Saving space is always in the mind of RVers. Every square foot has a purpose, and each crack and crevice in your RV will have a dual purpose.
Unless you are sporting a 40 foot Class A RV, your bathroom is no exception to this necessity.
Equipping a bathroom and shower into your mobile home opens up doors, but fitting all that plumbing and water flow into a small area is a daunting task.
Engineers have been crafting new, convenient bathroom models to bring more space to your RV, and an RV wet bath is the latest step in that direction.
An RV wet bath is a complete bathroom that takes up less space by combining the functionality of your toilet, sink, and shower.
Every saved inch comes at a cost. There are serious drawbacks to the system, and there is no such thing as a one size fits all RV bathroom solution.
A bathroom setup is an intimate detail for your RV. You’ll head to the sacred walls of your bathroom for relief when you need it most or for a nice soak before bedtime.
Ask yourself what you want to come back to after a day in the woods or behind the wheel.
If you want the smallest possible option that gets the job done, a wet bath could be suitable for you.
If you need something more out of your bathroom, installing this particular bathroom may not be worth getting your feet wet.
We’ll give you a closer look at what an RV wet bath is, and walk you through all the particulars of a wet bath Rv system, so you can decide for yourself if the setup suits your needs.
What is an RV wet Bath?
An RV Wet Bath is a toilet and shower in the same space. Basically, your sink and toilet are inside the shower. An all-in-one bathroom solution favored by smaller mobile homes, a wet bath gives you all the bathroom amenities in one compact setting.
The main change is the shower space. The floor does not double as a toilet or sink, each of which has a seperate drain.
Unlike a dry bath, The shower rains over everything. Imagine a showerhead attached to your bathroom wall that drains to the middle of the floor.
Everything inside the bathroom will get wet every time you shower, but you’ll also save valuable square footage.
Its size makes a wet bath especially enticing to smaller recreational vehicle owners who have to make difficult choices about what comforts to bring along.
So, What’s The Difference Between a Wet Bath and A Dry Bath?
RV Wet Baths and Dry Bath’s main difference is water flow. In an RV wet bath, you can take the name literally.
To capitalize on space, Everything inside a wet bath is built to get wet every time you hop in for a shower.
Meanwhile, a dry bath is more in line with what you would expect to see at home. A dry bath has a seperate area for the shower, keeping the floor, toilet, and sink dry when you hop in for a douche.
However, this comes at the cost of space, as an RV dry bath requires a larger area for installation.
Why choose an RV Wet Bath?
There are many reasons RVers choose a wet bath set-up in their rig. Building out your RV is a uniquely custom experience.
There are various decisions to make along the way that don’t have a right or wrong answer.
If you’re debating which setup is right for you, take a look at what a wet bath does best.
1: Save Space
This is the most obvious advantage of using a wet bath. Draw out your desired layout for the entire interior of your RV, one copy with a dry bath and one with a wet bath.
Visualize what you can do with the extra space afforded to you by a wet bath and decide if it’s worth it.
If you can only draw a layout with a wet bath because the dry bath won’t quite fit, the decision has made itself.
2: Easier to Clean
A wet bath does most of the cleaning by itself. You can save time and water by scrubbing the corners and edges of your bathroom each time you shower.
No matter how often you scrub, every time you hop in the shower, you’ll be giving your entire bathroom a layer of water.
This option also lets your body wash double as an air freshener.
3: More Space For Your Shower
An often overlooked facet of the wet bath is that your shower gets a boost. An RV dry bath is trying to squeeze a lot of essential parts into a smaller space.
Some showers won’t be much wider than you, especially after a weekend in Kansas City.
Wet bath showers provide valuable inches for an RV shower experience that’s surprisingly roomy.
Where a wet bath falls short
It’s not a perfect system. These are some drawbacks to putting everything together.
Here are few reasons to consider avoiding wet bath in an RV.
1: Can’t Stop The Spread of Water
When you shower in a wet bathroom, there is no safe space. You’re toothbrush, toilet paper, and favorite bathroom reader will take a shower every time you do. You won’t have quick access to the essentials.
