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Old 04-15-2013, 02:08 PM   #1
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1966 26' Overlander
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110 Tankless Water Heater

My '66 Overlander is stationary and I am living in it. The gas water heater is shot and the tank was removed a long time ago. I'm converting to all electric and I was wondering if anyone had any experience with wiring and plumgin 110 tankless water heater... This is the model I'm looking at.

Rheem EcoSense On Demand 3kW 120 Volt Tankless Electric Water Heater-RETE 3 at The Home Depot

I think it will be sufficient for me in the Overlander... but would like any feedback anyone can give. Thanks!
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Old 04-15-2013, 02:14 PM   #2
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Are you planning to supply it with separate power? Its spec sheet says it requires 29A to run the thing.

I've been unimpressed by electric tankless water heaters, I prefer gas for that. I have a Noritz gas tankless water heater that's been great in our house for almost 6 years now.
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Old 04-15-2013, 02:21 PM   #3
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Ouch... also from the spec sheet, it can provide a 35-degree F temperature rise at 0.6 gallons/minute. Assuming 60-degree water input (reasonable for late spring, let's say) that only gets you 95-degree hot water at a pretty low flow rate.

I think you'd have to go through a lot to get it installed and working, and you'd probably still be unhappy with it. Since you're looking for a stationary application, maybe you could mount an exterior-rated gas tankless water heater on a post just outside the trailer? While more expensive, the lowest-capacity propane outdoor unit Home Depot sells is good for 3.3 gpm at a 77 degree temperature rise.
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Old 04-15-2013, 03:56 PM   #4
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1966 26' Overlander
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Thanks... I'm going all electric, sa a gas water heater is not an option. I'll be putting it in a park and I don't think they'll allow me to mount anything on a post. It would have to be something I can mount to or in the trailer. Water here is 72 degrees F coming out of the ground so the 35 degree rise is ok... but the low flow rate would be a problem. Any ideas for an electric one that would work? Am I right in assuming that any of them will need its own curcuit? Thanks again for any help!
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Old 04-15-2013, 04:26 PM   #5
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There's no two ways about the physics. Heating water at a temperature rise and flow rate sufficient for a shower requires between 50 and 100 amps at 240v, depending on the temperature of the cold water.

For an all-electric trailer, you would therefore be best served by a tank-type water heater.

There are three options:

1) You could install an RV-type dual fuel (gas/electric) water heater, and just use the electric part of it. Atwood and Suburban both make them, in 6 and 10 gallon sizes.

2) You could install a small house-type electric water heater. 2.5 gallon and 10 gallon are the commonly available sizes; 2.5 gallon is probably too small. 10 gallon may not fit the space you have available. These are both available at home centers, and cost about the same as RV type water heaters. You can retrofit a heating element of differing voltage or wattage if necessary.

3) You can get a marine water heater. Propane water heaters are typically not used on boats, so the marine ones are electric only or electric plus heat exchanger. Again prices are about the same but you may find that the shapes and sizes are a better fit for your situation:

Marine Water Heaters
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:04 PM   #6
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Thanks so much for the info... I'll look into them all.
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