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Old 08-10-2020, 11:57 AM   #1
Jochen & Christina
 
1965 24' Tradewind
Longmont , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 33
water heater and inverter replacements?

Hi guys, I have a defunct water heater and my power inverter doesn't seem to charge the battery. I'm thinking of modernizing to a tankless water heater and a newer more capable inverter.



Has anybody installed a tankless water heater on a 1965 Tradewind? ANy stories, tips, tricks?


Also, how difficult is it to get the inverter (power converter) replaced?


Thanks so much!
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1965 Airstream Tradewind 24'
2019 Toyota Tundra
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Old 08-10-2020, 12:17 PM   #2
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I believe you need a CONVERTER not an inverter.
Converters use 120 volts AC to make 12 volt DC. 12 volt DC is used to charge batteries.
Inverters use 12 volt DC to make 120 volt AC. They are used to charge batteries as well.
IMHO you need a CONVERTER.
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Old 08-10-2020, 12:22 PM   #3
Jochen & Christina
 
1965 24' Tradewind
Longmont , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 33
you're right

Thanks so much. A friend of mine used the term inverter and even though I sort of knew it had to be a converter I just went with that usage... so much new to learn about these campers, I assumed maybe that's just the parlance.



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Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
I believe you need a CONVERTER not an inverter.
Converters use 120 volts AC to make 12 volt DC. 12 volt DC is used to charge batteries.
Inverters use 12 volt DC to make 120 volt AC. They are used to charge batteries as well.
IMHO you need a CONVERTER.
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Old 08-10-2020, 01:33 PM   #4
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2017 30' International
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Reach out to Randy at Www.bestconverter.com he should be able to get you squared away with the new converter
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Old 08-10-2020, 01:56 PM   #5
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
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Originally Posted by Labeda14 View Post
Reach out to Randy at Www.bestconverter.com he should be able to get you squared away with the new converter
X2 on Randy. We’ve purchased several from him plus batteries. Very knowledgeable and happy to discuss concerning your needs.
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Old 08-10-2020, 02:09 PM   #6
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NCR , Ontario
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look at the VICTRON products for very high quality items

we use the 3000W inverter converter. it supports all battery types including Lion
we also use their items for our Solar system. they all talk to each other,

lifetime free updates and a free web browser/blue tooth access to track the status of your system

BTW, i get no kickback from them. i simply tell folks products we like and find useful
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Old 08-10-2020, 03:01 PM   #7
Jochen & Christina
 
1965 24' Tradewind
Longmont , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 33
good tip - solar is in our future

Thanks - I'll check that out as well. I was wondering if I should consider a replacement unit that could run solar input as well. Why install one now that can't do that only to replace it next year when I add solar?!



Quote:
Originally Posted by waninae39 View Post
look at the VICTRON products for very high quality items

we use the 3000W inverter converter. it supports all battery types including Lion
we also use their items for our Solar system. they all talk to each other,

lifetime free updates and a free web browser/blue tooth access to track the status of your system

BTW, i get no kickback from them. i simply tell folks products we like and find useful
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Old 08-10-2020, 03:40 PM   #8
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I have replaced 2 converters with the Boondocker from Best Converter and am happy with that choice. Replacing a converter is easier than replacing a water heater. I personally do not like tankless water heaters. I put in a Atwood 6 gallon gas/electric direct ignition WH and like it. If doing it again I would just go with the gas model since I do not use the electric element.
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Old 08-11-2020, 08:48 AM   #9
Jochen & Christina
 
1965 24' Tradewind
Longmont , Colorado
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was the installation hard?

Hi Bill, thanks so much. Two questions - why do you not like tankless water heaters, and was the installation difficult? Any challenges I should know ofbefore I attempt this?



Have a great day, Jochen



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Originally Posted by Bill M. View Post
I have replaced 2 converters with the Boondocker from Best Converter and am happy with that choice. Replacing a converter is easier than replacing a water heater. I personally do not like tankless water heaters. I put in a Atwood 6 gallon gas/electric direct ignition WH and like it. If doing it again I would just go with the gas model since I do not use the electric element.
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Old 08-11-2020, 09:24 AM   #10
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1984 31' Limited
Houston , Texas
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Tankless Water Heater

