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Post Info TOPIC: On-demand water heater?


RV-Dreams Family Member

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On-demand water heater?


Much like the composting toilet I asked about a couple of weeks ago on-demand water heater sound like they may be a good idea, but are they?  I know that Nexus used to put them in some of their coaches but stopped a couple of years ago.  My question is: What are the advantages and disadvantages between on-demand and traditional water heaters, especially when you're not plugged in.



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arcaguy wrote:

Much like the composting toilet I asked about a couple of weeks ago on-demand water heater sound like they may be a good idea, but are they?  I know that Nexus used to put them in some of their coaches but stopped a couple of years ago.  My question is: What are the advantages and disadvantages between on-demand and traditional water heaters, especially when you're not plugged in.


 The Truma works great. I had one in my Oliver trailer and I'm having one installed in my new fiver. My advice is to got the Truma page at https://www.truma.com/us/en/products/truma-water-systems/guide-water-heater-caravan.html  to get more answers.

 

Hans



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Dave,

While a number of folks will say that one of the biggest advantages of the on-demand system is the ability to take long, hot showers.  However, I'm uncertain as to the amount of LP gas that would be used by those types of hot water heaters in comparison to a regular hot water heater.

Personally, my philosophy is to get in the shower, get cleaned off, and then get out.  I've other things I want to do with my time.

Terry



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RV-Dreams Family Member

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I guess that the only hot water only item on that page is the Aqua-go which seems to have the great disadvantage of only being powered by gas. This is not something I would want if I'm on full hookups. But I do thank you for that information as I now know that I likely don't want an Aqua-go, or at least I don't think I do.



-- Edited by arcaguy on Wednesday 20th of February 2019 03:48:29 PM

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From a previous post ... from my experience a 30 lbs bottle of propane will go about 8 weeks with two long hot showers per day (in Eco mode), assuming no other demands on propane other than the AquaGo. It's definitely not as cheap as free electricity, but for the quality of the experience, it's a pretty cheap ride. It's like anything, it's only worth it if it's worth it to you. It is a very well made, easy to use product. No sacrificial anode to mess with, no draining issues, clean out is silly easy ... it's quite a good product. There are those who will never understand why anyone would go to the expense and trouble to install such an expensive product ($1,500 or a bit more installed). So save your breath trying to convince anyone. I used to have a boat that would run about 115 mph and a good friend asked me why in the world would I want to go that fast on water ... I responded that if he had to ask, I would never be able to explain it to him. Takes all of us to make up this big ole world.

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Not practical IMO for dry campers and boondockers.

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First, on demand hot water heaters come in different price and quality levels. The Truma and Precision Temp brands are the expensive ones, but they also give the best experience since they work at both low and high flow rates. Most of the cheaper ones have trouble at low flow rates, like when you are trying to conserve water for boondocking. For me, as a motorhome owner, the fact that they only run on LP gas (propane or butane in Mexico) is a deal killer. Motorhomes have fixed LP tanks, so they are a pain to fill up since you need to bring the motorhome to the fill station. (Yes there are ways to use portable tanks using additional equipment, but doing this is really only practical for longer stays.) We try to use electricity to heat the water as much as possible and keep our LP fills to a minimum. Another advantage of having a normal hot water heater is you have 6 to 16 gallons more water storage, useful for boondockers.

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Most people that I know who have the Truma system say they love it, although some friends have had problems and/or don’t care for the annual maintenance (i.e., more complicated than a typical RV water heater, with many people hiring someone to perform the annual service).

We don’t have one, nor would I personally choose to install an on-demand system. The primary reason is, with our 16 gallon water heater, we have NEVER run out of hot water and we have been full-timing for just under 5 years. I like taking long, hot showers as well as we have a dishwasher and clothes washer – which many times are used simultaneously. Secondly, applying the KISS principle, by using the simpler system (i.e., traditional hot water heater) we will likely experience fewer mechanical problems (or they will at least be simpler to fix) and the annual service is much less complicated. A distant third, because I already know I am not installing an on-demand system, is that it would likely not be advantageous for boondocking.

My understanding of the biggest advantage of an on-demand system is the “instant” part (i.e., not waiting approx. 30 minutes, if the hot water heater had been turn-off, for the water to heat).



-- Edited by Lynn and Ed on Thursday 21st of February 2019 05:08:27 PM

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We have the Truma AquaGo and we boondock a lot. Next, it doesn't take as much propane as people think especially on ECO mode, although the fact that it doesn't run on electric is a downside for many. The main benefits are nearly instant hot water (depending on which system you have and which mode you use it on) and the ability to take endless hot showers on full hook-ups.

We had one in the fifth wheel and immediately had one installed in our motorhome in a barter situation. I wouldn't go out and buy one to replace a traditional water heater that is working just fine, but I would upgrade to an AquaGo if it were an option on a new RV.

I assume comments regarding annual maintenance being complicated has to do with the decalcification process and it's more than annual for those that are heavy users AND have hard water. Quite frankly, we've never done the decalcification process or had an annual service done by a tech.

Other than that, it's far from complicated. Draining the small reservoir is far easier than draining a traditional water heater and there is no need to replace an anode rod like in a Suburban. It's cleaner, and there are no issues with dripping pressure relief valves and air pockets in traditional RV water heaters.

It's a far superior product to the Atwoods and Suburbans, the troubleshooting is easier, and we've had nothing but great service from the company. However, they are not for everybody.

Of course, that's the only on-demand hot water system we have personal experience with, but we've heard from some dealers and manufacturers that they won't install some of the other systems, so proceed with caution if you go that route.

 



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Not quite sure what you mean by 'annual maintenance' on a Truma water heater. The only 'maintenance' I'm aware of is getting it ready for winterization which turns out to be a simple 5 minute job. Other than that you can utilize decalcification tablets on the heater but I wouldn't classify that as maintenance.

 

Hans



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'I'm too old to be wrong, but I could be wrong about that.'

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