OAUSA Net - December 8, 2016 - Outdoor Showers

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OAUSA Net - December 8, 2016 - Outdoor Showers


Post by DaveK » Sun Dec 04, 2016 7:54 pm

Camping is a terrific way to experience the great outdoors. Everyone has a little different take on what camping should be, and we certainty are no exception. For those who have listened to our nets for any length of time, you know that our preference is comfort, whether it be camping gear or camp furniture. Given the great selection of camping stuff, it is no longer difficult or expensive to camp in comfort. Its also nice to know that you can do so without the necessity of a large vehicle or a trailer.

So, this week, we will discuss one of the items that has contributed significantly to camping comfort, the camp shower. Whether the trip is a 3 day weekend affair or a three week expedition, a hot shower can really make a difference. Want to be an instant hero on your next camping trip - bring a hot water shower for the whole crew to use!!!!

There is also an added benefit to having a hot shower at camp, and that is the positive effect it has on new campers, family members and spouses. Bringing the comforts of home to the campsite is now easier than ever.

We know what works for us, but we would like to hear your experiences as well. Here are some of the various hot shower products that we will discuss.

Solar (or sun) water bags were probably one of the first attempts at providing the camper with a means to enjoy a hot shower. It is an easy way to clean up after a long day of hiking or riding on the dusty trails that off-roaders usually encounter. These bags have a lot going for them, not the least of which is their low cost. When you add in the small effort that it takes to daily fill the bag, it can be a very attractive hot shower alternative. The bags have come a long way from their inception and technology has certainly had its impact on this shower device.

Using the sun to heat your shower water, however, is not a new technique. The do-it-yourself (DIY) crowd had been doing it for quite a while. It takes very little effort to strap your 5 gallon water can to the roof of your vehicle, during your daily travels, and let the sun do its work on the contents. By the time you arrive at camp, the water is comfortably warm and ready for a shower, or two. Which ever way you choose to go, these techniques, works very well. There are a lot of solar bags on the market, so you need to do some research.

Here are some examples of solar showers.

A. Stearns Solar Shower
Solar Shower by Stearns.png
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Solar showers to consider:

1. Coleman: https://www.amazon.com/Coleman-20000148 ... B0009PUT20
2. Advanced Elements. See: https://www.amazon.com/Advanced-Element ... B005CB7XCK
3. Stearns. See: http://www.cabelas.com/product/Stearns- ... 745077.uts

in this category, we include showers that are usually powered by a battery, for water pressure, and use alternative methods to heat the water, such as a camp stove or a campfire. One of the advantages of these ideas is their cost, which in most cases is lower than some of the more involved techniques, mentioned below. For the budget conscious, this is an excellent way to offer hot water showers to the whole crew at camp.

Zodi Fire Coil (From the Zodi website, http://zodi.com/hot-showers/zodi-fire-coil). The coil can be heated either by your campfire or on a stove top. This method works best with the Zodi shower pump, also below.
Zodi Fire Coil.jpg
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Zodi Shower pump
Zodi Battery Powered hower Pump.jpg
Zodi Battery Powered hower Pump.jpg (25.91 KiB) Viewed 20953 times
The best showers are those that can heat water, regardless of the temperature, and can be used for more than a single use at a time. Before you plunk down some hard earned dollars for an outdoor shower, do your research and look into the warranty, battery life, customer service, input from actual users, and most importantly, how well it conserves water. We only mention this as water is such a scarce commodity in the outback and the last thing you want in a shower is one which uses more water than you can carry. Here are a few of the contestants in this category:

A. Zodi. The Zodi company makes several models of showers and related equipment, all of which fit the requirements mentioned above, (see: http://zodi.com/hot-showers .) For average camp use, their Hot Tap series of propane powered showers are an excellent choice. The Hot Tap HP double burner unit can heat very cold water (in the 30s) without the need for re-circulation. They come as a complete kit, packaged in a durable hard plastic travel case, and the only option that you may require is an enclosure. In addition to making a quality product, the Zodi Company offers top notch customer support and their showers are made in the USA. Incidentally, the Zodi shower gets a thumbs-up for water conservation.

