Water Heater - Why Keep It?

Tonya Harding

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 15, 2018
1,801
Virginia
Never even used the water features in our different campers over the years, they just happened to come w/ 'em...you could sell piss ants to a picnic the way things are now, at least you have options...
 

Dave Fro

Member
Sep 21, 2020
50
To echo lots of other comments.... I used it for dishwater, game changer! I pulled the shower head off so i can fill a dish basin faster. Once we rinsed off a friends dog that got into some dirt. Use the inside sink for washing up at night if it is terrible outside, but otherwise i prefer the outdoors for tooth brushing, hand washing, etc. Maintaining the system is easy, but for me i find it a bit of a pain to winterize/dewinterize. This summer i was just going to leave the lines packed with antifreeze and not bother with it, but we are doing some long trips and it will be nice to have. Another consideration is if you are filling your tank, you may wait in a long line of large RV's filling their million gallon tanks before you can get to your site. Normally it is fast, but there have been times where it just wasn't worth the wait. Of course if you have water at your site it is a non-issue.
I didn't think of draining hot water tank via the low point drain, so thanks to whoever said that for the tip! I just actually replaced my threaded plug low point drain with a ball valve, so it is so easy now that it will be better than pulling the anode, thanks!
 
Dec 3, 2017
12
Not long ago, I got a new pop up that has a water heater. Never had one prior and never felt the need. The new camper has outdoor shower, indoor shoilet, and hot water available at the sink.

I don't plan on ever using the shower so I've been really thinking about removing the water heater and using that space as storage.

I don't want to act too rashly tho, so maybe people could help me understand what they like about keeping a water heater in a pop up.

Thanks
I elk hunted from a vintage Coleman popup without hot water supply. Hand washing and cleanup was a hassle. I replaced the old trailer with a 2007 Fleetwood. It has a 20 gal fresh water tank and 6 gal hot water heater. Everyone in camp loved having hot water to wash hands when needed and do dishes. The Fleetwood only has an outside shower and we do not use it choosing to have a separate shower setup. After 35 years without hot water, you'd have to fight me to take it out. I'd rather get a roof storage container, which I have, than give up my hot water supply. We also prefer not to use a toilet in the spaces where we eat and sleep.
 

Steveo4090

Super Active Member
Jun 26, 2020
824
Lancaster PA
Hot water on demand is awesome for cleaning dishes. You don't have to leave it on all the time either if you're concerned about propane usage. Just light it before meals and it's ready for clean up time.

Personally I'd light it and leave it till I packed up, but that's just me.
 

DiamondGirl

Adventures with KODI in AZ
Jul 2, 2016
1,335
AZ
We go boondocking or dry camping at the campgrounds often. We are conservative with LP & battery power. We always leave our water heater turned off until I start cooking. And we switch it on 15 minutes before showering. That’s plenty of time before using it and the water is HOT enough to cut through grease and germs. You need hot water to do dishes if not = food poisoning will occur. OUCH.

Once both activities are done, the water heater is switched back to off until it’s needed again. If I camped with full hookups then it would always be on. 😂

Happy Camping…[put&hy]
 

xxxapache

Super Active Member
Jul 30, 2008
4,378
I guess I am lucky. All the years I had a cold water only trailer, I never heated water to do dishes. I washed them with cold water and dish detergent. Never contracted food poisoning.

I carried a plate, bowl, fork, and spoon, in my work car for 25 years. After I used any of them, usually the best they got was a spray with glass cleaner, hand sanitizer, or whatever else was in the trunk followed by a wipe with a paper towel. Never got sick.

I don't have a dishwasher at home. I rarely run a sink of hot water to do dishes. I just use one of those soap dispensing scrubby things and wash/rinse at the same time. The dishes rarely ever take a swim in a sink of hot water.
 
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kcsa75

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Sep 9, 2013
5,612
Kansas City
You can only heat water when you need it with a DSI WH. I flip mine on about 10 minutes before shower time. The water is near scalding in 10 minutes.
We turn on the water heater in the evening to do dishes then shut it off. In the morning there is still warm water in the morning to wash your face, shave etc., though I rarely shave when camping.
 

DiamondGirl

Adventures with KODI in AZ
Jul 2, 2016
1,335
AZ
@xxxapache…. You are lucky. Our Boy Scouts we’re always getting sick from dirty hands, food not properly cooked or dishes washed with cold water. My kid took over his patrol as their cook a month after his crossover into the troop from cub scouts. He didn’t trust them to wash their hands when cooking, cooking food properly or washing dishes correctly. He carried Pepto or Imodium pills when at camp and or eating someone else’s cooking. Boys in other patrols kept getting sick. After awhile, they adopted the bleach water method to ensure dishes were sanitized. They used bleach tablets added into the water in case the boys didn’t use hot enough water to wash dishes.

We don’t bleach our dishes. Hot water takes care of that for us.

Happy Camping…[put&hy]
 

Sjm9911

Super Active Member
May 31, 2018
11,730
Nj
I dont think the hot water makes it cleaner, it just cleans faster with less water. And for those that turn on and off the water heater, I did that also at first. Now I turn it on for the whole trip. It uses propane like the fridge, hardly any at all. In perspective, on the TT , I went 2 years only using one 30 lb bottle. I dont use the heater in the camper. But we do use the fridge on propane, stove, oven and hot water heater. And we did 5 weeks out last year.
 

Dave Fro

Member
Sep 21, 2020
50
I would leave my water heater on all the time if it weren't for the whining noise that comes from the control board (right under our bed). It wakes me up at night, so now I just turn it off before bed, and on when I wake up. I imagine it would use less propane (which is a minute amount either way) by leaving it on vs. having to heat up potentially cold water. They seem to be well insulated. Mine ran once or twice overnight, and not for very long, vs. having to run a long time if the water wasn't kept warm by the thermostat. I guess it is the same argument as turning the A/C in your house off during the day vs. keeping it at a slightly warmer temperature so that it doesn't have to work as hard when you get home.
 




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