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Old 02-26-2016, 10:46 AM   #11
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Do you know if your RV has a dual power source water heater? (propane and electric). If so turning both of them on when needed may help provide longer hot water, since it has a faster recovery rate.

If you have a Suburban water heater, this FAQ may help as to how to use both (if equipped)

Suburban's electric switch and much more
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Old 02-26-2016, 10:52 AM   #12
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What happens when you turn the cold water down a bit? Does your water get warmer then? Remember the tank is not heating all the time so it'll be at a certain temp and then will heat up when called for but it's not immediate. We have navy showers and usually one after the other in the morning. Been doing that in our different trailers over the years and I don't remember running out of hot water and the tanks have been from 6 gals to the present 12( I think it is). If you're hooked up and not dry camping, you can use both propane and electric, at the same time, to heat the water. Just make sure you have water in the tank before using electric. My wife washes her hair and I wash my skinny hair. We made our three kids wait until it rained and then they showered........oh oh I was a b it slow on the draw re using both types of heating
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Old 02-26-2016, 10:57 AM   #13
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What happens when you turn the cold water down a bit? Does your water get warmer then? Remember the tank is not heating all the time so it'll be at a certain temp and then will heat up when called for but it's not immediate. We have navy showers and usually one after the other in the morning. Been doing that in our different trailers over the years and I don't remember running out of hot water and the tanks have been from 6 gals to the present 12( I think it is). If you're hooked up and not dry camping, you can use both propane and electric, at the same time, to heat the water. Just make sure you have water in the tank before using electric. My wife washes her hair and I wash my skinny hair. We made our three kids wait until it rained and then they showered........oh oh I was a b it slow on the draw re using both types of heating
I immediately turned the cold water off but it didn't recover. We have a dometic water heater. Is there a way to check whether it runs off both electric and gas?
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Old 02-26-2016, 11:01 AM   #14
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My 5er has a small switch on the bottom left of the water heater tank. It's outside the trailer. I'm not familiar with your trailer so I'm sure someone who is will jump in. You might have a switch near the panel that has all the switches on it...or not
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Old 02-26-2016, 11:04 AM   #15
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Related: how long for the typical 6 gallon dual source to fully recover from cold to hot?
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Old 02-26-2016, 11:04 AM   #16
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Found this for an Apex trailer, 6 Gal. Gas/Electric DSI water heater
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Old 02-26-2016, 11:10 AM   #17
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I had to smile when you said your water tank was "tiny" maybe 10 gal or less. Up until say 2005 most any camper HWH was 6 gal. Just basic questions ... are your propane tanks turned on ... are your propane tanks empty ... is your HW switch turned on? As for electric heat capability, some units have a small toggle switch you have to flip outside behind the HWH access door. I agree you should have more than 3 minutes of hot water, but depending on how much hair washing you do and how many kids we're talking here ... I fear your next issue will be holding tank capacity unless you are on full hookups.
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Old 02-26-2016, 11:10 AM   #18
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Go outside your trailer and look at your water heater between your 2 slides on the driver's side take the cover off and look around the heater for a little switch with a pin through it.
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Old 02-26-2016, 11:31 AM   #19
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I immediately turned the cold water off but it didn't recover. We have a dometic water heater. Is there a way to check whether it runs off both electric and gas?
Dometic bought out Atwood a year ago or so. I don't know if they actually changed the name on the water heater though.

If you do indeed have a Dometic/Atwood brand dual powered water heater, then it will have two side by side switches inside the RV (one to turn on the electric heating element), and another to turn on the DSI/propane.

If you have the Suburban brand (I would make sure you don't as this is a common one), then the electric switch can be outside on the face of the water heater, as explained in a link I posted earlier.

A pic of the front of the water heater would immediately end the guess work here.

Atwood:




Suburban:



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Old 02-26-2016, 11:42 AM   #20
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One more item to check is the circuit breaker in the fuse panel. Make sure the water heater switch is in the on position in the panel.


When we are using the trailer this is the switch I used to turn on the electric heating element as the out side switch is always on. We only turn on the propane heater when the grandkids are with to ensure we have enough hot water. Grand daughter like to take long hot showers, she has been known to empty a 40 gallon home hot water heater. When we camp with them she is last to take a shower.
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