Running hot water
Now to explain how I have running hot water in my van conversion. I recommend reading my previous post first on my water system if you have not done so yet.
The water system in my van conversion.
To have running hot water in my van is a luxury to me, I don’t know what I would do without it.
I have purchased a propane instant hot water tank off eBay for £116. It runs on my 11kg gas bottle that is stored in the kitchen cupboard. When I turn the tap on for hot water or turn my shower on, the instant hot water tank turns on automatically and gives me hot water near enough straight away.
These tanks are not designed to be used in small environments such as a van and it is not recommended. But as long as it is ventilated and has a gas flue to the outside of the van then I don’t see what harm can be done.
I am explaining how I have installed mine. I am not saying this is the correct or incorrect way of installing one in a van conversion.
I’m going to install it above my kitchen near the double back doors.
2. Fixing to wall
Before fixing it to the wall with screws I glued heat shield material to the wall where the tank will go.
2. Exhaust flue
I used a Truma roof flue that I purchased off eBay £22. I sprayed the flue black to try and blend it in with the roof rack.
On the roof of the van above the tank, I cut a 87mm hole for the flue to slot in and sealed around with black sealant.
Inside the van, I had to cut a hole in the wooden tongue and groove roof for the flue to come through.
I connected the hot water tank to the exhaust flue with a flexbile gas pipe. Idealy I needed a 90mm wide pipe but could only find 80mm or 100mm…so I went with 100mm and tightend with jubillee clips.
3. Connecting water and gas
I used a 1/2″ BSP to 8mm Brass Female Barb Hose Tail at the end of each pipe that connected underneath the tank. Tightened with Jubilee clips.
The hot water outlet pipe goes to the kitchen tap and the other one goes to the shower connection.
I used a garden hose water lock connection at the end of the pipe. The reason for this connection is so when I disconnect the shower from the connection the water will lock off and not come out.
I drilled a hole in the side of hot water tank cupboard for the connection to fit in and have easy access from the outside.
The connection has been glued in the hole so it will not fall out.
For the shower head and hose to connect to the water lock connection I had to use a 1/2 to 3/4 inch BSP male nipple thread.
5. Cupboard and shelf
To finish the hot water tank off I made it into a cupboard so you cannot see the tank and build shelves next to it for more storage above the kitchen area.
On the sides of the cupboard, I added air vents so it could breathe a lot better inside.
6. Rattling problem
When driving around the hot water tank was making a horrible rattling noise and it was unbearable to drive around with. I needed to open the tank to find the problem.
Once the tank was opened up by unscrewing it I found the problem. One of the heat shields was bent inside and when I was driving it was rattling against other parts inside. To fix the problem I just simply bent the shield away from other parts of the tank. Problem solved.