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Open Roads Forum  >  Fifth-Wheels

 > Tankless Hot Water Heaters In New Wildcats

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Tom Holsinger

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Posted: 03/06/11 10:54am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Forest River now offers a standard tankless hot water heater in some of its new Wildcat vacation-market 5th wheels. See:

http://www.forestriverinc.com/nd/default22.asp?page=feat&choice=sterling&nav=rec

I haven't checked other Forest River 5th wheels lines to see if tankless hot water heaters are offered on new models.

My understanding of the drawback to tankless hot water heaters in RV's has been the RV water pump not being able to consistently deliver an even flow of water, with the results being major spikes and decreases in shower water temperature (due to the same amount of heat energy being delivered to a varying amount of water). Forest River appears to think it has this problem solved.

I would very much appreciate if owners of Forest River 5th wheels with the new tankless hot systems would tell us how those are working out.

I discovered this yesterday visiting Best RV in my town to check out its newly deliver Crossroads Cruiser 335SS model, and saw one of the new Wildcat Sterling edition models. Those appear to emulate the Crossroads Cruiser Patriot edition 5th wheels, i.e., with 50 amp service and Corian kitchen countertops being standard.

I checked out Forest River's website afterward and found a number of Wildcat Sterling edition models, most of which have very attractive floorplans. Competiton is wonderful.

skipnchar

Topeka or somewhere else

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Posted: 03/06/11 11:32am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I haven't used a tankless system on an RV (had one on a boat once that was very good for heating HOT water but not very good for heating cold water). Hard to imagine that there would be much variation in water flow with the pump unless someone else was using water at the same time so if that's the issue it doesn't sound like much of one. Good luck / Skip


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TexasDad

Coppell, Tx.

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Posted: 03/10/11 09:34am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I recently purchased a 2011 Wildcat with the tankless water heater. Without going into a whole lot of detail all I can say is that if you dry dock at all, then you should skip getting the tankless water heater. I ended up replacing the water pump with the 4008 Revolution pump, none surging, from Shurflo. This helps somewhat but still too much wasted water trying to get the flow to temp right. But if you always camp with water hookups, then this is the cat's meow...

CJ5 jeeper

Auburn, Ca

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Posted: 03/06/11 11:50am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Unless they are diffrent, we had one in an 08 Rexhall, and we fought with temperature changes when showering. After a frustrating trip, and not being able to get much info from the paperwork I called the factory, and they said the only way to keep the temp constant was to leave the water on all the time you were in the shower. That told me no drycamping. It cost me an 800 mile round trip to the factory and $1300.00 to install a 10 gal gas/ electric water heater. You do not have the electric option with the tankless.

Tom Holsinger

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Posted: 03/11/11 02:57pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Girard Tankless Hot Water Heater tips are:

http://greenrvproducts.com/operating-tips/

In Summary,

* Turn the Power switch to ON
* Set the Mode Switch to Auto
* Open a hot water faucet
* Adjust the flow to achieve the desired temperature
* Gradually DECREASE the Water Flow to RAISE the temperature.
* Gradually INCREASE the Water Flow to LOWER the temperature.

*By manually setting the MODE switch to automatic, the model GSWH-1 automatically senses and adjusts the flame level (High or Low) depending on the temperature of the inlet cold water (the water coming into the GSWH-1). The flame will change from High to Low if the temperature of the inlet water goes above 70°F and will switch back to High when the inlet water goes below 65°F. Manually switching the Mode switch from AUTO to LOW overrides the automatic function and forces the flame to stay in LOW even if the inlet water is less than 65°F. This can be desirable when the cold water inlet temperature is very cold and the inlet water pressure is below 1.0 gpm which could result in limiting (see Notice below). The system will remain in Low until manually switched to Auto.


Basically the puppy delivers two differing amounts of heat energy to the water - a fixed but low level of heat energy to incoming water whose temperature is over 70F, and a different & higher, but still fixed, amount of heat energy when the incoming water temperature is under 65F.

A user varies the temperature as delivered from the shower head by increasing or decreasing the flow rate of the delivered water, not by changing the settings of the cold and hot water settings on the shower control.

I.e., forget about getting a high volume of hot water for a nice relaxing shower in a Wildcat Sterling 5th wheel, or any other RV with a Girard tankless hot water system. It won't happen. You can get only a moderate or low flow of hot water, though you can get the hot water as long as the propane holds out.

I have read posts (perhaps on this board) explaining how to get a decently long hot water shower with a hot water heater which uses both propane and electricity to heat the water. You just have to turn both heat sources on simultaneously, right before the shower. The two heat sources will rapidly heat up the incoming replacement cold water entering the hot water tank. You must, however, remember to turn off one of those heat sources after your shower is over.

Basically we're stuck with "Navy" type showers in RV's. Wet yourself up, turn the water off, lather up, turn the water back on to rinse off, and then turn the water off. Soaking in a nice long hot shower requires not merely an external water hookup, but also either some effort and possible mistakes with the controls of a hot water tank, or a relatively low flow of water from a tankless hot water system. Both will eat a lot of propane.

jrnert

AZ

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Posted: 03/11/11 09:36am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Regarding the Girard Tankless Water Heater.
Texas Dad was sent an email and referred to Girard Products to reolve his operation issues.

The Girard Tnakless Wtaer Heater does operate differently than a tank water heater so there is a learning curve.
However once the user understands the operation and performance of the Girard it seems to reolve the issues.

Please visit www.greenrvproducts.com or call Griard Products with your questions.
THeir toll free number is: 866-559-1221.

Sluggo54

Madison, SD/Livermore, CO

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Posted: 03/11/11 03:29pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We've been using our 10 gal DSI water heater for nearly six years, most of that time as full-timers. We have never run out of hot water during a shower. DW is more conservative than I; once the water is heated up, she turns it off then gets in the shower. I leave it on (propane and electric both) until I am done. If we don't have electric, that's ok - still no cold showers. Just faster recovery with both on. I use more partly because I shave with 2/3 of a basin first.

Sluggo


DH = Bruce, DW = PK, DD = Maggie (Lab, Pointer, Viszla)RIP 4/13/2007
Apprentice Princess = Kaia Grace (Blue Heeler - Wire Haired Terrorist)
TV = 2005 Chev CC LWB Max & Allie
5'er = 2005 Excel R30CKW

Tom Holsinger

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Posted: 03/11/11 05:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sluggo,

That's the way I see it. A tankless hot water heater doesn't offer any advantages over a normal 5th wheel 10-12 gallon gas/electric hot water for a couple. I can see how a tankless would make sense for a motorhome where space is more important, and for bunkhouse 5th wheels, particularly for families with teenage children. It just isn't worth paying extra for empty nesters & retired couples.

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