If you are fitting roof racks you could consider adding more water and a shower by making a simple PVC tubing shower. If you search the internet a bunch of over complicated how-to pages will come up. And there are a couple of commercially available ones such as the Road Shower, which comes in at a whooping $699.99 rrp in NZ.
Admittedly it is a quality unit, made out of aluminium. Road Shower recently got bought by roof rack giant Yakima, perhaps proving the trend in roof mounted water storage.
Don’t wanna fork out a return trip on the inter-islander? Well fear not, DIY’ing a roof rack shower is pretty easy and fun to do. And cost less than $200 NZD in parts.
Very simply; roof rack brackets, 100mm PVC pipe, pipe ends, solvent cement and garden hose tap-ware readily available at hardware stores are all you need. PVC pipe is relatively insulative so the water inside won’t warm up that much, but painting the finished unit black will warm the water inside to more than the ambient air temperature.
1 metre of 100mm pipe equates to 11 litres of water storage, but also 11 kgs of weight on your roof racks, so 1500mm of pipe is a good length for weight and a good weight spread on most fitted roof racks. There are easy ways of pressurising the unit, which is great for washing down muddy bikes and gear, but this does require the addition of an expensive pressure relief valve and a bike schrader valve.
The simplest set up is a sealed/cemented end cap at one end of the pipe and then a T junction style end with 2 threaded caps on the other end. The threaded caps come with o-rings that will prevent leaks. Position one so it is facing upwards, this will be your filling cap. The other threaded one will be facing the rear and this is the one you’ll drill a hole in the bottom of its face to add the tap, that will take the hose and the shower head. Once you’ve dry fitted everything, and figured out the orientation of the PVC Tube and T junction, then simply cement the T junction into place on the tube.
To use, once it’s in place on the racks, simply pre fill at home. Then when you want a rinse loosen the fill cap [to stop the unit air locking] attach your hose to the tap, open and gravity will do the rest.