What is a cowboy shower in a horse trailer?

In today’s blog post, we will answer the following question: What is a cowboy shower in a horse trailer? We will also discuss who it is for and what its advantages are. We will also tell you how to install a cowboy shower in a horse trailer by yourself. 

What is a cowboy shower in a horse trailer?

A cowboy shower is just a portable shower that allows you to shower anywhere and anytime in your horse trailer. While usually, a cowboy shower consists of two parts: a tank and/or a pump & a water outlet, there are at least four types of these showers: 

  1. Cowboy shower huts – 4 ft wide ​​self-supporting enclosures. 
  2. Hot water options – based on battery-operated, high-pressure water pumps.
  3. Primitive showers –  a 2 1/2 gallon plastic bag that gets hot if stored in the sun. 
  4. Shower kits – a DIY project; the materials can be acquired in any department or camping store. 

There are currently a multitude of portable shower models. While some offer very basic options, others are much more sophisticated and offer more possibilities. But, who is a cowboy shower typically intended for? Portable showers are suitable for virtually all individuals. However, this type of product may be more useful for specific users. It’s about :

  • Horse owners. The target audience, livestock & horse owners will find in this object the ideal ally for washing, especially after a hard day’s work.
  • Travellers. Those going on a trip can also bring this item so that they can wash it up without having to wait until they arrive at the hotel. Those who travel by car and over long distances will especially appreciate owning this very useful accessory
  • Nomads. In the category of nomads are all people who move around a lot. They can be workers, missionaries, truck drivers, travellers or homeless people.

How does a cowboy shower work?

How does a cowboy shower work exactly? To use most cowboy showers, you must first fill the water tank. This reservoir is generally made of flexible plastic material, but strong enough to prevent it from being easily pierced. Then, depending on the model, you will either have to suspend the object in height with the strap or the handle provided for this purpose or press a button.

Depending on the model of your cowboy shower, the water in the tank either flows by simple gravity or passes through a flexible pipe to reach a pommel. In the case of pressure models (with or without battery), it is not necessary to suspend the object at a height.

You should also know that it is not necessary to have the expertise of an experienced camper to use this type of object. On the other hand, you have to be careful with the choice of the product. The latter must be adapted to the needs of the user.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a cowboy shower in a horse trailer?

Much more than just a travel accessory, the cowboy shower in a horse trailer provides users with a plethora of benefits. To name just a few examples, the best models allow:

  • To shower anywhere, even in the middle of the desert;
  • Have 5 to 10-minute showers depending on the model;
  • Having enough to clean your personal belongings without having to set up a complex installation;
  • To shower with hot water in the middle of the forest and without needing an electricity source;
  • To be able to collect water from a water point in order to heat it;
  • To travel light, since it will not be necessary to carry a water container and a shower kit;
  • To store water that can be used at any time, both for washing and for drinking.
  • Their portable nature allows them to be used practically anywhere.
  • They are easy to use and do not require complex installation.
  • They are light and compact enough to be easily transportable.
  • They allow you to shower everywhere or to clean various objects.
  • Solar models provide the possibility of having hot water.
  • Models with a built-in battery do not need to be connected to a power source.
  • Some models charge and/or connect with a USB socket.
  • Depending on the capacity of the water tank, it is possible to take several showers.
  • With pump models, it is possible to draw water from any water source.
  • Some models have a filter that purifies the water.

Contrary to popular belief, these objects are not only used as part of a trip or expedition in nature. These can be used just as well in everyday life.

For example, they will find their place in the garden and allow children to clean themselves before entering the house. They can even be used as an alternative to a watering can. But, of course, these objects will especially find use during a hike or any other expedition in the wilderness.

The fields of application of portable showers are therefore quite varied and, given the advantages they offer, they have their place in the basic equipment of the camper and/or traveller. In fact, consumer reviews and tests confirm this. So all you have to do is find the right model.

And now, the disadvantages of a cowboy shower:

  • Models with a tank have a limited capacity.
  • Models with a built-in battery can run down quickly.
  • Models without a built-in battery require plugging into a power source to operate.
  • It is impossible to heat the water if the weather is overcast.
  • The pockets are not resistant to sharp and pointed objects.
  • There is not always a device to hang the pommel high.
  • The flow can be quite low on pocket models.
  • A torn pocket can be quite difficult to pressure shower, all it takes is the push of a button.
  • The water should be as clear as possible with pump models.
  • Filtration systems can be difficult to access and therefore difficult to clean.

How to install a cowboy shower in your horse trailer?

Your horse trailer can be converted into a travel trailer and you can even equip it with amenities. While your space is certainly more limited than in an RV, options can include a microwave, entertainment centre, refrigerator, sink, bed, wardrobes, and even a shower and toilet. A cowboy shower is a box containing the shower head and hose that can be folded up and stored in the shower tray when not in use.

  1. Measure a rectangular opening for the cowboy shower installation near the top of the location you have chosen in your horse trailer. Cut a matching hole with your sabre saw. Screw the shower to the wall with ⅝” self-adhesive tape. Use a room temperature vulcanizing sealer to seal the shower box against the aluminum wall. Run 3/8-inch tubing for the water line at the shower.
  1. Cut the lumber and nail the pieces together to build a frame in which to set your utility tub, which will serve as your shower pan. Secure the tub to the frame with the L-brackets at the bottom. Cover the frame with wood or panelling. Attach a long pipe to the bottom of the utility tank for drainage under the trailer.
  1. Nail two 1-inch-by-1/8-inch aluminum strips to the roof beams from which to hang the curtain. Attach a PVC frame to these strips. Screw the eyelets into the corners of the PVC frame, so that the frame can be hung from the aluminum strips with bungees.


Having a shower in your horse trailer can be a huge benefit, especially if you travel many miles or if you plan on converting your horse trailer into an RV. There are currently a multitude of portable shower models. While some offer very basic options, others are much more sophisticated and offer more possibilities. You just have to find the right one for you!

Please feel free to get in contact if you have any questions or comments on the content. 

FAQ on What is a cowboy shower in a horse trailer?

What is a cowboy shower in a trailer?

A cowboy shower in a trailer is a shower set up with either warm or cold water. Usually, a cowboy shower consists of two parts: a tank and/or a pump & a water outlet.

Do horse trailers have bathrooms?

Horse trailers with living quarters have bathrooms (a shower stall, toilet, bathroom sink and closet). 

What does a cowboy shower mean?

A cowboy shower is a simple shower set up in the living area of a horse trailer. It mainly serves those who need to take a shower after long working hours or after being on the road for quite some time. 

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