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Old 06-05-2008, 07:57 AM   #1
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Using Tankless water heater, possibly ventless type

My first post.

Having trouble getting pilot to stay lit, considering going to tankless LP, possibly LP elec combo water heater. Noticed one available says its ventless too, though very low output capacity. My trailer is a '64 Tradewind. Anyone use one of these or have any suggestions?
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:41 AM   #2
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Make sure it's one rated for RV use, otherwise it ma rattle apart or be unsafe.

We are planning on using one from Precision Temp.

Shari
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Old 06-05-2008, 02:07 PM   #3
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The RV-500 precision temp is the only RV tankless water heater I have seen and it generally gets good reviews. Cost about $1k. fits in the same space a 10 gallon water heater does.

The RV-500 is a 50k BTU/hr heater which is about max for RV propane systems (11 in water column pressure and 3/8 inch tubing). That is barely sufficient for RV showers. It is equivalent to about 15 kilowatts or 8 standard 15 amp 120v household circuits. Electric just doesn't cut it unless you are talking 240v and high currents.

Venting is another issue. There are some gas powered water heaters that are not designed for external venting but they require larger spaces than is usual in an RV and special precautions - much like catalytic heaters. They are usually designed to serve as point of use water heaters for small volumes.
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Old 06-05-2008, 02:28 PM   #4
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hi careyB and welcome to the forums!!

member lewster only has a few 100 posts on this issue and his user/installer/service tech experience...

search 'tankless' with his user name and ALL the heated details will pour out...

i think he's on the road right now, and may not see your post...

cheers
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Old 06-26-2008, 02:23 PM   #5
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hey guys..

i'm about to replace my water heater also. i just found this one at home depot.. Ariston 4.0 Gallon Point of Use Electric Water Heater - GL4.0 at The Home Depot

it only draws 12.5 amps on 120v. comes out to 1500 watts. not trouble for a 30 amp service or decent generator. at that price, if it doesnt work out in the AS, i could put it in the house for jenny's LONG HOT baths! not sure how it will hold up to rv use, but if i get a few years out of it, thats worth it to me! one turn on for me was that it's all electric.. and i'm going 100% elec in my tradewind. hopefully it will be installed this weekend so i can get some pics and details up while this post is fresh.

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Old 06-26-2008, 03:25 PM   #6
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scroll way down to the bottom of this thread and look at the related threads. you will find that the unit you mention is NOT safety rated for RV use.
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Old 06-26-2008, 05:32 PM   #7
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ok.. i stand corrected

after doing a little more reading in the add, this water heater HAS a tank(3.85 gal). still going to try it out. the design of this one is to assist a lager heater where more demand is needed, but with our little consumption, it shouldn't be a problem. anyway, just correcting my own mistake
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Old 06-26-2008, 05:45 PM   #8
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We have a Precision Temp in our '65 Caravel. Works OK.

Up side: operates on 12v and propane, uses very little propane, does not sound like a tornado coming by your trailer, never heats water you are not using, never runs out of hot water, has freeze protection built in (comes on for a few seconds when needed in cold weather), fits in the same place and used the same connections as your old water heater. Customer service at Precision Temp is great.

Down side: not cheap to buy, wastes some water at each start-up (that's every time you turn on your faucet, an issue when boondocking), has two circuit boards and three temp sensors to go bad (had one board and two sensors go bad out of warranty, cost me $200.00), questionable AC at an RV park can cause noise in your 12v DC circuit and the unit will malfunction and not light (needs "reboot" by disconnecting the 12v)

Love it, and hate it.
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Old 06-27-2008, 06:39 AM   #9
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RV rated, huh?

hey jim, let me see if i understand this.. the expensive "rv rated" water heater you have is sensitve to noisy power, expensive to repair, and still wastes some water? no offense to any one using these, but i'm still gonna try a cheapo.. the cost of repairing yours would replace mine . hopefully i will have a chance to purchase and install this weekend, so we will see if the foot should go in the mouth or not.
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Old 06-27-2008, 09:09 AM   #10
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All water heaters will waste water. The amount depends on the volume of water standing in the run of pipe from heater to faucet.
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Old 06-27-2008, 09:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Foster View Post
We have a Precision Temp in our '65 Caravel. Works OK.

