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Ultimate Westy Shower?
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Tobias Duncan
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Ultimate Westy Shower? Reply with quote

davevickery wrote:





$19.99 300 Watt 12 volt heating element http://mwands.com/store/image/cache/catalog/dc-elements/6-inch-element-500x500.jpg





It also needs a temperature limit switch glued to the side of the tank to kill power once the water is hot. 300 Watts takes 1 hour to heat 3 gallons 50 degrees so pretty much any driving you do and the water will be hot. I probably would not use it without the engine running, but it would take about 25 amp/hrs if you did. Once it has been heated it stays warm for quite a while. People always complain about the lack of on demand hot water, but I found there are plenty of times over the course of a few days camping where you can get a hot shower, just not a hot showing in the morning. I guess that is just roughing it.

I don't want to use more than a 300 W heating element because that is 25 amps already. It would only run with the engine running but still that is a lot of current. The 2 foot section of 6" PVC makes a 3 gallon water tank. That might sound small but consider how much water you heat up on the stove when you want to get cleaned up. I have found in practice that 3 gallons is more than you need for one person and you can squeak 2 showers out of it if the first person isn't a hog. A low flow water pump like 1.1 gallons/minute works good.

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Did you ever try this?
I am thinking about combining this with your failed rooftop shower
I have read that those things only really get to about 95 degrees (turns out there are tons of DIY designs out there) but this 300W heater could get it the next ten degrees needed for a nice hot shower.
A 90 degree shower feels really cold to most people.
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DanHoug
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Ultimate Westy Shower? Reply with quote

a 12 ounce can of citrus flavored fizzy water, no sugar, is all you need for a great shower! one for the head/hair/face and another one for uh, other junk.

Smile
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davevickery
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Ultimate Westy Shower? Reply with quote

Tobias Duncan wrote:

Did you ever try this?
I am thinking about combining this with your failed rooftop shower
I have read that those things only really get to about 95 degrees (turns out there are tons of DIY designs out there) but this 300W heater could get it the next ten degrees needed for a nice hot shower.
A 90 degree shower feels really cold to most people.


I haven't gotten around to it. I bought a $15 battery powered showerhead off ebay in the meantime. I just heat a large pale of water for it. It is no where near as good as having something built in but it is better than just pouring water over your head. I will probably get to this eventually unless someone buys my van.

There are a lot of weak points to those roof top showers. The weight is a problem, especially if only on one side., Using awning brackets you could have it be mounted to the van, but then you need pressure or a pump. It seems like there really is no one ideal solution.
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Steve M.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:26 am    Post subject: Re: Ultimate Westy Shower? Reply with quote

DanHoug wrote:
a 12 ounce can of citrus flavored fizzy water, no sugar, is all you need for a great shower! one for the head/hair/face and another one for uh, other junk.

Smile


And a few animals to lick it off for a tongue bath...going to be the latest trend among the...what's the word for the latest generation...I'm senile and forgetting stuff! Laughing
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WestyWanter
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Ultimate Westy Shower? Reply with quote

I hope this gets seen, if there are no replies ill make its own thread but in pursuit of a pretty solid and simple shower idea this is pretty sweet!

https://www.amazon.com/Ivation-Portable-Outdoor-Ba...GJD8KEGB08
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elizer Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Ultimate Westy Shower? Reply with quote

That has great reviews. You could easily carry a 5 gallon bucket with lid and store gear in it and empty it for when you need to was up. It is also cheap enough to not be too upset if it craps out.
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WestyWanter
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Ultimate Westy Shower? Reply with quote

yeah you could easily carry around a bucket with a lid that has a seat and boom extra chair or stool. On top of that you could mix the bucket of water with some hot water and easily have a warm shower quite quickly.
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benandmj
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Ultimate Westy Shower? Reply with quote

I just picked one up. Will report!
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WestyWanter
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:14 am    Post subject: Re: Ultimate Westy Shower? Reply with quote

Great! Interested to hear how it is, the video makes it look like the water pressure is alright. But maybe you could use one of the things that goes into the shower head that is designed to lower water (GPM) and increasing water pressure by making the lumen that water goes through smaller.
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Jon_slider
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Ultimate Westy Shower? Reply with quote

check out the hot water system, private showering enclosure, and jet rinse system

im not affiliated, just impressed
I found them because they are a SyncroFest Sponsor

heres the channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEBYZI9nYC7HooaT34V5QJg

hot tap

Link


shower tent

Link

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davevickery
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Ultimate Westy Shower? Reply with quote

Here is my Gen II hot shower setup. The previous design with the aquatainer under the rear seat worked great but this under mount tank doesn't take up any real estate inside the van.

