Joolca HOTTAP V2 Nomad Kit. Is it worth the price?

dbhost

Active member
So the features of the Joolca HOTTAP V2 are pretty impressive. Especially the on demand ignition, which can be done from within the Joolca Ensuite single or double with the shower plumbing, very awesome to say the least easier than using my Zodi hot tap, and again magnitudes easier to do than heating water on the stove, mixing it in a bucket, and spraying it with a battery camp shower, which honestly does work well, just a bit more effort...

The question then, is, in the ease of operation of the HOTTAP V2 Nomad kit worth the price of admission as it were. The current advertised price of $429.00 seems a bit of a bitter pill to swallow. Is the momentary pain of the price actually worth the function?

How long are the hoses? Does the privy tent need to be close to the kitchen (eww). What about the off grid water pickup? How long is the hose? Does it work well?
 

Verkstad

Raggarkung
That 429$ thing is expensive, but as ready made plug n play kit, I dont think outrageous for what it consists of.
Dunno what Joolca heater alone sells for. But Eccotemp L5 heater is basically identical but in a different paintjob sell around 120$. Add a suitable pump 50-70$. Unless you have a shed full of misc. hardware, Maybe 100$ for hoses, wiring, stand, tub, etc. You may end up with 300$-ish cheezy homebrew version of what Joolca sells at 429$
But diy has some advantage.
Maybe you want a bigger washtub? Or a big pump to push water considerable distance ?
 
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dbhost

Active member
I REALLY like the Joolca because it basically lights the fire on the heat exchanger on demand. I already have a Zodi hot tap, and it works fine, but if your water temp is below about 55 deg F, you REALLY need to recirculate water in the bucket to have an enjoyable hot shower. And paid for beats $429.00 any day of the week but there is so much more going on with the Joolca...

I personally am going to keep rocking my Zodi until it dies a miserable death unless I somehow miraculously win their drawing for a free Joolca HOTTAP V2 Nomad kit.

The plusses are very nice though. Good ability to obtain water from natural sources (pump). Although I would prefer pumping through a filter to insure no nasties are in that said water....
There is the sink faucet, a very nice homey touch well off the beaten path. The in the privy tent controlled shower, again a very at home touch. Sink with drying racks, very nice....

It packages everything VERY nicely...
 

dbhost

Active member
Would love to see integration with hydronics for space heating

and / or a diesel for an alternative burner
Alternative burners for an on demand water heater would absolutely get my interest a LOT more in the price tag. However I must admit I am more interested in Regular Unleaded Gas, however I totally get the interest in diesel...

Looking around, honestly, aside from the stand, and some spit and polish as it were, not a lot of difference between the HOTTAP and the Camplux 5L with the pump kit, and about double the price tag...
 

dbhost

Active member
If there is any difference in longevity or reliability, worth every penny.

Won't know for a while though
The reviews of the Joolca are beyond good with one exception I saw where the plastic tub from the Nomad kit broke. Honestly at that price tag I fully expect Joolca should take care of any issues for a considerable time frame...

The HOTTAP V2 I don't think has been on the market long enough to have any clue as to longevity, the 5L has been avaialble through Amazon since 2018, so it has some history. Aside from some with initial quality problems under warranty, they seem to be fairly reliable...

My bigger question would be however the advantages / disadvantages of each.

5L Advantages:
1. Lower cost. $219.00 for heater unit, base plumbing kit and pump.
2. Established history with this device.
3. No proprietary connections / plumbing.

5L Disadvantages:
1. Must be hung to operate.
2. Pump must be powered externally. This is no small issue.
3. Included plumbing is insanely short. 5' segments. Not really useful.
4. No quick connects for the plumbing.

HOTTAP V2 Advantages: Closest comparable kit is the HOTTAP V2 Outing kit. This includes...
1. Stand legs that elevate the heater off the ground.
2. Quick Connect adapters for gas (could be good, could be dangerous, not sure).
3. Quick connectors for hot and cold plumbing.
4. Self contained water pump, with off grid kit, featuring 2 stage water filtration, so pulling river / lake water isn't quite so risky.
5. Ensuite plumbing shower kit. This is a HUGE bonus for me.

HOTTAP V2 Disadvantages:
1. Considerably higher cost. By $150.00. HOWEVER, if I had to buy the pieces to make them equal the price would likely come close to evening out.
2. Considerably shorter time on market. No real history to know anything about reliability.

Disadvantage to both:
1. Mandatory running off of bulk propane tanks with regulator hose. WIll not function off of 1lb cylinder. Not an issue if you are running off of 20lb tanks, but something to consider if you are using mostly gasoline, white gas, or diesel.

