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Mr Plodd

Caravan showers, time to make them optional ?

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As many (but NOT all) caravan owners use well serviced sites these days is it time that caravan makers started to make the fitting of showers in caravans an option rather than a standard fit?

 

I accept that a good few people are unhappy using site showers and I have no problem with that whatsoever. However there are many, like me, who only use sites where there are showers etc and, having paid my money, are more than happy to use them.

 

So the question I am posing is. .........

 

Is it time that the manufacturers offered showers as an option, in the same way that there is a choice between fixed and non fixed beds etc,  rather than making them a “standard” fitting. Think of the extra space available (and payload?) 

 

Now PLEASE don’t start posting things such as  

“Oh we always use our onboard shower because. ...........”  OR 

“We always use CL type sites so need an inbuilt shower” 

 

We all know there are varying opinions and this thread is NOT intended to discuss the virtues or otherwise of using/not using site facilities/inbuilt ones as that’s been very well covered in the past.

 

I am not advocating doing away with caravan showers completely, just asking if people think it might be time to view them  as an optional fit these days.

 

So good people of caravan land, what do you think??

 

Andy

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“Oh we always use our onboard shower because. ...........” AND “We always use CL type sites so need an inbuilt shower” 

 

Suspect the answer really lies in the quantity/percentage of people who ALWAYS use site showers which has a direct bearing on the value at sale/exchange with dealer etc

 

 

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I think 'option' is not the right word.   With an Option, it is either fitted or not.   So if it is not fitted what do you do with the space?  I think that you are suggesting that manufacturers should have models without showers.

 

Malc

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A shower is not really an optional add in item, not like a mover or Tyron bands which can readily be fitted to pretty much any van. Adding or removing the shower would represent a significant re-design of the interior layout, complete with plumbing changes.

You would be looking at what would effectively be a whole new model range sitting alongside the current range.

Many buyers put up with a shower that they do not want, but the absence of a shower would be a non starter to many others.

An optional storage unit for inside the shower compartment might be viable though.

 

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Andy I think in some way this is done already.

Our Adria has a side bathroom where really the only shower components are token gestures, being the tap and a bit to hang the head on the wall as it pulls out from the tap to become the shower and the rail the curtain runs on.

The room is so small that a child would struggle to use it and not flood the van, but we brought it that way knowing we won't use it as such.

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4 minutes ago, Malc said:

I think 'option' is not the right word.   With an Option, it is either fitted or not.   So if it is not fitted what do you do with the space?  I think that you are suggesting that manufacturers should have models without showers.

 

Malc

 

Mal

 Do you REALLY think I was suggesting just not fitting a  shower fitment and leaving an empty space where it would have been  :rolleyes: ??

 

OK for the avoidance of doubt. ....

 

Do people think that caravans should be produced that DONT have any form of shower fitted.  

 

Andy

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It’s probably seen as not adding much cost or weight and would potentially restrict the residual value on the used market.

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A Swiss gentleman showed me his new Fendt  Bianco - it had no shower.  There may be other continental makes too.  

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18 minutes ago, Stevan said:

A shower is not really an optional add in item, not like a mover or Tyron bands which can readily be fitted to pretty much any van. Adding or removing the shower would represent a significant re-design of the interior layout, complete with plumbing changes.

You would be looking at what would effectively be a whole new model range sitting alongside the current range.

Many buyers put up with a shower that they do not want, but the absence of a shower would be a non starter to many others.

An optional storage unit for inside the shower compartment might be viable though.

 

 

Manufacturers currently offer many varied layouts within the same model range such as. ......French beds, transverse island beds, fixed longitudinal island beds, longitudinal single beds, rear bathrooms, centre bathrooms, corner bathrooms. All of which require a wide range of different internal layouts.

 

So the option of no shower with the space being used to provide more storage, bigger lounge etc wouldn’t pose any more of a “problem” for them would it.  

 

My main interest was whether caravan users thought my idea was something makers should consider, not what the various “perceived” problems might be.  

 

Maybe I should have asked

 

“Would you consider buying a caravan that does not have a shower of any kind in the layout”

 

Andy

Edited by Mr Plodd

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To answer your last post Andy, yes I would, we've done without for 5 years.  

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There are already a few caravans that have no showers or washing up facilities however if you have a caravan without a shower, it will be a small  niche market when trying to sell it or even trade it in.   I don't think it should be an option as options add costs onto the manufacturing line which are then passed onto the consumer!  Simple economics.

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I completely understand where Andy is coming from but whether there are enough caravanners out there to justify many models without a shower is another question. The problem as I see it is that the shower is often an integral part of a caravan the design, even if that is a stand alone shower cubicle separate from the toilet compartment, as has already been pointed out, there is plumbing and drainage to consider. Where a shower is incorporated into the loo compartment, I cannot see how, other than redesigning the whole compartment, a shower could be omitted. Where the ablutions are divided into two compartments, there may be a case for having a free standing plastic cubicle that could be either fitted to or omitted from a bespoke "full length cupboard" but given the tight margins that caravan manufacturers work under, I doubt if even that would be financially viable.

We have seen how "all electric caravans" are not the greatest money spinner for manufacturers, and I think that non-shower caravans would probably fall into the same low-volume category. A caravan in essence is a self contained unit that can be used anywhere, even if the owners choose not to use the shower, or the fitted oven, or the mains hookup, I really don't see a large market for caravans without these fittings. That said, some budget caravans are still made without showers, so maybe upgrading the interior finish without adding a shower may appeal to some, just not me.

