Van-Hygiene – how to stay clean even on long journeys.

Someone washing their hands

How do I shower with just a little water? What to do if there is no toilet? We answer the most important questions about hygiene when travelling in a van.

Vanlife does not have to be unhygienic.

Hygiene in everyday life, whether with one’s own body or in the immediate environment, is a basic human need. As an inexperienced camper, you will quickly shy away when it comes to life in a van. Because comfortably furnished vans do not always have a shower and toilet and the supply of running fresh water is also limited. This makes it unimaginable for many to maintain a certain standard of hygiene in the long term. But the prejudices are deceptive. We have researched the vanlife community and found some effective tips and tricks to make living in a van a pleasant experience.

Bird's eye view of two campervans driving along a road

On the road conditions are different from those in the home.

Many paths lead to the shower.

First of all, it is important to discard the daily routine of a stationary dwelling and adapt to the conditions of a home on two axes. It starts with the fresh and waste water tanks, which rarely hold more than a hundred liters. This is not enough for extensive showers, especially not if you are travelling in pairs and also wash dishes from time to time. However, there are other ways to do your own body washing. The easiest way is to make use of sanitary facilities at rest areas, camping sites or in swimming pools. Some long-distance travelers have already signed up for a membership in a fitness chain in order to enjoy a hot shower in different places. If you don’t have a shower inside or outside the van, you can also get a good result with a bucket of water and a washcloth without wasting much of the water.

Water from the cemetery.

Maybe at this point some of you might wonder: Where can I get clean fresh water from? The usual places to go are rest stops, camping sites and the like. In addition, less obvious places like cemeteries can serve as a source in case of emergency. If you also want to drink the water, it is absolutely necessary to pay attention to an appropriate identification. Alternatively, you can also buy drinking water in larger canisters at the supermarket.

A dripping tap outdoors

Water points are the be-all and end-all for campers.

If you have to pay a visit.

Another annoying and unavoidable topic is the toilet. If the van has a built-in toilet, this is only limited and better usable for, let’s just say No. 1s. Here, too, it is more practical to use cafés, fast food restaurants, petrol stations and public toilets. Therefore, it is worthwhile to regularly plan an obligatory stop before leaving a city. If you are far away from civilization, there are other possibilities. If you feel the need at night and do not want to leave the van, you can alternatively use the “pee funnel”. This term was coined by the YouTube van travel couple Eamon & Bec and describes a construction consisting of a high funnel, hose and collecting container. For the No. 2s, however, a camping toilet is recommended.

View into the interior of a tidy motorhome

You should not leave anything lying around in the van.

Keeping order in five square meters.

In addition to your own physical needs, you also have to take care of the van household. You might think that the effort is limited with a single-digit number of square meters. In fact, there is a greater danger of sinking into chaos here. With objects lying around, you clog up your space faster in a confined space. It is therefore important to use well thought-out storage systems. If you do not use an object any more, you should put it right away instead of later, that’s the golden rule. You can also save space by removing bulky packaging from purchased products, such as a muesli shrink-wrapped in plastic from a cardboard box. Last but not least, regular cleaning out is very helpful. The more order there is in the van; the faster you can clean it!

The shown conversions were carried out by independent third parties. The suppliers and conversions were not checked by Mercedes-Benz. In this respect, these illustrations do not represent an assessment of the supplier and/or conversions by Mercedes-Benz.

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