Up side: operates on 12v and propane, uses very little propane, does not sound like a tornado coming by your trailer, never heats water you are not using, never runs out of hot water, has freeze protection built in (comes on for a few seconds when needed in cold weather), fits in the same place and used the same connections as your old water heater. Customer service at Precision Temp is great.

Down side: not cheap to buy, wastes some water at each start-up (that's every time you turn on your faucet, an issue when boondocking), has two circuit boards and three temp sensors to go bad (had one board and two sensors go bad out of warranty, cost me $200.00), questionable AC at an RV park can cause noise in your 12v DC circuit and the unit will malfunction and not light (needs "reboot" by disconnecting the 12v)

Love it, and hate it.
Hi Jim, et al:

I have been using the RV-500 for 8 years, first in my 40' diesel pusher (full-timing) and then in my 19CCD A/S. I have NEVER had a problem with either unit, and they have performed flawlessly during this time.

They are the ONLY tankless water heater (to date) that is rated for RV use. Anything else is a crap shoot with your investment dollars and your safety.

Yes, they are expensive (check with me for the Forum Courtesy Discounted price) but are well worth it if you are in this market.
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Old 06-27-2008, 12:36 PM   #12
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The water wasted by the RV500 over other water heaters is only the amount needed to get the flow meter going so that the unit knows that "this guy wants hot water, so I better turn this thing on." You can hear the unit fire on a second or two after you turn on the faucet. Never measured the amount of water, maybe a cup or two.

The unit was in our Caravel when we bought it.

I am not knocking the RV500 in any way. Only giving the full measure of our experience with our unit. Both the good and the bad. Ours is a very early unit. It is #38. When we had it repaired at the Precision Temp factory in Ohio, the fellow who made our unit was still working there and did the repair.
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Old 04-11-2009, 05:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leipper View Post
The RV-500 precision temp is the only RV tankless water heater I have seen and it generally gets good reviews. Cost about $1k. fits in the same space a 10 gallon water heater does.

The RV-500 is a 50k BTU/hr heater which is about max for RV propane systems (11 in water column pressure and 3/8 inch tubing). That is barely sufficient for RV showers. It is equivalent to about 15 kilowatts or 8 standard 15 amp 120v household circuits. Electric just doesn't cut it unless you are talking 240v and high currents.

Venting is another issue. There are some gas powered water heaters that are not designed for external venting but they require larger spaces than is usual in an RV and special precautions - much like catalytic heaters. They are usually designed to serve as point of use water heaters for small volumes.
Hey what about the wind kit and freeze kit is it worth it for the RV-500 ?
I ordered this heater and got a call from the place I ordered from and they said they recommend the wind kit and freeze kit is it really nessesary ?
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Old 04-11-2009, 08:05 AM   #14
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Here is the info off the company website:

RV-500 Accessories
Wind Protection Fan #1703
The RV-500/501 can be affected by swirling or gusting winds.
Gusting winds may affect the consistency of the water temperature.
Slide-out compartments that are on the same side as the water
heater will create turbulences. If you have a slide-out room on the
same side as the water heater you need the Wind Protection Fan. In
some circumstances, the internal wiring can become singed.
If you have a slide-out room or use your RV where wind gusts are
common such as the desert or shore areas or use your RV at high
altitudes, the Wind Protection Fan is strongly recommended. The
Wind Protection Fan can be easily retrofitted.


_______________________________________________
Cold Weather Package #1966 (includes #1703 Wind Protection
Fan)
Instantaneous water heaters only come on when you turn on the hot
water tap. Therefore, anytime the temperature drops to 32˚F (0˚C),
they are susceptible to freeze damage. The RV-500/501, however,
will turn itself on* for short periods of time as the temperature
approaches freezing. This will protect the unit down to temperatures
of 20˚ F (-6˚C). If it will be used in temperatures lower than this the
Cold Weather Package is required.
The Cold Weather Package includes heating wire with a plug-in,
insulation and the Wind Protection Fan. The Cold Weather Package
will protect the RV-500/501 at temperatures as low as -20˚F (-
29˚C).**
The Cold Weather Package is a factory installed option.
*If power and gas are left on.
** If plugged in and the power and gas are left on.


My guess is that if you RV in the winter where the outside temp will reach freezing, then you need the cold weather package. This also begs the question that if you boondock in temps at or below freezing, it would seem to me with the cold weather package you'd need to have ample power to run this long term.
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