How Does A Camper Water Heater Work?

Do You Know How The RV Water Heater Operation? – Easy Explanation

  • What are the benefits of using an RV water heater?
  • When you travel, you will be able to enjoy hot water thanks to an RV water heater.
  • They have the appearance of a household water heater, however there are several differences.

If you want to use your RV water heater for a longer period of time, you must be familiar with its functioning, maintenance, and other aspects of the RV water heater.Consider the following factors when you make your decision.

An overview of the RV water heater

  • A recreational vehicle’s water heater is significantly smaller than a domestic water heater.
  • It contains a storage container with a capacity ranging from 6 to 10 gallons of liquid.
  • Nonetheless, there are warmers that can hold up to 16 gallons of water.

In reality, these devices contain a 10-gallon tank and can heat water to a greater temperature than most other types of water heaters.The hot water is then mixed with cold water, resulting in approximately 16 liters of hot water (with temperatures reaching 1000°C).Despite the fact that the RV water heater is a very pricey item, non-tank water heaters are becoming increasingly popular on the RV market.

  1. In exchange for a small quantity of fossil fuel, you will not only have an unending supply of hot water, but you will also see a reduction in your monthly power cost.
  2. Due to the fact that it cycles on and off, a standard RV heater will burn more fossil fuel since it keeps the water in the tank hot.
  3. A non-tank heater, on the other hand, will only run when fuel is used and you are in need of hot water.
  4. There is a reduction in the amount of fuel (mostly propane) used since there are fewer tank refills required when only hot water is required.

Prepare before using the RV water heater

  • Before turning on the RV water heater for the first time, you should check that everything is in working order, such as that the device has been filled with adequate water.
  • In order to accomplish this, you need review the manufacturer’s instructions for filling the water tank and maintaining it for a period of time.
  • You should keep in mind that you should empty the water heater when you are not using it, especially if you have a trip itinerary or if it is chilly outside.

Alternatively, you must do this when placing your RV or trailer in storage for the season’s off-season.

How to operate the RV water heater

  • Despite the fact that RV water heaters come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and brands, the methods for installing and maintaining them are the same for all of them. In step one, you must inspect the bypass valve for the water heater.
  • To begin pumping water, you should open it and allow it to flow into the tank. To finish, you should connect the RV to a water outlet and use the onboard pump to start pumping water.
  • In step four, turn on the hot water faucet.
  • Step 5: The water in the heating container will begin to flow through the lines.
  • Step 6: When you have finished filling it to the brim, your water heater will be ready to use.

For the most part, I believe that operating an RV water heater is a piece of cake for anyone to master. Nonetheless, in order to retain your RV for a longer period of time, you need be familiar with its operation and maintenance. This will also reduce the amount of money that is wasted in your budget due to the power bill and the maintenance costs.

Recognize the main types of the RV water heater

In general, there are three basic groups of RV water heaters, each with its own set of power options.

Electric mode

  • With 120v power, the electric mode is compatible with shore electricity or generator power; nevertheless, it requires around 12 amps of electricity.
  • When energy is at a premium, it is a good time to switch to LP Gas Mode to save money.
  • You’ll also need to figure out where your RV’s shore power wiring is located, as well as which outlets are available for the RV to hook into (about 30A).

As a result, you have the ability to convert your RV to LP Gas Mode or switch off the water heater in a very short amount of time.

Manual pilot light

  • When it comes to beginners, a manual pilot light is a fantastic alternative.
  • This appliance, which employs a pilot light, is one of the most common versions available on the market for RV water heaters.
  • When the pilot light is turned off, the Pilot Control is turned off as well, and no gas may be released.

This procedure helps to avoid potential accidents resulting from LP gas leakage.Because the wind blows, the pilot light should not be opened, and the light should not be turned off while traveling.Because the procedure takes around 20 minutes to produce hot water, most people will consider this to be a small annoyance to them.

Direct spark ignition

  • Direct spark ignition is also used in the majority of RV water heaters nowadays.
  • This is due to the fact that there is no pilot inside.
  • The gas mode thermostat sends a signal to the heater handle circuit board, which causes the gas valve to be opened in response.

After that, the igniter is turned on, and everything begins to burn with a steady flame.When a flow sensor detects a flame, the gas valve is closed and the system is brought to a close.When there is no flame present, this procedure takes longer than 15 seconds.

  1. In addition, an indication light will illuminate to indicate that the heater failed to ignite properly.
  2. After that, the water heater will shut down and reset itself before another process can be initiated.
  3. Despite the fact that DIS heaters may be used while the RV is in motion, many owners choose to wait until they reach their destination so that fuel waste is avoided (especially copper heat exchanger).

Liquid propane mode

There are a variety of versions available for use with liquid propane. The primary model differs from the others in that it does not make use of the ignition system. RVs equipped with Direct Spark Ignition, which is a more powerful system, are considered advanced. More information may be found at: Review and Buying Guide for the Top 7 Best Tankless Water Heaters for RVs

How to maintain the RV water heater

  • Regular maintenance of an RV water heater is recommended, just as it is for the majority of other electrical items or sections of them.
  • Checking and cleaning the unit on a regular basis is also an excellent technique to save money when getting a new recreational vehicle (RV).
  • Depending on the type of water heater you have, you may need to do maintenance on it more than once every year.

Make certain that this activity is included in your maintenance schedule for the foreseeable future.

Check the anode rod

  • The anode rod in an RV water heater performs a function that is similar to that of a home water heater.
  • It helps to keep the container free of corrosion and oxidation.
  • Some tanks, however, can be built entirely of glass, eliminating the requirement for an anode rod in the device.

A basic rule of thumb is that the anode rod should be examined on a consistent basis (at least once a year).Some RV owners also swap out their tires on a yearly basis.This is not a mandatory task that you must do.

