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Old 10-01-2010, 07:33 PM   #1
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water heater problem

In our Rockwood Mini Lite trailer we cannot take a full shower before the water gets cold. I have an electric and gas water heater. The gas kicks in too late, when the water is already too cold. The manual says that the temperature setting cannot be changed. Is there a way to adjust at what temperature the gas should start?

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Old 10-01-2010, 07:58 PM   #2
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Our walk through tech said he lights the water heater just before he takes a shower and it works well for all 4 members of his family. He has a 12 gal tank.

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Old 10-01-2010, 07:58 PM   #3
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Not sure what you mean when you say "having a full shower". If you mean a 10+ minute shower as you would at home, you'll soon run out of water as it's only a 6 gal tank. Most recommend getting wet, shutting it off while soaping up, then turning it on again to rinse off.

You can run the water heater in both electric and propane mode to help maintain water temperature.

You could install a separate water shut off after the mixing valves from Home Depot etc as the shut-off on the shower head is a PITA to work.


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Old 10-01-2010, 08:04 PM   #4
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Most RV water heater tanks are only a 6 gallons capacity. It has a recovery rate of 10.2 Gallons Per Hour using 12,000 BTUH input. The recovery rate using 120 Volt AC is 6 Gallons Per Hour or 16 plus Gallons Per Hour using both Electricity and Gas.

If you're not familiar with a Navy Shower, this is what has to be done, to utilize a water heater that size.

Remember, we're not at home with the conveniance of a 40 gal. quick-recovery water heater. We're camping !!!!!!

Navy Shower: Rinse yourself, shut water OFF, soap and lather yourself, turm water ON and rinse yourself. Turn water OFF so the next person will have water for their shower.

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Old 10-01-2010, 09:04 PM   #5
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Thanks all. Actually, its only my wife that has a problem, but she swears that she is easy on the hot water. maybe not....
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:41 PM   #6
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Yeah, I think she may need some training. Me and my wife can take a shower one right after the other with no problems. But it is exactly as Dave_Monica says. Wet, off, lather, off, rinse, off, lather, off, rinse, off, etc. It's the only way you can do it. And you won't fill up the gray tank as quick either.
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:51 PM   #7
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That's why there is that easy shutoff button on the showerhead, so you don't have to readjust the hot/cold knobs.
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:08 PM   #8
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Two of us using the shower while camping @ the races in Indy last month having showers in the norning w/ no problems. The "Navy shower" method is what I've been told to do & I passed it on to my buddy. BTW, that's just another term for what Dave described.

My Mini-Lite has the 6 gal' gas heater.

Dave, the shut offs on my inside & outside showers differ. The interior one has a simple button you push from 1 side to the other. The shower "head" for the outside shower has a "detail" that you turn 1 way or the other to start or stop water flow.
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Old 10-02-2010, 06:42 AM   #9
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to be fair to my wife, in our previous trailer, where we had the same water heater, we could both shower one after the other with no problems. I think that the shower head was more restricted though.
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Old 10-02-2010, 06:54 AM   #10
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Many good replies here already but I notice you say the gas doesn't
start up till the water is already cool.
It should not be like that.
It's possible the gas heat thermostat is defective or not in good
contact with the tank.

You don't mention your brand and model number but some
brands you can purchase a hotter thermostat from the factory
or a well stocked parts dealer.
Mine has a totally separate thermostat for the electric and another
for the gas. This is typical for most RV water heaters.
The electric will always come on first but if we
use much water the gas will come on pretty quickly.

I gotta be honest, since we camp a lot in Kentucky state parks
and they usually have pretty decent bath houses we usually
don't shower in our trailer so this is not an issue.
While on our big adventure out west this June I did shower
in the trailer a couple times but the old "navy" shower was
the order of the day because we were dry camping with no
sewer and no water hookups. When you take a 5 gallon shower
in June you don't use a lot of hot water

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