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Old 10-12-2011, 06:00 AM   #1
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Tankless water heater

We are newbies. Have never dry camped or used our city water connection yet. We are planning a trip this Nov, but before then we plan to stay a few nights in an RV Park just down the road, so we can work out kinks and make sure we know what we are doing. Our 2004 Lexington has never had water run through the system...ever. The previous owners were a company that did not need water. So, we are considering just not messing with the 6 gal Suburban at all...and opting to get an RV-500 tankless water heater. Anyone make this upgrade yet.
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:03 AM   #2
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Just My Opinion. Why change it if it works? I would put a 1/2 gallon chlorine bleach, and about 5 gallons of water in the tank, and sanitize all the lines. Then I would reverse the bypass valves on the water heater, and fill it up, and check it out.

Not sure about the tankless water heater you are looking at, but if electric only, then you'll never get a hot shower if you dry camp. You also called it an upgrade, but if you ever sell, and only have an electric water heater, a potential buyer might want to dry camp, and it may be harder to sell.
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:40 AM   #3
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I agree with windrider that the current system is best for over-all camping.

But I would completely sanatize the whole system. Put some water in the fresh water tank. Add a diluted mix of bleach water into the tank. You need to use 1/4 cup of bleach for every 15 gallons that your tank will hold. Fill the fresh water tank to overflow. Drive the MH around some, to mix the solution and also splash up on the top of the tank. Pump the solution to all faucets, including the hot water faucets. That will fill the hot water tank (make sure the bypass valves are in the proper position). Let the solution sit in the lines for a while. Empty the fresh water tank, fill with fresh water, and again drive around some. Drain the hot water tank. Empty the fresh water tank by thoroughly flushing the bleach solution out of all of the faucets. That again should fill the hot water tank with fresh water. You might have a slight bleach smell and taste, but that will soon go away. I sanitize my system like this every spring.
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:44 AM   #4
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I would argue against installing a tankless water heater. If you do so, gas will be your only source for heating water. You will be paying for the gas and will have the hassle of keeping the gas tank full. On the other hand, you may already have a gas/electric water heater installed. This will allow you to heat your water with electricity, at no cost, when hooked up at a campground. (You can still run the water heater on gas if hooked up or not hooked up.) There is no way I would recommend the switch unless you plan on permanently boondocking.
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:06 AM   #5
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You could also upgrade to a ten gallon unit if space allows for more capacity.
the only way I would use it as an upgrade is to just add it to the existing system and supplement what you have.
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Old 10-17-2011, 01:56 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by dimurrrw View Post
On the other hand, you may already have a gas/electric water heater installed. This will allow you to heat your water with electricity, at no cost, when hooked up at a campground.
Does the 6 gal Suburban run off gas or electricity from the factory? Or are you referring to adding an aftermarket electric heating rod?
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:04 AM   #7
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JThen I would reverse the bypass valves on the water heater, and fill it up, and check it out.
What do you mean by reverse the bypass valves? I though the bypass valve either allows water to enter the water heater...or bypass it. Do you mean to just make sure that the valve is set to allow the blrach solution to get pumped into the tank?
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbosek View Post
Does the 6 gal Suburban run off gas or electricity from the factory? Or are you referring to adding an aftermarket electric heating rod?
Check your circuit breakers. If your water heater will run off of electricity one of the breakers should be marked "water heater". Also, open the outside w/h hatch and look in the lower left hand corner for a rocker switch that may or may not have a safety pin in it. It will be concealed behind other stuff, so you will have to look closely. If you are not already good to go then you can consider using an aftermarket product, assuming it will fit. Camping World sells them. Some models of water heaters have the electric option and some don't. You just have to look and see what you have.
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Old 10-17-2011, 12:34 PM   #9
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Exclamation Tankless water heaters

Wildcat RVs come standard with tankless water heaters (made by Girard), so I know a bit about the subject.

Here's a bit of information on tankless water heaters with regards to electric vs. LP Gas use:
1. A Gas/Electric Tank Water Heater usually uses both energy sources. The gas or gas/electric is used for recovery and the electric is used to maintain the temperature 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
2. A tankless water heater will heat only the hot water that is needed (useable hot water) based on demand. There's no recovery or maintaining the temperature of a tank of water and so no worry about running out of hot water (which is why they sometimes call it "endless").
3. Fuel efficiency is greater in a tankless water heater -- it uses 50-60% less LP gas consumption for the same amount of hot water that a tank water heater provides.

A little math on LP Gas:
-- There are 92,000 BTUs/per hour in a gallon of LP gas.
-- The Girard Tankless Water Heater will operate at 34,000 or 27,000 BTUs per hour depending on the incoming cold water temperature.
-- With Girard's tankless water heater, 1 gallon of LP gas will provide the camper with over 2.7 hours of ”Usable” Hot Water at 34,000 BTUs or over 3.4 hours of “Useable” Hot Water at 27,000 BTUs.
-- A camper can easily figure how much time/demand for hot water they actually use a day.
-- A pair of full 30# LP gas tanks (7.09 gallons per tank) provide a total of 14.18 gallons of LP gas.

Hope this helps!

If you want more info, check out this web site:
Girard Products, LLC | Green RV Company | Green RV Companies | Sustainable RV Company | Girard Products, LLC | Girard Green RV Products | Eco Friendly RV Companies | Best Green RV Companies | RV Companies The Leader in Green Technology for RV
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Old 10-17-2011, 01:01 PM   #10
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great post chris.
here is another problem I see with on demand heaters . I could see somone upgrading to this style then complaining that there grey tank is full everyday because the can sit in the shower for 20 minutes ! people complain now doing wet wash rinse wet wash rinse .
If your installing on demand hw heaters you better throw in a blue waste tote !
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