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Old 11-23-2011, 12:44 PM   #1
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Guess what Virginia? - not all have the electric-heating option

Well, after searching....and searching.....and searching for the electric hot-water tank switch option....the search is over.

Yesterday I was at the dealership to pick-up the AS after some service and finally nailed down the AS specialist and asked if he could show me where the switch was.

"Sure. No problem" said he.

We trudge out to the FAN and he looks....and looks....and looks.

He can't find it either!

"Uh...maybe we didn't order it with this option. I'll go to the office and find out."

As it turned out, they did not order it with said option. I'm not going blind and/or crazy after all.....I was looking for something that doesn't exist.

I was surprised. I thought such a thing would not be an "option" on the newer models, but guess I was wrong.

I am a tad disappointed but not devastated. The propane-heated tank served me well on the shake-down cruise. The disappointment (however slight) is the fact when I am paying for a full-hook up, I will not be able to exploit the park's electricity to heat my tank. However, I also discovered that the tank "on" switch does not have to be on all the time. Five hours after shut-down I still had scads of hot water. A little propane seems to go a long way,.

Anyway, thought I'd post this latest trial and tribulation for any other newbie who is searching for something that may not be there.
Bang! Bang Bang! goes the head on the wall.
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Old 11-23-2011, 01:26 PM   #2
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please don't dent the skins ;-)

many folks turn the water heater off at night and if out for a long time. just don't forget to fire it up before jumping in the shower.
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Old 11-23-2011, 01:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fly at Night View Post
Well, after searching....and searching.....and searching for the electric hot-water tank switch option....the search is over.

...

As it turned out, they did not order it with said option. I'm not going blind and/or crazy after all.....I was looking for something that doesn't exist.

I was surprised. I thought such a thing would not be an "option" on the newer models, but guess I was wrong.

I am a tad disappointed but not devastated. The propane-heated tank served me well on the shake-down cruise. The disappointment (however slight) is the fact when I am paying for a full-hook up, I will not be able to exploit the park's electricity to heat my tank. However, I also discovered that the tank "on" switch does not have to be on all the time. Five hours after shut-down I still had scads of hot water. A little propane seems to go a long way,.

Anyway, thought I'd post this latest trial and tribulation for any other newbie who is searching for something that may not be there.
Bang! Bang Bang! goes the head on the wall.

Now for some good news. I've fulltimed for years. I have a propane only water heater and leave it on all the time. In warm weather between cooking and heating water, I go through one 30 Lb. propane tank in about 3 or 4 months. An electric water heater element could probably "save" you a dime a day - Canadian or U.S. money. Then, when the element burns out and you have to replace it, it'll eat up every one of those dimes and then some.

The water heater is REALLY efficient and well insulated (would that the furnace were, but that's another topic).

Here's one upgrade that IMHO is more useful than upgrading the water tank to have the electric heat option - Get an Oxygenics water saving showerhead http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...K8D5P7G5YGRWZ6

and you'll also need the optional wall mount holder http://www.amazon.com/Oxygenics-0946.../dp/B002AKJ9JQ

My OEM shower was never very satisfactory and eventually gunked up. Several members had recommended the Onxyenics, so I bought it. This is the first water saving shower head that I've ever liked. Most make you feel like "Oh come on... get me WET!" This one has a lot more oompf behind the spray - makes me feel like I'm really getting rinsed - especially getting shampoo out of my hair.

More importantly it makes me feel like the hot water tank has gotten about two gallons larger! I know I'll never take a LONG shower in the trailer, but when I wash my hair, I always used to have to race to finish before the hot water was gone. Now I get out and there's still hot water left in the tank. I am free-wheeling (single) so don't assume that there's enough for a second person to follow you immediately. And for more good news - on propane the water heater recovers full heat in less than 10 minutes depending on outside temperature. An electric element will be a lot slower.

Happy trails, Paula
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Old 11-23-2011, 02:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
My OEM shower was never very satisfactory and eventually gunked up. Several members had recommended the Onxyenics, so I bought it. This is the first water saving shower head that I've ever liked. Most make you feel like "Oh come on... get me WET!" This one has a lot more oompf behind the spray - makes me feel like I'm really getting rinsed - especially getting shampoo out of my hair.

