Heat Exchanges for car showers

Submitted: Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00
ThreadID: 2304 Views:1687 Replies:7 FollowUps:21
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Hi all, I'm just about to buy a 'onboard shower' setup, I got a fair amount of imformation from the archives but the heat exchanges seem to vary wildly in temperature and flow output from car to car and between petrol and diesel models. Twine boast that their unit achieves 48 degrees at a flow of 6 litres a minute but forgot to tell us which make and model. Some people in the archives even suggested that they had to recycle the water to get it to a reasonable temperature. Maybe if some of you have some experience with the heat exchanges can shed some light on the subject with imfo like petrol or diesel, engine revs to chieve enough flow through the heat exchange, litres through the shower head at reasonably hot (45deg) temp and if addind long hoses for connection has any effect on the temperature output. Have these two major shower mobs, Glind and Twine really got their act together. Thanks in advance for your imput, looking forward to your reply. Best regards Michael
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Reply By: Member - Melissa - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00
Can't believe I just this minute posted a similar question on another forum and you beat me to it here...LOL

:o) Melissa
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Follow Up By: Michael - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00
There you go!!! small world. Maybe we can get some answers. What forum did you post on? Michael.
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Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00
Campertrailer group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/campertrailers.
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Reply By: Member - Melissa - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00
Oh, I should have added that we're looking at making up our own unit based on a "How to" article from an old 4WD mag. Save $$$.

:o) Melissa
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Follow Up By: Michael - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00
Sounds good, i was thinking along the same lines if everyone comes back with a heap of complaints. The enchange would have to be very sound in manufacture as you wouldn't want it to drop the contents of your cooling system on the ground out in the back of nowhere. Michael.
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Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00
The basic premise of making your own is to use a 2nd hand auto heat exchanger from the wreckers.
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Follow Up By: Michael - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00
Good idea the auto cooler but there is always the problem of space to put something that big. Michael.
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Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00
Space under the bonnet is always an issue in modern cars. By the time you fit the 2nd battery, air compressor, shower...

Size of the heat exchanger will vary depending on what make of car it came out of originally. Big question is whether a smaller exchanger will do the job of heating water adequately????

:o) Melissa
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Follow Up By: Brian - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00
If you are going to Make an exchanger isolate it when not in use ie a tap on both input and output hoses! no problem with losing coolant.
A mate made one with 2in water pipe 300mm long filled with copper tubes . coolant circulates around the copper tubes and water passes through them transfering the heat. Regulate the temp by placing a flow restricter (inline tap) to either increase or decrease the flow,hence the water temp.
Brian
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Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00
Thanks Brian, your ideas are worth looking at. :o) Melissa
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Reply By: Tuco69 - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00
Gday Michael, we have an Original Glind (not the Little Ripper) on our Toyota Surf 1KZ-TE turbo diesel.
It is great!
What none of the manufacturers mention when they boast about the temperature of the water - is the ambient temperature of the water. Even when the engine is at normal operating temperature, the output temperature will be related to the input temperature. As the pump determines the flow rate, so the amount of time that the water is in the heat exchanger is constant.
If your input water temp was 20 - 25C then in our case we would have a very comfortable shower temp. However if the input temp was say from a creek or tank where the water temp in winter was almost freezing - then you would be disapointed with the output temperature, as it would be somewhat colder. This is the situation when it may be necessary to circulate it into another container first so as to enable the rise in ambient input temperature.
Our only concern, and once you know about it then you can make allowance is - if there are a number of people using the shower, and it gets turned off between users - then the water that is within the heat exchanger is not flowing and heats up to the engine operating temperature pretty fast. The result is that when the next person switches it on again - after the water in the hose between exchanger and showerhead flows through - A BURST OF BOILING HOT WATER WILL COME THROUGH! It will clear in a few seconds, but users should be made aware not to stand under it when it is first turned back on - until the temperature stabilises.
Another way to get around the scolding problem is to use the Glind to heat the water to the desired temperature by recirculating first - and then turn the engine off before using the system. That way a constant temperature will flow without the risk of scolding.
Overall we are really happy with the Glind and would recommend it. The Original model differs from the Little Ripper in that it has a bigger pump, with more lifting ability and flow rate. If the water is pumping too slow then regulation of the temperature becomes difficult - have heard of this problem from Little Ripper owners.

