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Old 04-03-2013, 08:27 PM   #1
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Water Heater: electric or propane

Last week we stayed at a campground and were hooked up to the E/W/S. We have the option of switching our water heater to electric and did not know if we should do that and leave it on for the couple of days we were there or stay on the propane for heating the water? The electric comes with the site, so makes me think we should be switching to that. Any thoughts?
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:34 PM   #2
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Most of the time I use the electric and save money on Propane. If you need hot water fast, you can start on propane and then switch to electric. I figure that I am paying for the Electric site so may as well use that. Hope this helps.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:41 PM   #3
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x2 we do electric and only turn on the propane when we actually are showering in order to heat the water faster. And actually, we only turn on the propane part of the heater as a supplement when the temps are low.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:41 PM   #4
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So if I go to electric for the hot water heater, I can just leave that on all weekend and through the night to have hot water as needed, right?
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:43 PM   #5
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So if I go to electric for the hot water heater, I can just leave that on all weekend and through the night to have hot water as needed, right?
Yes, you are correct.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:50 PM   #6
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So if I go to electric for the hot water heater, I can just leave that on all weekend and through the night to have hot water as needed, right?
yep.

here's teh quick intro to hot water on an RV:
1) RV water heaters have two heating elements; electric and propane
2) elements can be used in any combo - elect/no prop; no elect/prop; both
3) propane heats quicker 20-30 min, elect slower at an hourish or more
4)ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS turn on your water BEFORE turning on the electric element
5) electric elements burn out in 8 seconds if turned on with no water in the water heater

yep...that about covers it.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:50 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by RVFamily5 View Post
Last week we stayed at a campground and were hooked up to the E/W/S. We have the option of switching our water heater to electric and did not know if we should do that and leave it on for the couple of days we were there or stay on the propane for heating the water? The electric comes with the site, so makes me think we should be switching to that. Any thoughts?
Using electric will save propane, but not much. We camped 3+ months in FL using both and the propane gage hardly moved and we use the stove and outside bbq grill. Been the same the last 4 yrs. We filled the 2-30# tanks on our old trailer when we got it new and snowbirded 4 yrs and didn't use a 30# cyl in the 4 yrs. Frig was on propane also. The furnace is the BIG user. It will suck a 30# cyl dry in 4 or 5 days using it when temps get down in the 30's & 40's.
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:13 PM   #8
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So if I go to electric for the hot water heater, I can just leave that on all weekend and through the night to have hot water as needed, right?
One more thing to keep in mind is that the electric water heater element does use a few amps to run (can average 9-13 amps). If you have a 30 amp RV, you have to be mindful of how many amps you are using as you are limited to basically 30 amps total.

If you start tripping breakers because of overload, just turn the water heater element off. You may need to when running microwaves, air-conditioning, etc.
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:18 PM   #9
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Great tips! Thanks.
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:20 PM   #10
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elect has an element rod

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadTrip View Post

1) RV water heaters have two heating elements; electric and propane

but
the propane is not an element
just a hot flame

Mountainman
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