hot water

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 09:51
ThreadID: 29456 Views:2295 Replies:10 FollowUps:4
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Can anyone please help me?
I have been reading the forum for the past couple of days on what type of Hot water heat exchanger should i buy. I am confused on whether a portable one like the coleman/primus one would suit me or the in car systemlike the piranha,helton would be best. What are the Pro's and cons with these units. I need hot water for my us two.

Cheers Jojo
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Reply By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 10:24

Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 10:24
G'day Jojo,
Just my opinion, but I reckon if you've got the room to fit one under the bonnet, do it that way. It is always there when you need it and it's one less thing you've gotta try to pack/store.
Mine is a Twine (all copper) and it stays under the Patrol's bonnet full time. If I ever sell the old girl, I simply remove it and buy one replacement heater hose and she's back to "normal".
AnswerID: 147112

Reply By: Member - Brian (Gold Coast) - Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 10:24

Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 10:24
We just bought a Primus one for xmas..... but STILL haven't tried it.... I'll hook it up this morning and give it a go and let you know!!!!

AnswerID: 147113

Reply By: Member - Jack - Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 10:38

Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 10:38
I went through the same process, and ended up installing a Twine. So glad I did. It just travels everywhere my truck goes, and if I need any hot water I just turn the heater on, run the engine, get the pump running, get a bucket and it is done.

I was personally turned off by having to actually load the portable heaters, carry gas, etc etc ... and decided just "having it there" suited my needs perfectly.

As was mentioned earlier, if I decide to sell my truck, I can pull the Twine out and re-install it in the next vehicle. Too easy.

I would imagine the differences between these "under hood" models such as Helton, Twine, Pirahna etc would be fairly minimal as they all use the same water jacket idea. I am not saying it is the best, but it definitely suited my needs.

The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get. (Lewis Carroll-Alice In Wonderland)

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AnswerID: 147119

Reply By: Member - Pezza (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 11:09

Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 11:09
G'day Jojo,
I don't think there are any real "pro's and cons" with either type of system,both types seem to do the job quite well, it's more a case of getting whichever one suits 'your' needs the best.
If you tow a permanently packed off road or camper trailer and you have the extra space then a primus or one of the other stand alone units might suit you.
We have a glind unit under the bonnet because up untill now we didn't tow a trailer of any sort and didn't want any more things taking up what little space we had, also one less thing to pack and unpack. I also bought the 12lpm pump version to fill my custom 55lt water tank (which is mounted between the storage system and the cargo barrier) when I can't get close access to a tap, I fill the jerry from wherever I can then pump it into the tank.
Also keep in mimd the cost factor, either type of unit will cost around the $400-$450 mark I think, then you have to factor in the instalation cost for the under bonnet version, unless you have the ability and know where and how (some engine bays are rather limited for space and mounting points) to mount it yourself.
Whichever way you go though, they are a great investment and you will never regret it.

Happy hot showering
AnswerID: 147127

Reply By: Crackles - Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 13:24

Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 13:24
Keep it simple. If there are only 2 of you then pop a big billy on the fire or gas ring then use a canvas bag shower hung from a tree. $60 tops, never breaks down & takes up very little room. I've had a Glind shower for 20 years & moved it from car to car. Great when they are working but a pain when they stop. Had coolant leak out of the heat exchanger, hose fittings pop off, pumps burn out & loose their prime. In the cold high country creeks they struggle to get hot enough & don't forget to watch out for that burst of boiling water as it comes through. Been watching a few people lately with the canvas bag showers & they seem to get shower time over twice as quick with no hassles. By the time you pay for the unit, upgrade the quick clip hose fittings & wiring then have it installed, you wont have much change out of $600. Great for big groups but an assorory a couple can do without. It's one more item that wont be fitted to my next car.
Cheers Craig........
AnswerID: 147153

Reply By: Willem - Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 14:33

Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 14:33
I have a $12.50 12 volt shower unit from Jaycar.

