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Old 07-04-2010, 06:35 PM   #1
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1960 28' Ambassador
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Tankless water heaters

We recently purchased a 1960 Ambassador. It is fair condition but needs alot of cleaning, and updating. We know absolutely nothing about where to start and then what. Has anyone ever used on demand water heating? We were wondering if they could be mounted in side under something maybe where the old water heater was, or do they have to be mounted outside when you use them.
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:19 PM   #2
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Tankless water heater

HI and welcome!

The only RVIA approved and certified tankless water heater is the RV-500 by Precision-Temp. It is LP powered and uses a 12VDC connection for the electronic ignition.

I have used these for 10 years and they have operated flawlessly over that time. They certainly save LP as they do not fire unless there is demand for hot water, and save water as well, but you can still enjoy almost endless hot showers if you are connected to city water with a sewer connection. Ask me how I know!!!

Expensive, but well worth it in the long run.

Other combinations are available for on-demand water heating and interior hydronic heating like the Twin-Temp and Twin-Temp Jr. from Precision-Temp and the new Aqua-Hot 350LP unit, which is the 'Cadillac' of hydronic heat/hot water systems.

There have been many posts on this subject and folks have tried to save $$$$ by installing units meant for domestic use. These are NOT RVIA Certified and will NOT HOLD UP to RV use for the long term.
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:04 PM   #3
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We have used the RV-500 for a year and 1/2 and we love it. The hot water comes very quickly and it's nice to not have to worry about how long the hot water will last. Be sure to have a good sediment filter on your trailer. Even small amounts will shut the flow meter down on the tankless sytem. An easy fix - pop out meter and clean - but, it's a chore that can be avoided with a good filter.
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:07 PM   #4
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Hiya,

I may be new but I actually know a little about tankless heaters. We just finished some reno's at our house and did a lot of research on tankless heaters. The prices vary depending on the gpm's you need and the quality you want.

It is the temperature rise you need to take into consideration, if you are Airstreaming in the lower states in the summer and your incoming water is really warm anyway you wouldn't need a monstrous unit, 120 F - 65 F = 55 F temp rise. Conversely, if you're in Northern Canada and the water has a skim of ice on it every morning you may need a monstrous unit, 120 F - 32 f = 88 F temp rise.

We eventually decided to go a different direction with our home hot water, water-source heat pump with a hotwater generator, but before that we were going to go with the Rinnai tankless. It has two versions, indoor and outdoor; I see no reason why you couldn't install an indoor model in a trailer as long as you keep to the setback distances for combustibles.

The units aren't cheap but when we looked at all the guides and read all the feedback on the other manufacturers the Rinnai was the clear winner for me. I don't work for Rinnai by the way.... and I'm not in tankless hot water heater sales either.

I would highly recommend that you do a little research and contact the manufacturer of whichever model you choose to see what they think.
My only apprehension would be the jarring action of the trailer when towed.

Oh and be careful of the "opinion" websites I found that they rate things based on lowest price and majority sales not necessarily quality. For example, if you search "top ten travel trailers" Airstream is # 5 just after Jayco with Gulf Stream being # 1.....need I say more?

Here are some websites that may help:

Tankless Water Heater Buying Guide
http://www.tanklesshotwaterguide.ca/...ers-search.cfm

Good luck

Rob
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Old 07-04-2010, 09:06 PM   #5
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Is the rv-500 feasible for boondocking? Seems like you would have to run the water for a minute before it gets hot. I am more worried about filling the grey tank over saving propane. Can anyone chime in on this?
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Old 07-04-2010, 09:46 PM   #6
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You won't have to "run the hot water for a minute" ... just long enough for it to get from the heater to your point of usage, much like a conventional RV water heater. It heats almost instantly. The big advantages to the tankless units are a) no pilot light and heat/cool cycles to use propane when not in use (on most units ... some domestic units have pilot lights*), and b) so long as it has propane and is running and you're putting water through it, you'll have hot water.

*I think that now days, the RV units all have electronic ignition ... though I saw one in the Alaska bush some years ago that had a little turbine/igniter, so that once the water flow started, the turbine generated electricity that did the igniting. No electricity source needed. All it needed was water flow and propane.
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:42 AM   #7
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i was curious so I asked Rinnai,

Here is their reply:

Thankk you for contacting Rinnai.

Unfortunately, our units cannot be used in mobile homes, modular homes, houseboats, or RVs.

If you need any assistance please let us know.



Thank you,

Jason James
Rinnai Support
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob&Julie View Post
i was curious so I asked Rinnai,

Here is their reply:

Thankk you for contacting Rinnai.

Unfortunately, our units cannot be used in mobile homes, modular homes, houseboats, or RVs.

If you need any assistance please let us know.



Thank you,

Jason James
Rinnai Support
You know,

Sometimes, I feel like I'm banging my head against a wall when I post on a topic that I am (1) well versed in (2) uses my Master Tech certification and (3) draws from my 10 years + in the RV industry as a front-line tech and parts provider, on top of a Master's Degree in Engineering.

When I say that only a few tankless water heaters are RVIA Certified, DO YOU THINK THAT I'M MAKING THIS UP?????

