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Old 07-05-2017, 10:01 AM   #1
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Truma WH owners, worth it?

Opinions please!!! I got a quote, in round numbers, for $2000 to install a Truma Water Heater in my Airstream. Obviously, I cannot buy one and DIY, but even if I did, the parts, shipping, tax, etc are about $1600 of that. That is double the price of a new Atwood EXT if I ever wanted to go that route.
Can you help me understand why the Truma is worth that much money to you? Serious question. Thanks,

Larry
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Old 07-06-2017, 08:59 AM   #2
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Bump...still looking for opinions.

Larry
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Old 07-06-2017, 10:13 AM   #3
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Larry,

You did not mention which model of Truma heater you were quoted. Truma offers two model types, the Basic, which is a standard on-demand water heater, and the Eco/Comfort which is a re-circulating, on-demand water heater. The Eco/Comfort model requires re-plumbing your hot water lines and adds considerable cost.

The Truma Basic and the Precision Temp LP RV-550 are both standard on-demand types and sell for a little over a grand.

The ATWOOD XT EXOTHERMAL is a tanked water heater that uses a novel system to provide more hot water than its nominal 6 or 10 gallon capacity.
It achieves this by heating the water to a much higher temperature in the tank and then mixing this hot water with cold to reduce the temperature to a normal level.
Atwood states that the 6 gal XT will provide 9 gal. of hot water and the 10 gal. will provide 16 gallons.

The biggest advantage of an on-demand type is that you get hot water until you run out of propane. They also are more energy efficient since they only run when hot water is demanded.

Hope this helps,

Pat
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Old 07-06-2017, 10:29 AM   #4
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Pat,

I was quoted $1233 for the Basic, then there is the door and trim kit, etc., etc. The labor estimate was $400, which seemed fair. I am not trying to fuss with the price, I am just trying to understand why $2000 can be seen as a reasonable price to pay for endless hot water. We have never used up the capacity of our Atwood EXT. I do like electric capability but not if I have to replace that element or relay again. On demand has a certain energy efficiency appeal to it, but I would need to use a lot of propane to justify the cost difference to a conventional tank heater. I am just curious how others have justified the cost of a Truma, in their own minds.

Larry
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Old 07-06-2017, 10:47 AM   #5
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Larry,

My personal opinion is that it is primarily a functional, not economic, decision. Since you stated that ya'll don't run out of hot water, it probably does not make sense to go on-demand. If, on the other hand, you had a significant other or daughter who frequently ran out of hot water in the middle of washing her hair; an on-demand heater might be very attractive.

Pat
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Old 07-06-2017, 11:21 AM   #6
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It's one of those 'wife likes long hot shower ' things in our case. Tankless provides a shower that does not get cold as long as we have water hookups and plenty of propane.

Happy wife is priceless.
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Old 07-06-2017, 12:03 PM   #7
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Thanks, the wife has not been an issue so it would probably be a waste of dollars for me.

Larry
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Old 07-06-2017, 12:23 PM   #8
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We tend to camp in colder weather, so her long hot showers are vital. If you can do well with a smaller hot water tank system it's the right choice.

The other minor irritation the tankless solved for us was it's less noisy than the 6 gallon Atwood we replaced. It's located in the closet by the head of our bed and the noise was irritating. It also removed about 42 pounds forward on the curbside
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Old 07-06-2017, 12:46 PM   #9
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I have the Truma Comfort, which is the model in between the basic and Comfort Plus. The Comfort allows you to set to Eco mode which won't try to keep the water in the hybrid tank at 110v but 40F. This is to prevent freezing with using excessive propane.
Some observations after using it on some trips including in cold weather.
Nice to turn it on in the bathroom and within a minute have hot water running.
It uses less propane. My Atwood would burn over 1/2 hour to heat water.
The Truma is lighter. No 6gal of water (50lb) to carry around.
Winterizing is simple, pull a door down and it empties the system. There is a filter you can clean.
The water in the Truma is set to 120F while our old Atwood was much hotter, too hot. That is a good and bad thing. 120F is just right for showers, we still have to mix cold water and the bathroom sink. 120F may not be to your liking for kitchen use especially if your kitchen sink is located the farthest from water heater. In cold weather it takes longer to get the hot water through the cold pipes. The Atwood heats the water so hot the hot water seems to come through the kitchen faucet faster while you have to run the faucet a little more to get the hottest water with the Truma. In hot weather the effects of cold pipes are not noticeable.
When I traveled to Yellowstone in June I noticed the Truma pressure relief valve let some water out climbing to Yellowstone and on the return trip coming down in altitude. I travel with water pump off and presure relieved but faucets closed. It was fine in GTNP and Yellowstone. It pressure relief valve hasn't opened since our trip so it must be normal for climbing and descending altitude.
The shop that did my Truma created anAluminum cover plate and painted the white trim. There was some minor replumbing and mounting changes required.

Is it worth it? If you are a bean counter you could argue it may not be worth it but then a bean counter wouldn't buy any RV.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f366...ml#post1891931
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Old 07-06-2017, 12:54 PM   #10
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I have the Truma Comfort as well.

Our decision came down to how we work as a family while RVing.

Our family of 4 tends to do more shore power camping/glamping and enjoy our nice rv parks and resorts vs boondocking...this makes Truma a great investment. Formerly it would take us almost 90 min to 2 hours to get everyone showered and ready...because we had to wait 20 minutes each time someone was done with the shower. Kids our age understand the concept of sailor showers, but the execution....not so well.

If the majority time you boondock, I'd say it is not worth it...you'll never really experience it due to water conservation you HAVE to do anyway.

As far as other models or brands I have no experience. For us, this was one of the best upgrades for our family.
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Old 07-06-2017, 01:08 PM   #11
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I would say the benefit for boondocking would be less propane use when heating from ambient water temperature. I've been outside to observe the burner and it lights and before a minute is up the burner shuts off to heat the water in hybrid tank.

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Old 07-06-2017, 01:15 PM   #12
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Agree, it's more efficient on your propane we definitely notice that too.
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Old 07-06-2017, 01:17 PM   #13
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Again, thanks. It appears that the major plus is unlimited hot water. I have a Rinnai at home, have for over 10 years, so I know the ups and downs. I have a circ pump at home because of the long runs of pipe and the dishwasher needs hot water.
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Old 07-06-2017, 01:33 PM   #14
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I installed the Comfort and it is amazing. I fully agree with the advocates. My wife can take long showers and it's miserly with the propane. I did upgrade my Propane bottles to the large Aluminum like on the new Classics. The comfort is quiet and I have never had an issue in over a year of regular use. Our 28 foot is used as a second guest house in Napa!

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