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Tankless propane hot water heaters

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Motor7 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Motor7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Tankless propane hot water heaters
    Posted: 24 Jan 2019 at 7:53am
Why is the industry still installing bulky tanked water heaters? Tankless would be ideal for the R-Pod line,  any other lightweight trailer, and any rv where space is at a premium. 

In 2011 I installed one in my house that I bought off fleabay for $300-ish. We have very hard water, so other than having to flush the scale out of it once every couple of years it has worked fine.  So the technology is there for the rv industry, just wondering why they are not embracing it?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mcarter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jan 2019 at 8:20am
Not sure the technology is quite there. I've looked at some of the more popular ones in the EZ line, to include the portables and the direct vents. It is not a small water heater compared to the present Surburban. I have seen some motor homes with tankless set ups. Is there a model you have seen?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jato Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jan 2019 at 8:51am
Have seen a lot of these installed in new homes where I live.  One of the more popular ones  has four 7,000-watt elements for a total electrical load of 28,000 watts. This extra load requires at least 120 amps. The average home has a total capacity of 200 amps, which means an upgrade would be needed.  I am sure there are smaller units available yet the amps needed to run this would preclude any to be able to boondock unless they had a generator IMHO.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Motor7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jan 2019 at 8:58am
You are right, most of the models that are designed to fit in the 6 gallon compartment are almost the same size as the tanks. Yet the ones that are stand alone are quite compact. It just seems to me that a compact one to replace the 6 gallon would sell like hotcakes(pun intended) and make the 6 gallon ones obsolete. Then 'us' podders would have another square foot of precious storage space Cool
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Post Options Post Options   Quote offgrid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jan 2019 at 12:01pm
The low cost wall mount propane tankless water heaters you can buy online are not meant for RV use. They need vent clearances around and above the units that you would have a hard time finding the space for. The RV style zero clearance ones are a direct replacement for the suburbans and vent to the outside. Another example of getting what you pay for. I too have a tankless unit at home and I love it but the benefit in RV use I think is minimal, most campers aren’t using that much hot water anyway.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Richand Cindy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jan 2019 at 1:03pm
Tankless RV water heaters have been around for years.  They sucked and some went out of business.  A couple of years ago a German company, Truma brought a model (AquaGo) over to the US.  They are terrific.  Many high end RVs now come with them.  They are not cheap.  We were going to get one as we thought a 6 gal heater would not last a single shower.  However by running both the propane and electric at the same time we find that we do not run out of hot water and have not had to buy one.  The model fits into the same space as the 6 gal heater.  At the Tampa RV Truma technicians would go out to your RV and install it while you were at the RV show for $250.  I highly recommend it but only if you really use alot of hot water and find the standard heater too much of a pain to keep waiting for hot water.  As far as cost, it is not like a home unit where you are paying to heat a 50 gal tank.  Very little propane is used to keep 6 gal hot.  So it is not cost effective to only switch to save money.  I do not think you would ever get your investment back.  Buy one only if you hot water needs demand it  
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Richand Cindy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jan 2019 at 1:09pm
Here is an article about it.  They now have a combi unit for heat and HW
05/28/2018

Lancaster based Lance Camper Mfg. Corp. has made the German made Truma Combi eco plus furnace & water heater combination unit standard on two of their Travel Trailer models, the 1475 and 1575.

Truma is one of Europe’s top RV component suppliers, winning numerous awards for innovation and quality. "With the systems nearly silent operation, space and weigh savings and the industry’s most efficient furnace, the Truma Combi is a perfect feature enhancement for our category leading composite built ultra-light travel trailers" states Bob Rogers, Lance’s Director of Marketing. "The ability to run your furnace using electric power is another huge product differentiator with this unit that our customers will love" adds Rogers.

Mark Howlett, Truma’s Senior VP Business Development says, "We have worked closely with Lance’s engineering and manufacturing teams to ensure the Truma Combi system exceeded their expectations. Lance customers will benefit from a system which provides comfort as well as no maintenance to ensure a peaceful camping experience." The Truma Combi fits well with the technology and quality of Lance Campers, adds Howlett "we are proud to work with a leader in the premium trailer segment and look forward to working with Lance’s dealers and campers."

Units with the new system have begun shipping to Lance dealers.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote GlueGuy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jan 2019 at 2:07pm
With the small 6 gallon tank in an R-pod, and the relatively modest amount of propane that it uses, I might be inclined to think that a tankless water heater would "probably" consume a lot more propane on a gallon-for-gallon basis. That, and it would cost a lot more too. 

I'd be inclined to pass on the option, mainly because you only need it when you're camping. Not every day.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Motor7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jan 2019 at 3:32pm
I would think the tankless is more propane efficient than a tank. The tankless might however cause a little more water use since you have to wait for the hot to get there then blend it vs just blending when the 6 gal is already hot. 

I still think that saving weight, and cubic inches would be a benefit over the tank at least for lightweight trailers. A combination propane furnace and HW heater is very intriguing & since the furnace is already vented, allowing the HW tankless to also use that vent would save even more space. 

The last 6 gal I replaced was in 2007 in our 20' Argosy. Back then tankless in that space was not really a viable option. If this 6 gal ever dies I would love to try a tankless. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mcarter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jan 2019 at 4:47pm
Motor7,

I think you should and let us know the result, until then, I'm with GlueGuy, I don't see a benefit. Until there is a radical change in technology or purpose it's not a priority to me.
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