Water is one of the most important things that you cannot live without while camping. Among the constant and never-ending questions facing RVers, particularly while boondocking, is, “Will I be able to take a shower?” It’s not just about the lack of fresh-running campground water. The other concerns are: How much fresh water do I have onboard? How quickly do I want to fill up my gray water tank? Given the capacity of fresh water and wastewater, how long can I remain in camp?
A shower for a single camper probably uses a minimum of 10 gallons of fresh water. If there are two or three people, 30-40 gallons go down the drain each day. Some boondockers don’t bathe that regularly, but that is a story for another time.
Take a hot shower without using any RV water
A new product aimed at RV campers goes a long way toward eliminating the water/ shower/ wastewater conundrum. It’s called HOTTAP v2, by Joolca. It is a portable, LP gas-fired instant water heater with the plumbing necessary to draw water from a stream, pond, lake, or even a bucket. The system allows campers to enjoy a leisurely outdoor shower without draining the camper’s fresh water supply and rapidly filling the gray water tank. It also allows outdoor dishwashing with hot water (another activity that quickly fills that gray water tank). It comes in a compact, convenient kit that stows away in a small space in your cargo storage compartment.
How does it heat the water?
The HOTTAP v2 comes equipped with gas and water connections so that you can connect its flexible lines to a travel trailer propane tank, portable propane tank, or coach-fixed propane tank. Joolca has accessorized the water heater with a fold-up sink and faucet to enable outdoor dishwashing. Everything folds neatly into a 14-gallon capacity tub that will fit nicely in a storage bay.
Packages for all types of campers
The HOTTAP v2 is available in three different packages. The Essentials kit connects to any water tap, i.e., coach, city water, etc. It sells for $299. The Outing Kit includes an uptake line and inlet screen for sourcing water from streams, ponds, lakes, springs, or even a bucket, for $449. The top of the line is the Nomad Kit, which, at $549, includes everything, including the kitchen sink.
Introducing the HOTTAP v2 simple solution for outdoor showering and kitchen cleanup is welcome news for every RVer, but especially for boondockers who constantly fret over the trade-off between water availability, wastewater storage, and time in camp.
These aren’t new. I don’t remember exactly how many years ago they first appeared on the market. Coleman offered there version decades ago. One version that was developed stored the gray water in the plastic base for dumping in a dump station or sanitary sewer inlet.
Since this is reappearing on the market someone’s trying to get more mileage out of a product that previously boomed due to environmental issues. With all the new campers inexperienced out there who don’t know better they are bound to sell some.
We have a 32 gallon fresh tank + 5 gallon collapsible used on our 24′ B+.
We usually dry camp (boondock) for 10 days to 2 weeks easily with that and our 42# propane tank. 36 gallon combined black/grey. We have been frugal with water for over 40 years of camping in everything from blankets on the ground to a class A. Nobody has held their nose in our presence yet🙊
Since we boondock almost exclusively in NV, there are almost zero streams to get water from. The lakes we’ve been near don’t offer this kind of access either. So, we have to live with navy showers – and not every day. We use baby wipes for ‘showers’ as well.
I don’t agree that each camper used 10 gallons of water to shower while camping. Especially since most people take Navy showers. Once after my wife took a shower, I checked the amount of water she used and it was less than 5 gallons. 10 gallons maybe in your stick and brick home.
And it says you can use a bucket. That must be an awfully big bucket to hold 10 gallons.
We have workcamped in federal parks and forests. There is NO dumping of grey water on the ground, other than a few excepted BLM sites. This includes the outdoor showers included on RVs. How is this new device any different?
Good article here that has done some homework: https://www.boondockersbible.com/knowledgebase/can-i-dump-grey-water-anywhere/
My thoughts exactly. Showering or doing dishes and dumping that water on the ground is no different than dumping a grey tank’s contents.
When I was sailing, I had a “sun shower,” which consisted of a plastic bag, clear on one side and black on the other. There was a short hose with a spray nozzle attached to one end. You put in an appropriate amount of water and laid it on the cabin top (clear side up) in the morning. When you anchored for the night you just hoisted the bag in the rigging and enjoyed a nice, warm shower. I would like to find such a thing today.
They are sold in Wal-Mart, Big 5, and I’ve seen them in most sporting sections of many stores. I notice them because I’ve used them for over 40 years of camping.
Also don’t think I’ve ever used more than 3 gallons during my “navy” showers .. even in the RV shower.
We have a 100 gallons and have gone as long as 10 days. Navy showers. I also fill used water bottles before we dry camp. Heat in microwave and use to wet & rinse hair when shampooing.
I have 5 gallons and can go 12 days
Soapy water ending up in streams or ponds is toxic. Think how much it stings if it gets in your eyes. Now imagine it in your lungs. Thats what it does to fish. This product harms our envronment if used as advertised.
All this product does its heat water using propane. I struggle to see how it harms the environment anymore than your RV’s water heater does.
Key word is “soapy” .. most folks use soap when showering. Otherwise I agree, no soap, no harm.
Is this legal most places since it dumps gray water on the ground?
Interesting article. wife & I can last 4 days on the 40 gallons of fresh water (showers every day). But by the 4th day the black & Grey tanks are full.
Awesome product, particularly for those who might not have a shower or water heating capacity in their RV.
Surprised to read that it takes 10 gallons to take a single shower however. My wife and I take ‘Navy’ showers and can BOTH shower using 6-7 gallons of water total. With careful water management, we can go more than three days on our 44 gallon freshwater and 30 gallon gray water tanks. I’ve seen posts that some stretch their water even further than that!