In February, I purchased a five gallon Road Shower 2 from Amazon to mount on the roof rack of my 2016 Toyota 4Runner. Delays in delivery/installation of the Prinsu roof rack, and a cooler than normal spring leave me finally reviewing this product in early June.
While the primary purpose of a solar shower is to provide heated water for showering after a day hiking, at the beach, or in camp, that wasn't why I added a Road Shower on my truck. I wanted to have a convenient supply of pressurized water to wash mud and sand off of the bottom of our kayaks, bikes, muddy feet/shoes, etc. I don't expect to use it as a full shower very often.
The Road Shower 2 is manufactured in China to specifications provided by Road Shower in the USA.
Packaging and Construction
The Road Shower 2 came packaged very well, in a thick corrugated carton of better quality than the typical Chinese cartons. Inside, the tank was completely suspended in fitted closed cell foam blocks. There was no damage to the tank, despite the carton having some minor shipping damage. The aluminum knob on the tank's valve was broken. It looked as if the carton had been dropped on its end. An email to Road Shower resulted in a replacement knob arriving in just a few days at no cost to me. A friend who has a Road Shower 2 had no damage at all to his packaging or contents.
The Road Shower 2 is a 55" long, 6" diameter cylinder; flat on the top and bottom (4-1/2" high.) It is all aluminum construction, and powder coated a textured flat black. The bottom has a full-length T-slot for mounting on a roof rack. It weighs 15 pounds empty, and 55 pounds with five gallons of water. An adhesive-backed LCD thermometer is supplied to stick on the tank. This is to show the relative temperature of the water in the tank.
One end has a 25 PSI (1.8 bar) pressure/fill cap, much like a radiator cap. Under the cap is an pressure relief tube for when the pressure in the tank exceeds 25 PSI.
On the opposite end of the Road Shower 2 is a hose valve with standard garden hose threads. Attached, is a 55" long 5/8" diameter food grade hose, with a standard adjustable garden hose nozzle on the end. On the top of the tank is a standard Schrader valve for pressurizing the tank using a tire pump or air compressor.
Mounting the Road Shower 2 is very simple, and attaches much like any roof mounted bike/ski rack. Your vehicle must have crossbars. The provided brackets and fasteners will fit 1" round or square crossbars, and aero bars. My Prinsu rack has 1" X 2" rectangular crossbars, and the supplied parts fit it just fine.
Simply slide the four carriage bolts into the T-slot on the bottom of the tank, then lay the tank on top of the crossbars. There are two pieces of adhesive backed foam that can be attached between the bottom of the tank and the crossbars to avoid scratching either, and for vibration isolation. Slip on the two steel straps, then the locking nuts. Tighten all four nuts evenly using a 1/2" wrench, and installation is complete. (I stuck the adhesive foam on the side of my rack, under the nozzle, to prevent rattling.)
A note about orientation: In order to use the full capacity of the tank, it is recommended to have the hose end of the Road Shower 2 at the lower end of the roof rack. My 4Runner is lower in front, so I mounted the Road Shower 2 on the driver's side of the roof rack.
Filling the Road Shower 2 is as simple as removing the fill cap, filling the tank, and then tightening the pressure cap. Just use your garden hose or a water jug. It is recommended to leave about 1/2 gallon of air space in the tank. The Road Shower 2 operates by pressurizing the air in the tank to force the water out though the hose. If the tank is completely full, there will be very little or no air inside, so it can't be pressurized.
From the owner's manual:
In order to pressurize the tank, you will need to have at least 1/2 gallon of air space in the thank. Otherwise there will be no com- pressed air to pressurize the water. You will get about 1 minute of pressurized water after pressurizing with 1/2 gallon of air space. When it runs out, you will have about 1.5 gallons of air space. Pressurize it again and you will get about 5 minutes of pressurized water and be able to empty the tank.
Pressurize the tank by using a tire pump, air tank, or air compressor. The Schrader valve on the tank is the same type as used on vehicle tires. Once the tank is pressurized, you will hear air escaping the relief valve under the fill cap. When this happens, the Road Shower 2 is ready to use.
The tank can also be filled and pressurized by removing the supplied hose and attaching a garden hose attached to your home spigot. This will fill the tank, and at the same time pressurize it up to 25 PSI or the water pressure of your local water supply, whichever is less.
continued in next post...