Hot Water Heater Installation - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-23-2009, 09:43 PM   #1
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I need to add a 6gal hot water heater to my 16' Scamp; where does it go, do I need a elec pump for it, etc.? New to this and need all the help I can get.
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:55 PM   #2
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I'm no expert as I just got my 1990 16' Scamp two weeks ago but I can tell you that the heater is under the sink cabinet on the right hand side. It rests on a crappily built shelf above the wheel well. If you are hooked up to city water then you don't need a pump. If you are boondocking, then you need a pump.
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Old 01-24-2009, 06:44 AM   #3
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And the one in my 1988 Scamp Deluxe is under the bench seat in the rear dinette on the opposite side of the kitchen... but same side as the side bathroom. It's a Speed-O-Matic by General Processing Co.
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Old 01-24-2009, 08:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
I need to add a 6gal hot water heater to my 16' Scamp; where does it go, do I need a elec pump for it, etc.? New to this and need all the help I can get.
Hey thanks Bryan. I kinda thought so but wanted to be sure. Is the shelf just a wooden sort of stand? Im sure I can fabricate one. Just bought this one in Oct, but really do like it (wish it had the shower).
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Old 01-24-2009, 08:28 AM   #5
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And the one in my 1988 Scamp Deluxe is under the bench seat in the rear dinette on the opposite side of the kitchen... but same side as the side bathroom. It's a Speed-O-Matic by General Processing Co.
Thanks Donna, I dont think mine is a deluxe model, but does have the restroom(toilet only) on same side as the stove/refg. I appreciate the help.
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Old 01-24-2009, 10:21 AM   #6
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Thanks Donna, I dont think mine is a deluxe model, but does have the restroom(toilet only) on same side as the stove/refg. I appreciate the help.
Ty, the Scamp Deluxe models are all wood interiors, rather than fiberglass cabinetry. Doesn't make them any better... just different IMHO.

Love the one you're with
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Old 01-24-2009, 02:29 PM   #7
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Just adding a couple thoughts on water heater choices and placement.

Our water heater is on the same side as our 'fridge, sink, microwave, fresh water tank* . . . all the heavy stuff except the furnace (which isn't all that heavy), which makes it a wee bit lopsided on the axle. So, while our trailer weight total is well within the limits of our tires, I rather suspect the right side tire gets much more load than the left side, and that might play into why it failed. (We're buying a pair of the next tire size up in diameter and and weight rating to hopefully avoid this problem.) , If I was installing things I'd have located at least some of that stuff on opposite sides of the trailer to help with weight and balance.

The other thing about our water heater is I really wish it came with electronic ignition and both gas and electric heaters in it. I plan to upgrade my heater with a "lightning rod" electric heater that fits through the drain plug. It'll be nice to have the hot water heater start up automatically whenever it has electricity, but upgrading to electronic ignition for the times we have no electric does not seem to be an option. I'd have to replace the whole heater.

* Notes:
I've re-located the fresh water tank to the very back of the trailer under my new rear bench seat, which isn't the ideal spot weight-and-balance-wise either, but since my trailer is a 5th wheel and has lots of tongue weight I can get away with it.

Also worth noting: the retrofit water heater elements (Hot Rodd and Lightning Rod) will overheat and burn out if you turn them on when there's no water in the heater. I plan to install an on/off switch to prevent this.
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Old 01-24-2009, 03:54 PM   #8
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... the retrofit water heater elements (Hot Rodd and Lightning Rod) will overheat and burn out if you turn them on when there's no water in the heater. I plan to install an on/off switch to prevent this.
Added safety would be to put in a water level switch rather it be a float switch or one that can conduct electricity across its poles when immersed in water but not with no water*. Use these switches to power a solinoid that can shut off the electric element.

*retrofitting a vehicles OEM diesel fuel/water filter's water detector might suffice for this?
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Old 01-24-2009, 09:10 PM   #9
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Peter;
I just bought a Hott Rod system to install in my Atwood 6 gal propane only water heater. I will be installing the on-off switch for it also - as was quoted, you DON'T want it on if the tank isn't full.

However, as to 'electronic ignition'! There is a partial solution. Off eBay, I picked up an under $20 electronic igniter/keep lit device that uses a 9V battery. It installs at the burner and has a switch to turn on or off. To start your heater, you turn it on, which gets it sparking and hold the pilot knob till it lights and gets the thermocouple hot. It turns off the sparking automatically. HOWEVER, the neat thing is that it will re-light the burner if it blows out, or the pilot light goes out, before the thermocouple gets cool and shuts off the gas. I have had that feeble pilot light go out and had no hot water on several occasions, due to wind drafts. If you do a search on my name, or Water Heater, I'm sure that you'll find my article on it, including details and a picture or 2. They are sold new at several RV supply houses..

