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Old 02-10-2019, 05:10 PM   #1
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Tankless vs Water heater

I tried searching but it didnít pull anything up. I am about to tackle our 72 plumbing. I am starting 100% from scratch. So far I can figure that the pros of a standard water heater is initial cost and maintenance. Cons are length of showers and refill time. As far as a tankless Cons are initial investment and additional parts that can break. Pros endless supply of hot water. Anything I am missing? Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-10-2019, 05:38 PM   #2
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Unless you are using full hookups endless hot water may have no benifit. Since we mainly dry camp and conserve water and grey tank storage capacity it would make no sense for us.
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Old 02-10-2019, 05:47 PM   #3
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We have a precisiontemp RV-550, and one con that you might not think if is that it requires a minimum amount of flow to actually kick the heater on. So if you just need a trickle of hot water, the heater won't kick on at all. This can add a little adventure to the start/stop of taking a navy shower, since you need to be careful to kick the heater on every time you restart the water. It's not impossible to manage, just takes a little trial and error (brrrr) to figure out how to manage it.

The big plus of an instant water heater isn't so much that it has unlimited hot water, but that it heats water instantly from a cold start. With a tank type heater, you have to start it up a while before you're going to use it if you want hot water, or leave it on all the time which burns through a lot of propane. With an instant water heater, you leave it on all the time and it doesn't use propane unless you're actually using hot water.

I like the freeze protection feature of the RV-550, which I'm actively using now. It also weighs less than a tank type heater since it doesn't have 5 gallons of water inside of it.
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Old 02-10-2019, 05:51 PM   #4
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I agree with the previous post. Our water heater is more than adequate for the two of us and we have never run out of hot water. The grey tank is the limiting factor.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:23 PM   #5
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Standard electric/propane water heaters work well and are less expensive than the tankless. At a campground, leave it on because you are paying for the electricity. If you need really fast hot water at a campground you can use both electric and propane at the same time. I've found using propane only heats pretty fast. They are simple and proven and you can get parts just about anywhere you might be traveling if you ever need them.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:33 PM   #6
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Believe it or not, an Oxygenics shower head will extend shower times by 2. I have only 6 gal HW, but it has made all the difference. No Navy showering anymore!
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:48 AM   #7
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Thatís great to know. The wifeís leaning tank style so Iíll let her know all of this.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:27 AM   #8
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On thing nice about the tank style water heater is when you leave the campground in the morning you have warm to hot water for your days travel.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:49 AM   #9
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Do you like the taste of the water coming out as hot? We've been living full time in our trailer using our tankless water heater since May of last year. (And, used it camping 9 years before that.) Because it doesn't hold much water the water coming out of it doesn't taste like metal. So, I can put hot water directly in the pot to heat up for rice, pasta, etc.

Because we live in our trailer full time we do enjoy long showers - especially when I'm having sinus issues and want to steam myself up.

It's just how you want to live with the hot water issues.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bgibbs View Post
I agree with the previous post. Our water heater is more than adequate for the two of us and we have never run out of hot water. The grey tank is the limiting factor.
I concur.

On my 2018 FC26RBT, running out of hot water was never an issue. If anything, just wait a few minutes.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:49 AM   #11
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Put me firmly in the tank water heater camp. Reliable, cheap, fast, and enough water. I had a tankless electric in a home. After 3 replacements I put in a tank heater there also. The 6 gallon Atwood electric start has been good for us.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:11 PM   #12
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The YouTube couple "Less Stuff, More Journey" claim the best change they made to their Airstream was the Truma water heater.

For me, the six gallons are plenty. But a family needs more hot water, I guess. Reminds me of a boat delivery I did where our showers were limited to a 2 liter Pepsi bottle with holes punched in the cap per day. It's amazing how little water can be enough when you have to, but glamping needs more water.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:26 PM   #13
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Which Oxygenics shower head?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Outbackga View Post
Believe it or not, an Oxygenics shower head will extend shower times by 2. I have only 6 gal HW, but it has made all the difference. No Navy showering anymore!
I'd love to reduce water usage for showers. I checked out the Oxygenics website. I assume you're talking about one of the BodySpa RV heads? Which model do you have?
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:33 PM   #14
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I'm not a fan of instant hot water heaters. They have to be turned on to a high flow to get the burner to turn on. A loop connection is required to avoid the cold start and some of them have a pre-heat tank anyway.

Instant Hot water heaters need lots of BTUs to heat water quickly, so they all appear to only run on gas.

We like that we can use the park's electricity to heat our water with a traditional tanked heater. If we want it hot quick, we can use both electricity and gas at the same time.

We have never run out of hot water and get hot water even when the faucet is just trickling. My water heater is pretty efficient. Sometimes when I'm boon-docking, I turn off the heater when I know I don't need hot for a while, but it stays hot for quite a while.

One disadvantage of a tank is the six gallons that I put in and drain out at the beginning and end of every trip.
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