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26" long 6" diameter PVC. Only holds 3.2 gallons but the refill is right there from the westy water tank. Just open the valve to refill. I put a small vent hole at the top of the tank and water runs out when it is full.
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I mounted the pump here so I could route the hose up to the unused City Water port.
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I wired the switch to the box too. Borrowed that idea from another samba member with there very slick on demand system.

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This is the small heat exchanger that I installed under the van. Shower water recirculates through the heat exchanger that is heated up by the engine and as soon as the water tank gets up to temp, the recirculation pump stops.

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Quick disconnect fitting for the spray head.

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I added this wired temp gauge that has a probe down inside the tank. Without a temp gauge there is no way to know if the shower water is the right temp. It starts out a little too hot right after driving and takes a while to cool down.

The 110/120 degree limit switch worked perfect on the thinner aquatainer tank but the walls of this tank are thicker and the water gets up to 135 degrees before the sensor cuts it off. It takes about 2 hours to cool off which may be fine, so I will probably just leave it as is. If I don't want to wait, I can drain some water and add cool water.

The 3.2 gallons is pretty good for one shower. It runs 3 full minutes with a good spray. 3 minutes may not sound like a lot but it works for me.


Last edited by davevickery on Fri May 04, 2018 8:37 pm; edited 2 times in total
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photogdave
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Ultimate Westy Shower? Reply with quote

Pure genius Dave. Pure genius. Cool
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HackAl
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Ultimate Westy Shower? Reply with quote

Does the heat exchanger use propane?

Would love to see how you made the connections to the PVC.

Very intriguing. Wink
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Ultimate Westy Shower? Reply with quote

Yes, Iím curious if the heat exchanger uses engine coolant or something else. I find the engine is often cold when I want a hot shower.

I like the found space for the water tank and the continuous improvement over the years.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Ultimate Westy Shower? Reply with quote


Link


plus a hot water storage tank, so the motor can be clold, and the shower water stored in the PVC tank will still be hot.

with additional gizmos for temperature control, and source selection, bucket, or preheated water from PVC tank

when the PVC tank runs dry, a hot shower is still possible with the motor hot.

some mighty fine craftsmanship going on here
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Pcforno
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:29 am    Post subject: Re: Ultimate Westy Shower? Reply with quote

Im cross-posting this from the "vanagon spray port thread" as my heat exchanger shower since I just saw this thread. Thought it might be relevant.

Pcforno wrote:
Ok - so I was inspired by this post and was unhappy with my current shower set up. I think the spray port is a great idea, and decided to make a heat exchanger shower using Kourt's idea.

I bought one of these https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004JMB4ZK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

and a thermostatic mixing device https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MS3X57O/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I also wanted an easy way to set up a shower curtain for the wife. I got the idea to use tent poles threaded into the rack using some spare small aluminum tubes i had around the garage.

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I bought an RV shower hose, flow regulator, and suction cup shower holder on amazon

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All the showering supplies fit easily into a small stuff sack

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heres the extra port so you guys can see if the look suits your van

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and the quick connect hookup with switch

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heres the heat exchanger setup

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and a hand drawn diagram

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i tested it today, the ambient temperature was 40 degrees, the coolant entering the heater at idle was 137 degrees. with the engine at idle i got 100 degrees at the shower with a flow rate of about 1 gph. with the idle at 2000 rpm i could get 115 degrees at a flow rate of 2 gph. those heat exchangers are super efficient, and i imagine in warmer weather you wouldn't need to raise the idle at all.

