Hot Water Shower

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Hot Water Shower:

I ran across an ad from R&M Specialty Products in Toyota Trails magazine for their hot water shower kit. This gadget was too cool (should I say hot) to pass up. I thought about doing my own design for one, but time constraints led to ordering one already built. I ordered the basic kit which includes the following:

My original plan was to install the heat exchanger under the truck, near the rear heater, tapping into the heater lines there. After getting the unit in hand and looking for a suitable mounting location, I decided this was not an ideal location.

Heat exchanger installationI found that the driver's side fender was a better location for access. I pulled out the wheel well liner and fender and verified there was enough room to mount the exchanger. The heat exchanger comes with two 1/2" hose-barb connections angled out at 45°. To penetrate through the fender wall far enough, I soldered a 45° 1/2" copper angle, a 1" long copper nipple and a 1/2" brass hose barb each of the existing coolant hose connections on the exchanger. I cut two holes in the fender and mounted the exchanger to the fender wall with the supplied bracket using an existing threaded hole. I replaced the single hose between the heater valve to the rear heater pipe with two lengths of 1/2" heater hose, one from the valve to the exchanger and one fromt he excahnger to the rear heater pipe. When the rear heater valve is opened, hot coolant flows through the exchanger to heat the shower water. Water temperature can be regulated by adjusting the rear heater valve as well as the flow through the shower head.

View of water hose connection(view of driver's side wheel well - looking up and forward). I used some lengths of 1/2" garden hose to attach to the exchanger and run out of the wheel well to ...

Water connections in front... the winch tray on my front bumper. Quick connect fittings on the hose ends allow quick shower setup. There is enough extra hose (~20') in the basic kit to allow direct pumping from a stream or lake, or a 3-5 gallon bucket will provide enough water for a decent shower in case the water source is too far away to reach with the hose. I actually recommend this technique as you keep soap out of the water source.

The shower is set up as follows:


So, how does it work?

- Marvelous, simply marvelous!

I find it best to take a shower right after you pull into camp after a hard, dusty day of wheeling. The engine is hot and the dirt is fresh. It only takes a minute or two to set up. Leave the engine idling to circulate coolant and you can shower until you either pump the lake dry or run out of gas! Alternately, a collapsible bucket will hold enough water for a quick rinse or even shove the pickup hose into a 5 gallon water jug and go to it.


  1  R&M Hot Water Shower kit           $259+tax&shipping
  -  Misc plumbing supplies              varies
  Total                                 $300

Project Rating:

  bananabanana - Some copper pipe sweating may be involved as well a sheet metal cutting.

Product Information:

R&M Specialty Products  
P.O. Box 1683, Dept. RCB
Windsor, CA. 95492      
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Last updated: 21.APR.1999