Best hot shower set up for camping?

Submitted: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 19:15

blueriderwa

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Water is the single most precious commodity you need to carry for your trip. Although heavy,...
We just got back from 4 days at fraser island. the wether was a bit average but hey it sure beats working. the only omission from out set up that we missed was a good, water efficient system to have a hot shower. we have a trakshak so it needs to be outside and we have heaps of 12v power. limited space for storage is also a consideration. cheers dave
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AnswerID: 363544   Submitted: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 19:22

ExplorOz - David & Michelle replied:

Have you had a look at the vehicle shower article on the site. We use an under bonnet shower system and it is great. We can hook up to any supply and even pump up from a creek. These units do cost a bit but it is a small price to pay for long term travelling.
David
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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AnswerID: 363546   Submitted: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 19:30

Chev-Patrol 6.5 V8 D replied:

Your options are:

1). An under-bonnet shower whereby the water is heated by the engine's cooling system. Advantages: nothing to be stored elsewhere and ready at the end of the day's long drive. Disadvantages: You have to shower near your rig; you need to hack into your vehicles cooling system; you have to hardwire the electric pump. This is the system we have fitted and we have no regrets. I have fitted a Helton heating unit and a Shurflow pump. Others are Twine, Glind and Pirahna. Hose with rose on it needs to be stored, but this is often simply kept under the bonnet.

2). A Coleman water heater. Advantages: portability. Disadvantages: rather bulky and has to be stored somewhere; water pressure is not as good as we would require; need to use their "clumbsy" deflatable plastic bag for the water......

3). Over-head, gravity fed solar shower etc. Advantages: free to heat up. Disadvantages: no pressure, just gravity; water won't get very hot during a winter's rainy day etc.

4). Cheap (around $12-) battery-operated shower pump/rose combined with a bucket of water heated over a fire or stove. Advantages:Cheap. A good compromise between (1) and (3), above. Disadvantages: water has to be heated separately; you need to store the water pump/shower rose somewhere, but they aren't very bulky.

There is also a gas-fired contraption that stands up on a tri-pod and looks like a sky-rocket on steroids..... Sorry but I don't know anything about their good/bad points.
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FollowupID: 631209   Submitted: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 19:58

Member - Josh (VIC) posted:

We had a coleman shower option 2, hated it. Too bulky. Now have option 4. way better and shower is only limited by how much water you can heat up. Saw the glind shower on Morton Island years back and thought it would be unreal, I just don't have any more room under my bonnet though and the dollars!!!!

Josh
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FollowupID: 631214   Submitted: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 20:19

Big Woody posted:

Ha! - I've got the 'gas-fired contraption that stands up on a tri-pod and looks like a sky-rocket on steroids' version mentioned above.

I can't remember what it is called but it is the most efficient and usable shower I have ever used in the bush. I hook up the hose to the black tap on a 20 litre water drum and that will shower 3 people. I have an in-line whale pump connected to a small 10amp rechargable battery which will shower everyone for a couple of weeks before needing a charge. Flow rate of about 2.5L/minute.

A 1kg bottle of gas will last about 1 year with 1 shower each day (according to my brother who is a commercial gas fitter).

I like the fact that it is free standing as I watch my friends with colemans etc always having dramas setting up the shower rose so that it is wife and children friendly.

I have not seen them advertised for a long time so I don't know if they are still available.

BW
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FollowupID: 631725   Submitted: Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 18:18

Bonz (Vic) - Thoughtfully posted:

Gas fired Roachie? Doesnt Des Lexic have one of those?
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AnswerID: 363560   Submitted: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 20:22

greyemu replied:

Dear Blueriderwa

I have a twine shower system under the bonnet of my triton. Can have a shower out of a bucket of water. I can keep running it back into the bucket to get it very hot to do the dishes. I installed it myself so its not to hard. Also twine useto make one that came in a case.
Regards Greyemu
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FollowupID: 631330   Submitted: Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 11:19

Gronk posted:

Geez, I don't think I would be washing the dishes after having a shower ???? ha,ha
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AnswerID: 363562   Submitted: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 20:26

Sand Man (SA) replied:

We use a $30 battery operated shower/pump and it works well.
You need to heat the water up first and transfer it to a bucket or other larger receptacle.

