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Old 12-22-2011, 04:12 PM   #1
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hot water conversion

hi i was wondering if anyone has done this yet i have found a prouduct on camping world to add eletric heat to the all gas hot water system. its easy to do i can do it but was wondering if it is even worth it and or should i just get a water heater with it all ready in it. i have a brand new unit here so i dont want to have to get another heater yet. just would like to be able to use the electric system more instead of using the gas all the time especally since when i run the hot water i cant open the bedroom window beacuse it is directly above the water heater and makes the co2 alarm go off. thanks for input james
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:39 PM   #2
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Hello James. I guess a the answer to your question is "sure".

My questions back to you are.
Do you normally camp with electric hookups? If so then a electric element is a wise choice. If not I would not spend money on that.
Another is do you have a 30 or 50 amp service in your coach? If 30 amp service then you might be limited with the extra load. With the AC units running along with other appliances (microwave, toaster, hair dryer) you might find yourself needing to turn it off. If you have 50 amp service you will be fine provided the campgrounds you visit have have provisions.

As far as the alarm going off.. have you brought this to the attention of the dealer and coach manufacturer? Is the water heater running properly?

Let us know what kind of water heater and coach you have. This will help posters better help you.

Best of luck..
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:38 PM   #3
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ok i have a 2012 coachmen mirada 32bh, water heater is a atwood 6 gal., and 30 amp service, the hybrid system just plugs into any 110 volt outlet and the element screws in the drain of the water heater. talked to the dealer amd they said my co2 alarm is bad and i am waiting for them to send another one, and yes all most all campgrounds i go to have electric capable for the coach and also thinking about using the electric when going down the road so the flame doesnt keep blowing out.
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:55 PM   #4
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That is good news about the detector.

Don't know if I would run the generator (while traveling down the road) just for the purpose of keeping the water hot.

Six gallons will heat up quickly with propane. Why not see how much gas it will use before purchasing the electric element? Our previous camper had a six gallon water heater and did not use much even considering we only had two 20 lbs. propane tanks.
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:03 PM   #5
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i run the genni down th road to keep the electric on so my partner can work. we both own our own internet based beisness and have to work alot so whial i am drivin the other works and vice versa so i would be ussing the genni to heat the water run electric and a/c or heat whial driving.
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:14 PM   #6
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Well then the electric element might be the answer for you.

Sound like you are very busy with the business, especially that one must work while the other drives. The hours must really rack up on the generator.

What kind of business is it that you do if I can ask?
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:22 PM   #7
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I think you will find the wh will stay hot enough for casual use while heading down the road. A small inverter or 12v power plug should be able to power laptop so the only thing you might need to run the gen for is AC in the summer. Furnace should run just fine on propane if dash heat is insufficient.

My unit has an atwood 6gal with both elec and gas. Don't know if it came that way or was an add on. Works fine on both gas and elec. Have not noticed any issues with running wh on elec and other appliances but it could just be a timing thing.
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:47 PM   #8
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See my sig at bottom. I added one of these and it is great. Only uses 4 amps when "on", so no problem with electric over-load.
Amazon.com: Camco 11673 6 Gallon RV Hot Water Hybrid Heater: Automotive

I had a mobile RV tech come and wire it into a breaker-box, with a lighted switch in the bathroom (so I could turn it off when I want).

You can install it yourself if you are an average handyman. Plenty of hot water, and the water heater is the biggest use of propane behind the furnace, which I don't like to waste. Campgrounds have 110v electric, so why waste $$$ on propane.
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:50 PM   #9
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My wife and I full timed in a 32 ft shasta 5'r, During the course of most of our driving we would have to stop for a few hours daily not to mention stopping around sunset for the night. Even in winter time down here in Texas the hot water heater stayed on and lit on propane when we parked. Using the two 30lb cylinders we typically didn't have to refill one tank more then once every 2.5-3 weeks and that is with using the stove top most evenings. Oven rarely got used. For example we might wake an hour before sunup, turn the water heater on for an hour or so. Once ready to travel we'd shut it off.Along about 1:30 -2 in the afternoon we'd stop and turn it back on for another few hours. When we stopped for the night it was turned on for the entire evening until we went to bed.
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Old 12-23-2011, 03:29 PM   #10
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jimbooth25......The electric elements are great. Our coach came with one as standard equipment. I've been RVing for over 35 years and in the old days, the gas water heaters off caught fire because of their valve design. Even though the newer ones are completely safe, I still like to just use the electric one when we have hookups. It saves propane and is quiet. You can also run both and the water heater will recover faster when several people want to take a shower.

With all that said, you have some other considerations. Its possible that the Camping World model only pulls 4 amps, but I doubt that. My energy management system shows that mine pulls close to 9 amps. Any kind of heating device, blow dryer, heater or electric rod will normally pull 8-10 amps. That amperage is almost one third of your available amperage. You would need to find a place to connect the new device taht can handle that type of load.

You may want to put the new heater rod on a long extension cord and plug it into an exterior outlet on your coach, but also be able to plug it directly into the power pole at the campground, freeing up power for the coach.
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Old 12-23-2011, 03:34 PM   #11
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I've put them in two rigs, one our '98 Santara (traded off in 2000) and then another in a friends. I used regular household light switches with a light in them so you knew when it was on.

Both Atwood and Suburban say it voids their warranty though.
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Old 12-24-2011, 02:40 AM   #12
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The one I installed, heating element is only 400 watts. (4amps)
Plenty of power to heat water to 130*F in a couple of hrs.
Amazon.com: Camco 11673 6 Gallon RV Hot Water Hybrid Heater: Automotive

I thought about just plugging it in to the recepticle on the side of the coach, but thought that was too much hassle everytime I moved.

I thought about the long cord too, to the power post. Finally I just wired it up properly into a seperate added breaker box in the bay. I figured the 400watts would not tie up my power needs enough to worry about.

I was correct, and at this very moment I have it on, and (2) electric heaters, 0ne at the 750watt setting, the other at 1500watt. The power converter/charger is always on for my 12v needs, and the laptop power plug too.

I also have the LCD TV on with the extra surround sound speaker system too. I am hooked into a 30amp plug in garage. Even with all this draw, I have even run the 1380watt microwave on medium power.

Oh yea.....the cord in the bay feels warm to touch, but ???

I have this surge protector hooked in line too.
http://www.amazon.com/Progressive-In...4715974&sr=1-1
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