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Old 07-28-2009, 11:41 AM   #1
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1978 Argosy 24
Brooklyn Park , Minnesota
Join Date: May 2009
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Lightbulb external water heater idea

this can't be a new idea but it occurred to me when was searching on tankless water heaters.

I found this
Precision Temp RV-500 Tankless Propane Hot Water On Demand Water Heater with Door Trailer RV Camper

Which is nice but too expensive.

then there are lots of things like this:
Amazon.com: Portable Tankless Water Heater: Sports & Outdoors

Which are much more affordable. I am not advocating this particular product but there appear to be many of these.

So what I am thinking is: I remove the water heater (which currrently leaks) and just put in a sealed plastic box with water and gas hookups. I could then hook up an external heater when needed and have a place to tie in an outside grill and an outside shower which my 78 argosy does not currently have.


it also seams like one less part to winterize as the whole water heater can just be taken indoors for the winter.

I remember reading somewhere that there is a gas pressure difference between indoor lp appliances and outdoor appliances; this might have an effect. what else might?

thanks

Jon
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Old 07-28-2009, 03:23 PM   #2
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1965 17' Caravel
1983 27' Excella
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Why not just replace the water heater with a new one? Plumbing is there, water is there, and you will not decrease the value if your unit. Making "odd" changes can really limit being able to sell your trailer if you wish to do so at some later date, for some yet unknown reason.
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Old 07-28-2009, 03:45 PM   #3
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1978 Argosy 24
Brooklyn Park , Minnesota
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You are right that I am not really looking at resale value right now - we just bought a spot in airstream park in minnesota so we are sticking with this one for a while.

I will have to replace the internal water heater either way; the existing plumbing looks like a problem waiting to happen. Having multiple joints and valves located under a bunk that will not move often seems to be asking for a leak that will not be noticed for a long time. I also like the idea of on- demand hot water rather than maintaining a hot tank (again in location where a leak may not become clear for a long period of time. I would not be making any unalterable changes to the trailer, just install an externally accessible box that could contain the valves that are currently there.

Also shower and grill hookups on the curb side seem like nice features.

really I realize that I may be nuts but in a year if I decide this was a failed experiment then I buy a water heater and maybe by then the tankless are a little cheaper.

Jon
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Old 07-28-2009, 04:11 PM   #4
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1965 17' Caravel
1983 27' Excella
Walnut Grove/Laguna Woods , California
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Our Caravel has the Precisiontemp RV 500. It was installed by the previous owner. It works well, uses very little propane and is quiet. They are expensive, and probably not a cost effective way to produce hot water in an RV with one or two people. We do like the fact that it only fires off when the water is turned on.

We have a conventional water heater in the Excella. It has an on/off switch inside the trailer. First up in the morning turns it on, off after breakfast dishes. Water is usually still warm enough if we need it at lunch.

We turn it on again in the evening for dishes, showers etc., then off at bed time.

It, like the RV 500 in the Caravel, only runs when we want hot water.

Really don't want to use propane to heat water when not needed. Besides the cost, you have to go get it, and on the Excella that means dealing with the nice tank cover as well.
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Old 08-01-2009, 05:59 PM   #5
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1972 31' Sovereign
princeton , New Jersey
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need to replace gas water heater

Our '72 Sovereign original equipment gas water heater needs to be replaced. We do not take the Airstream on the road - use it for company during summer months only in remote part of Maine. It hasn't been moved for 25 years and isn't easily accessed. My husband wants an electric water heater. We're dependent on local plumber (and electrician if we switch to electric unit) to do the work for us; they have no experience with Airstreams. Would appreciate advice on what kind of unit to buy (don't need a lot of hot water - just for doing a few dishes and taking a shower). Am thinking of putting the new unit in one of the closets if it will fit. Any ideas or reccos?
thx.
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