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Hot Water Idea
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wolfej1
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:48 am    Post subject: Hot Water Idea Reply with quote

I was just thinking....

Since I don't really use the luggage carrier space on my westy I was thinking about purchasing 3 pieces of black 4" pvc pipe and laying them flat in the luggage space. Then I would plumb them together with a place to refill on top and a place to attach a hose on the bottom.

Then you could install an inline pump and route the hose inside of the van for warm water from the sink or a shower setup where the hoop is hung from the poptop and shower curtins are placed in the plastic mortar bin at the bottom.

I guess what I am intrigued with is the fact that you could have warm/hot water piped into the van as needed. Additionally, if you filled those with hot water prior to leaving on a trip it would almost ensure a decent supply of hot water. If it were done correctly it could almost look like a factory option - especially since the PVC tubes would not be seen. Also, you could still store some things on top of the tubes if you wanted to.

Any of you guys done anything like this?
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dangerber
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great idea. I wonder if putting some black rubber roofing membrane under the tubes would radiate even more heat to them?
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wolfej1
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dangerber wrote:
Great idea. I wonder if putting some black rubber roofing membrane under the tubes would radiate even more heat to them?


Actually you could wrap them in that stuff. You are talking about the rubber used on flat industrial roofs correct. I would think you coud get 10 gallons in there with 4 tubes.

I am intrigued with the thought of putting a shower head on the end of the hose. It could be decent - in between the shower at home and the gravity fed bag method.
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noganav
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great Idea! It might look a little ghetto, but I'll bet that you could run a removable hose to the city water inlet and you wouldn't have to cut any holes in the van.
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wolfej1
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you really wanted to get fancy you could insulate the entire luggage area with that silver bubble wrap foil insulation, fabricate a lid for the luggage area which would be insulated, and fill the tubes with hot water. for days with no sun just leave the lid on - when there is sun you take it off.
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or you could just throw one of these in the luggage rack.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Large-5-Gallon-Solar-Shower-Wa...dZViewItem
No muss, no fuss, no modifications, and cheap.
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wolfej1
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mightyart wrote:
Or you could just throw one of these in the luggage rack.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Large-5-Gallon-Solar-Shower-Wa...dZViewItem
No muss, no fuss, no modifications, and cheap.


What got me thinking about this whole thing was that bag shower thing. However, the more I thought about it the more I thought it would be cool to have something that is of a permanent fixture - kind of a hot water heater permanently mounted in the van. The key here is to do it right using quality components and good craftsmanship. Once the basic heater is in place the opportunities are endless.

Could get something like this and paint it black:
http://www.plastic-mart.com/class.php?item=323

or this:
http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/variant.asp?catal...%5Fid=8970

That being said - the bag method is great for quick showering etc, but would not be practical for a permanent fixture.
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Last edited by wolfej1 on Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a neat idea, but you'll need to think more about which materials to use. Black ABS plastic will degrade at temps that you would easily be able to exceed with such a rig parked in the summer sun. Black-painted PVC would tolerate about 20F more (around 160F max), but that's still probably not enough heat tolerance. I can't think of any common building-supply plastic that would work well here. Probably the cheapest common material would be Sched.20 galvanised steel, painted black. Even just left galvy it would get mighty hot.

If it's a sealed system you will also need some kind of expansion tank.

But push on. Solar hot water is the bomb.
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Crughy
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem with such systems (although the idea is pretty nice), is bacteria.
If the water is not hot enough, you will have fantastic conditions for bacteria growth inside the tank. (that's why you must have a certain temp in your hot water tank at home, esp since we can drink it or share some end pipes with drinkable water.)

True this system is only for shower and has no contact with drinkable water.

After all, bags have the same inconvenient.

And we only use it for camping, couples of weeks/yr. Not that much.

The idea is nice. Think about being able to purge and clean your tank/line from time to time.

JP
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Art, you should mention that it needs to be secured. Laughing I lost mine on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Went into a corner a little to hot. I thought my wife threw something out the window. I asked what was that? I was able to salvage part of it to use the rest of our trip. I would boil some water and mix it with regular water for a quick shower. I had the idea to do something of a heat exchanger like sailboats use. I could build a small exchanger and run the heater lines though it. I imagine you could get water pretty quickly. The solar shower is nice because you can find some privacy. That's the fun of owning a camper, tons of things to imagine doing.
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wolfej1
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crughy wrote:
The problem with such systems (although the idea is pretty nice), is bacteria.
If the water is not hot enough, you will have fantastic conditions for bacteria growth inside the tank. (that's why you must have a certain temp in your hot water tank at home, esp since we can drink it or share some end pipes with drinkable water.)

True this system is only for shower and has no contact with drinkable water.

After all, bags have the same inconvenient.

And we only use it for camping, couples of weeks/yr. Not that much.

The idea is nice. Think about being able to purge and clean your tank/line from time to time.

