When it comes to deciding on your skoolie shower idea, there are basically 3 options: interior showers, exterior showers, or no shower at all. There are very clear differences in how you will take a shower depending on which decision you make for your skoolie.
In this article, we walk through the decision criteria for the type of shower in a skoolie build you might do, as well as several skoolie shower ideas to help you in making this decision.
Types of Skoolie Showers
When deciding on the type of skoolie shower to have, or maybe to not have one at all, there are clear differentiating factors to interior showers in a skoolie, exterior skoolie showers, and having no shower option in or outside of the skoolie at all.
I’m going to dive into each one of these for you so you can get a perspective of the differences and how your lifestyle when living in a skoolie may be impacted based on this decision.
Interior Skoolie Shower
Interior showers are often selected for convenience, as some people do not want to give up having a shower inside their home – even if the skoolie will just be used for weekend trips. We get it, as we have a fully plumbed-in shower area in our bus. However, there are some downsides of building a shower in a skoolie.
Below are the pros and cons of a skoolie shower inside a school bus conversion.
- Convenient to take a shower anywhere you may be
- Ultimate privacy
- Great feature for resale value
- Can require space that is not very utilized
- High water consumption of 1.2 to 3+ gallons per minute
- Filling up water tanks more often
- Emptying grey water tanks more often
- More on this in our Grey Water Tank Guide
- Increased humidity
- Higher risk of water damage (from humidity, leaky pipes, drain issues, etc)
Exterior Skoolie Shower
Exterior skoolie shower solves the issues of interior showers and bring along some really cool benefits that interior skoolie showers do not provide. However, they also present some unique downsides, too.
Many people decide to add on an exterior shower regardless of whether or not they have an interior shower, as this provides an additional option for when the weather is nice and you are in a remote area with an awesome view.
We personally plan to add an outdoor shower to our skoolie as an option for us, but also to give our pup Cali a bath/shower outside.
Below are the pros and cons of an exterior skoolie shower outside a school bus conversion.
- Shower with a view (depending on where you are parked)
- Leave the dirt outside
- No humidity or potential water damage issues
- Empty the grey water tank less frequently
- Most RV parks and some states may have no dumping restrictions
- This depends on the state / RV park
- Use organic based products and could argue it is healthy for the planet
- High water consumption of 1.2 to 3+ gallons per minute
- Showering during winter, especially if in freezing climates, may be an issue (both personally and with freezing water pipes)
- Not as private as interior showers
No Shower At All
Not having a shower might not be as big of a deal as you would think. Even though we have a shower room and it is fully plumbed in, we have yet to take a shower in our skoolie. We just always shower at the gym, in the showers at campgrounds, or at Chris’ parents’ house when we are parked there.
With that being the case, we actually turned our shower area into a temporary closet that we can always remove and finish tiling down the road if we wanted to.
Having the option to have an interior shower and plumbing it in from the beginning gives us that option if we do want one down the road while being able to utilize this space as a closet for now. Doing this plumbing right away also gave us the ability to hook up a shower head with a hose to this plumbing and feed that out of the window to take outdoor showers until we have a proper outdoor shower option installed.
However, if you plan on installing no shower at all, it really isn’t that hard to find a place to shower. Most people get a gym membership such as Plant Fitness or Anytime Fitness to shower while on the road. As we mentioned, RV park campgrounds usually have showers. State and National Parks that have designated camping areas also will most likely have showers available.
Below is a summary of the pros and cons of not having a skoolie shower.
- Utilize the space inside for other features
- Less complex plumbing
- Take longer showers at one of the options listed above without worrying about using too much water
- Have to plan showers according to parking location
- Using public showers may be dirty / less private in some cases
- May require spending money to shower (gym membership, night at RV park, etc)
Now that you know the interior skoolie shower vs exterior skoolie shower vs no skoolie shower decision criteria, we are going to dive into skoolie shower ideas.
Skoolie Shower Ideas
Below are 12 different school bus conversion shower ideas of how others built a shower in a skoolie. We have curated a list of both interior and exterior skoolie shower ideas to inspire your skoolie shower decision.
3/4 Wall Shower
The stairs in this skoolie shower are there most likely due to the wheel wells. This is a great spot to put shower essentials such as body wash, shampoo, and conditioner. The 3/4 wall makes this shower feel very open and lets the humidity dissipate throughout the bus. There’s no need to put a vent fan inside of the shower room, you can put it anywhere near the shower and the humidity from the shower will be able to roll out of the fan.
