How To Use Hot Water Heater In Camper

How to Use Your RV Water Heater

If you compare RV camping to conventional camping, it’s a step up in terms of luxury. RV campers not only have the luxury of sleeping in a comfy bed every night, but they also have the convenience of taking hot showers in their very own bathroom anytime they choose. Before anybody can take use of those hot showers, they must first get familiar with the operation of their RV water heater. Fortunately, this isn’t too difficult to accomplish, and as long as you keep up with routine maintenance, your RV’s water heater should continue to provide reliable service for many years.

RV Electric Water Heater vs RV Propane Water Heater

RV water heaters with tanks are available in three different configurations: electric water heaters, propane water heaters, and combination heaters. An electric water heater, as the name implies, warms water by utilizing electricity to do so. This works rather well and is especially useful for campers who have power included in their camping fees and who want to preserve gas. That being said, unless you have an inverter, you will be unable to use a water heater that is exclusively powered by electricity when boondocking.

The ideal RV water heater choice for folks who prefer dry camping and want to save money on energy is a propane RV water heater.

That being said, as long as the heater is operated properly and the propane pipes are properly maintained, you should have no problems at all with the heater.

This sort of hot water heater for an RV allows the user to choose between an electric heating element and a propane heating element, depending on the situation.

Using a Traditional RV Hot Water Heater

It’s time to go on to the next step, which is how to start hot water in an RV. Consider the following scenario: you’re traveling in your RV and you’re ready to utilize the water heater. Consider the following points if you’re dealing with a typical water heater—the sort that has a tank—when installing a water heater. First and foremost, you’ll want to make certain that your hot water tank is filled with water. 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.

  1. Open a hot tap and let the water to flow for a few seconds to cool the water.
  2. Following that, you’ll want to turn on the water heater.
  3. This will help to reduce the amount of time it takes to heat your water a little bit.
  4. If you happen to be in chilly weather, the length of your wait time may be lengthened.

Leaving a propane heater on for an extended period of time may quickly deplete your fuel tank. Additionally, if you leave an electric heater turned on, there is a risk of burning or frying an element if your tank runs out of fuel unexpectedly.

Caring for an RV Hot Water Tank

This brings us to the next step, which is how to start hot water in your RV. Imagine you’re in your RV and you’re about to turn on the water heater to warm up your shower. Several considerations should be made if you’re working with a typical water heater, such as one that has a tank. Make sure there is water in your hot water tank first, since this will prevent any more problems. Make sure any bypass valves that may cut off the water supply to your tank are open rather than closed before you begin this process.

  • Open a hot tap and let the water to flow for a few seconds to cool the water down.
  • You’ll then want to turn on the water heater to start the process.
  • This will help to reduce the amount of time it takes to heat your water a little more quickly.
  • If you happen to be in chilly weather, the length of your wait time may increase.
  • It is crucial to know, however, that keeping a gas heater on will quickly deplete your fuel tank.

Choosing an RV Tankless Water Heater

Not a fan of having to wait for the water to heat up every time you want to take a shower or wash dishes? No problem! A consistent stream of hot water is what you’re looking for. It’s possible that a tankless water heater for an RV is the best option for you. This RV modification is becoming increasingly popular, and after you’ve experienced the convenience of having hot water available on demand, you’ll understand why. Are you looking for the finest tankless water heater for your RV? TheCamplux 5L Portable Propane Tankless Water Heater, on the other hand, is quite popular among RV owners.

Carry out your own study to determine which one will best meet your requirements, and then get used to taking lengthy, hot showers even when you’re in the middle of nowhere.

Here are some suggestions.

With hot water, and a comfy compact home-on-wheels to boot, we hope you have a lovely camping experience.

How to Turn On an Electric Water Heater in an RV (Quick Tutorial)

Having all of the conveniences of home at your fingertips when camping in an RV is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the experience – with hot water being one such convenience. In our last article, we described how to ignite the pilotlight of an RV water heater. Now, let’s examine how to ignite the pilotlight of an electric water heater.

