PVC Pipe Solar shower


New Member
Hi All.

I am looking to build a solar shower from PVC pipe.

I intend to/to use
. 2 metre long 100mm pvc pipe
. paint it black
. Glue on end caps
. Brass tap and accessories
. 50mm Pvc inlet with screw on cap
(. Pressure inlet valve)
(. One way pressure outlet valve)

My question(s) is has anyone on here done anything like this before that is tried and tested.
Am I missing something or doing something wrong?
How well do they work?
How do you go about cleaning them?

My main concern is that it will be safe for users, others sharing the roads and people in the vicinity especially if I was to decide to pressurize it.

Any advice on do's and don'ts are appreciated.




Active Member
I used a 20L bottle that originally held degreaser for my solar shower. I painted it black and put a air valve in the lid so I could add pressure to it. Still using the plastic taps for it and it all works a treat. In comparison your system sounds like it will be much better engineered so shouldn’t be a problem I reckon.


Well-Known Member
I suggest using 60mm at twice ( or more) as long (with elbows etc) as it will increase surface area exposed to sun, less sloshing , and better able to cope with pressurising. If you make it so it forms a perimeter around your roofrack, it will distibute weight better.


Well-Known Member
I suggest using 60mm at twice ( or more) as long (with elbows etc)
60mm pipe that is twice as long will only hold around 2/3rds as much though.

The pipe is a handy way to manufacture a tank and for 100mm pipe you will get around 30L/m.

If you are worried about having to clean it at some stage, then fit one of these Inspection Piece T fittings. The caps unscrew, so are easy to take into the shed if you wanted to fit a pressure relief valve or schrader valve for pumping some air in and it will be easy to fill with a bucket if you are out camping. For cleaning, then take the end one off and a cob web broom and scrub it out.

I'd be very careful pressurizing it though, you have a large area and only a small air gap when its full, so a small amount of work by a compressor will jack up the internal pressure extremely quickly and blow the joints. It won't be as spectacular when full as it will just leak quickly, but could explode when a lot of the water is gone.

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Well-Known Member
Keep in mine a 100mm pvc pipe can only be pressurised to 4 or 5lbs before a cap will blow of


Well-Known Member
Would'nt you be better off using on of these's . Boil 1 litre of water and add cold water to suit in a small bucket than having all that extra weight and junk on your roof rack. You can buy 9 litre stainless steal buckets at supercheap for $10 and it only takes a few mins to get warm on stove or coals .

Les PK Ranger

4x4 Earth Contributer
And those shower kits can be very cheap online.

Not sure if you can still get them, but these are very good, I get away with about 6lt for a very good wet up, and rinse.


If I was wanting to do this sort of thing today, I’d probably just get a garden sprayer like this
and use hot / cold water as @mauriceb suggested, use a cheap shower head suitable in hose end.

Aaron Schubert

They work, and as long as you put a pressure relief valve on it and use heavy duty PVC it will be OK.

Having that much weight up the top sloshing around is not ideal, and you need some seriously strong brackets to stop it coming off too.

I just use a 16L stainless bucket, water from a creek or river (or water tanks if we have lots) and a 12V shower pump. Chuck it on the fire for a few minutes, or a gas stove and away you go.

Here's a proper, commercial unit - https://roadshower.com/



Well-Known Member
Buyer Beware, Product quality can vary with brand and price!

Pi r2 ... or ... Pi x radius squared.. x length/height ... x 1kg per liter of water = no worse than a 20lt drum tied down with a moldy bungee strap?

I would race out and splash 300$ on a bought one [gulp] not, but it does have some nice decals on it.;)


Well-Known Member
Sounds like a lot of work for something that is as simple as a black bag that rolls up & weighs SFA.

In saying that I did build a 100mm PVC roof rack fishing rod holder for travelling but as it just has rods in it it doesn't weigh a whole lot.

Each to there own.
I have a mate that runs a 12v water heater that the tank & pump etc is fitted just under the rear tray behind the cab on his Land cruiser, nice set up that.


Well-Known Member
I use a cheap 5lt garden sprayer, with the head off one of the cheap 12v showers. Light, small, easy, effective. Not sure I like the idea of water being held in pvc pipe with the temperature fluctuating that way, microbial growth farms! Legionella loves 20-40 degree water. Low risk, but there all the same...