From the Zodi website:
Zodi HP Double Tap Shower.jpg
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B. Mr. Heater. Mr Heater is probably best known for their quality line of tent or space heaters that can be safely used in enclosed areas. They now also make a portable shower which serves as both a shower and a water heater, (powered by 1 lb. propane. See: http://www.mrheater.com/sporting/aquacu ... hower.html ). The obvious benefit of the Aqua Cube is that it offers the added advantage of a hot water tap for dishes, hand washing etc. Water temperature is dial adjustable with a digital readout.

From the Mr. Heater website:
Aqua Cube Mr. Heater.jpg
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C. Coleman. The Coleman line of outdoor products is not limited to lanterns and stoves. They now make an outdoor shower under the name of the "Hot Water on Demand™ H2Oasis™ " and it serves as both a shower and a water heater. Like the others, it uses a 1 lb propane canister. It also has dial adjustable water temperature control with an LED display. From the Coleman website (http://www.coleman.com/hot-water-on-dem ... 26562.html)
Coleman Hot Water Shower.jpg
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The Aussies seem to be at the forefront of this style of shower, and it has gained some acceptance here in the states. From my review of the available systems, they don't seem to be as popular as they once were. Despite this, there are companies, primarily Australian, where you can purchase the complete set-up.

When installed, it is a terrific way to have a portable camp shower where ever your vehicle takes you. The shower set-up involves a heat exchanger which transfers the heat from your engine coolant to your shower water. These showers require the unit (some plumbing and a heat exchanger) to be mounted in the engine compartment of your vehicle. With the vehicle running (at normal operating temperature) the system will heat fresh water for use as a shower.

Cruiser Outfitters, (http://cruiseroutfitters.com/helton.html )sells these showers and has the details.

Fortunately, there are not that many accessories you will need to complete your camp shower. Other than your personal showering items there really are only three - an enclosure, a mat or deck to stand on in the enclosure, and some type of water carrier.

A. Shower Enclosure. In addition to providing privacy, your enclosure will also serves as a wind break - a feature that you will greatly appreciate when the wind whips up. Several companies make these enclosures, and it will ultimately boil down to a matter of personal preference. As with showers, do your research, and look at the ease of set-up and take down, how much space you REALLY need, and durability.

Pop-up enclosures offer the quickest set up / take down, are very inexpensive, easiest to stow, and so, deserve special consideration. Here is what a pop-up, full enclosure, will look like:
Shower Enclosure.JPG
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Here are some suggestions for shower enclosures:

1. Zodi i-Hut, see: http://zodi.com/accessories/ihut-shower-enclosure
2. Cabela's Easy-Up Deluxe Shower Shelter. See: http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/product. ... t549496080
3. Copper River Fold A Privy, by Cabela's. See: http://www.cabelas.com/product/Copper-R ... 195317.uts
4. Pop-up Enclosures. There's a bunch on the market, and the real benefit is that they allow for almost instant set-up and take down, they are inexpensive, and very compact. Stansport is a good example. See: Stansport Pop-Up Privacy Shelter

B. Shower Matt/Deck Standing on the dirt while showering is certainly an option, but convenience may win out and compel you to get a mat. As with enclosures, there are several types, and you need to do your research. The options range from pre-made mats to home made, and can be as fancy as teak mats or as simple as fold-up mats (some of which can be used to carry personal shower items.) Fortunately. the mats are flat and small enough to make vehicle storage quite easy. Here are a couple of suggestions:

Teak Mats. Teak wood is an especially good choice due to its terrific water resistance.
Shower grate.jpg
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Fold-Up Mats GSI makes a shower mat (or deck, as they call it) constructed of cedar wood and when folded up, can hold your personal shower items. From the GSI website:
Shower Deck By GSI.jpg
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Combination Shower Mat and Tent Mat Hector has been using one of these for some time. It serves as a good space saver as you can use one mat for two purposes. it is sold by Expedition Ops and is available here: http://www.expeditionops.com/shop/index ... uct_id=170 . I call it the mat on a rope, mostly because the shower planks are held somewhat loosely together by a rope, making it easy to roll up and store.