Step-by-step instructions on how to turn on an electric water heater in an RV are provided in this fast tutorial. In addition, you’ll discover a few crucial strategies to avoid causing damage to your water heater in the process. Let’s get this party started!

How to Turn On an Electric RV Water Heater

Making an electric water heater work in an RV is a straightforward process, with the most of the complexity stemming from where to locate the on/off switch and whether you have a gas or electric (or both) water heater, which we’ll discuss further below. Notably, do not attempt to switch on an electric RV water heater if there isn’t any water in the water heater tank. The electric heater element will be completely destroyed if this is done. For step-by-step directions on how to fill an RV water heater, see our tutorial on how to fill an RV water heater.

As an illustration, we’ll utilize the well-known Suburban SW6DE.

  1. Before starting, check to see that there is water in the hot water tank. Take note of your hot water heater access panel, which is usually located on the outside of your RV, and remove it
  2. On the panel, look for the on/off switch for the RV water heater. Typically, it is found on the bottom left-hand side of the screen (as shown in the image above). To turn on the light, turn the switch to the on position.

Is it a good idea to leave my RV’s water heater running all of the time? Please refer to your owner’s handbook for the specific step-by-step procedure for turning on your water heater, since each brand and model may be somewhat different from the others. If you have misplaced your owner’s handbook or need to contact the manufacturer, the following are links to some of the most common RV water heater manufacturers, which include Forrest River, Keystone, Jayco, and other prominent brands:

  • Suburban, Dometic (previously Atwood), FogattiTanklessWater Heaters, and more manufacturers.

RV Electric Water Heater Troubleshooting Guide

Starting with the following items to check if your RV electric water heater is not functioning correctly after you have turned it on:

  1. Check to see that the circuit breaker in the RV has not been tripped. Check for 120-volt alternating current (AC) at the on/off switch. In order to reset the unit, press the reset button on the control panel, which is normally situated near the on/off water heater switch
  2. And If the heater continues to malfunction after the efforts described above, turn off the power and inspect all wire connections (consult to your owner’s handbook for a wiring diagram if necessary). Finally, using a voltage meter, check that the heating element is still operational. If an element is found to be faulty, it must be replaced.

If you are still experiencing problems, you should consult with a trained RV mechanic.

FAQs

Electric, propane, and electric/gas combination water heaters are the three types of RV water heaters available. Electric water heaters, as the name implies, use electricity to heat water. Heat your water using an electric/gas combination water heater by using either one or both of the fuel sources, or both gas and electricity at the same time.

How Do I Know if My RV Water Heater Is Gas or Electric?

You may determine if your RV water heater is gas or electric by reviewing the owner’s handbook for the precise brand and type of heater that you have purchased. Using the model number, you may determine if it is a gas, electric, or hybrid water heater even if you do not have your owner’s handbook (which you can find on the access panel). Once you’ve obtained that number, you may use the table below to determine what sort of heater you possess. Additionally, you might be interested in How to Drain an RV Water Heater (Quick Step-by-Step Guide).

It is possible that purchasing through links on our site will result in us receiving an affiliate commission.

How to Use an RV Water Heater

Documentation Download Documentation Download Documentation An RV water heater allows you to have warm water even when you are camping in the middle of nowhere. Even better, RV water heaters are simple to install and use, so you’ll be able to enjoy hot water in no time at all!

