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Old 12-03-2020, 02:51 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Maryland
Posts: 5
THOR #21406
Full Timing in Winter??

Hello all,

My wife and I are now full timing (4 weeks now) and are just entering our first winter in Maryland. Have noticed the water heater is having a hard time keeping up with cold temps. I do not believe its an open bypass valve as a week ago its was putting out very hot water. I have been heating it with 110 as electric is included with my camp site so figured I would use that over LP, but will try gas this evening and tomorrow morning. However I was wondering if there are any tips and tricks I could try to help keep tank and or lines warm during winter. I keep the RV around 68-70 ambient but all the pex lines run along the sides of the RV and along the floor and they are not insulated so I am loosing a lot of heat there but not sure if anything can easily be done to improve that. They are thankfully all homerun lines to each facet and shower there is a little less loss while the water is traveling. Well any ideas would be awesome and thanks in advance.

2016 Thor Venetian
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Old 12-03-2020, 03:32 PM   #2
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Axis 24.1
State: Connecticut
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THOR #20289
The typical 6 gallon water heater consumes about 1,000 watts or 3,400 btu/hr on electricity but about 10,000 btu/hr on propane. So propane heats water much faster.

Having said that I can't imagine that electric power won't keep the water tank hot, it will just take longer to heat it back up after a shower or something.

Is that what you are experiencing, or does it never get hot?

David
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Old 12-03-2020, 03:40 PM   #3
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First thing in the morning is only luke warm... Come mid day its nice and hot again, but that is only using electric. Seems to cool down over night?? Will use gas tomorrow morning to get it up to temp to see if that helps, but still not sure why its cooling down so much.
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Old 12-03-2020, 04:02 PM   #4
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Model: 2020 Magnitude SV34
State: Florida
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A couple thoughts......

First, when the incoming water is very cold it i worth lowering the pressure and slowing down the flow to give the water more time in the tank.

Second, you might want to consider a heated water hose to help warm the incoming water a bit to give the water tank a better chance to heat the water faster.

https://www.amazon.com/lifestyles-Di...7011185&sr=8-9

You can also try putting some insulation or heat tape around the PEX you can reach but most coaches are not designed to deal with real winter conditions.

This is one thing I like about my tankless on-demand water tank. You have a limitless supply of hot water and there is an adjustment to slow down the water flow when the incoming water is extremely cold to give the water more of a chance to heat.
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Old 12-03-2020, 08:52 PM   #5
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Awesome input thanks. Last night I was using the fresh water tank and pump as the water was shut off at my camp. Tonight it will be above freezing so water wont be shut off and I can use my heated hose to see if that makes a difference. Thanks again for the feedback.
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Old 12-04-2020, 12:25 PM   #6
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Ok just to confirm... The problem was in fact the water supply to the water heater being so cold. This morning after having used the heated hose to supply the water heater the temps were very hot again. It seems I may need to invest in a 12 heater to attach to my fresh water storage tank. Thanks again for the pointer, though I should have realized as much.
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Old 12-04-2020, 06:44 PM   #7
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State: Missouri
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Back in the day with LP/120v water heaters we just turned on the LP about 10 minutes prior to using hot water. That left plenty for two or more showers even in very cold weather. We left the electric on as soon as we had water in the hot water heater. Do not operate it with out water or the element will burn out in a few minutes.

We usually ran out of the tank in cold weather as many camp grounds back then didn't have any freeze protection on the valves and we didn't have a heated hose at the time as well
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Old 12-04-2020, 07:17 PM   #8
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State: New York
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If it gets really cold: don't be like Jack!

https://www.thorforums.com/forums/at...1&d=1607109447
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