Solar showers

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Solar showers

Postby syrinx333 » Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:53 pm

Can anyone recommend a good solar shower? My friend sent me this one from Coleman, any good? http://amzn.to/19srZws
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Re: Solar showers

Postby danibel » Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:48 pm

I bought the cheapest I could find at my local camp store. It's just called "SOLAR SHOWER." I have used it exactly once in 4 burns. Usually we just put the 2.5 gallon water suitcase in the sun the morning and by mid afternoon (just in time for a dust storm ;) ) the water is so hot I have to add cold water to the watering can. I like a watering can for my shower, though it does mean you need a friend to help. Those solar showers get pretty hot and you might burn yourself, so don't fill it all the way in case you need to add some cold to chill it out.

They are known to leak at the beginning of hose. YMMV.
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Re: Solar showers

Postby Cos » Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:21 pm

I used a Coleman solar shower this past BM. So did two of my neighbors. Mine was perfect as long as you used it when the water was warm. Showers at dusk or after are nice and cold, especially if it's windy. I also noticed my neighbor's bag leaking at spots but it didn't stop them from being able to use it.

I like the idea of hauling the gray water back to civilization, but that's just me.
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Re: Solar showers

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:36 pm

If nothing else, hauling your grey water keeps you from doing things that use a lot of water needlessly.
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Re: Solar showers

Postby some seeing eye » Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:58 pm

None are really good quality. Wouldn't be surprised if they are not all made in the same factory in China.
Don't overfill, I do about 1G in a 2.5G shower and use 3/4. They are not designed to support the weight of 2.5G.
Watch them so they don't overheat and burst the seams.
The comments about timing above are spot on.
Your shower stall should be sheltered from wind, skin evaporation is cold.
Having something to stand on, hooks for clothes, a bench, keeping the mud at bay makes it almost like showering at home. Almost.
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Re: Solar showers

Postby GreyCoyote » Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:25 pm

A few years ago I bought a very nice propane-powered flash heater. It's 50,000 btu and works flawlessly. Very high quality construction and CGA/UL/CSA approved. It gives you hot water for as long as you have water and can push the button on the schnozzle. All it takes is propane and two "D" cells. :mrgreen:

I'll never go solar again. (Not that there is anything wrong with solar. I just like a hot shower at midnight!).
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Re: Solar showers

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:32 pm

some seeing eye wrote:None are really good quality. Wouldn't be surprised if they are not all made in the same factory in China.
Don't overfill, I do about 1G in a 2.5G shower and use 3/4. They are not designed to support the weight of 2.5G.
Watch them so they don't overheat and burst the seams.

Oooh! Oooh! Next burningman hack! A bag to put your shower bag into!

some seeing eye wrote:Your shower stall should be sheltered from wind, skin evaporation is cold.

Yeah, I hated that.
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Re: Solar showers

Postby FossaFerox » Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:43 pm

Wind is definitely the worst. Our shower was completely basic. We had a solar shower hung on a pole between two C-Stands. The whole thing was set up over a kiddy pool with a cinder block to stand on and a bench to lay your clothes on and stay off the playa well drying off and getting dressed.

The wind was cold at the best of times and hilarious at the worst of times. There's nothing like getting hit full force with a dust storm when you're soaking wet. The playa dust turns to muddy concrete across your entire body, head to toe. :lol:
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Re: Solar showers

Postby Sham » Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:55 am

I've used the Zodi propane shower heater in the past. The main problem I found was that it is designed for a steady flow of water (ie, endless supply from a pond and allowed to flow on the ground during your entire shower time). If the water is not allowed to flow steady, it becomes scalding in the heater. I made a recirculating system, which heated the water and kept it moving though the heater.

It took two pumps and a 5 gallon bucket for this set-up and it worked pretty well. My major problem was trying to educate others in camp how to use it. For the most part, it was a hopeless effort.

What seems to work the best for me is the solar shower bag left in the sun, but there are some better and more practical tips for refreshing showers. I bring a plastic salad bowl with me. Putting 4 or 5 inches of water in the bowl allows you a good first washing down using a wash cloth. Spill out the muddy water and put 4 or 5 more inches of water and this time you can soap up---starting by dunking your head first and working downward. Third pass you can wash all the soap off and then use the shower bag for a quick rinse of your hair and body parts you missed. The whole shower uses probably less than a gallon of water.

I found a package of inexpensive white wash clothes in one of the big evil stores for $4 for 18 clothes. I bring one for each day I'm there. They can be washed at home, but for the most part, they get destroyed from the playa mud.

I bring the 2.5 gallon water jugs and figure on 1 per day, but also fill the shower bag with 5 gallons from a spigot before getting to the playa. Since it's not my main shower water, the water in the bag can last me most of the week.
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Re: Solar showers

Postby AntiM » Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:07 am

We use a garden sprayer, not heated, but adequate. Stand on a towel. I found a pack of khaki colored washcloths, hides playa stains pretty well when I ash them at home.
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Re: Solar showers

Postby Ratty » Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:50 am

I use a garden sprayer too. Works great. If you buy one, try to get one that 'locks' on. If you are showering without a helper you can't hold the trigger down and reach every orifice. I stand in a bus tray and the water evaporates quickly. I go to 'Shampoo Camp' if I want to wash my hair.
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Re: Solar showers

Postby dr.placebo » Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:28 pm

And here's another vote for garden sprayer. It is also a "solar shower" if you leave it in the sun.

The great benefit of the garden sprayer is its efficiency. Much less water to bring in, and no gray water to bring out. We use two old towels on a tarp, and the towels dry out inside of 30 minutes when hung up.

I actually can reach everything with the spray wand that comes with my 2 gallon sprayer, and I am not all that flexible. On the other hand, it's more fun to have a helper.

You can keep the water pretty warm for hours by using a space blanket or even bubble wrap. You can also add heated water from a kettle.
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Re: Solar showers

Postby nixiebunny » Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:58 pm

I did a lot of engineering and ended up with a shower that made my campmates told me that it was the best shower they had ever had.

I bought a low-flow, high-spray showerhead a few years ago and mounted it to a right-angle PVC pipe handle with a doorbell switch to run a 12V submersible pump. The pump sits in a 5 gallon water bottle that has been sitting in the sun all day to get it up to 100 degrees. There's also a PVC check valve in line to keep the water in the 1/2" clear poly hose. The end result is that it's just like one of those hose-mounted showerheads in your luxury bathtub, but at Burning Man.
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Re: Solar showers

Postby tattoogoddess » Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:05 pm

This is what we used last year for our camp. It worked really well!!
Nemo helio

http://youtu.be/eRBXDoLBedM
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Re: Solar showers

Postby tattoogoddess » Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:10 pm

nixiebunny wrote:I did a lot of engineering and ended up with a shower that made my campmates told me that it was the best shower they had ever had.

I bought a low-flow, high-spray showerhead a few years ago and mounted it to a right-angle PVC pipe handle with a doorbell switch to run a 12V submersible pump. The pump sits in a 5 gallon water bottle that has been sitting in the sun all day to get it up to 100 degrees. There's also a PVC check valve in line to keep the water in the 1/2" clear poly hose. The end result is that it's just like one of those hose-mounted showerheads in your luxury bathtub, but at Burning Man.


That is pretty much what we are doing this year. People kept forgetting to fill up the helio after showering (only enough water for one shower in there) helio is going to be used in the kitchen.
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Re: Solar showers

Postby asr9754 » Mon Dec 30, 2013 3:44 pm

Garden pump sprayer worked great for our camp. I attached a 90 degree elbow to the spray tip and mounted the handle to a PVC pole, so it would spray down like a typical shower. Didn't use more than a liter for a pretty complete shower experience.

Also spray painted the jug black and when sitting in the sun, it warmed enough to take the chill out of the water. I don't mind a lukewarm shower, but a few camp mates wanted hotter water so they used a solar shower to get the water warm, then emptied warm water into the pump sprayer for their shower. A solar shower bag sitting on top of a dark colored car in the sun heats up pretty quick.
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Re: Solar showers

Postby maryanimal » Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:14 pm

I'm going with the helio Shower. It's just what I'm looking for! I need to figure out what I need to do to make it wheelchair accessible. I really like it!
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Re: Solar showers

Postby tattoogoddess » Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:45 pm

maryanimal wrote:I'm going with the helio Shower. It's just what I'm looking for! I need to figure out what I need to do to make it wheelchair accessible. I really like it!



You can press the pump with a cane as long as it does not have sharp point that pop the bladder. It sits on the ground and the sprayer is 6'5
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Re: Solar showers

Postby maryanimal » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:13 pm

tattoogoddess wrote:
maryanimal wrote:I'm going with the helio Shower. It's just what I'm looking for! I need to figure out what I need to do to make it wheelchair accessible. I really like it!



