Solar Water Heater

Discussion in 'My Favorite Mods, Tips, Tricks (and Blunders!)' started by gerryrobinson, Jun 5, 2014.

  1. gerryrobinson

    gerryrobinson New Member

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    Mar 20, 2014
    Has anyone thought of using solar to heat water while they were camping? I thought of this when I was researching some ideas for diy solar heat for our 18' above ground pool. I ended up getting a really great deal on a commercial solar system so I didn't need to diy one. But why not for the camper? Hmm.

    I saw an idea where someone wrapped a black garden hose in a coil (progressively getting larger). Something like this but on a smaller scale.


    You could put it on the roof or just lay it on the ground behind the trailer. How hot does the water get in your normal garden hose just laying on the lawn? Pretty warm.

    You could run a "Y" inline with the city water hookup just before it enters the trailer. Run 1 line into the trailer for cold water and 1 line to the hose. A second "city water" inlet could be added to the outside of the trailer to accomodate the other end of the solar hose. The second water line would be hooked up to the hot water handle on a 2 handle tap at the sink.

    Obviously this setup works only if you have city water connected and only if it is sunny. But this could produce enough hot/warm water for dish washing, hand washing and maybe even a very quick hair wash/shower.

    Just thinking out loud for now as I have no immediate plans to build one. Any ideas or comments are certainly welcome.
  2. generok

    generok Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Feb 7, 2013
    Anchorage, AK
    Well, a 1/2" inner diameter hose 50' feet long completely filled holds about 4 gallons of water, so that's pretty good compared to a 6 gallon water heater in RVs.

    I'd mount it to the roof to prevent having to drain and store it.

    I wouldn't bother running a separate hot line... I've never needed cold water anyway... dishes, hand washing, cooking, coffee - heck all I NEED is hot water it seems. You'd have to do that if you had onboard potty... no need to add energy to THAT system.

    If I was camping more than 3 nights, I'd consider it. Less than that, I doubt you'd get much heating unless it was really hot where you are and you had good sun. The problem is, folks seek shade when the sun is hot, so the unit would likely need to be able to be remoted to a sunny spot.

    Good concept, it would certainly work.
  3. MichelleMS

    MichelleMS Member

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    Feb 17, 2012
    That's a pretty ingenious idea. And we've been looking for a heater for our pool, too.
  4. gardenbliss

    gardenbliss Well-Known Member

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    Dec 9, 2013
    San Diego
    You'd have to make sure the hose is safe for drinking water if you will use it for any type of cooking/consuming.
  5. E3 Junkie

    E3 Junkie Greetings from Granada Hills, CA.

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    Sep 22, 2012
    I put a double coil just like this on my roof to heat my swimming pool. The only difference is that I enclosed the coils in a plexiglass box to mimic the heat accumulation that one might find from leaving their car windows shut in the summer desert. It works much better when you can trap the suns radiant energy in an enclosed space.
  6. Sumoman

    Sumoman New Member

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    Mar 20, 2013
    They have bags you can buy[emoji57]

    Seriously why get super complicated. More crap to pack. A solar oven for cooking.. Sure, it folds. If your going to use solar to heat water for showers they have those 5 gallon bags that work well. A hose array might be a bit much.

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