  1. You might just examine the gadget every 12 months and replace it when the weather becomes too chilly.

Flush the tank

  • You should not leave the tank in its current state even if you are not using it for a time.
  • It is necessary to empty the water heater tank.
  • It is recommended that you cleanse the water once a year.

The majority of the low-cost tanks will allow customers to spray water into the tank to remove dregs, which is convenient.A consistent tank, on the other hand, may lengthen the life of an RV water heater by many years.

Winterize your RV water heater

  • When the tank in your RV water heater is completely depleted, it is important to pay more attention to temperature swings in the surrounding environment, raising and maintaining the condition without causing harm.
  • Antifreeze will also need to be added to the water lines to prevent them from freezing.
  • These lines are extremely thin, and they will not function properly if they are not in use for an extended period of time.

This is a negative feedback loop caused by the functioning of the RV water heater.A bypass valve will be installed to provide support throughout the winterizing process.A bypass valve can prevent anti-freeze and water from entering the tank by preventing them from connecting to the tank.

  1. Despite the fact that the majority of RV water heaters are equipped with these valves, bypass valve kits are also available.
  2. When your tank does not contain anti-freeze, you should bring attention to the fact that you should fill the tank with water and close the loop.

Clean the burner tube

  • When the device is operating in the LP Gas mode, the burner tube’s primary duty is to feed gas to the burner itself.
  • This supply line must be cleaned at least once a year.
  • Take a can of compressed air and spray it around the burner tube until it is clean.

In the spring, it is a good idea to thoroughly clean the unit.A related article is Tankless Water Heater versus Standard Water Heater Comparison.

What should you do when you troubleshooting?

You frequently keep all of the components of your RV in good working order, but every now and then you will have to play a surprise game, such as when your gas supply tube goes out of control. Now is the time to learn some hacking techniques to use against them.

Heating components

Every aspect of your RV requires regular maintenance, but there are instances when you must play a game of chance, such as when your gas supply tubing becomes uncontrollable. Obtain some hacking techniques to use against them now.

Bypass valve

  • It is possible that the bypass valve is difficult to open, which is also a regular problem with RV water heaters. It is possible to play a pinpoint game with some troubleshooting, fortunately! Here are some easy actions to take: Check to see if the water is hot or not by opening the pressure valve. If the water is still hot after you turn off the water heater, you will know it is operational. Check that the bypass valve is working properly by turning it on and off many times. Check the hot water valve, as well, as it is often overlooked. When the hot water valve is in the off position, no water will flow out of the tank into the sink.

Gas supply tube

  • One of the most common causes of an RV heater that does not operate is a clog inside the heater.
  • If the gas supply tube becomes clogged, the gas will not be able to completely suffocate the pilot.
  • You may also notice the fragrance of propane from time to time.

This is also one of the reasons why spiders and other little insects create such a large mess in the house.All you have to do is grab a can of compressed air and spray it all over the burner tube.This is also a good strategy to use every spring to clean and maintain your RV.

Broken tank

You make it possible to replace broken pieces using a thick chunk of PVC rather than having to purchase a new tank. You may also fix the tank on your own. If the shattered pieces are too large to be repaired, it may be necessary to replace them entirely.

Bottom line

  • You do not need to be a technician in order to operate an RV water heater, but you should be familiar with the unit’s operation, maintenance, and how it performs optimally in order to use it properly.
  • The recreational vehicle (RV) is also a vital tool for ensuring a pleasant voyage.
  • You do not want to be trapped in the middle of the road, especially if you are traveling from one state to another.

Remember to take care of yourself and your RV water heater, as well!

RV Water Heater Basics

  • Camping in a tent is great fun, but RV camping allows you to bring the luxuries of home with you into the most remote parts of the wilderness.
  • One such convenience is the availability of an adequate supply of hot water.
  • RV water heaters make it feasible to do so even if you’re in the middle of nowhere and not connected to the electrical grid at the time.

Since their inception, camper water heaters have performed in a remarkably consistent manner, owing to their straightforward design, which has endured the test of time.After everything is said and done, there are a few distinct types of RV water heaters now available on the market.Knowing how they work and how to repair them can keep you traveling in luxury and style in your rental RV or your own RV for years to come.

RV Water Heater Types

Listed below are the four different types of RV water heaters you’ll encounter.

Propane (LP) Only RV Water Heater

  • As the name implies, this is the original form of RV water heater, and it will operate in practically any environment as long as you have propane gas in your tanks and a little amount of 12v power in your RV batteries.
  • Unlike a gas-fired water heater in your house, the operation of these camper water heaters is similar: A spark is formed, which ignites a little flame in a heating tube, which heats the water.
  • The flame then warms the water in a tank, which is subsequently used for cooking.

The hot water tanks in most recreational vehicles are between 6 and 10 gallons in capacity.In order to operate the switches that automatically cut off the flame once the water is hot, gas-fired RV water heaters require a little amount of 12v electricity from your RV’s batteries.This type of switch also incorporates critical safety features, such as the ability to prevent further gas flow if the system senses a failure to ignite the fuel.

  1. Because they require just a little amount of 12v electricity from your batteries, gas-only RV water heaters are an especially good alternative if you intend to boondock or camp without electrical hookups.
  2. A modest quantity of propane is required to keep your camper’s water warm when using a gas-fired RV water heater.
  3. This implies that you may park your camper in the middle of nowhere and still have access to hot water for an extended length of time.

Gas + Electric RV Water Heater

  • Several newer RVs are fitted with hybrid RV water heaters, which may operate on either gas or 120v electricity, or a combination of the two.
  • While their upfront prices are greater than those of gas-only RV water heaters, these hybrid heaters might be an excellent choice if you frequently stay at campsites that have electricity.
  • In this instance, your water heater will simply make use of the energy that has been provided to keep the water hot in your camper.

