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Old 03-17-2011, 11:46 AM   #1
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1964 26' Overlander
Richmond , Virginia
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Question Anyone run out of hot water using a 6 gallon?

I keep reading comments of people saying that they have a 6 gallon and it doesn't run out, or a 10 gallon and they wish they had gotten 6.

Has anyone actually run out of hot water using a 6 gallon HW heater - a new one I mean, not the original to the trailer.


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Old 03-17-2011, 11:50 AM   #2
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I use the original (88) 6 gallon hot water heater and have never run out. And it heats quickly from cold. Insulated enough to stay warm over night or during the day while traveling. I like it.

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Old 03-17-2011, 12:01 PM   #3
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It just depends on your conservation're not going to get two long "home-style" showers boom-boom right after each other - you may need to let things warm up between them. But if you conserve you can do fine...

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Old 03-17-2011, 12:02 PM   #4
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Never run out, but we take "Navy" showers. Washing dishes is done in a full sink of about 2 gallons when we have a large load - mostly use disposable paper.
Michael & Tina with Layla and Preston BZ
The family has grown.
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Old 03-17-2011, 12:07 PM   #5
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Palm Beach County , Florida
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We don't have any issues with it and we take back to back showers daily... Conservatively of course (much to wifey's dismay!)... Our 6 gallon appears to be original to the trailer...
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Old 03-17-2011, 12:14 PM   #6
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South of the river , Minnesota
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There have been, rarely, situations where we have had full hookups and several people taking showers where we have had to wait for hot water. But, with full hookups, we can run both the electric and gas, and the water heats back up quickly -- one of the several benefits of having the electric element there.

I would not consider a 10 gallon heater to be worth the weight or space.
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Old 03-17-2011, 12:16 PM   #7
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I have a new 6 gallon Atwood gas/electric water heater in my Tradewind. If you want to take a long shower, you will run out. You learn to adjust the water pressure and length of shower pretty quickly. For other things like washing dishes, etc. there's no issue. Recovery time is pretty fast whether running it on propane or electric. I think 10 gallon would be desirable if there were two people wanting to take back to back showers, but if you can have one person wait a few minutes for the heat to recover, I see no reason to go 10 gallon.
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North Vancouver, BC
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Old 03-17-2011, 12:21 PM   #8
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On all of our RVs we've only had 6gal WHs. As long as you don't take real long showers you won't run out. It also helps to turn off the water while soaping up.
Steve & Beth
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Old 03-17-2011, 12:38 PM   #9
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We had some RV-newbie guests here for two nights: Two adults, two young teens. Showering was a several hour process for them. (Believe me, there is a reason why I knew this.) Evidently, none of them knew how to take Navy showers in the RV.

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Old 03-17-2011, 12:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by au_ee View Post
It also helps to turn off the water while soaping up.
This is a must for us...
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:02 PM   #11
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Saint Helena , California
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I have a 6 gallon Suburban and have never run out. I have to run it on the lowest setting or it gets WAY too hot.
"All things in moderation, including moderation"
- Mark Twain

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Old 03-17-2011, 01:04 PM   #12
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No problems with the 6 gallon water heater.

If you have a dual fuel water heater, electricity takes approximately twice as long to heat water compared to propane.

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Old 03-17-2011, 02:13 PM   #13
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Bay Area , California
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I'm eager to find this out empirically. I have not yet used the shower in ours (the one opportunity I had, I realized I had forgotten the towels!).

So, what is considered a "long" shower? That seems like it could be quite subjective to me. Has anyone actually done some loose timing about how long of a shower can be squeezed out of that tank? Also, I'm curious to know if anyone has found that one of those Oxynegenics (sp?) shower nozzles helps extend the length.
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:25 PM   #14
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I've not had a problem with mine running out with the 6 gallon water heater and the shower head that came with my '05 Safari. If I'm on tank water, no hookups, I may cut showers short for conservation purposes, not because it runs out of hot water. On full hookups I've taken showers as long as I want. To put a time on it maybe over 10 minutes with water running continuously, with water hot at the end. Potential time probably varies due to water intake temperature, shower head flow, and thermostat cutoff setting on water heater. When the water intake is very cold (cold weather, cold water supply) I notice I mix a lot more hot water when I take showers. My water heater seems to have a high set point. I haven't measured it, but the water is very hot out of the faucet.

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