Author Topic: Camp showers - what's good in 2020?  (Read 945 times)

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Offline Matto

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Camp showers - what's good in 2020?
« on: June 11, 2020, 03:12:01 PM »
Hi team,

Long time no speak.

Question - what is everyone using for a camp shower these days?

I had a Glind heat exchanger setup on the last car, which I loved. Endless hot showers, good water pressure for blasting off sand, mud and sunscreen, and not much in the way of "things to pack" - it was always just with us. However, we swapped cars a couple of years back and while I kept the Glind stuff (it's still taking up room in my shed), I've not been able to figure out a way to mount it in the ute - the engine bay is just too cramped. While I certainly did love it, it had it's downsides as well (had to shower at the car, had to have the engine running, etc).

  • My plan was to pick up a HotTap unit. I loved the original, and helped the father-in-law set up his on his Jayco a couple of years ago. It's a great thing, but these days I find myself concerned that it's too big for what I want. Plus, $500.
  • I like the Helio LX pump-up showers, but I'm concerned about the longevity of them and the piddly water flow. Is the pressure high enough to rinse off sand and such? Can you have a proper shower? Am I going to get sick of boiling the kettle to heat up the shower water?
  • I like the Rainman showers, and I like that you can set them next to the fire to heat up. But they're rather expensive and I've got concerns about the pressure they provide and how much you'd need to pump them during the shower to keep the pressure up. Wife and kid need reasonably low-fuss showers.

I expect the state of the art has moved on since I last looked into this. What's everyone using these days?

Cheers,
Matto
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Offline austastar

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Re: Camp showers - what's good in 2020?
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2020, 03:40:38 PM »
Hi,
    We pump hot water from a 10L billy of hot water.
The shower head sits in the billy for the first few liters circulating till the water temperature stabilizes. Some cold tank water can be added (if too hot)  till the temperature is just right.
Cheers
 

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Offline tryagain

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Re: Camp showers - what's good in 2020?
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2020, 05:03:16 PM »
The Hottap has a pretty good form factor and ease of use, but you do pay for it. You can get similar gas water heaters  on eBay for a lot less, but probably not as good quality or customer service.

I think the future is instant electric (240v), a big inverter and lithium batteries, this also has the advantage of then using induction cookers and totally doing away with gas. It can be done without costing the earth, but not if you want all brand name/proven stuff.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2020, 06:59:46 PM by tryagain »
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Offline Lobster

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Re: Camp showers - what's good in 2020?
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2020, 05:05:15 PM »
Yes ditto on the Hottap :cheers: We had the original one for years.
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Offline edz

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Re: Camp showers - what's good in 2020?
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2020, 05:32:21 PM »
Second hand $130  instant gas hot water unit ..  AnMeny brand [ ebay years ago  ]  8ltr per minute ..  12 lpm 12v pump, fed by a stand pipe from 4 x 25 lt plastic drums for portable water supply ..
 Middle of winter in a 25 knt wind, Steaming hot shower,   water flow  / heat,  set to give  42* C water temp,  we get just on a 6 minute shower  from a 25 ltr drum without recycling it ..  Water resupp always close to our usual camps ..
Be aware that you realy need to set up a recirculation of water  through the shower instant heater till you totaly prime the lines and heat exchanger, otherwise you waste a few liters till it fully prime and gets rid of the air in the unit .
A tub to stand in and draw water from is a good idea to extend shower time and use less water /  till you want to soap up and rinse off ..
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Offline austastar

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Re: Camp showers - what's good in 2020?
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2020, 05:37:43 PM »


A tub to stand in .....

Hi,
   I use the sand grabber floor mats from the vehicle.
Keeps feet clean and bull ants at bay.
Cheers



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Offline 6knights

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Re: Camp showers - what's good in 2020?
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2020, 06:35:58 PM »
We have an Hottap unit as well, great thing when they work  but l find they are VERY sensitive to any slight wind that is blowing and therefore goes out which isn't good when showering in southern Tasmania.

