“It can’t be done” they told globally successful 12v/240v RV hot water innovator

Aussie Innovator Jay King with the new Duoetto MK2 water heater featuring digital readout

Aussie hot water engineer and RV enthusiast Jay King travelled the world listening to the hot water needs of RV enthusiasts and RV manufacturers and fitout specialists at caravan and camping shows in Asia. Europe, the US and his native Australasia.

“The market for RV, marine and camping manufacturers and DIY consumers was quickly getting more sophisticated. Even back then – in the early 2000s, way before the Covid RV local travel boom - people were starting to demand hot water for hygiene and comfort no matter where they were – things like showers, children washing, dish washing, food handling, pet washing.

“Just about everywhere I went - including to OEM dealer and DIY consumer shows, starting nearly 20 years ago - they would come up to me to ask if I could do a 12V version of our compact 240v Aqueous water heaters we had on the stand.”

“These tough little 6-litre and 10-litre Aqueous heaters, which we sell in thousands worldwide, were ideal in capacity and reliability for compact fitouts - in boats, caravans or under houses and in cupboards (where they are often used to provide immediate hot water at the end of long pipe runs).”

“But while they were globally successful in their intended roles, they were not what was needed by the RV industry for people travelling to remote places where there was no mains power. Dealers and consumers told me loud and clear they wanted 12V. So I wore out a lot of shoe leather trying to find an engineering solution that came up to our standards.”

“But everyone told me it flat out couldn’t be done – the amperage draw would be too high anyway and drain the boat or RV battery, which might have a capacity of, say, 140 amp hours. I set out to prove them wrong.”

Duoetto MK2 – “They told me it couldn’t be done”

“Yes, it would draw higher amperage than a 12v fridge, for example, which typically draws only 3.5 amps. But the point is the fridge draws that amperage every hour, whereas an ideal hot water design might draw 25 amps to provide showers for three people (10L) - but it would only need to do it for one hour. So the typical load per day was far less than a fridge.”

Jay’s determination and foresight (he is an avid RV enthusiast himself) led him eventually to an engineering partner without preconceptions who agreed to work with him to find out what was possible. Because no suitable standard elements were available, they made their own prototypes to test the ideal 12v hot water formulation (something that could bring water temperature up by a degree above ambient temperature every minute or so). This could be combined with 240v operation where available, to get the best of both worlds.

The result more than justified the investment. The original Duoetto 12v/240v released on to the market 15 years ago has joined the original Aqueous design in achieving combined sales exceeding 30,000 units, split among RV industry OEM manufacturers and fitout specialists, tradesmen and DIY enthusiasts.

Duoetto MK2

Duoetto is OEM with American Camper Shells and Van Works

And now AusJ Hot Water Solutions has introduced the Duoetto Mk2 offering selectable temperatures between 30-75 deg C (86-158F) so people can shower, wash, clean and enjoy abundant hot water whether mains power is available or not.

These latest versions feature a digital temperature control on the side of the heater, as well as remote control, if required. “Automatic sensors allow switching to 12V when mains power is not available, enabling the Duoetto to deliver ample hot water in remote areas such as campsites or on boats where mains power is unavailable, which is often is in large areas of major RV, marine and work vehicle markets” says Mr King.

The MK2 has a number of upgrades on the previous version, designed to give the new water heater even greater quality, durability and longevity than the original, which has become OEM equipment on major campers in Australia and in export markets including North America, South Africa, the UK, Europe, the Middle East and SE Asia because of its functionality and reliability in service over a wide range of use and climatic conditions. Upgrades include:

Duoetto (under left seat) compactly integrates into a layout from American Camper Shells and Van Works

Expanding distribution

AusJ’s customer base and distribution network is being steadily expanded. “We are still one of the very few out there with a 12v product and have maintained our standards and price advantage – we are half the cost of some less functional alternatives for OEM and DIY use. And we now have the runs on the board with nationally respected manufacturers who put their trust in our engineering.”

One is Californian RV specialist Mark Gibbs, who says his long-established (1971) business is “going mad” meeting demand from people who want to get away from the Covid pandemic. He has been an enthusiastic proponent of the Duoetto for more than a decade, fitting it OEM to the RVs produced by the American Camper Shells and Van Works company of which he is Managing Director.

“This product – and the backup they give it – is perfect for us. We use it in truck and lifestyle conversions, with just a 12v connection and simple set up. We install a one-hour timer to auto shutoff when the right temperature is attained, which is fine for us. We have used many of these for many years with very few issues. The backup is perfect.”

A similar experience with both Aqueous and Duoetto water heaters is recounted by the leading Australian mobile food, coffee van and promotional vehicle manufacturers, Bella Manufacturing, which explored all the options before selecting Australian engineered AusJ Hot Water Solutions to deliver outstanding versatility, hygiene and reliability to its mobile catering customers

Bella manufacturing uses Aqeuous and Duoetto water heaters as OEM equipment. From imaginative catering trollies, trucks and trailers, to full modular commercial kitchens, compact AusJ water heaters deliver top reliability and value for Bella Manufacturing

“The quality, value and reliability of these Australian-engineered AusJ products were what attracted us to them in the first place. Their performance has been continuously borne out in years of service since,” says Bella Manufacturing’s National Sales and Operations Manager, Warren Holland.

“Wherever our fitouts are used– which is right across the country, from pop-up eateries in the CBD to robust large-scale commercial catering facilities in converted shipping containers or custom-made trucks and trailers in the Outback – having reliable hot water on tap is vital to our customers’ uninterrupted profitable uptime and hygiene, including hand and dish washing.

“Optimising hygiene is so important to the food and beverage industry today, in all applications from individual coffee vans, right through to the world-class retailers, brands and chains we serve.

So, we needed to align with a reliable brand of hot water product with an excellent reputation for quality and service. We tried other brands over multiple years and found that, for reliability and value-for-money, the AusJ designs were unbeatable - and they remain so today”

The Duoetto MK2 comes with internationally recognised Australian WaterMark accreditation, which means that it passed tests and requirements regarding its suitability for supplying water for human consumption. These tests encompass taste, smell, toxins and corrosive effects on plumbing and pipework.

Drawing a miniscule 4.2 amps at 240v (1000w) and 25 amps at 12v (300w), the 409 x 262 x 267mm Duoetto MK2 retains the strengths of its predecessor, including:

Aus J ( www.ausj.com.au ) offers a range of innovative gas and electric water heaters with models for domestic, commercial and recreational applications, including a 240v 10-litre Aqueous water heater designed to provide homes with near-instant hot water and reduce the wastage by having the heater located under the sink.