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Old 02-26-2021, 01:59 PM   #1
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On demand water heater

I just traded my 2020 Int serenity for a 2021 FC 30 bunk. It has the new on-demand water heater. This thing takes a full minute or more to generate ďconstantĒheat. Is there a setting to improve this? It seams to go from warm to cold, then warm to cold, then eventually warm. Not quite sure how I like this. Hoping it will grow on me like the convection over eventually did.
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Old 02-26-2021, 06:05 PM   #2
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Congrats!
Yeah Iíve had same issues. If you try to take a navy shower by turning the water off at the shower head to conserve fresh water or grey water tank space then you will freeze because no matter how long have hot water flowing, if you stop the flow then the process starts over. It at least thatís the way it seems to me. There is a knob on the water heater itself that you can adjust the volume of cold water flow into the unit but I havenít seen that does much good. I dunno. Out of all the advancements in the new Airstreams, this is my least favorite. Does make winterizing easier though because you do not have to drain it. Let me know if you figure out a solution.
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Old 02-26-2021, 06:34 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bcc75 View Post
Congrats!
Yeah I’ve had same issues. If you try to take a navy shower by turning the water off at the shower head to conserve fresh water or grey water tank space then you will freeze because no matter how long have hot water flowing, if you stop the flow then the process starts over. It at least that’s the way it seems to me. There is a knob on the water heater itself that you can adjust the volume of cold water flow into the unit but I haven’t seen that does much good. I dunno. Out of all the advancements in the new Airstreams, this is my least favorite. Does make winterizing easier though because you do not have to drain it. Let me know if you figure out a solution.
Tankless water heaters perform poorly when not hooked up to city water if you try to use them the same way you would use a conventional water heater with a tank. But you can improve the performance of the tankless water heater when taking navy showers if you do two things:

First, don’t blend hot and cold water to reach a comfortable showering temperature. Set the temperature on the thermostat you find comfortable for showering (most people shower between 100-105F) and then turn the faucet on to full-blast hot. You’ll save water by not having to blend.

Second, don’t use the pause button on the shower head when soaping up. Instead, turn the faucet off completely. When you use the pause button, water continues to flow but not at a rate that activates the heater. As a result, all the hot water in the line between the heater and the shower head dribbles out and is replaced with cold while you’re soaping up. If you turn the faucet completely off, you retain the hot water in the line, minimizing the cold blast when you turn the faucet back on (again to full high) to rinse off.
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Old 02-26-2021, 08:10 PM   #4
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I never had issues with the conventional water heater in my 2020. I’m currently missing it!
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Old 02-26-2021, 08:52 PM   #5
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Tankless water heaters are only good for one thing: "endless" hot showers. But for a travel trailer, you are still limited by the size of your propane tank, since they are not electric, and the size of your tanks, unless you are at a full-hook up site.

So, I think for one category of camper, they are great, but for every other category, such as those who boondock, they are far inferior to conventional water heaters.

AS should offer a choice of water heaters, and since tankless have severe drawbacks in this application, I would imagine they will shortly be making this change.
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Old 02-27-2021, 03:30 AM   #6
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I have had on demand at home for many years and I still dislike it. I don't need endless hot showers and I had to install a circ pump to get the heater working at flow. Otherwise I just had to waste a lot of water to finally get the initial hot water to the showers.
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Old 02-27-2021, 09:40 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by JEB View Post
Tankless water heaters perform poorly when not hooked up to city water if you try to use them the same way you would use a conventional water heater with a tank. But you can improve the performance of the tankless water heater when taking navy showers if you do two things:

First, donít blend hot and cold water to reach a comfortable showering temperature. Set the temperature on the thermostat you find comfortable for showering (most people shower between 100-105F) and then turn the faucet on to full-blast hot. Youíll save water by not having to blend.

Second, donít use the pause button on the shower head when soaping up. Instead, turn the faucet off completely. When you use the pause button, water continues to flow but not at a rate that activates the heater. As a result, all the hot water in the line between the heater and the shower head dribbles out and is replaced with cold while youíre soaping up. If you turn the faucet completely off, you retain the hot water in the line, minimizing the cold blast when you turn the faucet back on (again to full high) to rinse off.
Good tips
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Old 02-27-2021, 09:59 AM   #8
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I have a 2021 Globetrotter coming out of the factory next month and asked for a conventional water heater to be installed and the answer was "no can do." Not happy about that and I don't think there is any easy way to replace yourself with after market. Seems like a poor decision by AS
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Old 02-27-2021, 10:48 AM   #9
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We have a 2021 Flying Cloud 27 FBT and we love all of the improvements Airstream made to the Flying Cloud...except the Gerard water heater. Itís great with full hook-ups but despised when boondocking. It uses A LOT of water. In order to conserve water and gray tank capacity, we mix boiling water into a bucket with cold water and soap up with that. We only use water from the hot water heater to rinse off. Thereís nothing like using pre-20th century bathing technology in a trailer built in the 21st century. We are seriously considering replacing it with a Truma AquaGo Comfort water heater. We just havenít determined if the expense will result in anything more than marginal improvements.
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Old 02-27-2021, 11:13 AM   #10
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On Demand Water Heater

Roberta and I have a 2018 FC 30RB. It came with LPG/VAC water heater that has has not let us down. Virtually INSTANT heat . . . I mean like a minute or two and good for the stay. We have had reliability issues with refer and now furnace.

