Showers while camping is definitely a great way to stay clean and feel better. However, it is not always going to come at a shower house in a campground nor will it always have the advantage of being in hot water. Well, for some people, myself included, we cannot stand to take a cold shower. I have already covered the solar powered water heater for showers, but I know for myself that does not always provide enough water. That is why I decided it was time to provide the Eccotemp L5 1.5 GPM Portable LPG Tankless water heater review here.
Features Of The Eccotemp
- Lightweight and easy to carry with a handle.
- Easily connects to any garden hose.
- Has a safety shut off for time and tipping.
- Manual temperature setting for water.
- Has an on/off shower head with hose.
Propane vs Solar Water Heaters
With camping it is important to make sure that you are taking in as little as possible if backpacking, but not everyone is backpacking or venturing far from their car. When this is the case, some people start to weigh the options for getting hot water at their campsite. So it is important to know what makes the difference between propane and solar heated water.
Solar water heaters tend to be black in color and are portable bags. These bags are filled and then placed in the sun all day long to heat the water. If you do not have sun for the day, then you do not have hot water to use. However, the cost of these is generally minimal and after you have bought the bag the suns energy is free to use.
The propane or gas water heaters tend to have an outside power source that is supplied by you. this could be anything from butane, propane, or if you have a gas water heater in your home natural gas. The gas water tends to be heated up faster and the weather generally does not impact if you have hot water or not. Now, the cost is a little bit higher and you will have to keep propane on hand to power the heater to make sure you keep getting hot water.
How Well Does The Eccotemp L5 1.5 GPM Portable LPG Tankless Water Heater Work
As you can imagine any product needs to work if you use it. This is very true when you are camping and want to have hot water and are using a water heater. Well, the good news is this is a heater that tends to work really well and will heat the water up quickly. Now, the downside is unlike a tank system you will not have a water reservoir to pull off of.
So what does the lack of water tank mean for you? Well, it means the water will be balanced in the temperature for the most part, but it will not be fully heated all the time and ready immediately. So you need to take this into account, but once the water heater portion of the Eccotemp portable water heater is powered up it will be ready for you to use and you will have a fairly stable temperature for the water.
How Safe Is The Unit To Use
Safety is key when you are camping and with the water heater it is definitely important. If the water heaters overheat the water then you could have issues with the heater not working right or even worse causing the water to scald you. Well to avoid that issue the Eccotemp has quite a few safety features built in.
The main safety feature that is enjoyable is the fact that it has an automatic shutoff. The shutoff feature comes with the heater turning off when it has been on for longer than 20 minutes. The other safety feature is one that can help out as well and that is the off switch in case the unit is turned to 45 degrees in any direction.
How Is Water Temperature Set
Now, what else is great about the water heater here is the fact that it is relatively easy to adjust your water temperature. This comes from the fact that the temperature is set manually, just like your water heaters at home. Now, it is important to learn how to adjust this before you go on your camping trip.
What else I have found to be a very good idea and helpful is to take and mark with a marker where everyone wants the temperature set at. This makes it easier for you to get the temperature set quickly and easily for everyone so the entire family can take their shower in no time flat.
How Does The Unit Ignite
The ignition process of the unit is actually very simple, but you do need to make sure you have D batteries. The process uses an electric ignitor that is going to heat up and light when the gas is around it. To do this, though, it is going to use the D batteries and sometimes the local camp store may not have them. So before you go camping I would recommend getting these to use.
Whats In The Box
In the box you will notice that the Eccotemp L5 is going to have several items included. The box comes with the water heater obviously. The unit also comes with the shower head and hose, which the shower head is an on and off style. Their is a CSA regulator that makes it easier for you to get the water heater connected to the standard propane tank. When you are looking at the unit you may notice it uses a garden hose for water and you have a garden hose adapter included.
The accessory list is definitely something to consider as it makes it very easy for you to maximize your shower experience.
One of the most obvious things you need to use is a propane tank. I would not really consider this as an optional accessory, but more of a requirement if you want to keep the shower working properly.
A couple of the other accessories would be a garden hose which makes it possible to get the water from your camper or even a remote source if you are using this at home. At the same time, though, the portable water heater is adapted to work with 12-volt pumps and even the EccoFlo pump and water strainer.
Pros And Cons
- Has an electric ignition that uses only 2 D batteries.
- Comes with a shower head and hose.
- The water temperature can be adjusted manually.
- An emergency shutoff if tilted at an angle over 45 degrees.
- Works with a propane tank.
- Is only tested to 2000 feet, above that the system becomes less efficient.
- Only provides 1.5 gallons per minute.
- So far only has a garden hose fitting for water input.
What Others Have Said
I know that you have fully read our review here, but if you want to know what others are saying here are a couple of snippets from some of the other websites.
Someone by the user name of Repeat Buyer on sportsmanguide said this, ”easy to work”. The other part of the review was talking about how this is the second unit, which I guess is what makes the name sound proper.
Russ, who is from the same website, but lives in Alaska has this to say about the unit. “Also the slightest breeze shuts it off”. Now, this is a problem that I did not see mentioned before, but it is definitely a condition to consider as it could prove impossible to use if you are trying to heat water in a breeze.
Our Final Thoughts On The Unit
A shower while camping is fantastic and a great way to get comfortable and feel human again. Now, the hot water is a key item that you need to have when you want to get cleaned up. This is when you should know how you can get the water heated up by using the Eccotemp L5 1.5 GPM Portable LPG Tankless water heater and how it can heat up your shower water. Overall, I have to say if you have the water supply and a propane tank then this is one heater that could definitely work for your camping needs.