It is also possible to use both the gas and electric heating components simultaneously when using these hybrid RV water heaters.The use of both electric and gas power at the same time boils your water more quickly.Electric RV water heaters have two major drawbacks: they take far longer to heat up than gas-fired water heaters, and they consume a large amount of power while doing so.

  1. In a smaller camper, if you try to use both your electric RV water heater and your air conditioner at the same time, you can trip a breaker.
See also:  Why Is My Water Heater Not Working

Tankless RV Water Heater

  • If you are looking for a water heater for a camper, tankless RV water heaters have just emerged as the new child on the block.
  • The great majority of recreational vehicle water warmers feature tanks that are between 6 and 10 gallons in capacity.
  • Given that most home water heaters have a capacity of more than 40 gallons, it is possible to run out of hot water when taking a long shower in an RV with a tanked water heater.

Tankless water heaters eliminate the problem of running out of water by heating the water as it travels through your pipes and into your faucet.As long as there is water flowing into your camper, this should theoretically result in an infinite supply of hot water for you to use.Compared to tank-style RV water heaters, tankless RV water heaters are more costly, more sensitive to low water pressure, and more difficult to maintain than their tank-style counterparts.

MotorAid RV Water Heater

  • Because it is a supplementary feature on many RVs, MotorAid is just half of an option on the list.
  • By circulating the engine heat around the water heater tank, this device helps to recycle engine heat.
  • As a consequence, when you get at your location, you will have hot water since your engine’s usual working temperature has heated it.

Once you’ve parked your vehicle, you’ll have to rely on propane gas or power to keep your water warm.

Which type of RV water heater should you choose?

  • The type of RV water heater you choose will be determined by your specific circumstances.
  • If you want to park in an area where power is available, the gas+electric hybrid RV water heater might be an excellent choice for your needs.
  • An RV water heater that runs only on gas is a dependable and economical alternative if you plan to camp in an area without power hookups.

A tankless RV water heater is ideal for individuals who live full-time in their camper and/or have a family who will be taking a lot of hot showers.A tankless RV water heater will give you and your family with a constant stream of hot water.

Tips for Operating an RV Water Heater

Here are five things to keep in mind if you own or operate an RV water heater in your vehicle.

  1. Your RV water heater will most likely be manufactured by Atwood or Suburban. These RV water heaters are quite dependable, and replacement parts for them are easily obtained from any RV parts store. Alternatively, if you choose for a tankless water heater, Girard is the primary producer of these units
  2. Make a point of draining your water heater throughout the winter months. RV water heaters with tanks are all provided with a plug that allows the tank to be drained if necessary. In order to winterize your camper, you must drain the water heater from the vehicle. This will prevent the water in the tank from freezing and causing damage
  3. moreover, an anode rod will assist your camper’s hot water heater last for a longer period of time. It is a simple and inexpensive device that will help to prevent corrosion and buildup in your water heater’s internal tank and tank. The use of an RV water filter will also aid in the removal of particulates from your water system, which is beneficial.
  4. The temperature of your RV’s water heater may be adjusted. You can adjust the temperature of your camper’s water heater in the same way that you can adjust the temperature of a domestic water heater. For further information, consult the owner’s handbook for your camper’s water heater.
  5. When you store your camper’s water heater, it’s common for insects to make nests in the unit. Because of this, every time you return to your RV after a season away, you must remember to clean the heater tube in your water heater.

Water heaters in travel trailers are among the simplest and most dependable equipment on the globe, and they are also among the most affordable. You will enjoy hot, pure water for years to come if you only perform the basic maintenance described above.

Basic RV Water Heating Trouble Shooting

  • The following items may be of assistance if you are experiencing difficulties with your RV water heater operation: The problem is that your water heater will not ignite. Make sure that you have 12v power running to the water heater before proceeding any further. It’s probable that your circuit board or ignitor is the source of the problem if you have electricity. Both of these components may be purchased at a local RV parts retailer.
  • Problem: Despite the fact that you can hear the ignitor clicking, the heater is still not igniting. It’s possible that you’re having trouble getting propane gas to your RV water heater. During this time, you should consult with a trained specialist who will examine your LP gas system
  • Troubleshooting: Your RV water heater ignites, but it appears to be burning inefficiently or not heating up rapidly. Turn off your water heater and look for blockages in the heating tube to determine the cause of the problem. Clean up any debris or grime you discover in there to help the heating system work more efficiently.
  • When it comes to troubleshooting, YouTube and RV forums might be your best friends.
  • Chances are that you are not the only person to have this condition, no matter how serious it may seem.
  • Other RVers are always willing to lend a hand in figuring out the source of your RV problems!

The Great Outdoor RV has created a fantastic video that includes helpful suggestions for repairing a water heater.

Hit the Road

Rv water heaters are a pretty basic appliance that allows us to enjoy many of the conveniences of home while traveling. By learning the fundamentals of RV water heaters, as well as how to maintain and operate them, you can ensure that everyone has a pleasant experience when camping in the great outdoors.

RV Water Heater Basics, Old And New

  • The majority of current recreational vehicle (RV) water heaters (WH) work in either an electric or a liquid propane (LP) gas mode.
  • However, in entry-level RVs, the water heater may only be capable of operating on LP gas.
  • Motorhome water heaters may employ a third heating technique known as Motoraid (see more about it below), which uses waste heat from the motorhome engine to heat the water while the motorhome is in motion.

In addition, certain high-end recreational vehicles (RVs) may be equipped with an altogether separate system in which the water heater is a component of a diesel and electric central heating system, generally bearing the Aquahot or Hydrohot brand names.

