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Hot Shower made easy. UNENDING hot showers!

Discussion in 'Off-Roading & Trails' started by tonykarter, Mar 9, 2022.

  1. Mar 9, 2022 at 4:41 PM
    #1
    tonykarter

    tonykarter [OP] Crappie Savant

    Joined:
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    Snuff Gully, Texas
    Vehicle:
    2018 DCSB 4x4 Sport 1993 4Runner SR5 4x4, 411,000 miles
    Pine tree air freshener
    I've been camping for over 50 years. I stopped doing grunge camping back in the early 90's. I was good at it at one time. Better than most: I once woke up in a shallow depression in the beach sand, my saltshaker still in my left hand. A little sandy, but warm, and comfortable. Now, if I can't have a hot shower after a long day fishing out in the boat I'm not going to sleep as well as I would if I had a long, steaming hot shower. For a few years I've been using the 2.6gpm on-demand hot water heater mounted to a luggage cart pictured below.

    For transportation it fit perfectly behind the passenger seat of my old but trusty '97 Chevy truck. Alas, I sold that truck last week. Like selling a kid: For almost twenty years that truck was my dedicated camping and fishing truck, always packed full of camping gear, always ready to connect up the boat and go fishing/camping on short notice. Man, we made some memories together. I have other transportation, so I had the luxury of having the C1500 packed to the gills and setting under the awning, ready to depart and make memories. Like putting a dog down. Turn the page...

    Well, that 2.6gpm water heater won't fit in a Taco as well as it did a long-wheelbase 1/2 ton pickup, so I had to come up with a better mousetrap. It can be done. If a person is so motivated. Here's the equipment run down:

    16 gallon water tank, including water pump and pressure valve:
    NorthStar ATV Spot Sprayer — 16-Gallon Capacity, 2.2 GPM, 12 Volt | Northern Tool

    Delete the sprayer's wand and connect its output hose to the inlet of this hot water heater:
    Amazon.com: Portable Propane Tankless Water Heater, 1.32GPM/5L Capacity, 6 in 1 Safety Function, 7 more Usage Scenarios, Easy to Install, Low Pressure Startup, White : Everything Else

    [​IMG]
    It fits inside a GASKETED 26.5-quart Ziploc Weathershield Box perfectly with all the other parts you will need:
    Amazon.com - IRIS USA 26.5 Storage Bin, Quart, Clear, 4 Count -

    [​IMG]
    Shower stall, quick and easy, 4' x4' x 83" tall:
    Amazon.com: ropoda Pop Up Tent 83inches x 48inches x 48inches, Upgrade Privacy Tent, Porta-Potty Tent Includes 1 Removable Bottom,8 Stakes,1Removable Rain Cover,1 Carrying Bag : Sports & Outdoors

    [​IMG]
    Set it inside the 48" x 48" x 4.75" heavy duty New Pig Spill Tray:
    Collapsible Tray | Foldable Tray – New Pig Holds over fifty gallons. This is how you get endless hot showers, more on this later. This tray rolls up for storage in its own case, both only slightly larger than a 67-inch umbrella. (You get a 10% off email, then they give you a $25 Home Depot gift card.)

    Mount this pump on the front of the hot water heater:
    Amazon.com: Diaphragm Water Pump 12V with Pressure Switch 3.5 GPM 45 PSI, 12 Volt Self Priming RV DC Washdown Pump with Fittings Strainer Filter for Marine Yacht Caravan, Garden Hose : Patio, Lawn & Garden

    [​IMG]
    Get one of these...more on why later:
    Amazon.com : Attwood 4140-4 WaterBuster® Portable Pump, Submersible, Battery Powered, 200 GPH, 42-Inch Hose, 5 ¼-Inch Diameter : Boating Bilge Pumps : Sports & Outdoors

