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Using a Solar Shower


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#1 Out There

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 04:34 PM

I just got a solar shower but have never used one (inside or outside). I recall seeing a post or two from people using a solar shower in the Casita, but I don't understand what they're using to hold that rather heavy bag of hot water. Are you guys only using a couple gallons of water at a time to reduce the weight? Are you hanging the solar shower from the shower rod or the vent handle?

Thought I'd better ask rather than risk a nasty and expensive oops through trial and error. ohmy.gif Thanks for any suggestions.
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#2 Petit Lapin

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 06:36 PM

When we were camping, we suspended it from a tree branch, but if I were using it in the Casita, I'd suspend it from the vent handle, not the shower rail.

Suggest you try it out at home in the shower, as it's rather an awkward thing to use.

#3 Pat R

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 08:24 PM

QUOTE (Petit Lapin @ Aug 25 2008, 07:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When we were camping, we suspended it from a tree branch, but if I were using it in the Casita, I'd suspend it from the vent handle, not the shower rail.

Suggest you try it out at home in the shower, as it's rather an awkward thing to use.


They actually make portable tents that kind of look like an "outhouse" with a support for the shower. Works pretty well.

#4 Steve LaBroad

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 03:36 AM

QUOTE (Petit Lapin @ Aug 25 2008, 10:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When we were camping, we suspended it from a tree branch, but if I were using it in the Casita, I'd suspend it from the vent handle, not the shower rail.


I just had to make a replacement vent handle for my powered ovehead vent because the original broke at one of the ends. Unless they've changed the vent since my 2003 Casita, I don't recommend hanging that much weight from the handle. A couple gallons would be about 16 pounds?

I've never looked at the shower curtain rod that closely, but with everything being riveted on I'd be cautious there too.

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#5 Out There

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 03:49 AM

Thanks for the responses so far. I see that others share my concerns about hanging too much weight from the vent handle and/or the shower rod. Maybe others have rigged up another suspension mechanism to adequately handle the weight of a few gallons of water. That's what I was wondering about - just how did others successfully get this to work without risk of a catastrophic collapse or cave-in rendering damages and/or injury to the showerer (that's a word, right?). unsure.gif
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#6 Ken C

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 06:02 AM

Okay, I'm a little lost here! If your out tent camping a solar shower can be a good thing. But if your in your Casita why not use the factory installed shower? If you can get water for the solar shower you can also get it for your freshwater tank. If you are showering in the trailer they both fill the grey tank! Maybe I'm missing something.

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#7 Dave and Ruth

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 07:45 AM

One of the things we discovered in the past using a solar shower was the amount of water they use. They hold 3 gallons, and we did get shampoos for the entire family out of that, but the downside was that the water is only usable for that purpose, and requires sun. tongue.gif (We were camped outside Ouray when it rained for our entire stay, and we saw no sun.) And it requires the sun for a few hours right before your use.

We now use a garden sprayer (the kind you pump up). We fill it with water right out of the Casita faucets, or heat water for it on the stove. It is very efficient- we find the half gallon sprayer is quite adequate for a boondocking shower. We place it in the sink, and the hose is long enough to get where it needs to. It only flows while you squeeze the handle, so doesn't waste water.

The motive for going to all this extra trouble is water conservation while dry camping- just to get hot water to the bathroom, you waste a lot.

Just an idea, but it's not original with us.

Ruth






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#8 Rich & Penny

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 07:57 AM

We gave up on the Solar Shower years ago when camping in our VW Westfalia. We replaced it with a 3-1/2 gallon garden sprayer we bought from Intermountain Farmers here in Salt Lake. It has a metal spray handle, and a nozzle that will screw onto the handle without the long brass wand. I cut off the hose about 3 or 4 inches from the tank and bought a plastic hose splicer and 2 hose clamps and replaced the original hose with an 8' piece of 3/8" rubber fuel line from and auto parts store. We heat 1/2 of the water to a boil on the stove and pour it into the other half for a nice warm shower. It doesn't use near as much water as a solar shower because the spray is finer, and you don't have to hang it up. It also does service for just washing our hands of spraying off things outside of the trailer. We haven't taken the Casita to Baja yet, but where we go, we use water from a well to shower with, but buy our drinking water. I wouldn't want to put that well water into the fresh water tank on the Casita.

Anyway, the key to making this kind of a shower is to find a sprayer with a handle that the long wand can be removed and the nozzle screwed onto the handle. It would be hard to shower with the 18" wand still attached. Most sprayers now seem to have cheap plastic handles that have different threads for the nozzle so they won't screw onto the handle. Look for one at a Farm Supply. Also, we originally used a 1-1/2 gallon sprayer and it was sufficient. It was acurally easier to use because you didn't have to heat as much water...Rich

#9 Petit Lapin

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 08:13 AM

Perhaps those of you recommending a sprayer did not notice that Out There already owns the solar shower.

He's asked for help with what he has, not for suggestions on how to replace it.

#10 Dave and Ruth

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 08:52 AM

QUOTE (Rich & Penny @ Aug 26 2008, 09:57 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
... the key to making this kind of a shower is to find a sprayer with a handle that the long wand can be removed and the nozzle screwed onto the handle. It would be hard to shower with the 18" wand still attached. Most sprayers now seem to have cheap plastic handles that have different threads for the nozzle so they won't screw onto the handle. Look for one at a Farm Supply. Also, we originally used a 1-1/2 gallon sprayer and it was sufficient. It was acurally easier to use because you didn't have to heat as much water...Rich


Ace Hardware sells reasonably priced sprayers with long hoses, and removable wands.

