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Old 09-06-2016, 08:43 PM   #1
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Water Heater Help - Rockwood A192HW A-Frame

Newbie here . . . I have only been a camper for less than one year. We have a Rockwood A192HW A-frame camper which we love. We travel with other family and rarely if ever need hot water as my son and family usually do all the cooking and we use the campground restrooms for showers. Our camper has the Suburban SW6D water heater which runs on propane only and I have a few questions on use and care. How do I fill the hot water tank if we are hooked up to the water supply at the campground? Do i need to keep water in the tank if we are not using hot water or just keep it empty? Any other advice or maintenance tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Old 09-06-2016, 11:03 PM   #2
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The way the plumbing is designed is that your water heater will fill up automatically if you are hooked up to a pressurized water connection through your outside city water connection.

The other way is through your fresh water tank and water pump. Once you fill your fresh water tank and turn on your water pump, your water heater will fill up.

You then make sure that your propane tank valve is open and turn on your water heater switch. After a few seconds, you should hear the water heater turn on. It will take about 20 minutes or so to heat the water up.

Many RVers empty their water heater when they get home if they will not be camping for a while, so that water is not just sitting there stagnating for weeks or months. The water heater is emptied by opening the pressure relief valve on the outside top of the heater and then removing the drain plug which is on the outside bottom. You probably have an anode rod attached to the drain plug, which is designed to slowly wear down as it protects the water tank.

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Old 09-07-2016, 04:40 AM   #3
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Thanks for the great information. I appreciate your time.
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Old 09-07-2016, 04:49 AM   #4
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If you are using the hot water heater every month or so many of us only drain the tank to winterize once a season.


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Old 09-07-2016, 07:16 AM   #5
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Water Heater help

What Oaklevel said.

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Old 09-07-2016, 07:56 AM   #6
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As an additional sidebar, once you turn on the city water or pump, open the water faucets and bleed the air out of the lines and this will allow the WH to fill. Do this BEFORE turning on the WH. Some will use the pressure relief valve on the WH to bleed the air, I don't myself, just be sure to turn on a hot faucet at least untill you have good flow of water
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Old 09-07-2016, 08:14 AM   #7
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Just a thought. If you've never used the water heater before, it may still be bypassed with the winterization valves.

Before starting it up (which I would do just to make sure it works) check the bypass valves and open the P&T (pressure relief) valve. that makes sure there's water in the heater.
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Old 09-07-2016, 06:56 PM   #8
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wh use

If you get into a cg that uses well water as a source that has high minerals make sure to drain the hw heater. The aluminum tank will react to the minerals in the water and the water will turn blackish and smell like sulfur.
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Old 09-07-2016, 07:13 PM   #9
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The water heater should have a pressure relief valve at the top behind the outside cover. The best way to confirm that the water heater tank is full is to open the pressure relief valve by lifting the lever and wait for water to come out. That way you know it's filled and the air can escape allowing the tank to fill. You won't get much water out of the taps while the water heater tank is filling.
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Old 09-07-2016, 08:10 PM   #10
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I pull the low water drains and open the faucets on the outside shower at the end of a trip to let the system drain. This apparently won't fully drain the HW tank but it will get most of the water out of the system. It is enough for me as I don't winterize. I usually open the fresh water tank drain too and allow the tank to empty as much as it can.


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