From the Expedition Ops website:
Shower mat on a rope 3.jpg
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Water Carriers When you travel in many of the more remote locations, there are no facilities of any kind, including water. This, of course, means that you need to carry all the water that you expect to use, and having a very well made carrier is a must. One of the best and sturdiest carriers are the 5 gallon Jerry style cans, currently used by our military. Two companies offer these cans, Scepter and LCI. If you can find them (and good luck) the German Military manufactured a steel Jerry style can (Stamped "Bund"), with a wide mouth, that worked very well as a water can. Below, are pictures of each. Both the Scepter and LCI cans are readily available.

LCI Water Can.JPG
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Bund and Scepter Cans
Jerry Can - Large Mouth.JPG
Jerry Can - Large Mouth.JPG (115.98 KiB) Viewed 21302 times

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Re: OAUSA Net - December 8, 2016 - Outdoor Showers


Post by DennisDawg » Tue Dec 06, 2016 2:20 pm

Interesting. I went through a few of these over the years, spent more money that it was worth . . . I ended up with something cheaper and more simple simple.

Unless one carries a lot of water, a Navy Shower works best. You get wet, turn it off, soap, rinse, done.

Solar showers work if you are going to go back to where you left it to warm up, i.e. use the same camp each night and it is sunny and somewhat warm there. This is not always the case. But, some places it is all you can do, like the Channel Islands. You can always heat water on the stove to warm up that in the solar shower if you need to.

Things like fire coils and even the full Zodi can burn you when water heats up when the pump is off and you turn it back on(during soaping/rinsing for example).

The full Zodi works best if you fill the box it comes in with water and then recirculate it with the pump and Zodi to heat it up, then turn off the heat and use just the pump. But, my experience with Zodi was not good. After a year or so it failed.

So what I do use when I shower out and about . . .

1.) A big pot that I can put water in and heat on a Colman style stove. I heat up the water, then turn off the stove. I got the pot at Big Lots or someplace.

2.) A pump to pump water from the pot to me. The pump goes in the pot for storage along with soap. Mypump is left over parts from the Zodi and a Coleman pump…batteries and tubes….

3.) A small bucket, like a 4 cuper, in case the pump doesn’t work or to rince long hair . . . it goes in the pot.

4.) a door mat to stand on. It is smaller and easier than the wooden decks. The GSI style decks fall aprt after a few years. I made some out of redwood that have held up better but I seldom bring them. A 3 buck door mat works fine to keep my feet clean. If you get one with fake grass it messages your feet!

I do not carry a tend and all that. I set up where folks won’t see me and often everything is setup on the truck’s tail gate.

I do not use the jerry cans, but just Reliance Blue cubes in the bed. They fit under the 14 inch space the roll up cover leaves. They have pour vales to make use easy without carrying extra stuff.

I’d have said all that in the net . . .but I will be backpacking in Death Valley starting tomorrow!
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Re: OAUSA Net - December 8, 2016 - Outdoor Showers


Post by NotAMog » Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:48 pm

I've had a Paha Que TeePee shower tent for about 15 years. Paha Que is based in Poway, CA and makes a variety of tents with interesting designs. At the time I bought my TeePee they were made in the USA.

It works very well once set up. They claim it's a 5 minute tent but unless you set it up frequently I find it usually takes me about 20 minutes to remember how the thread the internal tent poles and adjust the tension cord that gives it strength. They offer a shower floor with a threaded fitting for a garden hose to drain the water. I've found this to be useful if you're using the tent as a shower on dirt or mud. The shower floor can be purchased separately and used with other shower tents.

A drawback other than the difficulty of assembly, is that the white material used on my early example is somewhat translucent so you cast a shadow on the tent while taking a shower that is visible from outside. This may bother some people. The new TeePee tents are made with a grey material that may take care of this issue.

The TeePee has a number of nice features like a suspended net in the top for items you want to keep dry and a zippered flap to reach outside for your towel or clothes. There is a roof panel that goes over the top which is not shown in the picture. Once side is clear plastic so you can place a solar shower bag under it to heat up during the day.


Even though I haven't used it a lot over the years I noticed that its starting to develop a number of holes in the material so I replaced it with a Cabela's Shower Shelter - http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/product. ... t104569380

I decided on the Cabela's Shower Shelter since it used an exoskelton design that is much easier to set up. The drawback I can see with this tent is that it is about twice as big as the Tee Pee when packed. I haven't used it yet so I can't offer a review. I'm saving the Paha Que shower floor to use with the Cabela's Shower Shelter.