Airstreaming is not for sissies.
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Old 02-27-2021, 12:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB View Post
First, donít blend hot and cold water to reach a comfortable showering temperature. Set the temperature on the thermostat you find comfortable for showering (most people shower between 100-105F) and then turn the faucet on to full-blast hot. Youíll save water by not having to blend.

Second, donít use the pause button on the shower head when soaping up. Instead, turn the faucet off completely. When you use the pause button, water continues to flow but not at a rate that activates the heater. As a result, all the hot water in the line between the heater and the shower head dribbles out and is replaced with cold while youíre soaping up. If you turn the faucet completely off, you retain the hot water in the line, minimizing the cold blast when you turn the faucet back on (again to full high) to rinse off.

Yes, very good tips mentioned above. I would add that you can forget about Navy showers, and just do extra extra quick showers. Wet, soap and rinse with the water running. We waste less water with a quick soap down, than stopping the flow and waiting for hot water again.

Alternately stay at full hookups all the time, but that is not our style.
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Old 03-03-2021, 09:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickP View Post
I have a 2021 Globetrotter coming out of the factory next month and asked for a conventional water heater to be installed and the answer was "no can do." Not happy about that and I don't think there is any easy way to replace yourself with after market. Seems like a poor decision by AS
Well, This can put my mind at ease wondering if I should have waited and just ordered one with a standard heater!
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Old 03-05-2021, 07:24 PM   #13
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Thank you so much! We are having the same issues as the OP, and we really don't like cold showers :-(
Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB View Post
Tankless water heaters perform poorly when not hooked up to city water if you try to use them the same way you would use a conventional water heater with a tank. But you can improve the performance of the tankless water heater when taking navy showers if you do two things:

First, donít blend hot and cold water to reach a comfortable showering temperature. Set the temperature on the thermostat you find comfortable for showering (most people shower between 100-105F) and then turn the faucet on to full-blast hot. Youíll save water by not having to blend.

Second, donít use the pause button on the shower head when soaping up. Instead, turn the faucet off completely. When you use the pause button, water continues to flow but not at a rate that activates the heater. As a result, all the hot water in the line between the heater and the shower head dribbles out and is replaced with cold while youíre soaping up. If you turn the faucet completely off, you retain the hot water in the line, minimizing the cold blast when you turn the faucet back on (again to full high) to rinse off.
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Old 03-08-2021, 11:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s1000pre View Post
I just traded my 2020 Int serenity for a 2021 FC 30 bunk. It has the new on-demand water heater. This thing takes a full minute or more to generate ďconstantĒheat. Is there a setting to improve this? It seams to go from warm to cold, then warm to cold, then eventually warm. Not quite sure how I like this. Hoping it will grow on me like the convection over eventually did.
Hi s1000pre and Jess Pizz,*

Please send us a direct message with your contact information, email and the last 6 digits of your VIN so we can share it with our Customer Service and Technical Support team. We look forward to helping you get this resolved.

You can also reach Airstream Customer Service and Technical Support at*customersupport@airstream.com

Thank you.*
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Old 03-08-2021, 12:11 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by ToBoldlyRoll View Post
We are seriously considering replacing it with a Truma AquaGo Comfort water heater. We just haven’t determined if the expense will result in anything more than marginal improvements.

From what I understand, the Truma AquaGo Comfort water heater has 2 versions the Truma AquaGo Comfort, which can replaced an existing water heater, or the Truba AquaGo Comfort +. The plus has a recirc pump and according to their site, the plus model is only avail in new RV builds, so moving to the standard avail Truma AquaGo Comfort, though it may be better than the factory installed, unless it heats at lower water movement, you may have a similar exp to the factory without that recirc loop/pump found in the plus version.

IMHO, this is clearly fixing something that really wasn't broken. The tank water heaters have a proven track record spanning over 40 years and work well (for what they are) in almost any camping situation.

Just waiting for the factory to put the power hungry 12v compressor fridges in the larger units and that pretty much may ends my desire to get a new trailer since the Airstream is no longer a boondocking camper so to speak, which to me represents at least 80% of my camping.

