Here it is, our first review, the product that made us even consider doing reviews in the first place. No other product has made us so confident in being able to recommend it, I can guarantee you that if you were to go and buy one of these, you will be supremely happy with it.
So without further adieu, it is none other then our Joolca HotTap!
If you have been following for some time, you know that we simply cannot live with out our HotTap, yes, we are completely spoiled now, we have travelled first class and no sir, we will not go back to economy!
Matt agonised over finding just the right Hot Water System (HWS) for our needs, as he always does, he spent literally over a year researching and trialling as many as he could.
Please note – we should mention here that this is not a sponsored post – we paid full price for our Hot Tap. Right – we’ve got that out of the way, so carry on now 🙂
There were a few criteria
- Had to be gas (bush camping)
- Had to be instant and endless (with this many kids, a HWS that took 20mins to heat up and stopped to cool down or something silly after every 2mins was just never going to work)
- Had to be easy to use (see above comment about a large number of little people)
- Had to be very, very portable (space is always a limiting factor with, again, lots of kids)
- Had to be safe (ahhhh, yeah….. kids)
Matt had in his head this crazy notion that we would have something “just like home”, you know, turn on a tap and hot water comes out…..yes crazy I know. You wouldn’t believe how complicated this really was once he started looking into the options out there.
There were HWS that required the use of an air compressor, a fire, a minimum of 2 x 10L buckets, 12v power socket within reach of the shower tent (yes, thats right, turn the electricity on with wet hands while standing in a puddle……)
Then along came the Joolca HotTap. Matt is an avid poster over at MySwag.com, a fantastic resource for the DIY Camper Trailer owner, and it was here that he was introduced to the HotTap
So let me try and explain the operation of the HotTap as best I can……
Step 1: Get Undressed
Step 2: Get in the shower tent (Step 1 and 2 are interchangeable depending on present company, step 2 can also be skipped if you wish)
Step 3: Turn on the shower head (note, this is nothing more then a tap, no electricity, simply a tap that allows the flow of water through the shower head.)
stay with me……..
Step 4: Begin singing your favourite song as you enjoy a never ending hot shower.
Yeah, its that good.
There are 2 key components to the HotTap that allow it to be so simple. A water flow sensor, and an automatic ignighter.
It works like this, when you open the tap on the shower head, the water begins to flow through the unit, when this happens, the sensor opens the gas flow and begins the igniter (tiktiktitkitktitki….whoosh!) and thats it. Turn the shower head off and the gas shuts off. Voodoo magic
Set up is simple, hang up the HotTap normally on a branch of some sort (It even has a very convenient big hangy-uper-er-handle), connect the Gas, the water inlet(cold) and the water outlet(hot) and you are done!
The inlet can be any water source you like as long as it has some pressure, so use it at home plugged into your everyday garden hose, or at the secluded log cabin in the hills connected to your water tank or, as we use it, attached to a 12v diaphragm pump, sucking water from the creek/dam/bucket/camper water tank, neighbouring caravan whilst they are asleep…………………….
Actually just on that, part of what makes our shower set up so great, is the diaphragm pump. It works hand in hand with the HotTap because when the shower head tap is opened, these pumps detect the drop in pressure and start up, this of course creates the water flow through the HotTap that initiates the gas solenoid and igniter, and when the shower head tap is closed, the pump stops automatically, along with the HotTap.
This set up truly is amazing, yet simple, compact, and safe.
Put it this way, there is only one other item that we love more then the HotTap in our set up, and that is our 80L Waeco, and you know, that is not a fair fight, the Waeco keeps beer cold.
So far, every single time we have set the HotTap up, it has become the star attraction of the campsite, and just about every person who has seen it in action, has mentioned their intention to buy one.
Finally, you know that frustration you have with the world tending towards manufacturing rip off look-a-like products that really do look like what they say they are, but in the end really are just a pile of plastic and cheap aluminium that fails, EVERYTIME, and then no one wants to know about it and the warranty probably should have been written on a roll of sorbent?
Well, there are plenty of those look-a-like products like this on good ole ebay, but you simply will not buy better quality, or better service then Joolca. Let me tell you, the first HotTap we received had a small niggling intermittent issue (hey, things happen) well, a phone call to Bart at Joolca (note Bart is a human being, in Melbourne, part of this small Australian owned company, not a call centre robot) and before you know it, a replacement was on its way, this is before I’d even sent the old one back, you know why? Because I said to Bart that we were leaving in 1 week on a trip, so he shipped a new one to me and said “Send the old one back when you get time”!!!! We used to call this customer service, but there is a new definition for that now (hours on hold, call centre robot, promise the world and do nothing) I’m not sure what to call Joolca “customer service”……a miracle?
We love our Hot Tap soooooo much. Couldn’t do without it now, so everybody go out and buy one ok 😉