  1. 1 Connect a hose to the water intake valve on the RV. Located on the outside of your RV, the intake valve should be easy to locate. It is typically equipped with a blue handle. Using a hose, attach it to the spigot and tighten it down so that water does not flow out
  • Bring new water into your RV using a clean hose to avoid contaminating the water
  • Otherwise, the water may get contaminated. Installing a tankless water heater is as simple as connecting a hose to the intake and connecting it to a water supply. You are not required to fill a tank. It is possible that your RV has specific instructions for filling the tank, therefore always check with the owner’s handbook first
  • Secondly, connect the other end of the hose to a water supply. Depending on where you are filling up, this may be a garden hose connection if you are filling up at home, or a pump if you are filling up while camping. Whichever method you choose, attach the other end of the hose to this source and tighten it down to avoid any leaks.
  • Secondly, connect the hose’s other end to a water supply. Filling up at home with a garden hose is possible, as does filling up at a campground with a pump. The spigot for your garden hose is possible. Whichever method you choose, attach the other end of the hose to this source and tighten it down to avoid any leaks.
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  • s3 Turn on the water supply valve. Turning the valve counterclockwise will allow it to be opened. Water should begin to flow into the tank at this point.
  • On some recreational vehicles, you may also need to open the intake valve. This might be the source of the problem if water is not flowing into the tank.
  • 4 Fill the water tank all the way to the top of the fill line. Keep the water running and let the tank to full. When it reaches its maximum capacity, switch off the water and disconnect the hose from the intake and source sockets.
  • 4 Water tank should be filled up to maximum capacity. Continue to run the water until the tank is full. When the tank is full, switch off the water and disconnect the hose from the intake and source sockets.
  • 5Close the bypass valve for the water heater. When the bypass valve is activated, water is diverted away from the heater tank and into your cold water faucet. Close the bypass valve to ensure that water is sent into the water heater instead
  • 6 One of your sinks should have a hot water tap turned on. This circulates water through the water heater and out the faucet at the same time. If water is flowing, then the system is operating properly
  • Otherwise, it is not.
  • If there is no water flowing out of the faucet, this indicates that the hot tank is depleted of its water supply. Double-check to ensure that the bypass valve is properly closed.
  • 7 Allow the water to run until no more air can be seen coming out of the faucet. When you initially turn on the water, it may splutter a little. This is normal. This is okay since it just indicates that air is being expelled from the system. Continue to run the faucet until the water flows out smoothly and without any air bubbles, at which point you may turn on the water heater.
  • There should never be any air left in the water heater system when it is turned on. This might result in damage to the tank.
  1. 1 Fill your propane tank with water. 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.
  • 2 If your RV has an automatic start, turn on the “Water Heater” switch located within the vehicle. Electronic auto starters are quite simple to operate. Simply press the “Water Heater” button to ignite the pilot light and begin heating the water
  • This is all it takes.
  • A little indicator light is normally located next to this switch, which indicates whether or not the heater is turned on. If your heater would not ignite, it is possible that the propane tank is not open. If you don’t do this, you may have an issue with your switch. Taking the RV in for maintenance is a good idea.
  • 3 Manual starts can be initiated by locating the control panel on the outside of your RV. Manual light water heaters need the completion of a few more tasks. A latch or screws are often used to secure the panel in place. The pilot light and ignition controls are accessible by opening it up.
  • Always read and follow the instructions provided by your RV’s manufacturer before accessing the control panel.
  • 4 To begin manually, turn the knob on the control panel to the “Pilot” position. It is necessary to crank the control knob in order to pick the desired setting. Turn it so that it reads “Pilot” on it so that you may start the pilot light.
  • Propane will not begin to flow until you turn the knob all the way down. Don’t press until you’re ready to fire the pilot light
  • Else, you may burn yourself.
  • 5 Light the pilot light with a long barbeque lighter to ensure proper ventilation. To release propane, turn the control knob all the way down. Afterwards, bring the lighter up close to the pilot light and light it to ignite the gas.
  • Keep the knob down for a few seconds to allow the system to warm up
  • This is only necessary for manual starters. An automated starter will start the pilot light without the need for any further actions.
  • 6 Change the setting of the control knob from “Pilot” to “On.” After the pilot light has been turned on, turn on the main heater. Turn the control knob all the way to the “On” position. This ignites the primary heater and causes the water in the tank to begin to heat up.
  • When you’re lighting the heater, keep your face away from the control panel on the wall. When it ignites, there may be a brief flash of light. After you turn on the heater, it will take around 30 minutes for the water in the tank to reach the desired temperature. Close the propane valve when you’re through with the water heater. When you aren’t using it, it is quite risky to leave it running.
  1. When you’re lighting the heater, keep your face away from the control panel. When it ignites, there may be a brief flash. After you turn on the heater, it will take around 30 minutes for the water in the tank to heat up. When you’re through with the water heater, turn the gas off. – When you aren’t using it, it is extremely unsafe to leave it on.
  • Depending on where you are camping, there may be an additional price for utilizing the electricity.
  • 2 Turn on the water heater’s power switch by pressing it. The power switch for the water heater is normally located within the cabin and appears similar to a standard light switch. To begin heating the water, turn the knob to the “On” position.
  • As a general rule, the switch is labeled “Water Heater,” thus it should be straightforward to locate
  • It is possible that an earlier model’s On switch is located on the water heater itself rather than within the cabin.
  • 3 Allow 60-90 minutes for the water to reach the desired temperature. Warming the water with electric heaters takes a little longer than with gas heaters. It will take around 60-90 minutes, depending on the size of the tank, so be patient before utilizing the hot water
  • RV water heaters are typically equipped with a light that indicates when they are operational. If the light does not come on, it is possible that the bulb has burned out or that the water heater is not functioning properly. Take the RV to a repair shop so that it may be serviced
  • 4 When you’re through using the hot water, turn the switch off. As soon as the water is hot, turn off the water heater to preserve power. Wait until you’re ready to use the heater again before turning it back on.
  • You should leave the power source plugged in if you are still using energy in your RV, for example, to power lights or the kitchen. If you don’t want to use it, you may disconnect it when the water is hot.
See also:  How To Filter Pfas From Drinking Water?