1. Put some cool water in bucket
2. Boil billy and mix water in with cool water in bucket to right temp
3. Run 12volt shower
4. Have nice warm shower
5. Dry off with fresh towel


AnswerID: 147168

Follow Up By: Mike DiD - Monday, Jan 09, 2006 at 16:09

Monday, Jan 09, 2006 at 16:09
I have a home-made version of this using a boating sink-pump. If it fails I will buy a Jaycar.

Works great, good temperature control, no wasted water.

FollowupID: 400746

Reply By: Kenell - Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 16:11

Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 16:11

I reckon Willem is spot on. I have the same arrangement but I think I paid more like $20 for it. It takes up no room as such. My kids have worked at McDonalds at various times and they have brought home the empty pickle buckets when I need them. 15l and as Willem says a billy of hot and one of cold makes a shower as hot as at home. If we are propping for a while I carry a spare battery and can locate the shower wherever we want. Last time we went away I explained how to get the thing going to SWMBO while my mate and I went fishing. When we returned I was told my spare battery was flat as the shower wouldn't work. I asked her to show me what she did. It seems that I assumed she knew that the terminal caps would have to be removed. My fault (again !!!!)
AnswerID: 147199

Reply By: Jimbo - Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 21:00

Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 21:00
I've used Solar Showers and Canvas Bag showers and they both work well. Solar has its limitations when the Sun plays "hidey". Still you can top it up with a billy full of hot water.

I've seen drums of water stuck on a fire and once warm carried over to the shower tent and a $20 12 volt shower is plonked in. Lovely hot shower.

I've seen under bonnet jobs where they will heat unlimited hot water once you get the setting (heater control) right.

Recently I bought a Coleman and it is superb. Simply fill the water source (I use a 40L plastic box so there is always plenty), and turn it on. The unit should be set up beside the shower tent so you can adjust the temp as required; just like you would in a normal shower.

Great for doing the dishes too.

I think Coleman market it as "Hot Water on Demand" which is pretty much what it is.


AnswerID: 147253

Reply By: Member - Brian (Gold Coast) - Monday, Jan 09, 2006 at 08:38

Monday, Jan 09, 2006 at 08:38

I ran up the Primus and it works fine. Heated a bucket of water to 35 degC in a few minutes..... we thought that was plenty bhot enough to shower in.

The Coleman one is good too, but has a re-chargeable battery and that was the reason we bought the Primus. We never have any luck with rechargeable batteries!! ;-)

We have used the shower bags and they are adequate although we found them a bit fiddly....

Hope this helps.
AnswerID: 147325

Reply By: flappa - Monday, Jan 09, 2006 at 09:10

Monday, Jan 09, 2006 at 09:10
Another big fan of under bonnet Showers.

Personally , I think Glind are right on the button.

The under bonnets with their superior pumps , provide the best showers , HOWEVER , how convenient do you want ?

I dont like the Primus Showers , heard FAR too many bad reports.

The Coleman on the other hand gets rave reviews. These would probably be the most convenient shower setup. I'm looking at these for a hot water system for my CT , but have a seperate shower.

We have 6 in our family , and the Under bonnet are EASILY the most convenient for OUR use.
AnswerID: 147335

Follow Up By: Andrew (Whyalla SA) - Monday, Jan 09, 2006 at 15:17

Monday, Jan 09, 2006 at 15:17

I bought a Coleman for our High Country trip.
Earned me some serious brownie points with the wife. She loved it.
Shower, washing up, etc. Worked faultlessly.
FollowupID: 400731

Follow Up By: flappa - Monday, Jan 09, 2006 at 15:22

Monday, Jan 09, 2006 at 15:22
Its the washing up side of things that I'm looking at. PITA , sourcing washing up water elsewhere.

Being able to shower is a bonus.

I'm told its hot enough for coffee/tea as well
FollowupID: 400733

Follow Up By: Andrew (Whyalla SA) - Monday, Jan 09, 2006 at 15:37

Monday, Jan 09, 2006 at 15:37
Yes, its hot enough for coffee but you would want to make sure the pump and hose are clean. For showers we were using Lake water (pretty cold) and still only used the lowest heat setting.
If you use the Coleman gas bottles then its a completely self contained unit.
FollowupID: 400737

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