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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > More and more instant hot water systems

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p38fln

Superior, WI

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Posted: 10/26/22 09:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I switched to the Excel Tankless water heater from a 6 gallon tank. The 6 gallon heater was fine as long as we could space showers out, but we've got children that need baths (because sometimes you NEED a soaking bath to clean up some of the unholy messes they can make) and the 6 gallon heater just couldn't get the job done. Grey water tank is good for two baths before it has to dumped. I used it for doing dishes as well, it works fine. I fill up the sink with hot water and soap, let it soak, quickly rinse the dishes off after they soak. The water flow required to make the thing work is extremely low, barely a trickle. I swapped the shower head from a 2.5 GPM to a 1 GPM shower head and the water comes out toasty hot, the bathtub has to be filled up at a trickle - this was a $225 38K BTU unit not a $800 60K BTU model.

Second Chance

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Posted: 10/26/22 10:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One problem with the on-demand WHs I don't see mentioned above is the fact that, since they are not constantly heated, they're not well-suited for use in very cold temps (they will freeze and crack the heat exchanger). Winterizing has to be done carefully to not have the same thing happen during winter storage. I'm in the "what were they thinking" camp (pun or not as you prefer) as far as using them in RVs and will stick with our 12 gal. tank-style WH, thank you.

Rob


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StirCrazy

Kamloops, BC, Canada

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Posted: 10/26/22 05:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bucky wrote:

If the tankless units don't send the unused water back to the source that's a huge problem with CGs that don't have sewer hookups.


a normal tank water heater doesnt either so I don't understand what your getting at.


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TurnThePage

North ID

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Posted: 10/26/22 09:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

StirCrazy wrote:

bucky wrote:

If the tankless units don't send the unused water back to the source that's a huge problem with CGs that don't have sewer hookups.


a normal tank water heater doesnt either so I don't understand what your getting at.
Perhaps not clearly stated, I think the point simply reinforced the original statement (mine) that they are wasteful because you have to waste so much water before you get usable hot water.


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bucky

Raleigh metro

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Posted: 10/27/22 03:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm talking about the cold unused water filling up the waste tanks. Again, A big issue with no sewer dump at the site.


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TurnThePage

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Posted: 10/28/22 11:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Has anybody ever swapped in a conventional water heater? I wonder how much work that would be?

pbeverly

South Carolina

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Posted: 10/29/22 04:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hmmm, my hot water tank is at the front of the TT and the shower is at the back. So a lot of water is wasted while it travels from the front to the back waiting for the water to get hot.

I like my 6 gallon tank though. Main heating is electric and when we do showers/ washing dishes we do the combo electric/gas and don't run out of hot water.


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valhalla360

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Posted: 10/29/22 06:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think it would be a decent (but not great) option if you mostly are on full hookup sites.

Reality is most people don't boondock, particularly among newbies. With unlimited fresh water and gray tank open to the sewer, you just turn it on and let it run.

Heck a lot of folks don't even use the onboard shower but use the bath house, so really only maybe used for doing dishes.

On smaller trailers, it can also help trim weight (not without other compromises). A 6 gal hot water tank full of water is likely going to weigh close to 100lb. A tankless, is likely under 10lb. Some small trailers only have 700-1000lb of payload, so 100lb is a big chunk of weight available for payload.

Having had one on our boat, not a fan of them.


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valhalla360

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Posted: 10/29/22 06:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

TurnThePage wrote:

Has anybody ever swapped in a conventional water heater? I wonder how much work that would be?


Depends if they retained the space for it.
- If they just put a hatch and turned it into storage, probably not a huge project. Mostly redoing the hole, some plumbing, electrical and propane lines. Likely keep it simple by putting the controls close to the unit.
- If they designed the rig from start for tankless, you likely don't have to do quite a bit more rearranging of the furniture/cabinets to fit one.

deltabravo

Spokane, WA

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Posted: 11/04/22 06:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

These types of water heaters are called "tankless water heaters"

Here's a few useful videos on them:

The Problem With RV Tankless Water Heaters

RV Tankless Water Heater. Should I Get One? (Pros vs Cons)

Best RV Tankless Water Heater!


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