On-board shower - home built design
I've been wanting an on-board hot water shower rig like some of my other club members but being the engineer type that I am I figured I could build a better system than any of the commercially available units I've seen. I'm about 90% done with my rig so I thought I'd share a progress report.
I was looking at some of the flat plate heat exchangers that some veggie oil burners are using in their diesels and thought that one of those would be a good starting point. The 16 plate unit I'm using is about 8" x 3" x 2" and I won it on ebay for around $80. These are supposed to be significantly more efficient than the coil in a tube type heat exchanger that are more commonly used. This also drove me to use a shower head with a manifold and mixing valves in case it gets the water too hot.
There's a great spot under the hood behind the right shock tower and just in front of the heater box where this plate exchanger can mount but I did not see a real good place to mount the pump for the system. I'm also concerned that submerging the pump in mud holes and rivers may not do it a lot of good so I decided to build the pump into a Pelican 1400 case with quick disconnects for the hoses and a waterproof power port for the 12v feed to the pump. This way it can be kept on the roof rack or inside the truck until it's needed.
I bought one of the Paha Que shower tents after reading good reviews for it on Expedition Portal and I'm working on designing a collapsable support stake for the shower head out of some aluminum extrusion I had lying around. For those really remote camping spots I can just clamp the shower to the front bumper and bathe al fresco. Like I said, really, really remote sites.....
Here's a few pics of the progress so far - I'll have it at MAR if anyone wants a closer look. I was originally trying to build it cheaper than the kit setups but I'll probably wind up with about $400 in the whole setup as it's a bit over the top - as we know it's ALL about the accessories.....