Standard RV Water Heater Basics
  • RV water heaters are typically 6 gallon or 10 gallon in size, which is significantly smaller than a domestic water heater.
  • Especially if you’re new to RVing, you might be surprised to discover that you can’t take as lengthy a hot shower as you would at home.
  • There are a few types that are labeled as 16-gallon heaters, but they are actually 10-gallon heaters that superheat the water and then mix it with cold water at the output, making them about comparable to having a 16-gallon heater at the standard 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

There will be distinct On/Off switches for the Electric and LP Gas Modes, as well as for the other modes.When using the RV water heater in any mode, it may be utilized to accelerate the heating process, or both modes can be used simultaneously.Both are controlled by a thermostat, which ensures that the heater only operates when necessary.

  1. It requires 12v electricity to work in LP gas mode due to the presence of a heater control circuit board that ensures safe operation of the system.
  2. B0024ECCJW The majority of water heaters have separate thermostats for the electric and LP gas modes, and the two modes are largely independent of one another in operation.
  3. If one does not operate properly for any reason, the other will most likely continue to function properly.
  4. It is not possible to modify the basic thermostats, which are fixed at a constant temperature (usually 140 degrees in modern models).
  5. Some manufacturers and models, on the other hand, may include replaceable thermostats that can be set to a different temperature.
RV Water Heater: Electric Mode
  • Any time you have 120v shore or generator power, an RV water heater in Electric Mode may be utilized to heat water in your RV.
  • If you have limited power, or if you wish to operate other high-power appliances (such as an air conditioner or microwave oven) at the same time, you may not want to use it.
  • It consumes a significant amount of electricity, around 12 amps (1400 watts).

If your RV has just 30A shore power wiring, or if your RV is hooked into an outlet with only 30A or less available, this is a major cause for worry.You may turn it off for a short period of time (the water will remain hot for a while), or you can convert it to LP Gas mode.When you turn on the Electric mode on your RV water heater, the Electric Mode thermostat regulates whether or not 120v electricity is sent to the electric heating element.

  1. As needed, the heater element cycles on and off, heating the water in the same way that your home water heater does.
  2. It is not necessary to switch off the heater while it is not in use.
RV Water Heater: LP Gas Mode
  • The most fundamental model gas The pilot light on an RV water heater must be manually ignited using a match or other sparking source.
  • An additional manual valve must be set to the ″Pilot″ position in order to light the pilot, and then moved to the ″Run″ position in order to continue operating after lighting the pilot.
  • A flame is detected at the flame sensor, which is detected by the heater control circuit board.

The gas mode thermostat then controls the flow of LP gas to the burner, where it is ignited by the pilot flame.Changing the pilot light every time extra hot water is required is no longer necessary.The pilot light will not illuminate if the flame is not detected, and no gas will be permitted to flow, eliminating any potential hazard from spilling liquid propane (LP gas).

  1. When you no longer require hot water, turn the Pilot Control switch to the Off position, and the heater will shut down.
  2. The majority of current recreational vehicle water heaters are of the DSI (Direct Spark Ignition) variety, which do not require a pilot light.
  3. As soon as you turn on the water heater in LP Gas mode, the gas mode thermostat will signal that it has to be heated to the appropriate temperature.
  4. When the heater’s control circuit board determines that heating is required, it opens the gas valve and triggers the igniter, creating a spark at the front of the heater’s gas burner tube and (hopefully) starting the flame on the gas burner tube.
  5. At the same moment, the control board begins to monitor for the presence of a flame (the igniter doubles as a flame sensor).
  • When the flame of the burner is detected, the ignition sequence is complete and the process is repeated.
  • The system ″locks out,″ meaning that it will not allow another attempt to restart until the system is reset by turning it off and on again.
  • If no flame is detected after a preset amount of time (about 15 seconds), the gas valve is closed, the igniter is turned off, the system ″locks out,″ meaning that it will not allow another attempt to restart until the system is reset by turning it off and on again.
  • A red indication light will often illuminate at the Low Pressure Gas Mode switch if the heater fails to turn on when it is needed.
  • It is possible to operate a DSI RV water heater in LP Gas Mode while traveling, however in most cases this is not essential because the water heater heats up within 20-30 minutes of being switched on in any case.
  • In most cases, a Manual Pilot kind of water heater will not operate when traveling since the wind will blow out the pilot light.
  • The majority of RVers do not keep their water heater turned on when traveling since it is a waste of fuel.
  • The MotorAid system is essentially quite straightforward.
  • The water heater circulates water from the motorhome’s engine cooling system through tubes that are incorporated in the water heater.
  • At all times while the engine is working at normal operating temperature, the water in the tank is being heated by the waste heat generated by the motor.

This not only supplies hot water, but it also aids in the cooling of the engine.

RV Water Heater Maintenance
  • In regular operation, your RV water heater requires very little maintenance.
  • The Electric Mode requires no maintenance at all, while the LP Gas Mode requires just an annual cleaning of the burner tube to remove rust flakes, spider webs, and other build-up that might accumulate.
  • In most cases, a vacuum cleaner nozzle attached to the tube is adequate.

When storing your RV for an extended length of time, you should drain the tank (see your water heater’s owner’s handbook for instructions) and, if sub-freezing weather is forecast, winterize the water pipes that supply the tank.A bypass valve is typically installed in the heater pipes of an RV to aid in the process of winterizing the vehicle.The bypassing of the heater and the winterization processes are mentioned in the standard RV maintenance instructions and are not addressed in the White House guidebook.

Endless Hot Water Heaters
  • Unlimited hot water heaters that operate on the fuel supply of your RV are fast gaining in favor as the vendor landscape changes and the need for these products develops.
  • Hydronic heating systems from AquaHot, Truma, and Girard provide an infinite supply of hot water, whether through a tankless or hybrid system design.
  • You can have hot water as long as you have access to water and fuel (either gasoline or diesel).

