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Old 09-22-2019, 05:34 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Siesta 24ST
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THOR #15089
Using Mini-tank water heater WITH Tankless Heater

I've got a 2018 Thor Siesta 24ST (Sprinter) that came with the Girard 2GWHAM tankless water heater. I've been following the threads for a while, and while the heater works great for "unlimited" hot water, I, like most tankless users, am troubled by the fact that it takes many seconds at maximum flow force (with the resulting water waste) for the hot water to begin; thereafter if, like in a shower, where you turn water off and on to conserve, you get a new blast of cold while the heater builds up to temperature.

I'm contemplating the purchase of a Bosch Mini-Tank 2.5 gallon electric heater to be installed in the hot water line exiting the Girard. This would allow for 2.5 gal. of water to already be hot, even if you used only a low flow rate such as for hand washing (the Girard doesn't come on at all at low flow rate); and if you were using a large amount of water with a high flow rate such as for showers, the initial cold water flowing out of the Girard (perhaps a pint or two?) would flow into and mix with the already hot 2.5 gal. in the Bosch, eliminating the "cold blast". Of course, the Bosch would only heat when you had 120v AC, but once heated, it might even provide a buffer for another day or so after disconnect, depending on how well insulated it is and how much you use the hot water.

I'm eager to give this a try, as I, like many "tankless" users, am tired of that sudden blast of cold in the shower or no hot at all at low flow levels. I can't think of any reason why this wouldn't solve the problem. Has anyone done this or had experience with this kind of setup?
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Old 09-22-2019, 06:44 PM   #2
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Why not just replace the Girard with a Truma system? The wait time is reduced by about 90%, and you'll only have the complexity of a single system.
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Old 09-22-2019, 07:03 PM   #3
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THOR #15089
Bob: I've thought about that; from what I've read, people give them high ratings. Truma beats Girard in quickness of hot water, though not as quick as a mini-tank, which is already hot (unless you get the far more expensive Truma with its own mini-tank). One reason I'm considering this option is the Girard is already owned and installed, and has only the one flaw, and the mini-tank heater should address that flaw, and would be very easy to install into the hot water line and costs about $150, whereas the Truma is $1,200 and UP. I'm still curious to see if anyone has tried adding the mini-tank. Thanks.
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Old 09-22-2019, 07:30 PM   #4
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Oh! I almost forgot: welcome to the Forum!
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Old 09-22-2019, 10:08 PM   #5
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Welcome,check out rv aqua view showermiser $50. I've been trying to do the same thing .
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Old 09-23-2019, 12:56 AM   #6
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Wrapped: I looked at their website. Interesting idea. Pros are low cost and takes up less space than the mini tank heater, Cons are only works at shower, not sinks, and it looks like if you used it with city water, you could overfill / overflow your fresh water tank. And the installation actually looks more involved than for the mini tank heater. Thanks.
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Old 09-23-2019, 11:06 AM   #7
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I wouldn't use it on city water we just set temperature where we want and let it run,and if you wanted you should be able to hook it to sinks also,but for dry camping.at the race track I'm only concerned with the shower.
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Old 09-23-2019, 12:49 PM   #8
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we had a similar situation, though at our NC cabin, where I installed a shower in the former 1/2 bath... the original 'water heater' was a small simple 'on demand' unit, but was, for some unknown reason, not currently plumbed into the water line(?)...strange.

O.k., so I'll hook it back up, and use it as the main water heating for both the sink and the new shower, since this would be 'unlimited' hot water, and only used by our son once each morning. I got the shower installed, ran new pex for the water lines, and turned on the water...

Now I know why the unit had been removed from the 'plumbing'...

I got a 'shower' of water from the water heater! I removed the unit, and found that it had not been winterized and had experienced a 'split' in one of it's main copper internal lines, which was not easily 'seen', even with my previous visual inspection.


So, in my 'can do' attitude, I ordered a replacement unit, thinking that this would easily replace the other and we'd have 'immediate' hot water. I received it in a few days, and installed it in place of the original. I turned on the water, and 'voila!', I had cold water!!

Seriously, though, I realized quickly that I would need to adjust the water flow to get the 'red light' to come on, indicating that the heating element was operational. Fortunately, I had installed a ball valve in the incoming water line, so I could accomplish this, and even cut off the water later, if needed. I could not, though, ever get the sink, by itself, to trigger the flow trigger, though I COULD get the shower to trigger it. Interestingly, too, if I had the shower trigger it on first, even after cutting off the shower, I could then get the sink to trigger it. Go figure.

