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redbarron55 03-21-2016 11:56 AM

Tankless water heater and the 1 lb propane can
 
This past weekend Connie and I traveled to the Green Eggs and Ham rally in Prattville, AL.
A part of the test trip for us was the first trip and camp out in the newly modified 1985 16' Scamp.
One modification was the tankless water heater and the showers and washing up. Of course the s"showers are Navy showers with wet down, soap up, and wash down.
A part of my modification is keeping the tongue weight down so I tried the water heater with 1 lb propane bottles. I bought two 4 packs at Lowe's and adapters at Bass Pro.
This took 37 lbs off the very front of the trailer.
As to the life of the 1 lb bottle we had about 1/3 - 1/4 left when we returned to Mobile.
There three sets of twp showers and the dish washing done.
I think that this may well be acceptable life for the bottles and of course they can('t) be refilled as well.
I am even considering a dual automatic switching regulator so we won't be surprised by running one out during the shower!.
By the way the VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI towed the Scamp beautifully and got better than 27 mpg doing it at between 62 - 65 mph on the interstate.
Had a great time and met lots of great people!

BarbinBC 03-21-2016 12:26 PM

What size, type of tankless water heater?

Johnny M 03-21-2016 12:30 PM

Glad to hear this worked well for you. We may try that when out #20 bottle gets empty. I would like to put a battery or two there so that might work well. You have the same Fastair heater that I do correct? We took ours out this weekend but when I hooked the water line up to the camper water started pouring out of the heater...glad we mounted it to the tongue so it didn't flood inside...back in the fall I disconnected both the in and out water lines and let the water drain out but apparently some water was trapped inside and froze during the winter as we only used it once before in the fall and it worked fine then...I really liked the water heater and it worked well so I will probably get another one only this time I will remove it and store it inside the garage during freezing weather months...Just thought you might want to do the same if you get any freezing temps there too...

Casita Greg 03-21-2016 12:39 PM

3 Attachment(s)
The downside that I see here is that those small tanks get very expensive after a while, plus you also need to find a place to store them in these little trailers that are already challenged for storage space. I too didn't feel the need for the large 20# propane tanks on the front, so my choice was to swap them out for two half-sized propane tanks. I cut the weight down considerably, but this setup still allows me to use the propane if I need it. YMMV

Johnny M 03-21-2016 12:48 PM

Greg, what is the weight of one of those little tanks? Wouldn't two be about the same or close as one of the #20er's

Darwin Maring 03-21-2016 12:57 PM

Her or freight and Northern Tools may sell the adapter that allows you to refill the small bottles.

Johnny M 03-21-2016 01:01 PM

Is it safe to refill them and is there a risk of over filling?

David Tilston 03-21-2016 01:39 PM

Refilling 1 lb bottles is not recommended by the folks that make them. The valves have been known to leak after refilling. and as mentioned over filling is a danger.

LyleB 03-21-2016 01:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Tilston (Post 577438)
Refilling 1 lb bottles is not recommended by the folks that make them. The valves have been known to leak after refilling. and as mentioned over filling is a danger.

And, of course, the manufacturers like to keep selling new overpriced bottles.

Just saying... :)

Casita Greg 03-21-2016 02:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LyleB (Post 577441)
And, of course, the manufacturers like to keep selling new overpriced bottles.

Just saying... :)

They were never made, or intended, to be refillable. The manufacturer's state clearly not to do it, so what is so hard to grasp? Those refill adapters out there are just an aftermarket gizmo somebody conjured up to make money by selling them, not because they give a hoot about either saving you money or worrying about your safety. There are many documented instances and numerous articles out there which talk about the small single-use fuel canisters leaking after being refilled with one of those things. Your call... :nono

Casita Greg 03-21-2016 02:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Johnny M (Post 577423)
Greg, what is the weight of one of those little tanks? Wouldn't two be about the same or close as one of the #20er's

Half the size and half the weight. Two of these is equivalent to 1 single 20# tank. What I like is that this setup still preserves my ability to have another tank to switch over to when one is depleted, so as not be caught off guard with an empty cylinder and no spare.

Eddie Longest 03-21-2016 02:26 PM

When hunting we refill the 1lb containers for our lanterns and let the lanterns burn out all the fuel each night. We never transport a refilled container because they will/do leak. When it is cold outside you can only get the containers about half full anyway.
Eddie

LyleB 03-21-2016 02:38 PM

Could invest in a couple of these:

Refillable FlameKing 1 lb propane cylinder – Propane-Refill.com

redbarron55 03-21-2016 02:46 PM

http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/056...g?v=1457658729

I like it.
A couple of these would do.
Keep some of the other bottles as backup.
Also, Johnny, I have the fastar unit like yours.
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/m...icture9297.jpg
At any rate I plan to have a ventilated box outside of the trailer for the propane. There is no propane inside the unit.
Since the propane is only used while actually flowing hot water it really does not use that much. I guess you could calculate the BTUs to heat the water and the BTU / lb of propane and the efficiency of the heater and figure out how much hot water you can get from a bottle, but the math is just too hard.
Thursday through Sunday and propane left in the bottle is pretty good.


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