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Replaced Truma HW Heater with Suburban DEL 6 gallon


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I recently replaced our Truma aquago with a Suburban DEL hot water heater in our 2017 OE2.

It wasn't that difficult of a project, but took a little time.  A few things required:

Spliced into fridge 110 line under sink w weatherproof box.   John Davies created a very detailed post on this.

The DEL model has both gas and electric switch inside the trailer...Installed switch where Truma switch was...had to run some wires to switch, then to HWH.

Move gas line over as suburban is on opposite side of Truma.

Overall, not a bad project and wife is happy to have hot water again!!!

 

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Harlan & Margie

2017 Oliver Elite II Hull#235, 2006 F250 Tow Vehicle

 

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2 hours ago, Going Coastal said:

Overall, not a bad project and wife is happy to have hot water again!!!

Were you not happy with the Truma?

Just wondering.

GJ

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TV:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Tow, FX-4, Rear Locker      OLLIE:  2018 OE2 Hull 342, Twin Bed.    OLLIE DIY’s: Timken Bearings, BB LiFePO4's, Victron 712 Smart, 350 Amp Master Switch, Houghton 3400, Victron Orion DC - DC, 3000-Watt Renogy Inverter, P.D. 60-amp Converter, Frig Dual Exhaust Fans, Kitchen Drawer Straps.    TV DIY’s:  2 5/16" Anderson System, Nitto recon’s, Firestone Rear Air Bags, Bilstein 5100’s, Mud Flaps & Weather Tech all, installed Ham Radio (WH6JPR).

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FWIW:  We like the Suburban water heater.  We're used to it, having had one on a couple previous rigs.  For our style of camping, it's a nice benefit having that extra 6gal of water along for the ride.  Easy enough to winterize, too - if that's in one's storage procedures.  Occasionally, we've had to replace the AC and/or DC thermocouples - no biggie, cheap to do.  We keep extras in the spares compartment.

That said, since we've got no experience with the Truma system, we can't comment - but it would be nice for hot water on demand...

@Going Coastal - Very glad you're in the "Happy Wife - Happy Life" mode, brother!  It's the preferable mode to stay in, IMO.  Thanks so much for posting your project, well done!  

Cheers!

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There are pros and cons for each system, but the hot water tank has served us well for a long time.  Simple and reliable.  Mike

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Maybe I’ve  just had bad luck, but I would delete a water heater entirely before going back to a tank style water heater.  We had issues with the water reacting with the sacrificial anode that created h2s, so in the truck camper and the Airstream, we left the tanks drained and bypassed.  For us, the Truma is a godsend. 

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On 4/27/2024 at 3:45 AM, Wandering Sagebrush said:

We had issues with the water reacting with the sacrificial anode that created h2s

Water supplies that are not chlorinated will do that.  Tanks that sit full for a long time without use especially so.  Change the anode, flush well and treat.  Drain, remove anode, flush and flush again, treat and flush again, install new anode, fill and burp (TP Valve on Top)  before turning on!.  Here is one I have used often in facilities maintenance:

"Using a hydrogen peroxide solution of 2 pints 3% peroxide to 40 gallons of water, treat tank and run some of the solution into water lines. Let the peroxide solution set in tank and pipes for 2 hours. Solution is not toxic and requires no rinsing It kills off the bacteria."

it says no flush necessary... but I flush it anyway.

Safety John  (AKA GJ)

 

Edited by Geronimo John
Got the cart ahead of the horse on this one. GJ
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TV:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Tow, FX-4, Rear Locker      OLLIE:  2018 OE2 Hull 342, Twin Bed.    OLLIE DIY’s: Timken Bearings, BB LiFePO4's, Victron 712 Smart, 350 Amp Master Switch, Houghton 3400, Victron Orion DC - DC, 3000-Watt Renogy Inverter, P.D. 60-amp Converter, Frig Dual Exhaust Fans, Kitchen Drawer Straps.    TV DIY’s:  2 5/16" Anderson System, Nitto recon’s, Firestone Rear Air Bags, Bilstein 5100’s, Mud Flaps & Weather Tech all, installed Ham Radio (WH6JPR).

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It would be great to hear from @Going Coastal on their reason. Must have been enough reason for the time and money invested.

I also used to think the extra 6 gallons was a plus. But do you really get extra water? When the Fresh Tank empties the pump loses pressure and the 6-gal, 50 LBS of hot water just sits in the thank (yes you could open the pressure release and syphon it off, if empty and in a pinch).

