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Old 10-19-2008, 06:11 PM   #1
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best way to heat water.

im looking for the best way to heat water, i will be boondocking alot, as we are building the bus for atving......there will be atleast 4 of us showering, me the wife and the youngins.....i mostly have found the atwood and others in 6 gal size, im thinking i need elec./prop. unit, someone told me that you could run in both for quick recovery? and what about one of the under sink style wall mount elec. heaters, when it is shower time fire up the genny? i havent even purchased my bus as of yet but am close to making the commitment, so i have been watching for deals and plan to start purchasing things asap if its a good deal.....just not sure what to buy....thanks....
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Old 10-20-2008, 09:07 AM   #2
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Re: best way to heat water.

I have a gas tankless water heater in my house and would absolutely never go back to a conventional water heater, endless hot showers are wonderful.
if you compare the cost of a good 12 year conventional 50 gal water heater with a 15 year tankless and then add in the energy factor the up front costs are less than $100 and the operating cost savings are forever.
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Old 10-20-2008, 04:17 PM   #3
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Re: best way to heat water.

Bosch 125 from Lowes $595 list price in stock both lp and natural gas, powervent kit extra if needed $300.
I had the Bosch 125 in the old house direct vented thru the roof, when we built the new house i put the waterheater in the basement and had to use a powervent 25 feet out thru the rimjoist, the instructions are diy friendly. Building inspecter wanted to see the directions, asked a couple of questions about length and compensation for elbows, and signed off, no problem.

If i was going to buy a new heater today I would go with a Rinnai or Paloma with the double heat exchanger so i could use it to heat the radiant basement floor and domestic water with the same unit, not available 5 years ago whn i bought the Bosch.
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Old 10-20-2008, 05:06 PM   #4
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Re: best way to heat water.

powervent is required only after x feet of exhaust, 5" b vent , 4 " b vent before the blower and sealed after on the powervent.
It's all about the location of the heater in relation to where you are going to vent it, in a bus it would be hang the heater on the wall and run the exhaust straight thru the roof.
the real advantage of a tankless heater is the "hollywood" shower, endless hot water, not something that you are going to be doing in a rv with limited fresh water supply and holding tank capacity, how ever if you are hooked up to water and sewer that changes everything.

In the house I put the water heater in the basement under the kitchen sink and mid point between the bathrooms and laundry using the theory that wo would use hot water in the kitchen more often than anywhere else in the house. Also used pex plumbing with a manifold system and homerun plumbing to each fixture.
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Old 10-20-2008, 10:55 PM   #5
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Re: best way to heat water.

If you are going to be dry camping at all, your best bet may be to stick with RV style water heaters. They are available in 6-10-12 gallon versions, some can run on gas or 120vac electric (or both at the same time for best recovery time), gas would be 12v DSI (Direct Spark Ignition)... Best pricing will be from Tri-State Surplus (Ebay power seller)...
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Old 10-25-2008, 09:31 PM   #6
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Re: best way to heat water.

I too have been looking at water heating. I have to heat fresh water and my radiant floor heat. I am hoping to heat the water with an on demand jobby but found that the Bosch on demand wasn't approved for RV use (whatever that means). I am going to put an electric boiler in as well for the times we can plug in. As long as I can find one that won't draw too much amperage.
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Old 10-25-2008, 10:34 PM   #7
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Re: best way to heat water.

I use an RV-500 from Precision Temp. As far as I know it is the only on-demand water heater approved for RV use. USA-made. Similar in price to the Bosch models (maybe a bit more), no problems or complaints so far.
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Old 10-26-2008, 10:42 AM   #8
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Re: best way to heat water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
Sean, what was the pricetag on the RV-500? They didn't list it on the site.

Smitty
IIRC, I paid $875 plus shipping (just over two years ago). The price I'm seeing now on a quick Google search is $975 and up.
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Old 10-26-2008, 07:08 PM   #9
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Re: best way to heat water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fireman69
im looking for the best way to heat water, i will be boondocking alot, as we are building the bus for atving......there will be atleast 4 of us showering, me the wife and the youngins.....i mostly have found the atwood and others in 6 gal size, im thinking i need elec./prop. unit, someone told me that you could run in both for quick recovery? and what about one of the under sink style wall mount elec. heaters, when it is shower time fire up the genny? i havent even purchased my bus as of yet but am close to making the commitment, so i have been watching for deals and plan to start purchasing things asap if its a good deal.....just not sure what to buy....thanks....
Hiya!

Well, the first thing you need to do is teach everyone the basics of a "Navy" shower (turn on the water, get wet, turn off the water, shampoo, lather up, then rinse). Otherwise your biggest problem is not going to be hot water but water in general; a "normal" shower goes through a lot of it. You can can get 4 showers out of a 6-gallon hot water tank if you do it right. If you give 'em any more you're going to run out of your main water supply in all likelihood. You're not in a hotel/motel or at home, you're campin' (especially if you're boondocking) and you just have to get folks to think a bit differently.
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:58 AM   #10
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Re: best way to heat water.

I agree 100% with Les, total water useage/conservation is important, especially if you aren't hooked up to water and sewer.
In a previous post I mentioned "hollywood" showers, ie all of the hot water that you want for the duration, even with a low flow showerhead they use a lot of water compared to a "navy" shower, It's just one of the perks that these old bones have earned since the hot tub/sauna fairy hasen't stoped at my house yet.
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