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Ride High and Clean on the Road: The Benefits of Cowboy Showers

Taking a shower is an essential aspect of maintaining good hygiene while on the road. Whether you are a horse owner, a rodeo athlete, or a road-trip enthusiast, it is always a good idea to have access to a shower wherever you go.

This is where the cowboy shower comes in. If you have never heard of it, don’t worry.

In this article, we will explain what a cowboy shower is and why you should consider having one in your horse trailer.

Definition and Explanation of Cowboy Shower

A cowboy shower is a portable shower unit that is designed to be used in outdoor spaces, such as campsites, rodeo venues or horse trailers. It may consist of a collapsible bucket, a showerhead that hooks onto a tree branch or a camping tent with built-in shower facilities.

The term cowboy shower originates from the idea that cowboys on cattle drives would often bathe in rivers and streams during their journey. However, with the advent of modern technology, it is now possible to bring that same convenience and simplicity to your own backyard, campsite, or on the road.

Advantages of a Cowboy Shower

One of the main advantages of a cowboy shower is its convenience. Rather than having to rely on the limited shower facilities available at campgrounds or rodeo venues, you can bring your own shower with you.

This can be particularly useful when traveling in a group or with family members who all require shower facilities. Another advantage is that cowboy showers are portable.

They are easy to set up and can be dismantled just as easily. They take up minimal space, making them ideal for use in RVs, horse trailers, or camping tents.

In addition, they require no electricity, which means that you do not have to rely on an electrical hookup to use them.

Ideal Features of A Horse Trailer

If you plan on using a cowboy shower in your horse trailer, there are a few key features that you should look for. Ideally, the trailer should be large enough to accommodate a private shower area.

This can be achieved by setting up a tent or by using the trailer’s existing structure. It is important to ensure that the shower area is enclosed to provide privacy.

In addition, horse trailers should have adequate ventilation to prevent the buildup of moisture and the growth of mold. This can be achieved by installing fans or opening windows.

Finally, the shower area should be easy to clean, as horse trailers tend to accumulate dust and dirt.

Considerations for Stock Trailer

If you plan on using a cowboy shower in a stock trailer, there are a few additional considerations to keep in mind. Stock trailers typically have slats on the sides, which can make it difficult to provide privacy in the shower area.

One option is to cover up the slats with a tarp or shower curtain. This will help to provide privacy while still allowing for adequate ventilation.

Another option is to set up a shower tent outside the trailer.


In conclusion, a cowboy shower is a portable, convenient, and affordable way to bring shower facilities with you wherever you go. If you own a horse trailer or a stock trailer, you can easily set up a private shower area to make your travels more comfortable.

By considering the ideal features of your trailer and taking the necessary precautions for privacy and hygiene, you can enjoy the benefits of a cowboy shower on the road or at any outdoor event.If you love outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, or horseback riding, you must have faced the challenge of finding a suitable space or facility to take a shower. Fortunately, cowboy showers provide a solution to the problem by allowing you to have a portable shower that you can set up anywhere.

In this article, we will explain how to make a cowboy shower in two ways: through DIY options and off the shelf cowboy shower options.

DIY Options for a Simple Shower System

One of the simplest ways to make a cowboy shower is by using a bucket of water and a sponge. This option is ideal if you are camping or on a trail ride and don’t have other facilities like a water pump or showerhead.

The first step is to heat water in a kettle or pot over a fire or stove. Once the water is hot, pour it into a bucket and mix it with cool water to the desired temperature.

Next, soak a sponge or washcloth in the water and use it to wash yourself. Squeeze the sponge over your body to rinse the soap away.

You can repeat this process until you feel clean. While not an ideal solution, this DIY option is simple, cheap, and effective when you don’t have other options.

Off the Shelf Cowboy Shower Options

If you prefer a more advanced cowboy shower, several products are available off the shelf. You can choose between a basic pump, solar shower, or propane-heated shower setup.

