A camp shower that really works

OnBeechRoad

Observer
I've been looking around at hot camp showers for a while and it doesn't seem like any of them are both really simple and really reliable. I don't want to carry around bulky gas bottles and i really don't want to have to recirculate the water through a storage tank to bring to water temp up to a usable range. I want to be able to pull water directly from the stream, heat it up to 118deg F and stand under the shower head until my toes toes wrinkle into prunes. The problem is that my water supply is a mountain stream. It produces a water temp from 40deg F to 65deg F. I set out to build a system that could work with that temp variance, be able to be adapted to most any vehicle and give consistent results. Here it goes...
 

OnBeechRoad

Observer
I reran the 5/8" hoses going to my heater core. I chose a 20 plate exchanger. Its about 3" wide, 2" thick and 7" long. The heat exchanger has a diagram on it that shows you what direction the water needs to flow. According to Duda Diesel the number of plates has a minimal affect on the heat exchange. The higher the plate count the better it retains your incoming PSI. The longer the heat exchanger the better the heat exchange.IMAG0286.jpg
 

OnBeechRoad

Observer
Because of the 205deg F coolant that will be flowing through the exchanger i decided to use all brass connections. My plan is to throw one end of a short garden hose in stream then attach the other end to a 12v Surflow pump. Then out of the pump to the heat exchanger, then to my shower. I made this little bracket to hold the garden hose fittings.
 

OnBeechRoad

Observer
To control the varying temps i installed a thermosatic mixing valve. I ran all of my fresh water supply lines with 3/4" pex.
 

OnBeechRoad

Observer
I temporarily mounted the heat exchanger with some long hose clamps. It turned out to be a good thing because i later found out that this one was too small.
 

OnBeechRoad

Observer
Final install with everything painted up and tucked away. I reran the pex lines to get them up and out of the way. I'm ready for a test run. Results to come.
 

OnBeechRoad

Observer
With the small heat exchanger: vehicle water temp is 205 deg, incoming water temp is 60 deg being pumped with a 3 GPM 12v Surflow pump. I started with a 2.5 GPM shower head with the valve turned as hot as it would get. Outgoing water temp was 100 deg at best. That's not going to work. Same set up with a 1.5 GPM shower head, outgoing water temp is now 126 deg. That would work for today but i know that the stream in the mountains on any given day in December is closer to 40 deg. The lower GPM shower head slowed the water down so it spent more time in the heat exchanger.
 

tarditi

Explorer
Good write-up. Keep us posted on the larger exchanger. x2 for the suggestion to relocate the connectors
 
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