vehicle mounted heat exchanger for shower.

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danthman114

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1,653
Yuma, az
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ive been thinking about this quite a bit lately. on an 80 series land cruiser, the rear heater has 2 coolant hoses under the truck that feed the rear heater core and I was wondering if anyone has mounted a heat exchanger inline with one of the lines to pump fresh water through for a field shower? what I was thinking was with a 12v bilge pump and a water source piped into the exchanger allowing the coolant to heat the water. I wont need it in the summer, at least here in Yuma but I do go to bishop ca quite abit...

ideas?
 
Hi !

I actually built one for my jeep... That was pretty insane to take a 40°C shower in the snow on a top of a mountain... The build I made is pretty straight forward :
A heat exchanger connected to the heater hose, a 30psi water pump 1.2gpm (4lph), a well built garden shower, a tank, a thermostat to regulate the tank temperature and a garden shower connected --> Constant 40°C water :) At first I simply used a jerrycan for the test and it worked well and with a 20L (5-6gal) I could take two relatively long shower on camp.


To give you and idea, I've been able to pump 50litres of water in the river (12°C-53°F) and heat it at 42°C or 107°F in less thant 15min while we were looking for a campsite. Pretty neat !

I'm actually looking to provide complete kits for people looking for that kind of small systems :) If you want some help I can definitely help you figure out what to do !
 

danthman114

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Advocate I

1,653
Yuma, az
Member #

6679

Hi !

I actually built one for my jeep... That was pretty insane to take a 40°C shower in the snow on a top of a mountain... The build I made is pretty straight forward :
A heat exchanger connected to the heater hose, a 30psi water pump 1.2gpm (4lph), a well built garden shower, a tank, a thermostat to regulate the tank temperature and a garden shower connected --> Constant 40°C water :) At first I simply used a jerrycan for the test and it worked well and with a 20L (5-6gal) I could take two relatively long shower on camp.


To give you and idea, I've been able to pump 50litres of water in the river (12°C-53°F) and heat it at 42°C or 107°F in less thant 15min while we were looking for a campsite. Pretty neat !

I'm actually looking to provide complete kits for people looking for that kind of small systems :) If you want some help I can definitely help you figure out what to do !
I was looking into making one for my jeep and using the bottom of the radiator used for the trans cooler. since its manual I don't need it.
 

LVCoffeeguy

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North Las Vegas, Nevada
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I know a guy who mounted a black 3" round abs tube around the outside of his roof rack. He then added a shower head with a valve and a cap to fill it with. Then you are using gravity to feed the water and the sun to heat it. I would probably consider something like this but the RTT is already a lot of weight on my roof.
 

Mudbug_JK

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Houston, TX 77072
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I just got done building a full onboard shower system for my '14 JKU. Since I have a 2 drawer galley in the rear cargo area, I could never access the small built-in storage area underneath. So I cut it out and built a 10 gal aluminum tank to drop in the big hole that was left. I mounted a 12v, 3gpm diaphragm pump right in front of that, between the springs. A 10 plate heat exchanger is mounted to the driver's side firewall. The heat exchanger is connected straight to the heat core lines. I tee'd off of the exchanger fresh water input line so I could use it for "cold" water, then ran the hot output line and the cold (ambient tempurature) line up and under the rear hood cowl, then over and out through the passenger side (that spot where the mirror dents when they forget to put the strap back on their door and the wind blows it forward and into the fender.) The two lines then go up the A-piller support on my roof rack and into a mixing valve that is attached to a self-contained shower enclosure that deploys in 20 seconds or less. The shower head is connected to a stainless flex gas line so that it can be strapped back inside the shower enclosure bag when not in use. I only completed it last Saturday, so I haven't been able to use it out in the wild yet.

You can see the build on IG @Mudbug_JK
 
Hi !

I actually built one for my jeep... That was pretty insane to take a 40°C shower in the snow on a top of a mountain... The build I made is pretty straight forward :
A heat exchanger connected to the heater hose, a 30psi water pump 1.2gpm (4lph), a well built garden shower, a tank, a thermostat to regulate the tank temperature and a garden shower connected --> Constant 40°C water :) At first I simply used a jerrycan for the test and it worked well and with a 20L (5-6gal) I could take two relatively long shower on camp.


To give you and idea, I've been able to pump 50litres of water in the river (12°C-53°F) and heat it at 42°C or 107°F in less thant 15min while we were looking for a campsite. Pretty neat !