Not sure if anyone else has found this but l would be interested in finding out how they can be improved so it works better.


  Here is an interesting read on the smarttek heaters, has anyone used one and able to comment on them?

  https://www.snowys.com.au/blog/smarttek-joolca-hot-water-systems/



Trevor
« Last Edit: June 11, 2020, 06:41:17 PM by 6knights »
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Offline duggie

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Re: Camp showers - what's good in 2020?
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2020, 07:20:41 PM »
HI Matto .


Nothing wrong with the Hottap unit , but I have been using a Chinese ebay unit , half the price and works just as well , ( the Hottap is also Chinese made but you pay for the  Joolca name )

First thing that I did was got rid of the battery pack and wired in a 12 volt to 3 volt step down .

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/GASLAND-Portable-Gas-Hot-Water-System-Camping-Shower-Outdoor-Instant-LPG-RV/331943181191?epid=2085243830&hash=item4d495afb87:g:olcAAOSwTm1dv9mV:sc:AU_StandardDelivery!4887!AU!-1

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Waterproof-DC-DC-12V-to-3V-3A-15W-Car-Power-Adapter-Converter-Step-Down-Supply/201709622758?epid=2114323100&hash=item2ef6d495e6:g:SUMAAOxyGstSAsXr

cheers duggie

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Offline Bird

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Re: Camp showers - what's good in 2020?
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2020, 07:35:06 PM »
Shoot Bart a PM see what he can do for you on price... maybe try arranging a bulk buy with other forum members

http://www.myswag.org/index.php?topic=39656.0

He has always been straight up with forum members since he joined.
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Offline shakey55

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Re: Camp showers - what's good in 2020?
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2020, 06:18:40 AM »
Another vote for the Joolca Hot Tap.  I’ve used one for a few years and still very happy with it.


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Offline Fizzie

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Re: Camp showers - what's good in 2020?
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2020, 07:59:18 AM »
+ another!

We put one in the CT & it was great, especially with a long hose that could reach the kitchen for hot water there, as well as the shower tent ;D

We have an Hottap unit as well, great thing when they work  but l find they are VERY sensitive to any slight wind that is blowing and therefore goes out which isn't good when showering in southern Tasmania.

Not sure if anyone else has found this but l would be interested in finding out how they can be improved so it works better.

Must admit I never noticed any problem after it first lit up ???

As Bird says, have a chat to Bart, either via PM or over in the Showroom & see if they've got any suggestions / thoughts ???
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Offline 6knights

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Re: Camp showers - what's good in 2020?
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2020, 09:55:16 AM »

As Bird says, have a chat to Bart, either via PM or over in the Showroom & see if they've got any suggestions / thoughts ???

Thanks, I have been in touch and they have offered a few suggestions but l am yet to try it out in an outdoors setting.
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Offline GBC

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Re: Camp showers - what's good in 2020?
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2020, 11:28:41 AM »
I have the Joolca V2 on the camper. I haven't had any issues with wind blowing it out. If you camp in sub zero, a brand which has the extra Low/High or summer/winter selectable dial will give you a higher final water temp. I only noticed the Joolca didn't quite get to wash up dishes water temp a couple of times down south in Winter. I had another brand with the extra dial and it would crank out the heat (and chew gas). It also failed within 2 years, which the Joolca has not.
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Offline Fizzie

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Re: Camp showers - what's good in 2020?
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2020, 12:03:43 PM »
I only noticed the Joolca didn't quite get to wash up dishes water temp a couple of times down south in Winter.

