Reviewer Photos & Videos
My Smarttek Black not a set and forget system
I purchased the unit on 20.03.21 prior to our yearly Easter camping trip with a large group of friends.
I set it up on the first day using the Winter mode with the water set to the start of the first notch off minimum and the gas dial centred on the first notch off minimum. The ambient water temperature at camp ranged from 10-14 degrees depending on the time during the day. These settings gave a continuous shower at around 38-40 degrees with a water flow just under 4 l/m.
This was perfect and how I expected the unit to perform. I taped the di...als so they couldn't be changed. Unfortunately you can't leave these settings for the next shower as they may or may not work. Often using these settings the unit would run to around 30 degrees, then flame out (not wind effected) and the temperature would drop back to the ambient temp. During the week at camp I spoke to Smarttek support nearly every day trying to find a solution but none was forthcoming. The batteries supplied with the unit were blamed because according to their records my unit must have sat on the Tent World shelf for 6 months before I bought it. I purchased a new set of batteries that gave a reading of 3.23v in standby and 3.07v under load. This wasn't good enough, so the next set of new batteries hit the magically number of 3.1v under load but these made no difference to the performance of the unit. Last week I made a video of the unit flaming out as described above and sent it to Smarttek. The promised next day return phone call never happened. Having wasted $498 (heater, stand and filter set) on this unit, I decided maybe it could be used for hot water in the camp kitchen. I tested it to see how hot it could get under the full gas setting and was surprised to see it pass the 55 degree max. setting and hit 60 degrees before I switched it off (photo attached). I'm sure this is outside the gas regulations requirements for a hot water service and just shows how irregular the gas solenoid valve and temperature sensing controls are with these units. Even though the unit was DOA over the counter at Tent World I was denied a refund or replacement and have been left to deal with Smarttek directly.
Purchased in March 2021 at Tentworld Physical store for $498.00.
Great service, great attitude
Purchased camper trailer 2nd hand and hws would not work when I first went to use it. Obviously, previous owner had never used as it was plumbed up wrong and would never work as was.
Customer Service rep got me going quick smart. Great attitude to assisting the customer
Unit provides huge amounts of hot water for luxurious showers when camping
Purchased in January 2020 for $299.00.
This Awesome can’t live without while I’m out and about camping
Loving my smarttek hot water system had for near 5 year. We enjoy hot water at every camp trip for showers and doing dishes (don’t even have to boil the kettle it save heaps of time) I just use water out of water system. Every time I’m camping a least two ask to have look and and tell and show them.
Purchased in August 2016.
Great customer service
This is an excellent easy to use hot water system. We had a minor problem with heating and contacted Smartek. Greg promptly identified the issue and had it fixed within minutes. Amazing customer service and amazing product. Highly recommend this hot water system as it is reliable and so is the Company that makes it.
Purchased in February 2020 for $349.00.
Cheaply manufactured bad experience.
The smartek 4.3lt black hot water system was offered as an option with the purhase of our camper. After we unpacked it all, read the instructions, set it up and turned it on it leaked inside.
After pulling down found a rubber seal had been crushed and copper tube extracted poorly and out of shape.
After seeing photos said they would replace it with a new unit.
After going to the trouble of sending it back they just replaced seal and sent it back.
Probably stuff up again after warranty runs out. Not a happy camper
Purchased in December 2020.
We bought ours 5 months ago and only had 1 issue which was the filter needed cleaning but the guys at the call centre were fabulous and talked us through it. Love it and do recommend it. I don't buy things unless I read up on the products and im certainly glad we bought it. Couldn't be happier with this system and the technicians.
Purchased in October 2020 at Tentworld.
After sales service is non existent
The unit only works intermittently and temperature fluctuates wildly. Emailed Smarttek with my concerns and was ignored. Should have paid a bit extra and gone with Joolca, which had been my initial plan. Sadly, I was swayed by the reviews I’d read online.
Purchased in December 2020 for $349.00.
We took our home with us!
My wife and I wanted to get away from the metro life of Melbourne for a bit, grabbed a Smarttek Black, Stand, Tent and a few other bits and bobs, once at camp my wife wouldn't stop talking about how great the hot shower is, definitely a great product, I would reccomend and my wife heavily does too.
Purchased in August 2020 at Tentworld Physical store for $349.00.
This is what I was looking for!
I went camping a few weeks ago with some friends and I had a hot shower under their portable hot water system, it really intrigued me, enough to purchase one and now use on my regular camping trips with my son! I am really happy with my system and even happier with my tripod stand, I couldn't believe this is something that actually exists!
Purchased in October 2020 at Snowys Outdoors for $349.00.
At last, hot water when camping!
I did my research against another popular brand and decided to go Smarttek Black with the 6lpm pump. It just had the edge over the other one. Tested it the other day and had no dramas at all. Can’t wait to go bush with it. We also bought the 5m shower hose.
Purchased in October 2020 at Snowys Outdoors Online store for $428.00.
No faith in this product.
From brand new out of the box this unit leaked water out of the housing and battery compartment.
I contacted technical support who gave me instructions over the phone to diagnose a blown "o" ring.
Not good for a unit that's never been used, fortunately I tested it before taking it camping otherwise I would have been very annoyed.
Purchased in October 2020 for $375.00.
I am sure it would be good if it worked - should have bought a joolca.
I bought the smarttek system because it was readily available. I wanted a joolca, but there wait times are extreme.
