Skip to content


Constructing the plumbing network in your van can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! 

These step-by-step guides have been carefully curated to take away some of the stress, frustration, and confusion.

Disclaimer: We do not have any plumbing qualifications. All of our skills are completely self taught through a lot of research. We hope you find these guides helpful, but keep in mind this is not professional advice. The plumbing in a van is fairly straightforward, however if you do not feel comfortable be sure to consult a qualified professional.


Total Cost


Total Time

7 hours

16 hours (including shower construction)

Van Plumbing Essentials

water tanks

The first thing to do on your quest to getting running water in your van is to install the water tanks. You will need to install a fresh water tank and a grey water tank. 

Prior to installing these tanks there is a few considerations you will have to take into account. These factors will determine whether you have an internal or external tank, where you position it, and how big it is.

Fresh Water Tank


  • will you be travelling to cold climates
  • do you have a shower in your van
  • how long do you want to stay off grid
  • how much water you will use daily

We opted for the 70L Fiamma water tank which is located inside the van. This is because it is a good volume and a good price. It also has a few customisable options for installing it. Although it takes up space inside the van, it is very unobtrusive.

Grey Water Tank


  • how big is your fresh water tank
  • will you be traveling to cold climates
  • how much space do you have inside your van

We chose an underslung water tank to save space. Although we do hope to travel to colder climates occasionally, it won’t be a regular occurrence. Therefore, it seemed foolish to waste more space inside the van.

A step-by-step guide showing you how to correctly install your Fiamma fresh water tank to avoid any leaks.

A step-by-step guide showing you how to correctly install an underslung grey water tank

Water pump, filter, and accumulator

The next step when plumbing a van is installing all the necessary components to have running water. This includes a water filter, pump and accumulator. 

Water Filter

We use a Shurflo Water Filter

A water filter stops dirt and debris from entering the water pump.

Note: this type of filter is design to protect the pump, not purify your water.

Water Pump

We use a Shurflo Trail King 10 Water Pump

An electrical diaphragm pump (e.g Shurflo Trial King pump) pressurises the water automatically when you use the sink or shower.


We use a Fiamma A20 Expansion Tank

The accumulator regulates the flow of water to be smoother, increases the lifespan of your pump, reduces unwanted cycling, and saves battery.

A step-by-step guide showing you how to connect your water filter, pump, and accumulator.

Install Water Heater

If you are opting to have a shower in your van, a water heater is ESSENTIAL. Honestly, we believe it is non-negotiable. 

However, with so many to choose from at drastically different price points what one is right for you. 



Thing to consider

  • how you intend on powering it – gas, electricity, diesel
  • how much you are prepared to pay
  • do you want tankless instant hot water (rare in the UK)
  • do you intend on having a combi boiler – water heater and air heater

Why we chose the Propex Water Heater

  • it’s cheap (by comparison to its competitors)
  • it is electric
  • it’s a good volume
  • And most importantly… it’s easy to install.

Find out how to install it below.

how to install an electric propex water heater

BEst of the Best

The water heater we use

Find out how to install it below.

how to install an electric propex water heater

The heater we would choose if we had gas in the van

The heater we would choose if money was no object

Truma Combi 4e – £1,350.00

Install and plumb the shower

If you are similar to us, you will consider having a shower in your van a necessity. 

However, with limited space, it can be tricky to find a shower that works for you. 

The first place to start when installing a shower is finding a suitably sized shower tray – it must be small, but still comfortable enough for you to not feel claustrophobic. 

Our shower tray is the smallest one we could find – measuring 585 x 585mm – and we LOVE it!

A step-by-step guide to creating a strong, sturdy, and lightweight shower with easy to follow diagrams

A straightforward guide to installing aqua panels. They are flexible, lightweight and fairly easy to install.

An in-depth guide to installing a shower mixer with handy tips and tricks to make the plumbing process simple.

All Plumbing Posts