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Camping Showers- A bit OT


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I have been contemplating a portable gas camping shower for when we are out and about, possibly an Eccotemp L5 or L10: https://www.eccotemp.com/

Does anyone have experience of these or similar- in particular- do they actually do what they say on the tin as regards to temperature and flow (or are they wildly optimistic?) and how robust are they? Do they cope well enough with being lugged around in the back of the landy?

Any comments good or bad, or for other manufacturers would be welcome.

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No idea on that unit, but i am looking at what to install in my camper conversion. Ideas:

1. Use an eberspacher water heater, with an exchanger. Pros: runs on vehicle diesel, which should be plentiful. Can also hook it up as a engine preheat, and get the water heated from the engine when its running. Cheap, as i already have it (but can be picked up on ebay cheap)

2. Use a Whale type. Cons: expensive Pros: gas/electric dual good for hookup on campsites (http://www.whalepumps.com/rv/product.aspx?Category_ID=10019&Product_ID=20&FriendlyID=Water-Heater-8ltr)

3. Your idea. Cons: gas only

4. Stay dirty.

In fact for your use, why not just plumb in a heat exchanger to the engine cooling circuit, run the engine up to temp for a shower. Domestic boiler HE's are dead cheap circa 20-30 quid

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I fitted a heat exchanger to my parents camper, and is excellent, the engine doesn't even need to be up to temperature, it is so efficient. MORE than hot enough, even in very cold weather where the water will chill down.

IIRC James Trembath and the crew took one to Croatia (and probably other places) and said he wouldn't be without it. No idea which one it was though :)

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Thanks gents for the replies-

I have been considering other options as well, and I have used the simple approach of boiling water up and using a pressure sprayer, however I want to be able to use this for more than one person after another, so an instantaneous supply becomes attractive, and I also want it to be independent of the vehicle so it can be used wherever needed, not tied to wherever the vehicle is, hence wanting to know if anyone had any experience with these particular units. (or similar).

I have thought about using a Webasto or Eberspacher unit, and this is my plan B. However, once I have got all the parts together to do this (2nd hand thermotop, new pump, petrol tank, buffer tank, exhaust tube, valves etc), I was approaching the cost of one of these units and I’ve still got to put it together- again making a pre-packaged unit very attractive.

That whale unit looks a bit more robust- but I expect will be quite a lot more expensive.

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A heat-exchanger off the cooling system, and an insulated water-tank is what a friend has in her mobile-dog-wash-service Transit van. From a cold start, by the time she reaches the first customer of the day she's got something like 20 litres of rather hot water on tap.

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I'll have a good look at the Zodi one- is it nice and robust?

Yes. It all stores inside the container (other than the LPG bottle). The container is very durable and is used as the water container when in use.

The best way to use it is to fill the bucket, put the shower head in, get it all going. Recirculate into the bucket for a few minutes until it is warm especially if the water is really cold and then turn down the burner and have a nice hot shower. Drop the head back into the bucket while soaping up to save water use.

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Long ago, in a galaxy (job) far far away - I had a similar requirement. I had a contract in Barmouth and lived out of my 110 for a couple of months (in the summer). My solution for a shower was an oil-water heat exchanger which I think was a Daihatsu part. It was just fitted between the screw on oil filter & engine. Then using a Whale submersible pump and a valve to regulate flow / temperature, it would hear the water to a comfortable temperature.

I tried a water/water heat exchanger but it took too long to heat up after starting the engine. The oil/water was 10x better!

I was camped on top of a small mountain on the south side of the harbor where the mountain dropped straight in to the sea. The mornings were chilly - but after running the engine (200Tdi) for 15 mins, I could have a pretty decent shower. It needed a bit of adjustment on the fly to regulate the temperature but even with the engine at 89C, the water came out at 40C with the full flow the pump would deliver (about 12l per minute).

OK, it's not very portable - but worked very well. I would like to find one of the same exchangers again for my new camper conversion - if any of you find one? I bought mine from a scrap yard and didn't pay too much attention to what it was attached to!


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Those oil filter mounted heat exchangers are on a few things. The first generation of the Alfa Romeo 16V TwinSpark had them (Alfa 155, 145, 146 at least). There's one on my Granada V6 Cosworth lump too, though it might not be original. Beware they can and do corrode internally and leak. Not sure if thats worse for the engine or the shower user!

Comments on the Disco3 forum suggest you can (or could) get the Eccotemp L5 delivered to the uk via Amazon US for ~£120. I reckon it would be hard to beat at that price. The guys there who have them seem to think they are good.

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