Since purchasing the smarttek I’ve had nothing but issues with it. Starting with finding plumbing/irrigation parts to fit the tiny hoses, to the fact that it won’t turn on at all and the pump won’t draw water (note: the pump has been installed and wired up by a professional auto electrician).
I rang smarttek for help. I spent a lot of energy and time sending them videos and pictures to only be messed around and they simply don...’t give any solutions or ring back. You leave voicemails, and they don’t return calls. On the off chance you ring and someone answers, they tell you someone else can help (they throw the word “engineer” in) and then you get a designated call back time and you wait around for that call and it never comes!!!!!! It’s infuriating. I am about ready to throw this unit in the bin and wait for a Joolca.
Purchased in August 2020.
the perfect hot water system for camping and washing up
This hot water system endures day in day out use on the farm or out camping by the creek with no issue! this is our second hot water system, the first one is hard mounted to our camping hut. Everything is straight forward and very easy to use. It heats up water hot even in winter temperatures recently using this camping in minus 2 degrees up at Barrington tops in the snow! when traveling it lives in the
Smarttek bag witch fits all our hoses and pumps perfectly :) we couldn't be happier with our purchase!
Purchased in March 2020 for $349.00.
OK Unit at best
The unit came with a Patriot Campers X1, which I was excited about. I decided not to go with the Webasto option on the X1 was a very expensive upgrade (for the price, my opinion). It came with the 5 metre hose so the idea was to be able to run this to the kitchen sink for washing dishes etc. as well as the shower functionality. I also needed the hot water to wash down Stand Up Paddle boards and other gear which after a trip had sunscreen and other greasy dirt on them before packing up and putting them away for a trip home.
I have played ext...ensively while out camping and have not been able to achieve a consistent temp. with this unit at all. It goes up to around 40 degrees after start up but then drops to lukewarm very quickly and even cold (you have to turn the water off and then re-start and once the pilot light ignites it starts the cycle all over again). On a couple of occasions while showering, I've been able to keep a constant lukewarm temp but certainly not even close to hot. It certainly doesn't get hot enough to wash dishes (without adding a kettle of boiling water to the sink) and isn't hot enough to clean off greasy or sunscreen covered camping gear. I figured that it was just the nature of these units until a couple of weeks ago on a camping trip, where some friends had a Joolca V1. I couldn't believe the hot water that came out of that unit and then decided to do some research and more experimenting with my Smarttek Black. I've read the manuals, been to the support website and looked at the online set-up videos etc. and everything I'm doing is text book but I still can't achieve hot water like it's supposed to be able to do. I have now rigged up a shield so that there will be no wind interference on the next trip. If that doesn't work, I will be considering other options. Unfortunately, I doubt it will. While testing here at home, at the highest gas setting and lowest water flow, it fluctuated between 28-32 degrees and there was no wind. I haven't been able to achieve this camping though.
Purchased in November 2018 for $349.00.
have had this for a couple of months and used it a few times already. Holds temperature well and hasn’t failed yet. Makes camping so much more enjoyable, especially for the missus. Now we can camp off grid comfortably for days on end. The kids love it that much they have even used it to shower in the back yard for fun. Great system out of the box and with the included water pump and accessories we could use it straight away without spending more money.
Purchased in July 2020 at Smarttek .
Bought this to replace my joolca v1 which been sold with our old caravan. The biggest issue I had with the joolca was flameout during breezy weather, other than that it was a decent device which was used for 2 years full time with mostly good results.
I bought this a couple months ago and fixed to the caravan in the exact same fashion. I find this things ability to bring water up to temperature joke, we run the winter setting, slowest water flow and highest gas flow just to get mains water to 45 degrees. You cant shower due to the ridiculously...slow flow rate and filling the tiny caravan sink takes what feels like years. Also whilst the joolca batteries went dead twice a year this has gone dead twice in as many months just sitting on standby. Rusting badly all over including gas lines. Mounting tabs extremely thin and will probably tear off if we ever hit a corrugated road.
Purchased in April 2020 at Tentworld Online store for $369.00.
Ok but not suited for what I wanted
Was using this unit in my mobile pet grooming van. It is easy to use and being able to adjust water flow and temperature easily is great. When it works it is great but the unit cannot be mounted and was sold to me with the technical staff knowing this was its purpose.
The staff at Smarttek helpline were professional but I feel they lacked knowledge about the new addition to thier line and specifically how (or if) it should be mounted. The general manager and helpline staff provided conflicting information on this. Information in the specifications should reflect the required back clearances.
All up I'm sure it's a good product, however this experience has left a sour taste in my mouth.
Purchased in August 2019 for $329.00.
This is a really great system
Perfect for the dogs and horses, the wife loves it aswell!!! Great functionality and easy to use With all the quick connects, the longer hose is highly recommended, have been pumping out of a local creek for washing up and showers without fault.
Purchased in January 2019 at eBay for $349.00.
Great unit & customer support.
Once you are used to how it operates it works very well. Hot water is terrific considering the starting temp is 4 degrees lately. Ease of use & great support from the team.
Purchased in August 2018 for $290.00.
Great unit, perfect for our setup
Works extremely well, have had no issues.
Have purchased some of the accessories which are great.
Good to know there is tech support available with any operating issues.
A must for any camp or 4wd setup.
Purchased at Smarttek for $385.00.
Questions & Answers
I purchased a hybrid camper last year brand new and with it came a smarttek portable hot water unit. What is the warranty timeline as I am having issues with the plastic compartment the batteries are housed in as it won’t shut tightly. Should I return it back to where I bought the camper and get it replaced?
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