Regardless of what system you use, the drawback with all of them is you must have a water source to draw on. Carting water for "shower use" is not an insignificant issue for remote trips where there is no local water to draw on.

We limit water use by two methods.
Firstly, we only shower every third day or so and there is only two of us. We find this hygenic enough for us.
Secondly, we place the heated water in a large rectangular container and stand in it while showering. Yes, the water is recycled.
Herself usually takes the first shower and I "double dip". It works for us though and I still feel clean and refreshed afterwards.
An advantage with this method is that there is very little mess as the water is returned to the container rather than soaking into the dirt.

We place everything into the pop-up shower/toilet tent. Can't stand the thought of showering in bathers.

Bill.

Bill


I'm diagonally parked in a parallel Universe!
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FollowupID: 631216   Submitted: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 20:39

Chev-Patrol 6.5 V8 D posted:

Bill, our family of 5 can shower using a single jerry of water. Similarly to you, we place the water into a square plakky box (not really large enough to stand in; about milk crate sized). This is placed inside the tent with the "operator". By being just a little bit careful, you can wet-down, then lather up, then rinse off. In between these 3 tasks, you drop the rose back into the plakky box so the water is recycling. It actually gets to a point where the engine is making the water too hot, so I have to turn the {very noisy} Chev donk off.

Without getting too personal, I'm not ashamed to say I stopped using soap when I shower (at home and when away), about 4 years ago.... Funny thing is I seem to have been gradually losing the number of friends I have ever since..... hahahaha.

Cheers

Roachie
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FollowupID: 631421   Submitted: Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 21:47

Sand Man (SA) posted:

G'day Bill,

See you've changed your screen name to a mouthful.
Wondered where you had got to.

Never mind the friends you lose along the way, just be sure you don't upset Annette too much:-)))

My receptical is one of those plastic "crab buckets" which I use at other times to store a myriad of "stuff" in the camper's "hold".

Cheers,
Bill.
Bill


I'm diagonally parked in a parallel Universe!
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AnswerID: 363563   Submitted: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 20:29

Geoff & Karen replied:

Showers.............. what a topic. I think we have tried every shower there is on the market till I found this one. We have tried the under the bonet twine shower.....uses too much water and you have to run your 4wd too long to get the water hot when you are in minus degree tempretures or take it for a drive. Tried the coleman, used it once and put it back in the wine cellar, been there ever since, to fidly to set up. Tried the hillbilly blue shower, to hard to light and needs 2 people to operate it. Tried the KMart shower but you have to heat the water first,,,,,,and the list goes on. Then at the Canberra 4wd show we foung these and it is soooooooooooooo good. Instant hot water, low pressure water thingy to light the pilot light, and you can can have it on winter or summer setup for the warmth of the water. Hubby has it set up with a garden nozzle so you can turn it on and off to soap up and rinse off and he has all the fittings so they are just clip on. Even I can set it up and operate it on my own. They are magic. I would include some pics for you but we are not members anymore. I can email some to you if you want to give me your email address. I will put the link on here, but to see it set up like ours will give you a better idea. They are $364, but like anything, you want something reliable and easy to use, you pay for it. I would recommend these to anyone.Karen.
Small instant gas hot water system
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FollowupID: 631217   Submitted: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 20:40

Member - Mary W NW VIC posted:

That sounds great but would love to know where you have it set up.Van? 4WD/ or is it portable for use in a shower tentWould love some pics to
malleefowl@netspace.net .au if at all possible
Cheers,
mary
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FollowupID: 631219   Submitted: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 20:47

Rock Crawler posted:

yes pics to echris67@optusnet.com.au cheers
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FollowupID: 631222   Submitted: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 20:52

Chev-Patrol 6.5 V8 D posted:

Karen,
The 2 issues you have had with the Twine are acknowledged. The first is easy to overcome; just use the thumb operated gizmo on the handpiece, to restrict the water flow. This will save you water AND go part way towards addressing the 2nd issue you raised (water taking too long to heat up when really cold).

