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How to Hook Up a Warm Camp Shower to Your Camper

From doing the dishes to bathing the kids and even scrubbing the dog, the HOTTAP brings you the warm goodness of your home, however far off-grid you venture.

With the HOTTAP’s modular quick-fitting parts, you can set up your portable bath or kitchen within minutes without too many handy skills or tools.

This step-by-step guide on how to hook up a warm camp shower to your camper is divided into three main sections:

  • Setting up the HOTTAP kit
  • Setting up the 12 V pump kit
  • How to use the HOTTAP system

Table of Contents

Setting up the HOTTAP Kit

Step 1 – Insert Batteries

Place two D-cell batteries in the battery box according to the positive (+) and negative (-) labeling.

Step 2 – Connect GasKnect

HOTTAP GASKNECT coupling set
GASKNECT Couple Set
  • Attach the regulator to the gas bottle.
  • Tighten the female GasKnect fitting to the male connector and attach the GasKnect to the HOTTAP unit.
  • DO NOT connect them to the gas cylinder yet.

Warning: The HOTTAP unit heats the heat exchangers with open flames. Therefore, the gas cylinder must never be placed anywhere near the unit while in operation.

Step 3 – Mount the HOTTAP Unit

Each Joolca HOTTAP kit comes with one of these three mounting options:

  • Hanging
  • Light-weight legs
  • Heavy-duty stand

Mounting the HOTTAP

While the HOTTAP is in use, ensure there are NO people or combustible materials anywhere within:

  • 600 mm. of the back of the unit
  • 1,000 mm. of the top of the unit
  • 500 mm. of the front and sides of the unit

No matter how you mount it, always place the HOTTAP upright to let the flames from the burners heat the heat exchangers optimally, and prevent the HOTTAP’s tilt sensor from automatically cutting off the gas supply.

Step 4 – Attach Hoses to the HOTTAP

HOTTAP portable water heater
HOTTAP Portable Hot Water Kit

Fit the GasKnect brass connector to the gas inlet as shown in the image above. Then, connect the red shower hose to the red fitting on the HOTTAP, and the blue water source hose to the blue fitting.

Step 5 – Connect Regulator to Gas Cylinder

connect HOTTAP to LPG gas cylinder
Lightweight Gas Hose

Fit the regulator on the gas cylinder and give the valve knob a full counterclockwise turn to release the gas from the cylinder.

Step 6 - Check the System for Gas Leaks

Liberally apply a soapy water coating over the entire gas delivery system, and any bubbles or wheezing sounds will indicate a leak. Tighten the joints at those spots and run a new test. If all is good, turn the valve knob clockwise (complete cycle) to cut the gas flow and proceed to set up the pump.

Expert Tip: To avoid the danger of toxic gas build-up, never use a propane water heater in a closed vehicle.

woman giving horse HOTTAP bath
Source: Instagram

Setting up the 12 V Pump Kit

The HOTTAP pump can pump water from a nearby water point or lake. Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Remove the red plugs covering the inlet and outlet nozzles of the pump.
  2. Connect the pump inlet hose to the inlet nozzle of the pump.
  3. Connect the pump outlet hose to the outlet nozzle of the pump and the other end of the hose to the blue nozzle on the HOTTAP.
  4. Attach the water filter to the other end of the inlet pipe and sink the filter into your water source.
  5. Connect the electric lighter port cable to the pump and link to a power source.

HOTTAP 12 V plumbing kit
Off-Grid Plumbing Kit

Your HOTTAP is now ready for use.

Expert Tip: Mount your Joolca HOTTAP near the back doors of your camper to create an outdoor shower.

How to Use HOTTAP

HOTTAP is a safe and user-friendly warm shower that is masterfully designed and devoid of any complexity.

Step 1 – Turn the Switch Off

HOTTAP portable shower head
Ensuite Plumbing Instant-up Shower Kit

At this point, keep the shower handle switch in the OFF position

Step 2 – Turn the Gas and Water on

  • Give the cylinder valve knob a complete counterclockwise rotation.
  • Open the water source valve.

NOTE: Water should only flow through the showerhead after turning the shower handle switch on.

Step 3 – Control the System

When you turn the shower handle switch on, you ignite the HOTTAP burner and water flows instantly. Turning it off stops the burner and the water flow.

Step 4 – Regulate Water Temperature

Every time you use HOTTAP:

  • Stand clear of the initial water flow for about 10 seconds because it may be too hot.
  • Increase the water temperature by turning the red flame lever clockwise and reducing water flow.
  • Decrease the water temperature by lowering the flame and increasing the water flow.

The joys of the best portable hot shower are now in your hands.

Enjoy Pre-order Advantages

Every HOTTAP purchase comes with:

  • Free shipping and returns
  • Two-year warranty starting on your day of HOTTAP receipt
  • Freedom to cancel the order and get your money back immediately
  • 30-day money-back guarantee starting on your day of HOTTAP receipt

man enjoying HOTTAP hooked to van
Source: Instagram

See what HOTTAP users are saying.

testimony of happy HOTTAP user

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I run my HOTTAP on AC?

Yes. Buy a 12 V DC adapter with a 6 Amp minimum current output and cigarette socket end, and connect it to your 230 V or 120 V domestic wall socket or extension bar.

How much water do I need?

The amount of water needed depends on the specifications of your pump. However, a pump with the capacity to deliver 6–12 liters per minute and 40–60 KPI is the most appropriate.

What is the right gas cylinder for HOTTAP?

The most popular LPG cylinder is the 9 kg, however, any gas cylinder with a POL connection is compatible with HOTTAP. Smaller canisters such as 2 kg. that don’t have a POL connection will require a connection adapter. More information here.

Does the HOTTAP have a thermostat?

Yes. The HOTTAP has a built-in automatic cutoff switch calibrated according to statutory requirements of the region where it’s used. In the absence of such regulations, we’ve set the cutoff temperature to 80°C.

Although we have allowed for a warmer shower, and HOTTAP has full compliance with CE and UKCA for use in Europe, use your discretion to determine the safest shower and kitchen water temperature.

Is my HOTTAP safe while I drive my camper on rough terrain?

HOTTAP is built mainly for off-grid use, therefore, we’ve taken all due diligence to make it resilient to off-road surfaces—so long as you’ve mounted it correctly.

Will my HOTTAP work as usual at high altitudes?

All appliances using combustion require a specific ratio of oxygen to fuel up. As you go above sea level, oxygen levels decrease, minimizing combustion. Once you reach 1,500 m. (5,000 ft.) its efficiency will be reduced by 10%.

Your HOTTAP will take longer to heat your water or miss your desired temperature, so collect the heated water into a tub and pass it through the HOTTAP once more for better results.

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See how people everywhere are using their Joolca HOTTAP, or share your setup on Instagram.

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