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Old 03-04-2023, 02:47 PM   #1
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A Honestly Cold Reality Check

If your looking to buy a 2021 or newer Airsteam Travel Trailer there is one test
You should do before signing on the line.

This is an important two person spousal decision!

1: Stand inside your current home shower stall

2: Each take a turn standing in the shower while
a spouse dumps 1.5 gallons of ice cold water over your head.

3: Then discuss how each of you will like the new Girard tankless water heater operation and what you will constantly experience each time it’s turned on.

4: Budget to have it replaced with a Truma unit after warranty runs out or consider turning the shower into a closet.

5: Then if you do buy plan for severe envy grief with anyone with an old fashion 6 gallon gas electric hot water tank. Or a new Airsteam van with a Timbline or Truma unit.
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Old 03-04-2023, 02:58 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Life is a Highway View Post
If your looking to buy a 2021 or newer Airsteam Travel Trailer there is one test
You should do before signing on the line.

This is an important two person spousal decision!

1: Stand inside your current home shower stall

2: Each take a turn standing in the shower while
a spouse dumps 1.5 gallons of ice cold water over your head.

3: Then discuss how each of you will like the new Girard tankless water heater operation and what you will constantly experience each time itís turned on.

4: Budget to have it replaced with a Truma unit after warranty runs out or consider turning the shower into a closet.

5: Then if you do buy plan for severe envy grief with anyone with an old fashion 6 gallon gas electric hot water tank. Or a new Airsteam van with a Timbline or Truma unit.
Why would you go thru all that? All you need do is read about the new tankless shower issues here on the Forum...no need to experience a new tankless emulation when you can read about it on line.
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Old 03-05-2023, 03:05 PM   #3
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Or just learn how to use a tankless water heater because they operate much differently than a tank water heater. Neither is perfect but we learned how to live with a 6-gallon water heater tank and now that we have a tankless water heater, we're learning how to live with that. #firstworldproblems
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Old 03-05-2023, 03:30 PM   #4
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Our learning curve was reduced with advice from the dealer. Set the water temperature at your optimum shower temp and set the shower valve to full hot.



We only use the shower with full hookups and body wipes if campsite showers are unavailable. Yes, it's a compromise but what isn't with an RV?

Steve
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Old 03-05-2023, 03:49 PM   #5
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

We have been using the old fashioned 6 gallon LP and LP/Electric water heaters for the past sixteen years. We have over 2,200 nights of Airstream camp under our belt. We have taken thousands of showers in our Airstreams. We have always found the old tank water heaters ample for our needs, and they most always work flawlessly.

Having read a number of negative threads about the new Girard Tankless Water Heaters, I now wonder if they are all bad or are there just a number of defective units out there.

Do we have any members here that are fully satisfied with the performance of their new tankless water heater in their Airstream? Is this new water heater optional or is it in all new Airstream Travel Trailers?

Brian
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Old 03-05-2023, 06:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags View Post

Do we have any members here that are fully satisfied with the performance of their new tankless water heater in their Airstream?

Brian
We are not fully satisfied with ours, but we were not fully satisfied with a 6-gallon tank either. There is no such thing as fully satisfied in an RV. It's part of the give and take of RV life. It's an adventure, and a great way to live!
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Old 03-06-2023, 09:53 AM   #7
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We are not fully satisfied with ours, but we were not fully satisfied with a 6-gallon tank either. There is no such thing as fully satisfied in an RV. It's part of the give and take of RV life. It's an adventure, and a great way to live!
I posted this after 2 years of frustration. To listen to my wife cringe with the cold water Girard shower shocks is frustrating. Especially after our previous trailer with the 6 gallon kept us in warm water propane or electric.

I posted and a response came to us with a fix. It’s not perfect but it’s clean looking works and I think genius ,will not waste precious tank water.

Thank you so much to for fix post # 47 Alternative to Shower Miser. I have ordered the Symmons Valve S-9600TS Versa Flex. And will install this when we can get a chance.

The Airsteam factory tried all forum advice new gas regulator adjusted water pressure Girard knob flow adjusted they gave up they did all they could. Girard tech support said is what it is.

I did not want to spend 2000 on a Truma as I believe a Airsteam new under warranty should work or a recall be issued. I did not want a ShowerMiser hole in my tub. Although it’s interesting that sone SOB trailers install them std on their Girard tankless.