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  • Unless you’re an expert, it’s best to leave RV water heater repairs to the professionals. If something isn’t working properly, it’s better to take it to a repair shop.

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About This Article

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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 when you’re in the middle of nowhere and not connected to the electrical grid. 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.

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 a long time.

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.

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.

A modest quantity of propane is required to keep your camper’s water warm when using a gas-fired RV water heater.

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 available. 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.

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.

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.

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. Using a tankless water heater, you may avoid the problem of running out of water by heating the water as it passes through your pipes.

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.

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. For those interested in installing a tankless water heater, Girard is the primary producer of such 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 help to guarantee that the water in the tank does not freeze and freeze and cause harm. The use of an anode rod will extend the life of your camper’s hot water heater. An anode rod is a simple and inexpensive device that will prevent corrosion and buildup in the inside of your hot water heater. It will also aid in the removal of particulates from your water system if you use an RV water filter. 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. 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

Travel trailer water heaters are among the most straightforward and dependable items on the globe. You will enjoy hot, pure water for years if you only perform the basic maintenance described above.

  • 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! Here’s a nice video from The Great Outdoor RV that includes some helpful advice for troubleshooting your 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.

How to Use an RV Water Heater

RVs are equipped with two different types of hot water heating systems. The most popular type of water tank is one that is heated by propane gas. Tankless systems are commonly featured in newer, higher-end recreational vehicles. Unlike tank-based systems, tankless systems deliver continuous hot water, and their capacity is limited only by the quantity of accessible water in the RV. Prior to embarking on a camping vacation, it is recommended that the RV hot water heater be thoroughly inspected.

Items you will need

  • RV with a water heater
  • Propane tanks that are completely full
  • RV battery that has been fully charged
  • Access to electrical power from the coast
  • Hose, RV owner’s manual, and other supplies

Using an RV Water Heater

Connect the RV to a water source in the city or at the park. Check to see that the hot water heater has been turned off. Check to check that the water heater tank in the RV is completely filled. Activate a hot water faucet and let the water to flow until there is no sputtering any more. If there is no water left in the tank, replenish the hot water heater tank before continuing. Turn on the propane tanks and double-check that the water heater is properly connected to the LP system before continuing.