These sorts of water heaters are proving to be dependable, and they are undoubtedly the way of the future when it comes to providing hot water in today’s sophisticated recreational vehicles.Many of them require annual maintenance to be performed on them.A new set of fuel nozzles is required, as is cleaning of the burner drums and the replacement of the heating fluid.

  1. Failure to keep them in good working order will result in poor or failed performance as well as freezing showers.
  2. Using an online application such as Maintain My RV, you can keep track of all of your water heater maintenance, regardless of whatever model of water heater you are using.
  3. Not only will you be able to maintain all of your maintenance records and paperwork in one place, but you’ll also be able to receive timely reminders through email when maintenance is required, which might save you from having to pay for a costly repair due to a lack of upkeep.
  4. Maintain My RV can keep track of everything, whether you have a little camper or a huge class A motorhome.
  5. Maintaining proper maintenance records also raises the market value of your vehicle, should you decide to sell it in the future.
  • More information on general RV winterization may be found here.
  • More information about RV water heater repair may be found here.

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See also:  Tankless Water Heater How Do They Work?

Do RV water heaters run on gas or electric?

  • Several newer RVs are fitted with hybrid RV water heaters, which may operate on either gas or 120v electricity, or a combination of the two.
  • While their upfront prices are greater than those of gas-only RV water heaters, these hybrid heaters might be an excellent choice if you frequently stay at campsites that have electricity.
  • What is the best way to tell whether my RV has an electric water heater?

What is the location of the on/off switch on my recreational vehicle water heater?ANSWER: In your RV’s kitchen, there are two switches for the Hot Water Heater, which may be powered by propane or 120-volt electric power, respectively.When you are not connected to electricity and want hot water, you would turn on the switch with a flame on it, which would cause the propane hot water heater to operate on propane.

How does an electric RV water heater work?

When you turn on the Electric mode on your RV water heater, the Electric Mode thermostat regulates whether or not 120v electricity is sent to the electric heating element. As needed, the heater element cycles on and off, heating the water in the same way that your home water heater does. It is not necessary to switch off the heater while it is not in use.

Is RV water heater electric?

Electricity and natural gas are the two most common sources of energy used by RV water heaters. Electricity will require you to have your RV running in order to heat the water, whereas gas may use the heat from the engine or just use a gas-powered pilot light to heat the water on its own. The use of D-cell batteries or a battery backup is available on some heaters.

Why is my heater not working in my RV?

Make sure your battery is supplying 12 Volts to the furnace unit by checking the voltage on the battery. Also examine the breaker box to determine if the furnace circuit breaker or fuse has tripped and needs to be replaced. After that, thoroughly inspect the vents for any evidence of dust or soot accumulation. This includes the exhaust vent of the RV.

Where is the hot water heater in a RV?

  • The water heater switch is placed on the interior of your car, however the ignition system may be found in a compartment on the external wall of the passenger side of the vehicle, as shown in the illustration.
  • Modern RV units are equipped with simple-to-operate direct ignition systems, which means that the heater will automatically turn on when the water temperature falls too much below a certain threshold.

Why Is My RV water heater not working?

The Check Valve on an RV Water Heater is not working properly. Water backflow is prevented by the check valve, which ensures that cold water does not return to the water heater. If it fails, you’ll usually be able to tell because the water pressure while running the hot water will be minimal or non-existent. You may need to get your check valve replaced if this is the case for you.

Should water heater be switched on?

Check Valve Failure on an RV Water Heater As a result, cold water does not return to the water heater due to the check valve’s anti-backflow function. The most common sign that it has failed is low or non-existent water pressure while the hot water is being used. A check valve replacement could be necessary if this is the case.

How do I reset my RV water heater?

How do you turn on an electric Atwood water heater?

How do I turn on the hot water in my RV?

To accomplish this, first check to see that any bypass valves that may cut off the water supply to your tank are open rather than closed. After that, fill your fresh water tank or connect your RV to a city water hookup to continue. Open a hot tap and let the water to flow for a few seconds to cool the water. This will guarantee that you have enough water in your tank to heat up.

How do I run my RV water heater on propane?

Open the valve to your propane tank. Your RV’s tank should be located on the exterior of the vehicle. To open the valve and allow propane to flow, turn the knob counterclockwise. It is best not to open the propane tank until just before you are ready to turn on the water heating system. When you’re not using propane, it’s quite dangerous to leave it running.

Where is the water heater bypass valve on a RV?

The bypass valve for your RV water heater is placed at the rear of the water heater — on the inside of your RV. The anode rod and drain for your RV water heater are located on the front of the water heater unit.

What heats the water in an RV?

There are three primary methods for heating the water in an RV’s hot water tank: propane, electricity, and heat generated by the vehicle’s motor.

How do I test my RV heater?

How do you turn on the heat on a Dometic thermostat?

Where’s the reset button on my furnace?

Locate the reset button on the furnace and push it to bring the furnace back to its factory settings. It is often found on the side of the blower motor, within the blower chamber. Due to the possibility of high temperatures in the house, exercise caution. If the button appears, push it until it disappears.

When should heat be turned on?

When the weather begins to cool down, it can be tempting to turn on the central heating as soon as possible. Experts, on the other hand, believe that waiting a few weeks until the clocks change will save you money on your bills. The clocks go back on the last Sunday of October each year, marking the end of Daylight Saving Time.

Should I leave my RV water heater on all the time?

It is perfectly safe to leave your RV water heater turned on all of the time, just like you would at home. Keep an eye on the water heater to make sure that it is constantly full of water.

How Does an RV Water Heater Work?

A hot shower may be a welcome relief at the end of a hard day filled with excitement. Even on the days when you don’t have much to do, you’ll almost certainly have dishes to clean up. When performing these types of duties, an RV water heater assures that you will have access to hot water at all times. Consider how your RV’s water heater functions and how it might save you money.

