Sorry for bringing up old posts. I see this one dates back to 2006??
But I think the information is relevant to me and perhaps the newer generation or first time RV owners/users. My first RV ... if you can call it that was a 14 foot Spree Escape travel trailer. I had to go outside with a BBQ lighter and light my hot water tank from the outside. It took upward of 45 seconds for the pilot light to ignite. It was a nuisance in the colder weather and ESPECIALLY when the darn mosquitoes were out and about. I only had one choice and that was propane.
Well today ... I have moved on up ... to the Class B RV and have a new ERA. I now have 3 choices. I can push a button from the inside to ignite the propane burner. Or I can push a button on the inside to start the electric heater (110V) OR ... I can use both if I am in a real hurry. It has all been a learning experience for me. Let's here it for modern conveniences.
In all cases ... make sure your hot water tank is full of water. I understand that the electric heater can burn out if it is left running and there is no water in the tank.
My HW heater can heat up sufficiently in 15 minutes on propane for my needs for most of the day. I don't run it all the time ... even if I am parked for a day somewhere. Like "markoplo" I always use propane since I am seldom hooked up to shore power. Although I might have an opportunity to try the electric heater at the upcoming B-Rally in May.
Looking forward to that.