I would think when needing a replacement, that an on-demand HWH would be the way to go. As long as our Suburban is working fine, we will keep it as-is, just purchased a new anode. The trip we're on now is the first time we tried the electric heating element, and it all works fine.

Chris & John in Prescott, AZ | 2016 EII #113 | '01 Ram 2500 Cummins!

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On 4/26/2024 at 11:41 PM, Geronimo John said:

Were you not happy with the Truma?

Just wondering.

GJ

I posted previously about our Truma with busted tank and circulation valve due to me not draining and winterizing.  I went with suburban due to:

1. Truma will not sell you spare parts.  Truma requires you to take their products to one of their authorized dealers.  I prefer to fix my own stuff.  I'm an engineer as well (structural) and a bit of a control freak.

2. Cost.  To have the tank replaced at closest authorized dealer (2.5 hrs away) was $1000.  Didn't make much sense to me to spend that much and some other part could fail on a 7 year old water heater.  I could buy like 5 suburban water heaters for the cost of one truma.

3. Redundancy: gas and electric vs. gas only

4. Simplicity: There is not much to a tank WH...I pulled out the Truma and took it apart to consider repairing (epoxying the tank and circ valve).  Truma is far more complex.

5. Past Experience: Had 6 gallon tanks in past 3 trailers...never had an issue...and I have never drained them for freezing (live in the deep south).

 

The only PRO (for me) that I can think of for the Truma would be the ability to stay in the shower as long as I wanted, but my wife and I can both take a shower on 6 gallons and not have an issue.

Thanks!

 

 

 

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Harlan & Margie

2017 Oliver Elite II Hull#235, 2006 F250 Tow Vehicle

 

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Posted (edited)

I can certainly follow your rationale. 

We've had 6 gallons, and currently a Girard instantaneous, installed by Oliver 7 (?) years ago. (Their first instantaneous install, before they were authorized by Truma.)

It's been so far trouble free, and not hauling 6 extra gallons of water cuts our weight by almost 50 pounds. 

However, I'd likely go back to a traditional 6 gallon if it failed. We almost never camp with hookups, so "endless hot water" is pretty meaningless for us, though a nice advantage for those who do. Our Girard runs strictly on gas, which is also ok with us, since we rarely have hookups. But, the also electric of a 6 gallon is a plus for those who do.

We all have different camping styles. Glad you found what's right for you.

PS add yet another engineer to the list of many. I think Oliver attracts the engineering minds because of the quality engineering of the unit. I know that's what sold my husband,  the engineer in the family. I'm just the 40 year apprentice.  😃

 

Edited by SeaDawg
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Going Costal:   1000% agree with all!

Your post reminded me to get a spare thermocouple!  Thanks.

GJ

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TV:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Tow, FX-4, Rear Locker      OLLIE:  2018 OE2 Hull 342, Twin Bed.    OLLIE DIY’s: Timken Bearings, BB LiFePO4's, Victron 712 Smart, 350 Amp Master Switch, Houghton 3400, Victron Orion DC - DC, 3000-Watt Renogy Inverter, P.D. 60-amp Converter, Frig Dual Exhaust Fans, Kitchen Drawer Straps.    TV DIY’s:  2 5/16" Anderson System, Nitto recon’s, Firestone Rear Air Bags, Bilstein 5100’s, Mud Flaps & Weather Tech all, installed Ham Radio (WH6JPR).

  image.jpeg.9633acdfb75740f0fd358e1a5118f105.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Geronimo John said:

Your post reminded me to get a spare thermocouple! 

Exactly right on!  

If you've got the dual mode tank-type, recommend getting spare thermocouples for both the AC and DC side of the system.  They're cheap and simple to replace.  Keep 'em in your spares compartment, at least that's what works for us...

Cheers1

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Art, Diane, Magnus & Oscar (double-Aaarrf!)

  • 2022 TUNDRA
  • 2017 LE II; Hull #226 "Casablanca"
  • HAM call-sign:  W0ABX

 

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18 hours ago, Going Coastal said:

I posted previously about our Truma with busted tank and circulation valve due to me not draining and winterizing.  I went with suburban due to:

1. Truma will not sell you spare parts.  Truma requires you to take their products to one of their authorized dealers.  I prefer to fix my own stuff.  I'm an engineer as well (structural) and a bit of a control freak.

2. Cost.  To have the tank replaced at closest authorized dealer (2.5 hrs away) was $1000.  Didn't make much sense to me to spend that much and some other part could fail on a 7 year old water heater.  I could buy like 5 suburban water heaters for the cost of one truma.