    [​IMG]
    Five-gallon containers, at least three:
    Amazon.com : WaterStorageCube BPA-Free Collapsible Water Container with Spigot, Food-Grade Camping Water Storage Carrier Jug for Outdoors Hiking Hurricane Emergency, Foldable Portable Water Canteen (5.3 Gal 2-pk) : Sports & Outdoors
    [​IMG]


    Here is the set-up:

    1. Install a water hose "Y" 2-way splitter valve on the intake of the hot water heater
    (use quick-connect fittings on this and on every connection you can. Beats having to screw everything on and off, saves time.) This valve allows you to supply the water heater from two different water sources.
    2. Attached the hose from the water tank hose to one side of the splitter valve.
    3. Put the Attwood portable water pump on the bottom of the shower and attach its hose to the inlet of the water pump you mounted on the hot water heater.
    4. Attached a hose from the hot water heater water pump output to the other side of the splitter valve attached to the intake of the hot water heater. Keep the splitter valve closed on this side for now.
    5. Open the splitter valve on the water tank side.
    6. Turn the water tank pump on and let the shower run until the water tank is half empty, about eight gallons, or about six minutes of hot shower.
    7. Close the water tank side of the splitter valve. The pump will pressurize that side to roughly 40psi and then automatically turn off, even though the power switch is still on. The water heater will turn off automatically as well.
    8. Turn the on the portable water pump on the shower floor, then turn on the pump you mounted to the hot water heater.
    9. Open the water pump side of the splitter valve. This will send the warm water already in the bottom of the shower back to the hot water heater, causing the water heater to automatically turn on again and start heating the water supplied from the bottom of the shower. (The water heater only lights when it senses water pressure over 3psi. It turns off once there is no flow.)
    10. You can continue to recirculate this "sump" water for as long as you want to take a steam bath in your hot shower. Because this water is heated already each time it is recirculated through the pump it will get even hotter. It doesn't take very long and it will be scalding. Even with the water heater's heat setting set as low as it can be set it is going to get too hot to shower, but hot enough to make a copious amount of soothing steam! Direct the shower head away from your body, sit down a 5 gallon bucket or shower chair and enjoy the massive amounts of steam the shower tent collects. FOR AS LONG AS YOU WANT. (The shower tent has a tight roof you can put on to seal in the steam.) You only run out of hot water when you run out of propane. I have never run out of propane, even on the larger water heater. They do not use much propane.
    11. When you are sufficiently rejuvenated, turn off the recirc side and turn on the water tank water again. Use the remaining fresh water to soap, scrub and rinse.
    12. Disconnect the portable pump from the water pump. Put the end of the hose in one of the collapsible 5-gallon water containers and drain the grey water contained in the sump. It will take three containers. Transport them to the dump station and empty them (you can use the dump stations water hose to fill the water pump tank.

    The water tank/pump fits neatly at the front of the truck bed. I use a wire shelf above the water tank/pump so that I don't waste the storage space above the tank.

    If you have a roof rack, you are going to love this:
    [​IMG]
    Amazon.com : Tuff Stuff Shower Tent : Sports & Outdoors

    DSCF1271.jpg
    20220227 - North Star 16gal spray setup and Fouree 1.8gal per minute water heater.jpg
    20220309 - Foruee water heater in ZipLoc 26 quart Weatherseal storage container 1.jpg
    20220309 - Foruee water heater in ZipLoc 26 quart Weatherseal storage container 2.jpg
    20220309 - Hot water heater in ZipLoc 26 quart Weatherseal clear storage container, 3.jpg
    20220309 - Hot water heater in ZipLoc 26 quart Weatherseal storage container.jpg
    20220309 - Shower tent with New Pig 48 x48 spill tray.jpg
    20181030 - 3.5gpm on-demand shower setup on luggage kart (002).jpg
    61k1WW-K4EL._AC_SX466_.jpg

