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Myke_Hart
05-09-2012, 08:44
My bug out/camp shower build is complete. :embarassed:

Back story:
I had a bathroom ceiling that started peeling on me and it just kept getting worse and worse.
I decided that I was going to fix the peeling issue and start the work on a Friday and hopefully finish by Sunday. This is our only full bathroom with shower/tub. So it had to be finished quickly. Long story short, the bathroom needed a complete ceiling drywall replacement and it was not going to be dry by Monday. We decided to bathe in the water hose outside. It was early spring and unusually warm, but the ground had not thawed. This meant the water pipe temp was around 50 degrees. The water burned when it touched your skin. We ended up washing out of large pots and pans filled with hot water for a week. This really sucked. I decided this will not happen again. I was in search of an emergency shower that could be attached to a garden hose and provide enough heat to be comfortable. This was one time my wife totally agreed with me and gave me a unlimited budget to get it done!

This is what I built!

http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll264/myke_hart/Bug%20Out/Bug%20Out%20-%20Camp%20Shower/IMG_3181.jpg
http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll264/myke_hart/Bug%20Out/Bug%20Out%20-%20Camp%20Shower/IMG_3180.jpg

There are many camp showers out there, but I own a few boats and knew there are small marine propane water heater systems out there. My research led me to the Eccotemp water heater line. They have several models that range in different Gallons per minute and are very affordable.

The build:
I purchased an Eccotemp L5 to get started, $105 shipped. The L5 is the only one that comes with a cheap on/off shower head with 3 different massage settings and uses 2 D cell batteries for the igniter. I wanted one of the larger systems but did not want to shell out the money if the water heater did not work as expected and would still need a shower head with a built in on/off switch.

The heater arrived and I hooked it up and it worked great. Way better than expected.
But there was one problem. I did not want to leave it out in the elements. I wanted a portable stand for it so that I could move it for storage. Another problem was the hookups on the bottom of the unit were difficult to get to (tight space). I wanted to get some kind of quick connect for the hoses.

Myke_Hart
05-09-2012, 08:45
Making it portable:
I found several outfits out there making complete dolly kits for these water heater units for several hundreds of dollars to a thousand dollars. All they did is weld plates to standard dolly’s and drill some holes to mount the connectors. I thought to myself…. I can make that! So I did.

I had a cheap Harbor Freight dolly sitting in the garage; I had purchased this for a previous project and was no longer in use. I think I paid $20.

I found some guys selling some quick connect hoses specifically made for the Eccotemp water heaters (Quikker Connectors). These cost me $36 shipped. http://www.quikkerconnectors.com/

http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll264/myke_hart/Bug%20Out/Bug%20Out%20-%20Camp%20Shower/IMG_3192.jpg

http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll264/myke_hart/Bug%20Out/Bug%20Out%20-%20Camp%20Shower/IMG_3191.jpg


I mounted everything to the dolly. I only had to make a few brackets. Used some spare aluminum I had lying around the garage and some spare bolts. Cost $0

Everything worked great.

Then I thought… How can I use this on a camp site or bug out if there is no water hose?
How about a 12v pressure pump like we have on the boat?

Myke_Hart
05-09-2012, 08:46
Making it Bug out/Camp friendly:
I did some more research and found others were using these crappy noisy 1.1gpm flowjet pumps that had a super low gallon per minute and super low pressure for a high price. I decided I would use a quality auto shutoff high pressure pump (had to keep it under 80psi) to keep from limiting the already low water heater flow of 1.46 gpm (I believe this is a shower head limitation). This should allow the pump to last way longer and be used for other things if this project were to fail. I chose an ultra-quiet Jabsco 2.9gpm 50psi 3 chamber auto shut off pressure pump. $86 shipped. This thing claims to be able to run 3 faucets or shower heads at the same time and has a 3 year warranty.

Bought 12’ of high pressure ½ ID hose and made a 2’ output hose and a 10’ intake hose. Added some hose barbed hose fittings with stainless hose clamps and a makeshift sink screen bent up around the intake end to keep from sucking up rocks and twiggs.

Wired up some alligator clips, a power switch, and a 10amp fuse, grabbed my trolling motor battery and I was ready to go.

http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll264/myke_hart/Bug%20Out/Bug%20Out%20-%20Camp%20Shower/IMG_3186.jpg
http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll264/myke_hart/Bug%20Out/Bug%20Out%20-%20Camp%20Shower/IMG_3189.jpg
http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll264/myke_hart/Bug%20Out/Bug%20Out%20-%20Camp%20Shower/IMG_3190.jpg
http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll264/myke_hart/Bug%20Out/Bug%20Out%20-%20Camp%20Shower/IMG_3185.jpg

Myke_Hart
05-09-2012, 08:47
How it performs:
The shower works great on pump and on a water hose. The water can be set super-hot or super cold. You do have to be careful when you turn the shower head off for a second. Water in the coils gets super-heated by residual heat even though the burner turns off. This creates a one second blast of boiling water that can scald you. So always hold the shower head away from you when you first turn it on and test the water. This is not a problem if you do not have the burner all the way up. You do get warmer water for a second and then it goes to normal. Kind of like flushing the toilet when someone is taking a shower.

http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll264/myke_hart/Bug%20Out/Bug%20Out%20-%20Camp%20Shower/2012-04-19_20-02-34_246.jpg
http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll264/myke_hart/Bug%20Out/Bug%20Out%20-%20Camp%20Shower/2012-04-19_20-02-22_169.jpg

All said and done I have a little over $200 invested, but a great outdoor shower that should last a long time.

