Indoor or Outdoor Tankless Water Heater

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Postby 8ball_99 » Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:13 pm

My dad put one of those mini electric tank heaters that was posted earlier in his catering trailer. He said it wasn't very good.. Pulled a lot of power very slow recovery and wasn't able to get the water very hot at all. He is building a new trailer and has already told me is going back to the tried a true RV 6 gallon water heater.. They work and aren't crazy expensive. They also don't really take up much space.
Electric tank less either will take to much power or just won't get the water very hot. A small electric tank heater will have a slow recovery and the lower wattage units don't seem to get the water hot..
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Postby StandUpGuy » Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:41 pm

8ball_99 wrote:My dad put one of those mini electric tank heaters that was posted earlier in his catering trailer. He said it wasn't very good.. Pulled a lot of power....
So are you talking about a 12v water heater?
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Postby 8ball_99 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:33 pm

No sorry I was talking about this one that was posted earlier. The ones you can buy and lowes and home depot. Again he was comparing it to the RV 6 gallon water heaters he had in the past..

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Postby StandUpGuy » Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:01 am

The concern about "power draw" confused me. Usually only people using 12v appliances are concerned about power draw.
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Postby Tabazooron » Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:58 pm

Well, if you only have a 15 amp electrical hook-up, you'll be concerned because the 1500 watt element will draw 12.5 amps.
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Postby 2bits » Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:38 pm

8ball_99 wrote:My dad put one of those mini electric tank heaters that was posted earlier in his catering trailer. He said it wasn't very good.. Pulled a lot of power very slow recovery and wasn't able to get the water very hot at all. He is building a new trailer and has already told me is going back to the tried a true RV 6 gallon water heater.. They work and aren't crazy expensive. They also don't really take up much space.
Electric tank less either will take to much power or just won't get the water very hot. A small electric tank heater will have a slow recovery and the lower wattage units don't seem to get the water hot..



I was shocked to see how cheap the 6 gallon water heaters were. So what's the problem with using those with a camper? Just the size? I can work around that in exchange for simplicity and reliability.
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Postby StandUpGuy » Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:31 pm

Tabazooron wrote:Well, if you only have a 15 amp electrical hook-up, you'll be concerned because the 1500 watt element will draw 12.5 amps.
Well if one wants to put one in they need to have enough electrical capacity. Perhaps this was not possible for the Father with the catering trailer, but for people going to a camp site with 30 amp it should be just fine.
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Postby Tabazooron » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:03 am

We've only had one time that we didn't have at least 20 amp service available.
We went with the 2 gallon because of the size diference. We only have it for dishes, washing hands and clean-up.
I bought an outside shower to use for rinsing off sand from the beach but hate the way it looks and have not installed it.
Saw another posting with a better looking unit but so far afrter 5 years, the 2 gallon fits our needs but.... we each camp differently and what works for one...
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Postby 8ball_99 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:05 pm

2bits wrote:
8ball_99 wrote:My dad put one of those mini electric tank heaters that was posted earlier in his catering trailer. He said it wasn't very good.. Pulled a lot of power very slow recovery and wasn't able to get the water very hot at all. He is building a new trailer and has already told me is going back to the tried a true RV 6 gallon water heater.. They work and aren't crazy expensive. They also don't really take up much space.
Electric tank less either will take to much power or just won't get the water very hot. A small electric tank heater will have a slow recovery and the lower wattage units don't seem to get the water hot..



I was shocked to see how cheap the 6 gallon water heaters were. So what's the problem with using those with a camper? Just the size? I can work around that in exchange for simplicity and reliability.


Like I said he just complained about it not working well.. It took to long to recover and the water wasn't very hot. Yes it did pull a lot of power, but he carries a 8,000 watt generator so I don't think power was an issue.. Thats why we bought one cause it was cheap and easier to install then a gas RV water heater..
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Re: Indoor or Outdoor Tankless Water Heater

Postby Martiangod » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:38 am

6 gal is plenty, by the time you mix with cold, you have almost 12 gallon, unless your trying to peel your skin off.
We live 6 months a year with a 6 gallon just fine with 1/2 hour between showers.
Just get a water saver shower head and it will last longer
If it ain't broke, fix it till it is

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Re: Indoor or Outdoor Tankless Water Heater

Postby 2bits » Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:16 pm

I am pretty decided on the Eccotemp Tankless Water Heater L5 (about a hundered) or L10 (about two hundred). They mount outside, but don't force you to take an outside shower, just run the pipes through the wall to the shower. Instant heat that gets REAL hot and never runs out and at a good price. I shyed away from them at first because I thought they were outdoor showers only which is incorrect.
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Re: Indoor or Outdoor Tankless Water Heater

Postby O'Shell » Fri May 11, 2012 7:01 pm

Hey Thomas! We must think alike because I was looking in to the same idea when I found your thread here. I had this idea after looking around at different water heaters. I found a similar unit to what you are looking at here. After reading up on that little unit I found that it can not be mounted in enclosed spaces and is really only suitable for out doors. My idea is to mount it on the out side of my camper in a compartment with a hatch. When I am using the camper I can leave the hatch open to allow plenty of air flow. Then run a line in to the camper with a valve. Valve position 1 would allow water in to the sink and position 2 would divert the water back out to an outdoor handheld shower. I have an idea to use the same vent on the roof (that I still need to figure out) that the refer is going to use.

