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Old 08-08-2012, 12:58 PM   #41
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Re: Hot water?

Loved reading this thread as I decide on whether to add hot water to our minimal SMB build.

I'm seriously considering one of the portable options mentioned. We had thought to add a fresh water tank with an external shower (no grey water tank is planned). But, after reading about the extra care and maintenance, I'm hoping for a simpler option.

We often camp where water is remotely available and not heated. A hot shower would be nice after a long hike or ride. We've used shower bags in the past but there have been times when they didn't heat up.

After reading product reviews of the Coleman Hot Water on Demand system, I'm skeptical. Has anyone used any of the other systems? The Mr. Heater Aqua Cube? Zodi? Are there any that can be supplied with a spigot container rather than an open box? I prefer to keep my water supply covered and it appears that many of these systems rely on a submersible pump.

Ideally I would like a heater with the following features:

Portable so that I can use it at the picnic table or away from the van

Attachments to allow using propane from a large tank (not disposable bottles like some Zodi models)

AC or DC charging vs. disposable batteries (as long as the batteries charge! - an issue on the Coleman)

Water supply from either a hose attachment (when water is available locally) or a closed container

Not a permanent van installation so it can be left at home when not needed

The Coleman fits the bill but the product reviews are terrible! The unit is too expensive to not be reliable.
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Old 08-08-2012, 04:18 PM   #42
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Re: Hot water?

I've heard good things about the Zodi but don't know anything about any of the portable units. If you take away all the mechanical workings away from them, storage is going to be the big factor. If you have room great. Sounds like one of the portable units is what you're after.

http://www.hotcampshowers.com/solar_bag ... ks___pumps
http://knowledgeninja.hubpages.com/hub/ ... wer-Review


Why do you need something at the table?

Cleaning the tank isn't a huge deal if you use somethng else for potable water.
A flat plate, if plumbed properly, is a good choice provided you only use hot water rarely and don't mind the engine running for a little bit.
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:00 PM   #43
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Re: Hot water?

Happy Camper

What did you read about the Coleman?
We have had ours for two years and use it all the time.
We have had zero problems with it.
I was just wondering.
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Old 08-08-2012, 11:40 PM   #44
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Re: Hot water?

Good timing, I'd like to hear too. I'm looking into setting one up.
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:22 AM   #45
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Re: Hot water?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
Why do you need something at the table?
I learned on my first trip in our SMB that I prefer to cook outside. We have a chuck box that SMB built a special cabinet to hold. It can be used inside the van or outside. Once in camp, we set it up on the table, add a portable stove and a water cube and we have a great camping kitchen. Having warm/hot water for washing hands and doing dishes would be a great addition. No more heating water on the stove for dishes! Walking back-and-forth to the van for hot water would be okay just not quite as convenient.

Thanks for the links to other discussions. I'd never thought of using a garden sprayer! The Zodi Outback Gear Extreme is interesting but a bit larger than what I had hoped for!
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:37 AM   #46
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Re: Hot water?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyCamper
.... We have a chuck box that SMB built a special cabinet to hold. It can be used inside the van or outside. Once in camp, we set it up on the table, add a portable stove and a water cube and we have a great camping kitchen...
Come on, you can't tease us like that and then not post any pictures.
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:38 AM   #47
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Re: Hot water?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrasport12
What did you read about the Coleman?
We have had ours for two years and use it all the time.
We have had zero problems with it.
I was just wondering.
Good to learn that you have had good luck. I may still go with the Coleman. The reviews are very mixed. People either love or hate it. There appears to be a quality control issue. The battery operated pump does not appear to work properly making it impossible to use the Coleman without a hose connection to a fresh water supply. There are many comments about the batteries being the problem but on reading the reviews, the unit only thinks the batteries are dead. A VO meter confirms they are fully charged.

Do you use your Coleman with a hose or from the water cube?
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:21 PM   #48
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Re: Hot water?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyCamper
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
Why do you need something at the table?
I learned on my first trip in our SMB that I prefer to cook outside. We have a chuck box that SMB built a special cabinet to hold. It can be used inside the van or outside. Once in camp, we set it up on the table, add a portable stove and a water cube and we have a great camping kitchen. Having warm/hot water for washing hands and doing dishes would be a great addition. No more heating water on the stove for dishes! Walking back-and-forth to the van for hot water would be okay just not quite as convenient.

Thanks for the links to other discussions. I'd never thought of using a garden sprayer! The Zodi Outback Gear Extreme is interesting but a bit larger than what I had hoped for!
Gotcha. I guess eveybody's proceedures vary. I always cook outside and rarely need hot water. My primary use for hot water is the shower or a quick body wash during winter. If I were to set up some kind of base camp when out in the wilderness, I could see an advantage to setting up a large kitchen. I'm quite conservative with outdoor equipment especially the kitchen stuff and have reverted back to my backpacking methods over the years. The less I have to set up or tear down the better IMO. I understand that others enjoy a different aspect of camping. Good luck on your choice.
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:47 PM   #49
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Re: Hot water?

While the Coleman name may enjoy a long and worthy reputation I would seriously consider other options for your Hot Shower units . We as a family are very active in the outdoors and as many of you know we have 13 Grandchildren that are frequently very much a part of these activities . Over the past 40 plus years we have tried numerous devices for showering from home made to store bought and of all of the devices that we have had the Zodi has been day in and day out the most reliable , inexpensive easy to service , compact shower that we have owned . The two Coleman units that we purchased in the last 3 years have not been up to their expected standards , I asked each of my 3 children to comment on the Coleman unit and here is what they all agreed upon
#1 Much to large and cumbersome with all items needed for showers .
#2 To complicated for quick and easy showers .
#3 Unreliable from the stand point of 2 of these units had to be returned because of defective charging systems , and one of those failed on our most recent trip into Utah's backcountry .
#4 They are somewhat expensive for what you are getting especially when you start adding the expense of return shipping . I am not bashing the Coleman Line which has been very good to my friends and family I am just providing a little food for thought !
P.S. if you contact Deckers that posted above you will find them very pleasant to deal with and a good source of information .
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:56 PM   #50
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Re: Hot water?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbonesclimber
If we are at a remote site we just do it. We also have a Porta Privy quick set up tent wen we respect others modesty. Works Great.

Paul
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