If they keep making all these "improvements" they should offer a boondocker's package--OR increase water and power capacities to be able to allow the new toys to work as long as the old one's did. To me, it only looks like a step forward, but in reality, if you boondock, it's several steps backward.
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Old 03-08-2021, 12:46 PM   #16
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panamerican

Let me start with...you have an awesome trailer!!! After watching the Accountant, I was hooked on Airstreams. Harley, 4 wheeler, bikes & toys...convert it into a 3 season patio, endless...wow. Anyway, Im with you on some of these improvements. There was nothing wrong with my 6 gallon tank on my 2020...Even with two kids. The only time it was an issue was when we all needed to shower at the same time...which rarely happens. Even then, one of us only had to wait 45 minutes...which was usually me.

Im considering replacing the on-demand with a standard tanked water heater. I need to do some research. The hole in the side of the AS looks larger than the tanked heater, plus wiring etc.
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Old 03-08-2021, 01:43 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by s1000pre View Post
panamerican

Let me start with...you have an awesome trailer!!! After watching the Accountant, I was hooked on Airstreams. Harley, 4 wheeler, bikes & toys...convert it into a 3 season patio, endless...wow. Anyway, Im with you on some of these improvements. There was nothing wrong with my 6 gallon tank on my 2020...Even with two kids. The only time it was an issue was when we all needed to shower at the same time...which rarely happens. Even then, one of us only had to wait 45 minutes...which was usually me.

Im considering replacing the on-demand with a standard tanked water heater. I need to do some research. The hole in the side of the AS looks larger than the tanked heater, plus wiring etc.



Look at it from a cost vs benefit. IF I went down the new path, and it had the new water heater, I'm still working for between 4-6 years. My trailer use is going to be maybe 3-4 weeks a season...many times far closer to 3. With that in mind, I **might** be inclined to bring or buy extra water. As it sits now, Mrs Panam's requirement was a daily shower, which I can easily do, and yea, in the boondocking places I go, I still need to buy 4-5 2.5gallon jugs of water every few days, my guess is with a tankless, that could be a bit shorter window.

Now, if I was using the trailer 3+weeks every year in retirement, that's gonna get older faster than with the old heater, so then...I MIGHT be inclined to swap heaters, but for me, now, today, I might eek by for 4-6 years until it really matters...and even then I doubt I'd want to modify the skin for a more conventional heater...and 4-6 years my thought process and/or tolerance could change too.

The real deal breaker for me is that power hog compressor fridge. I mean 1-2 days max folks are seeing. I get why, but to throw that bad boy in there with a joke of a solar system and even in best of circumstances a few days from the current battery offerings...... let's just hope if I go new that they still have the ammonia absorption.

Honestly though, putting this all into perspective...great 1st world problems to complain about.
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Old 03-08-2021, 02:27 PM   #18
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We spent a total of 3 1/2 months in our 2020. 1 month to the S.E., 2 months to the S.W. and a few weekends in between. Expect that we are going to use this one just as often. The two days we used it on the way home...No warm water for washing hands, and washing dishes is a real pain!
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Old 03-09-2021, 07:06 AM   #19
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We spent a total of 3 1/2 months in our 2020. 1 month to the S.E., 2 months to the S.W. and a few weekends in between. Expect that we are going to use this one just as often. The two days we used it on the way home...No warm water for washing hands, and washing dishes is a real pain!
Lucky dog! One day for me as well. I still subscribe that Airstream should have a boondocker's package, which would nix the on demand and possible 12v compressor fridge, and come with a battery upgrade or if the fridge is mandatory, have a better power plan that lasts more than 1-2 days. If changing the on demand heater is not an option, they should go with that on demand that has the recirc pump/line or, have larger fresh water tanks to offset, which may require an axle/frame/mount upgrade.

Some really great ideas coming out of Jackson Center, but I don't really think that they really think these things through very well. Many owners don't take these to full hookup all the time. Mine is less well less than 50% and while as is I can go several weeks with minimal impact, an new trailer with either or both of these is really gonna be a problem, first world problem or not.
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Old 03-10-2021, 05:00 AM   #20
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I have been using this method for the last few days and it really does work. You still have to wait for the water to get warm, but it goes much faster/ wastes less water when you don't blend.

Thank you JEB!
Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB View Post
Tankless water heaters perform poorly when not hooked up to city water if you try to use them the same way you would use a conventional water heater with a tank. But you can improve the performance of the tankless water heater when taking navy showers if you do two things:

First, donít blend hot and cold water to reach a comfortable showering temperature. Set the temperature on the thermostat you find comfortable for showering (most people shower between 100-105F) and then turn the faucet on to full-blast hot. Youíll save water by not having to blend.

Second, donít use the pause button on the shower head when soaping up. Instead, turn the faucet off completely. When you use the pause button, water continues to flow but not at a rate that activates the heater. As a result, all the hot water in the line between the heater and the shower head dribbles out and is replaced with cold while youíre soaping up. If you turn the faucet completely off, you retain the hot water in the line, minimizing the cold blast when you turn the faucet back on (again to full high) to rinse off.
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