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Old 01-12-2020, 04:09 PM   #1
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Adding Electric water heater

I have a new to me 2018 Flagstaff HighWall 29Sc (pop up camper) . Been out in it a couple times now.



I currently have a propane hot water heater only. Which works great, but wanted to know if i could do an electric heater when using full hook ups. I was wondering if anyone has added an electric hot water heater to a similar model or any newer Highwall?



Thoughts on where to begin? Is this an easy modification?
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Old 01-12-2020, 04:15 PM   #2
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Are you sure it’s propane only . Most are propane or electric now . My first camper I miss it when going thru the walk thru and didn’t figure out I had electric option till my 3 trip.
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Old 01-12-2020, 04:21 PM   #3
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Post the model number of the heater and we can tell if it's propane only or combination LP & Electric.

However if it's just LP you can add a "hot rod" element kit in the drain and get 120 volt electric heat.
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Old 01-12-2020, 04:41 PM   #4
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Post the model number of the heater and we can tell if it's propane only or combination LP & Electric.

However if it's just LP you can add a "hot rod" element kit in the drain and get 120 volt electric heat.
Yep, you should be able to install a Hot Rod kit.
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Old 01-12-2020, 05:47 PM   #5
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Post the model number of the heater and we can tell if it's propane only or combination LP & Electric.

However if it's just LP you can add a "hot rod" element kit in the drain and get 120 volt electric heat.

Suburban model # SW6D

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Old 01-12-2020, 05:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Bama Rambler View Post
Post the model number of the heater and we can tell if it's propane only or combination LP & Electric.

However if it's just LP you can add a "hot rod" element kit in the drain and get 120 volt electric heat.


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Old 01-12-2020, 06:23 PM   #7
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I would not think it even worth swapping if it was easy. Propane water heater in your pop up barely uses and fuel. It truly uses almost nothing.
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Old 01-12-2020, 06:40 PM   #8
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It is propane only . Hot rod kit online from camper world 83$ looks easy enough to install but I’ve never done it .
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Old 01-12-2020, 06:43 PM   #9
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Because you will need to disconnect the electric wires from the "Hot Rod" twice a year to winterize, because it goes where the drain plug is, I would not bother to go with the electric.
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Old 01-12-2020, 07:08 PM   #10
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Because you will need to disconnect the electric wires from the "Hot Rod" twice a year to winterize, because it goes where the drain plug is, I would not bother to go with the electric.
In the OPs profile, it lists they reside in FL.
Maybe they never have to winterize?
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Old 01-12-2020, 08:04 PM   #11
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In the OPs profile, it lists they reside in FL.
Maybe they never have to winterize?

WE don't. But he has wheels and we don't know where he goes do we?

someone who does winterize might just read this.
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Old 01-12-2020, 08:46 PM   #12
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for our 'manual pilot' gas only water heater, we simply added a 'HOTT ROD'(google it) and installed it easily into the drain plug, attached the included temperature sensor to the water tank, and plugged it into a 120v outlet... works great, no more propane. : )

The HOTT ROD is simply an electric heater element that turns your 'gas only' water heater into a 'dual energy' water heater - you can even still use the propane heating, if you choose, which is really how most newer models are designed anyway.
We can plug our HOTT ROD into an outlet within the camper, or if we have access to a separate 120v outlet at the power pedestal, we use that instead.
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:54 AM   #13
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Suburban model # SW6D

Attachment 221743Attachment 1
Yes you can replace with a gas/electric same foot print as the gas model . You will need to run a 120v service and need room for a breaker in your distribution panel . costs more then a hot rod but much better in the long run
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Old 01-13-2020, 09:05 AM   #14
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Yes you can replace with a gas/electric same foot print as the gas model . You will need to run a 120v service and need room for a breaker in your distribution panel . costs more then a hot rod but much better in the long run
The Hot Rod is Exactly like a home WH. It just utilizes the existing drain hole instead of having it's own. It uses a T-stat just like the one your home water heater. Both need 120 volt service and a breaker. No reason to buy a new WH.
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Old 01-13-2020, 09:21 AM   #15
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The Hott Rod for a six gallon water heater is only 450 watts or 4 amps

It will take more time to heat the water than a Suburban heating element, which is 1440 watts or 12 amps.

If you are using much heated water or need it to heat back up quicker than just with the Hott Rod, you can always turn your gas side on.....but that may be defeating your intended purpose.
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Old 01-13-2020, 09:38 AM   #16
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Good Point. I never looked into the wattage of the Hot Rod. I just assumed it would be the same as a standard RV WH. Silly me. I would not bother for 400 watts.
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Old 01-13-2020, 09:52 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by jaxgoose View Post
I have a new to me 2018 Flagstaff HighWall 29Sc (pop up camper) . Been out in it a couple times now.



I currently have a propane hot water heater only. Which works great, but wanted to know if i could do an electric heater when using full hook ups. I was wondering if anyone has added an electric hot water heater to a similar model or any newer Highwall?



Thoughts on where to begin? Is this an easy modification?
This kit would do what you want.

https://www.amazon.com/Camco-Hot-Wat...s%2C237&sr=8-2
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Old 01-13-2020, 10:54 AM   #18
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I'd not do it.

The so-called "hot rod" electric heaters replace the drain or anode in the tank. Problem is the Suburban water heaters require an anode to protect the tank so fitting a heat element will put the water heater at risk.

As noted LP is more effective for heating (anything) over electric and really doesn't use much fuel. Yeah, we use our "dual heat" model Suburban if on an electric site but I'd not tear out an LP-only tank for dual with my skills.

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Old 01-13-2020, 11:37 AM   #19
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The Hot Rod is Exactly like a home WH. It just utilizes the existing drain hole instead of having it's own. It uses a T-stat just like the one your home water heater. Both need 120 volt service and a breaker. No reason to buy a new WH.
Except that he has a surburban and the so called drain hole is where the anode goes . so stick in a 450 watt element and forget the protection of the anode . or replace with proper tank do the job right and keep the anode in place. There are short cuts and then there is doing the job correctly .Oh and the hot rod is nothing like a home water heater
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Old 01-13-2020, 03:14 PM   #20
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Hot water heater

I do not believe it is worth the effort. The "Hot Rod" is only 4 amps, it would take a long time to heat 6 gallons. I ran my propane hot water heater for 3 weeks, it used 3 lbs of propane. DW and I used for shower several times each. Campsite shower was bigger and nicer. Once you get the water heated, it does not take a lot to maintain.
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