2: You’ll have to bring an extra towel
The ventilation systems in wet baths still need work, which means all the water that doesn’t make it down the drain in your wet bath won’t go anywhere without human intervention.
Thoroughly dry the inside of your bathroom after every use to avoid mildew.
3: No Dry Storage
There’s no wasted space in a wet bath, and that includes storage capabilities. There’s no space under the sink or any cabinets included in most RV wet baths. Instead, you’ll look to store your toiletries in another section of your RV.
Does a Wet Bath Make Sense for You?
An RV wet bath is definitely better than no bath at all. Being on the road is all about spontaneity and freedom; having a toilet and a shower wherever you need it is an incredibly underrated benefit.
They feel contemporary and modern in design and can add tons of value to your RV without taking too much space.
If you don’t plan on sleeping much outside of campgrounds, you’ll always have access to a bigger shower and bathroom nearby and can preserve your wet bath for emergencies.
Boonedockers, and gas station attendants they interact with, will be relieved to have the wet bath when they haven’t seen a public shower for the past week.
Here’s how to Keep Your RV Wet Bathroom Smelling Amazing
The unique set-up may be something you’ve never seen before. There are slight differences in the cleaning routine you must employ for an RV wet bathroom than a more traditional set-up.
Follow along these simple rules to keep your RV bathing area spick and span:
Dry it every time
It’s very tempting to skip out on your chores before bed. Leaving a little water sitting to get to bed earlier isn’t going to do any harm once or twice, but eventually, sitting water will put a damper on your bath time fun.
A squeegee is a necessity for your wet bath. Water can get stuck in all sorts of nooks and crannies, and There’s no good way for the water on top of your sink to get down the drain.
Constantly toweling down the area will require you to use all that extra space the wet bath created to pack extra towels. Instead, squeegee down your entire bathroom after every shower.
5 Alternatives To A Full Bathroom In Your RV
RV wet baths are not for everyone. If you don’t want to install a full wet bath into your RV, you can explore other options for showering on the road.
These options are all far less convenient shower-taking choices than a shower built into your camper, but if you’re traveling alone, you may not be too concerned about when you can rinse off.
Here are the five best alternatives to full bathroom in your camper van or RV for showering and staying clean while on the road:
1: Pay for a truck-stop shower
Truckers like to stay clean on the road. Large gas stations that provide truckers’ services across the country often feature shower stalls with high-pressure hot water.
The truck stop showers come at a small fee or included with the purchase of gas. Some of these stations are open 24 hours, making them decent options.
However, these truck stops will only be located off major highways, and you won’t be near many of these if your goal is to spend more time in nature.
2: Bathe In The River
If you do end up boondocking in the woods, there are various reasons why it’s good to be near a water source. Showering is a considerable benefit to setting up camp down by the river.
They can offer plenty of relief on hot days or after hours sitting in traffic. Natural springs in the mountains provide a splash of fresh comfort that will leave you feeling clean.
To best leave no trace, leave the shampoo at home when using this option.
3: Dump Stations
No dump station is complete without a hose. The water may not always be potable, but it’s always refreshing, and you can grab a quick rinse once the septic tank has been washed out.
This is no substitute for a real shower but may give you the clean you need to get from point A to point B.
4: Adding A Portable Camp Shower To Your Kit
Camping shower options as simple as a plastic bag with a nozzle up to a gas-pressurized, heated flow exist to make camping more like home.
Any of these choices can be co-opted to the van life, but all come with their drawbacks.
5: Grab A Gym Membership And Use The Showers They Have There
If you’re looking to kill a few hours every few days on the road, getting a gym membership to a national chain will allow you to get out of the car and get cleaned up.
Companies like planet fitness operate 24-hour gyms in metropolitan areas across the country that will let you break a sweat as well as clean up.
A Wet Bath Is The Most Accessible Choice
All of these other options have one glaring flaw; none of them are built into your RV. There is no more ergonomic affordable choice for a permanent bathroom RV installation than a proper wet bath.
If you plan on staying away from home for an extended period, select a wet bath system to carry with you all the comforts of a larger bathroom in a smaller package.