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Sort and leave with what I want - shower room and water ?

I can't talk about a bathroom, that would be too pompous.

My bathroom is ergonomically designed and comprises :

  • white-tinted stainless steel washbasin with pull-out drawer;

  • silky-smooth, solid wallcovering for quick drying and easy maintenance;

  • Thetford separating bowl, compostable with coconut fibres;

  • Mini-Heki skylight for ventilation;

  • integrated shower tray, single drain;

  • circular curtain on partitions;

  • fixed shelf for storing products;

  • mirror with storage cupboard;

  • double-sided magnifying mirror to admire the progress of my wrinkles from day to day.

One of the first things the nomads said to me was :

  • plan your parking;

  • check whether there's any slope or incline, otherwise the water won't run off into the drainage hole and risk soaking your van --> I need to be level;

  • buy a spirit level.

I wasn't going to buy one as the iphone provides the application ;)

I explained earlier that I'd opted for a bathroom in the van for practical reasons:

  • small pee at night, no desire to go outside and feel the grass tickle my arse,

  • in a country where women aren't as libertarian and I don't fancy having all eyes on my rear end, however sublime it may be,

  • if it's a heatwave, I can cool off in Eve's outfit whenever I want.

I took the option of having an outdoor shower so that I could rinse dishes, remove salt and/or sand from beach equipment, remove mud from hiking boots or simply take a shower outdoors .... Having hot and cold water available is cool, isn't it?

My shower room is well-designed but not huge, since logically it will only be used two or three times a day, unless the tourista kicks in .....

What's all the fuss about? It happens to everyone!

I won't be living in my shower room anyway, that's for sure.

Hot water is produced by the Truma Boiler Elektro :

  • 14 litre capacity;

  • heating element that provides hot water in a short space of time (I can't remember exactly, but I think I have to turn it on 10 minutes before taking a shower) and maintains the temperature for 70 minutes;

  • low energy consumption;

It's insulated with a special expanded polypropylene (EPP) foam, which is a good thermal insulator and lightweight.

The water temperature drops by just one degree per hour.

For those with a technical interest, the water connections are 10 mm in diameter and can handle pressures of up to 2.8 bar.

There are safety devices to prevent the risk of freezing, including a drain valve that allows the water in the tank to be vented to the outside so that it doesn't freeze.

I'll have to arrange for it to be descaled and disinfected with vinegar every year.

Logically, the water entering the boiler will have already passed through the inlet filter and the internal filter that allows me to drink this water. I'll explain this a little further on.

But how can you wash in a van and maintain a minimum standard of hygiene when there's no running water? ????

Here's an example from Truma of how to take a shower:

You read that right:

  • wet yourself for 2 minutes;

  • turn off the water and lather up;

  • turn the water back on and rinse for 3 minutes.

  • 6 minutes and you're done.

In the worst case scenario, in some countries, if there's a shortage of water, I can wash every two or even three days, and a little cat toilet won't kill you - according to legend, cats have 7 lives.

Managing water is one of my objectives, to better respect the natural world around me.

All the products I have selected are biodegradable and environmentally friendly. I don't have any partnerships with these brands.

However, I do subscribe to the app Yuka - Yuka - The Mobile App That Scans Your Products - which is an independent project whose mission is to help consumers make better choices for their health. It scans the barcodes of food and cosmetic products. As a member, if the product is not listed, I send them a photo of the ingredients mentioned and within 48 hours I receive feedback and the product is registered for other interested parties.

Their aim is to encourage manufacturers to come up with better products.

I've selected a few products from Rampal Latour - Savonnerie Rampal Latour - Fabricant de savon de Marseille depuis 1828 (, which I've been testing for a year now:

  • Organic honey, almond and aloe vera shower gel (93/100, no parabens or harmful sulphates, just a slight risk of cocamidopropyl betaine, which is in fact a washing substance used to replace sulphates);

  • Green Tea Marseille detergent, Eco certified;

  • Lime dishwashing liquid, Nature charter certified;

  • Conditioner for coloured hair with raspberry vinegar (100/100);

  • Gentle Moisturizing Shampoo Apple (100/100).

What about water? This is a fairly recurrent problem. What about its potability? Can we drink it straight from the van?

Can you drink water from the tank of a van?

