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Why an inside hot water heater switch?


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What's the purpose of the hot water heater switch inside the trailer?

Turning it off does not turn off the water heater. 

Thanks. 

 

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Chris
2016 Legacy Elite II - Wayfinder - Hull 110  >>---<<  2020 RAM 1500 Limited

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In trailers with the suburban 6 gallon tank the inside switch turns the propane on/off for hot water.  The outside switch turns the 110v on/off (when available).  If electrical hook up is available there is no need to turn on the inside switch.  When there is no electrical hookup, the inside switch turns on the propane which cycles on/off as needed.  You can use both the 110v and propane at the same time if you want hot water fast!  Mike

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Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

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On my trailer, the switch does turn off the Truma. The reason being that it’s fun to spend an hour searching through manuals trying to figure out why your water heater doesn’t work after you inadvertently flipped the switch. 

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Our Hull #050, built in 2013/14, has the Suburban 6 gallon Water Heater with the outside switch. Having had an earlier model Oliver prior to this one I was familiar with the process of having to go outside to turn the the WH on/off. In the new trailer, I wanted to be able to control that aspect from the inside so during the build I had them install a relay that would control 110V power going to the WH via an interior switch. Both the electric and propane operations are activated from the inside. The outside switch on the WH is always left in the "on" position. This picture that shows the switches. Each of the switches has a LED beneath it to remind you they are "on." I modified the propane control switch so that the LED in the switch itself will come on while the WH is in the ignition stage and goes out when it lights. This is the same way the switch for everyone's propane control works.

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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge)

2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #026 | 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #050 | 2022 Silverado High Country 3500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

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  • The title was changed to Why an inside hot water heater switch?

Thanks everyone, Seeing this post was God sent.

So we are out camping/ boondocking for the first time ever in the Oli. I tested all of the other systems at home accept the truma. 

I flip the switch on the on the truma in the outside bay.  No hot water. We spent last night without hot water.  I looked all over for a gas shutoff for the truma, I could hear the the igniter try to start, but didn’t get hot water.

How I didn’t pay attention to the 2.5”x3” controller on the wall beats me. 

I saw this post the first thing I logged on the forum. So I looked at the main switch panel; No switch. Then over to the systems control area by the pantry, and there it was.  Now I can get cleaned up with hot water!

BTW, we went all night and the AGM batteries only got down to 12.7. That included a little heat and a movie.  But now I’m off topic.

take care everyone.
 

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Early 1999 Ford F250 SD 7.3L Diesel 

2020 Elite II Twin -  Hull # 648

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It took me a bit to figure out the two switches too. It didn’t help that we were told at orientation that the inside one was to turn on the electric and the outside one was for the propane. 

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What ScubaRX didn't mention above is that he even has switches for the switches.  The interior of his Ollie looks more like a 747 cockpit than your typical RV.  If anyone ever gets a chance to take a tour - do it!

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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  • 2 weeks later...

Both switches on one panel would be nice, I think the $500,000 diesel pusher they work that way. My only problem is that sometimes I leave the campsite and forget to turn off the electric switch and when I get home I plug the trailer into shore power and forget to turnoff the electric water heater switch off, yes I have found I have hot water and week or so later. 

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Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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One other note here is I usually start off with my hot water on gas just to make sure it working and then switch to electric somewhere down the line. If you start off on electric and want to switch to gas the gas will not fire up until the water temputures are down enough to let the gas kick on. This may result in you not being there to check it to see it the system is working correctly and remember if there is air in the lime it may take several tries to light.  

trainman

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Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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  • 2 weeks later...

While at an RV park, or any full hookups, what do prefer to use, electric or gas hot water?

I like reaching for the gas button in the morning and the water is ready in 10 or 15 minutes. I immediately turn it off after showering. 

What do you think is easier on the HW tank, electric or gas?

Chris
2016 Legacy Elite II - Wayfinder - Hull 110  >>---<<  2020 RAM 1500 Limited

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Use electricity for everything at a 30 amp hookup, you can run all the appliances including your fridge and air conditioner. Why waste your propane when you have already paid for 110 volt power?

If you are hooked up to 15 amps, you must ration the usage carefully or the campsite breaker will overload and trip. If you need AC you can’t run the fridge or the water heater too, but maybe the converter can run, depending on the type and how much current it draws. The later lithium inverter chargers use a lot more current than an older style 45 amp dc converter.

John Davies

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) 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, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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10 hours ago, Wayfinder said:

While at an RV park, or any full hookups, what do prefer to use, electric or gas hot water?

What do you think is easier on the HW tank, electric or gas?

If I have a 30a hook up I use electricity.  In fact, before we leave on a trip I turn the outside switch on so that as soon as we have electricity the hot water is heating.  Propane is only used when we have no electricity.  I don’t know which is easier on the tank, it should be fine either way.  Mike

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Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

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Note:  I don't have solar or big lithium power systems.

On my departure check list I have a requirement to decide to leave the outside electric switch on or off.  If my next stop has 30 amps, then by all means I leave the electric power on to the water heater.  But if my next stop has only a 20 amp, or if I will be using my Honda EU200I, I turn the electric off to the hot water heater.  My check list also has me turn the refrigerator to gas only.  

When I arrive at at a site that does not have 30 amp service, if my trailer is hot inside, my priority is to get the AC on ASAP.  I check that:

  • My battery charge is OK
  • That the refrigerator is still on gas only
  • I then turn off the Converter (On board battery charger) at the breaker. 

Doing so pretty much assures me that there will not be any significant electrical loads against the generator other than the A/C.   It took me a while to figure out that the 45 amp converter is a silent power theft for when I want the AC on.  😞 

The above has worked well for me.

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Just a "small" word of caution about this electric water heater switch - 

If, for some reason, that switch is turned to the ON position and you have 120 volt power to your Ollie and you do not have water in your water heater tank you will most certainly burn up the heating element in the tank before you can correct the situation.

This is the reason that I always leave my electric water heater switch in the off position unless I purposefully want to use electricity to heat water.  Even then, as soon as I heat that water I immediately turn it off again just so I will not forget.

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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5 minutes ago, topgun2 said:

Just a "small" word of caution about this electric water heater switch - 

If, for some reason, that switch is turned to the ON position and you have 120 volt power to your Ollie and you do not have water in your water heater tank you will most certainly burn up the heating element in the tank before you can correct the situation.

Good point.  The reason I turn mine on when leaving for a trip is that I always have water in the tank.  I drained it once to replace the anode a few years ago, but other than that it is always full.  I do have a mental checklist that includes turning it off if we’re dry camping and I’m going to use the generator.  You definitely don’t want to heat just air!  Mike

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Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

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I do rotate between the two, electric and propane just to keep then in working order. I did find that my propane was not working, (would not light and was erratic).  I pretty much knew what was wrong, the pilot tube was plugged and after I took a small drill bit and hand cleaned out the hole, a small bug had made his home in there.  Also check the burner tube, if it gets a small web, or some other type of blockage your flame will also not burn correctly, or maybe not at all. 

trainman

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Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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Another way to clean out this area on the water heater and the fridge is to use a can of compressed air - I always have one onboard.

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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