Now the Hott Rod that I bought was also cheaper than the RV rates. I see that it's only 400 Watts so it'll take a while from cold to warm up the water. They say you can turn on the propane at the same time to speed it up if you're in a hurry! I look forward to that bonus too!

Good luck.
Mike .....>

Quote:
The other thing about our water heater is I really wish it came with electronic ignition and both gas and electric heaters in it. I plan to upgrade my heater with a "lightning rod" electric heater that fits through the drain plug. It'll be nice to have the hot water heater start up automatically whenever it has electricity, but upgrading to electronic ignition for the times we have no electric does not seem to be an option. I'd have to replace the whole heater.

Also worth noting: the retrofit water heater elements (Hot Rodd and Lightning Rod) will overheat and burn out if you turn them on when there's no water in the heater. I plan to install an on/off switch to prevent this.
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Old 01-25-2009, 12:54 AM   #10
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I saw your post on the electronic re-lighter. I thought that was a great idea; our pilot light, however, has only gone out once. My main grump with the hot water heater is getting out in the dark, cold, and sometimes rainy night to light the heater.

The re-lighter's advantage is not having to do it twice. :-)
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Old 01-26-2009, 01:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Just adding a couple thoughts on water heater choices and placement.

Our water heater is on the same side as our 'fridge, sink, microwave, fresh water tank* . . . all the heavy stuff except the furnace (which isn't all that heavy), which makes it a wee bit lopsided on the axle. So, while our trailer weight total is well within the limits of our tires, I rather suspect the right side tire gets much more load than the left side, and that might play into why it failed. (We're buying a pair of the next tire size up in diameter and and weight rating to hopefully avoid this problem.) , If I was installing things I'd have located at least some of that stuff on opposite sides of the trailer to help with weight and balance.

The other thing about our water heater is I really wish it came with electronic ignition and both gas and electric heaters in it. I plan to upgrade my heater with a "lightning rod" electric heater that fits through the drain plug. It'll be nice to have the hot water heater start up automatically whenever it has electricity, but upgrading to electronic ignition for the times we have no electric does not seem to be an option. I'd have to replace the whole heater.

* Notes:
I've re-located the fresh water tank to the very back of the trailer under my new rear bench seat, which isn't the ideal spot weight-and-balance-wise either, but since my trailer is a 5th wheel and has lots of tongue weight I can get away with it.

Also worth noting: the retrofit water heater elements (Hot Rodd and Lightning Rod) will overheat and burn out if you turn them on when there's no water in the heater. I plan to install an on/off switch to prevent this.
Thanks Peter, I do appreciate the good advise! Ty
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Old 01-26-2009, 01:48 PM   #12
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Peter;
I just bought a Hott Rod system to install in my Atwood 6 gal propane only water heater. I will be installing the on-off switch for it also - as was quoted, you DON'T want it on if the tank isn't full.

However, as to 'electronic ignition'! There is a partial solution. Off eBay, I picked up an under $20 electronic igniter/keep lit device that uses a 9V battery. It installs at the burner and has a switch to turn on or off. To start your heater, you turn it on, which gets it sparking and hold the pilot knob till it lights and gets the thermocouple hot. It turns off the sparking automatically. HOWEVER, the neat thing is that it will re-light the burner if it blows out, or the pilot light goes out, before the thermocouple gets cool and shuts off the gas. I have had that feeble pilot light go out and had no hot water on several occasions, due to wind drafts. If you do a search on my name, or Water Heater, I'm sure that you'll find my article on it, including details and a picture or 2. They are sold new at several RV supply houses..

Now the Hott Rod that I bought was also cheaper than the RV rates. I see that it's only 400 Watts so it'll take a while from cold to warm up the water. They say you can turn on the propane at the same time to speed it up if you're in a hurry! I look forward to that bonus too!

Good luck.
Mike .....>
Hey Michael, thanks so much for the help and helpful tip, sounds like a great idea!!
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Old 01-26-2009, 03:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
I saw your post on the electronic re-lighter. I thought that was a great idea; our pilot light, however, has only gone out once. My main grump with the hot water heater is getting out in the dark, cold, and sometimes rainy night to light the heater.

The re-lighter's advantage is not having to do it twice. :-)
That's called hot water on demand, Something Charles used to talk about.
Your wife demands hot water and you go out and light it up.

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