Re: Flat Plate Water Heater
The flat plate heat exchanger heats from the engine coolant, so if you engine is hot your have 800-1000lbs of metal at 180 degrees which would give you more than enough heat to turn all 16 gallons of your water tank into scalding water. If you don't have the Espar however I would recommend installing a 12V pump to circulate the coolant through the heat exchanger that way you don't have to have the engine running the whole time you are showering. If you have the Espar when the engine is hot its internal pump will circulate the coolant.
The other thing that really helps is a tempering valve because the engine coolant is at 180 degrees the water coming from the hot plate will be similar temperature. The tempering valve mixes the hot water with cold water to give you an even preset temperature. We have ours set to a temperature that is perfect for showering so we just turn on the hot and go. This really saves water because you don't have to waste water trying to get the temperature right.
We just spent 2 1/2 weeks camping in Colorado, Utah and Nevada and didn't spend a single night in a campground. My wife, like most women, does not like to go for extended period of time without a shower.
Not having to spend a single night in a RV park "Priceless"
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