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Old 07-10-2009, 10:04 AM   #1
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Red face Opinion on buying Gas/Electric Hot Water Heater

I have a Vista 32k there are four of us girls that use the shower. I was thinking of buying a gas/electric hot water heater and replace my gas hot water heater. When I asked my local Winnebago dealer on a price he said he would not recomend it it wouldn't be worth the cost.
I just want to get some other opinions on this.
tks, china3
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Old 07-10-2009, 10:18 AM   #2
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buy an add on heat strip for the existing water heater.
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Old 07-10-2009, 11:10 AM   #3
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http://www.rvupgradestore.com/index....OD&ProdID=1567

Here is the option Tom Wilson might be referring to. Replaces the drain plug on your water heater.
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Old 07-10-2009, 12:10 PM   #4
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I am certainly not an expert on subject but from your post I think what you are looking for is recovery time. All four people want to shower at or near the same time. If this is true, I don't think the electric will help you. Traditionally it always has a higher recovery time than gas. 6 gallons of hot water doesn't go very far if you don't conserve. The electric would heat the first 6 gallons ok but after that you would be back to gas or waiting.
Unless you plan on long camping trips I can't imagine you would run low on propane. We turn our hot water heater on (gas only 6 gallons) for 15 minutes and then shut it off. It provides enough hot water for 2 (navy) showers and there is no fussing with adjusting the water temp. At 15 minutes the water is just right with only the hot water faucet open.
Maybe you just need to experiment with how you use the water heater.
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Old 07-11-2009, 04:40 AM   #5
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I agree with those that have expressed the opinion that you'll have ninimal gain by going to a gas/electric heater. I have however read some atricles on a newer "15 gallon" heater available from Atwood.

It isn't actually 15 gallons but it heats the water to a higher temperature then meters in some cold water on exit from the heater. The net result is that you get the same volume of 140* water as you would from a 15 gallon system.
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Old 07-11-2009, 07:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by china3 View Post
I have a Vista 32k there are four of us girls that use the shower. I was thinking of buying a gas/electric hot water heater and replace my gas hot water heater. When I asked my local Winnebago dealer on a price he said he would not recomend it it wouldn't be worth the cost.
I just want to get some other opinions on this.
tks, china3
I just installed a electric hot rod in my gas water heater and like it a lot. I can have hot water all the time with out the gas cycling on and off. During the winter down in Florida conserving propane is a first priority if you are staying 3 months. Since I typically travel with the generator running on the highway, for A/C, I have hot water when I dock for the night. Yes, if several of you are going to shower one after the other, you might need to kick on the gas to keep the temp up. I used to have motoraid hwh in my Class A, that was great.
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Old 07-11-2009, 01:34 PM   #7
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In the manual for my HW heater it says that it has a "fast recovery mode" by running both the electric AND propane. Don't know for certain how well it recovers as never had the need. Even when showering and running the clothes washer. You might try this, hot water conservation and staggering shower times. Good luck.
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Old 07-11-2009, 02:17 PM   #8
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Options for Hot H20

I have an Atwood propane system, with a 6 gallon capacity. When we first started using the MH earlier this Spring I wasn't too happy with the amount of hot water for showers. I decided to purchase one of the Oxygenics low flow shower heads which are advertised in Camping World. After purchasing the unit which cost about$40 and took about 3 minutes to install, I found a significant improvement and while the total volume of hot water hasn't changed the low flow head enables us to take a shower which is probably twice as long as before.
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Old 07-11-2009, 04:10 PM   #9
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I have a 32K and installed the Attwood gas/elec water heater. Comments and observations:
1. Recovery using gas and elec together is very fast. From this aspect, cost and effort were worth it. We live in the RV (FL Pandandle) and motivation was to reduce the Saturday morning trips during the winter to fill the propoane tank. Mission accomplished. Essential to have at least 30 AMP service to handle increased elec load.
2. I did the install myself; but had to give up and take to dealer to finish the controls. Attwood instructions are incomplete and misleading. I am an engineer and decent mechanic/technician and have never had to ask for help on projects like this. This was really frustrating.
3. Dealer comment was"why didn't you just install a HottRod?"
4. HottRod or similar would be way less expensive; but, may not give the long term service or quick recovery that the combination unit provides. No facts to back this up, just my gut feel. If you go with this approach, be sure to install outlet on dedicated breaker to serve the unit.

Good Luck,

Bill
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Old 07-11-2009, 05:54 PM   #10
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The gas will provide much faster recovery time than will electric. Gas and electric together will help some. The biggest issue is only 6 gallons of hot water. The ladies all need to learn to take a navy style shower....wet down..turn off the water, lather up,,,rinse and turn off the water. One thing that will help to keep warm in cooler weather is to put a plug in the shower drain and let the water stand until you are finished showering.

It has wowrked for many years with my two ladies.
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Old 07-12-2009, 02:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by china3 View Post
I have a Vista 32k there are four of us girls that use the shower. I was thinking of buying a gas/electric hot water heater and replace my gas hot water heater. When I asked my local Winnebago dealer on a price he said he would not recomend it it wouldn't be worth the cost.
I just want to get some other opinions on this.
tks, china3
we have the atwood 10 gal. water heater, both gas and electric. when the dw and i shower, we use the electric and propane simultaneously. the recovery rate is significantly faster using both heaters together. we never run out of hot water.
i would recommend trying the "hot rod" before replacing the whole heater assembly.
if you do replace the heater, go with 10 gal. gas and electric combo.
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:28 PM   #12
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We have a 10 gallon Gas/Elec/Motor Aid and only use the gas if we're dry camping. Our shower head is a low flow with a shutoff feature so once the temp is adjusted you can stop the flow without messing up the temp setting. We find that the electric provides enough water for showers for me, the wife and on occasion, two grand children.
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