A basic pump/showerhead combo works by providing water pressure with a foot pump or hand pump. The showerhead then dispenses the water.

This option is relatively cheap and efficient. It can be used as an emergency backup system in case of power outages at home or to provide a portable camping shower.

Another option is a solar shower. It uses the sun’s energy to heat water, which is held in a bag with a showerhead attachment.

It is an excellent option for camping or outdoor activities, as it is lightweight and easy to set up. The downside is that it may take several hours to heat the water, and the showering time depends on the water supply.

Finally, a propane-heated shower setup provides a luxurious cowboy shower experience. It is designed with a water tank, a heating element, and a showerhead attachment.

The heating element is powered by propane, which allows you to heat the water quickly. This setup is suitable for large groups or extended trips where constant access to hot water is essential.

Functionality of Basic Water Pump / Shower Head Combo

If you opt for the basic pump/showerhead combo, you can further customize the system. For instance, you can add an inline water filter to purify the water in case it is sourced from a contaminated source.

You may also add a water heater, which can be powered by electricity, propane or solar, to provide hot water for a more comfortable showering experience. A basic water pump/shower head combo is a great option for a portable shower.

It is small and easy to carry, making it ideal for outdoor activities. It also requires minimal setup time, since you only need to connect the pump to the water source and showerhead attachment.

Shower Time Depends on Water Supply

The downside of a basic water pump/shower head combo is that it depends on the water supply available. You need to fill up the water tank manually, which may prove to be tiring and time-consuming.

The shower time also depends on the amount of water available, typically between 5 and 10 gallons. Quick showers are possible, but if you require a long shower, you may need to refill the water tank.

Most people can get a decent shower from 5 gallons of water, with the shower lasting between 2 and 4 minutes. This makes it an excellent option for individuals who are always on the move, such as truckers, hikers, and campers.


Cowboy showers offer a convenient solution for people who love outdoor activities. Whether you prefer a low-tech approach, such as a bucket of water and sponge, or the more advanced options with solar-powered and propane-heated showers, there is a suitable cowboy shower for your needs.

So, next time you want to indulge in an activity that requires a shower, consider making a cowboy shower and enjoy a refreshing bath while on the road.A cowboy shower is a portable and efficient way of taking a shower while on outdoor activities. If you don’t have access to running water, electricity, or other shower facilities, a solar shower or a heated tankless cowboy shower setup can provide a comfortable shower option.

In this article, we will elaborate on solar showers and heated tankless cowboy shower setups, including their features, advantages, and disadvantages.

Warm Water from the Sun

A solar shower is a camping shower that uses the sun’s energy to heat water. It is one of the simplest and most environmentally friendly ways to get warm water for a refreshing shower.

All you need is a solar shower bag, which is typically made of durable plastic, with a showerhead and a long hose. The shower bag is filled with water (up to 5 gallons) and then placed in the sun for a few hours.

The sun’s energy heats the water, making it perfect for a comfortable shower. Solar showers are ideal for summer camping trips or outdoor activities.

They are lightweight, compact, and easy to transport. You can hang the shower bag in a tree or stand it on the ground while you take a shower.

Multiple Users and Shower Time

One downside of a solar shower is that it can only provide a limited amount of shower time for one user. Typically, a 5-gallon solar shower bag can provide enough water for a 5-7 minute shower.

If you have multiple users or need to take back-to-back showers, you may need to refill the bag or purchase multiple bags. However, some solar shower bags have larger capacities, such as 10 gallons, which can provide enough water for multiple users.

You can also purchase multiple bags to provide different people with different showering options. Solar showers are ideal for camping situations and outdoor activities where you need to take a quick shower without access to power or other shower facilities.

Propane Tank or Electricity as Power Source

A heated tankless cowboy shower setup is a more luxurious option for outdoor showering. It typically consists of a water tank, a water heater, and a showerhead attachment.

The water is heated either by propane or electricity, and the showerhead can be attached to a nearby hook or tree. If using propane, the heating element is fueled by a propane tank, which is connected to the heater.

