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Old 07-13-2011, 10:31 PM   #1
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Question Tankless Water Heaters

I have a Rockwood 2011 2902SS with 6gal water heater and 30amp service. I figured a camper with a shower & bathtub would have the capacity to furnish enough hot water for at least one [short] shower or [small] bath for the kids - wrong!

Needless to say, I am considering upgrading to an LP tankless, but the only viable options are quite pricey (there's the RV500 for ~$1000 or Girard ~$700, each plus install) and am concerned with the power draw (would I need to shut off the A/C, TV, etc?) when in use.

I would GREATLY appreciate any feedback, especially if your using one of these units and/or if there are any other (preferable less expensive) options besides using a shower house or an outside shower.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:47 PM   #2
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for about $400.00 you can buy an Atwood 10 gal. gas/electric....4 exra gal. makes showers much better and most camper have enough room to take the bigger water heater
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:51 AM   #3
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The problem with tankless heaters is that they need a lot of power if the flow rate is anywhere near enough. Domestic electric ones are 220V and draw a lot of current. They are usually installed at every location needing hot water. Since they're on-demand, they don't have any heat losses from stored water and are much lighter (not an issue in a stick house).

I don't think a domestic type electric tankless would work in an RV due to the power required, but a propane powered one might. Whether one heater could supply shower and sinks is another issue to be considered, as is whether the propane plumbing can handle the gas flow required.
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdbware View Post
I have a Rockwood 2011 2902SS with 6gal water heater and 30amp service. I figured a camper with a shower & bathtub would have the capacity to furnish enough hot water for at least one [short] shower or [small] bath for the kids - wrong!
Hiya,

Are you heating your water with propane or electric? I only ask because I take a pretty hefty shower and I have yet to run my hot water tank to cold while burning gas.

True, electric and 115 volts is pretty slow going. But on gas, these 6 gallon tanks heat very fast and efficiently.

Just a thought...
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:49 AM   #5
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Got one on the house...

Uses BOTH electricity and propane. I think the electricity is 120VAC. Would require some hefty propane tanks...
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Old 07-14-2011, 12:04 PM   #6
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Upgrade the----------

Upgrade the thermostats from 120 to 140, run both gas and ele when using the shower. But you can not run it full bore while kids play, they can learn the "NAVY" shower way too.
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:08 PM   #7
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My DH and I recently used our shower after an extremely hot day. Neither of us ran out of hot water, even though he took his shower right after mine. You just have to turn the water off and conserve with showering.
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Old 07-27-2011, 01:45 PM   #8
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DW and I have both showered one after the other and not run out of water. Like TRUDINATOR said you have to conserve. Wet down and shut shower off, lather up, rinse of
wet hair shut shower off shampoo then rinse off. Keep shower shut off as much as possible, you cant take a shower like you were at home is the bis thing.
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Old 07-27-2011, 06:43 PM   #9
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I've seen some of the newer units promoting tankless propane water heaters but haven't known anyone that has one to find out how well they work. I would be interested to know myself.
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Old 07-27-2011, 06:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdbware View Post
I have a Rockwood 2011 2902SS with 6gal water heater and 30amp service. I figured a camper with a shower & bathtub would have the capacity to furnish enough hot water for at least one [short] shower or [small] bath for the kids - wrong!

Needless to say, I am considering upgrading to an LP tankless, but the only viable options are quite pricey (there's the RV500 for ~$1000 or Girard ~$700, each plus install) and am concerned with the power draw (would I need to shut off the A/C, TV, etc?) when in use.

I would GREATLY appreciate any feedback, especially if your using one of these units and/or if there are any other (preferable less expensive) options besides using a shower house or an outside shower.

Thanks in advance!
Make sure your electric water heater is on, the switch is located outside behind the water heater door (dumb place). Its a small rocker switch. Just make sure its off when you have no water in the tank or you shut the water supply off. I added a remote switch inside the camper for the electric shut off. I did come across someone that had a tankless water heater and he did not like it. The problem was that if you ran just a trickle of water the tankless heater did not kick on. The unit ran on propane and you have to have a cold weather kit in freezing weather so the water heater wont freeze up.
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:05 PM   #11
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My wife and I were taking navy showers, for fear we'd run out of hot water. Last trip out, she took a solid 8-10 minute shower and never ran out of hot water. We run the tank on electric only too. I was surprised that she didn't run out...

Waited about an hour for the tank to recover, and I took a 10 minute shower. Still had hot water. One thing I noticed was that my hot water is HOT and it doesn't take much hot water for a comfortable shower. Maybe that's the key; hotter water = less usage?
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Old 08-29-2011, 10:05 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by kwkincer View Post
My wife and I were taking navy showers, for fear we'd run out of hot water. Last trip out, she took a solid 8-10 minute shower and never ran out of hot water. We run the tank on electric only too. I was surprised that she didn't run out...

Waited about an hour for the tank to recover, and I took a 10 minute shower. Still had hot water. One thing I noticed was that my hot water is HOT and it doesn't take much hot water for a comfortable shower. Maybe that's the key; hotter water = less usage?
X2

We have yet to run out of hot water while showering and most of the time we leave the water running. We take approx 10 minute showers and allow about 30 minutes between. We always use the electric side and rarely use the gas. This is our third trailer and it's been that way on all three. Maybe we take "cooler" showers than most requiring less hot water per shower.
Our biggest concern is filling up the grey tank when not at a FHU site!
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:05 PM   #13
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Another simple (and inexpensive) idea is to switch to a better shower head. The cheap units that come from the factory leave a lot to be desired. I switched mine out for an Oxygenics shower head, and added a simple on/off valve. The better pressure generated by this shower head allows for not needing to turn the water on all the way.

Here's a link...

Amazon.com: Oxygenics 15123 Handheld Shower Kit: Home Improvement

YMMV

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Old 09-08-2011, 05:40 PM   #14
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X2 on the Oxygenics. Best money I've spent on a mod.
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Old 09-20-2011, 05:42 PM   #15
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When we traded the Jayco for a Rockwood, we did not get enough hot water either and yes I knew about the "hidden" switch on the outside. It turns out (from reading here) that the bypass valve was open thus mixing hot with cold after the waterheater.
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Old 10-14-2011, 03:48 PM   #16
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X2 on the Oxygenics. Best money I've spent on a mod.
We found this to be the case as well. Wildcat now installs the Oxygenics shower head on all our products. Paired with the tankless water heater, it does a great job.
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