DON'T YOU THINK THAT I'VE ALREADY DONE THE RESEARCH INTO THIS BEFORE RECOMMENDING A CERTAIN UNIT TO A CLIENT?

DON'T YOU REALIZE THAT I HAVE A CERTAIN LIABILITY IN RECOMMENDING AND INSTALLING APPLIANCES IN AN RV THAT WOULD NOT MEET THE RVIA STANDARDS AND THAT MIGHT MALFUNCTION AND HAVE SIGNIFICANT SAFETY ISSUES?

You can install just about anything into an RV (I've seen it) but that doesn't mean that it meets RVIA safety or performance standards. WHY DO YOU THINK THAT HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS ARE SPENT TESTING AND CERTIFYING PRODUCTS FOR THE RV MARKET?

And some folks wonder why I don't post as often as I used to..........
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:12 PM   #9
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Survey Says...

Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
You know,

Sometimes, I feel like I'm banging my head against a wall when I post on a topic that I am (1) well versed in (2) uses my Master Tech certification and (3) draws from my 10 years + in the RV industry as a front-line tech and parts provider, on top of a Master's Degree in Engineering.

When I say that only a few tankless water heaters are RVIA Certified, DO YOU THINK THAT I'M MAKING THIS UP?????

DON'T YOU THINK THAT I'VE ALREADY DONE THE RESEARCH INTO THIS BEFORE RECOMMENDING A CERTAIN UNIT TO A CLIENT?

DON'T YOU REALIZE THAT I HAVE A CERTAIN LIABILITY IN RECOMMENDING AND INSTALLING APPLIANCES IN AN RV THAT WOULD NOT MEET THE RVIA STANDARDS AND THAT MIGHT MALFUNCTION AND HAVE SIGNIFICANT SAFETY ISSUES?

You can install just about anything into an RV (I've seen it) but that doesn't mean that it meets RVIA safety or performance standards. WHY DO YOU THINK THAT HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS ARE SPENT TESTING AND CERTIFYING PRODUCTS FOR THE RV MARKET?

And some folks wonder why I don't post as often as I used to..........
You tell 'em Lew... Happy Trails, Ed
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:52 PM   #10
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1960 28' Ambassador
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Thanks to everyone for thier replies to our post. They are all great! We also are thinking of Solar to recharge the battaries. anyone have any good web site for info.

Thanks to everyone, hope to see ya on the trail someday!
Lisabill
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:22 PM   #11
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Lewster

I just sent you THANKS - Really "GOOD KARMA" and incisive wit. Enjoy. Keep up the good work.

When your RV catches fire and you have an unapproved water heater in it, wanna bet your insurance company will try to weasel out of paying up? IF you're ALIVE to put in a claim.

Og say:

FIRE Good
FIRE Hot
FIRE burn
FIRE thin herd!
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
You know,

Sometimes, I feel like I'm banging my head against a wall when I post on a topic that I am (1) well versed in (2) uses my Master Tech certification and (3) draws from my 10 years + in the RV industry as a front-line tech and parts provider, on top of a Master's Degree in Engineering.

When I say that only a few tankless water heaters are RVIA Certified, DO YOU THINK THAT I'M MAKING THIS UP?????

DON'T YOU THINK THAT I'VE ALREADY DONE THE RESEARCH INTO THIS BEFORE RECOMMENDING A CERTAIN UNIT TO A CLIENT?

DON'T YOU REALIZE THAT I HAVE A CERTAIN LIABILITY IN RECOMMENDING AND INSTALLING APPLIANCES IN AN RV THAT WOULD NOT MEET THE RVIA STANDARDS AND THAT MIGHT MALFUNCTION AND HAVE SIGNIFICANT SAFETY ISSUES?

You can install just about anything into an RV (I've seen it) but that doesn't mean that it meets RVIA safety or performance standards. WHY DO YOU THINK THAT HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS ARE SPENT TESTING AND CERTIFYING PRODUCTS FOR THE RV MARKET?

And some folks wonder why I don't post as often as I used to..........


Easy there big fella, I was actually drafting my response and looking for websites that may provide some assistance while you were also typing your post. Once I pressed "post" I saw yours and said, "crap, I sound like an idiot" SO I asked the question to the manufacturer I liked for my home, and yes I realize houses and AS's aren't the same, wondering if I would have just a shred of credibility left and considering that perhaps technologies have changed. With the reply not being being in my favour I though it was right to post that as well, right or wrong I will be a straight shooter.

Do I wonder why you don't post anymore, not really and I'm pretty sure it wouldn't hurt my feelings either way.

Do I think my post deserved your rant....nope.
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:44 PM   #13
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I would not recommend an RV 500 to anyone for any reason. We baught and installed an RV 500 3 years ago. We full time in our 34. This unit has never worked correctly and Precision Temp has never cared or even offered a name for a good service tech. We did finally stumble upon a guy who is very competant but the unit still only works intermittantly. It is not related to flow rate, or water temp inlet rate, or LP manifold pressure or any of that. I am not looking for any trouble shooting help here. I am just saying if you go tankless by a high quality model like a Bosch or Renigh (spelling?)
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