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Old 09-25-2021, 04:19 PM   #1
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2021 27' International
Kirkland , Washington
Join Date: Apr 2021
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2021 model water heaters

Has anyone else bought a 2021+ model and found themselves unhappy with the factory fitted water heater?

We had a tanked heater in our previous airstream and had no issues with it, and found it easy to boon dock but cannot do the same with this tankless heater we have now:

We burn through propane even after water is switched off;

Water wastage waiting for hot to reach the facet takes much longer than advised;

Any use of any other faucet results in cold to the shower; therefore the waiting and the wastage starts again.

Because of the water and propane wastage our unit is useless for boon docking and this bugs me like crazy, considering airstream brochures never show a trailer parked up with full hook ups in an rv park.

Is anyone else as unhappy with what airstream have given us for our $128k plus unit as we are?!

I’m guessing I’m not alone as our dealer are now stocking an alternative tankless heater customers can upgrade to at their own cost after market!
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Old 09-25-2021, 04:47 PM   #2
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2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , Milky Way
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Welcome Aboard 👍

I can feel your pain....

No experience with the 'no demand' water heater that's installed in the new Airstreams.
And I can't see the excuse for the change. A pointless improvement in my humble opinion.

If I turn on our heater for 45 minutes in the morning while making breakfast then shut it off we will have hot water enough to do the evening dishes.

Endure... Seriously consider what the dealer is offering as an upgrade. I don't think you will regret it