We recently did a short trip in NSW which saw us camping up near Thredbo. In the morning, it was decided by 'er indoors , that a shower would be nice. Got it set-up and brought some water up from the river/creek right behind where we were camped. Man, was that water cold!!!! Also, I was going to be firing up the big noisy 6.5 Chev V8 diesel, which has a huge radiator and takes quite a while to warm up.

A decision was made to assist the process....... We boiled-up 2 kettles on the fire (didn't take long; like 5 minutes or less). Added this boiling water to the 3/4 full bucket of creek water, which made the water temp just about ideal for a shower. I didn't even need to fire up the motor, just used the electric water pump to circulate the water in the shower. Too easy..... but not as easy as when the motor is already warm and the supply water is not at freezing point.... hahahahaha
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FollowupID: 631225   Submitted: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 21:12

blueriderwa posted:

hey karen id love to see the pics please dkeevers@internode.on.net
cheers dave
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FollowupID: 631226   Submitted: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 21:17

Geoff & Karen posted:

Hi Mary. Yep hubby has done it so it is portable, as when we go into the high country we cannot always take the trailer so it is tent or swag. He has a chain on the top and can hang it anywhere and he has a little gas bottle that he snap fits onto it. Usually it is the communal shower but people must use their own water. They normally bring it over in a plastic jerry can or tub and Geoff puts the end of the hose in there and the little 12 volt pump sucks it up. If we are near a creek we put the hose in there and we have a never ending supply of hot water. He just takes the Cruiser or the thumper pack down for 12 volt power. If we have the van he hangs it off the side and we set the shower tent up there. The joy is you dont have to heat the water first. Then it neatly sits beside the Waeco on its side and the hoses roll up into a little bag. It is the best! Will email some pics now. Karen
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FollowupID: 632864   Submitted: Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 12:50

snappa22 posted:

hi Karin,would love it if you could send the pictures of your hot water set up,sounds great to me.thanking you in advance Bruce
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FollowupID: 632865   Submitted: Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 12:52

snappa22 posted:

Karin,my email is : snappa22@me.com
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AnswerID: 363587   Submitted: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 21:56

Member - evren1 (WA) replied:

can someone please also forward me pics!

keesing75@hotmail.com

cheers
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FollowupID: 631248   Submitted: Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 00:26

Member - JASON (WA) posted:

Would also like some pics please.


beth2@westnet.com.au

Thanks
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FollowupID: 631249   Submitted: Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 00:44

Member - William H (WA) posted:

Hi all.
Dont for get me...........send me some picks to......of the set up please.

Cheers for now...William H...Bunbury...WA.
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FollowupID: 631258   Submitted: Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 06:46

Ozhumvee posted:

The link works! and they are around $250 on ebay ;-))
Peter
1996 Oka Motorhome
2005 F250 4x4 Super Duty with Real Lite slideon (in USA)
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FollowupID: 631277   Submitted: Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 08:04

Ozhumvee posted:

Ebay auction, 120416146086 We bought one of these for our shed up in the bush and it has worked perfectly for a couple of years.
$195 BIN, good seller to deal with. Only needs LPG, will run off normal gas bottles with regulator, uses two D cells to light instantaneously.
Peter
1996 Oka Motorhome
2005 F250 4x4 Super Duty with Real Lite slideon (in USA)
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FollowupID: 631289   Submitted: Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 08:48

Dusty & Bumpy posted:

Please send pics to jagganite@ymail.com

Thanks, David
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FollowupID: 631335   Submitted: Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 11:33

TerraFirma posted:

Does this heater hold 6 litres of water or does it pump the water from somewhere..?
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FollowupID: 631344   Submitted: Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 12:35

Ozhumvee posted:

You need to provide the water source, it works well with a Jaycar type shower pump or tank/gravity feed.
It would work fine on a pressurised caravan system.
The 6 litres refers to the actual water capacity in the heat exchanger which I take to be 6 litres per minute.
It can certainly heat the water even when connected to mains pressure, you can adjust it from taking the chill off to near boiling.
Peter
1996 Oka Motorhome
2005 F250 4x4 Super Duty with Real Lite slideon (in USA)
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AnswerID: 363649   Submitted: Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 09:49

Member - Paul Mac (VIC) replied:

I have something similar to the instant tankless hot water unit shown but mine also has a water temp display.