The heater heats the water as it flows through the showerhead. If using electricity, the heating element connects to a nearby power source via an outlet or extension cord.

Water Storage Options and Luxurious Setup

A heated tankless cowboy shower setup provides a luxurious outdoor showering experience, and the water supply depends on the storage system used. For instance, if you use a 50-gallon barrel, you can enjoy long, comfortable showers without worrying about running out of hot water.

A larger tank may be required for extended use by multiple people. The tankless water heater ensures a continuous supply of hot water.

You may also install additional features, such as a rain showerhead, to create a more luxurious setup. One thing to keep in mind when using a heated tankless cowboy shower is that you need to be careful to protect the heating element from getting wet or exposed to the elements.

As long as the heating element is properly shielded, a heated tankless cowboy shower is a fantastic option for outdoor showering.


Both solar showers and heated tankless cowboy shower setups provide outdoor showering options. While solar showers are perfect for summer camping and quick showers, a propane or electric heated tankless cowboy shower setup is comfortable, luxurious, and provides extended showering times.

The choice of which shower setup to utilize depends on individual preferences and the intended use of the shower setup. By choosing an option that suits your needs, you can enjoy comfortable showering experiences outdoors.A cowboy shower is a versatile and convenient way of taking a shower outdoors.

It is a portable option that can be used in various settings, including horse trailers, camping grounds, and rodeo venues. While its primary use is for showering, there are several side benefits of a cowboy shower that make it a necessary tool for horse owners and outdoor enthusiasts.

In this article, we will delve into these benefits in more detail.

Proper Horse First Aid and Care

One of the main side benefits of a cowboy shower is its ability to provide proper care for horse injuries. When a horse sustains a cut or gash, it is essential to rinse the wound effectively to prevent infection.

A cowboy shower provides a quick and efficient way of rinsing the wound with clean water, which is particularly useful when far from a stable. To use the cowboy shower, fill up a bucket with clean water and pump it through the showerhead attachment.

You can then use the showerhead to rinse the wound thoroughly. It ensures that all dirt, gravel, and debris are removed, and the wound is rinsed clean.

Quick Horse Rinse Off

Another benefit of a cowboy shower is its ability to provide a quick rinse off for horses. Horses need to cool down after a workout, and a quick rinse-off can help initiate this process.

If you’re in a show ground setting or on the road where permanent wash racks are not available, a cowboy shower can provide a convenient way to rinse off a horse. To do a quick rinse off, fill up a bucket with clean water and pump it through the showerhead attachment.

Direct the water onto the horse, starting at the neck and working your way down to the legs. The water helps dissipate heat from the horse’s body, which is ideal for hot weather conditions.

Benefits of Cowboy Shower

The benefits of a cowboy shower are numerous, and it provides a convenient way of taking a shower wherever you are. It ensures that you stay clean and refreshed, which can improve your outdoor experience.

It also provides an easy way to rinse off equipment, such as tack and riding boots. In addition, a cowboy shower can provide a safe and clean way to care for horse injuries.

The quick and efficient rinsing process ensures that wounds are cleaned correctly, which is essential for preventing infection.

Various Portable and Convenient Options

There are various options available when it comes to choosing a cowboy shower. You can use a simple pump in a bucket setup or opt for more advanced options such as solar showers and tankless water heaters.

A pump in a bucket setup is portable and easy to set up, making it a great option for outdoor activities. Solar showers are ideal for camping trips and show ground settings where access to power may be limited.

Tankless water heaters provide an extended showering experience and are suitable for groups or prolonged outdoor activities such as horse shows.


In conclusion, a cowboy shower is a versatile and convenient way of taking a shower outdoors. It has several side benefits, including its ability to provide proper horse care and a quick rinse off.

The benefits of a cowboy shower are numerous, and it provides a safe and easy way to stay clean and refreshed. With various portable and convenient options available, it is now easier than ever to enjoy a comfortable shower wherever you are.

Cowboy showers are portable

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