I installed a tankless water heater in my 86 Avion. Perfect replacement for the heater that was there. Took a little time to install but it works perfectly and accommodates my daughters long showers.
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Old 08-11-2020, 09:45 AM   #11
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Bacliff , TX
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Progressive Dynamics make a good, inexpensive converter. They are easy to install. https://www.progressivedyn.com/
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Old 08-11-2020, 09:47 AM   #12
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2017 30' International
Box Elder , South Dakota
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there is a Youtuber: All About Rv's that did a video about two weeks ago on tankless water heaters. Go give it a look...pretty informative. One potential downside could be that they don't seem to run on electric. So if you tend to be in RV parks or sites with hookups, you can't take advantage of the "free" electric hot water. But if you primarily boondock and are used to managing propane usage, its probably not an issue
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Old 08-11-2020, 09:56 AM   #13
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In our 66 we have a Girard on demand. We didn’t like the way the water volume influenced the hot water flow. I understand that they have fixed that. In the 55 we installed a Precision Temp. We really like that one. Good luck
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Old 08-11-2020, 10:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JochenML View Post
Thanks - I'll check that out as well. I was wondering if I should consider a replacement unit that could run solar input as well. Why install one now that can't do that only to replace it next year when I add solar?!
The converter goes 120V -> 12V the inverter goes 12V -> 120V. I am not familiar with anything that will do both.

Solar charge controllers will convert panel energy to charge the battery. Most panels are 12V or 24V. Most quality charge controllers auto recognize the incoming voltage (12 or 24) and convert it to the battery voltage 24V panels run the same watts but fewer amps from the panel to the charge controller. This provides less heat and resistance in the wiring and potentially better performance. A MPPT solar charge controller is more efficient than a PWM. Get a charge controller that exceeds the maximum output of the panels. Get a charge controller that works with flooded/AGM/Gel lead acid batteries and LiFePO4 batteries. These charge controllers incorporate the latest technology and may be more efficient. Besides, at some point you may want to put in Lithium batteries.

If you put in a new inverter - buy pure sine wave only. A modified sine wave uses energy less efficiently and is harder on your equipment like electronics, fridges and microwaves. Usually a 2000-3000w inverter will do well. If you plan to run you air conditioning off the batteries then you will need to do the math to figure out what all you need.
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Old 08-12-2020, 02:21 PM   #15
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1959 24' Tradewind
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I recently finished my resto on our 1959 Tradewind. I installed the Victron 3000W Hybrid inverter. It has a built in charger for the batteries. I also had the closest Airstream dealer (2 1/2hrs away) install the Truma Aquago Comfort plus. It works great too, I get hot water in the bathroom in less than 10sec with it in Eco mode and less than that when in normal mode. The difference being it has an onboard tank that it keeps the water warm and ready to go.
Our rig was all original when we bought it 5yrs ago, The plumbing and wiring was mostly shot so I replaced it all. Anyway here are a couple pictures of ours.
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Old 08-20-2020, 04:01 PM   #16
Jochen & Christina
 
1965 24' Tradewind
Longmont , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2020
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pretty impressive

Thank you. That's an impressive setup. Yes, ours is pretty much original. I'll research that! For budget reasons I was thinking of installing the water heater myself, but seeing that I will need to remove the old one by removing the interior closet is pretty daunting. I'm good, but I have my limits. I plan on replacing the plumbing as well.



Curious, with an original rig, did you have damage to your floor behind the access door? Mine is pretty much rotted out so I will be rebuilding the belly pan under the black water tank as well as the floor, putting in a new inverter/ converter, and water heater. Not a small project! Cheers, J.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Trons4u View Post
I recently finished my resto on our 1959 Tradewind. I installed the Victron 3000W Hybrid inverter. It has a built in charger for the batteries. I also had the closest Airstream dealer (2 1/2hrs away) install the Truma Aquago Comfort plus. It works great too, I get hot water in the bathroom in less than 10sec with it in Eco mode and less than that when in normal mode. The difference being it has an onboard tank that it keeps the water warm and ready to go.
Our rig was all original when we bought it 5yrs ago, The plumbing and wiring was mostly shot so I replaced it all. Anyway here are a couple pictures of ours.
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Old 08-21-2020, 08:24 AM   #17
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1959 24' Tradewind
Twin Falls , Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JochenML View Post
Thank you. That's an impressive setup. Yes, ours is pretty much original. I'll research that! For budget reasons I was thinking of installing the water heater myself, but seeing that I will need to remove the old one by removing the interior closet is pretty daunting. I'm good, but I have my limits. I plan on replacing the plumbing as well.



Curious, with an original rig, did you have damage to your floor behind the access door? Mine is pretty much rotted out so I will be rebuilding the belly pan under the black water tank as well as the floor, putting in a new inverter/ converter, and water heater. Not a small project! Cheers, J.

Are you talking where the water heater is or should of been in our case? No, not really, actually the whole floor was in pretty good shape for being near 60yrs old, there were a couple areas that had some water damage by the door, but not to bad. The water heater was removed sometime before we got it and the hole patched with some 2" foam, a cattle crossing sign (no picture) and a aluminum sheet on the outside. A couple pics are below.
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