"portable" water heaters

Started by joshua(Guest), March 30, 2006, 05:40:26 PM

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has any of you had any experience with portable hot water heaters. durability is a big concern for me. right now i'm looking at the Zodi X40 from HTTP://www.zodi.com/ . is there any that you would recommend. I'm thinking about a "portable" heater along with a passive solar thermosyphon solar water heater. i did some looking around at some big box stores and...um...no. the idea is only for a back up for late fall winter and early spring.

do any of you ave any ideas for preheating water using a home built ground source heat pump? it seems like it would be relatively easy, drill a few deep holes drop a few pipes with a pump or two, add a heat exchanger to transfer the tiny amount of heat the the water tank.


Coleman makes one as well.  I've not used mine enough to be quite sure how well it works-but the specs are fantastic.  Heats up to scalding, rechargeable battery,  plenty of gallons per pound of propane, no visible flame, etc. They say that the pump will push a couple of feet higher than the main body, but your volume will vary.  i.e., it's WIMPY.  

Try people like Cabela or Bass Pro Shops or Coleman itself.  Or here at Boater's world:


There are a bunch of different ones of these, this is the neatest looking.

For "showers," a 5-gallon bucket with a gallon or two of very hot water heated up on the stove, diluted to a reasonable temperature, a small bowl or gourd to pour it over yourself until there's little enough water so that you can pick up and pour the rest of the bucket over your head works, well, not too badly.  And the price is right.

glenn kangiser

The heat pump systems are generally pretty expensive -

The Coleman etc.  Amanda suggests seems much more logical for a part time backup.
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.0

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Here's our solar shower...works great late spring through early fall.  

And then this happens...

During the winter we keep two canners full of water in our sauna, which acts as a plenum to distribute heat from our woodstove/fireplace...the water is always hot, and we have a 12volt bilge pump connected to a toggle switch on the wall and a shower head...open the canner, test the temp, add some cool water, dump in the bilge pump...flip the toggle and shower.  A canner is enough for both my wife and myself to bathe...although I have been known to hog a whole canner for myself.  Added advantage...the sauna area is very warm to shower in...and by closing the two high vents can achieve sauna temps within a half hour or more.

I'm looking for a mexi-heat wood fired water heater (Calentador Corona—Modelo L.R. 47) which looks like this:

If anyone knows where I can find one I'd appreciate the knowledge and help.

We plan on adding on a laundry room this summer...and maybe a real bathroom with tub.  Maybe have running water from a dankoff pump like we have in our greenhouse.  Hey...I'm almost 60...I'll keep the handpump and outhouse...I'm a survivor.

Be the change you wish to see in the world...

John Raabe

Very nice setup Lodestar. A creative and synergistic system. Thanks for the good ideas you've given others.  :D
None of us are as smart as all of us.


shower looks nice.

Thin black-coated resevoir on the side away from us?


nice setup, but it wont work for me couse' i tend to take long showers, i would take baths but no tub right now(really need a ofuro). other than the shower thing i don't use to much hot water the main resion why i want a portable is the "real"ones are like $1200 and i will not pay that, don't wanna pay $400 ether.


Take a look at this:  http://www.gowesty.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=gw&Category_Code=cg-showers

We've been using the GVW-8160 for three years on our trips in our VW Westfalia Pop-top camper....!  Hope this helps.  BTW:  My wife loves it :)


Lodestar's setup looks home-built to me.  And they might have 30 gallons of hot water there by noon.  Do have to fill up the tank and the system every day. And there's only gravity pressure--not too much of that.  (around 1/2 a psi/foot of height--to get enough for one of those nice demand heaters--20 psi minimum more is better, you'd have to have at least a 40-foot water tower and I've been told that a few more feet would keep it working better.)

But a hot tub or an ofuro would be awfully nice.

(It would be nice to have enough water to fill one without toting jugs of water up from the stream.)


Pressure's never been a problem in our solar shower.  We have the head from an old solar shower bag...back when the heads were larger.  Regular gate valve.  15 gallon black rubber hog pan, plastic over it, then the arched lascolite covered hinged top.  I stand at the middle of the ladder, my wife hands me a bucket of water...no problem.  Been using it for 22 years.

Great pressure in the sauna.

We, too, have a westy.  I courted my wife in a 61 westy, complete with tent and toilet.  We now have a waterboxer.

Oh yeah...the grapevines afford us some privacy from the driveway portion of our land...

Be the change you wish to see in the world...


We have an 89 2.1.  Check out www.gowesty.com when you have a chance.


Rose from a watering can would work pretty well as a low-pressure shower head.

If you didn't have something larger than one of those seriously wimpy ones they sell now with the black plastic bag jobs.


Yep...that's about the size of our shower rose...large sprinkling can size...with smaller holes.

Here was our 61 westy...photo taken about 89 or 90

Here's Sofia
Be the change you wish to see in the world...