Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Coleman Hot Water on Demand Review

Update 1-24-10

Recently at my house, we had a hot water slab leak and we decided to go ahead and replace all the hot water lines in the house.  To make a long story short, the hot water was shut off for a week.  We used the the Coleman HWOD unit for the week and it preformed flawlessly.  The key was to keep the unit inside (when not in use) or covered and warm.  We must have pumped over 200 gallons of water without fail.  I have changed my recommendation to 4 stars.  My only complaint, is the dial knob seems to stick sometimes and make temperature adjustment difficult.

In an earlier review, I raved about the BAL Light Trailer leveler.  At this point, I cannot say the same thing about the Coleman Hot Water Heater on Demand (CHWOD).

Coleman Hot Water Heater on Demand 1

The idea behind the Coleman Hot Water Heater on Demand is that you charge the lead acid battery overnight and attach a small propane bottle inside the unit; next, you drop the submersible pump in a bucket of water or the included collapsible water jug. A quick turn of the knob will light the burner and pump up water from the source and heat it to the desired temperature, if hot water is needed it can only be obtained by continually holding the knob to the hot side.

Coleman Hot Water Heater on Demand 4

Coleman states that you can enjoy up to 40 gallons of hot water, enough for you average camping trip.  Unfortunately, my use of the unit was less than ideal.  I kept running into a low battery condition after a few minutes of use.  Calls to Coleman customer support had them send me a new battery and then finally a new unit.  I will spare you the details, but over the course of four camping trips, the units have failed with the exception of one trip.

After reading more online reviews about the unit, I have found that if the unit is left out in the cold in high humidity conditions, you will get the low-level battery error.  When I camped at Bass Lake where the temperatures was near 100 degrees, the unit worked like a champion and without fail.

The jury is still out on this unit.  It is rather large and heavy and takes up a lot of space.   Cost is around $200 and for that price needs to work every time you turn the knob.  If you camp in a drier climate or can keep it he car our trailer between uses then this unit might fit the bill.  I have no problems with the water output or temperature of the water with the CHWOD. If the unit works as advertised then I would be the first one to give this a high rating, at this point I can only give it a two and a half stars.  I will post up some updates as I use it on future trips.

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