I knew I would take heat but it also got us a answer we needed. Yes Minions defending a product that does not work.

Thanks Harry for your brilliant work around. It should be std in Airstream if they keep that tankless Girard.
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Old 03-06-2023, 10:40 AM   #8
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I love my 6 gal Atwood water heater.
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Old 03-06-2023, 01:42 PM   #9
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I thought this install by Islander was a lot neater than the "shower miser" by using the "sink miser"
Quite straight forward if your freshwater tank is reasonably close.
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Old 03-06-2023, 02:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Life is a Highway View Post
I posted this after 2 years of frustration. To listen to my wife cringe with the cold water Girard shower shocks is frustrating. Especially after our previous trailer with the 6 gallon kept us in warm water propane or electric.

I posted and a response came to us with a fix. Itís not perfect but itís clean looking works and I think genius ,will not waste precious tank water.

Thank you so much to for fix post # 47 Alternative to Shower Miser. I have ordered the Symmons Valve S-9600TS Versa Flex. And will install this when we can get a chance.

The Airsteam factory tried all forum advice new gas regulator adjusted water pressure Girard knob flow adjusted they gave up they did all they could. Girard tech support said is what it is.

I did not want to spend 2000 on a Truma as I believe a Airsteam new under warranty should work or a recall be issued. I did not want a ShowerMiser hole in my tub. Although itís interesting that sone SOB trailers install them std on their Girard tankless.

I knew I would take heat but it also got us a answer we needed. Yes Minions defending a product that does not work.

Thanks Harry for your brilliant work around. It should be std in Airstream if they keep that tankless Girard.
I hope this works for you - the description in post 47 of the other thread indicates this method basically recirculates water until the water in the line is sufficiently hot. We installed a recirculation system in our new house along with a tankless system and it works fine. We would have installed the recirculation system regardless of whether we used a tankless or tank style water heater.

It's not clear to me why the tankless system is creating any more of a cold shower compared to the tank (or other style) water heaters. The cold water in the line (between the water heater and point of use) is there regardless of the water heater type. Is the tankless water heater further away from the point of use, thereby creating a longer period of time for cold water to flow before it becomes hot? A tankless heater will heat the water quickly but it cannot eliminate the cold water that's already in the line. A tank style water heater won't heat the water in the line either. What am I missing?
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Old 03-06-2023, 02:52 PM   #11
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Never had a problem with any of my previous AS's with the 6ga water heater, when showering. Propane or electric; wife never complained either...I do hear a lot on the new on demand units however.

The move to all electric on the AS's and many other modern "conveniences" is crazy..."if it ain't broke, don't fix it!" Think giving owners a choice makes more sense.
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Old 03-06-2023, 05:34 PM   #12
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Lucius, post #10, What you're missing is the water reheat if you take a "navy shower". When the stream of hot water is interrupted with the new tankless heaters, the flame shuts off and won't turn back on until a flow of water is sensed. That water is the cold water of the fresh tank. So if you interrupt the flow of hot water to suds up, you get a dose of cold before any hot when you press the button and allow water to flow again. If you don't take a "navy shower" and simply leave the shower flowing then there's no problem. The tankless will deliver water "endlessly" (that's in quotes because the manual says it runs for 20 minutes - haven't tested that). To avoid the cold dose of water, we only use the shower when on full hookups.


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Old 03-06-2023, 06:41 PM   #13
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Lucius, post #10, What you're missing is the water reheat if you take a "navy shower". When the stream of hot water is interrupted with the new tankless heaters, the flame shuts off and won't turn back on until a flow of water is sensed. That water is the cold water of the fresh tank. So if you interrupt the flow of hot water to suds up, you get a dose of cold before any hot when you press the button and allow water to flow again. If you don't take a "navy shower" and simply leave the shower flowing then there's no problem. The tankless will deliver water "endlessly" (that's in quotes because the manual says it runs for 20 minutes - haven't tested that). To avoid the cold dose of water, we only use the shower when on full hookups.


