Review of Coleman Portable Water Heater

Enjoying the luxury of hot water in the woods or at sea

Coleman Hot Water on Demand Water Heater
Rating: (4.0 out of 5 stars)

Type of HeaterPropane Tank
Size / Capacity5 Gallon
Dimensions20 x 20 x 13 inches

Coleman Portable Water Heater

Having hot water during camping trips is difficult if you don’t have a portable water heater. Among the brands in the market today that provide you with this luxury is the Coleman Hot Water-On-Demand Portable Water Heater. It comes with a five (5) gallon water container that can be collapsed, a pump battery that can be recharged, and the pump/heater unit. This outdoor water heater produces hot water in five seconds.

Review Details

The unit is a great help during cooking, washing dishes, showers, and even making hot drinks while out in the woods or in your boat. It has a built-in igniter that allows you to turn water on and off depending on your needs, and has a spout that conveniently swings out. A single Coleman 16.4 oz. propane cylinder, together with a single pump battery charge, can heat 40 gallons of water.

If you prefer to have hot water flow continuously, there is a water hose adapter (available separately) that can be attached to the 5-gallon collapsible container. Other accessories you may wish to purchase are spray adapter to be used for showers, a carry case to keep everything in one place, and a bulk propane adapter for propane tank use.

The good

The following factors make the Coleman Hot Water-On-Demand Portable Water Heater a good choice:

  • Price
    It is easy on the budget at $200 – $220 online.
  • Compact
    No bigger than a small cooler, the unit is easy to carry around during trips.
  • Variable temperature control
    Temperature can easily be set (from scalding hot to cold) at a turn of the dial and works very similar to the water tap found in the house albeit at a very low pressure.
  • Fuel adaptable
    The unit uses a propane cylinder for portability, but with an adapter (which you buy separately) you can use a larger propane tank as fuel.
  • Good customer service
    Most have commended Coleman’s customer service for prompt action to complaints, including replacement of defective parts even after years of usage.

The not so good

There is one overwhelming factor going against this Coleman portable water heater:

  • Short life
    The supplied batteries require charging every night (for 8-9 hours); otherwise, the internal charger will not function. The life of the battery is at most two hours. When the unit reaches low battery level, the water becomes cold almost instantly and the unit shuts down. It is highly advised that you purchase replacement batteries at the time of purchase. Also check available sources for batteries because these are always out of stock at Coleman’s and will require months of waiting.
    As one owner pointed out, the battery is standard 6 volt lead acid battery (#645 IIRC). The unit also works with an external 6 volt battery charger. He even pointed out if you have a 4 “D” battery holder, you can plug this to the battery leads for alternative power source, and that you can bypass the lead acid battery if you have a 6 volt DC lead that plugs into the car and into the Coleman battery leads to get direct power.

Our Verdict

The Coleman Hot Water-On-Demand Portable Water Heater meets the demands of a typical camper at a very affordable price.
To ensure that you get more life out of the portable heater, ensure that the potable water source runs parallel or below the unit when it’s pumping water. Also, completely drain the feed line after using the unit.

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