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Old 12-19-2003, 03:53 PM   #15
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This issue had been bothering me for a bit also. I just checked the opening on my trailer where I had pulled out the rusted decaying carcass of the original water heater, and it is already set for a 10 gallon. My manual also says 10 gallon for the International, which my trailer is. I will be putting back a new 10 gallon to fit the opening.

I'm considering the electric 110v and LP. Is it advisable to create a separate plug for the water heater and just plug it in to a standard outlet at a campsite, vs. hooking it in to my panel box and taxing my power supply. (i.e., running microwave, HW heater and other 110v at the same time.) I heard this sometimes suggested for adding a second AC unit. My circuit panel is right above the water heater in the linen closet, but I was thinking since I have the toilet out, and adjacent cabinetry, it would be easy to just create and run a separate line, and not have to worry about it.

Suggestions? Comments?
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Old 12-19-2003, 06:26 PM   #16
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You could certainly do this. Whether it would be of any benefit at a site with only 30A service depends on how the pedestal is wired.

If there is a 50A leg from the central panel to the pedestal, you could use its 30A and 20A outlets simultaneously. The campground may expect you to pay a higher 50A rate if they see you doing this.

However, if the pedestal is served by 30A from the central panel, you would be no worse off than having the water heater drawing from your 30A service. The problem is that the 30A breaker you might kick wouldn't be the one at your pedestal, but the one at the central panel. To avoid this, you might want to plug the water heater into your trailer's external outlet.
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Old 12-19-2003, 06:43 PM   #17
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According to the pdf file I viewed on the Atwood 10 gallon elec/gas, it only requires 20 amp. From my limited travel experiences, I have seen the pedestal with the standard 30 amp rv hookup plug, as well as a few other inputs that I believe are 20amp standard outlets. I could be wrong.

This is what is so good about this forum. I get so much info to think about!
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Old 12-19-2003, 07:13 PM   #18
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Sneak,

I did this on our 76 Motorhome.

I added a breaker to the existing panel and used it as the on off switch. That way I could decide if I wanted to use Park Power or the LP or both. If I ran the AC I did not run the heater. If the AC was off I ran it. The cost increase is not that much and the time when you will want the extra heating capacity is more than likely going to be when the temps are low. Meaning that you will have extra power to run the heater vs the AC.

Also it gives you a fall back position if you should run out of propane. I almost did a DSI with the electric but found that we did not really need the electric that much with a standing pilot model. DSI would be a different issue to me as I could decide from inside when I wanted to light the heater the electric did not have as much of a draw.
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Old 12-19-2003, 07:23 PM   #19
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The 1400W Atwood elements only use 11.7A, which is less than the typical 1600W hair dryer. I would use a 15A plug on the end of a 12 gauge cable (20A rated) for your water heater.

20A plugs have the left prong horizontal rather than vertical as with the typical 15A household outlet. This prevents you from using a device that really does require more than 15A in a 15A outlet. A 20A outlet has a T on the left side so that it can take either 15A or 20A plugs.

You will note that all the 30A to 15A adapters have two vertical prongs. If the outlet is fused at 15A, that's the most you can get out of it. However, if the outlet is fused at 20A, you can use all of that.

By using 20A rated cable with a 15A plug, you increase the flexibility of your hookup without the danger of overheating the cable should the pedestal actually pass more than 15A to your water heater, due to a short, for example.
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