Steve
Thanks for the explanation. Now I understand how the tankless may be a bit more problematic compared to the tank style. The explanation you provided describes the slight change in temperature we experience even with our tank style heater when taking a Navy Shower. I seem to recall most of the shower heads allow water to trickle to reduce the cold/hot transition. Maybe that trickle isn't sufficient for a tankless to maintain a hot water stream. The bypass valve idea sounds like a good solution.
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Old 03-06-2023, 07:22 PM   #14
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We're used to ours now, no real issues.
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Old 03-07-2023, 08:25 AM   #15
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As someone said "up-thread", pretty much everything about an RV is a compromise. Airstream looked at how the majority of their customers use their trailers (in parks with hook-ups) and went with the solution that would satisfy them. The tankless water heater works well when you don't have to worry about running out of water or filling your tanks prematurely.

Same thing with getting rid of the propane refrigerator. The 12V fridge works well for most of their customers camping in parks. Although we'd all like the AS to be an all season, glamping, boondocking superstar, they can't make everyone happy.
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Old 03-07-2023, 08:51 AM   #16
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This is it in a nutshell! Thanks for the post. Watching Airstreams "improve" over the years one thing is clear to me. Almost all of the changes are aimed at owners who connect to full services. Of course an on demand heater is much better if you have water connected. Turn on the shower, and run it for as long as you want....
Get rid of your propane fridge? For the folks who always hook up, you will always have all the electricity you need.

Now before you get out your flame thrower, I know that there are ways around all of this. For the fridge all you need is a really good solar set up which the folks at Airstream will be willing to supply.

Don't forget the automatic awnings and the electric levelers....am I missing anything? Oh, forgot convection ovens.
Again, it comes down to your individual style of camping. I am glad that there are better ways to go but am a bit miffed that I can't buy a new trailer with the old style propane fridge and a standard gas/electric water heater.
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Old 03-07-2023, 10:24 AM   #17
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I agree with the comments above about compromise. It’s always something. Our Airstream had a traditional 6-gallon water heater and it worked well, aside from a clogged mixing valve issue. Our new RV has a tankless water heater and a Shower Miser system. It works well too, but as others mentioned, it is different.
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Old 03-07-2023, 05:40 PM   #18
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I think the frustrating thing is either Airstream didn’t anticipate the effect a tankless water heater would have on boondocking owners (by not field testing it first) or they did so and ignored the problem and chose not to install a recirculating solution.

How about benchmarking / testing the top tankless solutions available? Those would include the Truma system that several AS owners have swapped out to the tune of $2K.

I get it we’re not buying a Bowlus Road Chief but we all chose Airstream because it’s the best mass produced trailer. A friend of ours has a T@B 320 with a Truma water heated trailer. And it doesn’t cost as much as a Basecamp!

I’ve had several jobs in my work career one in IT where we “ate our own dog food” before rolling it out to end users. Airstream, please field test these changes in all end user conditions and choose the best of breed. Your faithful customers will thank you.
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Old 03-07-2023, 06:33 PM   #19
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jeffmc306 : “I think the frustrating thing is either Airstream didn’t anticipate the effect a tankless water heater would have on boondocking owners (by not field testing it first) or they did so and ignored the problem and chose not to install a recirculating solution”

Yes. Or, maybe they don’t really care about boondocking owners at this time.

If you look at all of the “improvements” over the past 5-10 years they all serve the plugged-in travelers, and often diminish the ability to camp unplugged. The electric only fridge is the prime example, with these (water-consuming, waste tank filling) water heaters close behind. The new van has an induction cooktop, so you can’t even make coffee without a lot of electricity. Power awnings, power stabilizers, the list goes on. Even the get-away-from-it-all Basecamp has an electric only fridge and a microwave!

I grant that all of these “improvements” have some advantages, but not for the unplugged.
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Old 03-07-2023, 11:22 PM   #20
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I'm disappointed, but Airstream is on brand

I would love it if AS still made TT optimized for boon docking. You would think at least the BaseCamp would check that box, but no.

Perhaps in the future the E-stream might make boon docking possible again (and only cost you a quarter mil or so, I'd guess)

But when you think about it, the direction AS has taken toward building mobile homes is inevitable. It's what Wally's wife really wanted, after all.

In Boy Scouts, I camped in tents, and loved it (well, to be honest, maybe not so much at the time as in hind sight). The Airstream has always been the camper for campers that don't care for camping.

And so, endless hot showers for those who tow their wheeled hotel spas with them to RV parking lots pretending to camp out, while those who trek to isolated BLM sites suffer cold water and warm food stocks.
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