Water heater - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-08-2013, 09:49 PM   #1
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Water heater

Howdy, I am in the process of buying a new 13' Scamp. We do mostly primitive camping and won't be around hookups. We also will take Grandchildren with us from time to time so we opted for the layout 1 with bunks. Campgrounds usually provide pit toilets. We will probably get a porta potty too. We sacrificed the bathroom for bunks but would like to be able to take showers when needed. Our plan would be to possibly set up a shower tent we already own. I am thinking that a water heater would be nice for that. Either connecting through the window to the sink faucet or adding an external shower. The new Scamp is already made but doesn't have a water heater. The sales person acted surprised when I mentioned adding the water heater because the trailer was already made. I am going to push for Scamp to add the water heater but if this doesn't work out, how difficult would adding a water heater be? Thanks
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:07 PM   #2
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Quote:
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I am going to push for Scamp to add the water heater but if this doesn't work out, how difficult would adding a water heater be?
Very easy if you get an EccoTemp Portable Tankless Water Heater. I wouldn't bother Scamp about adding one.
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:18 PM   #3
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I had added water heaters to both of our 13' Scamps, and have been very happy with the results, but, after seeing where some simply use a "bug sprayer" filled with water heated on the stove, I would rethink doing it again. The sprayer would really cut down on water usage, and you would not permanently give up storage space and eliminate potential water or gas leaks (KISS principal).
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:19 PM   #4
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I wouldn't want the hassle of a portable water heater for a built-in shower, but for only an outdoor shower I think Frederick's idea is a great solution.

Traditional RV water heaters take significant space, are expensive, and are heavy in part because they hold a significant amount of water.
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:44 PM   #5
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I put a water heater in our 78 Trillium 1300 and an outside shower. I'm now working on outfitting a 79 Trillium 4500 to suit us and my wife is pushing for another water heater and outside shower. We used the shower for a dish washing station-with a roll up aluminum table and a couple of plastic tubs- it was a breeze. It was a treat to be able to shower or just wash your hair also. It wasn't too bad a job to install the heater and I paid a plumber to take care of that end of the job -pex and had no leaks. The way I looked at it 6 gallons of water didn't weigh that much and it was very convenient to just turn on the faucet and have hot water for washing up or what ever.
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:10 PM   #6
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I have been looking at systems like the ecotech. It does look like a way to go. We would presumably have the Scamp's water tank full. I don't believe it will have a demand pump but rather a hand pump at the sink. I have no problem adding a demand pump and maybe even an outside faucet. What would the pressure be with this system? Some units boast operating on low water pressure. I am also thinking adding a connection to the gas at the tank. I'd like to maybe be able to hang the unit on the Scamp and let the shower head and hose pass through an opening already in the shower tent we have. Does this sound feasible? I did see some requirements on clearances around the unit. Thanks again for the advice. We are going from a pop up to the new Scamp and before we used the solar bags. Worked ok as long as you had Sun and took showers when the water was ready. I want to have the hot water supply for showers at our covenience instead of Mother nature's. Also would make the better half happier.
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:15 PM   #7
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Adding the water heater usually involves adding a whole new water system, pressure demand pump, extra faucets for the sink etc... as well as an additional line in the LP system. And to add to that, the 4 gallon water heaters that are an easy fit, can be hard to find.

That aside, in the past two years I have added hot water systems and outside shower panels to our 13' Scamp' our 13' BigFoot and our 13' Hunter Compact-II and have been very happy with the results.

As far as having Scamp do it, that will be a lot more expensive on a finished trailer as they will have to undo and replace a lot of what's in the current water system.

Another option is the ZODI self contained camp shower system. We also have one of those and, conbined with a shower tent, it works great.

I believe that the heater Fred suggested has to have a pressurized source of water available, something that your Scamp may not be able to provide without an additional pump.