Tuco in Cairns
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Follow Up By: Michael - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00
Thanks Tuco, lot of good advice in your post, the recirc idea and turn the engine of is a good idea i had not thought of, especially for kids, can't come to any harm then, thanks for your time and imfo, regards Michael.
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Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00
Does any konw if it is possible to get a variable speed water pump? Say from marine suppliers...

Another idea I have heard of is to wire in a waterproof switch (in this case it was a foot operated switch) to the pump that can be used whilst under the shower. The user regulates water temp. by flipping the switch on and off. Only trouble would be standing there wet waiting for the water to heat up, particularly if it's cold!

:o) Melissa
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Follow Up By: Tuco69 - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00
Mellisa - the showerhead that is supplied with the Glind (probably also available at hardware /plumbing shops) has an on/off valve on it. It can also be regulated to slow the flow rate down if the water wasn't hot enough. By switching it off alltogether it activates a pressure switch that is built into the Flojet pump - and switches the pump off. As soon as the pressure is released on the showerhead again - the pump starts again.
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Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00
I'll have a squissy around and see what is available in variable flow shower heads. The pressure switch to the pump is a good idea though I wouldn't be surprised if most good pumps have this feature anyway to prevent them from (impeller) burnout. :o) Melissa
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Reply By: Michael - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00
all pumps to my knoledge are constant flow, if you live in Sydney , Caravan Accessories at Kogarah have a large range of pumps same as Twine and Glind use.. Michael
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Reply By: Janset - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00
Hi all.
I use a submersible 12 volt pump with a shower head purchased from a caravan out let for about $35. I can regulate the exact temp of the water via my stove and kettle and I know exactly how much water I use. I do not have to turn on the engine to get it hot so the the interchange works nor do I have to worry about installation or ambient temperature as mentioned previously. When I want to resoap I just stick the shower head back in the bucket from where I am drawing the water. I can get the water from any source, my tank, a nearby tap or a creek.

Maybe worth considering.
Regards
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Follow Up By: Tuco69 - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00
Janset - sounds like you are using the basic mixing of hot and cold to achieve the correct temperature. That system is fine for a single person or two, but you need a lot of kettles of hot water if the group or family is a large one! Even a single solar bag is OK for a limited amount of water.
Our first setup (which still works well) was with a canvas bag shower and adding hot and cold like you do. We used to have a 20 litre drum on the fire to produce enough hot water for about six people. Any more than that would have to wait till it all boiled again. Provided the water supply will keep it up, the Glind or any other heat exchanger will shower all day, one after the other!
Open fires are out of the question at the moment in most of Australia - and the lack of firewood in many places, and also a suitably high tree to hang it from, made our canvas bag obsolete - in favor of a heat exchange system.

Tuco in Cairns
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Follow Up By: Janset - Friday, Nov 08, 2002 at 01:00

Friday, Nov 08, 2002 at 01:00
Yep your spot on I guess. TRhere is just the 2 of use.

Regards
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Reply By: John Eggenhuizen - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00
Hi Michael and Melissa,

My name is John Eggenhuizen and I recently purchased the Twine Shower systems, I also run Getabout 4WD Adventures here in Sydney.
With the Twine shower unit it is the old remington ad, I was so impressed with the product I bought the company. Well anyway, to sort out your initial question Michael, the temperatures that were quoted apparently were done on both an 80 series and a 2.8l hilux both diesels.

I run a fleet of GU patrols 4.2TD and 4.5 petrol, the coldest water we come across is down in the Victorian High country, average temperature is about 10 degrees. the patrols run a bit cooler than the toyotas, but with my revs around 1500rpm and the heater control full on, I can normally shower about 10 - 15 people each night and have hd no complaints. If I need to make it a bit hotter I just slow down the flow slightly at the shower rose, ( this means the water stays in the exchange unit longer).
If you find that you still want the water hotter, give us a yell, because we can make our heat exchange units lnger or shorter to suit your particular application.
You will also note in some of the follow ups that people are using pumps with different flow rates, if you use one that is too fast the water will always be cold. Somewhere between 4 - 8 lpm should be ideal.

