De Grid Me #4. How to build a simple Outdoor / Bush Solar Shower. The early days part 3.

in teamaustralia •  2 years ago  (edited)


I hope you liked my previous "Bush Dunny (toilet)" post.

Today I'm going to give you a run down on the Bush Shower we built at the same time around 10 years ago.
I'll also show you our new improved version (it's actually quite flash!).

These are the components we used:

  • Cheap 12 volt camp shower from any camping outlet. camping-shower.jpg
  • Large plastic rubbish bin.
  • Cheap 12 volt bilge pump from any boating store. bilge pump.jpg
  • 20 metres of 13mm black poly pipe.
  • 30 metres of 19mm black poly pipe.
  • Joiners, connectors, in line taps, etc to suit.
  • A 2nd hand car or deep cycle battery.
  • Optional - a small solar trickle charge panel (or just charge the battery every now and then).

How to assemble:

  • Build a simple privacy shelter with a suitable floor (rubber mat or similar)
  • Position rubbish bin and fill 1/3rd with water.
  • Set up camp shower and make sure pump is at the bottom of the water.
  • Attach 13mm poly pipe to bilge pump outlet and put in bottom of water as well.
  • Run 13mm poly pipe into a sunny area and cut into 2 equal 10 metre lengths.
  • Attach 1st 10 metre "outlet" length to the 30 metre length of 19mm pipe using an adapter and lay that all out in the sun.
  • Attach the 2nd 10 metre length of 13mm pipe to the other end and run this back to the rubbish bin as the "inlet".
  • Position the battery near the rubbish bin.

How to use:

  • Simply connect the bilge pump to the battery terminals correctly and let the water flow through the black poly pipe until it starts coming out the other end into the rubbish bin and then turn it off again. It is now primed and ready to go.
  • After it has been sitting for a while it is ready to start heating the shower. (try 10 minutes to an hour depending on your climate).
  • Now turn on the bilge pump and let it heat the water until it is at the perfect temperature for you. (this can be quite quick so be careful and check it often).
  • "TIP" - I use a swimming pool thermometer and find the perfect hot shower is about 42 to 44 degrees Celsius (105 to 110 Farenheit).
  • When water is ready, turn off the bilge pump.
  • Connect shower to battery and ENJOY!!!

This has been working well for nearly 10 years. I've had to replace a couple of pumps, some pipe and batteries but other than that, no problems.

Here are some old pictures of how we set it up!


(notice the small palm tree at the front compared to the later photo below)


original water supply tank.

Fast forward to 2017.........................we now have an indoor bathroom and shower which is nearly complete.
The plan was to pull the old outdoor one down but this was met by protests from everybody who wanted to keep using it!!

Under pressure, I decided to keep it and give it a bit of a spruce up.
Here is a video of what it looks like now (sorry about the video quality but it's the best I could do at the time).

Build yourself an outdoor's a great experience!!!

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whoa incredibly useful; I didn't even know that cheap 12v shower existed! Will let @sharingsociety know; could be a solution for homeless there in north california

I think you should have had the shower as the post image though instead of australia map


thank you! very neat and will be helpful. We'll try to adapt this into portable showers for homeless


G'day, This would be really easy to set up!

  • 12 volt portable camp shower.
  • Small AGM deep cycle battery (or you hook directly to a vehicle battery)
  • Portable fold out camp shower enclosure.
  • Large plastic tub to stand in and hold the water.

Set up portable enclosure - put tub with water inside - hook up portable shower to battery - about 5 minutes set up.

All are available at Walmart etc and will probably cost no more than a hundred bucks to put together.

All the best, Wayne.


G'day. Fair call. I was using the same Aussie map to try and be consistent on all my post series' - "De Grid Me". You are probably right - the main post image should probably reflect the specific article. Thanks.


oh i see;

Interesting set up, looks like something my hubby would come up with.


He must be an absolute!