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Old 06-15-2015, 02:49 PM   #1
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1980 31' Excella II
Austin , Texas
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Water heater worth a replacement?

Hey gang, me again. We finished gutting and replacing subfloor in my '80 Excella, and now we're into the build stage, so I'll be here a lot with questions. I hope I don't annoy anyone!

Before reconstructing the interior kitchen and bath, we're testing all appliances. I think this is the factory water heater, and seems to be in ok condition.

So, a two-parter question. Anyone have any thoughts about whether is worth it to just replace it with a tankless? If we do that, we'd have to factor that into the build design, so does anyone have any ideas how to get water to shower, kitchen sink, and bathroom sink from one tankless?

I appreciate any and all help!
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Old 06-15-2015, 03:53 PM   #2
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1986 31' Sovereign
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A tanked water heater adds 6 Gallons of fresh water capacity to your rig - in my case a 13% increase. If you have a small fresh water tank the percentage is greater.

Tankless gives you unlimited hot water but, unless you have a sewer hookup, you are still limited by your grey tank capacity.

We boondock on a regular basis so the extra water is handy and my old Atwood is simple and reliable.

Mike
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Old 06-15-2015, 05:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by n2916s View Post
A tanked water heater adds 6 Gallons of fresh water capacity to your rig - in my case a 13% increase. If you have a small fresh water tank the percentage is greater.

We boondock on a regular basis so the extra water is handy and my old Atwood is simple and reliable.

Mike
The "extra water capacity" is not usable in any way as the water heater tank is always full and cannot become part of the fresh water tank capacity

To use it you would have to 1. shut off the water heater element or burner. 2. Shut the cold water input valve. 3. Somehow drain the water heater tank into the fresh water tank.

Results: an empty water heater tank and no hot water.
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Old 06-15-2015, 06:31 PM   #4
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That makes perfect sense. So I withdraw my comment.

Mike
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Old 06-15-2015, 06:47 PM   #5
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As long as you're willing to pay for it I don't see it being a bad idea. There are some drawbacks. Needs electricity vs pilot model. Needs flow to turn on, so you cant really trickle hot water, pretty much needs to be full on or off in order for the water heater to light. Same for houses, which is why anybody that has asked about putting in a tankless water heater, I recommend keeping a small water heater on the outlet for those low flow periods, but still allows for endless hot water.
If you're going to be staying with hookups most of the time it can be worth it. If you plan on boon docking a lot you're limited by your water capacity so doesn't make much sense. May want to look into combination propane/electric as well, provides more recovery capacity. But you don't have to run the electric element if you're boon docking.
Did you tear out all the water plumbing as part of the gut job.? If not, as far as getting water to places, it just has to be plumbed into the cold water supply and hot water line like the old one was. If it's gone you just need a branch off of the cold water line to feed into the water heater, and run the hot water from the water in the best way passing all the hot water outlets with tee's from that line.
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