What Is an RV Water Heater?

  • An RV water heater, similar to a home water heater, is responsible for providing hot water to the water fixtures in your RV.
  • RV water heaters are available in a variety of configurations, including gas, electric, and hybrid models.
  • When it comes to camping methods, a combination water heater will provide you the most versatility possible.

The size of the water heater varies depending on the RV.Several water heaters, including tankless models, are available that give a limitless supply of hot water.

Propane Water Heaters

Propane is one of the most often used fuels for water heating in recreational vehicles. Let’s take a deeper look at the reasons why propane water heaters are so popular with RV owners.

How They Work

  • In order to heat the water in the tank, propane water heaters frequently employ either a pilot light or a direct spark ignition.
  • They draw hot water from your hot water tank and distribute it to your fixtures and appliances.
  • After you’ve used all your hot water supply, you’ll need to give your water heater some time to reheat.

A tankless water heater is a popular choice among RVers who want to upgrade from their gas water heater.A seemingly limitless supply of hot water is made available by this modification.Upgrades to a tankless water heater, on the other hand, may be costly, and they consume more gas than traditional propane water heaters.

  1. Despite the fact that propane is a very inexpensive heating option, the expenditures may soon mount.

When to Use Propane

  • Whether you’re camping off-grid or simply looking to save a few dollars on your power bill, propane is a fantastic alternative for heating your drinking water supply.
  • Boondocking or camping off-grid means conserving every ounce of power you can get your hands on.
  • If you are using propane, it will take 30-50 minutes to thoroughly heat your water heater tanks, depending on the size of your water tank.

Pros and Cons

  • RVers can enjoy their RV in distant regions thanks to the use of a propane water heater.
  • These heaters have the ability to heat water quite rapidly and affordably.
  • Also, if it will be a while before you want hot water, it is possible to switch off the water heater.

Many recreational vehicles (RVs) are already fitted with a propane water heater.You won’t have to bother about updating for the most part.When it comes to how frequently you use your water heater, though, you must be cautious.

  1. It might be inconvenient to have to wait 30-50 minutes for a fresh supply of water to heat.
  2. Larger families may find it difficult to get everything done in the evenings, especially between dishes and showers.
  3. One of the most major disadvantages of utilizing a propane water heater is the need to keep track of the quantity of propane in your tank.
  4. When you run out of propane, you have no hot water.
  5. It also implies that the furnace and stove will be without propane.

Electric Water Heaters

When it comes to heating the water in your RV, an electric water heater might be a great choice. Check out the reasons why this sort of water heater may be so beneficial.

How They Work

The heating element for the water heater tank in your RV is activated by flipping a switch in the vehicle. The water in your RV’s water heater tank will begin to heat as soon as this heating element is activated. The heating time for a six-gallon water heater tank is approximately one hour, while the heating time for a ten-gallon water heater tank is around one hour and fifteen minutes.

When to Use Electric

An electric water heater is an excellent choice, especially if you’re linked to a campground’s electrical distribution system (panel). It is possible to switch on your water heater and leave it on while camping, resulting in an abundance of hot water in your tank.

Pros and Cons

  • When compared to a propane water heater, an electric water heater takes an inordinate length of time to heat water.
  • When utilizing electric water heaters, the importance of spacing out actions that demand significant volumes of hot water is even more crucial.
  • A major advantage of employing an electric water heater is that you will not incur any additional costs for heating your water while you are linked to a shore power source.

You won’t have to be concerned about running out of propane, either.

How Do You Maintain Your Water Heater?

Maintaining the water heater in your recreational vehicle is a very simple process. It is unlikely that you will need to perform any yearly maintenance on the electrical side of your water heater. Gas-powered water heaters require only a small amount of inspection and cleaning on their gas-fueled counterparts.


  • It is recommended that you clean your water heater on a yearly basis as part of your normal maintenance program.
  • Instructions can be found in your RV’s owner’s manual.
  • Many recreational vehicle water heaters are equipped with an anode rod, which helps to protect the water heater from rust and other potentially harmful minerals.

Inspect your anode rod and replace it if it is in need of replacement.In addition, dump and flush your water heater tank on a regular basis to keep it in good working order.There are attachments and wands available to assist in the removal of silt.


Examine the connections to your water heater while you perform your annual cleaning. This is an excellent opportunity to put plumber’s tape on fittings in order to avoid leaks in the future. Check to see that all wiring and connections are in good working condition and do not exhibit any indications of wear and tear as you move along.


  • In order to prevent your RV water heater from freezing, it’s a good idea to winterize it at the end of each camping season or if your RV will be in cold conditions for an extended period of time.
  • Check to see that the water heater has been turned off for a long enough period of time that the water in the tank is cold.
  • After releasing the pressure with the pressure valve, remove the drain cap from the drain pipe.

Allow a few minutes for the water to drain completely.Replace the plug in the water heater and make the necessary adjustments to your water system so that it bypasses the water heater during winterization.

Can I Leave My Water Heater on All the Time?

  • Even if you’re camping and you’re connected to a water supply, there is no need to switch off your water heater if you have enough water in your system.
  • Turning off your water heater, on the other hand, can help you save money on power and propane.
  • If your water supply is running low, it might also be beneficial.

When you don’t have enough water in your water heater while it’s running, you might cause damage to the heating element.

How Long Does It Take an RV Water Heater to Heat Up?

  • The heating periods of propane and electric water heaters are different.
  • In comparison to an electric water heater, a propane water heater will heat up in around half the time it takes an electric heater.
  • A propane water heater can heat a six-gallon water heater tank in around 30 minutes, but an electric water heater can heat the same tank in approximately 60 minutes.

The greater the size of the tank, the longer it will take to warm up.Your recreational vehicle’s water heater is an essential component of the vehicle’s water system.It also contributes to your overall comfort when traveling in your RV.

