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Thread: Portable USB Shower

  1. #1
    Senior Member alaskabushman's Avatar
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    Default Portable USB Shower

    I just ordered one of these, I'll write up a review when it gets here.

    My water is froze up right now, so we are living out of buckets for water. If I had bought one of these beforehand, we could still take a decent shower, which we are currently unable to do.
    This could also be something nice to have in emergency situations when running water gets cut off.

    Some of you may have seen one of these before but I thought it was interesting and looked useful. Being rechargeable via USB makes it pretty flexible and gives it the ability to be charged just about anywhere.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Last edited by alaskabushman; 03-11-2017 at 12:20 AM.
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    That's actually pretty cool......USB rechargable I see...
    Any advantage to that set up?...I supposed you could get a 12 volt "power port adaptor" for the vehicle?
    I guess a USB coed would not be any advantage in the bush....?

    Used a Zodi, battery powered pump and propane water heater in our shower at "The Place"
    Worked well and was improved on.
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    Senior Member alaskabushman's Avatar
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    I guess I see this as more of a "powers out for a week" type of device. Not really a long term wilderness solution (although it could be with extra equipment..

    There are lots of USB charging options, like small battery packs, hand crank chargers, USB ports in vehicles, even the portable Biolite camp stove with built in USB ports, or even solar charging.

    Basically anywhere you can charge a cell or tablet.
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Cool....
    I guess as an old guy,.... I find it interesting that a device charging port would be a consideration.

    My Zodi had a 4D cell pump...that can be interchanged with a 12 va sprayer pump (truck battery)...or as I ended up...a 110v to 12 volt adaptor to run it.
    So can be stand alone 4 D cell.....with vehicle or 12 v battery....or 110 v.

    Never would have given a USB a thought....
    Thanks for adding another option.
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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    I also own the Zodi unit w/propane heater. Have had it for 15 years.

    The switch on the battery pack went out around year 5 and I replaced it with a waterproof toggle.

    As Hunter states, it is excellent for long term off grid situations but not something one would carry in a backpack.

    Mine was mostly used for week long rondys and long term camps. It has had a lot of use, as in 8-10 people per day "borrowing" its use for days on end. The deal was they had to bring their own 5 gallons of water and chip in a propane cylinder now and then. Most of those camps were in the summer and people got desperate for a shower. And we often got desperate to give them one!

    Zodi also makes a "pump only" setup that does not have the heater. The Zodi heater has no thermostat and the water gets so hot you can not spray it directly on yourself. I always used it to heat the water by recirculating it in a container until it was hot enough and then turning off the heater. I always thought that if I were using mine at a cabin I would replace the spray head with a real RV unit and some real PVC piping.

    The pump only systems are fine if you have a hot water source and they pump with enough pressure to get the soap off of you. I have seen some that were just a trickle.
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    Alaska, The Madness! 1stimestar's Avatar
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    This was my shower in my first dry cabin. I ended up having to hang the bag from the ceiling. Just filled it up with warm water using a cut off milk jug to funnel it in from the big stock pot on the stove.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Still have a couple of those around....one for each of us.....LOL...does work.
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    Resident Wildman Wildthang's Avatar
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    Will it link with our blue tooth smart phones
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    Star, that's what we always used when camping.
    They always worked good enough.
    One could use a clean unused pesticide pump pressurizing sprayer too, with a little bit of modification.

    I see they sell similar:
    https://www.rei.com/product/882468/n...ressure-shower
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Harbor Freight was selling tank sprayers with 12 volt SurFlo pump...has pressure shut off.
    Close down the sprayer head...pump shuts down.

    Will run with 110v with adaptor......
    After upgrades.....form the hanging bag.

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    Alaska, The Madness! 1stimestar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowKey View Post
    Star, that's what we always used when camping.
    They always worked good enough.
    One could use a clean unused pesticide pump pressurizing sprayer too, with a little bit of modification.

    I see they sell similar:
    https://www.rei.com/product/882468/n...ressure-shower
    Yes, my friends in Eagle uses one. Works really well.

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    Senior Member alaskabushman's Avatar
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    So the mail plane didn't make it out Saturday, so I had to wait till today for the portable shower to get here.

    Here it is.
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    It's pretty simple. The o-ring goes into the orange end of the hose. The gray end screws onto the pump and the orange hooks up to the shower head. It comes with a hook and a suction cup to provide options for mounting. They both snap into the bracket that has tabs that correspond with notches in the shower head. I found that because of this the bracket actually makes a good tool for unscrewing the hose from the shower head.

    The pump has one on/off button and a waterproof port for the charge cable to plug into. A half twist unlocks the cap and exposes the charge port. The cable comes with the unit and is USB on one end and a single prong on the other.

    The instructions are very simple and easy to understand. They said to fully charge the unit before using. I was pleased to see a red LED light up when I plugged it in. It turned blue when fully charged.

