This is my method of producing hot water at remote locations. The flexible water container conforms to the contour of my vehicle. The dark coloured metal absorbs heat over a wide area and conducts it to the water. The water receives direct solar gain and heat conducted from a wider area. During the day I sometimes move the container to a hot spot. I sometimes have to add cold water to the container when it becomes too hot to bathe in. I average more than one bath per day using this system.
I also heat water that is dumped on work shirts. These shirts are wrung out and worn as swamp coolers.
On colder days or when I have to drive to the job late in the day, I use heat built up in the engine to heat the water. This is good for about 2 gallons without solar help. When I want lots of hot water and I arrive early, both methods are used.
An insulating blanket captures and holds heat from the engine.
Whenever the water heater is inside the engine compartment, I attach my keys to the Chrysler symbol so that I don't forget to remove the water and cover. It would make a real mess with all of the belts and the fan.
i am actually considering moving into a camper van myself so if you dont mind me asking, do you live in your van?
if so, do you try growing any of your food in or on the van?
The van and jobsites are my primary home. I consider the van as my bedroom and the world as my livingroom and urinal. Not a poverty thing. I've made my living in a transient fashion for years. Bought property and other assets.
I grew sprouts once and several bananas have gone mouldy. That and some mildew is the extent of my van farming.
awesome, im really getting attached to the idea of living in a van myself, i dont have any dependents to take care of other than my dog so i think a van would be a great option for me, and personally i dont see why it would have to be a poverty thing as you stated, as for van farming, ive been considering potentially a roof garden if applicable to the situation and perhaps some vines along the sides to help with thermal retention in winter and cooling in the summer, plus a potential food crop
if you dont mind i may post up a question if one pops into my mind on specifics of life in a van, however the only potential downside ive seen so far (as far as how it works for me at this point in my life) is that i might not have an address of my own to have things sent to, but that is of course possible to work around:)