There is nothing better than being able to have a hot shower and go to the toilet in comfort anywhere in the bush, and that’s where the Quick Pitch Ensuite comes in. These are toilet/shower/change room tent that you mount permanently on your 4WD, camper trailer or Caravan, and they allow you to have quick setup privacy.
Like with all our of our reviews, we are honest in where the product came from, and don’t promote anything without clearly explaining if it was gifted. In this case, the Quick Pitch Ensuite came with our Reconn R2 purchase (that was second hand, and paid for with our own money), and has been used ever since.
We’ve been using the Ensuite tent for more than 3 years now, and its probably done close to 150 nights of use, so its not a new product to us, and we can fairly review it.
How quick are they to set up?
The name suggests these are fast to set up, but are they actually? The Oztent is called the 30 second tent, and it probably takes that long to stand up once you have it on the floor, but its still pushing the marketing friendship truths.
The quick pitch ensuite is fast, and more importantly, easy to set up. I can comfortably unzip ours, undo the two straps and drop it down in under a minute, and its even possible (although harder) to do with one hand.
If you want to put pegs in then obviously it takes a little longer, but they are certainly quick to set up, and quick to put away.
How much are the Quick Pitch Ensuites?
You can pick these up for around $600. Please note you can get the Quick Pitch Bag unit, or a box unit, depending on what suits your requirements better.
What are the alternatives?
Like with any new product, once a good idea comes out people have a bad habit of copying it, and you can get different types of shower tents out there now. Kickass does one, as does Kings, NOMAD and several other companies. These start off at about $150 and work their way up, so there’s a huge pricing difference (and likely quality difference too!).
Where can you mount the Quick Pitch Ensuites?
These can be mounted pretty much anywhere you can bolt them. I’ve seen them attached to the side of vehicles, off canopies, camper trailers etc. If you can securely bolt it in place, it will work. Obviously you need to get the height correct, so it drops down to the floor but it does have some adjustable height options by moving the straps up and down.
If you have a shower setup, its important that you install the quick pitch ensuite somewhere close, so you can use the shower inside the tent. On our R2, the previous owners mounted the ensuite in line with the hot water unit, which allows us to turn the taps on and off for the shower inside the tent, as it should be.
Collecting the water
One thing I will point out is that these do not collect any water. That means if you are having a shower the water will run out onto the floor, unless you purchase a collection tray and re-route it somewhere. For almost all of the places we have camped this is no issue at all, and we just put a couple of soft foam mats on the floor so the water runs through them, and away without splashing dirt onto you and without you standing in a pile of sand!
The only time this can be an issue is if the location you are camping at specifies that you must collect all of your grey water, and that’s a problem. I’ve mentioned that we have only ever stayed at one place that required this, and we just didn’t shower for those two days.
If you need to collect the water, you’ll have to get a tray (like Drifta make) and pump the water out into a portable grey water tank.
This is one advantage of a van, and Caravan Grey Water tank; all of your water is very easily collected.
Do you always need to peg them down?
The Quick Pitch Ensuite comes with 8 tabs that you can use to peg the unit down on the corners. I’m going to be honest here and say that we very rarely peg it down, purely out of laziness. If its windy and we are staying for a long time I will get the Bunnings Screw in pegs out and put them in, but most of the time we don’t bother.
The toilet in the centre tends to keep the tent in place for the most part, and worst case the walls just blow around and the frame up the top moves into a diagonal (which its designed to do) and you have to straighten it up when you go to use it.
One alternative that does work really well if you are camping on the beach, or in sand is just to pile a bit of sand up onto the edges of the shower tent. This keeps it nice and secure, and to remove it you just tip the sand off. Of course, if its really windy this doesn’t always work, but for the most part its pretty good.
I will say that it is far more pleasant if you do peg it down, especially if its cold. Having wet fabric blow against you when you’re half way through a shower isn’t exactly pleasant.
Caring for the ensuite
With any products, the better you look after it, the longer it will last. We always make sure the ensuite is dry before putting it away for more than a day, and as clean as possible. It does have some stains from the sand sitting on the bottom of the walls, but its in good condition.
Asides from this, I’ve applied soap to the zip a few times as it becomes hard to open with a lack of lubrication (and when you force zips they break and cause you a lot more headache), but other than that it just works.
I was considering getting another cover made up to protect it while stored on our driveway, as I suspect the UV’s cannot be doing it any good!
Quick Pitch Shower Tent Review
I really like the Quick Pitch Shower tent. They are light weight, well built, easy to setup and pack away and most importantly easy to use. They are not as good as an indoor shower, but when you live out of a 14 foot hybrid your options for an internal ensuite are severely limited, and they allow you the privacy needed.
We wrote a post some time ago covering the pros and cons of an outdoor vs indoor toilet and shower, and there are certainly benefits and downsides to both. The Quick Pitch Ensuite is certainly a great product, and as good as you are going to get for this particular application.
Ours has sat facing north on our driveway for 3 years now, and although I question how long it will last in the UV rays, its done an exceptional job so far.
The only issue I have had with the ensuite is in heavy winds, the zippers close to the camper bang back and forth, and have actually put hundreds of little dents in the panels. I ended up putting electrical tape on it to stop the noise, and to protect the camper panels from further damage. You can’t tension this section of the tent, and any wind does make the whole unit flap a bit, but its a small price to pay.
EDIT – after nearly 4 years of use, the bag finally tore at the top near the zipper, and you can see the sun has done damage to it. Whilst we are travelling I don’t really care as we have it out often enough to keep it dry, but we will have to replace the bag at some stage. In terms of other damage, or wear and tear, you can see its been heavily used, but nothing has torn, broken or become a pain, and that speaks volumes about its performance.
If you are in the market for a portable ensuite, we really rate the Quick Pitch Ensuite and will be continuing to use it for many years to come.