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Old 06-15-2009, 09:25 AM   #1
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Help with water heater

I have a 30' Wildwood travel trailer (single slide bunkhouse model M29-3). Really like it but the one thinkg I have never quie understood is the water heater. When I am hooked up to electricity at a camp site and have the propane on as well, is all I have to do is to push the water heater switch inside the unit and it will automatically cycle on and off? If I remove the panel outside the camper where the water heater is located, there is also a small on/off switch, do I only need to switch that on if I am boondocking without as electrical hookup in order to provide a spark from the battery to light the pilot?

I guess I need a basic electrical water heater 101 for dummies


Crosshill from OK
Wildwood M29+3 TT
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:52 AM   #2
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The on/off switch located on the water heater turns on/off your electrical part of the water heater. The one inside controls only the gas side of the water heater. If you are not connected to electricity, the switch located on the water heater will not work. When you are connected to electricity, you only need to turn that switch on, unless you want to run both electric and gas to provide quicker heating.


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Old 06-15-2009, 10:00 AM   #3
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thanks ! I understand now. If you are a mod, please delete my post under the general section, sorry for double posting.

I do appreciate the explanation. Family going out without me (dang job) this week and I didn't want to leave them with cold water for the trip !
Crosshill from OK
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Old 06-15-2009, 11:17 PM   #4
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One more thing...

Always make sure that water is in the tank before you flick the switch on either end. It doesn't take much to burn up the tank if there's nothing in it from what my mechanic said after installing that same tank in mine recently. on.
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Old 08-30-2009, 04:42 AM   #5
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What I would like to know is where is the switch on the inside of the TT. I have yet to see one on mine. 06 27BHSS w/ 6ga DSI
2006 FR/Wildwood 27BHSS

2006 Dodge laramie 5.9 CTD
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Old 08-30-2009, 09:48 AM   #6
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You should have a rocker switch that lights up red when you turn it on. It is usually located where the holding tank indicators and the thermostat for the AC/Heat controls are. That switch, when activated, provides 12v power to the water heater auto- start feature, and turns on the GAS to the WH burner. Once it reaches operating temp, the lighted switch will cycle off and on as required to stay hot. The switch on the outside panel under the cover should be OFF in this gas mode.
For AC 120v operation, the lighted rocker on the wall should be OFF, and the one under the outside panel ON. This powers the heater element- same as a home unit, for the water to get hot. What I do, and several oythers on here as well do, is leave that switch for AC power on all the time, but then you turn it off and on in the power converter panel box breaker. You'll see a breaker labeled water heater. Use this as your "switch" for the AC side. Just be SURE to remember to TURN IT OFF when you disconnect power to the camper. Hope this clears up your questions! And GOOD LUCK! Randy
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Old 08-30-2009, 10:25 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by northstarfire0693 View Post
What I would like to know is where is the switch on the inside of the TT. I have yet to see one on mine. 06 27BHSS w/ 6ga DSI

Usually the switch on the front of the water heater controls the electric element - you have already found that one. The inside switch (with a red light beside it) controls only the gas burner on the water heater - it is usually located in your control panel area and/or near your thermostat. Any combination of settings can be used - both on, electric only on, gas only on. Be sure you have water in the tank before trying to heat water.

Happy Camping! ///// Richard D.
2006 4x4 Ford 250 SD / 2007 Flagstaff 827 FLS
One very patient wife and one furry child who travels with us. Forty-two years of trailering and camping, and I still have a blast.

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