When we were planning our trip to travel around Australia, We knew we had to have a built-in camping shower. But this was new to us. We researched many options before starting our build. At the time it was hard to find a good review on the Duoetto.
Now that we have been using the water heater for a while, we thought we would put together a review.
A dedicated camping shower is a fantastic addition for any long-term traveller who needs some conveniences. But who doesn’t want to be limiting when planning to be off-grid.
Gas Hot Water Heater Systems
We discovered that these systems used far too much water, although gas is very efficient in energy. Water circulates while the device heats up as it reaches temperature.
We compared the two leading brands and discovered that they all used a significant amount of water while showering, even on the lowest setting.
Of course, if you have a water source and a pump, this isn’t an issue. However, if you’re drawing only from your fresh water tank, which we usually are, you’ll deplete your supply rapidly. H
Electric Camper Showers
As we decided not to have gas in our van, we decided to go for the Duoetto MK2. The main reason for adopting an electric storage system was the massive decrease in water usage.
While the Duoetto water heater doesn’t use much water, it does take longer to heat up. However, we were very impressed with the overall performance of this device.
It cost less than half the price of other camping showers while still providing a practical showering experience.
We installed the hot water system in our garage, under our bed. It is tucked away, but we are still able to access it if needed. The water pump is installed up under the van.
About Duoetto MK2
The Duoetto MkII is Australian designed and has an automatic sensor that allows the unit to switch to 12V when you are not connected to a power source, allowing the Duoetto to provide ample hot water while off-grid in your campervan or camper trailers.
The MK2 has a few upgrades on the older version, and it’s designed to give the water heater even greater longevity than the original,
The upgrades include:
- An Incoloy 840 heating element gives superior corrosion resistance and is designed for optimum use in extreme environments and temperatures.
- A single weld line tank for a sturdier construction reduced water leakage and extended product life.
- Polyurethane insulation to maintain temperatures and reduce energy consumption. This is an environmentally harmonious CFC-free material.
- SPCC steel and enamel tank for improved corrosion resistance
- Digital temperature control for ease of management and readability, fully adjustable from 30-70 deg C
The Duoetto MK2, which is perfect for motorhomes, campervans and caravans. The unit current draw is a tiny 4.2 amps at 240V (1000w) and 25 amps at 12v (300w), the 409 x 262 x 267mm.
Duoetto MK2 additional features:
- Manufactured to Australian Standard AS/NZS 3350.1.1:2002 and with WaterMark certification to Australian Standard AS/NZS 3498:2009
- An adjustable thermostat on 240V up to 75o
- An outer case that is sturdy and has service and inspection points.
- The water heater connects to a 12V DC power supply meaning there is no need for a generator, inverter or 240V power supply.
- Integrated magnesium sacrificial anode protects against galvanic corrosion and extends the life of the water heater.
- Thermal cutout.
- hot water outlet
- Over-heat protection.
- Combination brass pressure relief valve.
- Warranty 12 months.
How to Operator the Hot Water Tank
The Duoetto MKII camp shower’s most significant advantage is its simplicity of use. The duoetto mk2 installation process is very simple. Gas systems almost always need ventilation, as well as a water connection. Connecting the plumbing with the Duoetto water heater is straightforward.
We wired the 12-volt power leads to a switch that allows us to turn it on/off from inside the van to turn on the unit.
The unit has a display to show you the current temperature. You can run a new temperature display into your van cabinets for easy viewing for an additional cost.
Once the hot tank is on, it will take roughly 20 mins to heat up to around 40 degrees. In our case, we use a water pump to push the water from the tank to our bathroom and kitchen sink.
TIP: make sure to connect a hose to the pressure relief valve and route the water outside.
A Downside of Choosing Electric
The disadvantage of electric systems is their high power consumption. The Duoetto MKII consumed roughly 30A on 12V. It would take approximately 20 minutes to warm up, which is a loss of 20A from your battery bank.
If you’re on a driving day, it’s easy to switch the system on an hour before you arrive at camp, and you’ll likely end the day with both a full battery bank and a full tank of hot water.
When you’re enjoying a place off-grid for several days without driving, you may need to be mindful of this power usage. We have 2 x 200 amp solar king lithium batteries and plenty of solar, but there are still times when we need to be careful.
We also chose to have an electric cooktop, so we need to be extra cautious.
However, we are yet to have any issues with 400 amp hrs battery usage, and we’re comfortable with getting through a week+ of vanife life without needing to top up via the car or 240v.
Running it on 240v
The Duoetto MKII can also run on 240V. You will need at least a 1,000W inverter; ours is a Victron 3000W unit. The heat-up time is quicker when on 240V, so it’s a handy option if you forget to switch the system on earlier.
TIPS FOR CONSERVING WATER
The Duoetto MKII caters for two people; you could wash a whole family. You might need a break between each person for the system to re-heat.
We’ve found that this system uses much less water, but you still need to be a savvy camper if you don’t want your tanks empty. So we’ve fitted a low flow head with a trigger, so it only takes one quick wet down and soap up before turning off or rinsing off any soap and shampoo – which saves more than enough for when all else fails!
We prefer to remain off-grid and have a 110L tank in our camper, so being conscious of water is very important. However, you can heat the tank to 70 degrees, so when you mix it with your cold, you end up with a fair bit of water.
The Luxury of a Hot Shower
While wet wipes or a hot towel can undoubtedly make you feel comfortable, but there’s nothing like a hot shower to make you feel incredible while you’re out exploring.
The Duoetto MKII plays a big part in our vanlife comfort, and it’s one of the first things we turn on after unpacking.
And if you’re headed to a colder climate, or don’t want to miss out on those hot showers as the weather gets colder, then you’ll be happy knowing that this Duoetto MK2 will do the job.
Duoetto MK2 is a quality, dependable heater that will keep you warm and cozy on those cold winter nights. Its lightweight and compact design make it easy to take with you wherever your adventures may lead. I would recommend this product for anyone looking for an affordable, 12-volt camper heater!
Make sure to also check out how we built our campervan bathroom to get the full rundown