This innovative showerhead reduces consumption while pushing out a stronger stream of softer water — and can be fitted with an optional massaging feature
Most people take showering for granted. It’s one of those tasks that can be less than exotic — unless, of course, the shower stall is fitted with multiple showerheads that simulate a rainforest with massaging benefits. But that luxury is normally relegated to custom homes with spacious shower stalls, not the limited confines of a motorhome shower. Throw in mediocre RV showerheads, and the experience is easy to forget. Ecocamel, based in London, England, offers showerhead products that bring a tingle back into an otherwise lackluster experience.
Years ago, I had an opportunity to test one of the company’s first showerhead models brought into the U.S., and have enjoyed fantastic showers ever since. The latest model, the Orbit SoftWater, takes showering to a higher level, bringing smiles to those who relish skin stimulation and dislike the maladies associated with hard water.
Hard water is our nemesis. The buildup of calcium and other minerals over a shorter-than-expected period of time clogs faucets, leaves unsightly — and almost impossible to remove — streaks on glass, and makes lathering up in the shower more difficult. Ecocamel, recognizing that dry, itchy skin and frizzy hair is no fun, has built a water softener feature into the handle of its Orbit SoftWater showerhead that is designed to increase the solubility of hard water by altering the crystal structure of calcium carbonate, which prevents hard scale deposits. My first reaction to all this scientific mumbo-jumbo met with skepticism, since softening water usually requires an inline device that relies on salt and is a much more sizeable operation. After the first showering experience, though, I was hooked on the new Orbit SoftWater and knew Ecocamel was on to something.
From the outside, it’s hard to distinguish the difference between the Orbit with and without the soft-water feature. The SoftWater model is a little heavier, but that has very little impact during actual use.
Ecocamel makes the Orbit SoftWater work by placing metals in the handle that cause an electro-chemical catalytic reaction, which neutralizes the calcium so it cannot form limescale. The configuration of the unique alloy increases water velocity and turbulence, preventing the minerals from building up. The hard minerals are removed from the solution, becoming insoluble crystals, which wash down the drain.
The second part of the design increases the pressure through the jets in the ring at the end of the handle. This is the feature that has made the Ecocamel showerhead so successful. Air is forced through the handle, spinning the water at high speed and building turbulence to create a dreamy stream of water. Flow is regulated to a maximum of 2.1 gallons per minute; an optional Shut Off Valve can be ordered for additional water conservation.
Rubber nozzles in the ring portion are spaced perfectly to provide a nice water pattern that covers the body effectively. These nozzles can easily be wiped clean with a finger or towel, so even if the standard (non-water-softening) showerhead is used with hard water, any deposits can be removed before a buildup becomes problematic.
From a subjective point of view, the softer water felt smoother on the skin, and it was definitely easier to wash long hair. It takes a little longer to rinse off the soap, but there was no slimy feeling, which is a common complaint from some people who don’t care for over-softened water. When the water from the showerhead was tested with a meter, we discovered that there was a 20 percent reduction in total dissolved solids compared to the water flowing out of the other faucets, which confirmed that the water was indeed softer, even after months of daily use.
The combination of softer water and the powerful spray puts the Orbit at the top of the list of best showerheads available for motorhomes. But it gets even better. Ecocamel has recently introduced the ORB SPA sonic massager, a handheld, waterproof attachment that operates on three AAA batteries. The ORB SPA snaps into the Orbit ring and offers three speeds for managing the desired massaging effect on your skin. It fits into the hole created by the ring for the jets, transforming the Orbit showerhead into a multifunction tool that delivers the ultimate showering experience.
Medical-grade, non-porous rubber “fingers” are positioned strategically on both ends of the device, which exfoliate the skin while showering. The skin can be massaged with or without water, and the device can even be used without the Orbit showerhead. When placed against the skin, the vibrations offered by the internal motor are designed to deep clean the skin, removing dead cells and promoting tissue regeneration. The massaging fingers are easily cleaned with running water and a towel.
Adding the sonic massaging unit makes the showerhead a little top heavy, but that weight helps deliver the desired pressure and sensation to the skin. The feeling is not overpowering, and some might even think nothing is happening at first, but the end result is very refreshing, especially after finding the sweet spots offered by the ORB SPA.
Using the Ecocamel Orbit and ORB SPA will positively change the way people perceive taking showers in a motorhome. The cost of upgrading to the Orbit SoftWater showerhead is $99.95; add the massaging option ($39 for the ORB SPA or $128 for both; available online) and you’ll be singing in the shower.
Ecocamel | 800-419-7000 | www.ecocamel-showerheads.com