  1. If you take good care of it, it will most likely endure for a long period in your home.
  2. What suggestions do you have for making the most of your RV’s water heater?
See also:  What Is An Indirect Fired Water Heater?

Should I Leave My RV Water Heater On? 7 Things to Know

  • Having cold water delivered to you in an RV shower is never a pleasant experience for anybody.
  • That is exactly what your RV’s water heater is designed to do.
  • Nevertheless, should you switch it off or leave it on throughout the day?

Moreover, does a water heater in an RV operate in the same manner as one in a home?It is perfectly safe to leave your RV water heater turned on all of the time, just like you would at home.Keep an eye on the water heater to make sure that it is constantly full of water.

  1. Additionally, ensure that it is switched off before moving your RV.
  2. There are advantages and disadvantages to both leaving it on and turning it off.
  3. Knowing how to manage the water tank in a recreational vehicle or camper is critical, as it is with any other piece of equipment.
  4. Misuse and carelessness may result in costly blunders, since water heaters can be quite expensive to repair if they are not maintained properly.
  5. Consequently, while you have the option of leaving it running, consider all of the information provided below about what to expect if you do.

4 Things to Know About Running RV Water Heaters

1. Hot Water Tanks Can’t Run Empty

If your tank runs out of fuel while the engine is still running, it will very certainly wreck it. The components are designed to be utilized in water, and when the water tank is completely depleted, it might cause them to burn. When you switch off the hot water tank in your RV, make sure you turn on the heater as well as the water supply to the RV.

2. Turn Propane Hot Water Tanks Off Before Travel

You should always switch off your gas hot water tank before traveling, just as you would with your propane refrigerator. Some states make it unlawful to use propane appliances while driving on the highway. This is especially true in places like tunnels and petrol stations. Make certain that you are familiar with the regulations and the hazards.

3. Turn Electric RV Water Heaters Off Before Travel

There are two possible explanations for this, depending on your configuration:

  1. Using your RV water heater on its battery will deplete your battery’s power.
  2. If you forget to turn off your water before leaving, you can find yourself in a predicament where the tank is full but the water is turned off. This might cause your components to burn out.

4. Misconceptions

It is vital to note that a commercial water heater is not the same size as a home water heater when the water heater is left on throughout the day.This implies that you should not expect to be able to take long showers just because you have left the water running all day and have hot water ready to go when you get home.In fact, it is not uncommon for campers to run out of hot water in the middle of a shampoo session and have to wait for the water to re-heat.There isn’t an unlimited supply of hot water in the storage tank.

However, because of its compact size, it will heat up much more quickly than a typical domestic heater.If you are using a tankless water heater (such as this Gasland one available on Amazon), you will get hot water for as long as your propane supply lasts, of course.

3 Energy Sources for RV Water Heaters

In most cases, propane, electricity, or even engine heat exchangers are used to heat the water in an RV hot water heater.

Keeping Your RV Heater On: 3 Pros and Cons

There are advantages and disadvantages to leaving your hot water tank running. In general, it is OK to leave the water heater on in your camper, but it is critical to be informed of the implications of your decision before proceeding.

1. Pro: Warm Water Ready To Go

If you leave your water heater turned on, you’ll be certain to have hot water whenever you need it.If the RV water heater is turned off, it will take some time to heat up, making last-minute shower decisions impossible if the heater is switched off.In the same way that you wouldn’t switch off your water heater at home because you would have to wait for the water to heat up again, most people don’t turn off their water heater in their camper since they operate in the same way.

2. Pro: Convenience

The ease of not having to remember to switch it on every time you do need to use it is also a consideration.Having to double-check that everything is in working order every time you switch on your computer may be a real nuisance, especially if various people are turning it on and off at different times.It is more complicated than it needs to be since you don’t know and you have to check to see whether the bypass is turned on after it has been turned off.If you leave it running throughout your trip, it will require a bit less attention and consideration.

To constantly check if it’s turned on before using it might be inconvenient, especially when many people are turning it on and off at the same time.

3. Con: Energy Use / Financial

According to the size of your water heater and how it operates, you may use more energy than you would if you simply turned it on and off.Furthermore, if you use more energy, it will cost you more money.Some folks don’t mind doing a little preparation ahead of time and finishing it up 30 minutes before it’s needed.A distinct scenario is if your water heater is being heated by the engine (via an engine heat exchange).

It is possible to heat water while traveling and then have a tank of water ready to use when you arrive at your final destination.However, if you are consuming propane or electricity – and are just sometimes using your hot water – it may be more cost effective to turn it off the rest of the time.Despite the fact that the expenses of operation are not as high as those of a home heater, they can mount up.This is particularly true in the case of propane heaters.Alternatively, if you heat using electricity generated by a generator.

  1. These items have the potential to cause individuals to turn their computers off at times.

Using Your RV Water Heater

Operating a water heater in an RV is comparable to operating a water heater in a home, with the exception of the fact that it is significantly smaller, as previously indicated. Having said that, there are a few things to keep in mind in order to prevent making costly blunders when it comes to replacing it.

4 Water Heater Basics

  1. In most cases, the water heater in a recreational vehicle is fueled by propane, with the exception of some models that are powered by electricity or have the option of being powered by either.
  2. The majority of the sizes are between a six and a ten-gallon water heater. You should be aware of this since it eliminates the pointless concern about when you will run out of anything.
  3. For unique exclusions related to your water heater in comparison to others, refer to the manufacturer’s directions and guide………….. However, in general, you will check the bypass valve on your water heater before using it to ensure that it is open and allowing water to travel through.
  4. Allow the water to flow into the primary tank as it should. Ensure that your RV is connected to a nearby water outlet in order for the onboard pump to pump the water. As soon as the water has passed through your lines, it will begin to make its way into your heating tank. Once the water has reached the fill line of your freshwater tank, you may turn off the water.