Bob
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Old 09-25-2021, 04:57 PM   #3
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Sorry to hear about this. It seems to me that the switch to a tankless water heater plus an electric-only compressor fridge are changes that make boondocking more difficult when compared to older trailers. I do wish I had the composite floor found in the 2021+ Airstreams though. So you’ve got that going for you! Good luck finding a solution with your dealer.
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Old 09-25-2021, 05:15 PM   #4
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The idea is you can take a 20 minute shower when you have full hookups. And In theory, time travel is possible...
In reality, the leading edge IS the bleeding edge. The home version of this story In 1988 was put in 2 on-demand water heaters #1 in a cabinet under the kitchen sink and #2 on the second floor in the bigger of two bathrooms that had been plumbed right next to each other. And the third half bath on the first floor? Got a hot faucet in the sink.
All things considered,
Airstream finally got composite floors... then screwed the pooch with the refrigerators and water heaters, and Alde #1, and the power awning with the controls UNDER the sink... acute cranial-rectal inversion on that one. Wouldn't it have made sense to put electrical controls IN or UNDER an overhead cabinet?
Smart corporate profitability planning doesn't even run to tying up the phone jack commection inside the A/C so that it doesn't short out when it hits the water in the drain cup. 1 cent for a cable tie vs how many $500 service appointments.
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Old 09-26-2021, 09:50 AM   #5
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We have the tankless hot water heater in our 2021 GT. It takes 10 seconds for the hot water to arrive. A pail saves the cold water for toilet and other uses when no hookups. When hooked up, it does not matter.
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Old 09-26-2021, 10:23 AM   #6
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We had a Truma AquaGo Comfort water heater installed in our Airstream to replace the Girard on demand water heater. What an upgrade in performance. We are now able to get continuous hot water washing dishes and using the bathroom sink when we cycle the water off and on. My wife will soap down in the shower turn the water off for a few seconds, then turn the water back on to rinse off. This is done to conserve water when we camp at a park with electric only. The Girard would give her a cold blast of water due to the poor design. If you are like us and camp at partial hook-ups or boondock, the Truma AquaGo Comfort is a major upgrade. It’s the water wasted due to the poor design that makes the Girard water heater a poor choice for an Airstream. As an Airstream owner I expect a quality product for the amount of money paid for an Airstream.
The Truma AquaGo Comfort is the same size as the Girard water heater. The access door is sold separately and if you order an XS (extra small) the door will fit with out having to cut the rub rail on the outside of the trailer. Also note! It comes in black, this will match the banana wrap on the trailer. Use this promo code (DLE 60C-32047109) and receive a $50.00 debit card from Truma.
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Old 09-26-2021, 11:11 AM   #7
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I am having great luck with my 3 tear old PrecisionTemp RRV 550 tankless water heater. You need three ingredients to operate it. Enough water, gas, and electricity to get it going and patients to allow time for the hot water to get to you. Tankless heaters are not instant anymore than tank heaters. They use the same pipes and therefore it takes time to get to you.
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Old 09-26-2021, 01:48 PM   #8
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2020 33' Classic
Columbia , MO
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Yes!!! So after 1 year and 2 months, with hours with Alde and the dealership, this was the facts: airstream putsctrailer out with settings making it impossible for you to get burn, so all factory settings on boiler and on the wall monitor control had to be adjusted. Also the antiscold on the shower head was adjusted. Now when we shower, I go to the boiler control on the wall and get to the temperature report of the glycol and hot water. I use electric and propane, but my maximum wattage, and shower booster. When the water temp hits 160, your glycol is right there too, jump in and enjoy. I bought a 33 foot classic and it took that long for me to get a hot shower. Alde gave me more direction than anyone, the dealership acted like I was nuts and it took that long to finally get the darn thing fixed. The good news is that your not gonna get burned with the factory settings.
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Old 09-26-2021, 04:32 PM   #9
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21 Classic 30 ft queen. We had a leak on the Alde Flow. Replaced by Truma. After repair the tech walked me through the system detailed set up. Our system is working great. DC is a huge improvement over duel refrigerators. From what I have gathered so far I feel confident in stating most people don’t have their systems configured properly and that some dealerships are not knowledgeable enough to walk owners through setup and operation.
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Old 09-26-2021, 04:34 PM   #10
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Why would put the awning controls there? We have the 21 30ft Classic and the most logical place is close to the door.
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Old 09-26-2021, 08:28 PM   #11
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Plaistow , New Hampshire
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Had some minor issues with ours, mainly when we have low water pressure.
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Old 09-27-2021, 07:45 AM   #12
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Fredericktown , Ohio
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The longest time for our water to warn up is approximately 20 seconds and that is when we are using the show. Bathroom and galley sink take 4 to 6 seconds respectively. Yes, there is more water being wasted (for showering) and could probably be fixed with a piping modification. IE: a more direct run from the on-demand water heater to the shower. IMO no change is needed for the sinks. We have not experienced any increase in propane usage. In fact, it has gone down this summer. Our recent trip to Texas, boon docking on a ranch for 4 days plus 4 days travel time saw us starting the shower and running that "cold" water into a bucket to be used later. We are pretty content with the new modification, so far. I do miss the electric hot water heater option, but not that much. We had full hook ups at a KOA on our way out and back. We purposely took extended "Hollywood" showers at these campsites and the hot water supply was endless. We do like that part of the on demand hot water heater.
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Old 09-27-2021, 07:55 AM   #13
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2021 27' International
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cold Canner View Post
Because of the water and propane wastage our unit is useless for boon docking...
That might be a little extreme. Our family of 4 just boondocked for 5 days in our 2021. We managed our water to a point where we left with tanks at about 50-60%. We didn't shower every day, true. That being said, I agree that the tankless heater isn't ideal for boondocking but its not impossible - just had to change our habits. Obviously, this won't work quite as well if you are at Leave No Trace park. We were camping in a tent camping section and those folks were rinsing everything off outside on the ground.
* We catch all the kitchen sink water in a basin that fits inside the sink
* Water used to rinse hands in the kitchen sink can be dumped outside
* Food contaminated water went down the toilet or maybe outside if clear enough IMO
* I rinse the french press at the outside shower/faucet
* Showers are... short. We catch as much cold water as we can before jumping in
* I turn the hot water heater off when we leave for the day or at night but really propane usage hasn't been an issue
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Old 09-27-2021, 09:07 AM   #14
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AFAIK, the only way to get real on-demand and lower water waste would be to have a return line from all the hot water faucets which I think would include a re-circulation pump.

