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Old 05-23-2022, 03:13 PM   #1
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Tankless heater to Gas

2022 KZ 5th wheel.


Have never used "tankless" water heaters, and this is our first experience with it and HATE IT!


Our dealer explained in detail, how they set these this up before selling the Trailers so I have confidence its set up right. They tested it, went through running water through the lines and all that.


What I'd like to know is, how hard is it, IF any one's done it, to convert to a gas/electric water heater.






Thanks!
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Old 05-23-2022, 03:26 PM   #2
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It took us a while to get used to the tankless water heater in our trailer. Works just fine in the right circumstances, but we have learned that our satisfaction varies greatly with the temperature of the incoming water. During the summer when temps are high and the incoming water is merely "cool", then all is great. But during early spring or late fall, when camping in cold weather where the incoming water is really cold, then the heater just can't heat the water fast enough. When the incoming water is that cold, when you are showering you have to leave the cold water completely off and regulate the temp with just the hot water faucet. Water too hot? Turn up the hot water volume, which gives the heater less time to heat the water so you get cooler water. Water too cold? Turn down the hot water volume, which gives the heater more time to heat the water. I have learned to live with it, but my wife, not so much. She always wants really hot shower water at a high volulme and that simply isn't possible with our tankless system when the incoming water is really cold. At least in our case the tankless water heater just isn't powerful enough to handle really cold incoming water temps and give you a high volume of water at the same time.
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Old 05-23-2022, 06:44 PM   #3
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Our unit has a Suburban IW60, and we like it a lot. I agree that in winter or with colder city water it does not get scalding hot. Our unit also has a full size tub in the front bathroom. DW adds some boiling water to her bath in the winter with no complaints! We love the thing! Sure Beats navy showers!
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Old 05-24-2022, 05:37 PM   #4
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At what water pressure are set at? Wonder if that would help. We have an adjustable pressure gauge, think it's set at 40 or 45 at the moment.
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Old 05-24-2022, 05:49 PM   #5
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I guess my reply above didn't actually answer the OP's question. I haven't done the swap so I can't comment directly, but it doesn't seem that it would be too hard a job, assuming there is space for the water heater tank where the tankless system now resides. And if your brand/model of trailer is avaible from the factory with the option of either tank or tankless, it seems like it would. You already have everything else you need at that spot: Incoming water line, outgoing water line, electrical, and propane connections. But if I was you I would call your dealer and ask them that question.
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Old 05-24-2022, 05:50 PM   #6
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At what water pressure are set at? Wonder if that would help. We have an adjustable pressure gauge, think it's set at 40 or 45 at the moment.
I can't remember but I think my pressure regulator (non-adjustable) is set for 30 or 35 psi.
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Old 05-24-2022, 06:32 PM   #7
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I have an adjustable pressure regulator set at 55psi.
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Old 05-24-2022, 06:37 PM   #8
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We only use hot water when showering. No problems even in the mountains with low temps. If its not hot enough, once the heater ignites you can adjust the hot water down some and it will get hotter. Sometimes too hot.
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Old 05-24-2022, 06:53 PM   #9
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What problem (s) are you having with the tankless hot water heater??


I don't have one in my RV but I have in the house we recently built. It easily keeps up with the demand for hot water, endless showers etc. My wife does laundry continuously every day and we never run out. Multiple people taking showers.



We are well water with submersible pump and the pressure switch cuts on at 35psi and off at ~60psi, so lots of pressure variation but the tankless hot water heater doesn't care. It just keeps on making hot water.
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Old 05-24-2022, 07:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacwjames View Post
What problem (s) are you having with the tankless hot water heater??


I don't have one in my RV but I have in the house we recently built. It easily keeps up with the demand for hot water, endless showers etc. My wife does laundry continuously every day and we never run out. Multiple people taking showers.



We are well water with submersible pump and the pressure switch cuts on at 35psi and off at ~60psi, so lots of pressure variation but the tankless hot water heater doesn't care. It just keeps on making hot water.
The difference is in the heating capacity of RV vs home units. For example, the Rheem tankless home unit that I was recently looking at is rated at 180,000 BTU's and 8.4 gallons per minute while a typical RV tankless unit is 40,000-60,000 BTUs and 1.5 to 2.5 gallons per minute. It's not a matter of running out of hot water in our RV. We only run out of hot water if the propane runs out. It's just a matter of the volume of hot water varying widely depending upon the temperature of the incoming water (see my post #2 above).
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Old 05-24-2022, 08:15 PM   #11
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Keep in mind that if you want gas/electric you will have to run a protected 120 volt line to the new heater site with an interior switch to use in conjunction with the tank switch. Running that line may be physically easy; on other trailers it will be difficult.
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Old 05-24-2022, 09:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric1959 View Post
2022 KZ 5th wheel.
What I'd like to know is, how hard
is it, IF any one's done it, to convert
to a gas/electric water heater.

Thanks!
I build for a living and am pretty handy with electrical and plumbing.
Having said that, I think it would be a difficult conversion.
If you've done a lot of electrical and plumbing,
and are apt to do clean, solid builds, I'd say go for it.
If you'd be going into it as a novice, I'd say forget about it.
Too many things that could go dangerously wrong.
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Old 05-25-2022, 07:38 AM   #13
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Eric1959 - just curious...what brand is your on-demand water heater?
Suburban? Furrion? Girard? Also - is it a recirculating on-demand water heater?
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Old 05-25-2022, 10:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike in Austin View Post
Eric1959 - just curious...what brand is your on-demand water heater?
Suburban? Furrion? Girard? Also - is it a recirculating on-demand water heater?
I don't know about the OP, but mine is a Girard.
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