QUOTE (Petit Lapin @ Aug 26 2008, 10:13 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Perhaps those of you recommending a sprayer did not notice that Out There already owns the solar shower.

He's asked for help with what he has, not for suggestions on how to replace it.


Sometimes we have found that our first approach to solving a problem doesn't work as well as some idea that comes along later. A $10 solar shower isn't such a huge investment to prevent reconsidering the solution. It's just an idea we offer that the originator of the thread (and others looking at a similar issue) can take or leave...

Here's to taking hot showers! biggrin.gif

Ruth
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#11 Tawny&Gary

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 10:18 AM

QUOTE (Dave and Ruth @ Aug 26 2008, 08:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
One of the things we discovered in the past using a solar shower was the amount of water they use. They hold 3 gallons, and we did get shampoos for the entire family out of that, but the downside was that the water is only usable for that purpose, and requires sun. tongue.gif (We were camped outside Ouray when it rained for our entire stay, and we saw no sun.) And it requires the sun for a few hours right before your use.

We now use a garden sprayer (the kind you pump up). We fill it with water right out of the Casita faucets, or heat water for it on the stove. It is very efficient- we find the half gallon sprayer is quite adequate for a boondocking shower. We place it in the sink, and the hose is long enough to get where it needs to. It only flows while you squeeze the handle, so doesn't waste water.

The motive for going to all this extra trouble is water conservation while dry camping- just to get hot water to the bathroom, you waste a lot.

Just an idea, but it's not original with us.

Ruth



Ruth,

You mentioned you were staying near Ouray, CO. I'm curious "how" you got to Ouray from Santa Fe ... tell me you didn't go over Red Mountain Pass in your Egg!

Gary

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#12 Dave and Ruth

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 01:50 PM

QUOTE (Tawny&Gary @ Aug 26 2008, 11:18 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ruth,

You mentioned you were staying near Ouray, CO. I'm curious "how" you got to Ouray from Santa Fe ... tell me you didn't go over Red Mountain Pass in your Egg!

Gary


I was talking about a pre-egg trip, when we were strictly tent campers, in reference to using the solar shower. But, we wouldn't have any trouble towing over Red Mountain Pass. Low gear on the downhills, just be willing to take it slow. I'm sure the MPG would be dreadful, but that's the mountains for ya.

After our recent stay in Creede, we drove over Slumgullion Pass, without the Egg, but assessed it and wouldn't have any trouble with towing over it, either.

Ruth

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#13 Tawny&Gary

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 03:57 PM

QUOTE (Dave and Ruth @ Aug 26 2008, 01:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Tawny&Gary @ Aug 26 2008, 11:18 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ruth,

You mentioned you were staying near Ouray, CO. I'm curious "how" you got to Ouray from Santa Fe ... tell me you didn't go over Red Mountain Pass in your Egg!

Gary


I was talking about a pre-egg trip, when we were strictly tent campers, in reference to using the solar shower. But, we wouldn't have any trouble towing over Red Mountain Pass. Low gear on the downhills, just be willing to take it slow. I'm sure the MPG would be dreadful, but that's the mountains for ya.

After our recent stay in Creede, we drove over Slumgullion Pass, without the Egg, but assessed it and wouldn't have any trouble with towing over it, either.

Ruth



Ruth,

I feel better now. I'm sure most TV's could make it but the "visual effects" on Red Mountain are such that we won't even tackle it in a car anymore, much less a truck with an Egg attached. We did take on Slumgullion a couple weeks ago and had no difficulty with the Egg. The "visual effects" weren't too bad, especially on the south side. Amazingly enough, our Tundra got over 18 MPG the entire trip in Colorado and we did 10-12 passes during the trip. The most amazing fact I have ever come across regarding MPG in a vehicle. We only get 16+ in town ithout the trailer
! Go figure.

Gary

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2008 17' SD ("B2") Formerly

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#14 Out There

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 04:56 PM

Wow, this question sure created a stir. When Ken C posted the infamous "why" would anyone consider using a solar shower inside the Casita it reminded me of so many similar "why" and/or "who" questions like: Who was the first person to drink milk and why. Who was the first person to smoke tobacco (or anything else for that matter) and why. Well, you get the idea! So just who uses a solar shower in a Casita, and, that's right, why?

I got a solar shower as a backup for those times when hot or warm water is simply not available or when boondocking to save the grey tank. Some campgrounds have cold water only so you could use the solar shower in the camp bath. But, as I originally posted, I recall seeing a couple posts about using the solar shower in the Casita. I was just curious how they accomplished this and also what their reasons were.

Thanks to everyone for all the input. The sprayer method looks like a great alternative, especially on rainy days.
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#15 travlinbob

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 07:42 PM

I realize this has nothing to do with a solar shower, or even Casitas for that mater. However, it does fall into the why category.
Up until last October, I was full timing in a 30 motor home. My work was such that I spent most of my time away from home. Many of the campgrounds that I stayed in only had water and electricity. I carried a tote tank for obvious reasons. There was this guy that I worked with that had a brand new 26 ft fifth wheel with a slide out. A very nice rig. He did his business in a bucket and carried it into the woods to dump it. When he told me about his method I told him that he was welcome to use my tote any time. He said the bucket worked just fine for him. He full timed in his trailer and had never used the toilet or shower, also had never used the slide. Sorry but I just have to ask why.
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