Originally Posted by Tango
.., However...be advised that there is currently only one unit on the market approved for use in RV's (Girard). All of the other makers have specific language (legaleese) stating that their products are not for RV use. Several make reference in their copy that they are "great for small cabins, RV's and marine applications",
Way back when we were still on working on the Eagle conversion (trying to get rid of all the rust first), I corresponded with that folks who built the tankless water heater I was interested in (don't remember the make but it was a TN company). They told me that it cost too much money and time to get "approved" for such a tiny market (RV) and if they did get approved, they would then have to court the RV manufacturers to get their stuff into the RVs. That said, the Pres, VP, most of the engineers and a good pile of the workers loved RVing. And they had installed the tankless water heaters in their units (they pulled the RVs into the factory). I was told to make sure I vented the tankless outside. Then an engineer sent me diagrams on how he installed his tankless water heater in the bay of his RV. Included was a disclaimer that the company lawyer said had to be attached since they were not "approved" for installation in a mobile unit. He had to include it even though he sent the info via his private e-mail.
As for "approved" uses... The people on this forum are using former school buses in an "unapproved" manner. They are using many materials in an "unapproved" manner.
BTW, there are now TWO Tankless RV units. One predates Girard
by many years. The RV-500
has been on the market for several years now.
on the Girard Tankless. You will want to read ALL of it. Most of the stuff applies to ANY tankless. We will install an Eccotemp LV12 ($293)
. We have the Eccotemp LV5
on the food cart (pumped with Shurflo 2088 40PSI 2.8 GPM pump... placed inside, vented out, burner kicks on only
with full water flow... not what we want for "home" use). The LV12 is bigger and will be placed under our kitchen sink and vented outside. The inlet water and fresh tank will be directly under the kitchen are and in a heated box. Our water set up will always draw from the fresh holding tank. The fresh water will come in from the city water hookup, pass thru two filters and a water softener before entering the fresh tank thru a Dial Mfg. 4153 Float Valve
. When the water level is down, the valve opens. When the tank is full, the float closes the valve. No more standing around waiting for the tank to fill and water pour out of the over flow. Since our filters knock the water flow down so much, this is our best solution. We also figure that when we are traveling, we will just pull into a campground every couple of days --- dump black/grey waste tanks, fill up the fresh water overnight. The softener will keep the mineral build up on the tankless water heater, etc to a minimum. Mineral build up is deadly to any water heater but seems to be worse for the tankless units.
A point to take into account is how you will use your bus. In many campgrounds, electric is metered or included in the site rent. Often AC is cheaper than LP. Boondocking/wallydocking means you rely on LP more but you may be limited in your water usage. Altitude may need to be factored in as well. The thread link above has some info on these points. No matter what type or brand of water heater you chose, I would suggest you read it. How you will use your bus and your water requirements can only be taken into account by you. Make sure you discuss water use with your mate/partner. This is not a good subject to have a misunderstanding.
We have an Atwood AC/LP 6 gallon water heater in our Class C. We bought the water heater in 2007 and have yet to operate it on LP. It works well, recovers fast on AC. By the time one person gets showered/hair shampooed (and conditioned/rinsed) the tank is running out of hot water. It does recover by the time I get dried/dressed. But David doesn't take as long or hot a shower as I do. So we allow a few extra minutes to heat back up when my daughter takes a shower after me (or I take one after her). It does take a bit of learning if you are a "long, hot, leisurely shower" type person. It costs quite a bit more than the LV-12 back then and the LV-12 is about half the price of a new Atwood today. I do love a long hot shower in the winter. Thus my fascination with the tankless water heaters. I love the idea that I could take a 2 hour shower.