Aren't last minute choices and changes wonderful.....
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:39 PM   #8
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Yes they are. The Scamp we are getting was one Scamp had already made. We liked the layout and except for the water issue everything else is great. Still waiting for a letter with all options detailed that Scamp is sending to me. I'm questioning the wife if the Grandkids presence is worth loosing the bathroom. She thinks so. We've "roughed" it for so long the Scamp will feel like a castle. Thanks again for everyone's help.
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:45 PM   #9
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If you are "Waiting" for anything from Scamp, I suggest that you get on the phone and talk to them. As others have noted on this forum, Scamp isn't known for promptness in communications.
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Old 09-09-2013, 10:37 AM   #10
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I would go with your hot water heater you want to go with but I would reccomend you put in a on demand pump. The reason being with a hand pump you risk the level going done in the tank if you don't pump it all the time and may get some hot spots or possible tank rupture from heat when the burner ignites. Have and on demand pump will keep the tank full at all times. This will be safer and you will love the showers it proivides and the woman will be really happy. They are inexpensive and easy to install.
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Old 09-13-2013, 05:21 PM   #11
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I don't know if it's the right thing for you, but we're re-doing a Surfside 14.5' trailer, and have opted for a Girard tankless built-in water heater. Going tankless means not having a water heater tank that has to be drained each winter, no water tank holding 30-48 lbs of water weight when we're towing, and hot water that's available as soon as the propane's turned on. The downside is they're a couple hundred dollars more than a traditional water heater with a tank.
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Old 09-13-2013, 06:02 PM   #12
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Greetings Captain,
My wife and i also do "mostly primitive camping"...the only time we plug in while camping is an EggFest at a state park once or twice a year, otherwise it is completely off grid camping. I'll share our solution as it may fit some who follow : )

OK, so we purposely designed our van conversion & also our Parkliner WITHOUT a built in water heater. Our hot showers are set like this:

One battery operated garden sprayer. ~$30

Pour in the following in this order:

Two quarts/kettles of ambient temp water

One quart/kettle of boiling water (from camp stove/kettle)

Shake well...and enjoy a hot shower!

This is plenty of water for my wife to have a nice shower and wash/rinse her hair also. We've been camping this way for some time and prefer our rigs without built in water systems.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:02 PM   #13
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Tankless Water Heater

Quote:
Originally Posted by peterh View Post
I don't know if it's the right thing for you, but we're re-doing a Surfside 14.5' trailer, and have opted for a Girard tankless built-in water heater. Going tankless means not having a water heater tank that has to be drained each winter, no water tank holding 30-48 lbs of water weight when we're towing, and hot water that's available as soon as the propane's turned on. The downside is they're a couple hundred dollars more than a traditional water heater with a tank.
--------------------------------------------------

What model water heater are you going to use? I have heard that some can be real lp hogs
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Old 09-14-2013, 10:54 AM   #14
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Ours will be their newer GSWH-1M water heater, which has an adjustable temperature setting and a winter-use feature in addition to being an "instant hot water" tankless unit.

I have not heard a lot of complaints about this unit. Certainly for our use pattern, which is a little hot water here and there in the morning, then again in the evening, I doubt our consumption will be any higher than a tank unit that continuously loses heat through the uninsulated flu/heat exchanger, forcing the heater to come on periodically throughout the day to maintain its water temperature, but I can see how some people would burn a lot of propane with it.

A standard, 6 gallon water heater has a 12,000 BTU burner in it, the Girard has a 50,000 BTU burner. If you switch your usage habits from taking short showers that end when your 6 gallon tank heater goes cold to taking long showers that use a lot of hot water, you are going to use more gas. Tankless might not be your best bet if you have teenagers and a shower.

Another possibility is that the winter-use feature, which brings that 50,000 BTU heater on-line to prevent the water in the heat exchanger that vents to the outdoor air temperature from freezing, might burn quite a bit of fuel during really cold weather when it has to flash-heat the water in the system on a regular basis.

Tankless heaters are clearly a newer technology in the RV market. We wouldn't have bought one if we didn't see clear advantages in terms of weight savings (we really are trying to keep the weight down in our trailer) and ease of bringing our trailer systems in and out of storage during the winter season. We're hoping our experiment works out -- counting on it, really -- but will post our thoughts on them after we've camped a season with it.
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