Hot water heaters/cold-hot water - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-24-2017, 06:10 AM   #1
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Name: Toinette
Trailer: 2011 Egg Camper #101, the Abel Egg, pulled by 2016 Honda Odyssey
Alabama
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Hot water heaters/cold-hot water

If an older travel trailer (Bigfoot) does not have a shower or a hot water heater in it, am I right in thinking cold water will be the only availability? Am I right in thinking 1) a hot water heater would be difficult to install, and 2)possibility of finding one to fit a 1984 model might be difficult?

Just trying to see everything clearly.

Thanks for your help.

Tonie Welch
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Old 03-24-2017, 08:36 AM   #2
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If hot water was an option in a 84 Bigfoot, which I'm not sure of but I would guess it was, then it is likely possible to install one. They're basically all built the same, some just have extras. But the shell and cabinets and all that should be almost exactly the same, since they tend to use a "cookie cutter" approach to save time and money. No need to completely reinvent the interior for each different option package.

I have never had a Bigfoot without hot water, but I'm guessing it will be sort of involved. You would need the hot water heater, new propane line routing for the burner, then you'd need to run the hot water water lines and install a faucet with both knobs.

Hot water heaters tend to be the same. Probably my 91 heater would fit your 84. There are only so many manufacturers who make RV appliances, and they have to fit a wide range of different RVs, so things tend to be pretty interchangeable for similar sized trailers.

I think this would be more of something you'd do if you were gutting and rebuilding a trailer.

I had a camper with no hot water before. No big deal, for me. The only time I use the hot water in my current camper is for showers. I don't bother firing up the water heater for dishes. I just put a little cold water in a pot and heat it on the stove. So for me personally, without a shower, I would definitely not think that all the work of installing a heater would be worth it. But you'll have to decide that for yourself.
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Old 03-24-2017, 08:44 AM   #3
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hot water heater

Thanks, Zach. I appreciate your info so much. We are not big on the take-it-apart-and-redo it scene, so I think this may be too much for us.

Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it very much.

Tonie
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Old 03-24-2017, 09:32 AM   #4
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If you are able to plug your camper in while on a trip, you could simply get a 4 or 6 gallon electric water heater from the big box store, mount it under your sink, or in a compartment near the shower, and plug it in. A simple TEE in the cold plumbing line line near the sink would feed it and it's hot line would go to your sink or shower faucet.

This is the simplest way to do it. You would need power and a spot to install it. It would be all internal, so no body work, just a few PEX connections.

If you found a couple of likely locations and took some measurements, you could go to Home Depot and measure up a couple of small electric water heaters and see what might fit. They also have PEX and fittings. Lowe's is even better for that kind of stuff.
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Old 03-24-2017, 09:39 AM   #5
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hot water

Quote:
Originally Posted by TWelch View Post
If an older travel trailer (Bigfoot) does not have a shower or a hot water heater in it, am I right in thinking cold water will be the only availability? Am I right in thinking 1) a hot water heater would be difficult to install, and 2)possibility of finding one to fit a 1984 model might be difficult?

Just trying to see everything clearly.

Thanks for your help.

Tonie Welch
Hi Tonie,
You're right, cold water is your only option now. But I've seen a little Scamp 13 where they mounted a small, on demand heater on the front exterior and were very happy with it. I personally like all my interior storage cubbies and don't want to lose any of it to a w.heater. I'm thinking of installing one too, but currently use a super fast plug in electric 'hot pot' to heat water for dishes, the Hamilton Beach 40880 Stainless Steel Electric Kettle, 1.7-Liter. No bath in my trailer. The Eccotemp Systems L7 L7 Portable Tankless Water Heater is about $138. on Amazon.
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Old 03-24-2017, 11:03 AM   #6
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Name: Steven
Trailer: Casita SD 2013
NW Wisconsin
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Ariston makes a small 4 & 6 gallon 120 VAC water heater that can be mounted under a sink . We used one for years to heat water in our cabin. The heater is well insulated and can be wall mounted.
For showering , I would go with the 6 gallon . If you just want hot water for doing dishes , either the 4 or 6 gallon will suffice
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Old 03-24-2017, 01:17 PM   #7
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Name: Darral
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Tennessee
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I added the "HottRod" (electric) to my Scamp's 6 gal Atwood. I dont use the propane at all now unless I'm camping off the grid which is rarely. But wife's definitely happier with hot water and a shower!
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Old 03-24-2017, 01:58 PM   #8
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
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Why do you want to heat HOT water? Save yourself a few key strokes and just call it a WATER HEATER
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Old 03-24-2017, 02:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Collins View Post
Why do you want to heat HOT water? Save yourself a few key strokes and just call it a WATER HEATER
Your comment is so funny and so right.

I bring this up all the time with people; Uh, excuse me, but isn't that a cold water heater? Why do you want a hot water heater?
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Old 03-24-2017, 04:33 PM   #10
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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I put a Fastar 3.2 gpm tank-less on the front of my Scamp.
I bought mine for about $80.00
I put mine in a SS box with a Lexan front to keep the water and rocks out.
It takes 2 D cell batteries for the automatic ignition.
If it has an problem it is that it can get pretty hot ans you have to use the lowest settings.
No limit on how much hot water you can get.
It has a temp readout on the front.
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Old 03-27-2017, 10:42 AM   #11
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Florida
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Buy a Solar Shower (5 gallon) and hang it in sunshine.
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