3. Redundancy: gas and electric vs. gas only

4. Simplicity: There is not much to a tank WH...I pulled out the Truma and took it apart to consider repairing (epoxying the tank and circ valve).  Truma is far more complex.

5. Past Experience: Had 6 gallon tanks in past 3 trailers...never had an issue...and I have never drained them for freezing (live in the deep south).

 

The only PRO (for me) that I can think of for the Truma would be the ability to stay in the shower as long as I wanted, but my wife and I can both take a shower on 6 gallons and not have an issue.

Thanks!

 

 

 

We like the performance of our Truma Aqua Go, but have to agree about the cost and availability of parts.  They do sell at least one spare part, the access door assembly. It's poorly designed and/or is made of poor materials.  The nylon web straps that convenietly hold it in place apparently put stress on the panel when it's removed.  There are cracks through to the outside where 3 of the 4 screws were attached the webing on ours. We thought we'd reinforce the plastic by building up epoxy on the back side. When the screws were removed, all 4 of the screw holes broke; one completely disintegrated, so no need to reinforce, just remove the straps instead.  The door is also yellowing faster than most of the other exterior white plastic parts. At 2 years age, the plastic shouldn't be that brittle. It's certainly not worth $200 to replace to door.  

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Steve H & Mary Allyn W

San Antonio, TX

2022 LE II Hull #969 "Un Œuf", 2021 MB Sprinter 3500 "Polly", 2016 GMC Canyon 2.8L diesel "Max"

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3 hours ago, Steve and MA said:

The door is also yellowing faster than most of the other exterior white plastic parts. At 2 years age, the plastic shouldn't be that brittle. It's certainly not worth $200 to replace to door.  

Not much to do about those cracks - that I know of.  However, when my exterior switch covers (for the 110 volt outlet and the rear jacks) started to yellow, I took them off, cleaned them up, rubbed them down with 70% alcohol and then used Krylon gloss white "rattle can" paint on them.  That was 3 years ago and they still look new.

Bill 

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4 hours ago, Steve and MA said:

There are cracks through to the outside where 3 of the 4 screws were attached the webing on ours. We thought we'd reinforce the plastic by building up epoxy on the back side.

To stop the crack from lengthening, you can do what's called "stop drilling."  Just drill a 1/8" diameter hole just past the ends of the crack.  This hole will relieve the stresses placed on the material (plastic, fiberglass, metal, etc.) and keep the crack from expanding.  

Use something like JBWeld on the backside to strengthen the area of the crack and also apply it around the area of the cracked screw holes on the panel.

It might last long enough for you to save up for a new replacement from Truma.  Good luck!

Just say'n....

 

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Art, Diane, Magnus & Oscar (double-Aaarrf!)

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  • 2017 LE II; Hull #226 "Casablanca"
  • HAM call-sign:  W0ABX

 

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Posted (edited)

@Steve and MA, have you made Truma and Oliver aware of your disappointing door issue? 

I also think that's a ridiculous price for a replacement door. I just looked up a replacement  (metal) door for our Girard. It's less than $60 on Amazon.

Edited by SeaDawg
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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. DC compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.


        
 

 

 

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On 4/30/2024 at 8:59 AM, Steve and MA said:

We like the performance of our Truma Aqua Go, but have to agree about the cost and availability of parts.  They do sell at least one spare part, the access door assembly. It's poorly designed and/or is made of poor materials.  The nylon web straps that convenietly hold it in place apparently put stress on the panel when it's removed.  There are cracks through to the outside where 3 of the 4 screws were attached the webing on ours. We thought we'd reinforce the plastic by building up epoxy on the back side. When the screws were removed, all 4 of the screw holes broke; one completely disintegrated, so no need to reinforce, just remove the straps instead.  The door is also yellowing faster than most of the other exterior white plastic parts. At 2 years age, the plastic shouldn't be that brittle. It's certainly not worth $200 to replace to door.  

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I don't need ours any longer and you are welcome to have it...if you pay for shipping or are passing thru Clinton, MS you can pick it up...it is from 2017 and is definitely yellowing.

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Harlan & Margie

2017 Oliver Elite II Hull#235, 2006 F250 Tow Vehicle

 

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12 hours ago, Going Coastal said:

I don't need ours any longer and you are welcome to have it...if you pay for shipping or are passing thru Clinton, MS you can pick it up...it is from 2017 and is definitely yellowing.

PM sent

Steve H & Mary Allyn W

San Antonio, TX

2022 LE II Hull #969 "Un Œuf", 2021 MB Sprinter 3500 "Polly", 2016 GMC Canyon 2.8L diesel "Max"

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