Sauna/living space hybrid, is this possible?!

Hi everybody! I’ve been planning on making a sauna/living van hybrid but unsure it’ll actually work. If anyone has any experience or knowledge on how to make this possible with the electrics etc that would be great. A typical small sauna heater is around 30amps and would be used roughly 1 hour each time it’s used (once a day roughly).

That’s one part that I haven’t learnt too much of yet is how much power etc the van will need.

Any help with this would be fantastic :grin:

Greetings & Welcome!

To my understanding, a sauna is basically a steam room with a seat, correct?

The first problem to solve would be that moisture in vehicles is one of the biggest problems out there. We’re constantly fighting moisture up, not trying to create it.

Using electricity for this would be terribly inefficient without a generator or shore power. Propane would probably be a better choice.

If it was me, I’d probably use an outdoor shower tent, and keep the moisture out of your living space.


"Proper planning, preparation, and equipment, ensure proper performance." ~ Road Warrior

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Thanks for the reply!

So it would be a dry sauna which is quite a bit different to a steam room (less steam and moisture).
My plan was to create a sufficient barrier between the sauna area and living quarters and to basically make the sauna area a “wet room”. There are a lot of plans online for outdoor sauna builds which require similar amounts of insulation as I think the van will need.

Just to point out this will not be a permanent living space, just a project for weekend/camping trips, however the sauna will be used quite often parked in my driveway (another option could be to power the sauna through my home when it is parked there).

My main issue is getting my head around the electrics and how to calculate how much I need. To be honest its all a bit over my head at the moment.
Ive found a calculator online that tells you how many amp hours (shown in pictures). Would it work having a second battery just for the sauna? Is 384ah a lot??! I bet I sound like a complete noob :rofl:

Ive also added the specifications of the sauna, just to check if i’

ve calculated it right!


200ah of deep cycle battery(s) would power everything except the sauna, but the sauna is definitely going to require either a generator or shore (house) power. If you’re in the USA, it will require a special circuit and plug like those used for kitchen stoves or clothes dryers (220v), and a European 220v generator.


"Proper planning, preparation, and equipment, ensure proper performance." ~ Road Warrior

Your idea is not the first and will not be the last either.

You could consider using heating with wood instead of electric. No need for heavy battery pack. Free hot water if you attach a water tank into the chimney :wink: Works offgrid everytime you want. Even condensation won’t be much of an issue if you build good enough ventilation and use insulation that doesn’t collect moisture… what ever that is in english :smiley:

Tent saunas have fireplaces about the size you would need:

Here’s one build log from travel trailer to moving sauna:

I’m pretty sure you’ll need to apply some google translate on it though.
Just replace dedicated dressing space with bed and kitchenette.

Here’s ad for a factory built one
Actually there is some search words at the end of that ad:
basically they are all just different ways to say sauna on a trailer… Look them up in youtube and your favorite search engine.

Telttasauna (tent sauna) - that’s what I used in the example above. Fireplaces meant for tents and boats are small and suite quite well for trailer built too.

If you wish to go electric anyways, well… build ideas still work.

Do you want to do all the work yourself or to install an existing sauna and fix it? How about you think this through using similar models? It is necessary to choose under your sizes and to make the additional case, despite of it there will be less work, probably. I did not encounter such a thing, it’s just a thought :slight_smile:

You could always just point your windshield into the sun during the summer, free sauna heat :wink:

30 amps x 220 volts = 6600 watts. 6600 watts / 12 volts = 550 amps DC. I don’t know of any van electrical system that can do that, and if running a generator it would require a big loud generator - like the ones mounted on a trailer.

Heat up some rocks with propane or a fire.

Greetings !

I definitely think fuel powered heat will be your best bet, and you have many fuel choices to choose from. Might even be able to make it work on used veggie oil… :wink:

Good Luck & keep us posted!


"Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst." ~ Murphy