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Old 01-08-2019, 01:30 AM   #1
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Default Electric Water Heater?

I never have liked/used the propane in my RV...thought I read somewhere about a way to replace the tank with an (on-demand?) electric hot water heater..I have measured the space, have a picture of current hot water tank (canít figure out how to attach .would love to just take out/off the propane tank..Welcoming ideas..thoughts..
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Old 01-08-2019, 01:37 AM   #2
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A good concept, but from where will you draw required energy would be a key question.
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Old 01-08-2019, 12:45 PM   #3
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From campground/shore power...I am not a boondocker...does anyone remember where the old thread was/is that had some discussion on this?? Thanks in advance!!
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Old 01-08-2019, 01:34 PM   #4
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From campground/shore power...I am not a boondocker...does anyone remember where the old thread was/is that had some discussion on this?? Thanks in advance!!
Not near enough power available on 30 amp, and really not enough if you were to fab up some sort of 50 amp service. Photo is from Home Depot online.

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Old 01-08-2019, 01:39 PM   #5
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You could replace your hot water tank with a marine water tank that is heated by the engine and 110v heating element. This is what is standard in the Rialta MH. It is now being used in some class A MH.
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:00 PM   #6
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A number of years ago I made my own heat exchanger for the standard water tank on our '78 class A Georgie Boy. I made a U loop from 1/2" copper tubing and used a thermally conductive paste to attach it. As we lived up in Minnesnowta at the time I procured a rear school bus heater and installed it under a dining seat. I then plumbed up a coolant run that hit both. It all worked a treat.

A person could add an electric element to a standard Suburban tank, I believe.

Having typed all of that, it is a lot of work to effect these changes and unless you use a tremendously inordinate amount of hot water I don't really see the upside for the small amount of propane usage that heating water entails. If it's about a "feel good feeling" about not using propane then that is a factor in the decision. Converting the current tank would leave the propane option in place if things changed, i.e. selling to a boon-docker or ??
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:17 PM   #7
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There is no great difficulty using shore power to heat your water. Lots of propane water heaters have an electric coil built in. Get one of those and simply don't fill your propane tank (or pull it out).

The difficulty comes from the stipulation the you want an on-demand unit and no a storage tank. That may prove to be difficult, since you need a lot of power to heat the water fast enough. It isn't a great idea anyway, since that style of heater has a minimum flow requirement, and they thus are hard on tank space. A hydronic system with a flash-plate instant heater is more practical, but more complex.
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:49 PM   #8
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I agree, to limit electrical power requirements for water heating buffering water is the best way. With an LPG or a marine 4-6 gal. water heater with 750-1500W electric heater rod 8-10 gal. shower temperature water can be obtain every 15-30 min. In my marine water heater, I have a 750W rod electric heating element it is plenty for our light hot water users when on shore power. But I do enjoy speeding my water heating with the roaring 5kW diesel heater.
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Old 01-08-2019, 09:10 PM   #9
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I use a 4 gallon electric heater (120V) in my class B. It was purchased from Lowes. A Bosch Tronic 3000. Maximum current draw is 12 amps.



When I built the van, I wired it for 50 amp 120V service, which actually supplies 100 amps to 2 banks of breakers at 120V each. I also have a 2 burner electric glass cook top, also 120V and 15 amps per burner on high.



If I have to use a 30 amp service, I'll heat the water without the AC on, then turn the heater off to use the AC. Water stays hot for quite a while. Only use the hot water for washing hands, dishes and cleaning. Do not have a bath or shower. Same when using the cook top on a 30 amp service (only use 1 burner). You just have to be aware of "current" events (bad pun). Try to get 50 amp service when I can; but, can make do with 30 or without if need be.



When all else fails, we fall back to the coleman gas stove outside or the small BBQ grill. Mainly use the cook top for rainy days.



Also did not want to deal with propane, especially since my wife and I were home brewing our own sprinter.


Nice thing about a small tank heater, is that you have warm-hot water during your trip and upon arrival at the next site.


In my opinion, the smallest tankless heater at 29 amps would be OK for 50 amp (actually 100A) service; but, not for 30. Good luck.
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Old 01-09-2019, 12:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatteras Jim View Post
I use a 4 gallon electric heater (120V) in my class B. It was purchased from Lowes. A Bosch Tronic 3000. Maximum current draw is 12 amps. ...

... In my opinion, the smallest tankless heater at 29 amps would be OK for 50 amp (actually 100A) service; but, not for 30. Good luck.
That is a very nice water heater. I had to dig a bit to find it as the basic Bosch Tronic 3000 is a tankless water heater. You are using a Bosch Tronic 3000T Mini-Tank Series ES4.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Bosch-4-...ES-4/206393135

About half the cost of a typical RV water heater.
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