Note:
I still have some in-line filters in the mail for the intake side that will replace the temporary bent mesh screen on the intake hose. .

Myke_Hart
05-09-2012, 08:49
How it works:
Pump automatically turns off when pressure is achieved. It quickly turns the pump and heat on and off with the shower head on/off switch. I added a pump shutoff switch so you can turn the pump off when you run out of water. This is useful when using a bucket of water.

Everything is automatic on/off. Turn the shower head switch to the on position and you get instant Pump Pressure, and Hot Water. The pressure and heat are adjustable on the front.

To use with water hose pressure:

Hook up hose to quick connect Black hose.
Turn on the water heater power switch.
Turn on the water faucet.
Switch the shower head to the ON position.
Adjust pressure and heat.


To use with lake/bucket pump water:

Hook alligator clips to a car or boat battery or any 12v power source. 4 to 5amp draw.
Hook up pump hose to quick connect Black hose.
Turn on the water heater power switch.
Put the pump switch to the ON position
Switch the shower head to the ON position.
Adjust pressure and heat.


A 12v car battery is only needed when using the lake/bucket pump. The water heater uses 2 D cell batteries for the igniter.

Sorry this is SOOOOOOOO long!
Any questions? Now go build your own!:embarassed:

And NO it will not fit in your bug out bag!

DoctaGlockta
05-09-2012, 09:10
http://edbuzz.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/R2-D2.jpg

http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll264/myke_hart/Bug%20Out/Bug%20Out%20-%20Camp%20Shower/IMG_3180.jpg

Can it pilot an X-Wing fighter though?

Seriously that is amazing - especially for $200. Well done.

Myke_Hart
05-09-2012, 09:23
[IMG]
Can it pilot an X-Wing fighter though?

Seriously that is amazing - especially for $200. Well done.

Don't misquote me... A little over $200. It could approach $300 if you don't have any bolts, wiring, switches, spare metal laying around like I did. :wavey:

I did put parts in that are not needed but are convenient/upgraded like the quick connect hoses and a monster pump.

kirgi08
05-09-2012, 10:16
tagged.

Glockdude1
05-09-2012, 10:24
Great post!!

:shower:

concretefuzzynuts
05-09-2012, 10:34
Portable shower stall- hoola hoop, two plastic shower curtains with rings, clothes pins (to hold the curtains shut) and cord to hang the hoop from a tree limb.

You're smart, you'll figure out assembly.

Myke_Hart
05-09-2012, 10:47
Portable shower stall- hoola hoop, two plastic shower curtains with rings, clothes pins (to hold the curtains shut) and cord to hang the hoop from a tree limb.

You're smart, you'll figure out assembly.

OR this from karate kid...
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41mpK9UI2-L._SY445_.jpg

I actually already have this shower/toilet tent in my bug out stuff. Had it for 2 years now. Hard to set up (needs two people) but works great.

http://tent-designs.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/compilation-of-camping-shower-tent1.jpg

Stevekozak
05-09-2012, 20:21
Really cool! Good job on thinking that one up!!

Bolster
05-09-2012, 20:25
Exceedingly nifty. Excessively righteous. Major thumb up.

quake
05-09-2012, 20:29
That's sharp. I really like well-done & well-thought-out homemade things like that. :thumbsup:

Maine1
05-10-2012, 08:02
Outstanding! I may pirate this idea for my camp!

Myke_Hart
05-10-2012, 08:57
Outstanding! I may pirate this idea for my camp!

That's why I posted it!

Just let me know if you guys need any more details or pictures/videos of the function or assembly. I left a bunch of detail out just to keep it shorter.:embarassed:

Or if you have some better ideas or changes/additions to make it better.

G29Reload
05-10-2012, 11:17
Coleman makes something more portable and relatively cheap.


Packs in a tub the size of a small curbside recycle bin. Becomes the water holding tank.

d cell powered water pump.

water heater fired by one or two 1lb coleman propane cylinders.

Good there because its not a problem storing them indoors unlike the 25'lb cylinder BBQ bottles. also a lot lighter and more portable.

think cabelas has them.

Bolster
05-10-2012, 12:16
That's why I posted it!

Just let me know if you guys need any more details or pictures/videos of the function or assembly.