For hot showers, I've been using a Zodi Hot Tap HP which I highly recommend. I let it run with the water recirculating in the tank until it reaches the right temperature then turn off the burners while taking my shower. I leave the pump running but to conserve water I place the shower head back in the tank until I'm ready to use it again. I find that the tank contains enough water to take a reasonable camping shower.

Most of the off road trips I take are only 3 or 4 days long. For these trips I find it much easier just to use baby wipes to clean myself off with at the end of the day and to freshen up in the morning -


Although, I have to admit that a shower leaves you feeling much cleaner.
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Re: OAUSA Net - December 8, 2016 - Outdoor Showers


Post by DennisDawg » Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:33 am

Ha, baby wipes! Good call . . I find they smell a bit much though. It is like the folks who use drier sheets, they smell bad . . to me . . .I use the Coleman Bio-wipes: https://www.amazon.com/Coleman-20000148 ... =bio+wipes

They smell less. The big bags are too heavy for a pack though.

I have also tried the NoRinse Shampoo Caps . . https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009I ... UTF8&psc=1
They are also too heavy for backpacking and leave your hair with the smell similar to that of a dog that has just left the groomers but they do seem to work. The smell goes away in an hour or two. We recently had a plumbing issue at home and didn’t have water for a day before I got to fix it. There got us to work looking good! Ha!
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Re: OAUSA Net - December 8, 2016 - Outdoor Showers


Post by toms » Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:51 am

Premier Power welder.
This is an on-board welder that works off your alternator. You can start welding just above idle. And it has a 2300 watt 110-volt outlet to run power tools – like a grinder before you start welding.
Most people can fit the control box under the hood. The newly redesigned box has a small footprint and simple controls. However, you can install inside the cab if you like. You will find that a standard welding mask takes up more room then the welder! The box is 3” x 4 ¾” x 9”
This welder has a 30 year proven year track record and it sure beats welding with two batteries and a coat hanger on the end of a set of jumper cables.
You need a modified alternator to make this work. Buy a new one from them or send one you have into the company to be reworked. One of the main changes is to put the regulator external to the alternator. You can tape off and leave in place the stock wiring from the vehicle so you can drop in a stock alternator if you are in a dire situation.

This is stick welding. Not the easiest skill to master but I weld better with the Premier then my 225 Lincoln buzz box. I believe it has to do with the higher frequency of the current of an alternator. But don’t quote me on it.

This is not a cheap addition to your vehicle. The base price is $1195.95.

Premier Welder in LJ.jpg
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You also receive a set of high quality welding leads in addition to the items in the picture.
The devise in the lower right of the picture with the red knob is the throttle control. For new vehicles this is replaced with a programmer that works in the OBDII port.
newbox-with-alternator1.jpg (85.61 KiB) Viewed 8528 times
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Re: OAUSA Net - December 8, 2016 - Outdoor Showers


Post by lrsrngr » Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:33 am

KK6CTT for the on-line check-in please, 08 DEC. TY
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Re: OAUSA Net - December 8, 2016 - Outdoor Showers


Post by Jeff-OAUSA » Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:20 pm

Requesting a check in for tonight's net.

WD6USA - Jeff - Highland, California via the Keller Peak Repeater

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Re: OAUSA Net - December 8, 2016 - Outdoor Showers


Post by JackM-KK6WXQ » Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:53 pm

Hi All,

Please check me in for tonight's net.

Thank you,

Jack M.

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Re: OAUSA Net - December 8, 2016 - Outdoor Showers


Post by JackM-KK6WXQ » Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:03 pm

For any interest it may be...

I use a Nemo Helio Pressure Shower.

Simply add warm or heated water, pump air with the foot pump and you have a hot shower. As many know a Jeep TJ has limited inside room and I am always looking for solutions that allow me the economy of space. The Helio is easy to use and will handle hot water that is warmer than you want for a nice shower. Just heat a pot of water and mix with cool water to your desired shower temp. They are about $100 on Amazon and can be found for less if you find them on sale.
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Re: OAUSA Net - December 8, 2016 - Outdoor Showers


Post by Wildland909 » Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:34 pm

Early check in please… KN6FPT

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