A camp shower that really works

fredr1980

New member
Tonight i'll take everything apart and hook up the large exchanger. Back to zero. Results to come.
Do you have any updates? How big of a plate exchanger did you end up with? I was looking to do the same thing but with a 10 plate exchanger, good thing I didn't go with the 10 plate unit.

Thanks,
Fred R.
 

Wilbah

Adventurer
Thanks for posting this. I want a shower but keep going back and forth on a propane fired unit and something like this with a hear exchanger.
 

OnBeechRoad

Observer
I bought everything from amazon. The new 20 plate will convert 40 deg water to 155 deg without any problems. The thermostatic mixing valve allows for complete temperature control. What i found with propane was that it would only raise the incoming water temperature 40 deg so..40 deg stream water=80 deg shower.
 

Ajstro

New member
How's the shower setup holding up after 6 months of use? Is there anything you would do differently? I've been looking for shower options, and this seems like the best option I've seen so far.
 

OnBeechRoad

Observer
Everything still works like it should. Last weekend We went camping in the mountains. The incoming stream temperature was right at 33 degrees, air temp was 40 degrees... it was chilly to say the least! The shower was after going through the heat exchanger was almost comfortable. We decided to circulate the water once through the exchanger and store the warm water in a few 5 gallon buckets then recirculate it again. we were then able to get the temp we needed. once the air temp comes up a bit we'll be able to draft right from the stream.
 

OnBeechRoad

Observer
UPDATE...the problem wasn't the heat exchanger but was the thermostat in the Jeep. The outgoing water temp was very comfortable but only for a few minutes then it turned cool. What we found was that the extremely cold stream water going through the heat exchanger was actually cooling the antifreeze down enough to close the thermostat! Short showers were the way to go, then let the engine heat back up before the next person jumped in.
 

pierceg

New member
I used to use a 20 plate heat exchanger with a thermal valve to control temperature. Worked well enough and was convenient. All be it if you showered in the early AM you would need to start the engine to get the motor coolant circulating to. Warm the creek water.
Inhave now switched to a portable 12 Volt pump with hoses and quick disconnects. I just take my 7 gallon full water jug and leave in the sun for a bit and then shower. Granted on a rainy day. Your not gonna get as warm of water. But it works. It's easy. It's cheap and fits in a small bag for storage ease.
 

yoggie

Member
I used to use a 20 plate heat exchanger with a thermal valve to control temperature. Worked well enough and was convenient. All be it if you showered in the early AM you would need to start the engine to get the motor coolant circulating to. Warm the creek water.
Inhave now switched to a portable 12 Volt pump with hoses and quick disconnects. I just take my 7 gallon full water jug and leave in the sun for a bit and then shower. Granted on a rainy day. Your not gonna get as warm of water. But it works. It's easy. It's cheap and fits in a small bag for storage ease.
I wonder if you added a 12v immersion water heater to your setup if you could warm the water up even faster? Or make it warm enough for those rainy days? Amazon sells one for less than $6.
 

yoggie

Member
Workerdone,

I agree that an immersion heater wouldnt work for any kind situation where you are trying to warm a flow of water like what OnBeechRoad is doing.

However, if you are letting water warm up in the sun over a couple of hours, it should add some heat. Would it actually be worth it like you said? Meh, maybe not. Might be worth trying though for a few bucks.

Another idea that I had would be to use a generic stick on engine block heater. Amazon sells a 150 watt 110v "Universal Hot Pad Heater" that cost less than $35. Then again, you are looking at hauling some sort of metal bucket (to distribute the heat and not melt), and a reasonably large power source for the 110v, so generator, running car, or large batteries. At that point, you might as well just get a propane tankless water heater for like $120 (water pump not included) and be done with it, but again, you are hauling around a lot of extra gear that can take up a fair amount of room.

The more I consider other solutions, the better OnBeechRoad's solution looks!
 
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