Assuming the durability / support / warranty is there, I am leaning heavily to the HOTTAP...
 
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cstamm81

Adventurer
I own the whole kit, plus their double shower enclosure. The quality of the whole setup is what I would expect for the price. I don't like the blue plastic sink, it is fairly brittle and getting everything back inside of it is a small hassle. The biggest issue is the setup, it takes a bit of time to set everything up and then pack it all away again, and you have water inside the hoses, heater, and shower head. The pump compliments to flow of the shower well. I'm planning on semi - permanently mounting the heater in the bed of my pickup, with the pump and PEX drawing water from multiple Scepter water cans. It will make using it 10 times faster.
 

dbhost

Active member
I own the whole kit, plus their double shower enclosure. The quality of the whole setup is what I would expect for the price. I don't like the blue plastic sink, it is fairly brittle and getting everything back inside of it is a small hassle. The biggest issue is the setup, it takes a bit of time to set everything up and then pack it all away again, and you have water inside the hoses, heater, and shower head. The pump compliments to flow of the shower well. I'm planning on semi - permanently mounting the heater in the bed of my pickup, with the pump and PEX drawing water from multiple Scepter water cans. It will make using it 10 times faster.
I am thinking set up and leave set up the Ensuite plumbing kit in my Ensuite Double.

Figure out a way to support the faucet to service the sink in my Cabelas Deluxe Campers Kitchen.

No intention to use the blue tub other than as a means to carry the gear.
 

kerner

New member
I've been seriously considering picking one up for use with our teardrop. Would probably carry the whole thing bundled into the bed of my truck, but want to set up further away from camp to avoid issues with the kids and mud.
 

dbhost

Active member
I've been seriously considering picking one up for use with our teardrop. Would probably carry the whole thing bundled into the bed of my truck, but want to set up further away from camp to avoid issues with the kids and mud.
I don't have younguns as it were, to worry about with mud, HOWEVER, something I want to mention is any privy setup should always be downslope of the main tent and kitchen area to prevent shower runoff and mud issues in the primary space.

Since posting this thread, I have pondered, gone over my options, reviewed my budget and come to the determination that at least for now, the Joolca HOTTAP is out of my budget if I want to keep going with the rebuild on the truck. So instead I am opting for the following...

#1. Setting up a custom ensuite plumbing system made up of 3/8 hi temp silicone tubing, pressure washer quick disconnects, hose barb adapters and clamps, the clamps will be wrapped with Coaxial Cable weather seal tape to prevent the loose ends from damaging the ensuite, or the people.
#2. The other end of the Quick Disconnects will go to either my Zodi battery shower pump, OR my Zodi Hot Tap Instant Hot shower. How much space for gear and fuel do I want to consume? The shower stuff is getting carried to site in an upcycled former cat litter box / tub / bucket thing that I thoroughly washed, and painted the bucket and the lid gloss black to absorb heat from solar energy. I have a second bucket receiving the same treatment. The buckets get filled, and left in the sun in the morning, left to heat up all day, at night we either leave it be, add hot, or add cold water to adjust the shower temp. Drop the pump in and spray away our filthy day!
#3. For dish / hand wash water, I have 2 solar shower bags. I will fill / set them out to heat in the morning, and if need be, heat some of it to raise the temp even further on the stove. For now I am using my Coleman PackAway camp kitchen, not the Cabelas Deluxe, due to space issues, so I will use the Coleman folding double washbasin that I wish I hadn't bought. I should have bought those pop up silicone folding basins instead. The Coleman is PVC and will likely crack and break in the cold.

Having said that, down the road after the truck rebuild is done, new engine is happy, and I am onto the custom truck cap camper build, I will likely design in propane stowage and plumbing, allowing for the Joolca. Still not enough room with a 6.5 foot bed camper for a shower so we still use the Ensuite, just convert to the Joolca plumbing at that time, and integrate the HOTTAP into my design. Probably do a 270 degree awning, with the Ensuite set up close to the front of the truck, and kitchen effectively against the side of the truck bed. Not sure about those details yet...

The goal here is to be able to travel, and take care of not just the necessities, but the nice things in life with a minimum of hassle over, while not extreme, but definately 4x4 required and recovery gear highly recommended terrain such as Padre Island National Seashore, or a winter trip say to Chivo Falls in Arizona, or maybe a jaunt in the off season to Hunters camps in the Sam Houston National Forest... That sort of thing... I'm looking at going off grid and on trail, but needing to stay within 4G network space to keep working, not exactly planning on full timing, but wanting to do some work camping so I can get to those places and see beautiful things thus extending vacation days while still being professionally productive.
 
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