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Thread: Vehicle Mounted Shower/Hot Water

  1. Default Vehicle Mounted Shower/Hot Water

    I figure I would show a couple of pics of my heat exchanger for hot water since a few people
    have asked me about it. Sorry for the bad pics, I can try to take some more updated pictures
    but the heat exchanger is a little hidden where I have it.
    I purchased the R&M Hot water shower back in 1998 and I believe I either bought it directly
    from the manufacturer or this same company here:
    R&M Vehicle Mounted Showers
    Of course back then it was purchased for ~$200 without the quick disconnect kit. I just made my
    own disconnect kit from parts I sourced at Home Depot. It looks like the price went up quite
    a bit. Seeing that I have owned this kit for over 10 years without any issue, I think the price
    is well worth it. However, there are cheaper alternatives out there.
    The heat exchanger is the main piece of this kit and I know some people that have built their
    own or sourced it elsewhere for cheaper.
    The little gap here between my 2nd battery tray and the blower is where I mounted the heat
    exchanger. It is mounted down there on the frame rail with a piece of C channel bar.

    Here are a couple of more close up pics of the heat exchanger:

    Here you can see the original U shaped hose I took off of the diverter valve and was able to use it again to help in routing the hoses:

    You can see the 90 degree elbow connector (with yellow knob) I purchased to add to the heat exchanger. I did this to route the hose from getting too close to the exhaust manifold.

    There used to be a U shaped heater hose that connected to the diverter valve. I removed that
    U shaped hose and this is where I connected the new hoses that connect to the heat exchanger.
    These hoses run the coolant to the heat exchanger and back; and it is what heats the water in the
    heat exchanger. Because I have it hooked up this way, I am able to control the temperature
    of the water by adjusting the slide that controls the heat in the rig. If the water's too hot,
    slide it a little bit over to the left to cool it down:

    This is where I have routed the water (shower) hoses for now with quick disconnects. Only one of
    the hoses is visible in the pictures:

    This is the 3rd vehicle I have mounted this kit into. I just take the kit off before
    selling/trading the rig. The other two times, I installed the water pump in the engine bay.
    This time, with my dual battery, relocated washer bottle due to the SC, there really wasn't any room that I could think of to mount it. Once I decide on and purchase/install a winch in my ARB bar,
    I may then mount it somewhere on the inside of the ARB bar. I want to make sure it will not
    interfere with the winch so will wait until I know how much room the winch is going to take up. So for now, I connect the hoses from the water pump to the quick disconnects.
    I don't have any "action" pics of it in use yet since I only installed it during the Summer
    and have just used it once.
    Let me know if there are any questions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    McMinnville, OR.


    Nice!! Looks great. im gonna wish i had that this weekend after tenting in the 25 degree nights again!!
    "My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know. Everybody you see. Everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are truly awake and they live in a state of constant, total amazement." Joe vs the Volcano

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Rainier Beach, Seattle


    Nice setup Salue!! I saw the Decker heat exchanger while searching for a solution. They are pricey!!

    How are you supplying the system with water?

    Thanks for sharing
    ~ Jon

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by zjsheller View Post
    Nice!! Looks great. im gonna wish i had that this weekend after tenting in the 25 degree nights again!!
    That is why I am also now in search of a tent heater (Mr. Buddy Heater or similar) for cold weather camping....Or find a camper like Jon.


  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JDavis View Post
    Nice setup Salue!! I saw the Decker heat exchanger while searching for a solution. They are pricey!!

    How are you supplying the system with water?

    Thanks for sharing
    ~ Jon
    I have a collapsible 2.5 gallon bucket that I can use to pump the water out of but usually I'm parked close enough to a river/lake that I can drop the suction hose of the water pump into the source and have unlimited hot water...Until I run out of gas that is.

    If I was in the market for a vehicle mounted hot water system, I would consider this unit:

    Same concept but the pump doesn't seem as robust as my Shuflo but I'm sure it works fine. You can always purchase a separate pump at a later date if you need to.

    Last edited by Salue; 03-15-2010 at 09:47 PM.

  6. Default

    I read your posts and I am also looking into setting up this type of system. My question concerns the excess water pressure generated. For example, if I have everything up and running, and then turn on the 12V water pump, I assume the heated water will start coming out the other end. Sometimes though you don't want a constant stream of water, like in a shower, or if you are rinsing dishes. If the pump is running, but you have the shower head shut off, where does the water get pumped to? It seems that there would be a buildup of pressure in the system causing either a hose to burst or the water pump to malfunction. How would you solve for this? I thought about maybe tying the on-off of the sprayer head to the water pump itself, but I have no idea how that would actually work. Any help/suggestions would be great. Thanks.

  7. Default

    There are certain pumps that have a shutoff once it reaches a set pressure. I think some of the Shurflo pumps have that. The only issue with closing the shower head is the water sitting in the heat exchanger can get extremely hot (as hot as your coolant gets). So hot that it can scald you the first burst when you reopen the head. As long as you are aware of that and turn the shower head away to turn it back on for the first few seconds, you should be ok. But, it'll only take one time to forget and burn you though!

  8. Default

    I use the Flojet LF122202A water pump which is similar to the Shurflo pump. It has a built-in pressure switch that turns off the pump motor when the shower head is turned off.
    You can check out the Flojet here: Flojet Water Pump



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