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Old 02-14-2018, 06:08 PM   #1
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A couple of tankless water heater questions...

Hi all,

We're looking for our first RV and a model with a tankless water heater caught our eye. I've read through the forums a bit and have a general idea the pros and cons of a tankless system, but I still have a couple of questions:

1) From what I understand, some people find the tankless water heater uses more water than a tank-based system because it takes a while for the tankless system to get going. Presumably this is only an issue when dry camping, right? I mean, when you have a water connection, the tankless option is clearly preferable, since it gives you unlimited hot water and the tank-based heater only provides a limited amount. Am I thinking about that correctly?

2) Some of the residential tankless water heaters I've seen are very loud. Is this an issue with RV models too?

Thanks!
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:35 PM   #2
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You can not even mention residential on demand water heaters and rv on demand water heaters in the same sentence.
Residential is instant on, rv has a 30 sec. time delay every time plus the water temperature rises very slow over 15 to 20 sec. or so.
If you have a washing machine in your rv that takes small bursts of hot water you'll be out of luck, it simply doesn't work.
If you have a dishwasher hooked up on hot water, same deal.
If you're in the shower and someone opens any tap anywhere the water flow is being reduced to below the threshold of 1/2 gpm. the water heater shuts down.
You pay for propane even when you pay for electricity at the campground.
Trying to conserve water? Forget it, you can't shut it off while you wash your and turn it back on expecting to come out nice and warm, no it will be ice cold for the next 40 seconds.
Another huge problem, especially for fulltimers, can be calcification of the heater tubes which is not nearly the problem in a conventional hot water tank where you have easy access from the outside.
On the plus side, your rv weighs about 50 lbs less, depending on the water heater size.

I apologize for the rant, but this is our personal experience with the Girard 2nd. Generation and FR has authorized our dealer to replace the on demand water heater with a conventional hot water tank.
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:37 PM   #3
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We chose not to have a tankless. We purchased a Cedar Creek Hathaway.

Because the way that one operates.

You have no option to use 110 when available. LPG only.

When plugged in you can use both the electric and gas for the ocassion when you need lots of back to back showers. Quick recovery 12 gallon.

Due to the way they operate, Navy showers(turning the water off to,lather and on to rinse) are uncomfortable. When you turn off the water, the water must flow some before the heating element comes on. Means cold shots. The Navy shower uses the least water possible. Could save water boondocking.

My wife grew up in a house with ten people, one shower and a thirty gallon hot water heater. It is the old style water heater she wanted.
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Old 02-15-2018, 12:05 AM   #4
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We had a 6 gal gas/electric and did not often have an issue. If we thought we might we used both electrical and gas. Now we have 10 gallons and dont ever have an issue. Glad i dont have a tankless after reading this.
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Old 02-15-2018, 12:14 AM   #5
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Our dealer switched out ours for a 12 gallon quick recovery tank (which is the same as our previous three fivers). We have never run out of hot water. However, other threads on this same subject have shown there are RVers who love the tankless model.
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Old 02-15-2018, 12:19 AM   #6
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We love our tankless! Girard gen 1, six years old. And we boondock 80% of the time. We use the same number of gallons per week as when we had a tank, 90 gallons. Period.

We do not see a 30 second wait for hot water, more like 8 to 10, same as a tank. Also see no fluctuation in temp.

As for the sound, we can hear the on demand kick on, but it is no louder than a water pump.

As far as gas only; the gas it uses is minimal. I can't say the increase is noticable at all, even when we stay at full hookups and take 2O minute showers (back to back

We hear all these horror stories about tankless in this forum, experienced none of them. Folks we meet who tell us they are having problems with theirs, we can fix most of them with a few quick demos on how to change your habits slightly, and correct usage.

If I was to buy a new RV now, I would probably go with Truma on demand, as it seems it has a lot of desirable features.

Don't let all the on demand naysayers scare you off. There are plenty of us out there that love them and will always buy this option again.
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Old 02-15-2018, 12:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cypressloser View Post
You can not even mention residential on demand water heaters and rv on demand water heaters in the same sentence.
Residential is instant on, rv has a 30 sec. time delay every time plus the water temperature rises very slow over 15 to 20 sec. or so.
If you have a washing machine in your rv that takes small bursts of hot water you'll be out of luck, it simply doesn't work.
If you have a dishwasher hooked up on hot water, same deal.
If you're in the shower and someone opens any tap anywhere the water flow is being reduced to below the threshold of 1/2 gpm. the water heater shuts down.
You pay for propane even when you pay for electricity at the campground.
Trying to conserve water? Forget it, you can't shut it off while you wash your and turn it back on expecting to come out nice and warm, no it will be ice cold for the next 40 seconds.
Another huge problem, especially for fulltimers, can be calcification of the heater tubes which is not nearly the problem in a conventional hot water tank where you have easy access from the outside.
On the plus side, your rv weighs about 50 lbs less, depending on the water heater size.

I apologize for the rant, but this is our personal experience with the Girard 2nd. Generation and FR has authorized our dealer to replace the on demand water heater with a conventional hot water tank.


You just explained what 90% of people who have a Tankless have experienced. Of course thereís always the one person who will say different. Being a plumber thereís no way there isnít a time lag compared to a conventional water heater for delivering hot water to a tap. In return wasting water waiting for it to be hot. All tankless water heaters have a noise to them. All tankless water heaters will have fluctuations in temps due to an uneven heating surface. Itís just the nature of the beast.

Good explanation. Even in a regular home tankless water heaters have very little pros and more cons...
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Old 02-15-2018, 12:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Allen View Post
You just explained what 90% of people who have a Tankless have experienced. Of course thereís always the one person who will say different. Being a plumber thereís no way there isnít a time lag compared to a conventional water heater for delivering hot water to a tap. In return wasting water waiting for it to be hot. All tankless water heaters have a noise to them. All tankless water heaters will have fluctuations in temps due to an uneven heating surface. Itís just the nature of the beast.

Good explanation. Even in a regular home tankless water heaters have very little pros and more cons...
90% of statistics are made up
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Old 02-15-2018, 12:43 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by NMWildcat View Post
90% of statistics are made up


And 100% of the time you say the opposite of what the norm says. Same difference.
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Old 02-15-2018, 12:45 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Chris Allen View Post
And 100% of the time you say the opposite of what the norm says. Same difference.
There it is again!!!!
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