Hope that has been of some help.
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Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00
I got tired of stuffing around with second rate gear and have purchased a 14 litre all stainless steel Truma gas hot water system. Probably will install it Friday or Saturday. I go out at all times of the year, and in the North East of Victoria even in the middle of summer the water in the mountain rivers is seldom above 8ºC.

My good lady enjoys going away, but really only asks for one thing, a good hot shower - so I am neither stupid or brave to deny her one simple request. Of course, I am big and brave and quite happy to wash in the freezing creek . I bought a pressure pump, a 63 litre water tank which goes under the body next to the fuel tank, 2 x 4.5kg gas bottles. I purchased a hand shower which will clip onto the outside, and is very low water usage, and have two taps just under the body to adjust the hot and cold. Water usage is not a problem as we are always next to creeks/rivers in the North East of Vic and have a ½" Jabsco 12vDC pump or can fire up to fill the system, or my Honda WX15 to pump water up to the vehicle.
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Follow Up By: Truckster - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00
Ok John,
So ya bought the company... any exploroz discounts?

Hey cant hurt to ask!

What are the prices, and whats your URL?
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Follow Up By: Michael - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00
Thanks john, ive seen various reports and wanted to know once and for all, i think you have answered my questions . regards Michael
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Follow Up By: Michael - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00
John. As a matter of interest, what sort of tyres do you run on tour 4x4s?
Do you have a preference and why? Thanks Michael
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Follow Up By: John Eggenhuizen - Thursday, Nov 07, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Nov 07, 2002 at 01:00
Hi Michael and Truckster,

Yes truckster, the shower systems will soon be available on the exploroz site. The team at Exploroz are working hard to set this up as we speak.

Michael, I use BF Goodrich All Terrains on all my vehicles, as a matter of fact I have 12 instructor/guides who work for me and they all have BFG All terrains except 1, and he has BFG Muddies.
I like the endurance factor, each set of tyres will give me about 40-45,000 kms, and for the work that we do, that's pretty good.
I have tried other brands at different times, but have always come back.

Just a quick one, the 4.2 GU is the easiest vehicle to put a Heat Exchange unit into, because the existing heater hoses just unplug from the joiner on the firewall and plug straight into the ends of the heat exchange unit. the pump is easily mounted on the plate next to the clutch and brake vacuum tanks.

Good luck with the tyre choice.
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Follow Up By: Michael - Thursday, Nov 07, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Nov 07, 2002 at 01:00
Hi again John yes i have seen the gu 4.2 setup at the 4x4 show lastyear, very easy. I am on to my second set of a/t bfg's, got 120,000 out of the first set and 80,000 so far on the current and well on their way to achieving the same as the first. Overall i'm happy with them but just thought i'd ask to see what you were running from your business and reliability point of view. I blew two of the original duellers on the oddnadatta track when the car was a few weeks old(i took two spares).
I wouldn't go anywhere on the 'car' tyres that nissan fit new after the ordeal i had. Its very scary driving along out the without a spare. Regards Michael
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Reply By: Ian KimberleyCruiser - Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00
I've had a glind shower in my 80 series Cruiser for 7 years. It works great. I find I rarely move the interior heater control off the cold end or it's just too damn hot, even out of the Fitzroy River in July. I only ever idle the petrol engine as it generates enough heat to warm a small town even at idle. As stated in other replies the shower head has a valve on it and the pump has a pressure switch. Turn the flow off at the shower head and the pump cuts out. But watch-out for the scalding initial flow when it's turned back on. It's great for filling baby baths too. I find the heat exchanger will produce water too hot for my hands, if you want it that hot, when doing dishes, even without recirculation.

My heat exchanger did start leaking last year(Out of warrantee) but the top bloke a Glind just sent me a new one in exchange for the old. I got a new shower head and hose last week to replace a damaged old one (Don't store them in a hot 80 engine bay) and he got it here to the Kimberly in 48 hours from QLD.

I can highy the shower and the great service at Glind. Don't waste your time making one. You can buy just the heat exchanger if that's all you want.

Happy showering,
Ian.

P.S. The pop up shower tents you can get at just over $100 are fantastic too. Should have got one years ago. Bugger stuffing around with tarps and stuff. They go up and down in seconds and take up no room.
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Follow Up By: Michael - Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00
Thanks Ian for your input, some more helpful advice. regards Michael
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