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Old 08-31-2014, 09:21 AM   #1
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Hot water heater

I have a 2104 Sunseeker 2860DS and when plugged into electric I always have hot water without having to turn anything on. Is this correct or is there something wrong with unit? My TT I used to have I would have to turn on switch. What is switch on panel for...gas? Click image for larger version

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Old 08-31-2014, 09:28 AM   #2
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Yes, the panel switch only enables the propane mode. The electric mode is enabled by a switch on or close to the heater itself. The manual for the heater that you got in that pack of manuals with the RV will show you where it is.

You should always turn off the electric switch when not using the RV and especially when draining because the element will burn out very quickly if the tank is not full of water.

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Old 08-31-2014, 09:29 AM   #3
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You will usually find the AC heater switch located inside the hot water heater panel outside the camper. If it's in the on position you will get hot water any time you're plugged in to shore power.

The switch on the inside panel is for the gas heater. Either way, always make sure there's plenty of water in the hot water heater before using.

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Old 08-31-2014, 09:30 AM   #4
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Yeah that's the way it works. The switch for the electrical circuit in on the heater panel itself, sorta nestled behind the pressure relief valve. The switch you showed is for gas.
Beware the electric switch, its awful easy to overlook (as I've done) when one drains the water heater (for winterization etc). If it hasn't been turned off, you'll burn out the heater element and likely a sortof fuze circuit nestled in behind.
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Old 08-31-2014, 10:12 AM   #5
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By the way, you can use electricity and gas at the same to heat water. They work on separate thermostats and both will come on if the water gets cool enough. This reduces the recovery time, if that's important.

In case you don't already know, the shore line or generator can supply 30 amps, which is enough to run two of the three main loads: water heater, A/C - heat pump, and microwave oven. Neither power source can run all three at the same time. You need to turn one of the three off when you run the other two.
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Old 08-31-2014, 06:29 PM   #6
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I have an '06 Sunseeker and for the life of me, there is no switch to select gas or electric. Is this an enhancement for later models?
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:57 PM   #7
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If there is is outside on the water heater itself. We did not move the switch inside until we switched to Atwood water heaters this pas year.

Open outside water heater door..should be a toggle switch.
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Old 08-31-2014, 10:15 PM   #8
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If you have the Suburban brand water heater, this FAQ may help:

Suburban's electric switch and much more
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Old 09-01-2014, 03:54 PM   #9
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Found it...hiding behind the gas inlet. Thanks, bclemens.
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Old 09-01-2014, 07:37 PM   #10
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Like some here going outside to turn on/off the water heater's electric element when you need to run the AC, microwave, and coffee pot didn't work for me. Bending over, opening up the circuit breaker panel and flipping the water heaters breaker to off was only slightly better, but still got old. I added my own switch to easily turn on/off the electric heating element.

This I can explain to my wife on how to turn on/off before she starts to do her hair and trip a breaker I have to go outside in the rain, cold, heat to rest.

Love our Forest River, but they should have more wife's on their design and model approval teams. They should share in some of the pain and blank stairs us husbands live with when explaining how RV systems work and why you can't do "X" in a motorhome like you can in a sticks and bricks.

I challenge any engineer to explain to my wife why the on/off switch has to be outside in a secluded location behind a panel in the morning before she's done her hair or had her coffee!
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