One option there is to run the water through the Joolca a couple of times - cold to 25, 25 to 50, 50 to 75 (if you want it that hot!)
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Offline daveco

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Re: Camp showers - what's good in 2020?
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2020, 01:37:05 PM »
Something like this (in a bucket of hot water) is another compact cheap(ish) option:

https://www.tentworld.com.au/buy-sale/companion-rechargeable-camp-shower

Dave
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Offline Kegs1972

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Re: Camp showers - what's good in 2020?
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2020, 12:31:22 PM »
we have a Kickass rechargable shower in a bucket of hot water, simple and easy and does the job
Life is too short so make the most of every day!
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Offline Matto

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Re: Camp showers - what's good in 2020?
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2020, 01:09:01 PM »
Thanks guys - sounds like the Joolca is still a good unit, so I might just need to pony up and buy one. I've got to admit, after having endless hot water with the Glind unit I would be apprehensive going back to having to boil the kettle every time. I can just see "bath time" involving everyone else having a bath while I just ferry hot water to them. Plus I really did like the pressure provided by the 12v pump - perfect for blasting off sand and sunscreen at the end of the day.

A gas hot water system coupled to the kickass awning-mounted shower tent and the new drifta shower base/tub seems like a good, reliable and fast-setup combo (albeit an expensive one).

I like Duggie's idea of ditching the batteries for a step-down system - might have to investigate that whichever way we go. I hate having individual batteries.

Cheers team!
-Matto :)
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Offline Matto

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Re: Camp showers - what's good in 2020?
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2020, 01:12:53 PM »
Question for the Joolca owners while we're here - do you use it for hot water in the kitchen as well? Obviously Fizzy and GBG do based on their comments above. How do you clean it inside (and in the pump)?

Previously I'll either pump water from a creek, or fill up buckets from the creek to use as shower water. Stuff using previous fresh water in the camper's tanks. But the obvious concern is that the creek water includes all manner of crap - algae, whatever else, etc. Do you just pump a few litres of fresh water through the system after,  or use some oxyaction or similar in it? Or has it just never been a problem for you?

Maybe I just camp near dirty creeks?

Cheers,
Matto :)
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Offline tryagain

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Re: Camp showers - what's good in 2020?
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2020, 01:34:48 PM »
Question for the Joolca owners while we're here - do you use it for hot water in the kitchen as well? Obviously Fizzy and GBG do based on their comments above. How do you clean it inside (and in the pump)?

I just use fresh/tank water ATM and have quick showers, I have a plan to be able to pump from a creek with a good filter system and then be able to refill the tanks with the now filtered fresh water but that is probably still a few projects/years down the list at the moment.
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Offline Fizzie

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Re: Camp showers - what's good in 2020?
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2020, 02:14:06 PM »
Previously I'll either pump water from a creek, or fill up buckets from the creek to use as shower water. Stuff using previous fresh water in the camper's tanks. But the obvious concern is that the creek water includes all manner of crap - algae, whatever else, etc. Do you just pump a few litres of fresh water through the system after,  or use some oxyaction or similar in it? Or has it just never been a problem for you?

For those times when we camped at sites that don't have fresh water, we also used to do the same with a jerry out of the creek.

Had a strainer filter like (not this one but similar) https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/1pc-Irrigation-Water-Filter-Agricultural-Garden-Strainer-Pump-Mesh-Screen-Tools/193447178053 on the intake hose that we dropped in the bucket, & which kept all the big bits out. Never worried about microscopic debris or any bugs in the water ???

Also never used it with salt water - that would probably be bad ???
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Offline db

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Re: Camp showers - what's good in 2020?
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2020, 04:38:43 PM »
Question for the Joolca owners while we're here - do you use it for hot water in the kitchen as well? Obviously Fizzy and GBG do based on their comments above. How do you clean it inside (and in the pump)?

Previously I'll either pump water from a creek, or fill up buckets from the creek to use as shower water. Stuff using previous fresh water in the camper's tanks. But the obvious concern is that the creek water includes all manner of crap - algae, whatever else, etc. Do you just pump a few litres of fresh water through the system after,  or use some oxyaction or similar in it? Or has it just never been a problem for you?


Just fill up a pot to get hot water for the kitchen for washing up etc.

Being in SA, camping at a creek with water is a bit of a novelty, so usually use jerry cans or tank. Last time we camped on the Murray, used river water for showers, but ran fresh water through afterwards as the water was a bit murky.
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