  • Turn on the water heater in your RV.
  • Older versions may include a manual pilot light or starter, which is not recommended.
  • This is commonly accomplished through the use of a push-button starter.
  • Instead, they feature an on-demand hot water system, which eliminates the need for a hot water tank altogether.
  • Wait for the water heater to raise the temperature of the water up to the appropriate level before using it.
  • Because the average RV water heater does not hold more than 30 gallons of water, the water heats up quite rapidly.
  • Never switch on the hot water heater if the tank is completely depleted. The tank will heat up fast and inflict irreparable damage to the unit
  • Do not drive the RV while the pilot light to the water heater is burning, as this causes a fire danger
  • Do not leave the RV unattended while the pilot light to the water heater is lit
  • RV water heaters are typically powered by propane, although certain models are also capable of running on 120-volt alternating current. In the vast majority of circumstances, propane is less expensive to use than electricity for heating. You should take use of the 120-volt AC option if your campsite fees offer unrestricted electricity use. If the pilot light will not remain lit, there may be debris in or around the propane tank that is plugging the gas outlet. To clear any obstruction from the gas outlet aperture, insert a tiny wooden toothpick into the entrance and gently poke it out.
See also:  How To Check If Water Heater Is Working Properly?

However, certain models of RV water heaters are capable of operating on 120-volt alternating current (AC). Using propane is often less costly than using electricity in the vast majority of situations. Using the 120-volt AC option is recommended if your campsite rates allow unrestricted electricity usage. If the pilot light will not stay lit, there may be debris obstructing the gas inlet, which should be cleaned out. Remove any obstruction from the gas outlet aperture by gently poking it with a little wooden toothpick.

  • Trailer Life Books’ “The RV Handbook: Essential How-To Guide for the RV Owner” (third edition, 2000)
  • Chapter 8
  • RV water heaters are typically powered by propane, although certain models are also capable of running on 120-volt alternating current. In the vast majority of circumstances, propane is less expensive to use than electricity for heating. You should take use of the 120-volt AC option if your campsite fees offer unrestricted electricity use. If the pilot light will not remain lit, there may be debris in or around the propane tank that is plugging the gas outlet. To clear any obstruction from the gas outlet aperture, insert a tiny wooden toothpick into the entrance and gently poke it out.
  • Never switch on the hot water heater if the tank is completely depleted. The tank will heat up fast and inflict irreparable damage to the unit
  • Do not drive the RV while the pilot light to the water heater is burning, as this causes a fire danger
  • Do not leave the RV unattended while the pilot light to the water heater is lit

Bio of the AuthorLynda Altman began writing professionally in 2001, focusing in genealogy, homeschooling, gardening, animals, and crafts. She has won several awards for her work. In addition to “Family Chronicle Magazine,” her writing has also appeared in the “Chihuahua Magazine.” The B.A.

in marketing from Mercy College, as well as a black belt in taekwondo, master gardener certification, a certificate in graphic arts, and a diploma in genealogy, are all among Altman’s accomplishments.

RV Hot Water Heater Guide: How to Operate, Fill and More

This post includes affiliate links for your convenience. Your RV hot water heater is a vital piece of equipment that allows you to enjoy the comforts of home while camping in the great outdoors. Having access to hot water for showering, washing your hands, cleaning dishes, and a variety of other duties is invaluable. Whether you’re using a propane, electric, tankless, or small tank hot water heater, this article will walk you through every element of this wonderful RV accessory. Every RV owner should be familiar with the operation of his or her water heater.

Even while certain specifics differ based on the individual brand and model of water heater you have, many of the fundamental fundamentals are the same for practically all RV water heaters.

RV Hot Water Heater Basics

Most recreational vehicle water heaters will feature a 6-gallon or 10-gallon tank, however tankless heaters have grown increasingly popular in recent years.

Tankless Hot Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are also referred to as “on demand” systems since they provide hot water on demand. These units can be powered by propane or electricity, which powers a heat exchanger in the device, which heats the water as it flows through it. Tankless means that there is no water in the unit other than the minimal amount of water that is stored in the internal pipework; this is why it is referred to as such. There were no items found. There were no items found.

On Demand Operation

Every time you turn on your hot water faucet, you are creating an artificial demand for hot water. Once the machine detects the presence of water flowing through the inner pipe, the heating elements immediately turn on and begin to warm the water in the tank. Water heats up to a temperature that is acceptable for washing and bathing in the brief amount of time it takes to travel through the sequence of internal piping. When the hot water tap is turned off at the faucet, the tankless heater detects the interruption in the flow of hot water and shuts off the heating element to minimize energy consumption.

