A "donkey" for hot water!

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A "donkey" for hot water!

Postby Roostew » Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:28 am

Hi folks, don't know if it's been suggested before but I have noticed some people need a decent hot water supply while camping. The cheapest solution may be a "donkey", no, not to cart your water, and it don't eat hay either! I am not sure where it originates from but I think Australia, and has been used by outback cattlemen, campers etc. for umm....donkey's years! It's simply a tank like a sainless steel beer keg/barrel, with a piece of 1 1/2" pipe welded in the top, which extends down (inside) almost to the bottom of the tank, with a metal funnel at the top of the pipe. You fill it via the funnel, and the end of the pipe should be about 3-4 inches off the botttom so water flows in unobstructed. The water needs some place to get out, so you need to drill a hole in the side at the top of the drum/barrel and fit a few inches of pipe with an elbow on the end of it. This pipe should be of slightly larger diameter. The elbow is a good idea, as it makes the water flow directly downwards and doesn't shoot staight out. Just fill it up, light your campfire "right" alongside, and an hour or so later you will have hot water. Every time you get some water out you are topping it up. Metal fittings should be available to eliminate the need for any welding from a plumbing supplies shop.I hope this is of help to some. Jim.
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Donkey Boiler

Postby Alfred » Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:49 am

Hey Jim!

I was trying to picture it, so I googled Donkey Boiler, there are a lot of pix, here's a small one, that can double as a cooker, too.
Image

This one is interesting, too.
Image

Here's another variation:
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AL in Asheville :thumbsup:
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Postby bobhenry » Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:54 am

So why do you need all the plumbing and piping if you are simply warming the tank near the fire ?

In boy scouts ( a hundred years ago) our scout master made a thermo siphon system with a new 15 gallon garbage can a couple fittings and 10 - 15 feet of coil copper tubing. The fittings were installed thru the sides of the garbage can ,one low and one high (above the fill line) and the copper tube was routed into and out of the fire. As the cold water from the bottom fitting was heated it perculated back into the can and in about 45 minutes to an hour you had hot water. :thumbsup:
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Postby Roostew » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:42 am

Hi fella's, I think there's a couple of variations. The purpose of the pipe reaching almost to the bottom, as far as I know, is the cold water being poured into it, forces the hot water upwrds, and the thing is, you're topping it up as you take some out. The purpose of the short pipe with dwnwrd elbow is so you can hang your 2nd bucket on it to fill up while you're pouring water in. Hot water on tap.....sorta! The guy who told me about them's a plumber, so I thought he knew what he was talking about. We were drinking at the time (not water) and I'd believe anything when I've had a few! I've never used one, but plan to make "something?" that heats via campfire so we can shower easily.... think I might do something like the one in Alfred's pic's so we can use it as a crab/crayfish cooker with a fire underneath. A couple of pieces of pipe welded into a beer keg wouldn't take long if you had the materials and tools etc. Just thought I'd give them a mention......the name made me chuckle! I have to build something for us to camp in first though!
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Postby bobhenry » Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:13 pm

Ah Ha

It's kinda like a checking account (money in to take money out) !

You have to put cold water in to take hot water out. Pouring in the cold water displaces the hot and causes it to exit the overflow.

Makes more sense now. :thumbsup:
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