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Old 07-18-2019, 11:39 PM   #1
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Tankless hot water heater in an RV

Have any of you upgraded your RV hot water heater to a tankless one? I have one in my home and itís awesome. Iíve seen them advertised in Trailer Life magazine and other places. I asked my RV repair shop about them and they said they had never installed one. That seemed surprising to me and made me think that there must be some good reason why not many folks install them in their RVs. Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-18-2019, 11:47 PM   #2
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There is another thread where someone is out camping and having problems with one. Personally, not worth the complexity.


I have had 2 in my home and I would never install another one. The gas savings are minimal unless you are on propane and they are very expensive to fix. On my first one, I had to dismantle the entire heater to clean the flame detectors. Major hassle and if you didn't do it regularly, it would stop working.
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Old 07-19-2019, 12:09 AM   #3
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It was the first upgrade we made and we love it.
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Old 07-19-2019, 12:11 AM   #4
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Our RV came with a tankless. We absolutely love it. Especially when at hook ups, love those long showers! Been using it for seven years.
We installed a shower miser which saves a lot of water when boondocking, and let's you get the right temp before turning on the shower. Perfect companion for the tankless water heater.
We will always have a tankless in any future RV. Right now I think the Trumas are probably performing the best.
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Old 07-19-2019, 12:15 AM   #5
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Our RV came with a tankless. We absolutely love it. Especially when at hook ups, love those long showers! Been using it for seven years.
We installed a shower miser which saves a lot of water when boondocking, and let's you get the right temp before turning on the shower. Perfect companion for the tankless water heater.
We will always have a tankless in any future RV. Right now I think the Trumas are probably performing the best.


Thanks! Very helpful info.
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Old 07-19-2019, 06:31 AM   #6
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Have a Suburban 12 gallon tank heater. Have never run out of water, which includes using a dishwasher, washing machine, and two people showering. Have a tankless at home and love it, but didn't see the need in the RV. Besides, why use my propane when campground electric is "free". We don't boondock often so that may prejudice my opinion. Just my experience.
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Old 07-19-2019, 03:11 PM   #7
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Tankless Water Heaters

Our new motorhome came with the Truma tankless system. Iím not a fan. The 10 gallon in the old motorhome was warmed by the engine. When parked it could used electricity or propane. The Truma is propane only. The Truma also has to heat water when you call for it so delivery is slower. Even when doing laundry, the old 10 gallon tank had enough hot water. The tankless system has a lot of operational complexity the old tank didnít have without the heating versatility.
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Old 07-19-2019, 03:56 PM   #8
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It depends on the model. Mine came with a Suburban tankless, and it was a POS. I even had the Suburban Rep at the FROG rally try it and it didn't work. Other brands seem to work and I know several who like them. But I was lucky and got Cedar Creek to replace mine with a 12 gallon elec/gas dual fuel model. It is awesome, we never run out, and we take long showers. So, I can't imagine needing more hot water than we have.

But the concept is good............assuming you have great water pressure. That seems to be the key.
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Old 07-19-2019, 04:45 PM   #9
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I have a tankless in my TT. Went camping in the early Spring and could only get luke warm water out of the water heater.

Came home and checked the specs. My particular tankless will raise the inlet water temperature only 40 degrees. This is NOT a hot shower.

Early Spring camping and the inlet water was 40 degrees so I was getting (maybe) 80 degree water.

Be sure to check the specs on the tankless you pick out. The Truma Aquago will raise the temperature to 120 degrees F, but as others say, there are some operational quirks.
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Old 07-19-2019, 05:44 PM   #10
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Wink Tankless water heater

I installed a Girard tankless in my 2011 Puma Unleashed and it is great...it's an older model and there was a learning curve to get it to work ...but once you did that it is great ...Newer models are easier to deal with....I would not have a trailer without one...Girard has be great with costumer service the few times I had issues at first....mostly operator trouble...but if you have ever had to take a shower in the dead of winter with a 6-10 gallon water heater you will never be without a tankless again.....



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Old 07-19-2019, 06:32 PM   #11
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I installed a tankless in my Cardinal 3 years ago and would recommend it if your wife likes long showers. Never had a problem with it. Output temperature can be keyed into the control pad, I set it to 112 degrees for my wife's showers and then back it down to 103 for mine. With these settings we never have to add cold water or make any other adjustments, just turn on the hot water valve and enjoy. Mine is a Girard II tankless water heater.
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Old 07-19-2019, 07:03 PM   #12
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We have tankless' in our homes and love them, so naturally I put one in the 5'er. As was said below sometimes the learning curve is different than a tanked heated but we have lots of kids and my wife would be extremely unhappy without her continuous hot water. In 5 years, the only problem I have had was a mud dauber clogged an air vent on the heater. Took me about 20 minutes to find and fix the problem.

BTW we did not buy it to save fuel however it still probably uses less than the original 10 gallon tanked heater that came in the camper. We don't seem to go through very many tank refills.

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Old 07-19-2019, 07:04 PM   #13
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You will get about 50/50 opinions about them.

For boondocking they use more water. Cannot minimize shower water bath. If you try with most of them you will her the DW scream.

No free electric in a site with electricity.

Takes training to learn to use.

Generally most like the Truma. Most dislike the others.

Our 12 gallon suburban will run on both gas and electric. Virtually continuously. Very fast recovery. We never run out.
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Old 07-21-2019, 10:24 AM   #14
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One of the negatives of tankless hot water systems is being a neighbor of one in a campground. On multiple occasions I've found myself in parallel camping situations, looking at the back (or street side) of my neighbor with a tankless system. The fumes can be over-bearing. Some have been diesel fuel which produces foul exhaust. Even the propane types are burning a lot of fuel in a short time. So, not a fan, as a fellow camper.
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Old 07-21-2019, 10:53 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Kadiddle View Post
One of the negatives of tankless hot water systems is being a neighbor of one in a campground. On multiple occasions I've found myself in parallel camping situations, looking at the back (or street side) of my neighbor with a tankless system. The fumes can be over-bearing. Some have been diesel fuel which produces foul exhaust. Even the propane types are burning a lot of fuel in a short time. So, not a fan, as a fellow camper.
That's a new one for me. I work outside the RV frequently when the shower is in use and never notice any exaust fumes from our propane tankless. Have also never parked by a tankless that runs on diesel, so can't speak to that.
I suppose that your neighbors could complain about your your tank water heater and furnace fumes when they are running.
As far as propane use, we noticed no difference in fuel usage between tankless and tank types.
So if you don't like tankless, great, don't buy one, but fume production is a pretty minor reason.

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One of the negatives of tankless hot water systems is being a neighbor of one in a campground. On multiple occasions I've found myself in parallel camping situations, looking at the back (or street side) of my neighbor with a tankless system. The fumes can be over-bearing. Some have been diesel fuel which produces foul exhaust. Even the propane types are burning a lot of fuel in a short time. So, not a fan, as a fellow camper.
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Old 07-21-2019, 05:15 PM   #16
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One of the byproducts of the tankless water heater and all heaters combustion is acidic. That's why you will smell something that's a little acrid. Some people are more sensitive than others to it but you have to be really close by its exhaust. With tankless water heaters that are a condensing type, you will actually get some acidic water discharge. Doubt an RV water heater does that but most modern residential ones like the one I have does.


Our grey tank size is our biggest issue. We take short showers so it doesn't fill up. If we went to RV parks all the time, a tankless water heater could be an advantage to have. Dry camping...not an advantage.
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