Pros and Cons of Going Tankless

To be sure, tankless hot water heaters have the potential to deliver a continuous flow of hot water for showering, cleaning, and anything else you need until the power or gas supply is interrupted. This is a significant benefit over a standard tank-style water heater, which must be prepared before use and is typically limited to producing only warm water during periods of high demand. In addition to energy economy, which is important in an RV since saving gasoline and electricity is critical while traveling off the grid, there are several other significant advantages.

The cost of this type of hot water tank is one of its most significant disadvantages.

They also have a higher incidence of problems and malfunctions, despite the fact that technology is always advancing.

In general, the lower the GPM rating, the lower the flow rate must be to maintain the same pressure.

Hot Water Tank Heaters

Typical RV hot water tanks feature a 6-10 gallon tank or reservoir to retain water while the tank is being heated, similar to what is usually seen in residential hot water tanks. Mini-tank water heaters, on the other hand, have just lately entered the market, offering a “point-of-use” alternative that may be installed and connected directly to a sink or shower head. Check out the most recent offers.

Hot Water Tank Operation

Regardless of whether or not hot water is being utilized, the control unit will maintain a certain temperature in the tank as long as electricity and fuel are available to it. The temperature of the water in the tank is detected by a sensor that comes into contact with it. When the sensor detects a dip in water temperature, it sends a signal to the control module, which then activates the heating element in the water. There are several reasons for this, including the fact that the water has been lying around and has cooled down over time, or the fact that hot water is being used, which is sucking the water out of the tank and cold water is entering the tank in its stead.

The heating element may have difficulty keeping up with the demand for hot water after prolonged use, resulting in only warm water being offered.

Benefits of a Hot Water Tank

Traditional hot water tanks are less expensive than tankless alternatives, and they’re also rather reliable when it comes to performance.

Electric Water Heaters

If your RV is equipped with an electric water heater, the heating element will cycle on and off as needed to maintain the water temperature, so you won’t have to worry about turning it off while the RV is not in use. Electric water heaters provide the advantage of preserving your gas while also more efficiently maintaining the correct temperature of your water at all times. Unless your water heater has the capability of switching back to propane when you are not connected to shore power, you will be unable to boondock without using your generator for hot water when you are not connected to shore power.

  • HOT WATER HEATER WITH CONVENIENT STORAGE: A 4 gallon mini-tank with a heat exchanger that fits under your sink provides hot water just where it is needed. Thermal
  • Long-lasting quality: This electric water heater is simple to maintain and is made of high-quality glass-lined material, which ensures a long service life. (Amps
  • INSTALLATION WITHOUT A CENTRAL CONTROL: For independent installation or in-line with a big hot water supply, the 36-37″ chord connects into a 120 volt outlet.

Propane Water Heaters

Unless you’ve invested much in a high-end recreational vehicle, your hot water heater is almost certainly powered by propane. It requires the same procedure as all other propane appliances: the lighting of a pilot flame. Some RVs need you to manually ignite the engine with a lighter once you’ve parked and leveled the vehicle, but most contemporary RVs are equipped with direct spark ignition. To use direct spark ignition, all you have to do is switch on the water heater. As a result, if there is a requirement for water to be heated, the thermostat will detect this and the control circuit board will open the gas valve while simultaneously utilizing the igniter to produce a spark in the front of the gas burner tube.

The most significant advantage of using a propane generator is that it will not drain your RV’s house batteries.

A propane water heater, with the exception of a very little amount of electricity to run the control circuit, may be used with or without shore power. This makes it an excellent choice for RVers who want to camp in more rural locations rather than in campsites or vacation parks.

Filling your Water Heater

When you turn on your water heater for the first time, or when you turn it on for the first time after winterizing, you’ll need to fill the tank with water before turning it on. The suggested water levels for your individual model will be listed in the owner’s handbook, but you may alternatively take the safe route and fill the tank entirely. If your water tank is equipped with a bypass or drain, make sure to close it before you begin filling it. Filling your hot water tank may be accomplished by utilizing water from your fresh water tank and the RV water pump, as described above.

