Hot water--do I really need it?

Hi all, 1st time poster… Hot water–really worth the space???
I’ll be converting a sprinter or pro master van.
I am not putting in a shower or toilet (just a luggable loo and double doodie system)
I’ve used a Nemo helio shower system for camping and it worked fine. I’ll use it outside as needed in a pinch.

So do I really need hot water for my kitchen? I will prep all my food, and have to clean dishes. My old RV’s hot water worked only intermittently. I don’t love washing dishes in cold water but it seems like it will take lot of space.

I do plan on having 120v and a cooktop.

Thanks in advance
Colleen B

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I feel like this depends on the person. Some people need more than others to feel comfortable or to make their van feel like a home. I would try traveling without it if you think you can get by. You can always add it later. It’s a little harder to un-buy a hot water heater :wink:

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We’ve never had any except in our first van where it was integrated with the van’s coolant system. It’s easy enough to just boil a pot if you need it for something. Depending on where you are at, a camp shower is great as you can just fill it up with whatever water is nearby, leave it out and come back to the camp site and take a hot shower.

The only times I wish we had a hot water heater were a few freezing days when we just wanted a hot shower.

Still there was never a time when I felt like we were missing something or at a loss because we did not have one.



I use trigger spray bottles for my sinks & other cleaning tasks, and a weed sprayer for a manually powered shower. I have the weed sprayer & a couple of the trigger spray bottles painted black, and just sit them in a window getting sun for free hot water. If that isn’t available, it’s easy enough to just heat some on my stove.

A friend built a box on his roof, covered with plexi-glass, with a black coiled hose inside, for power free hot water.

For me, being water frugal makes the most sense, which is why I choose to not have a water pump or running water. I find the trigger spray bottles to be very convenient, and can be used indoors or outdoors without duplication. The same is true for my portable weed sprayer shower, toilet, and it’s enclosure.


"Be the reason someone smiles today!" ~ Van_Dweller

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