Hopefully the link will work. I put it up on the campertrailer website.

http://www.campertrailers.org/water_heater.htm

Cheers

camp shower
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FollowupID: 631338   Submitted: Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 11:46

TerraFirma posted:

Hey Paul, Thats a great little article, nice work. Looks a treat.
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FollowupID: 631395   Submitted: Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 18:01

Member - Paul Mac (VIC) posted:

Thanks Terra, yeah I used it over Easter and found that I could get 3 showers out of a 20 ltr jerry of water filled from a nearby stream. That's without the need to turn it off after wetting down and soaping up then turning it back on again. Just jump under the shower and get it done. The unit is designed though to be turned off and on via the stop valve if you wanted to. Turns itself on automatically and doesn't need a pilot light burning. It takes about 5 - 6 seconds for the water temp to get up to about 44oC which is just perfik for a hot shower up in the high country. The other thing is it doesn't take up heaps of room in the camper and is fairly lightweight. The 2kg gas bottle would be the heaviest part of the system.

Cheers.
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AnswerID: 363659   Submitted: Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 10:41

Moose replied:

Hey Dave are you a Kiwi - otherwise why did you take a sheep with you? Next time a better looking one if this one was a bit average! Ha ha ha. Couldn't help myself.
Seriously. For years we travelled with the 12v pump in the bucket. Easy but you need to heat the water first so it takes a little longer.
Now have an underbonnet unit - too easy. They do cost a bit though.
Cheers from the Moose
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FollowupID: 631343   Submitted: Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 12:27

Johnny boy posted:

Hi Moose,
What brand as I just came from TJM they have 3 brands,

1.Red centa TJM own brand has Glind heat exchanger $495

2.Bushranger $490

3.Piranah $550

I'm going to find out about Glind as well and compare warranties

any other brands worth looking at out there or do you guys use any of these?

John.
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FollowupID: 631354   Submitted: Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 13:28

Moose posted:

John - mine's a Glind. There's also a Twine which seems to be fairly popular. Helton is another brand I've heard of. There may be others. Have had no problems with the Glind.
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AnswerID: 363682   Submitted: Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 12:51

Member - Fred G NSW replied:

The rocket on steroids.http://www.aussiecampshower.com/Image Could Not Be Found
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FollowupID: 631350   Submitted: Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 12:55

Johnny boy posted:

WOW does the shower come with that as well !!
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FollowupID: 631360   Submitted: Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 13:58

tim_c posted:

Johhny, are you referring to the gas bottle or the bullar & driving lights? ;)
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FollowupID: 631361   Submitted: Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 14:03

Johnny boy posted:

Yeah Tim ,I mean those driving lights...YEP THOSE!! LOL!
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AnswerID: 363708   Submitted: Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 17:00

Pebble replied:

We've got a Primus Shower System, We have actually been using it whilst living in a shed for over a year now (we're building a house).
The 9kg gas bottle hooked up to it lasts at least 6 months, the deep cycle orbital car battery only needs charging periodically, and the small version of a council garbage bin (can't remember how many L) needs to be topped up every few days (kids are taking longer and longer showers these days).
It has been a very reliable system, particularly for the amount of use it gets!

For camping purposes I think it would be a bit bulky, particularly if you're not planning to stay in one spot for more than a day. And the only annoyance is the safety feature - means if you turn the water off the gas automatically cuts out (otherwise when you turn the water back on you'd probably scold yourself). So it's a straight flow through instant water heater with some temperature control (by means of turning the gas down or up a bit).

For camping pursuits a more portable version of that would probably be my choice (or some people I read on here use weed sprayers with heated water in them!!).
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