View Poll Results: Electric water heater conversion kit?
Don't do it; Leave it gas only. 0 0%
I did it and it works great. 2 50.00%
I did it and don't recommend doing it. 0 0%
Buy a new water heater with the electric built in. 2 50.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 4. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-29-2009, 11:24 PM   #1
Rivet Master

2005 25' Safari
Salem , Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2006
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HHOT ROD / Lightning Rod

Hi, I was thinking of installing either a Lightning Rod or Hhot Rod 120 volt electric water heater conversion kit to my Safari. I thought this would be a nice quiet way to keep the water hot at night and/or to save on propane. My plan was to make a separate 20 AMP cord for this system so I wouldn't have to hack into my existing electrical system for a receptical and switch.

Now after going on the Atwood site and reading all of the reasons not to do it, I would like to hear from anyone who has installed one of these kits and what your experiences were good and bad.

(1.) Voids warranty..........................I'm out of warranty

(2.) If electric sensor malfunctions and water temp goes over 180 degrees, an Atwood sensor costing about $100.00 will go bad.

(3.) Same as (2.) above, water heater will have a wet explosion. My water heater is mounted under my bed / under my head. Not good.

For now we turn the water heater off at night and back on in the morning.


2005 Safari 25-B
"Le Petit Chateau Argent"
[ Small Silver Castle ]
2000 Navigator / 2014 F-150 Eco-Boost / Equal-i-zer / P-3
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Old 07-11-2009, 11:40 AM   #2
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1989 25' Excella
Albemarle , North Carolina
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 23
I bought a hottrod kit my 76 argosy which has a bowden (atwood) 6 gal water heater)the heating element in the kit is to large for the drain opening. Do they make a smaller size heating element (it so can I buy one separately).? Next question , can i drill the existing drain plug to make the large one I have fit? eldin

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Old 07-11-2009, 03:50 PM   #3
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Hey Bob,

We helped a friend change one out over the 4th weekend. It was fairly simple and a clever use of the drain port.

The only draw back I saw is that draining the WH for freeze protection would be require removal of the element if you can't drain it through your plumbing lines. If you live in warm climates it's no big deal.

I'd go with it if ours wasn't 2-way already.

If you proceed, please photo document your steps for the benefit of the group.

Best of Luck,




"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do."

Eleanor Roosevelt

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Old 07-11-2009, 04:40 PM   #4
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Cuddebackville , New York
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Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
water heater will have a wet explosion. My water heater is mounted under my bed / under my head. Not good.
I think that would just be the blow off valve letting loose and that's outside.
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Old 07-11-2009, 05:03 PM   #5
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2005 25' Classic
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 346
Hhot Rod

I installed a Hhot Rod in my old 82 Holiday Rambler trailer about 3 years ago and had no issues with it. I added a separate circuit, breaker and switch for this device. When we pulled into a campground we would flip the switch to on and never use the propane. It worked great and we saved the propane. I no longer have the HR, but if I had any RV with only propane for hot water, I would again install the Hhot Rod unit.

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