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Old 10-10-2016, 12:36 PM   #11
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This is one of those "depends" topics.
We boondock A LOT!!! So in the interest of conserving consumables we have learned some lessons over the years. Generally, we look at how long we will be camping. Generally, like the refrigerator, we use the electric and pre-heat the water at the house while it is plugged in. On the road, everything is off until we get to the campsite, then we turn the water heater back on using propane to ensure the water is hot. At a campsite while boondocking we do not use the electric option of the water heater because of the battery draw. If we are at a campground/campsite with hookups, then it is on all the time (in electric mode).
When operating on gas we always shut down at night and turn on first thing in the morning. After breakfast and dishes we turn it back off again. While cooking dinner, we turn it on, and once dishes are done we turn it off.
Of course if we are going to be bathing or washing up, then we will turn it on for about 10 minutes before we do so and turn it off when done.
Like you, we bought this thing so if we take a shower; we want that shower hot (even if we are taking a "navy" shower). So a little planning goes a long way.

Times have changed and things are convenient with the options for electric and/or gas, and being able to just flip a switch. Who remembers the old RVs where you had to turn the gas on and light the pilot light on the water heater AND the refrigerator once you got to the campsite?
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Old 10-10-2016, 12:47 PM   #12
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For the sake of knowledge and the story, I recently completed a 7 day hunt with the RV completely off the grid wherein night temperatures dropped down below 30 degrees. Do to a mishap which resulted in a flooded generator we were not able to get the generator started (which was on day 4). Nevertheless, through highly disciplined and judicious use of power, water, and propane, we managed the whole time on nothing but battery power and the batteries never dropped below 2/3 according the control panel.
The stupidity on my part was wanting one of two things for the generator. Either a can of starting fluid or a spark plug wrench (of the correct size, because I have on in the trucks tool kit). Turns out, once we got home and I decided to tackle the generator, all it needed was either the starting fluid or the spark plug wrench to clean the spark plug. After looking in the TT tool kit (which I looked in while at camp) there was a spark plug wrench for the generator there. I can't figure out why I didn't see it up there at the hunt camp.
Even though the battery power lasted, we just wanted to run the generator so we could run the RV heater in order to dry some boots and clothes out. Without the generator, we don't dare run the RV heater when we are staying that long.
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Old 10-10-2016, 01:19 PM   #13
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Hey Gunny - that's a "sea shower". We Coasties would NEVER take a "navy shower" !
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Old 10-11-2016, 09:52 AM   #14
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Hey Gunny - that's a "sea shower". We Coasties would NEVER take a "navy shower" !
lmao. Coasties? Navy Shower? I always heard the Coasties were nicknamed the "Shallow Water Navy". lol
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Old 10-11-2016, 10:43 AM   #15
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... At a campsite while boondocking we do not use the electric option of the water heater because of the battery draw. ...
Just for the record it is not possible to use the electric option when on battery. There is no 12V heating element in the water heater.
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Old 10-11-2016, 11:02 AM   #16
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Just for the record it is not possible to use the electric option when on battery. There is no 12V heating element in the water heater.
Wow, thank you. In all my years of working with RV's I just learned something I probably should have put together and known a long time ago. I was aware that the electric heating element was 110VAC. I was aware that both propane and electric can be used together while plugged in to decrease reheat time. For some reason it never clicked in my grey matter that the electric heating element would not work on battery. Probably because the lighted switch lights up whenever the electric switch is turned on whether the RV is plugged in or on battery. I feel kind of foolish.... lol
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Old 10-11-2016, 12:04 PM   #17
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12VDC is required for the HWH control board whether using the propane or electric heating elements. But when the converter is powered it supplies the 12VDC.
Fridge and furnace operate the same way. Of course the furnace only heats using propane.
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Old 11-12-2016, 06:28 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by NVGun40 View Post
Wow, thank you. In all my years of working with RV's I just learned something I probably should have put together and known a long time ago. I was aware that the electric heating element was 110VAC. I was aware that both propane and electric can be used together while plugged in to decrease reheat time. For some reason it never clicked in my grey matter that the electric heating element would not work on battery. Probably because the lighted switch lights up whenever the electric switch is turned on whether the RV is plugged in or on battery. I feel kind of foolish.... lol


Don't feel foolish, I just figured you might have an inverter, based on how much boondocking you do. So when you said you don't like running the electric water heater it made sense.


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Old 11-13-2016, 11:19 AM   #19
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Don't feel foolish, I just figured you might have an inverter, based on how much boondocking you do. So when you said you don't like running the electric water heater it made sense.


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I don't have an inverter. Using an inverter to power things like the television or other electrical appliance draws to much on the batteries.


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