Our first two caravans were without showers and I saw a shower as an expensive luxury. Since owning caravans and motorhomes with them, they have become a necessity and I wouldn't consider having one without an onboard shower now. Even though the vast majority of our trips are to fully serviced pitches these days, it is nice to occasionally just stop in a field and know that the home comforts have not been compromised. 

Gordon

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Perhaps the question would be better asked in a poll of YES & NO answers. Just a thought.  :)

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26 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

Mal

 Do you REALLY think I was suggesting just not fitting a  shower fitment and leaving an empty space where it would have been  :rolleyes: ??

 

OK for the avoidance of doubt. ....

 

Do people think that caravans should be produced that DONT have any form of shower fitted.  

 

Andy

If you don't fit a shower then what do you replace it with? Storage? Is there really sufficient payload for useful storage?  

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16 minutes ago, Doosan said:

Perhaps the question would be better asked in a poll of YES & NO answers. Just a thought.  :)

Consider it done . . .

Link

 

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My first caravan that I bought new in 1979 was a Lynton Javelin and didn't have a shower or toilet.   The available space was used for storage.   

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I'm somewhat surprised that MG didn't mention Eriba Tourings in his post, given he's a long term user. Quite a number of Touring models don't have a washroom at all and those that do have only have a toilet and basin (plus cupboard, shelves and mirror plus a shower tray type floor and waste). Shower fittings are a cost option, as is a hot water boiler. The shower pack consists of a pullout tap and the dreaded shower curtain. For some reason UK Eriba dealers always specify the shower pack in their stock order vans, but realistically you've really got to be short and v slim to shower in such a tiny space and in 5 years of ownership I was never, ever tempted to try it. In addition I'd be concerned at the potential risk of damaging the furniture over long term use.

 

Having said all that, having a toilet and wash basin on board, in a washroom is a great plus.

 

As to volume of sales, it's certainly true that the Touring layouts with washrooms outsell the layout without them by a substantial amount.

 

Referring back to Andy's original question I assume he's suggesting that only a separate shower cubicle is dropped from the spec. and that a toilet and basin etc are still included. Effectively this would mean a 3ft by 3ft single wardrobe type space would be freed up and it would be interesting to see where and how designers would make use of such a void. In most vans additional storage isn't really necessary, especially with current payload limits.  Maybe it could result in slightly smaller vans, if things were rejigged inside so that the saving resulted in, say 6ins in length off the back.

 

Hymer have shown that it's perfectly possible to have vans in the same range with or without washrooms but I'm not so certain that with or without showers, on their own, would work. It probably wouldn't take much for a manufacturer to offer a thought through non-shower version of a popular layout model as a trial, just to see how well it did, or didn't sell. It would have to have some distinct differences to the standard model to make it worthwhile. I'm thinking a better price, lower weight and highly beneficial fit out changes to justify a reason to purchase.

 

 

How about a factory fitted mover? Sorry I couldn't resist.

 

 

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I used to do offshore yachting and long tours on a motorcycle with a 2 man ridge tent, it is possible to live and be perfectly content without a shower or lots of other so called essential conveniences . I find the modern, self indulgent mindset of life being unbearable if we are not 100% happy is somewhat disturbing.

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27 minutes ago, Easy T said:

If you don't fit a shower then what do you replace it with? Storage? Is there really sufficient payload for useful storage?  

 

Probably not with many caravan designs but doubtless that could be addressed, although the cost would probably go up if the design allowed for a higher payload.

Gordon

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A clue can be gained by the number of vans available with combined shower and toilet. If makers thought that showers were not essential, this would be a commonplace layout even in bigger vans.

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30 minutes ago, Gordon said:

Consider it done . . .

Link

 

 

Gordon

 

Thanks for that AND your very well reasoned earlier post.

 

Andy

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We have a decent shower in current and same model previous van for the last 7 years and 840 nights touring. (Prior to that it was the wetroom type). Only used as a shower on about 4 or 5 occasions. On a non-facilty site I am happy to have a stripped wash whilst stood on a bathmat. We have a rail in the shower and do hang clothes to finish drying on occasion whilst we are out. Also use it to store front seat back at night.

 

I would not buy a van without a shower though as I like the space for wet gear and, more to the point, I suspect that it would e less desireable to future second purchasers and hence to dealers also at trade in 

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18 minutes ago, Weekend Traveller said:

it is possible to live and be perfectly content without a shower or lots of other so called essential conveniences . 

I agree completely, and I do go off hiking or cycling with an Activo one man tent or one of our Quechua tents to get back to basics - that's not to say that I don't enjoy the other extreme as you will see from the outfit in my profile.

Activo_2160.jpgActivo_2162.jpg

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The first 9 responses paint a fairly clear picture.

Quite a lot of people like the idea of the option but the take up would not be great.

Time will tell if this trend continues!

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We had a van with combined shower and toilet etc. I suppose that’s the layout to go for if you want extra space elsewhere.  

 

The shower certainly didn't take away any space otherwise and can’t have added much weight at all.  

 

I used it daily for showering as we only use CL’s generally but it was a pain hence why we went for one with a proper shower.  

 

Lets be honest though, they can’t even make them watertight or stop the axles collapsing so optional extras are a long way off IMHO.  

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