Hot water heater, tank and pump under seat? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-28-2011, 03:40 PM   #1
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Hot water heater, tank and pump under seat?

In my 2001 13' Scamp the 12gal water tank is placed under the passenger side rear seat. It's very poorly positioned for space utilization with plentiful wasted space all around it. It's about 12x12x20. I see that 6 gallon water heaters are about the same size. By my measurements I think I should be able to fit both a heater and a 12 gallon tank. The tank would have to be rotated 90 degrees and thus a new fill whole added on the long side rather than the short side. Or some way of running a pipe around to the side, but that may be hard given the space. But both running the long way side to side should fit that space, but the connections may be hard.

I'm looking at two heater right now, tankless and tanked:

Suburban 6 Gal LP/AC, 35lbs dry, 83lbs wet, 12.5 x 12.5" x 19.2" $310
Suburban SW6PE Gas and Electric Water Heater 6 Gallon Trailer Camper RV
Heavy, especially with water in it, but 6 more gallons of water storage, cheaper, run on AC too.

Girard tankless Propane, 23lbs (wet), 12.5″ W x 12.5″ H x 15.5″ $660
RV Water Heater - Girard Products, LLC | Tankless RV Water Heater | On Demand RV Water Heaters | Endless Hot Water RV | Instant Flow RV Water Heaters | LP Gas Tankless RV Water Heater | Induced Draft Tankless Water Heater
Lighter, smaller, more expensive, gas only.

Then it looks like there's room around the wheel well for a water pump, but I haven't looked closely at the dimensions of those pumps yet.
ShurFlo Whisper King:
ShurFlo 2093-204-413 Whisper King Water Pump RV Trailer Camper

Anyone filled that space with both a heater and tank??

Oh and recommendations for insulating the water lines, now they are running right along the skin at the lowest point, probably the coldest place in the trailer. I plan on keeping the heat on during freezing weather, I'll be with power during cold weather, but I worry about the heat not getting to the storage areas and nooks and crannies where the plumbing now runs.
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Old 09-28-2011, 03:52 PM   #2
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Some people add doors to the under bench seating areas - if you did that and left them open just a little the heat from the trailer would find its way in.

Re mounting the hotwater tank under the seat with the fresh water tank. Is your power cable not stored under the same seat as your freash water tank? It is on mine - so I was wondering what you where going to do with the power cord. On mine the water pump is located in the same hatch as the fresh water tank and yes there is some wasted space around it - I tend to stick small things that I dont use all that often around the water tank - such as an axe (with a cover on the head), bocci balls, spare portable water containers flattened etc. The hot water tank is under the sink area.
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:03 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
Some people add doors to the under bench seating areas - if you did that and left them open just a little the heat from the trailer would find its way in.

Re mounting the hotwater tank under the seat with the fresh water tank. Is your power cable not stored under the same seat as your freash water tank? It is on mine - so I was wondering what you where going to do with the power cord. On mine the water pump is located in the same hatch as the fresh water tank and yes there is some wasted space around it - I tend to stick small things that I dont use all that often around the water tank - such as an axe (with a cover on the head), bocci balls, spare portable water containers flattened etc. The hot water tank is under the sink area.
12X8=96 on a 1500lb trailer. Be aware that all that water will then be on the same side of the trailer and the other side will be empty or filled with lighter stuff. It may not be a problem , but it's worth considering.
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:35 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
Some people add doors to the under bench seating areas - if you did that and left them open just a little the heat from the trailer would find its way in.

Re mounting the hotwater tank under the seat with the fresh water tank. Is your power cable not stored under the same seat as your freash water tank? It is on mine - so I was wondering what you where going to do with the power cord. On mine the water pump is located in the same hatch as the fresh water tank and yes there is some wasted space around it - I tend to stick small things that I dont use all that often around the water tank - such as an axe (with a cover on the head), bocci balls, spare portable water containers flattened etc. The hot water tank is under the sink area.
I have the power cord and power converter on the drivers side, same side as the kitchen, my water tank is on the passenger side, under the seat next to the closet.

