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Old 07-07-2013, 10:40 AM   #1
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Tank or Tankless Water Heater

At the point of purchasing the waterheater....I've seen a lot of debate on the subject. THe locato=iion of the water heater is under the bed...and was thinking that the tankless heater was that it would not heat up that area and be quieter?????
anyone have experience with the water heater under the bed????
I have the option to move the water heater to the front...next to the kitchen sink...
I'm looking at the Atwood AT water heater or the new Atwood On-Demand tankless waterheater. Both will fit into the existing opening. Dont really plan on winter camping but the tankless heater talks about being able to deliver 104F water consistantly....with incoming water temp of 40F, at 1.25GPM.
That said... while you would save on propane usage...longterm...the cost is close to 2x of the tank type heater.
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:46 AM   #2
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If you install a DSI conventional water heater that you turn off between uses, I don't know that you'd save a significant amount of propane with a tankless water heater. The advantages are in the less-limited supply of hot water (still limited by propane and water supplies, after all) and not having to wait before having hot water (as compared to a DSI water heater you turn off when not in use).
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:00 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Debnw View Post
At the point of purchasing the waterheater....I've seen a lot of debate on the subject. THe locato=iion of the water heater is under the bed...and was thinking that the tankless heater was that it would not heat up that area and be quieter?????
anyone have experience with the water heater under the bed????
I have the option to move the water heater to the front...next to the kitchen sink...
I'm looking at the Atwood AT water heater or the new Atwood On-Demand tankless waterheater. Both will fit into the existing opening. Dont really plan on winter camping but the tankless heater talks about being able to deliver 104F water consistantly....with incoming water temp of 40F, at 1.25GPM.
That said... while you would save on propane usage...longterm...the cost is close to 2x of the tank type heater.
A bit of history and experience on the Atwood AT water heaters. I have many customers with large motor homes and 5th wheels that have these units. Their 'claim to fame' is that they produce more hot water from the same size tank.....eg: 16 gallons from a 10 gallon tank.

The process goes like this: over heat the water in the tank (160-165F) and then use a tempering valve (commonly referred to as a mixing valve) to add ambient temp water to this very hot mix to produce a useable stream of 120F water at the faucet.

Sounds like a great idea..........UNTIL............you have no hot water, even though the tank is getting hot. What happens (and it is covered in the manual, buries in small print) is that the tempering valve gets clogged with minerals from your water and calcifies, rendering the tempering valve useless with no flow of hot water from the tank.

The stated solution is to run a vinegar solution thru the water system at regular intervals. Sounds like a real PITA to me. The other solution is replacing said valve.....on a regular basis........for over $200 a pop for the part!

This is not what I consider good engineering!

As for their tankless unit.....they licensed the technology from Precision Temp.....makers of the original RV tankless water heater....the RV-500. I have used 2 of these in past RVs, one in a 40'diesel pusher in 2000 and the second in my new (then) '06 19 CCD.

I never had a problem with either, and my 2 LP tanks on the Bambi would last the entire summer of full-timing with 2 showers a day (NOT Navy showers either), every day for at least 3 months.

Why buy a copy when you can still get the original?

BTW, you really don't want your water at the tap to be much over 120F!
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:04 AM   #4
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The water heater in my Argosy 20 is located under the bed, along with the furnace. The heat has never been a problem in that installation.

I am not convinced that a tankless water heater is a better solution than a DSI tank unit. It might save some propane, but never enough to justify the extra cost over it's life. You still have to wait for the cold water to be heated and delivered to your faucet after you start to run it. A long continuous flow of hot water in a trailer seems to be counterproductive, especially if you are not hooked up to an outside supply.

My opinions only, of course.
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Old 07-25-2013, 08:34 AM   #5
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Guys...sorry for the delay in thanking you... BUT work pays the bills and that comes first....
That said... Thanks for the history and comments...since I'm a lil behind Im still pondering my choices....
Have a GREAT rest of the weeka and weekend...beautiful here in Northern KY this week...sunny 78F and low humidity perfect for working on the Ol Safari...
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:28 AM   #6
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We installed a Precision Temp 500, and are very happy with it.
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:42 AM   #7
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Is noise your only reason for making the change? Our heater is right next to the bed and I am not bothered by the noise. We always turn the HW heater off before turning in for the night. I am usually up first and when I wake, I turn on the HW heater, turn on the stove and get the coffee going and if it is cold outside I will also turn on the furnace and then back into the sack until things warm up. Ah, roughing it for sure.

My point is, we have no noise during the night.....at all. I even turn off the water pump. This works for us.
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:50 AM   #8
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One fact that made the decision easy for us was weight.

All our plumbing is up at the front of our trailer - kitchen & shower. It makes sense to have the water heater close to the source - especially when boondocking, so you can minimize the amount of cold water you need to get out of the lines before getting hot water when requested. A 10 gallon water heater tank, would add +/-83lbs of water + the weight of the water heater itself to the toungue weight.

We used a Precision Temp Showermate 500 and have been very happy with it. One of the best features is it vents through the floor, so we didn't have to add any vents to the side of the trailer. Most come with a white metal vent which would have been totally "wrong" on our '56 Safari.

The only disadvantage is, we don't have that extra 10 gallons of water that a traditional water heater carries. Not a big deal, we can be very efficient when we need to be and can get by on 8 - 9 gallons a day, so with a 30 gallon tank, we are fine for a boondocking weekend.

Shari
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Old 12-06-2013, 09:51 AM   #9
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precision tenp

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ID:	201334I need a manual for my precision temp water heater.

Is that hole in the copper tank to look at the flam,

Bud 65/22
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:25 AM   #10
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Here's a photo from their website of the current 550.

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Old 08-21-2015, 06:06 AM   #11
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For those of us who need to winterize our trailers, is a by-pass set-up needed as part of the installation of a tankless hot water heater? I'm thinking it isn't as the purpose of the by-pass is to avoid filling the hot water heater tank with antifreeze. For the tankless, do you just draw the antifreeze through the tubing?
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Old 08-21-2015, 09:39 AM   #12
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For those of us who need to winterize our trailers, is a by-pass set-up needed as part of the installation of a tankless hot water heater? I'm thinking it isn't as the purpose of the by-pass is to avoid filling the hot water heater tank with antifreeze. For the tankless, do you just draw the antifreeze through the tubing?
Yes! You run the RV antifreeze thru the tankless tubing the same way you winterize the rest of your pipes. Since there is no tank/reservoir to bypass, there is no need for bypass valves.
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