More importantly it makes me feel like the hot water tank has gotten about two gallons larger! I know I'll never take a LONG shower in the trailer, but when I wash my hair, I always used to have to race to finish before the hot water was gone. Now I get out and there's still hot water left in the tank. I am free-wheeling (single) so don't assume that there's enough for a second person to follow you immediately. And for more good news - on propane the water heater recovers full heat in less than 10 minutes depending on outside temperature. An electric element will be a lot slower.

Happy trails, Paula
I can second this -- we fulltime as well and this was one of the first things we replaced, and at $45 from Camping World, it was/is still a bargin in the long-term. In our configuration, I take a shower first thing in the morning (not navy short either, usually 5 to 10 minutes), then within 15 minutes of that, my wife can take a shower without running out of hot water.
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Old 11-23-2011, 02:08 PM   #5
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All is not lost

There are add on electric conversions available. Some make it electric only and some keep it dual powered.

I had one in my last TT that was a AC heating element that screwed in to the drain plug hole.

All in all, I have found that AC heating of the water heater is too slow for my taste.

Ken
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Old 11-23-2011, 02:16 PM   #6
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If you want fast recovery, try the electric AND the propane on at the same time!
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Old 11-23-2011, 02:33 PM   #7
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when I replaced our water heater last year I put in one with the eletric heat option. I almost never use it. I get a month out of a propane bottle heating water and cooking and heating. Thats fine with me. We turn the WH on for 30 min in the morning and in the evening to wash dishes. got hot water all day that way.
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Old 11-23-2011, 06:49 PM   #8
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Gas only by design

Airstream installed gas only HWH to prevent overloading & tripping breakers in their 30a trailers. A typical 6 g hwh pulls 12.5 amps. Throw in an AC, toaster, hair drier, coffee pot, tv, etc....., then you have a tripped breaker. Not the end of the world but a pain none the less. That " honey something clicked and the TV went off " always seems to come at the least opportune time, like when you are busy digging in the cooler for that special brewskey down at the bottom.
Some of this has been overcome with the newer 50a trailers. Don't know exactly when they started but do know they weren't back far enough for me to afford one. Here is a partial list of some amp draws:
AC -12.5
HWH-12.5
Coffee pot-11.0
Hair dryer-10.0
Toaster-10.0
Heater(1100 watts)-10.0
Micro- 12.5

So that gas HWH is really a good thing, and as others have noted it is not a heavy consumer of propane. So go ahead, take a long, hot shower. John
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Old 11-23-2011, 06:52 PM   #9
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But look on the bright side Fly, you got to sleep in your OWN bed last night..... :-)
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Old 11-23-2011, 06:59 PM   #10
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The propane/elec water heater was never a Airstream option. It was added as standard equipment to the 2012 model. A few late 2011's also have this including mine I'm happy to say.
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Old 11-23-2011, 07:23 PM   #11
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We installed the Hott Rod add-on electric heating element in our water heater years ago and are quite happy with it.

Hott Rod Water Heater Accessory - PPL Motor Homes

If we connect to electric power when arriving at a camp site we generally find the water is hot enough for dishwashing by the time that chore comes around, then showers later.

We seldom use the LP burner, generally when hot water is wanted sooner than the electric will provide by itself. Incidentally, the add-on element is 400 watts, drawing about 3.5 amps, not the 12 amps someone cited in an earlier post.
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Old 11-23-2011, 07:39 PM   #12
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It's Standard Equipment on My 2007

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al - K4GLU View Post
The propane/elec water heater was never a Airstream option. It was added as standard equipment to the 2012 model. A few late 2011's also have this including mine I'm happy to say.
My 2007 Classic 30' has propane/electric hot water. I love it.
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Old 11-23-2011, 07:46 PM   #13
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Have never used the electric option on ours... 'cept to see if it still werks.

BOB
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:08 PM   #14
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Airstream claims the Elect/Propane water heaters standard on 2012 models to be equivalent to a 9 gallon propane water heater. That would allow the longer shower some have asked for when on shore power, and the quick recovery we like when not.

doug k
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