This is also noted in the Trama plus specs. The Trama basic may be better than the factory installed on-demand heater, but for true near instant hot water, in terms of boondocking, you trade one evil for another IMHO because a recirc pump is gonna have a power delta...mind you nowhere near that of a 12v compressor fridge, but if you have a unit with a 12v compressor fridge, every amp counts....plus it would require Airstream to get out of it's comfort zone and plumb the supply lines to accept a recirc loop....but if the factory can't even prevent front end separation (current thread discussion on the forum), I can't see them plumbing the supply any different.

So it seems either stick with the crummy factory on demand or go with the Trama basic. Odd that the factory hitched it cart to the Girard if it's not as good as the Trama given all the feedback I've read on the forum on this particular subject, but then I once again think of the decades where they didn't secure the front end, and I suppose you can easily see how they appear to make some decisions in a bubble.
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Old 09-28-2021, 06:01 AM   #15
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Bluffton , South Carolina
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We just picked up our 2021 30 Classic last Wednesday and it has an Alde water heater. The way it responded during our first camping experience makes me think it’s a tank type. After reading the posts here, now I’m not so sure.
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Old 09-28-2021, 06:09 AM   #16
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A true tankless water heater starts the burner due to a flow switch being activated when a fixture calls for hot water. When the flow stops, the flow switch turns off the burner. If yours isn’t behaving like this, you may want to get it checked by your dealer.
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Old 09-28-2021, 07:38 AM   #17
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Zanadude Nebula , Milky Way
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guskmg View Post
I am having great luck with my 3 tear old PrecisionTemp RRV 550 tankless water heater. You need three ingredients to operate it. Enough water, gas, and electricity to get it going and patients to allow time for the hot water to get to you. Tankless heaters are not instant anymore than tank heaters. They use the same pipes and therefore it takes time to get to you.
guskmg
Yes but...but they sure waste the 'letric.
Why are you crying at only 3 tears old?

We be happy stuck in 2003.
We have done up-grades, and improved systems, but the manual awning, water heater, furnace, AC, Range and microwave ALL still WORKING.

Bob
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Old 09-28-2021, 08:18 AM   #18
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Don't boondock so this really would not be an issue for us. But our 2021 GT has the tankless water heater. As soon as you turn the water on a pressure switch starts the heater. You can watch the temperature rise. Looks like it takes 5-10 seconds before it hits our pre selected temp of 111 F. I think the real delay between when you turn the water on in the shower or kitchen has more to do with the lenght of pipe between the heater and the fixture. We are perfectly happy with the system, although if I had my choice I'd go with a conventional propane/electric tank system. We had 6/10 gallon tank systems in previous RVs and never ran out of hot water for our usage even with full hook ups. The tankless system seems like an unnecessary tech gizmo.

If you're using a bucket to capture cold water for toilet use, would thet be any different than using grey water? I could see if you're under a tight water budget in some areas.
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Old 09-28-2021, 10:19 AM   #19
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On demand is having hot water when you need it, instead of having to wait for a water heater to heat a tank of water. Instant hot water is having hot water at the faucet when you turn it on. To have true instant hot water you need recirculating hot water lines. Truma makes two different hot water heaters using the same design, an Instant hot water heater (you need recirculating lines and only sold to RV manufacturers) and an On Demand hot water heater.

The Truma on demand hot water heater will not waste LP gas if you select ‘ECO’ mode and will only burn LP when water is running thru the system. If we are getting ready to take a shower or do dishes we switch the system over to ‘Comfort’ mode. This will allow the system to preheat the water.

Also note: When you you are Boondocking LP is not the issue. The usual issues are water and battery capacity.
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Old 09-29-2021, 06:05 PM   #20
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I am a bit confused. Regardless of the hot water source it still takes the same volume of water displacement in the lines. Is this an issue if we don’t boondocks? What about the Gerard makes it worse than my old RV500 units I installed in the last two Airstreams? I personally would not be without a tankless heater. For those that upgraded to the Truma what aspect(s) are better? I had no idea I would need to potentially upgrade yet another hot water heater in a brand new Airstream. Grrrr
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