It seems like a silly but fundamental question. Aren't the litres of water stored directly consumable?

After talking to many nomads, the problem is much more complex.

The water stored in the tank can quickly deteriorate due to the following factors:

  • humidity levels

  • temperature inside and outside the tank

  • initial water quality

  • where the water comes from

  • frequency of filling.

Even favourable storage conditions can lead to the formation of biofilms, the development of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other undesirable micro-organisms.

Many nomads told me that they preferred to drink water from plastic bottles or regularly fill small 10-20 litre cans for their daily needs. As someone who wants to make an effort for the environment, this was not an acceptable solution.

Being ecologically correct is expensive and this plastic option is cheap.

I want to travel light without relying too much on supermarkets.

The question was: what could be done to ensure that the water in the van's tank remained drinkable ?

  1. Treating the water as it enters the tank

After watching a number of tutorials, a large number of travellers advised using a filter before entering the tank to ensure that the water is safe by limiting the entry of impurities.

I bought the WM Aquatec FIE-100 for in-line filling. It is fitted with Gardena connectors. It's a replaceable filter cartridge capable of reducing chlorine and its by-products, organic pollutants, various drug residues, light hydrocarbons, solvents, pesticides, aromas and fine particles (rust, limescale, sand).

I will need to replace the filter every 6 months, even if the maximum capacity is not reached.

It is capable of filtering 5,000 litres with a capacity of 7 litres per minute at a maximum pressure of 6.3 bar. Its bacteriological retention is > 99.9999% and its filtration fineness 0.1µm.

Price: €159

Filter replacement price: €59

2 Keeping the water in the tank drinkable

To keep the tank drinkable, you can apply a UV or ozone treatment. This kills micro-organisms in the water by exposing them to UV rays. Naturally, it requires a 12V power supply to work properly.

Another option is to use chlorine- or iodine-based purification tablets and chemical treatments such as MicroPur to treat the water directly in the tank.

This only suits me halfway, as this type of biocidal product dissolved in water can present health risks if used incorrectly, for example, excessively or over the long term, which will be my case. I've been advised to use it occasionally ... Pfufff.

I need to think about installing a UV treatment

3. Filtering the water leaving the tank

There are two alternatives: a filter connected directly to the tap or an external filter.

Both options reduce the water pressure at the tap, which can lead to premature wear of the water pump.

I opted for the Alb filter Fusion Active+Nano, which lasted 6 months of filtration. With the nano cartridge, filtration is < 0.1µm (to give an example, E.Coli bacteria are about 5µm long).

Price: €320

Replacement price for two cartridges: €80

4. Water filter on the tap

Attached to the end of the tap. It's easy to fit because nothing needs to be dismantled if the van has already been fitted. An on/off switch turns the system on to provide filtered water. It is mainly activated carbon and improves the taste and smell of the water. It has an average filtration rate of 0.45µm and lasts 8 to 12 weeks.

Price: €35 to €100

Cartridge price: €35

5. Water filter on the worktop

The filter is connected to the tap, except that it is located in the work area, encroaching on the already restricted space. It has a flow rate of 2 litres per minute and a service life of 10,000 litres or 6 months. Filtration is by activated carbon at 0.45µm.

Price: €80 to €300

Cartridge price: €55

6. Gravity water filter

The filter must be filled by hand. It consists of two large chambers that fit together. The activated carbon filters (2 elements) are located in the upper chamber and the treated water in the lower chamber. To fill up with water, simply turn on the tap. The filter is generally made of stainless steel, is durable and easy to wash. You'll need space to put it down and secure it so that it doesn't move during journeys.

One of the best-known is the Berkey system, with a capacity of 8.5 litres.

Price: €500

Price of 2 filters: €245€

What to conclude?

  • schedule regular maintenance of the tank, and replace the various filters

  • check the quantity of water filtered

  • check the water pump for wear and tear

  • make sure you have a minimum 6-month warranty

By the way, I forgot to tell you that for my autonomy, I have 2 water tanks, the first 100 litres on the left, facing the road, and the second 80 litres on the right in the hold.

On my own, I should have a range of 2 to 3 weeks, maximum a month if I'm careful.

In a future blog, I plan to explain how you can find water: free of charge or by paying ...

Government websites for more information on water quality:

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