The Outdoor Shower Is Complete!!!!

It feels so good to get this project finished! IMG_20130825_122552_570

My original plans were:

Primitive Shower PlansThe outer structure consists of 4 premade cedar fence panels and 6 cedar 4×4 – 8’.

IMG_20130721_121008_472

We used 4×4 posts dug 3 feet into the ground to connect the panels and create the outer structure.  There are more details here

IMG_20130721_132113_840

For the floor, we used big patio stones with a 1.5” gap between each stone and then the gaps are filled in with small pea stones. There are more detail son how we did the floor here.

IMG_20130727_191427_530

Next, we build two benches (using the Anna White Simple Outdoor Bench) one for the front and one for the back of the shower.

IMG_20130811_112520_587

The we measured the length of the inside back wall and the inside short 3′ panel to create shelves.  For the 3′ panels, we just sued some 1x4s cut to size (and stained) and connected to the supporting 2x4s of the panel.  These shelves are just the right size for the shampoo, etc.

IMG_20130825_113301_026

The back shelf was a little different, we used shelf supports and a 1×8 along the entire back end of the shower  so we can store other items in bins.

IMG_20130825_114310_336#1

IMG_20130825_123408_390

We also installed plenty of hooks to hang your towels IMG_20130825_123341_131

For the water system, I found a propane water heater + water pump + water filter that we are using with a rain barrel.  My husband did all of the work getting this set up, so in his words, here’s what was done:

First – my wife is a beautiful, brilliant, creative woman. I love her very much. I know that there are so many things I never would have done or learned to enjoy without her. Including buying an Island. That we have an island is pretty cool. That we now [on something completely off the grid] have hot showers on demand – even cooler.
In addition to the kit above [just getting started with the additions] – you’ll need a water barrel or some water source less than 5 feet away. The pump is rated for 6 feet. Couple of that footage has got to get water from the ground up to the shower. Not sure how the reviewers got it to pull from a stream or a river with this pump.  Still a great shower/pump combo.
We went with a deck box to house the business end of the system, to protect it from weather and it looks nice. Here’s what we bought from Menards. They are pretty much cheaper than anybody out there AND had it in stock.

IMG_20130818_113904_257 IMG_20130810_100304_758We lined the deck box with plywood cut to size to reenforce the floor and give us something to secure the water pump to. It’s not supposed to move around. A propane tank is pretty heavy as is a 12 volt marine battery so reinforcement – good idea.

IMG_20130810_103513_411SO you are buying some plywood to now.  And you need a saw.

We use a small gas powered Generac generator to run the electric saw, and other power tools. This generator is a one pull start every time for three years, except when I let the oil run low. And fortunately it wouldn’t start. Brought it in to a local shop – they added oil and started right up.  I love this generator.

All the hose & clamps you need for the water barrel were included with this rain barrel to connect it to the water pump. Thing is solid doesn’t leak either. And it’s got a broad top for rain collection.

IMG_20130818_113849_310

Cut a 3/4″ hole in the deck box with a drill bit / battery drill to get the hose from the rain barrel into the deck box and connect to the water pump’s filter.IMG_20130818_113919_694What was tricky was the inlet adapter used a 3/4″ inlet and the outlet was 1/2″. Had to get extra braided 3/4″ hose to get this connected.  Used a box cutter to cut the hose. Went to the local Ace to get all the hose and adapters to make it work. A bit PITA but worth it when we got the first hot shower.

IMG_20130810_153456_959

The water pump’s power runs off a 12v marine battery – power connecter clips purchased at Menards – [not furnished w/water pump kit]. Used needle nose pliers to crimp water pumps wires into the clips.

IMG_20130818_113930_889

When the power is not needed – we clip it to the plastic handle so it doesn’t drain the charge.

They recommend a fuse in between – I ignored that. Didn’t expect a lot of unexpected surges…

BTW – the reviews say it pulls with a hose from a river/stream just fine. Not so for us. Found out later that it has a 6ft max pimp distance so river 25ft away – not gonna happen.

Drilled 2, 3/4″ holes through the back of the deck box through the shower’s wood fencing directly under the thankless water heater/shower.  One for water one for the propane.
Once you hook those two up to the shower unit it’s pretty much done.
IMG_20130810_162319_856We now are using a solar trickle charger to keep the battery charged so we don’t have to swap batteries out.

IMG_20130825_133056_024So far so good. Hot showers on the island – awesome.

So, that was Tom on his great work.  Thi shower does work awesome. On the lowest settings this is a very hot shower!

IMG_20130825_122702_843

We just need to find out it the rain barrel alone can collect enough water (it does have a large screening opening on the top, or if we need a backup rain barrel or if we need to add some gutter system to the back f the shower to collect more water.  But only time will tell!

The rest of the weekend was also awesome, i have some great pictures, but the post is getting extra long, so I will hold off and try to post on that tomorrow.

5 Comments

  1. Jo said,

    August 27, 2013 at 10:41 am

    I don’t have an island but, boy, would I love an outdoor shower. If we ever get our renovations finished IN the house, I’m putting this on the list. Great job to both of you. What a team! Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

  2. haileyjw said,

    August 28, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Looks awesome! Way to go guys! Nothing like a hot shower in the great outdoors. 🙂

  3. Wendy Kunderman said,

    June 19, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Hi Shower looks fantastic. We are going to try our hand at this on Manitoulin Island. Could you post a pic of the set up finished of the rain barrel to the hookup inside with the pump and the battery. Not sure how all of them are placed. Thanks! Wendy

    • ElizabethL42 said,

      June 21, 2014 at 2:59 pm

      I don’t have any pictures of that right now, I may be out to the island next weekend, so I will try to takes some pictures and post them. It is a pretty simple set up.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: