(More customer reviews)I used this heater last summer, for washing dishes, and showers while boat camping. Heater works off a propane canister, so have extras of those. Pump depends on a small battery that has its own compartment. I carried a spare battery out of caution, but didn't need it on my longest trip of three nights with three people. I would guess 6-7 short showers were taken, along with washing dishes and hand washings during meal prep.
Easy to use. Variable temp. control, from cold to scalding just like a water tap at home, (though a much lower pressure) The water gets hot very quickly.
Instructions say not to use lake or stream water. I decided that applies if you are going to use the heater for cooking or drinking water. Since I use mine only for dish-washing/hand-wahing/showering, I ignored this instruction. There is an attachment for hooking to a garden hose, but I didn't get this as I don't camp where potable water is avialable. If you camp with kids, once it is used with non-potable water, I stongly recommend that you make sure they understand that they are not to drink water from the tap.
I found that a large three gallon collapsable bucket was much handier than the collapable container supplied.
As I remember, I purchased the shower attachment seperately. After our first camp trip with the heater, I replaced the hose on the shower attachment with a longer piece of plastic tubing bought at the hardware store, as the original tube was too short to work well. This was real easy to do and not very expensive and I would recommend it if you are more than four feet tall and want to use the heater for showers.
This is unit is not for pack-backing. But it you car camp or boat camp away from hot water and like the luxury of running hot water, this is a great unit. Not that heavy and and no bigger than a small cooler.
I have a Zodi which I used before I got this. The Zodi does a good job of heating water and is somewhat lighter and more compact. I like the Coleman better however. The swing-out spout on the Coleman may look like a gimmick, but if your are washing dishes over a dishpan it realy is an advantage. The instant on/off feature of the Coleman is a also great advantage
especially when showering. You can rinse off, shut off the water, soap up and turn on the water for a final rinse with just a turn of a dial. Since even three gallons of water goes fast, the ease of shutting off the unit "in between" is very handy. With the Zodi the best approach I found was to put the shower-head in the water supply "in between." This works, but it means the burner is continuing to run, using fuel, and if your are not quick, the water can get hotter than you may want. (Shuting off the Zodi means you have to get out the lighter or matches to relight, which can be a pain if you are wet and soapy.) With the Colman's built in igniter, a simple turn of the dial gets every thing going again. By the way, so far the igniter has worked as flawlessly as the one on the gas range top at home. You turn the dial, you hear a little "swoosh" as the burner comes on, and you have hot water.
I also bought the carry case which I recommend.
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Hot Water on Demand Portable Water Heater