Portable Hot Water Heater

Brigitta

Active member
Does anybody here use a portable hot water heater? We usually tow the jeep with a motorhome and use it as our base camp. However some trips it's just the jeep and a tent and we usually run around topless and doorless in the summer. On certain trails like the Dusy for example, we may take 3 days to enjoy it. That's a lot of dust and dirt in your face and I would enjoy a hot shower instead of a frigid dunk once in a while.

I was thinking a portable hot water system (instant hot water) would be cheaper than getting an under hood heat exchanger but I'm not sure a portable would have the output to wash shampoo out of long hair.

Any advice would be appreciated.
 

Brigitta

Active member
I have seen this unit and I have a few questions, do you hang it from something like a tree or do you have a vehicle mount? What is the GPM on your pump? Too high a GPM and the water may not get hot enough and too low I still have shampoo in my hair :(
 

Brigitta

Active member
Yeah, the portable water heaters attach to propane bottles. The one tkaltenbach uses I've always seen used with the huge (20lb) tanks. Not sure if it will run off the small coleman throw aways. The "Zodi" brand uses the small throw away bottles http://www.zodi.com/
 

Brigitta

Active member
i won a zodi hot tap hp at the marlin round up two years ago and it is awesome!! im not sure if i would have spent that much if i was looking for one but everybody at my camp is always jealous :gapteeth:
http://www.zodi.com/Consumer/zodihottaphpshower.html
Cool, how well does the pump on that work? I'm wondering how long 4 D cells will pump and if it'll pump enough to wash/condition long hair. Also, how big is unit when it's all packed? Does it take up a lot of space?
 
You can use one of the small 2 or 3 gallon propane tanks. Also im sure you could adapt it to run off the little bottles. It is adjustable in flow and heat and will make the water hot enough to burn the $hit out of you. I use a flojet on demand rv pump. if you have a good water source you can take a hot shower for as long as you want. I built a frame out of pvc that goes inside a shower tent. The unit and shower head hangs in there.

http://www.amazon.com/LF122202A-Automatic-1-1-GPM-12-Volt-3-5-Amp/dp/B000O8AZ6M/ref=pd_bxgy_hi_img_b
 

no-idea

New member
the pump works good. ive taken it on about 6 camping trips and its still on the same batteries. as long as you have a water supply it will pump out the hot water.

it all fits in the red square bucket it comes in (except the propane bottles) so it doesnt take up a lot of room. i think the single burner might take up less room but i dont know if it would get the water hot enough with one pass. by that i mean you fill up the bucket it comes with with water and "recycle" it until its at the temp you want.

ill get you some pics of it.
 

rusty_tlc

New member
One issue with all Zodi products, they melt down if the pump (water heater) or fan (tent heater) stops working.

We had the Zodi water heater and it was okay, we returned it after one trip because the DSI igniter broke. You could just heat water on your stove and pump it through a weed sprayer. Or use an small 12V water pump an a 5 gallon bucket.

Far and away the best system is a Helton heat exchanger, I know several guys who have them and they are the ****z. It may be more money up front but IMHO it is well worth it.
 

L.D.

New member
I have a shower on the buggy. I used the heat exchanger from a drinking fountain. it hangs on the firewall and the hoses snap on with air hose quick connecters. we love it, but then you need to be neer a streem.
 

no-idea

New member
wow i have not heard that they melt. what melts? im very happy with mine. the couple other people that ive meet that have them love them also. i wonder if they changed the design?

so here it is next to a shovel for reference

packed up


set up


heres the pump. its nothing crazy, but imo it puts out plenty for what it is.


heres the igniter. easy to replace if it were to brake, just two rivets.


and heres the other side. i dont see what could "melt", its all metal.


i got to say tho, i have not used it as a shower yet. i usually just leave it set up in camp for hot water.
 

Brigitta

Active member
One issue with all Zodi products, they melt down if the pump (water heater) or fan (tent heater) stops working.

We had the Zodi water heater and it was okay, we returned it after one trip because the DSI igniter broke. You could just heat water on your stove and pump it through a weed sprayer. Or use an small 12V water pump an a 5 gallon bucket.

Far and away the best system is a Helton heat exchanger, I know several guys who have them and they are the ****z. It may be more money up front but IMHO it is well worth it.
I haven't heard of the Helton, I'll have to look into that. I'm familiar with the R&M exchange but I believe they're out of business. I would prefer a heat exchanger but the last time I checked the price it was about $450. I definetly want to check out all my options before laying out that much for a shower.
 

BurbanHunter

New member
Nothing great to add but I'm glad to see this thread. This is a subject that I have pondered and attempted to research with few results. Now I have more things to look into!
 

RARECJ8

Well-known member
Premium Member
The "Zodi" brand uses the small throw away bottles http://www.zodi.com/
I've wanted one of the types mentioned here but it always seems the solar shower and a rope over a tree limb works good. BTW, many places sell a adapter so that you may refill the green coleman tanks and need not toss them out. Couple years back camping at eagle lake a ranger busted some poor fool using a zodi since he was not using a catch basin and the soapy water was just running onto the ground. Hummm.... If too near a stream or water source i can see why discharging onto the ground might not be good, even w/ so-called biodrgradable soaps. Seems its best to be as far away from water source as possible. That = lots of hose. All told i like LDs proven method of the on board exchanger-- still have to use hoses but its one less thing to pack, haul and maintain.

good luck
 

rundovr

New member
this is a great thread, I have thought about wrapping some copper tubing around the header and use two boat bilige pumps to pump the water through the tubing and into a small tank of water and back around the the copper tubbing then use a third pump to pump the water through a hose to the shower head. I have enough room in my rig to carry a large amount of water in a tank I plan on making that will go over the back wheel well and have a radiator cap on it so if the water gets too hot the steam will release. I plan on having in insulated so it will not melt any thing next to it. still working out the bugs in the idea but I think it will work. just shorter showers, not like i'm going to the prom just hunting.
 

rusty_tlc

New member
I haven't heard of the Helton, I'll have to look into that. I'm familiar with the R&M exchange but I believe they're out of business. I would prefer a heat exchanger but the last time I checked the price it was about $450. I definetly want to check out all my options before laying out that much for a shower.
The complete Helton system is about $280, but the heat exchanger by it self is only $150.

http://www.helton.com.au/shower units.htm
 
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