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DIY Overland Shower

Updated: Dec 1, 2021

Rugged and extremely versatile water system

This DIY Scepter Shower System offers:

  • Battery operated pump allows you to take the shower anywhere without having to manually pump air.

  • Same or greater flow rate compared to most systems on the market.

  • Can be mounted on tire carrier or any jerry can mounts saving valuable interior space.

  • As the entire system is in the cap, you just need to switch the cap with another Scepter canister. No refilling necessary at camp.

  • Extremely rugged design.

Issues with most shower system:

  • Not portable. They are attached or plugged into your vehicle. Taking multiple showers in one location often develops puddles of mud near your vehicle attracting bugs and making it more difficult to maneuver around camp.

  • Flow Rate. Some systems have low flow rate to conserve water. This is great in theory but makes it difficult to shower and/or use water for various purposes.

  • Space. Most portable systems are bulky and take up space in your vehicle (or roof rack where center of gravity is affected).

  • Refilling. Many systems either do not hold a lot of water or are inconvenient to refill while at camp and/or require special procedures.

Video Installation (scroll down for parts list)

Written instructions

Step 1:

Cut off main pour hole using a Dremel or saw.

  • Try not to damage the lid of the cap. It is better to leave 1/8-1/4” of the hole body to avoid lid damage.

Step 2:

Using a 1-3/16” step bit or drill bit, drill the hole.

  • It is OK to use a 1-1/8” bit as well, it will make for a tighter fit.

  • It is extremely important that you drill perpendicular to the cap and not straight down.

Step 3:

Grind down the tab on the bulkhead to create a flat seal.

  • You will not be using the rubber washer.

Step 4:

Using a 9/16” drill bit, drill a hole in the cap as per photo below.

  • Please drill perpendicular with the cap.

Step 5:

Remove the nut from the grommet. Liberally spread JB Weld Plastic Bond into the 9/16” hole (drilled in step 4) and then screw the grommet into the hole by hand (to make sure it goes in straight). Tighten down with a 19MM wrench.

  • Wipe off excess JB weld.

Step 6:

Place pump into container and pull electrical cord through grommet creating a 6-8” tail from grommet to wire ends.

Step 7:

Using the 19MM wrench, tighten down the secondary nut on the grommet creating a waterproof seal.

Step 8:

Place JB Weld liberally on the lip of the 3/8” bulkhead (where the lip will be touching the top of the Scepter lid). Place the bulkhead onto the cap.

  • Take note of the location of the bulkhead release button as this will be a permanent mount.

Step 9:

Thread bulkhead nut tightly on the backside of the Scepter cap.

  • Wipe off excess JB Weld on both sides.

Step 10:

Wait for JB Weld to dry (overnight recommended)

Step 11:

Connect 12V connection to motor wiring.

  • Brown is positive and blue is negative.

  • Make sure overall wire length from cap is at least 10 inches to reach your battery.

  • We recommend soldering for this step and using silicone heat shrink for waterproofing and a solid connection. However, if you are not able to solder, we recommend using heat shrink wire electrical crimp terminal connectors for 18 - 22 gauge wire.

Step 12:

Connect the 3/8 ID tubing from the bulkhead to the motor using hose clamps.

  • Measure tubing to be long enough to reach from cap to bottom of Scepter.

  • Do not overtighten your hose clamps or you can break the plastic motor connection.

Step 13:

Cut female side of your garden hose.

Step 14:

Connect the quick disconnect to the hose with a hose clamp.

Step 15:

Connect hose nozzle to hose.

  • We recommend using seal tape to prevent leaks.

Step 16:

Using the heavy duty Velcro, attach soft side to the battery and rough side to the Scepter.

We recommend mounting the battery below the handle to not interfere with jerry can mounts. However, if you are not using jerry can mounts, you can mount the battery anywhere on the container.

You're done!

Parts List (Amazon):

5 Gallon Scepter BPA Free:

Notes: Some imitation canisters are not BPA free. Recommend using Scepter.


Notes: Use these specifically due to extreme durability

Quick Disconnect:

12V pump (German made):

Notes: We have done extensive testing with other pumps and find this one works best.

Weatherproof Grommets:

Notes: Size is 0.18”-0.31”

3000mAh battery pack:

Notes: TalentCell also sells a 6000mAh pack. That is not recommended as we have had several units fail over time. We have not had failure with the 3000mAh pack.

You can also use your jump starter (for stronger pumping strength) if it has appropriate input (see YouTube video).


Notes: You can use any hose you want. This one is most convenient for me.

Garden Hose Nozzle:

Notes: We have tested various garden hoses and found this one produces the appropriate pressure.

3/8 Vinyl Tubing:

Notes: Food Grade

Hose Clamps:

Notes: size 10-16mm. You only need 3.


Notes: Extreme duty

2.1mm x 5.5mm pigtails:

I used these in the video:

Notes: These required a lot of heat shrink to strengthen cable. I would recommend these instead now (haven’t personally tested yet):

Plastic JB Weld:


Silicone Heat Shrink:

Suction Shower Head Holder:

Heavy Duty Nozzle (more controlled pressure):

Shower head & hose (with on/off switch):

Note: If using both the shower hose and garden nozzle, we recommend purchasing a second quick disconnect to install on shower hose.

300 Watt Aquarium Heater:

Notes: I personally boil water for heating but some may like this convenience.

Total Cost:

As of 10/28/2021 not including tax

  • Please note some items can be substituted or you may already have!

Purchase Option

I've had numerous requests to sell this kit. I created the YouTube video and this detailed article in hopes that you can build this yourself. However, I understand not everyone wants to take on this project.

You can purchase this system here

1 Comment

Jun 20, 2023

hi there- thanks for writing this up and researching the components.

In case you have not checked in a while, some of your links to Amazon are no longer valid... the bulkhead fitting linked is now $65! ( i found it at freshwater systems for a lot less). I also got product "Currently unavailable" on a couple. I am purchasing the pump from your link, so hopefully you get some credit for that. Also did you verify the JBWeld is "food safe" ? Seems like it would be toxic so not sure i would drink from that. Planning to hit Home Depot to pick up some NSF type silicone.

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