What I then realized, though, was that the heated water from this smaller unit would NOT be hot enough to make for a 'hot' shower, especially if you combined any 'cold' water with it, as most of us do when showering. But, the hot water, by itself, did not have enough 'flow' to make for a good shower, and adding any extra 'flow' from the cold side only made the 'hot shower' into a 'luke warm' shower....not good.

So, like mentioned on this forum, I decided to install a SECOND water heater, but not another 'on demand' unit, but a 'tank' unit, though only a smaller one, for a single shower. I found the 4 gallon model online, a Bosch brand, just like my on demand unit, which is also small enough to place in a closet next to the shower, but not large enough to take up too much room - it's also easily plumbed, and comes with it's own 120v 20amp extension cord that simply plugs into a nearly outlet.

Interestingly, I decided to plumb this new 'tank' water heater into the COLD line side of the shower, bypassing the sink all together, as the sink already had access to hot water from the other unit. I decided to do this because, after all, who really needs COLD water for a shower?

So, in the end, the TANK water heater actually makes the HOT water(and it's HOT, too!), and the TANKLESS water heater makes 'luke warm' water, though 'endless'!, to allow for the temperature control - and it works just fine.


So, who needs cold water in the shower anyway!! Nice.


(o.k., so this wasn't about my RV or Motorhome, but you get the same idea!)
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Old 09-23-2019, 01:10 PM   #9
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Interesting discussion, BUT, the water in the line between shower valve and tank will always start out cold no matter what kind of refiguring you do. Or how much time & money you spend on it. Figure me this one Batman>

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Old 09-23-2019, 01:18 PM   #10
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yes, I think that, unfortunately, and depending on 'where' your water heater is in relation to your shower, you'll always have some lag time between starting the shower and actually getting any hot water. Ours takes 15 to 20 seconds, but it's just the nature of the beast - my home's shower takes time, too.

Unless you have your water tank/tankless unit right beside/in line with your shower, you'll probably not be able to change much about how long it takes - but if you have a 'tank' of hot water, you'll be able to keep a consistent flow going, and if you turn off the shower, you won't then have to 'start' over, waiting again for the hot water to reach you - it's already there, at least for quite a while.
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Old 09-23-2019, 01:25 PM   #11
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Lag time??
Try to take a shower in my house... You can pretty much turn the water on, and THEN start getting undressed!
(Don't try to visualize this! )

Our Outlaw had about a seven second "spin-up" time.
Our Wayfarer takes less than two...
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Old 09-23-2019, 03:10 PM   #12
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Not with the aqua view,its a T valve so when you turn water off to shower head the hot water keeps flowing to back to freshwater tank hot water keeps running while you soap up turn shower head back on instant hot because heater never shut off, I don't mind hot water going to freshwater tank because when dry camping I only use water for showers and hand/dishwashing.
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Old 09-23-2019, 03:22 PM   #13
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They have an "ECO" mode, so that you can shut down the recirculating feature...
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Old 09-23-2019, 04:03 PM   #14
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That's not very desirable, filling your fresh water tank with hot water. Hard on the ice maker and frig.

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Old 09-23-2019, 04:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porkchop View Post
That's not very desirable, filling your fresh water tank with hot water. Hard on the ice maker and frig.

Bill
Relatively Warm/hot water freezes faster than relatively cold water.

the small uninsulated line to your ice maker will never hold any regarded heat for more than a mere moment probably not long enough for that pint to move it to your freezer, if the line indeed will hold a pint.

fill with hot water? You must mean raise temp by 10 or less degrees. 60° water, invaded by equal amount of 120° water equals 90° water, less the ambient air temp of the lines, you couldn't hit a 20° rise if you scalded yourself to death.
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Old 09-23-2019, 04:29 PM   #16
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I agree: it's a complete non-issue.
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Old 09-23-2019, 08:38 PM   #17
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Physics isn't your strong suit , is it?

I still don't know why anyone would want to purposely put hot water in their fresh water tank.

Bill
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Old 09-23-2019, 08:41 PM   #18
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no one is
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:11 PM   #19
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Easy fellas, all I was trying to do was find an inexpensive way to save freshwater and gray tank room while dry camping a couple of times a year while having a endless hot water system in my coach.
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:08 PM   #20
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"First World" problems...
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