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A portable shower stall is one that people can move and install anywhere to provide shower facilities in areas where a bathroom might not be accessible. This is a blanket term that covers several different types of portable showers. The portable shower stall may be a collapsible camping shower, a small stall meant for use in someone’s bedroom when they can’t make it to the bathroom due to health reasons or remodeling, or it can be a portable trailer with full bathroom facilities inside.
Sometimes people who are ill, injured or physically disabled can’t use regular showers because of limited mobility. They are either too sick to travel the distance from the bedroom to the bathroom, can’t lift their feet over the initial step to a shower or over the side of a tub, or are in a wheelchair and need special accommodations such as seats or more space in the shower. Remodeling can take care of high barriers and adding space, but even then there is a period where the shower is unavailable because of the construction.
Campers set up portable showers to enable themselves to bathe while out in the wilderness. A portable shower stall next to a pool at a home can provide swimmers with a way to wash off before and after hitting the pool, where they could introduce contaminants or be covered in chlorine. Firefighters and rescue workers out in the field or battling a forest fire can benefit from portable shower trailers that enable them to clean up after a day of work when they are unable to return to their homes. The stalls are also useful for people currently doing work on their home or who are at multiday festivals.
A portable shower stall meant for home medical use usually has rigid sides from the floor up to at least halfway. The stall can have curtains hanging off a frame to give the patient privacy if the stall has only half-walls. A seat is often part of the stall, and the floor has drainage tubing that allows the shower water to flow to a sink or drain elsewhere. The water supply comes from hoses attached to faucets in the bathroom, kitchen or utility room, whichever is closest, and the stall may have its own water heater.
Camping showers are soft-sided and collapsible tentlike structures with opaque walls. The water supply isn’t as sophisticated as that of a medical portable shower, coming from a bag suspended above the user, but it still lets campers clean themselves off with some privacy. Campers who want hot water in a portable shower stall have to heat up water with a solar shower bag, which traps heat when exposed to sunlight, or by hooking up a portable water heater.
Mobile trailers that carry everything from a single shower unit to full bathrooms are necessary for rescue workers and firefighters who may be at a remote site, such as a forest fire. Some of these units have enough room to hold 12 showers, similar to a locker room in a gymnasium. The water supply comes from storage tanks of varying sizes.