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Suburban hot water heater failed: a dealer repair story and lesson

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Would you mind sharing the cost for the new Truma and the replacement labor? Thanks.

John Davies

Spokane WA

SOLD 07/23 "Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 32” LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel, Maggiolina Grand Tour 360 Carbon RTT.

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I wanted to tell what finally happened to my water heater not working of LP. Working with Jason and them sending me replacement parts did not repair the problem, yes I was offered to take the trailer to a repair facility here in Ft. Worth, Texas, but opted to take a trip to Oliver and let them checkout the problem, we were ok with that as we would enjoy a trip that way again and we still had hot water with the electric mode. Upon Oliver inspection of the problem which took them about 15 minuets to repair the wiring harness in the upper rear storage space above the TV, a wire under the trim panel had come loose (or was never tighten probably) and just had to be reattached. All being said I'm glad I didn't take it to a local repair facility as they probably would have destroyed the trailer trying to find the disconnect wire, as they have no idea how Oliver's are put together, much less seen one before. 


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2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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We've had both tankless and traditional tank water heaters, at home and in rvs. Currently have a Girard tankless in our Ollie.

Tankless, like the Rinnai gas heater at home, are great when you have plentiful water and tankage or city sewer. If we had it to do over, I'd probably just get a traditional 6 gallon for the Ollie again, though.

Why? Since we rarely camp with hookups,  I think it's easier to conserve water knowing we only have only 6 gallons of hot available. I heat water for dishwashing in a tea kettle. For showers, the water heater could be brought to a comfortable temperature in a few minutes, and open the hot faucet only, which pretty much eliminated the  occasional  cold water sandwich of navy showers. And, at a powered campsite, the 6 gallon could be switched to electric to conserve lp.

We have a portable Eccotemp  tankless propane outdoor springwater shower on our camping property.  I love that, too, as we have pretty much unlimited shower time after a long day, but I don't have to limit grey water outdoors, either. If you spend a lot of time at full hookup campsites, where you have city water and can leave the grey line open, the tankless would be great. Our Girard tankless has been pretty much maintenance and trouble free. But, so were our Suburban 6 gallons, except for winterizing and anode changes. 

There are tradeoffs with every decision. 


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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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