JP


Yes there definitely has to be a mechanism for draining and cleaning. Probably would be better off if I can find another luggage carrier that I can mess around with and keep my original in storage in case I ever sell the van. Probably would need to drill a hole in the side of the carrier for the drainage spout. Also would have to drill a hole in the rear of the carrier to provide for the plumbing into the van.
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izzydog
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The nice thing about solar showers is that you can move them around. I personally wouldn't mount a hot water collector to my van for the same reason I put my solar panels on a 50 ft lead - you have to park your van in the sun to make it work. I'd rather park in the shade and have the option of moving things in and out of the sun.

Remember to remove the solar shower from the luggage rack after camping. Rolling Eyes I launched mine in fast traffic one time after a sudden stop and thought someone had thrown a water balloon at me. Just missed the car in front of me by inches and was splattered all over the freeway. Like RSXSR said, "WHAT WAS THAT?!? LOL

Jeff
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dangerber
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wolfej1 wrote:
dangerber wrote:
Great idea. I wonder if putting some black rubber roofing membrane under the tubes would radiate even more heat to them?


You are talking about the rubber used on flat industrial roofs correct.


Correct.
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spitsnrovers
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know its been done before and discussed before, but here's my take on the hot shower theme.

www.griffco.ca/interest/

I just finished it this summer and it works great. I find it heats up to 40 deg C in 10 to 15 minutes from a cold engine start. The water stays up around 30 deg C for about 6 hours in the uninsulated water storage tank.

When I reburbish this winter I plan to insulate that tank for better heat storage.

Let me know your thoughts.
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Lanval
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've thought about this a bit myself. We use the solar shower at the beach here in SoCal... it get's plenty hot, and you can get up to 15 gallon showers (5 works fine for me n' the kid).

The most obvious answer, I think, is an LP instant water heater. They use them all over in Japan, and the exchanges aren't terribly large (relatively, I might add) and would easily fit in the (otherwise nearly useless) closet. I haven't search around for it (I have more pressing issues which I'll post about later) but in the long run, it's either solar or LP. And since we can mount a second LP tank on the slider side easily, adding more LP isn't a total hassle.

I have to add though, that seeing those pix of the California T5 makes me want to make a custom 20lb tank holder in my closet, put the heat exchanger in there, and set up a hot water system to the sink and put a removable shower outlet on the outside.

Oh well, after my book is finished.

Best,

Lanval
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bucko
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mightyart wrote:
Or you could just throw one of these in the luggage rack.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Large-5-Gallon-Solar-Shower-Wa...dZViewItem
No muss, no fuss, no modifications, and cheap.


And less weight to haul around. With gas prices the way they are, and our Westys are already loaded (including my fat butt), it doesn't need any more help. Every bit of weight reduction helps.

It is a great idea. I'd look at installing it, hauling it dry until I got close to the campsite, then fill it up. Warm shower in the afternoon!
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spitsnrovers wrote:
I know its been done before and discussed before, but here's my take on the hot shower theme.

www.griffco.ca/interest/

I just finished it this summer and it works great. I find it heats up to 40 deg C in 10 to 15 minutes from a cold engine start. The water stays up around 30 deg C for about 6 hours in the uninsulated water storage tank.

When I reburbish this winter I plan to insulate that tank for better heat storage.

Let me know your thoughts.


I like this idea - however it would be tough to implement on a air cooled Vanagon. The only way I see it possible would be to have the exchanger wrapped around the exhaust components somehow. Also, I would rather not want to be giving up my fresh water tank for showering purposes. Have you considered a dedicated shower water tank?
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wolfej1
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moving forward with the plan here.......
However, I am trying to figure out a way to hang the "hoop" that will hold the shower curtain that does not necessitate drilling into the roof but somehow attaches to the support bar that is part of the poptop.

I am thinking that i need some sort of clamp that will attach to the cross bar that will also hold a rigid metal "hoop" in place that will be horizontal to the floor. If this does not make sense - image standing in your westy with the pop top up and a rigid hoop about 3' in diameter 6 feet above your head.

Regardless - looking for some ideas on developing some sort of "shower stall" that can be used inside the Westy and be easy to setup/take down.

Showering outside of the van is not an option here.

Thanks....
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have an inflatable shower that is made by the same company that makes our solar shower. My wife bought it, but it looks something like this. http://www.amazon.com/Stearns-B202SSH-00-000-SunShower-Enclosure/dp/B000NV8ACQ/ref=pd_sim_dbs_sg_1
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rsxsr wrote:
We have an inflatable shower that is made by the same company that makes our solar shower. My wife bought it, but it looks something like this. http://www.amazon.com/Stearns-B202SSH-00-000-SunShower-Enclosure/dp/B000NV8ACQ/ref=pd_sim_dbs_sg_1


Good idea - however I am still faced with the dilemma of how to hang it inside without drilling into the poptop.
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