On board shower

    Well almost onboard.. I built a holder on roll bar that carries the tank, a fold out rack on rear rack for shower curtain, and a small clip to hold shower head.

    After a couple of days Margaret wants a shower. Once I make it in over our favorite trail, Im a happy camper, Once I set up the shower Margartes a happy camper. After a day or 2 in the dust, knowing there will be a shower, she's more eager to go out....
    So one after noon....
    I had looked at the engine mounted water heat exchanger types (R&M), there nice. Friend actually built one, but by the time i figured out how I wanted to plumb it and add switches to make it work like I wanted, it got real involved and decided to go a different route. Plus I didn't like the idea of having to run the jeep, carrying buckets for water. If you have access to a stream or lake they are good though for unlimited showers.


    Then I looked at ZODI units, they make several different types. Then got a brain fart. The one I modeled mine after is basically a compression tank and comes with a stove. I probably spent more than what it cost, but ours holds 3 gal of water. Nuff for 2 1/2 showers. I already had one of the bottle top stoves I used a 3 gallon stainless steel compression sprayer. Removed the sprayer hose and re plumbed for a RV hand held shower head. I tested the sprayer head and it put out WAY to much water. So removed shower head screen and soldered up more than half the holes. This keeps the pressure up with a good stream and not dumping all the water. cool

    Next I decided I needed something to support the tank over the singer burner stove. No way was that aluminum burner going to support 3 gallons of water. So made a simple stand. Took a piece of flat bar, drilled 1/4" holes bout every 1 1/2"s, inserted 2" long pieces of round bar and plug welded. then bent the bar into a ring. Wala a stove grill . Then I welded 3 barrel nuts on the outside of ring. Made legs out of all thread with small pieces of flat bar for feet. Use wing nuts on the all thread to tighten. When I want to use I simply thread legs into burner ring, after height/level is right, snitch up the wings nut. Works great. I remove the plunger and hose when heating!

    What's nice is being able to carry it with water-so I don't have to go looking for it. The tank sets on fender well inside the jeep. It leans against roll bar. I attached a 16" piece of 2"x 1/2" u channel on roll bar to capture the tank side. I cut 4 small slots in the sides of the channel, then made 4 half hoops out of flat bar, with bent ends that hook into the channel . I welded on buckle snaps on ends of hoops. So I stand tank up against the roll bar and clamp it in place. Its quite strong but I also throw a ratchet strap around it-just cause- that's 3 gals of water right behind my head. After mounting, cap the shower hose fitting, drag a garden hose over and fill it up, put the pump assy in and tighten. 



    Now we need a curtain. When I built this, 10-12 years ago before our tent trailer-everything was carried in the jeep. Needed something that didn't use up space. So I built a really cool folding shower ring assembly, integrated into the rear luggage rack. The flat bar hoop is 3 pieces, the outer piece matches outside of top rack tube, width and length. The second pieces are 2 arms that attach to rack and to outer shower hoop . The whole hoop assy. scissors, out as shown and locks w 2 bolts and wing nuts. The front face of hoop has slots (not shown) in it that match tie downs on rack, the whole hoop will scissor back onto rack holding it in stored position. The guy wire uprights have half pipes welded on ends, I slide uprights up thru rack tie downs, bottom sits on rack bottom hoop, (stored they mount on shovel/ax rack). Run snap on guy wires to support extended hoop, hang the curtain (2 sewn together).

    This was a really fun project to build-we used the shower rack for several years-and it worked well for us, however it took about 10 minuets to set it up/hang curtain, plus having to carry/store an extra bag for curtain and hooks and bag o pipes, Bag o pipes?? We ended up sewing in a large hem in curtain bottom, slide in pieces of pvc pipe for weight other wise curtain if windy would be all over. After 4 years, we no longer use the jeeps shower curtain, just became inconvenient to set up. Now days you can pick up really nice nylon shower tents for like 20 bucks. There just way simpler to set up. easy to store, especially wet. The built in shower rack is permanent, the rack for tank is permanent and doesn't take up any extra space, I always carry a stove, The new shower tent stores in the trailer as shower only goes when Margaret goes-which involves taking our trailer which is where the shower tent bag lives. We picked up a trailer bout 5years ago, so its now a non issue as far as having the shower. When I originally set this system up Everything was carried in the jeep, now when 'we' go the trailer goes, the shower is along for the ride.

    Well back to the shower.... Water takes about 15 minuets to heat, pressure stays up pretty well, only requires pumping a few times once showering. Attach shower head to tank once heated, set tank inside and shower at will.

      Other shower options,

      - The solar bags. Available every where-very basic. They actually work but your limited on water, normally takes a couple of hours or more to heat with good sun.
      - Zodi . com they make a lot of different types of shower units worth checking out
      - and of course R& M, R & M Specialty Products. Engine mounted heat exchanger..the REAL DEAL for on board showers/ unlimited hot water (update well seems R & M no longer making the engine mounted heat exchanger...another iconic name in the dust...)


     Back to Our Jeeps home page