I'm actually looking to provide complete kits for people looking for that kind of small systems :) If you want some help I can definitely help you figure out what to do !
Did you make the kits and are you selling them?
 

Jku Ben

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Alpine, CA
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Hi !

I actually built one for my jeep... That was pretty insane to take a 40°C shower in the snow on a top of a mountain... The build I made is pretty straight forward :
A heat exchanger connected to the heater hose, a 30psi water pump 1.2gpm (4lph), a well built garden shower, a tank, a thermostat to regulate the tank temperature and a garden shower connected --> Constant 40°C water :) At first I simply used a jerrycan for the test and it worked well and with a 20L (5-6gal) I could take two relatively long shower on camp.


To give you and idea, I've been able to pump 50litres of water in the river (12°C-53°F) and heat it at 42°C or 107°F in less thant 15min while we were looking for a campsite. Pretty neat !

I'm actually looking to provide complete kits for people looking for that kind of small systems :) If you want some help I can definitely help you figure out what to do !
Johan can you please give more details/ specific products on this build as I think ALOT of people would be interested on this as well as myself. Pictures would help also. Thanks
 

Mudbug_JK

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Johan can you please give more details/ specific products on this build as I think ALOT of people would be interested on this as well as myself. Pictures would help also. Thanks
Here’s photos of mine. My 10gal tank is a drop-in I made to replace the small cubby area in the back cargo area of the JKU. I bought most of it off amazon, but made many trips to Lowe’s for fittings. Lowe’s had a much better selection of fittings then HD. I’ve got the water line tee’d right before it enters the heat exchanger so I can have a cold and hot water line running to a mixing valve that is located inside the shower enclosure that is attached to the side of my roof rack, above the front passenger door. The black gas flex line is used as the neck of the shower head so I can fold it all back up to fit in the vinyl bag of the shower enclosure. IMG_1776.JPGIMG_1775.JPGIMG_1774.JPGIMG_1773.JPGIMG_1772.JPGIMG_1771.JPGIMG_1777.JPGIMG_1455.JPGIMG_1452.JPGIMG_1451.JPG
 
Last edited:

Mudbug_JK

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Nice work, Mubdbug.
I was thinking about making my own heat exchanger but the price of those that you showed is hard to beat.
It’s really hard to beat. And taking a hot shower anywhere is super hard to beat.

Parent tip: 10 gal of water can give two experienced adults at least 2 to 4 showers each. But make your teenager kids go last because they will definitely use up all your water in the first go-round.
 

Ram Rebel Overland

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It’s really hard to beat. And taking a hot shower anywhere is super hard to beat.

Parent tip: 10 gal of water can give two experienced adults at least 2 to 4 showers each. But make your teenager kids go last because they will definitely use up all your water in the first go-round.
Would there be a way to route a line that extends off the rig to a nearby water source(creek, river, lake)? Also with that specific heat exchanger, how hot does the water get on the first pass through? Do you typically need to route it through more than once to get to typical shower temps?
 

Mudbug_JK

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Houston, TX 77072
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Would there be a way to route a line that extends off the rig to a nearby water source(creek, river, lake)? Also with that specific heat exchanger, how hot does the water get on the first pass through? Do you typically need to route it through more than once to get to typical shower temps?
The water gets extremely hot. Too hot actually. This is why I plumbed in an ingested water line and a mixer valve.

As for pulling water from a lake, river, or bucket, I have a ball valve at the output of the water tank so I can lock it out of the system, and a hose bib with a quick connect between that ball valve and the pump so connect a hose hose to pull water from another source.
 

Ram Rebel Overland

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The water gets extremely hot. Too hot actually. This is why I plumbed in an ingested water line and a mixer valve.

As for pulling water from a lake, river, or bucket, I have a ball valve at the output of the water tank so I can lock it out of the system, and a hose bib with a quick connect between that ball valve and the pump so connect a hose hose to pull water from another source.

Sounds like a solid setup.

I’m going to order the components here in the next couple of days. My 7-yo son’s flying in from out of state at the end of the month and we’re making a big trip to Moab, then up to Yellowstone. I’d like to have it setup before then.

Would it be cool if I direct messaged you later on if I need some guidance?
 

Mudbug_JK

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Houston, TX 77072
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Sounds like a solid setup.

I’m going to order the components here in the next couple of days. My 7-yo son’s flying in from out of state at the end of the month and we’re making a big trip to Moab, then up to Yellowstone. I’d like to have it setup before then.

Would it be cool if I direct messaged you later on if I need some guidance?
Sure, no problem