This is a good question and I think I will eventually post a tour of the van so that everyone can see some of the features that may not be visible from my photos.
Showers: Although I have an ‘outdoor shower’ in the van (my kitchen faucet turns around and I have a tiny hot water heater), I mainly shower at the gym and campgrounds. I have a national gym membership (Planet Fitness, $10.00/month) so as long as there is one nearby that’s a no-brainer. Campgrounds are free or low cost if you are staying there but since I don’t stay in campgrounds, I am not technically allowed. I have found that if you ask the camp host nicely and let them know your situation they are usually accommodating. I will sometimes rinse off without soap in lakes and rivers. Couchsurfing can be a great way to meet people and also grab a shower or place to wash dishes. I have also found that rec centers, aquatic centers and truckstops can be a great place to shower in a crunch when there are no showers around and you’ve been backpacking for 5 days and really want a shower no matter if it costs $5.
Bathroom: I have a composting toilet in the van but rarely use it. There is typically a public restroom within 5 minutes of the van anywhere in the country. Restaurants, coffee shops, gas stations, hotels, trailhead pit toilets are all places I go to the bathroom. Bottom line, if you aren’t willing to use a public restroom or dig a cat hole out in mother nature then vanlife is definitely not for you.
I wish I had more to write about this subject, but it’s really quite simple. Think of it like a really, really, really long road trip without a hotel room every night.
If you have any specific questions about my van please see the blog post titled: About My Van