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This Epic, Easy RV Shower Hack Will Blow Your Mind!

So, you hate your RV shower, do ya? We hear you! Your stock RV shower head SUUUUUCKS.

Adding to probably a very small shower, now you add SUPER weak shower head pressure, and a narrow 'spray'.

The worst part?  That maddening dribble when push the button to 'pause' the water flow.

The Infamous 'Flow Restrictor'

The above video shows my Oxygenics showerhead active in the 'on' position and then the 'pause' position.

(They call it their 'Smart Pause'. We call it the 'super annoying DRIBBLE')

Most showerheads made for RVs will have a 'flow restrictor' that comes as part of the showerhead. 

They will ALL dribble. Because, incredibly, they are MADE to dribble.

Why? If you want to know, we explain why here.

You're familiar with the dribble, you know it's awful. The worst part about it is that the dribble often either turns cold or hot while dribbling.

Then you have to let it run while facing it AWAY from you, to get it back to your set temperature.

Makes for a most uncomfortable shower. Also, if you're boondocking, then you're wasting a lot of precious water.

The good news is that we have a solution to STOP THE DRIBBLE! It's time to unveil the hack that will become your favorite RV shower hack of all time.

The Exciting Hack That Will Better Your RV Shower Experience Forever

There's no need to suffer from the installed flow restrictor that came with your RV anymore.

Enter this simple little miracle hack!

Kelly shower shut off valve

This valve is your new best friend.

You're wondering "What, add another shut-off valve?! But won't it just dribble too?"


This one will legit STOP the water flow. It won't hurt your RV water system, either. It's even SUPER easy to install!

Just attach it at the base of your shower hose (as pictured above) or at the head end of your hose.

Using a little plumbers tape wouldn't hurt to make sure it doesn't leak. You can even leave your old flow restrictor on. Just don't use it.

There MAY be one small catch, however, to perfecting your shower experience.

You still may or may not need a second part to keep the water from coming out too hot or too cold when you turn it back on. You can get the shut-off valve below:

RV shower shut-off valve

Here's the deal. Both Marshall and I ordered both parts for this upgrade.

  1. A shut-off valve (to stop the stream)
  2. A flow restrictor valve (to keep the water temperature constant)

NEITHER of us installed the flow restrictor valve. We wanted to test to see if our water temperatures were ok without it.

They were!

The significant change in the temperature of the water coming out when we turned the flow back on went bye-bye. So neither of us ever installed ours.

The Flow Restrictor Valve Problem

So what's the issue?

One day a reader reached out to let us know that the flow restrictor valve we recommended did not fit his threads.

They were incompatible with his RV plumbing.

We looked at our unused valves  to see if they WOULD install ok, and found the same issue. Looks like there's no industry standard on RV plumbing. 

Kelly's RV shower

Yer typical ho-hum RV shower. At least this one has the right upgrades!

It will fit some units, and it won't others.

Unfortunately, we cannot tell you whether or not it will fit yours.

What we CAN tell you is that most installations we have heard about do just fine without it.

There have been a couple where the hot or cold was still a little too much.

We recommend you just try the flow stopper first.

See if your water still changes the temperature or not.

Camco backflow preventer check valve

Flow restrictor valve

If it does, at least you still have one benefit.

You've stopped the dribble.

Trying out the backflow valve can be worth it as it's pretty cheap. 

Try at your own risk!

Your Second Favorite Upgrade For The RV Shower

Replacing your lame factory-installed shower head is one of the simplest, best changes you can make for your RV shower.

Most manufacturer shower heads have a VERY weak 'stream'.

(I can't even bring myself to call it pressure.)

Installing an Oxygenics brand shower head is one of your best bets.

Oxygenics shower head

Do I HAVE To Get A Shower Head Made Specifically For RVs?


Most regular showerheads from somewhere like Home Depot should fit just fine.

The only 'issue' you may come across is that they usually have higher GPM (gallon per minute) rates.

Again, this is bad for when you are dry camping.

A new RV shower head is usually one of the first mods anyone does when they get a new recreational vehicle.

On our RV Shower Head page, we explain more about the benefits of getting a low-flow shower head and more.

The brand Oxygenics is one of the top and most well-known RV brands and for good reason.

They make a variety of RV showerheads, the Fury shower head being their most popular 'fancy' model.

Their technology makes the pressure feel much higher than it is.

Cass testimonial headshot


"I LOVE my Fury shower head.

It uses substantially less water than my stock one, and the width of the spray is much larger.

Water pressure is enough that I can wash my hair with a proper rinse.

I now shower when boondocking almost twice as much as before, which is AMAZING.

Less wet wipe 'showers' for me!"

Cass and Oxygenics Fury shower head

Cass is CLEARLY excited about her Fury shower head in her Basecamp!

If you hate your stock showerhead, and you likely do, this is the easiest upgrade you can do to your RV.

Just ask any RVer who has done it.

It's cheap and it's easy. That makes it 100% worth it! Find our shower head reviews here.