Stock Tank Skoolie Bathtub
Technically a skoolie bathtub and not a skoolie shower, but if you have the space in your skoolie and love taking baths, this may be a good option for you!
A couple of things to think about before putting a stock tank tub in your skoolie is your freshwater capacity as well as your hot water heater situation. For example, you would need an on-demand hot water heater in order to enjoy a soak. You also won’t want to have to fill your fresh water tank after you take a bath so. having an ample supply of fresh water is ideal for a bathtub in a skoolie.
Of course, you can install a stock tank bathtub to just use as a shower as well! Be sure to consider making it a wet bath to avoid moisture/mold problems.
Skoolie Shower with Step
Wheel wells can cause unique problems in a skoolie conversion, but they can also be great if they are located just where you want them. For this shower, that step up is one of their wheel wells. It makes for a good spot to put your shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. I love the green glass subway tile mixed with the rock for the floor, it puts an earthy vibe to it.
Subway Tile Shower with Decorative Accent
Subway tile has to be one of the most popular skoolie shower ideas. I love how they did a decorative accent on the back wall with the shower head. It’s a neat idea that gives this skoolie bathroom an extra pop. Secondly, I really like the mounted rain shower head along with the handheld shower head. The handheld would be nice to spray down your feet after a day at the beach or hiking.
Metal Shower with Wood & Copper Accent
This skoolie shower has industrial vibes with the exposed copper plumbing, metal, and dark wood accents. The ledge they built into this shower has to come in handy with where they are going to put their shower essentials!
Modern Skoolie Shower
I love the decorative accent wall in this shower. Check out all of the pictures inside this skoolie as the shower really makes this bus pop! A big puck light is perfect here as they don’t have any windows in the shower bringing in natural light. For the skoolie shower door, they installed a retractable self-cleaning Nautilus shower door. The only downside with this exact shower is you will want to install some sort of ventilation in there to avoid moisture/mold problems.
Corrugated Metal Skoolie Shower
A corrugated metal shower can be a fun and easy way to complete your skoolie shower! Just be sure to waterproof the walls behind the metal, cut our your plumbing holes, and hang up the metal.
White Subway Tile Shower with Shower Pan
See how common white subway tile is in a skoolie shower? 🙂 I love the shower organizer, as you really need the space to be functional while keeping it in a small space. Starting your shower in your skoolie seems pretty easy if you start with a shower pan that fits perfectly in the space you need. That way, you can tile the walls and the drain is basically done for you.
Wood Skoolie Shower with Skylight
If there’s no room to have a window in your skoolie shower, then a skylight works fantastically to let in natural light and give you privacy! If you are going to do a wood shower in your skoolie, cedar is the way to go. Cedar offers natural protection against rot.
Subway Tile Shower with Dark Grout
One more subway tile design! This shower is beautifully done with modern fixtures and dark grout. Light grey grout versus dark grey grout makes a ton of difference with how it makes the vibe of your skoolie. Dark grey grout against white subway tile makes it a bit more modern while light grey grout against white subway tile give it a farmhouse vibe.
Concrete Shower/Wet Bath
Another option for a skoolie shower is to do a wet bath, making it so you can dedicate one room to a shower, a toilet, and a sink. Deciding on a separate shower and toilet area and a complete bathroom really depends on your living situation. Do you have children? Is it just you? Are you sharing it with another person? If you have more than one person living with you, you may want separate shower and bathroom areas so one person isn’t holding up the entire daily routine of the family. The concrete and wood accents give this skoolie bathroom an industrial feel.
It wouldn’t be a complete list of skoolie showers without an outdoor shower! Many skoolie owners decide to solely go with an outdoor shower to save as much room inside their skoolie for more living items on their list. The picture above is an easy way to do an outdoor shower. Be sure to plumb in a shower box on the exterior of your bus and figure out how to mount a shower curtain for privacy. You could also use the wheel chair door or the back door to store the shower head and the curtain.
That’s it for our skoolie shower ideas article! There are numerous different ways you can build out your skoolie shower, do a complete wetbath or separate shower/toilet room. Think about how you are going to be using your skoolie (full-time or weekender) and who you are sharing it with (yourself, couple, or family) to make the best decision for you.