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Old 01-21-2014, 10:54 AM   #11
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Most campers only have 6 gallon hot water heaters.

A whole new showering style is required when RVing (Navy Shower) or you will be spending most of your shower time at the campground's shower house.

A 5 minute shower is about all you get (if you are lucky) with 6 gallons.
You can try to stretch it by using BOTH electric and gas at the same time for quicker "recovery" time. The AC switch is on the outside of Suburban water heaters.

Always make sure you turn the outside switch off before draining the tank as you will burn up the heating element.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:58 AM   #12
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LOL, this thread has made me chuckle. I am unable to take 5 minute shows! I'm just SLOW. With our 10 gallon water heater, I do as mentioned above - turn the hot 3/4 or so of the way on and then adjust temperature with the cold. We also have an Oxygenics shower head.

More times than not, if we're on a full hookup site, I won't even do the army/navy shower thing with turning off the water. I just let it run. I've gotten showers with my baby son and I at the same time where we haven't run out (I do switch to Navy showers after finishing up washing him and having someone take him from me).

If you have a 6 gallon water heater, it could be a little more tricky. Shoot for the navy shower concept and see how it goes.

I strongly recommend the oxygenics shower head.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:59 AM   #13
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Moonlighting, sounds like its all been covered. We are always 5 people in our camper (me, DW and three daughters) and we do much of the same as already posted:

  • Navy Showers if full hookups with sewer, which is rare for us. Usually, we are on electric or off the grid.
  • Use both propane and electric for quicker recovery of hot water
  • Oxygentics shower head

But what really works best for us is to just use the campground's shower facilities (when we don't have full hookups). Its not the hot water that is the real problem for us but the gray tank that fills up too fast. Emptying it half way into a trip is a PITA. We have a Blue Boy for that but I'd rather not if it can be helped.
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:02 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
Most campers only have 6 gallon hot water heaters.

A whole new showering style is required when RVing (Navy Shower) or you will be spending most of your shower time at the campground's shower house.

A 5 minute shower is about all you get (if you are lucky) with 6 gallons.
You can try to stretch it by using BOTH electric and gas at the same time for quicker "recovery" time. The AC switch is on the outside of Suburban water heaters.

Always make sure you turn the outside switch off before draining the tank as you will burn up the heating element.
Great idea having a cotter pin on the "on" switch. You'll never turn it on without thinking about whether or not you have water in the tank.
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:02 AM   #15
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I often camp with 3-4 teenage girls, a 7yr old girl, and my wife. They've all learned the "military" shower technique and have yet to run out of hot water. I do have a 10gal water heater and use both gas and electric for quick recovery though.
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:03 AM   #16
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ur lucky...mine sleeps 8 sometiems (technically 10 if you wanted to experiment in misery) its a CHORE to teach little girls (and big ones too!!!) the mysterious workings of the camper water heating tehnology!! LOL...

to even have a CHANCE at surviving you have to
1. set WH on fast recovery (propane and electric) should bump you to ...... 17gal/hr recovery
2. WATER MANAGEMENT!! use an oxygenics head, and TURN IT OFF if your not wetting something or rinsing something.
3. Give the heater a bit to recover between showers
4. turn on hot FIRST then add cold to get a JUST warm shower.....no steam bath showers!!
5. split up shower times/days as much as possible.

with that many in there showering id be more worried about the grey tank filling in one day.....lol..unless your on full hookups....then i dont give the wife much grief about long steam showers...and personally ive been known to use the outside shower to wash up...does nothing for the wh recovery, but keeps the water out of the gray.

you could always use an instant heater, or maybe even a smaller supplemental heater just for the shower....gray will still be an issue and even MORE so i would imagine.

good luck! welcome to the world of girls and camping...lol
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:13 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironj View Post
ur lucky...mine sleeps 8 sometiems (technically 10 if you wanted to experiment in misery) its a CHORE to teach little girls (and big ones too!!!) the mysterious workings of the camper water heating tehnology!! LOL...

to even have a CHANCE at surviving you have to
1. set WH on fast recovery (propane and electric) should bump you to ...... 17gal/hr recovery
2. WATER MANAGEMENT!! use an oxygenics head, and TURN IT OFF if your not wetting something or rinsing something.
3. Give the heater a bit to recover between showers
4. turn on hot FIRST then add cold to get a JUST warm shower.....no steam bath showers!!
5. split up shower times/days as much as possible.

with that many in there showering id be more worried about the grey tank filling in one day.....lol..unless your on full hookups....then i dont give the wife much grief about long steam showers...and personally ive been known to use the outside shower to wash up...does nothing for the wh recovery, but keeps the water out of the gray.

you could always use an instant heater, or maybe even a smaller supplemental heater just for the shower....gray will still be an issue and even MORE so i would imagine.

good luck! welcome to the world of girls and camping...lol
A good way to teach girls water management is to go outside and turn on the water heater by-pass valve, wait for the scream, then slowly turn it back on. Then explain this is what happens when don't manage the water. Of course if my wife wants to use all the hot water, who am I to argue!
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:14 AM   #18
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I love our girard tankless the wife and kids or myself can take as long as we want, the only draw back is when we are not full hookup the 100gal gray tank can fill up pretty fast in 2-3 days
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:40 AM   #19
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We have a six gal and I never have a problem. I usually run just elec for myself. If my wife hops in I throw on the propane too. Don't worry about wasting propane, it's cheap. I can go all year on a single tank. Cost me $20 bucks to refill it.
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Old 01-21-2014, 12:30 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
Most campers only have 6 gallon hot water heaters.

A whole new showering style is required when RVing (Navy Shower) or you will be spending most of your shower time at the campground's shower house.

A 5 minute shower is about all you get (if you are lucky) with 6 gallons.
You can try to stretch it by using BOTH electric and gas at the same time for quicker "recovery" time. The AC switch is on the outside of Suburban water heaters.

Always make sure you turn the outside switch off before draining the tank as you will burn up the heating element.
That's a great idea having the cotter pin in the switch.
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