RV Shower Hack Conclusion

There you have it. You're welcome.  We say that now, because we know you're going to say "THANK YOU!!!!" after you have installed your flow-stopping valve. (And maybe your new RV shower head!)

The flow stopper/new shower head combo- these are the two best RV shower upgrades to be found!

The Oxygenics shower head is a pretty common modification. The flow-stopping valve is NOT.

But, now you know about BOTH. Aren't youuuuu lucky?

Kelly Headshot

I dedicated myself to living the full-time RV life for over 6.5 years, immersing myself in the unique quirks and joys of the boondocking lifestyle and gaining a wealth of knowledge and experience along the way. In December 2020, my business partner and I made the transition to part-time RVing, but in January 2023, we hit the road once again, this time in our trusty vans. My mission is to help others embrace the RVing lifestyle with confidence and excitement, armed with the knowledge and resources needed to make the most of their adventures. I believe that the more you know, the more you can truly appreciate and enjoy the freedom and flexibility of the open road.

  • Mine is more a question than a comment. We have an on-demand hot water system. The problem we encounter is that the system does not work well if hooked up to a RV park with poor water pressure. This happens so often and results in a dribble of hot water with fluctuating water temperature. Would a high flow shower head help with this problem in any way?

    • Hi Jackie!

      Hmmm. Well, good question. We have never had the on-demand system in either of our RVs, so we really cannot answer this question.

      Shower heads are cheap enough it might be worth just trying a new head to see.

      Otherwise, here’s a possible run-around. Is the water pressure good when using the water pump? If so, just fill your fresh tank and use the pump when you shower! We hope this helps!

  • If you really want to upgrade your shower experience;

    1) Buy a thermostatic mixing valve that will deliver water of a constant temperature regardless of the temperature of the hot and cold water supply.


    2) Buy and install the recommended shutoff valve Kelly recommends above and place it on the shower wand.

    Replacing the manual mixing valve for an automated one works this way; The thermostatic mixing valve has two handles NOT like a manual valve or a single handle control. One handle is where you set your desired shower temperature (temperatures are written on the handle). The other is to set the flow volume (and turn it off). Use the quick shutoff on the wand for brief pauses. When water flow begins, the mixing valve will deliver water from hot side ONLY till hot water arrives at the mixing valve (automatically preventing any from the ‘cold’ water side from flowing). When truly hot water arrives, the valve will mechanically sense the hot water temperature and blend it with the cold water to produce the desired shower temperature (and it will be the same every time you use it). If you pause the shower to soap up (using the wand control) and the water in the hot line cools some, as soon as you turn it back on, it ramps up the how water share to keep the output temperature the same then ramps it back down again when ‘fresh’ hot water arrives. This produces not only scald prevention but chill prevention (as much as is possible).

    An improvement on this is to place a shower diverter on the output of the mixing valve and put a return line back to the fresh tank (may be unsightly and is some work).


    This additional step allows all that ‘not hot yet’ water to be run back to the fresh tank and not a drop-down the drain (or on you!). Once you figure hot how long is needed to empty the cooled water out of the hot line (by testing it), you can set your temperature, open the diverter for (X) seconds, close it and begin your shower with water that is IMMEDIATELY the correct temperature with none lost down the drain.

    • Holy cow! Steve comes through again!

      Do you do house calls? I’d love to have this installed in my camper. Or, in my future van.

      Road trip to Tucson? 😛

      Thank you for that advice, it will be a wonderful setup for anyone wanting an even better system for ensuring exact water temps every time + zero water waste!!!

  • Kelly,
    Some ‘engineer speak’ that may be helpful. The primary problem here is a misunderstanding of the materials and sealing methods.

