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Old 08-19-2011, 05:28 PM   #1
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Water Heater

We just picked up our Rockwood Ulta Lite today and had the demo. I am pretty good with most of the instructions...they need to make a dvd of the training....but I am confused about using the hot water heater. I know you can use gas or electric, and I prefer electric, but I am not sure what to set inside and out to set it to electric.

Thanks.

Mike
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:06 PM   #2
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There should be a switch on the outside bottom left. That is the electric switch. Just make sure tank is full first.
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:46 PM   #3
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without knowing the brand of WH or the model of Rockwood you have, can't say for sure.

but most FR products have a Suburban WH, that has an electric toggle switch with a cotter pin through it, located outside of the trailer behind the cover that vents the WH area.
you have to pull the key to turn on the electric heating rod.
doing this without water in the WH, will quickly burn it out.
never turn it on without making sure you have water in the WH.
using electric will take longer to heat the water, than using the propane. a lot of us will make sure there's water in the WH, then heat it with propane first and then maintain it with the electric.
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:45 AM   #4
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The electric toggle switch on the outside of the water heater is well hidden behind the gas lines. You also have to make sure the water heater breaker is on in your power center.

The toggle switch on on the wall or cabinet with the reset light beside of it on the inside of your camper is for gas operation only. Gas and electric are entire different systems.....you can work either independently, or you can run both at the same time.
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Old 08-20-2011, 07:47 AM   #5
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Length of time to heat with electric is longer than with gas but not all that long. I would guess about an hour. Chances are it will be hot before you actually need it for anything much. My motto is: Use their electricity, not your gas.
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:38 AM   #6
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Yes, my plan is to use their electricity...much appreciated.
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:31 AM   #7
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I had this same question when we got our Windjammer. The most important thing is to make sure you have water in the hot water heater first. There is a valve on the heater that you can check to see if you have water in it. To use electric, just flip on the rocker switch which is tucked in pretty tight behind the workings of the hot water heater. This is all in the vented panel on the outside of your trailer. I usually fire mine up on gas and then switch it off and maintain with electric. There is a rocker switch on my control panel just inside the door which also has switches for slides, awnings, outside lights. I have the DW flip the gas switch on while I make sure the pilot light comes on. I'll let it run while I put the slides out, set up camp, etc. and then cut the switch off and let electric take over.
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:53 PM   #8
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I had the same issue with my new 8312ss. The propane burner wouldn't light, kept flashing off and little did I know that there was an electric heater, would have been nice to know. The dealer did a poor job of explaining when we did the walkthrough.
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:59 PM   #9
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On newer models like mine regardless of what position the outside switch is in there's an additional switch in the camper that runs the electric side of the hot water heater. Both can be on at the same time to speed up the heating.
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:24 PM   #10
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We took our 2012 Shamrock on a shakedown trip. Ran the Suburban 6 gal. gas/elec. water heater for a couple of days without issues. Third evening while sitting at the inside table, the water heater caused a small explosion while igniting. About 15-30 min. later, a second small explosion while igniting. Next morning a 3rd bigger explosion while igniting. I switched to elec. and no problems. Wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience with a new water heater and trailer?
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:42 PM   #11
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We took our new 2012 Rockwood 8312 out for the first trip and had a similar experience. Scared the bejeebers out of us as we had our one year old not far away in his stroller. We didn't know that there was a switch on the tank to run the heater electrically so we ended up going for 2 days hot waterless. We are dropping it at the dealership to get the issue resolved.
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Old 08-24-2011, 05:26 AM   #12
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Water Heater Ignition Problems

I've heard several folks comment on the "hidden" location of the switch for electrical operation. Being located so near the gas burner also gives the misleading impression that this switch is to control the gas operation of the WH. A label would be a good idea! My other trailers had the electrical switch located inside.

As for the ignition explosions, I assume something prevented the gas from reaching the ignitor, allowing for a buildup of gas. Then when gas finally reached the ignitor, there was too much gas present for a normal ingition, causing an explosion. The first two times it sounded like someone pounding on the side of the trailer with their fist. The 3rd explosion caused my camping neighbor to jump our of her chair and go inside her trailer! This is definitely not a safe situation! My dealer offered to blow out the area with an air hose. I'd really like someone to watch and test it's operation in gas mode.
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:47 PM   #13
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I know where the outside switch is...but where is the inside switch?
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:38 PM   #14
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On my 192T there is no switch for electric inside. I just fill with water and turn the switch on at the WH and plug in. Water starts to heat.

I do have a switch for WH to run on propane mine is below sink.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:58 PM   #15
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We had the small "explosion"...more of a big WHOOSH as the WH was trying to start and the propane tank was empty. Switched to the other tank and no more problems.
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Old 08-31-2011, 06:19 AM   #16
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Cardinals: There is no inside switch for electrical operation mode of the WH.
in my 2012 Shamrock 19.

Coreyhunt: Agree, the electrical mode switch for WH is near the WH and the propane mode switch for WH is located at the main switch panel just inside the trailer door.

Bobfidy: Both LP tanks are full. This is a new trailer, first trip out!

Update: The trailer is at the dealer, waiting their investigation. The technician's first inspection found black specks of paint scattered around the WH compartment. He wanted to take things apart and look inside the ignition area.
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Old 08-31-2011, 06:29 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardinals View Post
I know where the outside switch is...but where is the inside switch?
i have seen pictures that shows the 2nd electric switch next to the propane switch. mine is an older trailer and doesn't have one. what i use to switch mine on and off is the breaker. it is easier for me to check that as i walk into the trailer. usually turn it on when i arrive at the first campground and turn it off when i leave the last one bound for home. when i set up at home, i will check the breaker to make sure i turned it off.

on the explosion, i would like to know what they find.
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Old 08-31-2011, 06:31 AM   #18
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Just wanted to put a good word in for using propane to heat your water - incredibly fast and costs very little. Safe too.
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Old 08-31-2011, 12:22 PM   #19
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With my unit they said there was some dirt on the burner not sure how that got there considering it was just picked up new and supposedly had a PDI at any rate they claim to have cleaned it. Haven't had the chance to try it out yet. Hope it works now.
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:09 PM   #20
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Adding to what has already been said.... Just remember that when you leave the outside switch on, whenever you are plugged into AC power that heating element will be on. I have gotten in the habit of leaving the outside switch on all the time and controlling it with the breaker inside the camper. This is easier than walking outside all the time, so I find it easier to remember. No reason to leave the heater on when your camper is not being used.... I know some drain their water heaters after every use.....I only drain mine in the fall before I put it into storage for the winter
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