matter where you lay your head at night.

But to make the most of any off-grid camping adventure, you must make an honest effort to conserve resources – especially your water supply.

Bathroom activities account for the highest water usage while camping. It’s best to start there when brainstorming ideas on how to conserve your potable water supply.

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Agreda big bend boondocking RV
Boondocking Campsite

A Dozen Tips to Save Water in the Bathroom

The first step in conserving your RV’s fresh water supply is learning how to use less water when grooming, bathing and going to the toilet. Unless you can bring more water with you, you’re going to have to cut back on how much you use.

But cutting back on water usage doesn’t mean you have to feel and smell like a grungy hippie.

These RV bathroom water conservation tips will help you stay clean and feel good.

1. Catch unused water

Place a large jug, bowl or pitcher underneath the bathtub faucet when waiting for bath water to warm up.

Catch the cold water and save it for another use.

Do you turn off the water while you brush your teeth, shave, or scrub yourself with soap?

Many times we think that water is only good on the ‘first pass’.

But we don’t need the same cleanliness of water for brushing our teeth as we do for rinsing and re-rinsing a razor.

2. Take shorter showers

boondocking water saving tips

Install an on/off control valve on your shower head. Turn it on to get wet, turn it off to soap up, then turn it back on to rinse.

The faster you can turn off the water flow, the more water you’ll save.

I looked at the hand faucet today in my shower and it said 2.5 gallons / minute. That’s 4% of a gallon every SECOND that it’s on. And the really luxurious shower heads use a TON of water. Feels good – but wastes a lot of water.

low flow shower headIf you want a shower head that will make you feel like you’re being pampered without breaking the ‘water bank’, try this one out. It’s got two settings, one at 2.5 gallons per minute and 1.85, and has been designed so that the water droplets feel warmer longer.

You can find shower heads that go down to 1.5 gallons per minute, but those will make it feel like you’re taking a shower in a Motel 6.

3. Fill the tub

Here’s a trick just for the ladies who enjoy stubble-free legs: place a drain plug in the bathroom tub or shower stall drain to capture water as you shower.

Use the captured water to shave your legs and rinse your razor.

Ask any guy who shaves the old fashion way, and he’ll probably tell you that he stops the sink and reuses the water.

While shaving you only have to rinse the razor about 10-15 times. You’ve probably seen the ‘Cup O Joe’ guy. Well he used his canteen to shave too (or his helmet):

conserve water while shaving

4. Use biodegradable, low-suds soap

Wayne Gretzky - Not a boondocker
Wayne Gretzky – Not a boondocker

Skip the rich, creamy bath soaps and switch to a lighter formula like Dr. Bronner’s that doesn’t require as much water to rinse off your body.

5. Clean with body wipes

shower body wipes

Unless you’re really grimy, skipping an occasional shower usually won’t offend anyone.

Pre-moistened body wipes do a decent job keeping you clean until your next shower.

6. Keep your hair short

short hair sharon stone

Short hair stays clean longer. And when it finally does require washing – it takes less water. Long hair requires a great deal of water to lather and rinse the shampoo.

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