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Old 11-08-2022, 05:46 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
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RV water heater install location

Looking for input / insight from anyone who has installed an RV water heater (Girard, Fogatti, etc). From the videos I've seen folks will cut the square hole in the side of their bus and place the unit on their subfloor. However I don't want to cut the chair rail area so was thinking of building a box for the heater to sit on and then cut the hole above (see photo).

Is there anything I might be missing here? Its obviously stressful to cut such a big hole so want to make sure I get it right!
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Old 11-08-2022, 06:24 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
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Your plan looks/sounds just fine. I actually like that you're not cutting through the chair rail. Good planning!
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Old 11-08-2022, 07:10 PM   #3
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We installed ours just above the chair rail. Its sitting in the bottom of the base cabinet under the sink, and it just so happened to line up above the chair rail. Its pretty nerve wracking to cut a hole like that into the side of the bus, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
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Old 11-09-2022, 08:32 PM   #4
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I would STRONGLY suggest not cutting any holes until it's absolutely necessary to do so. You think you know where the heater is going, but if there's anything at all that you haven't taken into account on your build, any measurement that's off, or anything in the design changes for whatever reason, you might find that hole in the wrong place.
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Old 11-10-2022, 12:43 PM   #5
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How about putting the water heater under the floor instead? If your bus has underfloor storage bays you can put it inside a bay, and to save precious storage space there you can then hang the heater from the floor above, still leaving space under it for storing Stuff. If you don't have underfloor bays, just hang it anyway from the floor. Advantages of doing this is that you're not using limited interior space, and if the heater should leak it will not flood the interior. I did this for my bus, and it now takes only a few minutes to easily remove the heater by simply loosening its four hangers, moving its support tray about an inch to the left and an inch down, then it just slides out. Easy!

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Old 11-12-2022, 07:10 PM   #6
Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
How about putting the water heater under the floor instead? If your bus has underfloor storage bays you can put it inside a bay, and to save precious storage space there you can then hang the heater from the floor above, still leaving space under it for storing Stuff. If you don't have underfloor bays, just hang it anyway from the floor. Advantages of doing this is that you're not using limited interior space, and if the heater should leak it will not flood the interior. I did this for my bus, and it now takes only a few minutes to easily remove the heater by simply loosening its four hangers, moving its support tray about an inch to the left and an inch down, then it just slides out. Easy!

John

That is where I put mine, just in front of the rear tire, on the passenger side. This will allow me the shortest length for the kitchen sink and the indoor shower. I had to cut the fender brace, as it was a tight fit due to having a 100 gal water aux water tank right next to it. I will rebace the fender and build a small frame on the backside to hold some insulation as I plan on a lot of cold weather camping.
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Old 11-16-2022, 04:51 PM   #7
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I did what you are describing. Put the 6 gallon Suburban water heater on a box to raise it. I also DID cut the chair rail, to have the heater and all it's "stuff" fit under the countertop, and be able to intersect the rub rail the way I wanted on the outside.
Edit: looks like the picture didn't go through. I e never been able to post a picture on this forum.
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Old 11-16-2022, 05:18 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
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I went with a propane on demand unit. It takes little space a has 1 round hole to outside for combustion air and exhaust
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Old 11-16-2022, 05:30 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Propane on demand hot water heater

My installation may not be for everyone but it works fine for me. Unlimited hot water for the kitchen sink and shower which is right behind the wall you see in the picture. The supply runs are very short which helps conserve water. The water heater cost about $100 and the picture was taken during the building process.
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Old 11-16-2022, 08:52 PM   #10
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My installation may not be for everyone but it works fine for me. Unlimited hot water for the kitchen sink and shower which is right behind the wall you see in the picture. The supply runs are very short which helps conserve water. The water heater cost about $100 and the picture was taken during the building process.
This is exactly where I'm putting mine (just on the other side of the bus), above the sink on the wall between the sink and the shower.
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Old 11-17-2022, 10:40 AM   #11
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Same location for me. I attach the vent pipe to the heater and it exhausts out the little side window of my shuttle bus. Very short runs of Pex.
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