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Old 12-19-2009, 07:10 AM   #1
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Propane water heater with Motoraid

Does anyone have this water heater? Is it worth an additional $275 over the plain propane heater? The way it was described to me, it sounds like this is a propane heater, a flatplate heater and a 110V heater all wrapped up into one package. Could there be a downside to that besides the additional cost?

Steve in L.A.
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:58 AM   #2
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Re: Propane water heater with Motoraid

Well I see that Steve has entered the dark world of SMB-psychosis, trying to rationalize every available option that SMB offers, plus a few more that he doesn't even know they offer. Don't worry Steve, we're here to help (enable) you.


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Old 12-19-2009, 08:12 AM   #3
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Re: Propane water heater with Motoraid

I've had full-blown SMB-P for a few weeks now. If I can get hold of a coffee pot and a room in a church basement, I feel I may be qualified to start leading meetings.
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Old 12-19-2009, 09:41 AM   #4
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Re: Propane water heater with Motoraid

Oh but it gets worse!
Just wait till you place your order, then the second guessing really begins.
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Old 12-19-2009, 11:24 AM   #5
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Re: Propane water heater with Motoraid

1) Admit you are Powerless over your SMB and your life is un managable
2) Came to believe that if you research it to death you will be OK
3) ........
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Old 12-19-2009, 01:35 PM   #6
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Re: Propane water heater with Motoraid

Grant me the serenity
To accept that no matter how much planning, posting and fretting I do, something will be forgotten, done wrong or not needed and it will all turn out ok anyway,
The courage to spend a huge amount of money on a vehicle then deliberately drive that vehicle into rocky, slippery, scary places and then eat and sleep there,
And the wisdom to bring a tow strap. Amen.

Have I revealed too much about myself here? No offense meant to billwilson or Bill Wilson.
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Old 12-19-2009, 02:11 PM   #7
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Re: Propane water heater with Motoraid

We have a propane water heater
Left it in place from original build
i believe it is a suburban, will hafta check

we have not used it except to burn my hands one time
on hot water

we had a couple of blow outs in the water system
due to MY error in not replacing some fittings

have ext shower set up for use by hanging shower curtain
across the rear open doors

however, have not used it yet

off topic, but Steve, i am REALLY glad we put in a microwave

also put in a switch on the fridge

if you hit the inverter to power the micro, the fridge switches to 110v
if We forget to power OFF the inverter, the fridge will eat up battery
however w/ the switch, if we leave the inverter on, only its own draw
and the led on the micro are in use......
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Old 12-19-2009, 06:14 PM   #8
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Re: Propane water heater with Motoraid

We have the stock Suburban propane water heater. We use it every day to clean up, wash our hair, take showers, and heat water for doing the dishes. Very little maintenance has been necessary...replacing the anode every couple of years and replacing a leaking safety valve once. It uses very little propane as far as I can tell (we also have the propane heater and use propane for the stove although we don't use the stove very often). I don't see a reason to make things more complex with the Motoraid. If you get a diesel, you may want to consider the flatplate (or whatever it is called) since it apparently takes much less space.
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Old 12-20-2009, 08:54 AM   #9
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Re: Propane water heater with Motoraid

Steve,

I do not have this model of heater but have been looking into replacing my existing unit. I originally just purchased the all electric unit, it has worked fine and I can't complain about the unit. I would certainly do it over differently.

So here it was I found when looking to replace.

Sunburban Gas only - Great unit, works as great, as long as you have propane it will get the job done.

Suburban Gas and Electric - Same as above but with an electric heater on board also. The electric heater can be used by itself, it does not have the recovery times of gas model in that mode. This would be a good choice if say 50% of your camping is planned to be at a campground providing electric hook ups. If you are paying for site with electricity, you might as well use it, and help save your propane usage. Of course you can use it in both modes and have fast recovery times and lower propane usage. Really the best of both worlds.

Suburban Gas. Electric and Motoraid

Kind of like adding the flat plate exchanger, ( I have always been puzzled how Sportsmobile could put this inside the van, but not the flat plate). I guess one of the benefits of this is having hot water available while driving on long trips. It does put with a good simple backup, if you are out of propane or need to conserve it, you have a option to do so.

Cons - More complexity and cost. One question I have had, was about heat, does the exchanger unit throw off any extra heat inside.

I am looking to put in the Gas & Electricity model since I a doing it myself, if I was doing it in the original build I might lean the other way.

-greg
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