Open the hot water faucets on all of your faucets after you have tightened all of your plumbing connections to avoid leaks.

When water is pouring out of all of your taps, you’ll know your hot water tank is about full.

How to Operate Your Hot Water Heater

Even though your hot water heater is powered by gas, it requires electrical electricity to operate. The electrical system of your home requires the activation of a number of different components in order for it to work properly.

Electrical Panel

If your hot water heater is electric, there should be a fuse or circuit breaker to supply power to it. This will power the electronic control board, the igniter, and the element, if your water heater is powered by electricity. It will be necessary for the water heater to function properly that the CB be in the “on” position or that the fuse be fitted and in functioning order.

On/Off Switch

If your hot water heater is electric, there should be a fuse or circuit breaker to supply electricity to it. This will power the electronic control board, the igniter, and the element, among other things. It will be necessary for the water heater to be operational that the CB be in the “on” position or that the fuse be placed and in functioning order.

Propane Supply

To ensure that your propane water heater is operational, make certain that the propane supply is switched on at the main tank. A shut off valve near the hot water tank may also be present and must be changed to the open position in order to function properly. It’s likely that you’ll hear the igniter clicking and, in some cases, even the flame blazing once you flip the on/off switch on. Additionally, the indication light should be lighted. If you’re using electric or propane to power your tank, it will typically take between 20 and 35 minutes for your tank to heat up depending on its size, the temperature of the water within the tank, and other factors.

Temperature Adjustment

Most RV water heaters do not come with the ability to modify the thermal limit switch; instead, you must learn to be a master of the mixing bowl in order to get the temperature you wish. Having said that, you have the option of replacing the thermal limit switch with an adjustable thermostat if you so choose to.

It’s not a terrible thing to think about because you can save a lot of propane by setting the maximum temperature closer to tepid rather than lava hot with an adjustable thermostat, and replacing out the parts isn’t a difficult DIY job to complete.

Conserving Water and Energy

Because your RV’s water heater is likely to be considerably smaller than the one in your home, paying close attention to how and when you use your hot water will help you avoid running out of hot water when you need it the most. For example, if you use a lot of hot water to clean the dishes and then immediately turn around and hop in the shower, you won’t be able to enjoy that shower for as long as you would want. That one, believe me, is something I’ve learnt the hard way.

How to Drain Your RV Hot Water Heater

Just like you would do when checking the anode rod, you’ll want to switch off your water heater and then open the pressure release valve before attempting to empty it completely. This will prevent you from being shocked or burned throughout the process, which are both things I do not advocate you experience. By opening the pressure release valve at the top of the tank, you can ensure that you are not firing high-pressure water at yourself when you remove the plug. Once the tank has been equalized, you may remove the plug.

See also:  How To Check Electric Water Heater Thermostat?

As an alternative to utilizing the flushing wand suggested above, you can turn on the city water again for a few minutes and let the water to flow in and out of the tank.

In order to keep your RV stored, winterized, or sterilized, you may want to use a hose to spray any material that may have come out of the water heater off of the exterior of it before shutting the panel door; but, your water heater should be OK otherwise.

There are several more.

Basic Hot Water Heater Maintenance

Make sure to turn off the electricity to your hot water heater before beginning any maintenance work, and then empty out any hot water that has accumulated in the tank using the procedure indicated above to remove any remaining hot water from the tank. As a general rule, propane water heaters will require a bit more maintenance than electric water heaters. This is mostly due to the fact that you’ll want to wipe out the burner tube on a yearly basis to ensure that there isn’t any debris obstructing the flow of gas.

Checking The Anode

Every season, you should examine the quality of your anode rod in all of your tanks, but especially at the beginning and conclusion of the season. The anode is a metal rod that is intended to corrode instead of the inner walls of your tank’s interior. Prior to performing any maintenance on the tank, cut off the electricity to the tank and allow the water within to cool for an hour or two. RV Water Heater Anode Rod – Magnesium Anode Rod Suburban Water Heaters SuburbanMorflo – RV Water Heater Anode Rod

  • • LONG-LASTING QUALITY: Constructed of high-quality magnesium that is particularly designed to be used and collected for a long period of time
  • • PROLONG WATER HEATER LIFE: The anode rod is a critical component of any water heating system that contributes to the overall longevity of the water heater. PROTECT HEATERS FROM CORROSION: This anode rod for RV and outdoor water heaters functions as an effective filter for water that is kept in the heater.

