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Old 05-01-2009, 12:45 PM   #1
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? - I need a plan for hot water .

So I know what I want to do with my conversion for the most part. One area that continually leaves me scratching my head is how I should heat water for showering.

The Little Sahara Sand Dunes will be the primary destination for my hauler. Once there it will be hooked up to water and elec. I have never had an RV before but from what I understand the elec. hook ups are not sufficient to power and elec water heater.

I do plan to run fresh, grey, and black water tanks with a 12v pump. Mainly so that the toilet and sink can be used on the road. I suppose if I got the right 12v pump a shower would be possible while unhooked as well. Main concern is 2-4 hot showers a night without the last person staying up till 2am waiting for hot water. 5 min shower time is sufficient.

Don't have a genny, do have a large LP tank. So I have been considering a small home type gas water heater, if I could find one used. Kind of worried about recovery time and gas consumption. But not sure I can afford an on demand worth having.

Have looked at a couple on demand units. Like this one ->


But it does say things like "has a maximum output of 35,000 BTU/h or 10.2 kW, 1.5 GPM and is designed for applications in regions where incoming water temperature is above 60, and therefore is suitable as a home tankless water heater in the southern regions of the U.S. and in some warmer northern climates"
and "Vertical Venting Required (not included)" Not real excited about luke warm showers or venting up through the roof.

Also kinda looked at this Atwood ->


6 gallon capacity
Includes the door plus attaching hardware and installation instructions
Uses LP gas for convenience
Easy to install
They have aluminum clad tanks. This eliminates the need to
have the aluminum anode for corrosion protection.
95% of the parts can be replaced or serviced through the
outside door. This simplifies service and eliminates the
need for service personnel to enter the inside of your
coach.
The high temperature limit switch, temperature control and
pressure relief helps protect your equipment and safety.
Cut-out dimensions are: 16" wide, 12-1/2" high, and 16-7/8" deep.


Not sure what type of venting this would require or how hot the water would be if the outside temp were say 45deg or so. Really trying to stay around $200 or under.

What do you guys think I should do?
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Old 05-01-2009, 08:05 PM   #2
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Re: ? - I need a plan for hot water .

Quote:
Originally Posted by vanguy67
You probably wont find a brand new one (neither 6 gallon nor 10 gallon) new for your $200 or less price though. Two options: save up! or buy used. I would suggest saving up a little longer as new will have warranty and you won't be buying someone else's troubles.

I'm going with a 10 gallon Suburban with a standing pilot light.
Well the 6gal Atwood I posted is $216 shipped from here -> http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ATWOO...Q5fAccessories

Once all the hot water is used how long do you think the 6gal would take to refill and get hot again?
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Old 05-01-2009, 10:42 PM   #3
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Re: ? - I need a plan for hot water .

The 6 or 10 RV Style water heaters are the best choice. You can get them in various configurations. I would skip past anything that needs a pilot light, and find one that is listed as DSI (Direct Spark Ignition). These you simply turn on a switch, and they light themselves. Both are also available as a gas-electric combo, which means it's the same gas heater as pictured, but also has a 1500W electric element on it (that is 120vac @ 12.5amps) which is easily handled by campground power poles whch typically offer 20-30-50 amp outlets (30 amp being the most popular) You may have trouble runnning an electric unit and a roof top air unit at the same time as the roof air will pull around 18amps... These water heaters come in a styrofoam wrap and will keep hot all day long, I used to turn mine on once per day.

Check out pricing on ebay for an rv water heater. I have bought a lot of stuff from an ebay power seller called Tri-State Surplus, they have a lot of stuff (including water heaters from time to time) and very good prices. They ship fast and I highly recommend this seller!!
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Old 05-02-2009, 12:09 AM   #4
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Re: ? - I need a plan for hot water .

the household tankless heaters do a great job, I really like the bosch 125 that i have in the house. someone here found a used tankless on craigslist or ebay and put in his bus and is happy with it. hang it on the back of the bus and don't poke a hole in yor roof. lp fired and electronic pilot or light the pilot for showertime.
another option would be a liquid/liquid heat exchanger hooked up to your engine cooling system and freshwater.
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Old 05-02-2009, 10:01 AM   #5
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Re: ? - I need a plan for hot water .

I've considered the Zodi type heaters.
http://www.zodi.com/web-content/Consume ... ducts.html
I like the portability- take it on a road trip, car camping, etc. Also like the ability to shower with stream, lake etc water if camped remotely. They are a bit spendy for what it is though. There may be other brands that are similar. I think Coleman has one?
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Old 05-02-2009, 10:11 PM   #6
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Re: ? - I need a plan for hot water .

I haven't done it yet, but I'm thinking about getting a circulation heater. Steve posted about it in his conversion here - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=4&start=105 about 1/2 way down on page 8

For $30 bucks at your local tractor supply store I'd say it''s worth a try..

For showering I've used one of those coleman camping showers - basically a water bag you lay in the sun for a few hours to warm up.. Mine works great and was only about $10
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Old 05-03-2009, 02:59 AM   #7
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Re: ? - I need a plan for hot water .

Well, if no one has anything bad to say about the 6gal Atwood I posted I think thats the way I am gonna go. I just can't beat the price of $216 shipped. I have been looking at the DSI 6gal which would be nice but for ~$90 I think I can handle lighting the pilot. That almost covers the cost of the toilet I need to get. It basically comes down to the fact I'll probably only use the bus / shower maybe 5 weekends a year.

Since I would typically be hooked to electric I like the idea of the gas & electric units but ~$540 is just too much to swing with all the other stuff I need to get for the conversion. Also I don't know how much current my AC will draw. Its a window type unit, I believe ~18,000 btu.

I guess since its wrapped with styrofoam its meant to be outside, and it should be fine for me to mount it up under the bus.
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:04 AM   #8
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Re: ? - I need a plan for hot water .

If you really want the electric option, an easy way is to get an RV water heater that has a replaceable anode rod. Pretty much any RV shop, and even some hardware stores sell a screw in electric heater that replaces the corrosion inhibiting anode. Prices may vary, but the beauty is that you can upgrade to electric later, if desired. No need to spend the extra bucks right now.
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Old 05-03-2009, 03:30 PM   #9
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Re: ? - I need a plan for hot water .

We have the 10 gal. Suburban with DSI and that we bought new. Have been very happy with the performance. We did have to have the control board replaced but since it was under warranty it didn't cost a dime. We think DSI is the way to go also. I have to say that to do it again I would look into instant heat water heaters. Let us know what you decide.
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Old 05-03-2009, 03:47 PM   #10
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Re: ? - I need a plan for hot water .

My wife and I are in the same boat. We are going to go tankless with a whole house water heater. There are a few on ebay that I think will work for around $250
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