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Old 12-28-2005, 03:04 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Location: alabama
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propane hot water heater

I had my mind made up for a electric water heater but got to thinking of the power it would consume. I could use that 1500 watts of power some where else. I was wondering do most skoolie conversions use the rv type gas water heater or do most people try and find a smaller residential type. Thanks for any help.Oh one more thing, I think I will and try to use the top of a 55 gallon plastic barrel for a shower basin. It has two(2) threaded holes in the top so I could hook up the drain to it.I t might require some support underneath but will have to wait and see. Just wondered if anyone else had that idea and did it or did not it work.
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Old 12-29-2005, 06:56 PM   #2
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Have I got a shower pan for you!!!!!!


Don't use a plastic barrel...use a real, honest-to-God, white oak whiskey barrel! I got mine at Wal-Mart for $14.99, IIRC. The fiberglass was probably another $30.00 And about $5.00 for the drain fitting.



You can see the step-by-step here:

http://www.skoolie.net/gallery2/album09

Works for me! I can even use it as a bathtub. (But then, I'm not a huge person...)

Simple construction. Took me 2 days, as I recall.

Holler if you have any questions about it.
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Old 12-30-2005, 10:36 AM   #3
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water heater

After some overnight thinking,,,I think that I will go with the idea of a electric water heater. Heres why: I read somewhere in this forum today that going with a 50 amp service is recomended. I can always change my load requirements as neccessary if I go ahead and build it with enough power capibility in mind first. If I only need 30 amps then no problem ,but if it comes down to 50 amps on a hot summer day then theres the problem. The electric water heaters are cheaper ,but that doesnt always mean the best way to go either. It would be a easier install for the electric model too. I think the next bus I do will be one a little bigger,,,,rigth now though the reason I am going the route I am is partially because it is a mini-bird. And my first conversion too. Thanks for all the info and hope to get some pictures of the project when I really get to cracking at it. Right now I am still in the planning and design stage and having the bus in one plac and me living in another is a challenge too. One thing is for sure, "skoolie" converters are a great bunch of people. I do get strange looks and questions (even from family memebers) about my idea.Needless to say my next spouse will be a unique person too........thanks for all the help,,,,,,,,,,,james.
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Old 12-30-2005, 02:45 PM   #4
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I meant to mention this idea: install the gas heater and put an electric water heater adapter in it. There is a kit that you can get at RV stores for this. Essentially, you replace the pressure relief valve with an electric heater element that runs from an extension cord (you could probably hardwire the wiring, if you wanted to). This gives you electric capability when you have shorepower, and gas capability when you do not. The kit costs something under a hundred dollars, which does not increase the overall cost too terribly much.
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Old 12-30-2005, 02:55 PM   #5
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water heater

hey thanks for the info. That is something i have not heard of yet but a good idea.
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Old 01-23-2006, 01:42 PM   #6
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my choice is for propane

I plan on going with one of those precision temp RV-500 tankless on demand water heaters. They offer continious hot water, and gallon for gallon cost less to run than a standard water heater. Plus the ability to take a LONG hot shower is something I just can't resist. Sure they cost more up front, but the no wait between showers and unlinited hot water supply will be well worth it.
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Old 01-23-2006, 02:23 PM   #7
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I looked into the tankless heaters at one point (before I saw the price tag). IIRC, they raise the water temperature so many degrees (varies by model and manufacturer) above ambient. That is, if your incoming water is 60 degrees, and they raise it 50 degrees, you'll get unlimited 110 degree water. I could be dismembering it wrong, though. Or it could be degrees C instead of degrees F that they were quoting.
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Old 01-23-2006, 02:56 PM   #8
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Temp rise

you are correct, they do have a limited temp rise, so if you have cold incoming water you will have a luke warm shower. The ones I have been looking at have an adjustable rise, and, if you think it will be an ongoing problem in your situation you can always shower from the "house" tank which is probably sitting at 70 degrees most of the time, providing it is mounted inside the bus.
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