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Old 03-24-2005, 09:16 PM   #1
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1987 23' Sovereign
Boise , Idaho
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Electric conversion to HW Heater

in the 87 sovereign we have just purchased, one of the PO's installed an electronic water heating insert. It does run on LP but apparently we can plug-in as well and run on electricity. Where the drain plug should normally be that is where either the element has been inserted or maybe some sort of cathode. With this installed is it possible to drain the water heater? If it cant be drained is this an issue? I have considered removing it all together because the type of camping we will mostly be doing will be at more primitive camp sites without hook-ups, does this make sense?

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Old 03-25-2005, 03:10 AM   #2
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1967 26' Overlander
Huntsville , Alabama
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Originally Posted by jcramer
...With this installed is it possible to drain the water heater? If it can't be drained is this an issue?...
Interesting addition if that is indeed what you have. It sounds like the only way to drain the tank is to remove the element, which would make it a chore.

Obviously, the tank needs to be drained at the end of the camping season if you do not plan to use it in freezing weather. But if your tank is mounted aft of the axles, it is a good idea to drain the tank between camping trips to lighten the load & avoid rear end separation issues.

You indicated that a PO had installed the system. Does it look like a store-bought kit? I'm curious about where the thermostat is mounted. If it has a thermostat, make sure it makes good contact with the tank. If there is no thermostat, you would be better off just using the gas heat.


1967 Airstream Overlander International
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Old 03-25-2005, 09:49 AM   #3
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1983 31' Limited
South West BC , British Columbia
Join Date: Dec 2002
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I installed one called a Hot Rod. The thermostat is stuck onto the tank wall with 2 sided tape. We find it convenient when at a full hookup or at least power. It saves propane and there is no roar of the flame while sitting near the trailer. The easiest plug I sould find was over the sink. As for draining the tank the wire comes off the rod and a socket fits over to unscrew the rod, then I replace the rod and leave it un plugged at bothe ends until the tank is refilled next season. It also gives me an opportunity to carefully clean the element.
KAren JEnnifer DOug = KAJENDO

1983 31' Limited
Jim and Lorraine
British Columbia
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Old 03-25-2005, 04:46 PM   #4
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1987 23' Sovereign
Boise , Idaho
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The item does seem to be a kit, however the route seems a bit peculure to me though. The plug end is in the exterior ref. compartment. from there it goes thourgh the bottom of the compartment and into a compartment under the wardrobe to where the WH tank is. The electrical cord then connects to a plate that is attached to the side of the WH possibly the thermostat. From here the electrical cord continues on into the exterior WH compartment and terminates into the tube that is installed into the drain plug. So to operatet he WH on electric it has a separate plug that needs to be plugged-in. just plugging in the main trailer plug does not power the WH.

If its only necessary to drain at the end of each season, I suppose I will keep it for a while at least until next fall and see how easy it is to remove.

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