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I plan to build a slightly bigger box around the unit. All told it only takes up about 6 inches more room than the heater under the seat.
anyhow, Im excited to use it and hope you guys like it too.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:00 am    Post subject: Re: Ultimate Westy Shower? Reply with quote

Pcforno wrote:
my heat exchanger shower
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


awesome, that switch and connect kit, could also replace the City water hookup if desired.

the Synergy complete kit is $300, including a bucket for water, shower head and curtain, and all fittings (works without needing the Westy cold water tank).. how much did your build cost?

and
if you add a hot water storage tank like this awesome upgrade
davevickery wrote:
Here is my Gen II hot shower setup.
...
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


you dont need to run the motor, until the stored hot water cools down. I dont know how many hours that is.
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davevickery
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Ultimate Westy Shower? Reply with quote

Jon_slider wrote:
you dont need to run the motor, until the stored hot water cools down. I dont know how many hours that is.
Yah, I don't know yet either or how long it would take from a cold start to heat it back up. I'll post more details after I use it a bit.

Pcforno's setup is awesome lot but I do like having separate tank.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Ultimate Westy Shower? Reply with quote

davevickery wrote:
I do like having separate tank.

great hot tank option you came up with for sure!
really like that you demonstrate it fits a syncro also!
Im guessing your 3.2 gallons will hold heat for about 4 hours (depending on ambient climate), and if you add a reflectix wrap that might double the time

Pcfornos implementation is definitely awesome as well! thank you both for all info

This page has some really outstanding options
propane based kit
coolant based kit
strategies for hot flow with motor on or off
source water from a bucket, or a westy cold water tank
hot water from inline flow or from hot water storage tank

that switch and hose for westy accessory port Pcforno found is a really nice feature too

and I like the shower curtain strategies, gutter based, and roof rack based.. they work as toilets and changing rooms too, without requiring the hatch to be open

all good options

Major respect for those of you actually implementing these ideas. Thanks for sharing your build pics
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Ultimate Westy Shower? Reply with quote

davevickery wrote:
I'll post more details after I use it a bit.

So incase anyone was wondering. I think my first shower setup using the 4 gallon aquatainer was better than this one with PVC pipe under the van. Here are the two different tanks again. And below are some pros and cons I found.
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Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

The tank under the seat is just way more convenient. You can open the lid and see how full it is. You can top it off with hot water if it has cooled down or you can add some cool water if it just a bit too hot. It also stays warmer longer b/c it is enclosed and out of the wind. It is 4 gallons and the biggest you can make out of PVC in that space is about 3.5. Not a big deal but 4 gallons is enough for 2 showers, 3.5 maybe not.

It is also more convenient to have the shower head by the sliding door and hanging up inside when not in use. You literally have no setup time and the showerhead is right there if you just want to rinse something. Using the city water port on the other side of the van looks cool and is tidy, but just not as convenient and jumping back in the van is easier from the sliding door side. It is also convenient that the camper seat is made out of wood, it's easy mount the pump and drill holes for a switch right there by the door.

Those beverage heat exchangers that I used on the 2nd setup are pretty nice. Rather than having a valve that shuts off the flow of coolant to the tank, you use an aquarium sized recirculation pump that shuts off when it gets to the set temperature. Plus it it may be a little bit cheaper. The limit switch for both setups is the same and is just glued to the outside of the tank and kills power when it hits 120 degrees and comes back on when it hits 110. So it stays around 115 which is perfect. That sounds a little hot but it cools going through the hose before it hits you. A bigger heat exchanger would be nice because you can run the engine for very short amount of time and the water tank is hot. They are super efficient.

The heat exchanger also makes the install easier. You can mount it close to your coolant hoses anywhere you want under the van and run the recirculation lines up under the seat and into your tank. The first design with the blue tank, I just tapped into the heater lines that go to the rear heater and put a valve right there, but the heat exchanger gives you more options.

I added a temp gauge with a probe down inside the PVC tank which is a nice addition. With the under mount tank there is no way to know the temp otherwise. The aquatainer you can just touch it and tell but a temp gauge is a nice feature regardless.

Regardless of the drawbacks of my current PVC tank, it is great to have a hot shower on day two. But if you have the space under the seat by the sliding door, I'd say that is the way to go.
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