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Hot Water Heater for Vanagan Camper
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johnr9q
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:44 pm    Post subject: Hot Water Heater for Vanagan Camper Reply with quote

I installed a 3 gallon Suburban (brand name) RV water heater in my Eurovan. (This is the type of water heater used in most RV's) I piped hot water to the sink and also piped hot water to an exterior shower which I installed in the side of the vehicle. The water heater unit is installed in the closet on the driver side rear of the van so you do lose some space on the floor of the closet. I would like to know if there is any interest in making available either just the plans to do this or if people would be interested in a full kit with all the parts necessary with instructions? I suspect it would cost somewhere around $800 for all the parts and you install or have it installed.
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motelvw
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The units sell for $380. What more is there to your system that would run another $400? Got any pics of the install? Sounds like a slick setup.
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johnr9q
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

motelvw wrote:
The units sell for $380. What more is there to your system that would run another $400? Got any pics of the install? Sounds like a slick setup.


motelvw: You're correct. That estimate was just a swag. I put a lot of thought into the install but not much thot into the $800 I mentioned. I installed it a year or so ago but never thot others would be interested in it but just thot I'd run the idea past others in this forum. Would there be a better place to make the inquiry? I'm really not in it to make a bunch of money. (you're probably thinking - I've heard that before - and I don't blame you) I really don't recall what I paid for the various components but probably $350 for the heater, $50 for the shower unit on the side of the van, $30 for the sink faucet, and maybe $30 for misc plus my time for getting it all together and cutting the piping and inclosure for the unit in the closet maybe another $50 and maybe $50 profit. plus shipping maybe $20 so that's close to $600. Again, just a swag off the top of my head. Based on the response here, so far, probably not worth my time. I'll post a picture soon. I'm a retired engineer and not into any business just adicted to rock climbing. I did build the camper which you can view in the following and designed things similar to campers for the military for many years. http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22084
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motelvw
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's some very nice work on the truck camper. Quite the engineering job.
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johnr9q
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

based on response, doesn't look like my hot water heat system will go anywhere.
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know a thing or two about building kits. The focus is on the cost of the big components, but the little nickle and dime stuff often doubles the cost, and then there's the time factor saved by buying a well-thought-out kit vs. having all the headaches yourself. That's what makes for a good kit; everything is there, all design decisions have been made, as many parts as possible are preassembled, so that the job is quick and satisfying and it works. If you do a good job of it and make it easy to install and work out all the details for the buyer, including thorough instructions, you might find that $800 isn't enough to pay yourself at all fairly for the work.

There just aren't that many Eurovans compared to the number of Vanagons, if comments on this forum are any kind of survey. Come up with that DHW kit for Vanagon Westys and you might see some response!
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Jon_slider
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the hot water idea.

Bill Langan has a system he built that puts the shower hose out the back of the rear cabinet, so he has to open his rear hatch to shower.. and he has a shower head he can clip to the rear hatch..

He posted photos of his system plans here
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Syncro/photos/album/...mp;dir=asc

and I am attaching his photos to this post.

My suggestion is to share your plans with us for free, and then I do think you might be able to sell a kit to some of us who do not enjoy looking for parts all over town.

Thanks!
Jonathan

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


ps, a good way to gauge interest in a product, is to advertise it here in the classifieds, and post a link to the ad
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johnr9q
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Johnathon and tencentlife: Good suggestions. I saw the water heater that Johnathon posted. If they operate the heater in the closet, it is very dangerous. The unit is intended to be used outdoors only. I will post some pictures of my unit soon.
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Jon_slider
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

> If they operate the heater in the closet, it is very dangerous.

thanks for the warning, Im guessing youre referring to the heat trapped in the closet.. If bill has the back hatch open to shower, and opens the closet the heater is in to vent the heat, would that be safer?

If you design a safer system, that would be a valuable selling point.

And it would be really Deluxe, if there was a kit that permitted showering inside a Westy with the top up. Something along the lines of the portashower Sportsmobile sells
http://sportsmobile.com/1_baths_sr.html
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ranchero
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jonathan - I know this is an old thread, but your reference to it lead me here. I have that exact heater and was planning on doing the same install. As an example of the heat is puts out, there is a swinging carry handle on the unit that if it were shown in the picture you posted, would be approximately at the top of the closet. I had my heater hanging from that handle off of a bicycle handlebar on the rack of my van. The heat from the shower completely melted the plastic on the shifter on the bike. It puts out a lot of heat. I will not be mounting it in my closet.
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914 mike
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

.............or, you could heat up a kettle of water on the stove, pour it into the big water storage tank lid in the flat cupboard that feeds your sink, attach a simple spray nozzle extension to your factory sink faucet, and pull it out the window on the side of your van. Total cost would be less that $20 and time to install the spray nozzle woould be @ 20 minutes, YMMV.

But if you really want a super engineered set up to show all your friends and like spending lots of money, dont use this set up.....

Laughing

Mike
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buildyourown
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

914 mike wrote:
.............

But if you really want a super engineered set up to show all your friends and like spending lots of money, dont use this set up.....

Laughing

Mike


For some of us, that's the half the hobby Wink
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Jon_slider
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

a heater similar to Bills, I think, now under $150
http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/eccotemp-portable-tankless-water-heater/37786
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wolfej1
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

here is another thread.....

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=322242&highlight=

combine your idea with an interior frame option for indoor showering. You can see in the thread what I did with the pvc pipe. However that concept could be made really professional as opposed to my setup. There is real value to be had by being able to shower inside your van. Comes in handy most often when you are on the road travelling or at a campground that is heavily populated witn no shower facilities or disgusting ones that you prefer not to use.

regardless, a nice kit that is idiotproof could be a good seller.
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Love My Westy
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave Vickers had a nice shower set up at Syncro Solstice. It consisted to a 5 gal. jug under his rear seat with a hose that went into it from his rear heater that acted as a heat exchanger and an electric pump. I don't think it cost him all that much, but he had removed his rear heater core. It was rather interesting.
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Jon_slider
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love My Westy wrote:
Dave Vickers had a nice shower set up at Syncro Solstice.


that unit is pictured here:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=5800659#5800659

I think it is an excellent concept.

originally discussed here:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=5154866#5154866
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beagling
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Johnr9

I have a 2001 Eurovan camper and would be interested in seeing pictures of your modification. I am interested in turning the rear sprayer into a warm/hot shower.
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^^^ I don't think his pics are coming - Unfortunately his profile shows he hasn't been on the site since the week he posted this thread in 2009...

Happy Trails!
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beagling
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah okay . Good catch. Resurrected thread from 3 years ago.
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