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Old 02-11-2018, 09:44 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Hot water?

Ok, newbie here, still at the dreamer stage. Looking at a '99 Blue Bird 84 passenger bus. My goal here is a bus that the significant other and I can live on for 8-9 months a year, as off grid as possible. I'm looking at installing a solar system for electric, and a propane tank for heating and cooling. Probably a composting toilet.
In all the searching I've done for a floor plan I could live with, very few show any water heater. I'm wondering what everybody is using? I plan on being anywhere but Arizona during the summer, and cold showers aren't gonna work for me.
So, propane or electric?
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:05 PM   #2
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Preface: I do not live in the busses I convert. I do, however, all of my own building. And I do go camping.

My opinion is electric. I'm a fan of those mini water heaters (about the size of a microwave, usually white with a blue oval on the front) and think they provide adequate hot water for a wash-up. I have one above the slop sink in my garage and have been quite impressed with the heat and volume of water vs electric usage.

Would you be using propane for anything else onboard? That would influence my decision, I suppose. (3-way fridge, gas oven/cooktop, propane or dual fuel generator?)

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Old 02-11-2018, 10:18 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
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I looked into the tankless water heaters of the type you describe, and it seemed they are very heavy on the electrical load, with a flow rate adequate for a sink, but I suspect not enough for a shower. Kinda pricey, besides.
I am planning on propane for an oven and cooktop, and possibly a heater. Electric for lighting and fridge, and possibly AC.
Just can't decide between electric and propane for hot water.
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:20 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Dave in Tucson View Post
I looked into the tankless water heaters of the type you describe, and it seemed they are very heavy on the electrical load, with a flow rate adequate for a sink, but I suspect not enough for a shower. Kinda pricey, besides.
I am planning on propane for an oven and cooktop, and possibly a heater. Electric for lighting and fridge, and possibly AC.
Just can't decide between electric and propane for hot water.
It's not tankless. It is like 2.5 gallons, I think? It's literally a miniature water heater. Not tankless, not 240v, (relatively) low power draw...
And not pricey at all, under $200

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Old 02-11-2018, 10:32 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Ok, I haven't seen that one yet. The type I was looking at had a 100+ amp draw, and a .5 gpm flow rate.
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:43 PM   #6
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Ok, I haven't seen that one yet. The type I was looking at had a 100+ amp draw, and a .5 gpm flow rate.
Not sure if this link will work, but I'm talking about these:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0148O658Y..._4SrGAbDTKYKMH

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Old 02-11-2018, 10:51 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Ok, that looks good. The link took me to Amazon, and they have other sizes available, a 7 gallon unit is only $11 more. I think the 2.5 gallon one would be a little iffy for a shower, but the 7 gallon should work with no problem.
Thank you very much for the info!
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Dave in Tucson View Post
Ok, that looks good. The link took me to Amazon, and they have other sizes available, a 7 gallon unit is only $11 more. I think the 2.5 gallon one would be a little iffy for a shower, but the 7 gallon should work with no problem.
Yeah, that really is an interesting option. I wonder how they like to be bounced-around on the road.

Found this, says ppl put them in RV.

Bonus: torture the women-folk with cold showers.
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:07 PM   #9
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Yeah, that really is an interesting option. I wonder how they like to be bounced-around on the road.

Found this, says ppl put them in RV.

Bonus: torture the women-folk with cold showers.
Cool with torture, just not on me!
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:09 PM   #10
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Yeah, that really is an interesting option. I wonder how they like to be bounced-around on the road.

Found this, says ppl put them in RV.

Bonus: torture the women-folk with cold showers.
That article you linked to says that they wouldn't be good for showers, I'd have to disagree... I have a mixing valve mounted to the top of mine and the "thermostat" at about 3/4 and it runs hot water for a good 10 minutes. For showering, one of those fine mist low GPM heads would make this heater last for an adequate wash.

As far as mounting in a RV(bus)... As long as it's mounted solid I'd imagine road vibration wouldn't hurt it.

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