The first step is to release the pressure that has built up in your hot water storage tank. The pressure release valve on the outside of the water heater may be opened, or a hot water faucet in your RV can be opened with the pump switched off and the outer hose unplugged from the outside connection can be opened. To remove the anode rod, you’ll most likely need a 1-1/16-inch socket and a wrench; it’ll be placed towards the bottom of the tank and accessible through the vent door on the outside of your RV.

Prepare to get your hands a bit wet.

Once your water heater has been emptied, you can take advantage of this excellent chance to clean and flush out any sediment and debris that has accumulated in the tank by using a cleaning wand to flush out the tank.

Replacing The Heating Element

It’s probable that the heating element in your electric water tank will need to be changed at some time during your RVing experience. This procedure is analogous to that of changing the anode. After removing the electricity from the appliance, relieve the pressure in the tank and drain the tank following the procedure outlined above. Once the water has been drained from the element, unscrew the terminal screws and detach the wires from the element, making note of their locations. Take out the old element and replace it with a new one by using a wrench.

Replacing The Electrode

The electrode, often known as the igniter, is responsible for producing the spark that ignites the propane. If your water heater makes use of a two-prong electrode, it may only require a thorough cleaning. In order for the spark to leap between prongs and ignite the fuel, the electrode must be free of dirt. When using a single prong electrode, the same thing might happen, however the spark leaps to a neighboring metal surface rather than to a second prong. To remove the electrode, unhook the wiring from the device and unscrew the screw that holds it in place on the device.

It is possible to clean the electrode tip with steel wool or fine grit sandpaper and then reinstall it to test whether it still performs properly.

Closing Thoughts

After all, you purchased your RV in order to bring some of the comforts of home with you on the road, and learning how to properly fill and drain your water heater as well as how to operate and maintain your water heater can help to make that experience even more enjoyable.

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.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both leaving it on and turning it off.

Misuse and carelessness may result in costly blunders, since water heaters can be quite expensive to repair if they are not maintained properly.

4 Things to Know About Running RV Water Heaters

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 turn off the hot water tank in your RV, make sure you switch on the heater as well as the water supply again.

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. 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. Although the tank is capable of holding a limitless supply of hot water, However, because of its compact size, it will heat up much more quickly than a typical domestic heater.

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

There is also the convenience issue of not having to remember to switch it on every time you need to use it when you do need to useit. 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 whether the bypass is on and you have to check to see if it is once it is turned off. If you leave it running throughout your trip, it will require a bit less attention and consideration.

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.

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. 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. The majority of the time, the water heater in a recreational vehicle is fueled by propane, with the exception of a few that are powered by electricity or have the option of being powered by either. The majority of sizes are available, ranging from a six-gallon water heater to 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. For unique exclusions related to your water heater in comparison to others, refer to the manufacturer’s directions and guide. However, in general, you should check the bypass valve on your water heater before using it to ensure that it is open and allowing water to travel through. 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.

Maintenance

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 silt builds up at the bottom of the tank, it might cause erosion and the danger of frying if the water tank runs out of water. Water that is stagnant or unclean is not suitable for cooking, bathing, or any other intended purpose.

When filling your tank, it’s a good idea to verify the quality of the water. Filling your freshwater tank while camping is simple if you follow these steps: 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

When filling your tank, it’s a good idea to check the water quality. Filling your freshwater tank while camping is easy if you follow these steps: Winterization Water must be drained from the system in preparation for winter use while the system is not being used. You should dump your tank for the winter since it is likely that the water may freeze and fracture the tank as well as the connections to the other pipes. Detailed instructions on how to add antifreeze to your recreational vehicle (RV).

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