Portable hot tub
May 14, 2008 3:27 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend a good portable spa? Or have experience using a wood fired heater with a storage tank?

I'm less interested in the jets than I am in the ability to keep the temperature very high and its comfort for a few people. Particularly interested in any hard folding frame items that could be mated with a wood-fired heater like the Chofu.

Would love to hear what you've found as I figure out what investment to make. Thanks
posted by tonci to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I used to use a Chofu with a metal stock tank, and it worked well. I don't remember the official size of the stock tank. It's oblong, about 6 feet long, plenty deep (water level at your armpits if you sit up straight; at your chin when you lounge), and fine for two people who know each other. I put a styrofoam lid on the tank (standard insulation board) and insulated the base as well by putting a piece of styrofoam under the tank.

The Chofu heated up the water in about 1.5 hours, depending on what I was burning and how faithfully I tended the fire. The water usually stayed plenty hot and would still be warm to the touch 24 hours later, so it would take less time to heat again the next day. If you don't thoroughly kill the fire before you get in the tub, the water could in fact become too hot while you soak. I often had to squirt in cold water from the garden hose (that's your jet action!).

I eventually wrapped the tub in Reflectix(?) foil-backed bubble wrap so the water would have more heat the next day. The tank developed a very slow leak that I didn't bother to fix.

A stock tank is big but pretty easy to carry, and the connections to the Chofu are flexible rubber doohickeys with hose clamps. So conceivably the whole thing could be taken elsewhere without a huge amount of hassle.
posted by PatoPata at 5:19 PM on May 14, 2008

Mrs. Plinth used to work for Softub and had some pretty good things to say about their products.
posted by plinth at 5:45 PM on May 14, 2008

The Cowboy Hot Tub is a viable alternative. That coupled with a 150 gallon rubbermaid stock tank is one affordable set up.
posted by TUNAPIRATE at 11:31 AM on May 15, 2008

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