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Old 08-15-2016, 08:17 PM   #1
4 Rivet Member
1955 30' Liner Commodore Vanderbilt
Vintage Kin Owner
Vintage Kin Owner
Linden , Michigan
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 273
Looking for a Recommendation for a Hot Water Heater

We are looking for a recommendation for a hot water heater for a 1954 Safari. We will not be doing a lot of "Boon Docking." We do not have a shower, just sinks. Thank you in advance for your input.
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Old 08-15-2016, 10:44 PM   #2
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2010 30' Classic
Vintage Kin Owner
South of the river , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,169
Hello Stevie

Choices are electric, gas, or a combination.

Electric only will require shore power to work but installation is much easier. You have a choice of several marine water heaters or standard residential water heaters in 2 gallon or 10 gallon sizes. If your trailer does not have a shower or tub then a small 2 gallon electric water heater might be worth considering.

In gas you would be looking at a 6 gallon wall mounted water heater from Atwood or Suburban. Either will work fine but they are different shapes and you would want to choose whatever one fits the space best. Both manufacturers offer pilot light, electronic ignition, and dual fuel (gas+electric) versions of their products.
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Old 08-15-2016, 11:09 PM   #3
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1974 31' Sovereign
1979 23' Safari
Wayland , New York
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,632
Images: 3
I have this one in a SOB I'm using for the summer and love it. I t came installed with switches incorporated in the tank level meter, but you could put 2 switches somewhere convenient. One switch activates electric mode the other propane, you can use both at the same time to reduce recovery time and increase hot water quantity available. Nothing else to worry about, no pilot to worry about, and you can save propane.
If you do ever find yourself without power or don't want to hookup for a short stop, you'll still have the propane as a backup.
Since its electric ignition it does need 12vdc power but it doesn't use much. No significant draw on battery.
Wish I'd put it in my safari. I do have a gas/electric in my safari but it's pilot gas and the electric switch is on the back of the water heater, so not as convenient.
Produces plenty for sink use. (And showers even though you don't have that)

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Old 08-15-2016, 11:22 PM   #4
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1960 28' Ambassador
Vintage Kin Owner
1998 25' Safari
Avonton , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,311
Have no shower, just use a kettle on the stove top.
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1950 Spartan
1966 Globetrotter
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Old 08-16-2016, 06:29 AM   #5
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1977 23' Safari
Niagara on the Lake , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 841
Images: 3
Our water heater doesn't work, we've gotten by fine for 5 years without hot water. Our grey tank isn't big enough for a shower and any campground with full hookups have decent shower facilities anyway.

Hot water for dishes comes from either the electric kettle or a pot on the stove.

I've had a replacement waterheater in my Amazon cart for 2 years but just can't justify the cost for the amount we'd use it.
1977 Safari Land Yacht
2005 Toyota Tundra SR5
2010 Ford Flex Ecoboost
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Old 08-16-2016, 06:36 AM   #6
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Gainesville , Florida
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We have a gas only one, has always worked well.
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Old 08-16-2016, 01:21 PM   #7
WBCCI # 23456
2000 30' Excella
Greeneville , Tennessee
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 344
If your water is hot, why a heater.
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Old 08-16-2016, 06:09 PM   #8
4 Rivet Member
1955 30' Liner Commodore Vanderbilt
Vintage Kin Owner
Vintage Kin Owner
Linden , Michigan
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 273
No Hot Water

No, there was no Hot Water originally on this unit. Just water (cold).
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Old 08-17-2016, 08:09 AM   #9
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Taos , New Mexico
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Posts: 566
When our original water heater tank began leaking 2 years ago we evaluated on-demand vs. traditional gas heated tank and went with the tank model equivalent. The newer model did require removal and replacement of external trim and the fabrication of a new access door. I will say that the new technology is great with pilotless ignition. Where I used to have to stand outside trying to manually light the pilot now I turn on an electric switch inside the trailer and I can hear it immediately fire up. Yes it is possible to use the trailer without hot water but it sure is nice to have it to wash hands and to do dishes. It just comes down to preference and cost / benefit.
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Old 08-18-2016, 10:11 PM   #10
3 Rivet Member
1958 22' Caravanner
Plattsmouth , Nebraska
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 166
StevieB: It's BigButtUgly again. Here's what I did. Bought a 45,00 Btu turkey fryer with 32 quart aluminum pot from Home Depot for $33.00. Modified lid with 4 hold downs to hold pressure. Added a fitting to accept air from a foot pump which you can keep pressing to keep the water flow you want. Sit on bucket toilet near original floor drain and use a hand held shower wand. Water flows into stainless pan I drag from under the rig and set on the woodstove on wheels to evaporate the grey water. I haul my water in 1 gallon milk jugs so add 2, sometimes 3 ( for a longer shower) and fire up the unit using one of my 1 pound propane bottles which needs an available adapter ($14.00) Heats water in 2 or 3 minutes add another gallon or so to bring temp to 106 F. Advantages: Do not need a water heater spot, cheaper, very very fast, no winterizing, simple set up, little maintenance, precise water temp control, no pilots to blow out, no lines to freeze, and pot does double duty as it transports my lanterns both propane and kerosene. Works for kitchen sink hot water, which I never do since I never wash dishes. Hand washing, face etc done in unheated water. Trash your toilet and use the hole in the floor. Set up on the lid which folds down over your stove burners. Drain your sinks thru floor hole also. NOTE: All my propane use is from 1 Pound bottles which I refill from a store tradale 20 pounder (requires a special refill fitting $12.00)
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