    The pump itself is fairly heavy. The bottom piece of plastic pops off and exposes the screen that filters out sediment. Even so, I'd avoid using this with very dirty water, as there is no way to take the pump down further for cleaning.

    So how does it work? As well as I expected. Its not a super high pressure, but its more than adequate for a decent shower. I'd say is more pressure than any gravity fed shower I've used, most of which are little better than a watering can. The main drawback of this system is that it has no on-board heating system, so the water must be heated separately. I just used the tap to fill a 5 gallon bucket to my preferred temp. I used the hook attachment and hung it on the shower curtain rod.

    The pressure was good enough for me to easily wash my hair and get rinsed off. I typically take short showers so I was actually done before the water ran out. It used up 5 gallons in roughly 7 minutes. This time could easily be extended if you placed the shower head into the bucket while lathering up and letting the water circulate. An on/off switch at the shower head would be nice, but this would require a wire to run from the pump the length of the hose. This would not only complicate disassembly but also increase the likelihood of shorting out the device. It probably would drive of the cost as well.

    I drained the hose, and shook any extra water out of the pump.

    Pros
    Small and very portable
    Cheap ($40)
    Good pressure
    two hanging options
    5 Gallons of water provides enough time for a good shower
    Very quiet
    Shower head can be removed and pump used to transfer water from one container to another in a pinch

    Cons
    No on-board heating
    non-universal charge cable (don't lose it!!!)
    Long charge time (5 hours from a computer, 2.5 from an outlet according to the manual)
    Pump cannot be turned off at the head, only at the pump itself

    Overall I like it and think it will be used most in the winter when my water freezes up. It would have been nice to have a week ago when it got below freezing for most of the week. We were unable to take showers that entire time. Could be useful for extended camping trips as well, since it takes up very little room. It could be very nice for someone who is car camping, or traveling with a very small RV trailer. This could be set up almost anywhere and use relatively little water. As long as you have a way to heat up water it would be great. I wish they had uses the common micro-usb port for charging, so that any of the cords I already own would be compatible. Alas this is not the case and I'll have to be sure to never misplace the cable.

    Its nice to have options, and this one will come in handy someday.
    Last edited by alaskabushman; 03-20-2017 at 11:20 PM.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Thanks for the review....always helps to have it real trial.....

    That does look cool......and reasonable.

    The "drop in the bucket to circulate to keep running", worked well with the Zodi heater,..... you couldn't shut it off or the coils would over heat....so was kinda of mandatory.

    In cold weather running the pump and heater helped the reservoir...(bucket) heat up.

    Maybe a metal 5 gal bucket or two, on a Coleman stove to warm up?

    I use a small "tank top stove" that may work in my elevated blind for a heater.can soup/coffee...
    Or a regular camp stove?

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    Last edited by hunter63; 03-20-2017 at 11:13 PM.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member alaskabushman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter63 View Post
    Maybe a metal 5 gal bucket or two, on a Coleman stove to warm up?
    That's kinda what I was thinking. When our water freezes up we have a large pot that we put water in and set it on the wood stove. It keeps the humidity up and means we usually have hot water almost all the time. Id just dump that into a bucket and top it off with cold water.
    There ain't too many problems you can't fix with $500 or a 30-06.

    Him-"Whats the best knife for survival?"
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    Him-"I don't have one in my pocket."
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskabushman View Post
    That's kinda what I was thinking. When our water freezes up we have a large pot that we put water in and set it on the wood stove. It keeps the humidity up and means we usually have hot water almost all the time. Id just dump that into a bucket and top it off with cold water.
    My neighbor at "The Place" (cabin) ...uses a similar set up...heat the bucket on the wood stove then carry it ....also has a tent shower and portable pump..
    I did some wiring for him, had to move an outlet....wire was too short...so as I rewired it, ...extended it and added another outlet out side ...so he could use a 110 water heater and pump....so far he/they just use the bucket and battery pump.

    He carries water, from another neighbor in 5 gal jugs...
    I had offered him my 55 gal drum, (for a gutter catchment system....heater and sprayer pump from my shed as I don't use it...he wouldn't take it.
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    Alaska, The Madness! 1stimestar's Avatar
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    Very cool. Good to hear it works well.
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    Ed edr730's Avatar
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    If there is electricity and running water, they also have a small on demand showers. I've used them hundreds of times in many places. They used to be about $30 probably about $40 now. When tenting, I put four logs in the shape of a square in a tent throw a piece of plastic sheeting over them and pour the hot water in the middle. It's usually cold so I turn on the single burner stove.

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    Never seen one of these before, cool idea and thanks for the write up. Looks small and packable enough so it's not a burden.
    Last edited by OMark; 04-28-2017 at 01:37 PM.

  19. #19

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    Looks pretty flimsy... curious how long it may last. I like my black solar shower bag
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    That is actually rather nice and you could get one of those cheap draw string pouches for it and attach it to the outside of a bug out bag so as to not have to remove anything from it.

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