Yes, I need a video of your girlfriend taking a shower with it, before I can really reverse engineer my own.

Thanks.

Myke_Hart
05-10-2012, 21:17
Coleman makes something more portable and relatively cheap.


Packs in a tub the size of a small curbside recycle bin. Becomes the water holding tank.

d cell powered water pump.

water heater fired by one or two 1lb coleman propane cylinders.

Good there because its not a problem storing them indoors unlike the 25'lb cylinder BBQ bottles. also a lot lighter and more portable.

think cabelas has them.

The coleman was one of the many heaters I looked at.
Not cheap enough for me at $259 - $279 and it does not come with a shower attachment or high pressure propane hose (optional add ons). The water heater was designed for washing dishes and hands (low water pressure). The Coleman shipping weight and dimensions are far larger than the eccotemp L5 @ 25.7 pounds (shipping weight). It is massive.
http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product__10151_-1_10051_50149_325003002_325000000_325003000?hvarAID=shopping_googleproductads&om_mmc=shopping_googleproductads&affcode_c=17kw2359705&SST=6927fcb7-e132-b9c9-7313-00006f2cd84d

Eccotemp L5 at bass pro $129
http://www.basspro.com/Eccotemp-L5-Portable-Tankless-Water-Heater/product/10227476/57431

The eccotemp L5 water heater was designed for offgrid showering, comes with shower head, high pressure propane hose, and will work with any size propane bottle and weighs almost nothing (11lbs, 13lbs shipping). It heats water to 120 degrees instantly (depends on source water temp).

I used the 20lb propane bottles because I have a ton lying around (4 to be exact). The point of the dolly is to Protect the heater, make a portable stand to raise the heater to be able to reach the controls, move the water heater around for storage, and have a mount point for the shower head and pump. If you have a L5 you don't need the dolly or the other junk I added, just a nail in a tree and a water hose.

Eccotemp L5
http://r.b5z.net/i/u/10008036/i/Eccotemp_L5_Portable_Demand_Tankless_Propane_Water_Heater.jpg
Coleman
http://i.ytimg.com/vi/1be1X9i-oDU/0.jpg

If I had the coleman I would still mount it to a dolly or something with wheels to raise it off the ground to adjust the controls, to easily move it around (heavy), and have something to mount the shower head to. I guess you could use a milk crate dolly.

When it came down to it the L5 was cheaper, lighter, and more powerful than the Coleman. That is why I chose it.

Myke_Hart
05-10-2012, 21:27
Video of the coleman setup
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hdMrllm7FY&feature=relmfu

Coleman as shower
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1be1X9i-oDU&feature=fvwrel

Video of the L5 - turn down volume - loud crappy music
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRsXhVz_EsU

Bilbo Bagins
05-11-2012, 06:51
http://edbuzz.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/R2-D2.jpg

http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll264/myke_hart/Bug%20Out/Bug%20Out%20-%20Camp%20Shower/IMG_3180.jpg

Can it pilot an X-Wing fighter though?

Seriously that is amazing - especially for $200. Well done.

Unfortunately he went with the Red one. The red ones always have issues.

http://www.jedidefender.com/collect92/r5d4%20anh.jpg




http://starsmedia.ign.com/stars/image/article/879/879696/r5-d4-20080605035857240_640w.jpg

DoctaGlockta
05-13-2012, 01:55
Unfortunately he went with the Red one. The red ones always have issues.

http://www.jedidefender.com/collect92/r5d4%20anh.jpg




http://starsmedia.ign.com/stars/image/article/879/879696/r5-d4-20080605035857240_640w.jpg

:rofl:

humanguerrilla
05-13-2012, 12:55
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Huge-AIRBRUSH-SPRAY-TANNING-TENT-BOOTH-Portable-Sunless-HVLP-Spray-Gun-DHA-Tan-/200757633112?pt=US_Skin_Care&hash=item2ebe166058

Shower stall/rig up a spray booth $53. Flip it and it's open.

Myke_Hart
05-15-2012, 18:05
The last intake pump filters arrived and are installed.

The bottom filter is a industrial paint spray gun pickup filter.
The second middle filter is a standard jabsco pump guard filter. These are just insurance that I don't destroy the pump by sucking up mud and rocks when put into a lake. I tossed my temporary screen! :embarassed:

http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll264/myke_hart/Bug%20Out/Bug%20Out%20-%20Camp%20Shower/IMG_3231.jpg

Kingarthurhk
05-15-2012, 18:44
Solar Camp Shower Bag Demonstration & Review - YouTube

Easier and lighter to pack...

concretefuzzynuts
05-15-2012, 19:23
Solar Camp Shower Bag Demonstration & Review - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PePTfpVsCQM)

Easier and lighter to pack...

This. It has never failed. Even camping in Alaska, the sun is hot. Duh.

daydreamer
05-18-2012, 14:24
Myke - great post. Enjoyed reading it.