    20170224 - Shower tent, shower system.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2022
    ETAV8R, gwiz, Lohan808 and 9 others like this.
  2. Mar 10, 2022 at 6:55 AM
    #2
    tonykarter

    tonykarter [OP] Crappie Savant

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    Snuff Gully, Texas
    Vehicle:
    2018 DCSB 4x4 Sport 1993 4Runner SR5 4x4, 411,000 miles
    Pine tree air freshener
    Update: The hot water heater had a dented front cover when it came out of the box, dent visible in the pictures above. I contacted Foruee about getting a replacement front cover. Instead of sending a replacement front cover they credited me back $30, and are sending me another unit that they said is "unserviceable" so I can use its front cover. We'll see how unserviceable it is. With a little handywork I might have a third hot water.

    DAMN nice of them!
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2022
    SR-71A likes this.
  3. Mar 10, 2022 at 10:47 AM
    #3
    Toyoda213

    Toyoda213 Well-Known Member

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    SoCal
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    2003 V6 dlbc Prerunner 4x4 converted
    nice set up you have there. Hope your are able to salvage that extra heater they are sending you
     
  4. Mar 14, 2022 at 11:17 PM
    #4
    Enduromatic

    Enduromatic Very Classy Redneck.

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    Oregon. Heart still Colo though.
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    rebuilt leafs/ billy 5125 ome/ billy 5100
    Thanks for this write up! I will give it a try my friend.
     
  5. Mar 18, 2022 at 1:00 PM
    #5
    flatironsoverland

    flatironsoverland @FlatironsOverland

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    Erie, Colorado
    Nice build out and great idea! Been using a jerry rigged weed sprayer for some time now, might have to try this out :D
     
    ChamYota likes this.
  6. Mar 23, 2022 at 3:47 PM
    #6
    tonykarter

    tonykarter [OP] Crappie Savant

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    2018 DCSB 4x4 Sport 1993 4Runner SR5 4x4, 411,000 miles
    Pine tree air freshener
    UPDATE: They didn't send me one "unserviceable" hot water heater. They sent me THREE! When I have time I am pretty sure I can "service" a couple of them into working. Probably just a thermocouple problem.

    20220323 - My dented water heater in front, and the 3 they sent me to use.jpg
     
    uploadadventure likes this.
  7. Apr 2, 2023 at 7:04 PM
    #7
    ETAV8R

    ETAV8R Out DERP'n

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    Just the basics
    Nice DIY shower. So I understand correctly, it's a steam bath, not an actual shower?
     
    tonykarter[OP] likes this.
  8. Apr 2, 2023 at 7:10 PM
    #8
    Rock Lobster

    Rock Lobster Thread Derailer

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    My camper has a nice, scalding hot outdoor shower. I find myself using hospital wipes daily, and the shower maybe only once every three.
     
    tonykarter[OP] likes this.
  9. Apr 2, 2023 at 7:11 PM
    #9
    daveeasa

    daveeasa FBC Harness Solutions Vendor

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    Impressive work here. Love the thinking.
     
    tonykarter[OP] likes this.
  10. Apr 3, 2023 at 3:47 PM
    #10
    tonykarter

    tonykarter [OP] Crappie Savant

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    Pine tree air freshener
    It is not a steam bath per se. Rather, it is a hot shower that, if the sump water is recirculated, becomes increasingly hot until it is scalding. You direct it away at the far wall, sit down on a bucket with a bloody mary and steam your day away. When ready, change back to tank water. You can shower in less than three gallons.
     
  11. Apr 3, 2023 at 3:49 PM
    #11
    tonykarter

    tonykarter [OP] Crappie Savant

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    2018 DCSB 4x4 Sport 1993 4Runner SR5 4x4, 411,000 miles
    Pine tree air freshener
    UPDATE: I've added a solenoid controlled two-way gate valve just before the pump intake. Switch desired water source from the shower via a RF key fob. Fob operates up to six RF devices.
     
    Pyrotech likes this.
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