    There are several pipe thread standards and several sealing methods that are in play here;
    1) In the US, we use National Pipe Taper (often abbreviated as NPT but which may also be seen as FPT and MPT meaning ‘female’ and ‘male’ in place of the ‘National’ but all made to NPT standards). Most of the rest of the world uses a standard created by the British and adopted into the metric system called British Standard Pipe Taper (BSPT). Sizes are often identified by the prefix ‘G’. A 1/2″ NPT fitting and ‘G1/2’ appear to be the same size and they are very close but THEY ARE NOT and depending on the sealing method, MAY leak. They are frequently sold as ‘universal’ if they seal with a rubber washer (as in this case). They are the same diameter and thread pitch but they are not the same thread shape. The NPT uses a 60 degree point thread while BSPT uses 55 degree. The difference in thread angle means the fluid under pressure will find a spiral leak path around the threads IF the sealing method is to use the taper to create a seal.
    2) Now that we identified the POTENTIAL PROBLEM, there are some more considerations. IF attempting to seal BSPT to NPT on the tapered threads (thread together till tight), it will most likely leak at low pressure BUT, lots of Teflon thread sealant MAY allow it to seal if pressure is low. ALSO, if at least one of the threads is plastic, it may deform enough to seal (but don’t bet on it).
    3) Many of these shower fittings, although being BSPT, do not seal on the tapered thread. They have a rubber gasket/washer inside the female socket that the end of the male pipe lands against and creates the seal. DO NOT USE SEALING TAPE ON GASKETED JOINTS and make sure the washer is used. The fittings close together to create the seal (end of the male against the washer). Mismatched fittings using this sealing method WILL work because all the thread is doing holding the coupling together while the seal is made elsewhere. The shutoff valve recommended in the article is clearly marked as ‘G1/2’ AND has a sealing washer in the female thread but you probably didn’t realize the importance of either of those. It can and will work and is coincidental, the one I used on my Oxygenics head in place of the dribble valve. BOTH the female couplings on the valve and hose must have the sealing washer. CAUTION; Sometimes these fittings are made to the British Standard Parallel Pipe (BSPP) standard, meaning the pipe is not tapered (like a bolt) and CAN ONLY seal on the gasket.
    4) The ‘flow restrictor’ identified above is actually NOT A FLOW RESTRICTOR. It is a CHECK VALVE. It has a spring-loaded, rubber-faced valve plate that keeps the flow path closed when not under pressure. Pressure in the flow direction forces it open while pressure in the opposite, causes it to seal even more tightly. These devices have a ‘cracking pressure’ of a couple of PSI which means it takes that much just to open the valve (and keep it open) which can cause problems of its own (get to that in a minute). A ‘flow restrictor’ is an orifice (small diameter in the flow path) that increased resistance to flow, thereby restricting the volume of water that can pass under a given pressure. It works equally in both directions and shuts off in neither. They are typically placed in RESIDENTIAL showerheads to reduce water consumption due to high city water pressure but will never be found in a shower head intended for RV use (because of the known lower water pressure).
    5) Using a check valve in your hot water line will cause hot water to have lower pressure (and thereby flow but not in the same way a flow restrictor does) feeding the mixing valve. The ‘cracking pressure’ will permanently lower available how water pressure to the mixing valve by that amount. This CAN be compensated for by opening the shower mixing valve more but is obviously not a benefit. If water pressure were low enough, it could prevent enough how water from being available to have a temperate shower.
    6) The shutoff valve shown in the first picture is mounted on the mixing valve but is intended to be mounted on the hand wand. The ‘dribble’ valve has the same thread and sealing style and can be easily removed and replaced with the ‘non-dribble’ valve. As it turns out, shower hoses coupling threads are usually NOT NPT but a parallel thread version (60-degree thread but not tapered) because they don’t actually interface with other NPT couplings. The shower hose is a situation where the aesthetics demand that no pipe thread be left exposed when coupled so they seal with a washer and have specific length nipples.
    7) Lastly, when buying a shower head, read the specs on the pressure rating and flow. Know that if you buy a residential shower head (because you like the look), it almost certainly will not work acceptably with low flow and pressure in an RV. You should look for a head with LESS THAN 2GPM flow. I very much understand the temptation to choose ‘fashion over function’, but as many have learned, that is a mistake. Additionally, here is where the ‘flow restrictor’ comes in, most residential showerheads have one. SOME manufacturers (specifically Chinese) will simply put a smaller one to create a product that has lower water consumption but this does not mean it will have a good spray at that lower flow. Be careful buying a head for your RV based on reviews of residential installation. They will not work the same. (I have a residential head selected for low flow/pressure and it works well).

    • Hi Steve,

      Geez, how much do we owe you for that comment? 😂

      WOWZA, how do you know all these intricate details of seemingly everything? It’s amazing!

      You can bet your hind end I/we didn’t know about the difference in the different standards. I suppose this explains the one reader commenting that the flow restrictor valve he bought didn’t fit his threads.

      If I remember correctly, the shut-off valve I installed in my RV is not the one we have linked to Amazon, as it went out of stock and seemingly never came back. Mine doesn’t leak, so I am unsure if it’s luck or if those threads are really the same.

      Personally, I still haven’t bothered installing my flow restrictor. And I may sell this trailer, so probably not going to any time soon.

      Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. You’re a gem!

  • The flow stopper shown and recommended, will not work. I bought this based on the article. The flow is designed the opposite way the threads are on an RV shower tap.

    Good idea, but fails in execution.

    • Hi Andrew,

      Strange. Both Kelly and I have this installed on our RV shower faucets and it has worked great for years. And many others have performed this modification per these instructions.

      I’ve never heard of a faucet having non-standard threads, but stranger things have happened.

      Sorry to hear that it didn’t work out for you.

  • However the one you’re showing to buy is not the one shown installed. That one has a slide switch which is easier to use while showering then the quarter turn one shown to buy. But if you click on the that one look below on the similar items and scroll until you see the actual slide valve one shown installed.

    • Hi Bob,

      Good catch! The one that we have wasn’t available on Amazon for a bit, so we changed it to the one that you saw. However, I just changed it back to the one that we have (aka, the one that is easier to use).

    • Both of those will be a nice improvement for your rig, Bob. Being able to shut off your water flow easily, without having to mess with the temperature settings, is really, really, really nice.

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