Hott Rod install in Atwood 6 Gal Water Heater - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-25-2009, 04:14 PM   #1
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Name: Michael
Trailer: 1993 Bigfoot 17 ftCB / 2011 Toyota Sienna
Ontario
Posts: 207
Hi;
If you have an Atwood propane only water heater, you can buy and install a Hott Rod electric water heater element to be able to use AC power when available, without using the propane.
It voids the warranty for the Atwood, but mine is 15 years old so no problem.
The heater element kit was about $40 from that auction site and took about an hour and a half to install - mainly because it kept leaking (dripping) at the screw-in.
Contrary to what the instructions say, I ended up using teflon tape over plumbers putty (a crayon type thingy that you scrape over the threads) and tightened more than they said it would take to get it sealed.
You then run the wire through the silicon sealant alongside the propane pipe into the trailer.
You use a knife and cut a square in the cardboard tank cover, open up the fiberglass insulation, and stick the thermostat onto the tank. Then fold back all the fiberglass and cardboard and use duct tape to seal it all up.
I already had an AC outlet near the tank, so, after refilling the tank, was able to plug it in.
It's only a 400 Watt element so will take about 3 1/4 hours to heat the water from 40 to 125F if in the 6 gallon size, I calculate.
Use more silicon over the wire hole to keep fumes from entering the trailer when on propane, and you're good to go.
Just another gadget to keep improving my big little 'egg'!
YMMV
Mike
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Old 04-25-2009, 04:36 PM   #2
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Name: Michael
Trailer: 1993 Bigfoot 17 ftCB / 2011 Toyota Sienna
Ontario
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I went to that auction site and now see them at $85+. What happened? I did buy mine a while ago, but am sure that I got a bid in at under $50!
Oh well, you have to decide if it's worth it to you!
Sometimes the prices change - I bought a brand new Xantrex Link 20 Battery Monitor for $135+15SH over a year ago - now they're through the roof!
Good luck.
Mike
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:31 AM   #3
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Name: Phil
Trailer: Bigfoot 21ft (25B21RB)
Odem,Texas
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:14 AM   #4
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Name: Peter
Trailer: 2005 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
Oregon
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I went to that auction site and now see them at $85+. What happened? I did buy mine a while ago, but am sure that I got a bid in at under $50!
Oh well, you have to decide if it's worth it to you!
Sometimes the prices change - I bought a brand new Xantrex Link 20 Battery Monitor for $135+15SH over a year ago - now they're through the roof!
Good luck.
Mike
I installed a HottRod -- using a different procedure, see my post in this topic from earlier in April -- and bought the kit on eBay. Paid about $65 for it, including shipping. Occasionally they sell in the $50 range on eBay, but shipping adds another several dollars to the price. I thought $65 with shipping was a good balance between patience and penny-pinching.
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