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Old 03-05-2004, 05:26 PM   #1
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Hello.

We have a 2002 Starcraft and it does not currently have a hot water heater. Does anyone have experience adding a hot water heater to a camper?

I didn't think I would want one, but after 2 years of not having it, I'm beginning to change my mind.

Any thoughts, ideas, etc. would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Mackfamily
Alexandria, MN
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Old 03-12-2004, 06:52 PM   #2
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Fortunately, ours came with a hot water heater, and I wouldn't get one without.

I don't know how much of a problem it would be adding one after the fact, but I can imagine it would be quite expensive. Would an instant hot dispencer fit the bill?

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Old 03-13-2004, 06:17 AM   #3
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I had looked into doing this to my Sun Valley before we bought the TT. First, you need a water pump if you will be dry camping. Water pumps vary in price depending on how good a pump you buy. I would be sure to get one that is self priming and works on demand. Then you need to buy the actual heater. Camping World sells them starting just under $300 IIRC. You will need to put a T fitting in your existing water line and run a hose to your heater. You will also need to put a T in your propane gas line and run a copper gas tube to the heater. From the heater you need to run a hot water hose to your faucet. Since you probably do not have a hot and cold mixer faucet, you will need to buy one. Again, this is something you can find a wide variety of prices on depending on how fancy you want to get.

If you get a spark ignition heater you may need to run wires to the heater from a power source.

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Old 03-13-2004, 06:45 AM   #4
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This is taking away from what you wanted, but I know Coleman sells a Hot Water On Demand which is a self contained heater for water. It uses a propane bottle and a thermostat regulates the water temperature. Our PU also does not have hot water, but I think I would opt for one of these for 2 reasons. 1. Less weight. 2. Less cost.
Here is the web site for it http://www.coleman.com/coleman/colem...ct_id=2300-700 .

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Old 03-14-2004, 04:48 PM   #5
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There was a discussion about this on another board and a call to Fleetwood.

The concensios of the members was that it would be a lot of work. Fleetwood said the same thing since some of their designs really squeeze the HWH in.

A year or so ago somebody here documented their work on attaching an small point of use electric water heater to their PU. The sat it on the tounge when in use and packed it up when traveling. Connections through the PU floor fed cold water to it and hot water back. I've been toying with this mod idea myself.

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Old 03-15-2004, 03:41 PM   #6
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I added a Tiny Titan 2.5 gal WH to my 1994 Jayco last year. I couldn't have been easier. I tee'd off the city water and ran one line to the WH and one to the new hot/cold faucet. I upgraded the 15A converter and now have a seperate 10A breaker for the WH. The hardest part was getting the overflow through the floor because of the tight clearance. I ran the water lines inside the compartment where the lifting cables run and used rubber coated conduit clamps to secure the hoses away from any moving parts. It is nice to have hot water and have a "real" faucet to wash both hands at once.
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Old 03-15-2004, 03:43 PM   #7
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One more thing..I bought the Tiny Titan NEW on Ebay for $65. and the entire upgrade ( new hose, faucet, romex, clamps and breaker was less than $100. The heater new is $125 at Lowes.
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Old 03-17-2004, 08:29 PM   #8
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What conductor said.

I haven't added a water heater, but I expect it will happen someday, once I can part with the $$$ and loss of storage space. Since I dry camp, I have no choice but to install a regular RV propane water heater.

I have the mixer faucet and water pump installed, and I even have a gas line in the area where the water heater will go.

BTW, supposedly those spark ignition water heaters pull a continuous 0.5A, so they're not a real good idea for dry campers.
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Old 03-18-2004, 10:17 PM   #9
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Over the years I've talked with three different PU manufacturers about retrofitting HWH's in PUs.
I got the same answer from all three. For some reason none of them would recommend retrofitting the HWH that would come with their trailers.
We've looked at the Coleman unit and the Titan an both would make a more cost effective addon than the stock 6 gallon type and considerably less money as well.
We also saw last year a propane outside model, but of course with my rotten memory I can't remember the brand name, but it was a slick little unit that could either use 1 pound tanks or a large tank adapter hose. I think It began with a Z or X.
FOr any off these aftermarket units to be installed in the PU, you have to make provisions for either winterizing them or removing them. Several we read up on would not take RV antifreeze and there's no simple bypass kit you can buy for them.
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Old 03-19-2004, 06:42 PM   #10
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Mike, I think you're thinking of "Zodi" water heaters. I checked with them and they are NOT a good alternative to a water heater, in my opinion. They have no provision to maintain water temperature if there is no water flow.

So... if you turn the water off to lather up or soap up dishes or whatever (to conserve water), when you turn it back on, it will be blazingly hot.

I checked with my reasonably local RV salvage dealer and while they didn't have any currently, their 6-gallon pilot water heaters usually went for around $160. That'll be the way I go when I decide to add hot water.
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Old 03-22-2004, 01:38 AM   #11
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I knew the Zodi sounded to good to be true, Looks like it would be good for say an outside shower or for tent campers, but as you say not a good solution for a trailer water system.

That price is good, depending of course the condition of the unit. A lot cheaper than the best prices we've found buying new.
If you can find one that had an anode rod, IMHO you'll have a better unit. The others tend to corrode and have more problems that the sacraficial anode helps prevent.
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Old 02-12-2005, 07:04 AM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by CampingColorado:
Mike, I think you're thinking of "Zodi" water heaters. I checked with them and they are NOT a good alternative to a water heater, in my opinion. They have no provision to maintain water temperature if there is no water flow.

So... if you turn the water off to lather up or soap up dishes or whatever (to conserve water), when you turn it back on, it will be blazingly hot.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

(responding to an old post,,,yeah I've been away for awhile)
I'm a Zodi owner,
What you do with a Zodi is drop the shower head
into the bucket and let it recycle. Zodi specifically states NOT to turn the pump off before the burner. You instantly have a boiler creating steam.
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Old 02-13-2005, 01:04 AM   #13
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We also have the Coleman Hot Water On Demand unit and really like it.
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