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Old 02-14-2017, 03:52 PM   #1
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Hot water, the final chapter.

My hot water system modification is now complete. I am elated with the results. Read about it here:

Forest River Peeps, I know you are here. Feel free to contact me if you want more details, although the writeup is pretty thorough. I see no reason for you not to incorporate this and make your awesome Moho even more awesome.

https://dragonship.blog/modifications/hot-water-system/
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:24 AM   #2
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Very well done
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:19 AM   #3
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I applaud your endeavor and tenacity. I understand how the EWH buffers out the "Colds Sandwiches". I also understand the three main problems with tankless water heaters in an RV; namely: 1) Time to get hot water 2) Intermittent hot/cold flow, and 3) Inability to mix in cold water.

With the EWH up to temperature with 7 gallons, I see where it would buffer out the Atwood's uneven temps. However prior to the EWH mod. the Atwood took 1:55 min. to achieve 81 degrees at the kitchen faucet and am I wrong in thinking that it would take like 20-30 minutes to get hot water if the EWH was just turned on. So if not hooked up to a land-line, I suppose the generator would have to be run to heat up the EWH (which takes time). Please clarify me on this if I am miss-stating.

I have gone through the tremendous lows of using the Girard Gen I for many years. I installed the Girard Gen III, 3/4 year's ago and although I haven't done extensive tests, liked in cold weather; it works just great. You mentioned that the Atwood raises and lowers the flame with flow. The Girard changes the flame in accordance to the output temperature and keeps it at the setpoint temperature, that we general set at 118 degrees (digitally) and the Gen III keeps it uniform with changes in flow. Mixing in cold water has not been a problem.

With a little non-scientific test that I just done, turning on the kitchen faucet full (with non-heat water line), it took about 15 sec. to get to 118 degrees at the water heater output (shown digitally on the control pad), 40 sec. to get warm water, 60 sec to get hot water and 80 sec. to get very hot water (burns hands). My Moen sink faucet that I installed mixes cold water beautifully. However, the shower control is a piece of cr*p. It is difficult to move the lever; you either have full hot or full cold. Yes, it is on my list to replace, just as many have. As a work around, I go to the digital control and for me set it at 106. I put the cr*py shower control on full hot and then could shower forever.

Dragonship Captain; I wish you good luck with your new setup and please correct me if I miss-understood your setup.
Hank
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Old 02-15-2017, 11:10 AM   #4
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Dragonship Captain:

My bad; I see where from the tankless off and EWH with cold water, that the EWH could be pre-charged from the Atwood using propane, as you say in 3 minutes as opposed to my saying 30 minutes. However I am still mystified. Your kitchen faucet flows at 1 GPM. To move 7 gallons (that the EWH holds) out of the EWH and replace with Atwood hot water, will then take 7 minutes and throwing down the drain, 7 gallons. So I suspect that you are probably right, but only to get warm water in three minutes; probably not what you want in a shower.

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Old 02-15-2017, 12:07 PM   #5
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Thanks for taking the time to read all that!

Yes, the flow at the kitchen is 1gpm, most likely due to the design of the flex hose/nozzle thing. It was higher at the other stations. (See testing) In fact, BEFORE the manifold, ie straight out of the pump the flow is considerable. (The manifolds add quite a bit of restriction.) To get out of a hot faucet, the water has been through 30 feet of pipe and TWO manifolds. I didn't measure it, but let's say the EWH filled in 3-4 minutes, 2gpm sounds about right.

Now, if you you're not filling from empty and you don't want to loose those 7 gallons you can attach the "OUT" side of the EWH to the "Tank Fill" above the manifold and put it right back in the big water tank until the EWH is full.
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Old 02-15-2017, 12:31 PM   #6
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As a new MH, my kitchen faucet was 1 GPM. I found a silver one-way valve where the faucet hose attached to the faucet. I removed it and increased my flow to 1.5 GPM. I mentioned this in other posts, and nobody ever found it. Maybe you can.
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Old 02-15-2017, 12:41 PM   #7
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In our bus camper in the shower we used a return stand pipe to allow heated water to return to the FW tank.

The shower hand wand was simply dropped running into a larger pipe high up where it would not get contaminated.

This keeps water from being waisted , waiting for the heater to switch on.
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Old 02-15-2017, 03:54 PM   #8
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Old 02-15-2017, 04:15 PM   #9
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I mentioned in several post, that by removing a one-way valve in series with the plumbing to the kitchen faucets hose, that the flow rate can increase as much as 50%. Mine went from 0.9 GPM to 1.4 GPM. Nobody ever responded or couldn't find it.

Well here is a picture as to what it looks like:
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Old 02-15-2017, 04:28 PM   #10
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OK, I did just find a contraption with a little spring loaded ball and some really small washers inside where the hand piece hose attached to the faucet. (It's one of those pull out handsets). They have been removed. See what happens when I turn it back on. Currently winterized again. Didn't see anything suspicious between the supply hoses and the faucet.