Here is a little sketch I did with my plan. The white box is the tankless water heater. The large box is the refer. The grey lines are sheet metal to keep fire safety. The tankless water heater would have a nice big hatch and below that a hatch with louvers to access the back of the refer and vent it. The big question is the roof vent (in red) I can't figure out a good vent system that will ride the curve and still keep the water out even more a worry when driving in the rain.
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Re: Indoor or Outdoor Tankless Water Heater

Postby 2bits » Fri May 11, 2012 9:24 pm

My whole concern was that I wanted an indoor shower and was worried that an outdoor tankless water heater meant outdoor shower, that wasn't true which allowed me to consider the outdoor mounted ones. The units themselves are meant to be mounted and stored outdoors so there is no need to cover or hide them except for aesthetics. I am just going to mount it outside and run the lines through the wall and be done with it. You can always paint the unit to match the camper too. If you are going to do an outdoor shower, why worry about mounting the water heater inside? Bolt it to the tongue and roll on!
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Re: Indoor or Outdoor Tankless Water Heater

Postby O'Shell » Mon May 14, 2012 1:20 pm

Like you said aesthetics. I am going to have 4 T105's and a propane tank in some sort of box on the tongue. The heater will be essentially outside just recessed in a compartment that has a hatch to cover it and hide it. When in use the hatch will be open. The main reason I am aiming to place it here is due to the curve in my design the flat fridge eats up a chunk of space behind it. Due to the need for venting the fridge this space is left to exterior access only. It kinda just fits together in my design. Cheers :beer:
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Re: Indoor or Outdoor Tankless Water Heater

Postby OnTheRoadAgain123 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:05 pm

Hello All, I'm new to the board and read the entire post on Indoor or Outdoor Tankless Water Heaters. I have a little info which may be helpful and some food for thought.

I really love the Tear Drops and am fascinated by how creative the makers are. Unfortunately I haven't put one together myself as I have a Cabover Camper but I still share many of the issues as all of you limited space, How to shower and make hot water when off the grid so hopefully you'll tolerate my input.

First a few comments on prior threads. A couple people brought up the 300 & 600 watt 12V heaters. While there is no doubt they will heat the water eventually they are slow to recover just not enough energy to bring up the water temp. The other down side is 300 watts at 12 volts equals 25 amps so your deep cycle Battery depending on how new it is gets eaten real quick and will be needing a recharge in a couple hours. 600 watts @ 12 volts is 50 amps. Just sayin! :shock:

Second I saw several posts regarding the 6 gallon 120 Volt AC water heaters. In my camper when on the grid I slid a small .6 cuft microwave in and it takes 900 watts @ full power or 7.5 amps. That's half of a 15amp service. I managed to score on Craigslist a 6 Gallon water heater from a boat for $35.00 it runs on 120 volts.

I wanted to be able to run everything in my camper on a single 15 amp line so that meant the existing 1500 Watt element was just to much. I started looking for an "inexpensive" alternate. I went to the hardware store and found the replacement elements with the std screw thread where about $9.00 and up. But the elements where still energy hogs at 1000 Watts or more. I did have the option of getting 110/120 Volt or 220/240 Volt elements. I was hoping for something around 700 watts. After some research I found an option at Camping World a replacement/upgrade element for the 6 Gal RV water heaters that was 700 Watts. Only problem is was also $70.00. Can you spell RIP-OFF!! Then my engineering side kicked in Why pay 70 bucks when you can get the same for $9.00? So back to the hardware store.
They had 240 volt elements with a 1500 Watt rating, if I run it at 120 Volts I should get my ~700 watts, Yea!! and at $9.00 if it doesn't work I haven't spent a fortune either.

Turns out it works better than I planned the element is rated at 240 Volts in most of the US we have 110/220 Volt power. I hooked up the element to 110 volts and measured it with a clamp on AC ampere meter and it draws less than 4 amps!!! And better yet it takes about 30 min to heat the tank!! Double YEA!! 8)

Did I mention the marine water heater also has a heat exchanger.

You say what's a heat exchanger? Well on boats they use the radiator water to heat the hot water so it has a coil that raps through the water tank and when the engine is running you have all the hot water you need. I'm talkin 180 Degrees!!! :applause: So in addition to the 120 Volt heating element I plumbed water hoses into the camper to the water heater from the motor and after 5 to 10 min. at idol I have VERY HOT Water :twisted:.

So for you creative soles may I suggest a heat exchanger mounted in your car as a possible option that hadn't been brought up here. I'll draw up a simple exchanger for the car and posted it under another post if anyone is interested. Let me know.

Thanx for reading my post!

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