Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Class C Motorhomes: On-demand water heaters
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rogerddd

Sacramento, CA

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Posted: 01/05/18 10:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On-demand water heaters – do they work?

We have a new Thor brand class C Motorhome with an tankless Girard Brand RV water heater. In the shower the water will temporarily turn warm after the hot water faucet is on and run for a while, but it cycles between warm and cold, so we end up showering with mostly cold water. Both the manufacturer and RV repair facility tell us the same thing: run the faucet until warm water flows, then reduce the flow to sustain the warm temperature. When hooked up to city water, this almost works but with dry camping it does not work well and takes too much water to sustain even water occasionally warm. Washing dishes offers a similar experience. Anyone have good success with tankless water heater in their motorhome? Is so, how did you get it work?

midnightsadie

ohio

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Posted: 01/05/18 10:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

just my .02 worth they were never made for rv,s and most of them don,t work great in a house ,you gotta run a lot a water down the drain, for it to work correctly..

MDKMDK

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Posted: 01/05/18 10:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Perhaps this will help. I'm not familiar with the brand you mentioned.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eE89B4zQoKc

Here's another
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-6YQUuVyqM

And yet another
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZ5i8FzU4UE


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ScottG

Bothell Wa.

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Posted: 01/05/18 10:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well this is discouraging! I keep hoping to hear some good reports about these but it doesn't seem to happen.
Good luck and welcome to the forum.

Scott

(PS, btw, your not allowed to post the same thing in multiple threads.)


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Tucson

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Posted: 01/05/18 10:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The problem with the on demand water heaters is that they only work to capacity when you have full hook ups. There just is no free lunch here. Without water and electric you will quickly deplete you fresh water supply {and dent your battery bank} as that 6 amp+ an hour water pump runs and runs while you await a steady stream of hot water.

At the same time, you are quickly filling your gray tank which, if you have a proper sewer hook up, will necessitate frequent trips out to the dump hose to open the valve and drain the tank. I doubt that these systems use significantly more propane {if any} than conventional water heaters but not having the electric option ultimately costs more over time {there are lots of CG's and RV Parks that provide electric even absent full hook ups. Additionally these are usually cheaper than the full hook up park down the road}.

Off the grid, the performance issues noted by the OP seem to be common. On demand systems work well in residential applications but unless you always have full hookups they have their limitations in the RV world.

My bride and I have no problem getting nearly instant hot water from our 6 gallon propane/electric water heater. It comes out of the galley faucet steaming hot in mere seconds {the water heater is located directly beneath the galley sink}. We can both take short but very hot showers back to back without exhausting our hot water.

As always... Opinions and YMMV.

[emoticon]





Dick_B

Palos Heights, IL USA

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Posted: 01/05/18 10:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For previous posts search this Forum for `tankless' or `on demand', etc.
Unless there has been a vast improvement in the design the only time they would work well is if one is connected to campground water and the gray tank valve is open. That's my $.03 adjusted for inflation.


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MDKMDK

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Posted: 01/05/18 10:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Some folks do like them, but it appears to be make/model specific.
http://www.irv2.com/forums/f52/truma-aquago-instant-hot-water-heater-251183.html

kerrlakeRoo

Va

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Posted: 01/05/18 10:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have one in my home (S&B) and dont like it. We have to trickle water from the bathroom sink to keep the volume through the water heater high enough to keep the unit from switching off. Being on a well my pressure fluctuates between 45 and 65 PSI, and tankless units want a perfectly constant flow to maintain a temp so its not a good match. And an RV has the added issue of limited storage for both fresh and gray water making that even more problematic.

3oaks

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Posted: 01/05/18 12:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

midnightsadie wrote:

just my .02 worth they were never made for rv,s and most of them don,t work great in a house ,you gotta run a lot a water down the drain, for it to work correctly..
I'll add my .02.
My same thoughts. Now you have .04 cents worth. [emoticon]

The tankless on-demand hot water system works just fine in our house, but I can see where it wouldn't be a good fit for RV use.

ScottG

Bothell Wa.

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Posted: 01/05/18 02:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I used one in a friend's house (showers, etc) that worked great. Can't tell any difference from a tank system.
So it gives me hope that they can eventually come up with a workable system.

As I have posted before, the new Atwood tankless is very promising because it addresses the usual shortcomings with two levels of burner heat (15K & 50K). So it should work at both very low flow and higher flow. Reviews seem to be very mixed though and it would be great to hear form someone on the forum that has used this model.

* This post was edited 01/05/18 02:37pm by ScottG *

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