I might just put a nice residential unit on there.
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Old 02-15-2017, 04:48 PM   #11
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I believe that you found it.
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Old 02-16-2017, 02:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscarvan View Post
My hot water system modification is now complete. I am elated with the results. Read about it here:

Forest River Peeps, I know you are here. Feel free to contact me if you want more details, although the writeup is pretty thorough. I see no reason for you not to incorporate this and make your awesome Moho even more awesome.

https://dragonship.blog/modifications/hot-water-system/
Wowie. If your happy an you got it to where you want great, I went from a girard 2 to gen 3 I installed myself an never looked , back . In 50 seconds I got 115 degrees an could shower all day long if I wanted, just wife an myself, propane last us 3 months easy. No problem mixing hot to cold . Great job on your part... nicely done
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Old 03-25-2017, 06:05 PM   #13
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i switched from a girard gen2 (oem 2013) to a gen3 myself last year. i haven't had a chance to camp in winter with the berkshire yet.

but before i installed the gen3, i spoke with the girard techs and asked them about real world winter applications. they told me at best, the heater would only get about 65 degrees hotter than what was coming in. at best is in summer where propane burns hotter. during the winter and if you are at high altitude, propane is not nearly as efficient. you can't expect the 65 degree increase. so if you were camping in winter were the there is snow everywhere you would still have a very hard time getting a hot shower if the starting water temp was just above freezing (ie: 33-35 degrees + the ~50 degree increase from the heater = 80-90 degrees at the shower which is luke warm).

i think oscar's solution is the best compromise solution for this incomplete setup we have... the 7 gallons of hot water will buffer what is needed for a shower. plus with the input of water around 80-90 degrees, the little water heater won't have that much work to do.

in warmer weather where the water is not near freezing, the tankless heaters might be able to handle the load all on it's own...

since i now live in northern idaho, i think i'll borrow your idea oscar! thanks!!!
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Old 03-26-2017, 05:56 AM   #14
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The Truma heater has a built-in storage tank of 1 liter. If yiu go to their Web site they have a video of how it works with a small pump.
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Old 03-26-2017, 12:08 PM   #15
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The Truma heater has a built-in storage tank of 1 liter. If yiu go to their Web site they have a video of how it works with a small pump.
Do you have one? Been trying to find real world experiences in winter with near freezing water temps but have not yet. With Oscar's system, he has 7 gallons of buffer and 2 heating cycles vs Truma's 1 liter and 1 heat cycle. i'm curious to see if Truma can bring water from 33-35 degrees to 110 degrees consistently. i know for sure a girard gen2 cannot even reach 90 degrees (luke warm).

Also, it seems Truma is only sold through it's dealer network where they want to install it... can't buy it yourself?
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Old 03-26-2017, 09:11 PM   #16
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No i do not have one. Just wanted to point out that a buffer tank seems like the answer.
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Old 03-27-2017, 05:21 AM   #17
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As a follow up, I just spent three weeks on the road in the coach. Temperatures ranged from the 40's to the 80's. We used mostly line supplied water and some tank.

The system exceeded my expectations. We had quick, controllable, endless hot water at any flow rate desired. Kitchen work was flawless, showers perfect, sometimes two in a row followed by a load of laundry.

In addition to all the discussed benefits the tank provided quick reliable hot water when driving for a good three hours.

When I got back home I was slightly annoyed at how long it took to get hot water upstairs......
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Old 03-27-2017, 06:22 AM   #18
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Interesting.
I have the Truma in my isata, when reading about it, I found a model from them that does the same as you did.

Have you seen that model?
Comfort Plus? I think.
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Old 03-28-2017, 10:01 AM   #19
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Do you have one? Been trying to find real world experiences in winter with near freezing water temps but have not yet. With Oscar's system, he has 7 gallons of buffer and 2 heating cycles vs Truma's 1 liter and 1 heat cycle. i'm curious to see if Truma can bring water from 33-35 degrees to 110 degrees consistently. i know for sure a girard gen2 cannot even reach 90 degrees (luke warm).

Also, it seems Truma is only sold through it's dealer network where they want to install it... can't buy it yourself?
We have one (Factory installed, so I can't directly answer your where to buy question.)

We have had zip problems with our Truma all winter long - and we have showered when it was 11° (F) outside. Could only turn the handle 1/2 to the left before the water was too hot to stand in.

All in all the Truma performs exceptionally in cold weather. In my case, this is defined as persistent (1 week or so) of temps between 11° and freezing). Not surprised though - Truma was engineered for German RVs and those folks will take their rigs out when it is -10 below

Our assessment: the Truma is truly a worry-free solution to continuous hot water and, it is miserly with the propane to boot. 2 (long!) showers a day, dishwashing, hot water for washing hands and so forth, plus 6-8 warm water laundry cycles per week, and we can last 6 weeks on our propane tank and still have 3-ish gallons left.


We have used the Truma both on city water (pressure regulated to 65PSI) and fresh water tank (@ 55PSI). Works flawlessly in both modes.

Where to purchase. You know, I would give Andy Thompson in Parts a call and ask if you can buy one from the Diesel Division (his phone is (574) 522-1747).

From what I am told and from YouTube videos, it appears to be a direct swap out. The only thing you will have to do is get the Truma cover painted to match your coach (which can be pricey).
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Old 03-28-2017, 10:08 AM   #20
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Interesting.
I have the Truma in my isata, when reading about it, I found a model from them that does the same as you did.

Have you seen that model?
Comfort Plus? I think.
The Comfort model is what is installed in our coach (and, I think all Berkshires as of late-2016)

The Comfort Plus is their flagship line and has to be (I believe) factory installed. The Comfort Plus provides instant hot water at every tap throughout the coach by circulating the hot water continuously through the hot water lines (sort of like what a AquaHot does).
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