Road Shower 4S – Luxurious and Practical
Is it possible to have a high-quality pressurized water system on the go? With the Road Shower 4S ($330) it is! This durable mobile shower set up really impressed us.
We have a modest overland “light” set up – 2018 Toyota 4Runner TRD with a rooftop tent (Roofnest Tent review here) and a stowable awning (Slim Shady review here). I have carried some smaller pressurized water systems (Rinse Kit) and always have a few gallons of water on hand. So I was pretty stoked on testing this system!
After the Outdoor Retailer Winter Show (Yakima interview here) Yakima sent over the Road Shower 4S for us to check out. The unit they sent to us to test was actually the 7-gallon medium size version. Being as I can not find that exact unit available at the time of this review, I am going to treat it as if it was the 4-gallon version. The 4-gallon version is a bit lighter, costs less, and will be a bit shorter. Other than that, they are the same features and construction.
Being that it is the middle of winter for us here in Colorado, I did not get to use it for a month or so. It is recommended to not let the water freeze, for safety. I mounted it up on a pair of 68″ Yakima HD bars in about 20 minutes. Very easy installation. The hardest part was figuring out the placement among the roof tent and awning.
The mounts are simple to use and adjustable so you can dial in the location to your liking. There are 2 ports you can use for filling and discharging. I opted for the rear port (closest to the rear of the vehicle). This port is dual purpose – you can fill it with water using a garden hose, and you can then attach the provided hose to use as a shower or whatever you choose to do with it.
At first, I was a bit nervous about filling it up. I was not sure how to know when it is full and was concerned that I would break it before even using it LOL. Well, Road Shower was smart and placed a pressure release valve on top (basically like a car radiator). As the unit neared full, the additional pressure and water “blew off” and let me know that she was full.
I was very impressed with how easy it was to use. After seeing the safety feature in action, I feel comfortable recommending this to anyone. Another impressive feature is how well it maintained pressure. As you can see in the video, the pressure was still intact, even after 10 days of driving and camping from Denver to Ohio.
There is a temperature gauge sticker to mount on the unit, but I lost mine on the first day LOL. So, I always test the temp of the water on the back of my hand before using it. The dark color of the unit does a good job of keeping the water warm. I have not had it too hot to use yet, and we have used it 2 miles high, and in temps as high as 98 degrees.
Some tips for use:
1. Do not let the water freeze.
I left water in the tank during an April snowstorm. The water froze and became a 50lb water log. As I drove around town, I had this eery feeling that, if I slammed on the brakes, the water log would launch and cause some seriously bad times. Fortunately, that did not happen! I eased around town, and the ice chunk melted.
2. Have a second person with you to fill up.
This is always a good idea when you are filling up for long distances. My wife and I used our neighbor’s outdoor faucet and a 50″ hose to fill this up. There can be a lot of spilled water if you do this yourself. I don’t mind getting soaked though 🙂
3. Spend some time measuring out where you want to place this.
Make sure you like where you mount it and test out opening doors, trunks, etc, to make sure everything functions well. Like I mentioned earlier, it took us a bit to make sure the placement was ideal for our set up.
4. Check bolts before or after offroad use.
I never had a problem with it coming to lose, so this is not an issue I am griping about. I just wanted to plant the seed to check all connections – for any accessories – before and after hard use. It just takes a moment and can make a big difference in how your day is going to go 🙂
Road Shower 4S Review
The Road Shower system is great. I know a lot of my engineer friends have worked hard to make their own water systems and some have done a good job. But, the Road Shower system is just built well and functions great. The investment of $330 for this durable set up seems worth it to me. I have used it for hosing down bikes, dogs covered in animal scat, kids that need to cool off, rafts and kayaks, and even put out some campfires.
I like being prepared too. I carry a fair amount of gear with me, as I like to have the right tools for the job. This takes the place of the big blue water jug that takes up space in the trunk. It takes the place of the other pressurized water system that I might carry. And it gives me peace of mind knowing that I have enough water to cook with, clean with and keep my wife happy. If the 7-gallon version becomes available again, I would recommend it as well. It fits on our rig very nicely.