Now that your water heater has been installed, it is ready to be utilized.


  • The most essential thing to remember when it comes to water heater maintenance is to keep it clean. While it is not difficult to keep it in good condition, it is more difficult to repair and replace. Consider the following methods and recommendations, as well as the ramifications of failing to follow them, in order to avoid paying more than is necessary for upkeep. Servicing is done on an annual basis. Whenever you take your RV in for a service visit, make sure the water heater is checked to ensure it is operating correctly as well. In order to combat the corrosion that a water heater is inevitably subjected to over time, they may consider installing an anode rod.
  • Even little erosion that goes unnoticed over time can lead to major issues, and doing a maintenance check will help prevent this.
  • Draining the water and cleaning the area When cleaning the RV’s water tank, it is critical to drain all of the water from the tank and the pump. If sediment builds up at the bottom of the tank, it might create erosion and the danger of frying if the tank runs out of water
  • stagnant/dirty water is not suitable for cooking, bathing, or any of the other desirable purposes

When filling your tank, it’s a good idea to verify the quality of the water.Here’s how to refill your freshwater tank while you’re on the road.Winterization It is vital to drain the water in preparation for winter while the pool is not in use.You should drain your tank for the winter since it is likely that the water may freeze and shatter the tank as well as the piping that connects it.

More information on how to put antifreeze to your RV camper may be found here.Also included is a 16-step checklist for winterizing your RV.

Final Thoughts

  • The majority of RVers keep their water heater running throughout the day. It is far more convenient and requires significantly less effort. Others, on the other hand, choose to turn it off in order to save money on their camping vacation. In addition, they want to lessen their environmental effect. Some RVers believe that it is just beneficial to take a break. In the end, though, it is customary to leave your water heater running throughout the day. What are you going to do? Is it your intention to leave your RV water heater on all day or only when you require it? About the Author
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RV Hot Water Heaters (11 Mistakes to Avoid and Handy Tips)

Before embarking on a vacation in your RV, there are a few things you should be aware of about your hot water heater in order to prevent making any costly mistakes. As a result, here are 11 recommendations to ensure that your hot water heater is a success on your journey! What are the top 11 errors to avoid while using an RV hot water heater, as well as some helpful hints?

  1. The best way to get rid of a bad smell from a cycle water heater
  2. turn down the heat to save money on propane
  3. fill the RV with enough water
  4. Drain the water heater while it is not in use to prevent leaking.
  5. When winterizing your RV, install a bypass valve for your hot water heater
  6. drain and flush your system twice a year
  7. and turn the bypass valve back on in your RV after the winter.
  8. Install an anode rod to prevent water from being wasted. Make use of it sparingly
  9. If the Pressure Temperature Valve is dripping, here’s what to do:

Because most RV water heaters operate on propane gas to begin with, it is essential to take care to ensure that your water heater is in perfect operating order. We will go into further depth regarding each tip or error that might be made, as well as how to get the greatest possible outcomes in the future.

1. How to Get Rid of a Bad Smell- Cycle Water Heater?

It’s true that there’s an unpleasant odor emanating from the water…nasty, isn’t it?What could possible be wrong in there, you would wonder?This is due to the sulfur in the water reacting with the electro-galvanic activity of the hydrogen in the water, causing the reaction.

It does not necessarily imply that there are eggs crammed down the drain.The water supply should be turned off and the water heater should be drained in order to resolve the problem.Then replace the drain plug with a brand new one.Attempt to mix a solution into the water without using the pressure-temperature relief valve that was previously installed.Putting this solution in many times, cycling it in about four times, will be required.

  1. White Vinegar and Water Solution: Because most tanks are 10 gallons in size, combine 6 gallons of vinegar and 4 gallons of water in the tank.
  2. After you’ve placed this in, drain the water and cleanse the system to get rid of everything.
  3. Once the system has been flushed with fresh water, you may replace the drain plug and pressure-temperature valve on it.
  4. After that, fill the tank with fresh water to finish it out.

Tip: How to avoid smelling bad smells from the Water Heater

Drain and clean your water heater on a regular basis if you want to keep unpleasant odors at a minimum. When the water and sulfur are allowed to combine in the tank, the result is a foul rotten egg odor that permeates the entire tank. When you flush and drain frequently, you may get rid of the bacteria that is the source of the problem.

2. Turn Down the Heat to Save on Propane

Because some recreational vehicles (RVs) utilize propane for their water heater, it will be necessary to purchase the gas that will be consumed throughout the heating process.The reason I recommend turning down the heat is to save gas.The less propane consumed, the less propane you will need to purchase, resulting in a savings in money.Simply choose not to heat the water all the way up on the hot side, but rather to heat it only on the warm side instead of the entire hot side.

If you opt to use less heat in your shower or dishes, you will actually save money in the long term since you will not be washing them at the same temperature as at home.Some other types of water heaters are also powered by electricity and the heat generated by the motor.Electricity appears to be more convenient, but it is also beneficial if you have a heater that will draw heat from the engine, since it is putting that heat to good use while you are driving.

3. Fill RV With Enough Water

In order for your RV water heater to function properly, you must first fill it with enough water to ensure that it has enough water to heat the water.Water heaters are often designed to automatically fill to the appropriate level when connected to a water supply if they are not winterized or bypassed during storage.A word of caution: do not switch on the hot water heater until it has been completely filled with water.It will suffer as a result of this.

Whenever you are not linked to a water supply, the water pump will come in helpful to do the same task; however, you must ensure that the heater is fully stocked before turning it on.In order to switch on your RV’s water heater, follow these steps:

  1. Connect the RV’s water supply to a connection (such as a hose)
  2. Check that the water filter is in place and that the valve connection is open.
  3. If additional water is required f

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