You can press the pump with a cane as long as it does not have sharp point that pop the bladder. It sits on the ground and the sprayer is 6'5


That's a good idea! I just happen to have one. or if someone needed help, turn the bladder around so it'll pop out from under the privacy curtains etc, and someone can pump it up! how did you set up your shower?
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Re: Solar showers

Postby tattoogoddess » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:37 pm

maryanimal wrote:
tattoogoddess wrote:
maryanimal wrote:I'm going with the helio Shower. It's just what I'm looking for! I need to figure out what I need to do to make it wheelchair accessible. I really like it!



You can press the pump with a cane as long as it does not have sharp point that pop the bladder. It sits on the ground and the sprayer is 6'5


That's a good idea! I just happen to have one. or if someone needed help, turn the bladder around so it'll pop out from under the privacy curtains etc, and someone can pump it up! how did you set up your shower?


We used one of those pop up shower stals you can get from walmart. We built a wooden base with about 1/2 gap in the slats. We put 4 eye bolts, one on each corner and carbaean clipped it. The used two guy lines so it wouldn't fold over on its side in the wind.
The wooden bas was sat inside a square 10x10 evaporate pond. So when the water drained it just went into the pond.
This would work really well for a few people, not for 50. We did have a second evap pond next to it that we pumped water over to when the original got to full.
We just couldn't evap quick enough.

But this year we are changing it completely and going a bit more homey,
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Re: Solar showers

Postby Patsh » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:47 pm

solar spill.jpg




wait.... what?
oh, solar shower.


(never mind) :oops:
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Re: Solar showers

Postby maryanimal » Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:29 pm

We used one of those pop up shower stals you can get from walmart. We built a wooden base with about 1/2 gap in the slats. We put 4 eye bolts, one on each corner and carbaean clipped it. The used two guy lines so it wouldn't fold over on its side in the wind.
The wooden bas was sat inside a square 10x10 evaporate pond. So when the water drained it just went into the pond.
This would work really well for a few people, not for 50. We did have a second evap pond next to it that we pumped water over to when the original got to full.
We just couldn't evap quick enough.

But this year we are changing it completely and going a bit more homey,



no more than 5 people will be using the shower. I like your idea, but we'll have a wheel chair to accommodate, however you've given me some good ideas! :D
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Re: Solar showers

Postby tattoogoddess » Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:16 pm

Might be able to use a ramp on it? Or put a chair inside?
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Re: Solar showers

Postby maryanimal » Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:41 pm

I thought of both! I'm waiting for an answer from the person who'll be using the wheelchair. :D after looking at some of the shower shelters, some look like you would be able to ride right over the threshold. Does you shower shelter have a place for the water to drain out of, like opening at the bottom sides?
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Re: Solar showers

Postby tattoogoddess » Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:59 pm

There is a tent like fabric on the bottom for part of the floor then around the four sides on the bottom is mesh so the water can drain out in all directions
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Re: Solar showers

Postby maryanimal » Sat Jan 04, 2014 12:10 am

Awesome! yay! Shower for this year!! the evap pond will be easy! Thanks for your help! I really appreciate it!
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Re: Solar showers

Postby DoctorIknow » Mon Jan 06, 2014 7:13 am

There seem to be two kinds of solar bags: the cheap black ones and much more expensive ones that have chosen grey as their plastic, made by Stern or Advanced Elements...all on amazon of course.

I've never used the expensive ones but I can tell you right now, as others have mentioned, do NOT fill the cheapos full. Water weighs about 8.3lb/gallon, which puts 41lb of water all hanging from a short plastic tube inserted into a sleeve of very thin vinyl. And once there is a tiny rip, the end is near, with no way to jury-rig a fix that I've been able to come up with.

Just buy two cheapo black ones and fill it no more than 2/3's full.

Also, if you can find them, the ones with a valve at the shower head, or, a shower-head that is a valve in itself, are good. Any bag with a valve on the bag sucks. They are hard to turn and difficult to maneuver as the bag is hanging and sometimes hanging high.

Take an extra ice chest (cooler) with you exclusively for the hot solar bag. Put the bag in there an hour or two before sunset and you can have hot water up until midnight. So what if you get chills when the hot water is gone...hightail it to your dwelling and all will be well in a few minutes.

You might be perplexed by instructions on the bag as to which side to face the sun...repost of video:
[media]
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