I suppose I could make sure those hatches are open when it's day, but at night I'll be sleeping on top. Perhaps some side vents on the seats would do the trick.
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:38 PM   #5
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12X8=96 on a 1500lb trailer. Be aware that all that water will then be on the same side of the trailer and the other side will be empty or filled with lighter stuff. It may not be a problem , but it's worth considering.
One reason the tankless is better. But I won't be traveling any long distances at any high speeds with more than trivial amounts of water in the cold tank or heater. Maybe creeping away from a local water source a few miles away from my camp or something, but no highway travel with water in the tanks.
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:36 PM   #6
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Often folks have talked about hauling water because they "may" need to use the toilet. I carry a milk jug of water for that possibility. No one says you need to use the water plumbing to flush! YMMV.
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:57 PM   #7
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What about an electric water heater, you can buy a 4 gallon one @ HD for $200, easy to install, no holes to cut, more compact.
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Old 09-29-2011, 01:28 PM   #8
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What about an electric water heater, you can buy a 4 gallon one @ HD for $200, easy to install, no holes to cut, more compact.
Certainly a possibility. I trust that the good ones work, but I do associate tankless electrics with some of the colder showers I've ever had! And I'm a bit concerned with the power draw on my current wiring, I think the more powerful units seem to want 50 amps, I have a 30 amp power converter.

And I do want to boondock with this little thing, so propane has that advantage. I think either of those two units I listed would make me pretty happy and I think I can make them fit, it's just not plug and play. I may order the suburban and give it a go. If it doesn't work out, I'll return it or craigslist it and try the Girard or go electric. At that's the moments plan.
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:39 PM   #9
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Certainly a possibility. I trust that the good ones work, but I do associate tankless electrics with some of the colder showers I've ever had! And I'm a bit concerned with the power draw on my current wiring, I think the more powerful units seem to want 50 amps, I have a 30 amp power converter.

And I do want to boondock with this little thing, so propane has that advantage. I think either of those two units I listed would make me pretty happy and I think I can make them fit, it's just not plug and play. I may order the suburban and give it a go. If it doesn't work out, I'll return it or craigslist it and try the Girard or go electric. At that's the moments plan.
The 4 gallon electric ones pull about 10 amps on electric, not 50 amps, so any 30 amp trailer is fine. I believe the tankless heaters are all propane so if you had a cold shower it was tankless propane, not electric. There are also portable propane showers, not useful in the winter though.
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Old 09-29-2011, 05:12 PM   #10
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The 4 gallon electric ones pull about 10 amps on electric, not 50 amps, so any 30 amp trailer is fine. I believe the tankless heaters are all propane so if you had a cold shower it was tankless propane, not electric. There are also portable propane showers, not useful in the winter though.
OK, we gotta be talking two different things. There are definitely electric tankless, my grandfather put one in an attic bathroom many years ago, it barely made the water warm and did so inconsistently. And in Costa Rica I recall praying my desire for a shower wasn't going to lead to electrocution at one rustic "resort", loose wires sticking out of the thing, wet floors, at least that one was kinda hot, but being Costa Rica the water was probably plenty warm to start.

Can you point me to one of those 4 gallon electric tanked heaters?
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:13 PM   #11
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OK, we gotta be talking two different things. There are definitely electric tankless, my grandfather put one in an attic bathroom many years ago, it barely made the water warm and did so inconsistently. And in Costa Rica I recall praying my desire for a shower wasn't going to lead to electrocution at one rustic "resort", loose wires sticking out of the thing, wet floors, at least that one was kinda hot, but being Costa Rica the water was probably plenty warm to start.

Can you point me to one of those 4 gallon electric tanked heaters?
Go to the local Home Depot or here is one at Amazon Amazon.com: Rheem 81VP2S Electic Point-of-Use Electric Water Heater, 2.5 Gallon: Home Improvement
just be sure and get one that has a drain plug so you can winterize it easy. You will also need a bypass kit sold at CW in order to bypass the heater when you put antifreeze in your water lines.
While discussing tankless water heaters on this forum, I assumed you were talking about tankless in a rv, not in a residence. Again, in a rv, they are all propane due to winterizing issues electric ones will not work.
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:35 PM   #12
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Going with a electrical hot water heater would not work for me. The only time I normally use my water heater is when I do not have electrical as that normally means the place I am camping does not have showers either. For dishes I just boil a pot of water.
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Old 09-30-2011, 01:28 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Go to the local Home Depot or here is one at Amazon Amazon.com: Rheem 81VP2S Electic Point-of-Use Electric Water Heater, 2.5 Gallon: Home Improvement
just be sure and get one that has a drain plug so you can winterize it easy. You will also need a bypass kit sold at CW in order to bypass the heater when you put antifreeze in your water lines.
While discussing tankless water heaters on this forum, I assumed you were talking about tankless in a rv, not in a residence. Again, in a rv, they are all propane due to winterizing issues electric ones will not work.
That little guy is a adorable! But looks like it needs to stand upright, Not sure 14" tall will fit under that seat. I'd measure it, but I got the bed set up on top of that seat and I'm feeling lazy!

I'm inclined to go with the 6 gallon dual power Suburban. I think it'll fit and the propane option for the boonies sounds great.
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