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Old 09-08-2016, 05:43 PM   #1
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Aqua Hot...not so hot?

I just saw this post:
Aqua hot is expensive to maintain. If it fails, you have no hot water and no heat. I traded off a Beaver because the Aqua Hot was always ions.

Our quest looking for a DP con't and I see some that have this "Aqua Hot" units.

1) Is this the same kinda of thing as a Tankless water heater for a home? How does this actually work?

2) Should I stay clear of this feature?

3) Is it difficult to change out back to a reg. hot water heater?
Husband & Wife TEAM from Texas
Army veteran
Looking to buy a used DP

Husband & Wife TEAM - Houston, TX
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:37 PM   #2
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It is a major plus to have one. But it does require maintenance. Burns Diesel fuel. In my case I have other heat sources too. If your a DIYer, here is a site to check out: Roger Berke: RV Hydronic Heater Repair - Home

MADP, Jeep, Blue Ox, SMI AFO, Solar: 900w/672a, Amish cooling unit, Lifetime: SKP & Days End
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Old 09-09-2016, 02:09 PM   #3
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1. No. An AH heats boiler fluid. Some use an actual propylene boiler fluid, older ones use regular green anti freeze.

2. Although it is a personal decision, we love ours. Clean quiet heat and endless hot water.

3. Since it provides heat to the MH in addition to hot water it would be prohibitively expensive to change.

The AH heat the boiler fluid with either electricity, diesel or propane depending on the model. The boiler fluid is circulated to heat exchangers in the motorhome where small quiet fans blow heat across the exchangers. The water to be heated is circulated through or around the hot boiler fluid to heat hot water.

The down side; finding qualified people to work on them can be a problem. Parts can be expensive and they do take routine maintenance. The silver ling is if you are handy, parts and technical advise is available. I find it easy to do maintenance.

I would not own a Motor home without one.
Jim and Jennie, Cats=Bittles and Potter, 2000 Dynasty 350 ISC
2013 Silverado 4x4 Towed with R1200GS in bed.
PROV23:4 Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.
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Old 09-09-2016, 03:04 PM   #4
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I'm guessing you had an older Beaver with the Hurricane hydronic system, which s a different brand than Aquahot & Hydrohot. Same concept, but until fairly recently the Hurricane only had a diesel heater, with no electric heat option.

These are classic boiler systems, similar to a house with hot water baseboard heat. and hot water. They work great, but Rvs tend to be neglected as far as maintenance is concerned, plus they sit around a lot unused, so sophisticated systems tend to get cranky.

Most people consider them to be a plus, but if you've had bad luck you might want to stick with a propane fired furnace and a gas/electric water heater. Andheat pump instead of plain a/c for heat/cool.
Gary Brinck
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Old 09-09-2016, 04:02 PM   #5
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AH is a great system, clearly superior to the propane heater/furnace system. An added benefit is that it will heat the coach going down the road...the engine makes the hot water that provides the heat. It is a high dollar option, but worth it. Do the annual maintenance and you'll love it.
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Old 09-09-2016, 08:31 PM   #6
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They are great when they work and you do the required maintenance. We chose a traditional system for our older coach for the less expensive upkeep.
'04 Newmar Mountain Aire 4016
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Old 09-10-2016, 07:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Cat320 View Post
AH is a great system, clearly superior to the propane heater/furnace system. An added benefit is that it will heat the coach going down the road...the engine makes the hot water that provides the heat. It is a high dollar option, but worth it. Do the annual maintenance and you'll love it.
Just to clarify, not all Aqua Hot models have that feature. The 400D (which I have now) does not have the engine heat loop, while the next model up, the 450D, does.

That said, we love our Aqua Hot, as we did the Hurricane in our previous coach. I echo the comments above -- if you keep up with the maintenance (which isn't all that extensive or expensive, just necessary) it will serve you well, and you won't want another coach without one. And as to alternative heat sources if you did have a problem, we also have two roof heat pump units, and keep a small electric space heater on board for occasional use.
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Old 09-11-2016, 05:03 AM   #8
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We love our Aquahot. It's a very capable heat source. When we were first thinking about an RV - we did a weeklong trip around lower Michigan in the late fall in a rental unit with a forced air furnace. The noise, the "dryness" of the air, the uneven heat (the bedroom (near the furnace) baked you while sitting in the salon (farthest from the furnace) required a blanket.

....and that's without considering the luxury of near endless hot water "on demand".

Our Aquahot keeps the coach warm and evenly heated ... and the showers are wonderful!

Yes, there is some maintenance (and associated cost) .. but that's one we don't mind absorbing.
2012 HR Endeavor 43' DFT, 2012 Jeep Liberty
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Old 09-16-2016, 05:35 PM   #9
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You can't beat it
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Old 09-16-2016, 07:10 PM   #10
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I would never ever want to go back to a propane furnace or water heater, as Aqua Hot is far better.
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Old 09-16-2016, 07:24 PM   #11
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I really like our Aqua Hot as well .... works like a charm. I did have a few problems in the beginning, but after it was fixed, it is wonderful.... IMO

Lynn & Dan Hochradel, & fur kid Carl
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